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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just saw that a company, NOVX, is producing tactical and self-defense ammo with two piece stainless steel cases. The company claims the case returns to the pre-firing dimensions after being shot. Their website claims reloadability.

I would assume that would mean no need to re-size before reloading.

I see a distinct line above the base which I assume is the line between the "two pieces" involved in making the cases. How would those be held together?

Anyone familiar with or had experience with SS cases? Or these NOVX cases in particular?
 

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I've never used them. It's easy to guess why the cases are two-part. Stainless isn't going to be malleable enough to form from one slug or disc, the two ways brass cases are made, so they probably start with stainless seamless tubing for the case body and the head is made separately from bar stock. How they engage the parts with one another, I don't know. I would have to section one to see. If, as they suggest, the elasticity is great enough, it will return to size after firing. It may not stretch, either, in which case neither sizing nor trimming would be needed. Good thing, as it would be a bear to form or trim.

How many times you can reload it, I don't know. If it's close to chamber size, maybe it will never wear to the fatigue limit as long as you don't try to crimp it. It is expensive, at about $2.75/round for 300 AAC Blackout and $1.70/round for 9mm. For that price, I'd want it in revolver or bolt gun ammunition so I didn't lose the cases. Oddly, at this point, they only seem to make ammo for self-loaders, and the one they make for 300 AAC Blackout is supersonic, so it won't be fully quiet in a suppressed gun. I note they aren't yet making other rifle calibers available. They may be having issues with getting the stainless to neck down that much.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Unclenick, for your reply!!

I hadn't thought through the forming process but what you say makes sense. Base plus tubing would overcome the stainless steel's lack of malleability to a point but the joining of the two does cause one to wonder. And whether that joint could stand much working before failure.

You make a cognizant point about crimping. So the cartridges would not work in many firearms. Revolvers and tube fed firearms if they had much recoil would be two examples. Maybe that's the reason for only loading them in autos and fairly light recoiling cartridges.

I'm left with a few questions.

Would the cases be elastic enough to seal the chamber? Or would they have to be held to a closer-to-chamber tolerance than brass to prevent gas escaping around the cartridge? Would the stainless become work hardened after multiple firings like brass if in fact it does stretch and rebound? Would grip on the bullet lessen over time?

I will say that the possibility of a reusable case with only primer replacement and ready to reload is intriguing.
Scruf
 

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Howdy scruffy.
Sounds like the polymer / plastic cases from a few years back offered by Polymer Case Precision (PCP). The case is a brass head, then a plastic body and finally a brass shoulder-neck. PCP claims the ammo is 30% lighter than conventional ammo. The company seemed to be addressing ammo used in combat automatic weapons. Anyone who has humped ammo for a SAW would appreciate lighter.

PCP also was offering, in polymer case, .308 WIN for precision shooters which made the corners of my mouth curl-up. Apparently, PCP does not have any precision shooters on staff. PCP states the civilian ammo is not reloadable.

The novX ammo seems driven for self-defense or law enforcement. I didn't read on their web site where this ammo is reloadable, I have to peruse the site closer. The advances in metallurgy make anything possible.

Keep questioning the possibilities scruffy. Older enthusiasts, me included, like to explore and compare the past to the future.
Regards,
CJR50
 

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Back in the 80s a company named O’Connor Rifle Products Company offered two-piece “Steelhead” cases, but their raison d’etra was different. The cases used a steel head with a brass body. This - according to the adverts - allowed a good seal while allowing loading to higher than standard pressures.



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Yeah I saw those at a gun show way back when. Couldn't get excited about the product.
 

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Scruffy,

Whether or not they can stretch enough to seal depends on the material thickness and its modulus of elasticity. In general, stainless steels range from a little over twice to almost three times greater young's modulus than cartridge brass, so, presumably, it would have to be about half to a third the thickness of brass, depending on the alloy chosen, in order to have the same potential to seal a chamber. The range of SS alloy tensile strength is adequate to make that work.
 

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I keep thinking what those cases would do to reloading dies and I shudder the thought.
 

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Back in the 70s I was at Paul Marquort's shop in Arizona getting a 375 barreled by Paul. While I was there another young smith came in with some two-piece cartridges made in stainless steel. I seem to remember that the base screwed onto the upper about 1/2", maybe 3/4", from the back of the case. The smith was experimenting with higher than normal velocities/pressures. Never heard how it worked out.

Frank
 

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I succumbed to the hype and bought a box of 9mm a while back. Yeah polymer/copper bullets are fast. No resizing? Shell Shock Technologies sells a special sizing die (normal die will push the pieces apart). Accuracy was about the same as any other "hyper" ammo. Mfg. says they are cheaper to produce than brass, but I wonder about that; forming two separate pieces, of less maliable material, then attaching them together cheaper than forming a single soft metal, even though the forming takes a few trips through a machine.?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I keep thinking what those cases would do to reloading dies and I shudder the thought.
Indeed, I would never think that running them through conventional dies would be advisable. Their site states that the steel "rebounds" to original dimensions. I take that to mean: replace primer, add powder and seat bullet then you're good go.

But.... I've been around a little too long accept that without further confirmation.
Back in the 70s I was at Paul Marquort's shop in Arizona getting a 375 barreled by Paul. While I was there another young smith came in with some two-piece cartridges made in stainless steel. I seem to remember that the base screwed onto the upper about 1/2", maybe 3/4", from the back of the case. The smith was experimenting with higher than normal velocities/pressures. Never heard how it worked out.

Frank
Screwed together!!? That's a new concept.
Thanks to all for comments.
Scruf
 

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Not new. Follow the link in post #5. Introduced in 1984.
 

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I was looking at the joint between case head & case wall. Mechanical crimping won't work because the spring back of the tubing will leave a gap. If one were to put an elastomer between the two, maybe but that would be unlikely to survive the pressures involved.

There is one process I think might work. Magnaforming, the company is in San Diego CA. Here is a link if you are intrested. There are some intresting examples on their website.


The process uses a VERY high speed electromagnetic pulse to launch the electricly (auto correct not working 😕) conducting material toward the "receiver" material at a speed in excess of the speed of sound in that material. The launched material then wraps itself tightly around the target. Imagine being able to launch a soaked sheet of paper at a stationary target. It would wrap itself quite well around the target.

This process is used everyday in industries. Ever wonder just how they wrap the metal around the top of an injectable medicine bottle? Magnaform. Saginaw Steering Gear used to use it to put one piece bands on half-shaft boots. The process sounds like a shotgun going off (pretty sure they use sound containing cabnets now!) Also don't get close if you've a pace maker, the EMI will kill it/you.

I've been there several times ~18 years ago. Very intresting place/projects/people. Somewhere around here I have an ashtray they made me.

Edit: I do have concern the pressures of firing @ the joint, w/no chamber backing might open the joint after multiple loadings.
 

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...Or it could just be threaded in like the brass at the end of Carpe Diem's link.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Not new. Follow the link in post #5. Introduced in 1984.
Thank you, Uncle Nick, for pointing that out. I had missed following that link.

Quite interesting concept of threading bases to the bodies. I'm not sure they wouldn't price themselves out of the market with the complexity of the required machinations needed.

Magneform? Pretty cool stuff too.

It would be interesting to "McGiver" a few of these and see what they are capable of.

Scruf
 
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