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CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm Ammo Review: Perfect for Plinking

CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm Ammo Review

Listen, I get it. When you go out to the range to do some target practice, you want to shoot a lot without breaking the bank. Sure, rimfire ammo is a great way to accomplish this, but sometimes your trigger finger needs to scratch that centerfire itch that a 22LR just can’t handle.

No matter if you enjoy shooting your prized handgun or tricked-out pistol caliber carbine, it’s really easy to blow through a lot of 9mm Luger in a short amount of time. And when you’re having the time of your life carving out the bullseye, the last thing you want to worry about is if you’ll have enough money left over to put food on the table for the rest of the month.

There are a lot of budget-friendly 9mm Luger factory loads out there; I grew up shooting Remington UMC 9mm Luger 115 grain ammo. But have you considered CCI Blazer ammo for all your plinking needs?

Some shooters might be wary of shooting aluminum cases through their prized piece, but I’m here to tell you that CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm is good ammo that’s available for a great price. But is Blazer ammo the best choice for your lead-slinging baby?

In this CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm ammo review, we will help assuage your fears of shooting aluminum-cased ammo through your handguns and explain how you can save a ton of money shooting Blazer over traditional brass 9mm ammo.

I’m sure you’re ready to hit the range, so let’s get into the review!

CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm Ammo Overview

Established in 1951 by Richard “Dick” Speer, Cascade Cartridges Inc (CCI) has been providing shooters and handloaders high-quality ammo and components since the close of WWII. Richard was spurred into starting the company based on the success of his brother, Vernon, who founded Speer, producing high-quality projectiles for hobby reloaders.

Located in Lewiston, Idaho, Speer and CCI have been producing some of the finest rimfire and centerfire ammunition as well as high-quality handloading components for American shooters for well over 70 years. Today CCI is part of Vista Outdoors, which is a conglomerate of some of the biggest names in the outdoor industry, including Remington, Federal, Bushnell, and RCBS.

However, when I think about CCI products, my mind immediately goes to their Boxer primers and rimfire ammo. CCI MiniMags are some of the best 22LR cartridges in the business, as CCI has cemented itself as the gold standard for rimfire ammo.

The company also makes a line of shotshell ammo that is aimed at revolver and semi-auto handgun shooters who need a lightweight option for pest control. CCI Shotshells are available in 9mm Luger, 38 Special/357 Magnum, 40 S&W, 45 ACP, 45 Colt, and 44 Magnum.

But for a handloader like myself, CCI is synonymous with some of the best Boxer primers on the market. I always prefer loading my own reloads with CCI primers whenever I can, and this was one of the first contracts CCI received after their inception. Richard’s first big shipment was a military contract for corrosive FA-70 primers, while he produced non-corrosive primers for handloaders across the USA.

Learn more about corrosive ammo from this article: Corrosive Ammo: Rust-Inducing Nightmare or Cheap Plinking Fun?

Blazer Ammunition came later, as it was released in 1981. The first Blazer factory load was a 38 Special cartridge loaded with a 158-grain round nose bullet. Since then, Blazer Ammunition has had a full line of centerfire handgun ammo that is available loaded in brass cases (Blazer Brass) or the less expensive aluminum cases (Blazer Aluminum).

Blazer Ammunition looks to provide American shooters with inexpensive, clean shooting target ammo to support our long-held tradition of firearms ownership and shooting sports.

Our CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm Ammo Review

If you’ve read any number of my articles before, you’ll know that I’m a hardcore Glock and 1911 shooter. And when I go to the range for some target practice, if I’m shooting factory loads, then you can rest assured that I’ve got a few boxes of 115-grain FMJ CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm ammo tucked away in my range bag.

And if I’m headed to the indoor range, my preferred 9mm handgun ammunition would be the Blazer Clean-Fire 147 grain TMJ, as this load just runs super smooth through my Glock 19 and Glock 34.

The truth is that this is great ammo that can be had for a great price. And if you ask me, that makes it even more appealing when the ammo budget for the month is running a bit thin.

I can’t say that Blazer Aluminum 9mm ammo will give you match-grade accuracy, but their 115-grain FMJ bullets traveling at 1,145 FPS are more accurate than I am. So, I’m pretty confident they will be accurate enough for your shooting needs unless you are a bullseye shooter who requires the highest levels of accuracy possible.

Putting it simply, this CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm ammo is perfect for plinking and target shooting. It’s an inexpensive handgun ammunition that goes bang with every trigger squeeze, and what more can we ask for from our plinking ammo?

If you’re on the fence about Blazer Aluminum 9mm, then it’s time to get off it and get yourself a box or two because I promise that you won’t be disappointed! And if you find that it suits your shooting needs, consider checking out our bulk 9mm ammo page to stock up and save in the long run.

What’s It Best For?

CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm ammo is best used for blasting holes in paper targets, clanging steel plates, and making soda cans dance all afternoon. This ammo is ideal for plinking and target practice as it is inexpensive, accurate, and reliable.

You won’t break the bank shooting box after box of 9mm Luger through your favorite Glock, Springfield, Sig Sauer, or Taurus. And every shooter wants to ensure their favorite pistol will never hunger for more ammo to eat.

If you’re looking for a total metal jacket bullet but don’t want to spring for Speer Lawman ammo, CCI Blazer has Clean-Fire ammo which is a cheaper alternative to traditional TMJ ammo sold at your local indoor range.


Although CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm is Boxer primed, the cases are not ideal for reloading. Since aluminum is more brittle than brass, split cases or case/head separation are common. And there’s nothing more frustrating to deal with at the range than a stuck case!

In general, it’s not advisable to reload aluminum cases unless you are in dire circumstances (think SHTF or a societal collapse). If you want to reload Blazer cases, consider Blazer Brass instead.

