Brass-Plated Steel Casings Explained

Brass-plated steel casings are sort of a rare but very useful cartridge type in the ammunition world. They aren’t as well-known in the US as full brass or steel casings but surprisingly, they offer the best of both worlds. You get the affordability of steel with the reliability and reloadability (Boxer only) of brass.

Brass plated steel casings are a staple of the Russian and Eastern European militaries but their popularity in the US is taking off. This type of cartridge can sometimes be used at indoor ranges because it can be reloaded if it’s Boxer-primed but if it’s a purely recycling type facility, it won’t be. Be sure to check first or use what they sell there for ease of use.

Brass-Plated Steel Case Reloading

An interesting and very cool aspect of this cartridge type is that it fully functions like a brass-casing and is just as easy to reload multiple times as full brass. The electro-plated steel remains non-corrosive and is very strong.  You’re essentially getting steel with all the characteristics of brass and this works wonderfully for this particular application. This is only for Boxer-primed ammo so make sure you don’t order incorrectly if reloading.

A quick way to check used rounds you may have collected is to simply take one case and either give it a deep scratch or cut it in half and take a peek at the component metals. It’s very easy to tell brass from plated other metal. Toss the one you’ve scratched however.

Brass-plated Steel Cartridge Availability

Many shops and ranges will carry this type of ammunition and Wolf and Brown Bear are the most recognizable manufacturers. This particular type may be more visible when brass is at a high cost or if there’s a shortage but it’s almost always for sale. is a pretty good way to get it at all times at reasonable prices. The price varies according to manufacturer, but overall most types are looked upon favorably by target shooters, pros and hunters. If you like to shoot and blow through rounds like no tomorrow, this could become your favorite type of cartridge casing.

There tends to be some debate about plated ammunition of all types with regards to the reloading and range use issues primarily. If you’re a reloader, you already know what works and what doesn’t so that shouldn’t be an issue. If you’re using an indoor or outdoor range and aren’t sure of the policies, it only takes a minute to ask or double check so you aren’t breaking the rules or upsetting the staff.

For shooting at home or hunting, brass-plated steel ammo is a very nice choice. It’s affordable and you have the option to reload it or sell it to a reloader you know. If you don’t know any, ask your local gunshop or check online, there’s always someone or some company more than happy to take your spent rounds off your hands and you can make a few bucks back or get repaid in reloaded rounds.