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TulAmmo 9mm Steel Case Ammo Review

TulAmmo 9mm Steel Case Ammo Review

Posted on Feb 11, 2012 by Paul White

As the new owner of a glock 17 ( 9mm semi-automatic handgun ), I have been to the shooting range a few times to practice.  One of the great things about 9mm ammo is its relatively cheap and available at places like walmart.  50 rounds of 9mm runs between $10 - $12 per box of 50 for FMJ ( Full Metal Jacket ) and can easily get up to $20 per box of 50 for premium hallow points.  But before you purchase your ammo based on price its important to understand that not all ammo is created equal. 

TulAmmo Ammo Overview

TulAmmo is a company based in Russia.  If you have ever purchased Ammo at Walmart then you already know the name.  Walmart sells it for $9.49 per box of 50 ( as of 2/11/2012 ).  TulAmmo's 9mm ammo is 115 grain FMJ ( Full Metal Jacket ) with Steel Casings, as opposed to Brass.  It is non-corrosive, and berdan primed. Its basically the cheapest 9mm ammo you are likely to find.

TulAmmo ammo tray vs Federal Ammunition Tray
On the left the ammo tray from a box of Federal Ammunition. On the right is the ammo tray from a box of TulAmmo.  Both were holding 9mm ammo, ( as you can see I had used a few rounds of the federal )

TulAmmo Packaging

TulAmmo comes in a black box with red letter that read TulAmmo.  The tray that actually holds the ammo is made of hard plastic, and it leaves no room between rounds.  Its the most compact box you will find for 50 rounds of 9mm ammo.  This is great for retailers as it takes very little shelf space.  When boxed up the ammo doesn't rattle around.  I actually like the packaging more than other brands because it takes up less space in my range bag.

brass cased ammo vs steel cased ammo 9mm
On left 9mm brass cased round, on right 9mm steel cased round

Steel casings vs Brass casings for Ammo

At first you might not think there would be that much of a difference between brass and steel casings.  But there is.  First from a cost perspective Brass is much more expensive than Steel.  Spot prices for Brass run around $2.60 / lb to $3.00 / lb.  That is the scrap metal market value.  If you were to take some brass to a recycling center you are likely to get much less ( maybe half ).  Steel on the other hand runs around $800 / tonne ( 2204 lbs ), or about $0.36 / lb. 

However what you might save in money you will lose in reliability.  Brass is a very smooth alloy, that allows very little friction between your gun's internals and other bullets.  Steel on the other hand is not quite a smooth.  The difference is obvious even before you shoot your first round.  Load a magazine using Steel Cased bullets, then load a magazine with Brass cased bullets.  Notice how much harder it is to load the Steel Casings.  This is because there is increased friction between the rounds.  When shooting everything seems normal, but then you get a couple jams, where the shells did not eject correctly after being fired. 

Personal Experiences with TulAmmo 9mm Steel

Through the course of shooting a 50 round box of TulAmmo 9mm I had 4 Jams.  The round fired but the casings did not eject correctly.  This was using my Glock 17 which I bought new a month ago, and have fired about 200 rounds through it previously ( without a single problem ).  However I have not cleaned my gun since purchasing it, and there is some definite powder reside on the internals and barrel.  So its possible that these jams were due to a dirty gun.  However I also fired off a box of 50 rounds of Brass cased bullets right after the steel cased bullets, and didn't have a single jam.

9mm brass cased vs 9mm steel cased vs 9mm polished steel cased ammo
Going from left to right, Brass cased round, Steel cased round, Polished Steel cased round.
9mm brass cased vs 9mm steel cased vs 9mm polished steel cased ammo

Solutions to prevent jamming of TulAmmo

If a metal has a reflective like finish to it, then its going to be smooth.  I am not sure if brass ammo is polished or cleaned during the manufacturing process, but it definitely has a shiny finish.  Steel casings on the other hand do not.  However it is possible to polish steel casings to shine like chrome. I used a little bit of Blue Magic Metal Polish Cream, and polished one round of TulAmmo 9mm.  The result was a smooth casing, that had an almost perfect shine

9mm brass cased vs 9mm steel cased vs 9mm polished steel cased ammo

TulAmmo 9mm Steel Ammo Summary

If you want ammo that might put you through some exercises in clearing a jammed round, then TulAmmo is great.  However I bought a Glock because I wanted something that was reliable.  In my opinion if the ammo jams in a Glock there is something wrong with the ammo, and not the gun.  For now on I will stick to brass cased ammo only.  Its only maybe $1 more per box but its worth it.  If you are buying ammo for home defense or your carry weapon, then DO NOT BUY TulAmmo.  The last thing you want in a gun fight is a jammed round.  TulAmmo could prevent this problem by polishing their casings before packaging.  Even though I could polish them after purchase, the time it would take to manually polish 50 rounds is not worth the $1 in savings.  From now on I will probably stick to Federal Ammunition ( brass cased ).
Federal 9mm Ammo