Furthermore, just like a petulant 3-year-old, some firearms simply refuse to eat Blazer ammunition. Malfunctions can range from FTE (failure to extract), stovepipes, and failure to go into battery. As every firearm has its own preferences in terms of ammo, it’s best to buy a box or two of Blazer Aluminum 9mm before you invest in a full 1,000-round case just to be sure your handgun handles it well.

Pros and Cons

As much as we love ammo, we understand that no manufacturer is perfect. Here are some of the pros and cons of CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm ammunition you should be aware of.


  • Inexpensive
  • Reliable
  • Good for plinking and target practice
  • TMJ bullets available for indoor ranges


  • Aluminum cases are not ideal for reloading
  • Some handguns prefer brass cases

Cartridge Specs

Below you’ll see a detailed spec chart for the CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm.

CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm Cartridge Specifications


CCI Aluminum ammo is available in three different grain weights and two different bullet configurations. You’ll find this ammo loaded with traditional 9mm Luger bullet weights: 115, 124, and 147 grains.

Available in traditional full metal jacket bullets, CCI also offers total metal jacket (TMJ) bullets from Speer loaded in their Blazer ammo as well. Let’s take a look at both below.

Traditional Full Metal Jacket

Full metal jacket bullets have been around for over a century. Developed in 1882 by a Swiss military gunsmith, Colonel Eduard Rubin, full metal jacket bullets are comprised of a soft lead core encapsulated in a harder metal shell. Bullet jackets are typically made of copper alloy, gilding metal, or bimetal steel alloys.

FMJ bullets are more accurate than traditional lead bullets and allow for higher muzzle velocities without depositing significant amounts of lead in the barrel.

CCI Blazer ammo uses Speer FMJ bullets that are very uniform, extremely accurate, and great for target shooting and plinking. Their Blazer Aluminum 115 grain full metal jacket round nose ammo is my personal favorite load for plinking with my Glock 19 on the weekends.

However, the one downside to FMJ bullets is that they have a bit of exposed lead at the base of the bullet. This can cause lead vapors to be inhaled when shooting indoors and facilitated the need for “Clean-Fire,” which we will discuss below.

Clean-Fire Total Metal Jacket

Clean-Fire total metal jacket (TMJ) Blazer ammo is primarily marketed to shooters who enjoy a good time at their local indoor range. The development of the TMJ bullet was pioneered primarily by Speer to meet the needs of law enforcement officers who primarily train on indoor ranges.

Range officers began noticing increased levels of lead vapors during qualifications. This was due to the FMJ bullets that were being used, as the exposed lead base allowed for a small amount of the lead core to be vaporized during firing.

Although this isn’t a problem when shooting outdoors, shooting indoors with less-than-perfect ventilation allows for some lead vapors to be inhaled, and this represents a health risk.

Speer was the first company to remedy this issue with their Lawman line of ammunition sporting TMJ bullets. To date, Speer Lawman ammo is the top choice for law enforcement qualifications and is utilized by numerous ranges across the USA.

TMJ bullets are created by electroplating copper onto the lead core. The result is a bullet that is completely encased in copper that is clean shooting and stops you from breathing in vaporized lead.

CCI Blazer Aluminum Clean-Fire ammo takes a page out of the Lawman playbook and offers indoor shooters a clean shooting TMJ bullet for only a slightly higher price than their traditional FMJ ammo.

Overall, this is a great choice if you want that added layer of protection when shooting indoors.

Ballistics for CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm Ammo

Below we’ve compiled a ballistics table for the two different variations of CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm ammunition currently available on the market. Please note that muzzle velocities were calculated using a 4-inch barrel which is roughly equivalent to a Glock 19.

Please note that if your concealed carry pistol has a short barrel, like a Sig Sauer P365 or Glock 26, then your muzzle velocity will be lower than what is listed on the ballistics table below.

CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm Ballistics table

Parting Shots

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a pretty big fan of CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm ammo. It is good ammo that’s available at a good price most shooters can afford. It’s perfect for target shooting, plinking, and general range work to keep your marksmanship skills high.

But don’t take my word for it; give it a try yourself! We’ve got plenty of CCI Blazer handgun ammunition in stock and ready to ship to your door in popular calibers like 9mm Luger, 40 S&W, 45 ACP, and 38 Special.

Grab yourself a box or two, and let’s see how tight you can make your shot groups! We look forward to seeing you out on the range and continuing to support your right to keep and bear arms.

Frequently Asked Questions

We've taken the liberty to gather and answer several commonly asked questions regarding CCI Blazer aluminum ammo below.

Is CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm ammo worth buying?

Yes. CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm ammo is an excellent cartridge for plinking, target practice, range work, and fun. It has low recoil, is inexpensive, and is also extremely reliable.

What is the range of CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm ammo?

CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm ammo is perfect for target practice and plinking use. Although the effective range of a 9mm Luger round is considerably further than many shooters might realize, most will not shoot it outside of 50 yards.

Can you reload aluminum cases?

Yes, aluminum cases can be reloaded, but you really shouldn’t unless it’s necessary. Aluminum is a lot more brittle than brass, so most handloaders will not get more than one or two reloads out of an aluminum case. Split cases and case-head separation are common when reloading aluminum cases.

Is CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm ammo good for self-defense?

No. CCI Blazer Aluminum 9mm ammo is only available loaded with FMJ and TMJ bullets which are likely to over-penetrate and could hit an innocent bystander. For self-defense, you want hollow-point ammo like Speer Gold Dots, Federal HST, Hornady Critical Defense, or Winchester Defender PDX-1.

Chris Dwulet
Written by
Chris Dwulet

Ammunition Reviews