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How to tell white brass from aluminum bullet cases

January 21, 2009

Bullet cases are sometimes made or white brass, nickel or aluminum
The brass and nickel ones are good for reloading not so much with the aluminum.
Is there a quick way to distinguish the white Brass for the aluminum?
I heard that vinegar will bubble on the aluminum and not on the brass or nickel: T or F

John Langdon
Hobbyist - East Moline IL

January 24, 2009

For reloading you should always sort your cases by manufacturer (headstamp)to minimise variations due to wall thickness, etc.
Aluminium cases are intended to be disposable, usually have a berdan primer (two holes) and would be difficult to reload in any case. Only a limited number of manufacturers make them (CCI, Blazer) - check that headstamp again.
The difference between brass and aluminium is immediately obvious from the weight and the dull appearance when placed next to a nickel plated brass case. No need to weigh them, brass is three times the weight.
Cartridge brass is 70/30 copper/zinc.I have never heard of 'white brass'
Just for the record, we are discussing cartridge cases, the bullet is the bit that comes out of the front of the gun.

Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England

January 27, 2009

The aluminum shell cases are substantially lighter. Do a side by side comparison and you will notice it right away. I have also noticed brass casing rings slightly when dropped on a hard surface were as aluminum casings sound dull.

Frank DeGuire
- St. Louis, Missouri, USA

March 6, 2009

I'm a first time reloader. Enough said. What is the difference between brass casings & nickel casings?

Corey Mullis
recreational shooter - Lake Wales, Florida, USA

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