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Bud Spencer | Feb 25, 2012 4:48 PM
I have no problem with tul 9mm with my taurus pt99 eats them up
Paul | Feb 26, 2012 12:17 PM
Thanks for the feedback Bud! Glad to know it works well with your PT99.   Its possible that my Glock 17 just didn't work well with TulAmmo. Or maybe the fact that I haven't cleaned my gun since buying it ( about 400 Rounds ago ).  I wish TulAmmo would polish the casings, as it would make loading magazines a lot easier.
Rob | Mar 5, 2012 4:41 PM
My glock17c burns through tulammo with no problems at all
Rolaster | Mar 5, 2012 8:12 PM
My Ruger SR9C eats up TulAmmo with no problems.  I've shot several hundred rounds through it without any issues at all.  I've put maybe 50-100 rounds of Tul through my Beretta 92FS with no problems either.  Its funny how one gun will "like" a certain ammo and another won't.  I appreciate your review.  It was very well done.  (I do agree though than this should be off the list for any self defense situation.  Range plinking only.)
Paul | Mar 6, 2012 3:07 PM
Glad to hear your Glock 17c works great with them

Glad to know they work with your gun as well.

Last time at the shooting range, one of the Range Pros offered to clean my gun.  It was a great learning experience.  After a good cleaning my gun feels much smoother now.  I might have to give a Tulammo another try. 
Brian | May 26, 2012 2:21 PM
My 4th Gen Glock 17 jams after shooting 4-5 rounds of TulAmmo or Blazer steel case every time.  I only use brass ammo now.  My friends 4th Gen Glock 27 has no problem with steel case ammo.  Go figure.
Kevin | May 31, 2012 6:01 PM
I put one magazine in my smith&Wesson 5906 and it jams on almost every round I use federal and shot 200 rounds in one visit to the range no jams after shooting those I tried the tul ammo again it jammed instantly screw that cheap shit stick to the federal. Plus my gun when It did fire it got pretty dirty and I only got 20 rounds thru it after every other would jam
Bud Spencer | Jun 1, 2012 10:38 PM
Love my PT99 keeps eating up that tulammo
Mike Kellermeyer | Jun 16, 2012 5:55 PM
Purchased 4 boxes or 200 rounds of Tulammo in 9mm.  Started stovepipping around 125 rounds in a Sig Sauer P226.  Finished off the remaining rounds in a Glock 26 with no problems.  I will not be using this stuff in my Sig 9mm however; will be going to the range again tomorrow (06.17.12) and run 250 UMC in 9mm in the Sig and 150 Tulammo in .40 cal in other Sig P 226.  Any more issues with this stuff and I'll stick with UMC or WWB for practice.  All guns are clean when I go to a range and cleaned immediately afterwards.  SHTF Ammo is Speer Gold Dot or  Double Tap in my Glock model 20.
Tim | Jun 16, 2012 7:06 PM
You said that you had bought your Glock new... did you allow a break in period of no less than 500 rounds before running cheap ammo?  I'm not defending Tula, in fact what I would recommend is limiting your use of it. The steel case can wear out your extractors quicker.  Best pistols to use steel case in are ones that pass Mil Spec torture test.  1911, M9 (or equivalent such as PT92/99 or 92 FS), Sig Sauer P226, etc.
Mike | Jun 25, 2012 8:10 PM
My brand new Taurus PT 809 misfired every second or third round using a case of tula.  Same day I used a case of monarch steel casing without a single hiccup.  I didn't have a problem with jamming in either though.  It is my opinion that the Tula primer is probably a bit stiff for my firing pin as each misfired round would finally fire after a second try.
Ralph | Jul 21, 2012 6:37 AM
Paul, thankyou for your report and conclusions Tula would be much more reliable if the casings were polished.  I have tried 1 box in each of my G 19 and G26 without failure.  Both Glocks had been cleaned for the first time within 200 rounds prior to using Tula. While it works as cheap range ammo, I would not recommend Tula as a self-defense ammo.
Merritt | Aug 31, 2012 2:32 AM


I've never used Tulammo and was looking around for information on them. I found your review very informative and helpful; thank you.

One curiosity I was hoping you could address is whether the polished steel-case round is now bare steel and subject to corrosion? In other words, was the polymer coating layer removed from the polishing job?

Thanks again,

Paul | Sep 1, 2012 10:15 AM
@ Merritt
The Blue Magic Polish Creme I used to polish the casing leaves a layer of silicon on the outside of the casing which prevents any corrosion.
David | Oct 10, 2012 10:53 AM
I'm all about the cheaper ammo if it works fine.  I will never buy TulAmmo again.  I purchased a couple of boxes when I had my Beretta PX4 SC, and the magazines hated it.  Not sure what was going on, but the rounds were extremely difficult to get loaded into the mags - I don't mean hard to push in, but hard to keep in - they literally would fall back out of the mag.  If I managed to ever get one loaded, then the gun would cycle them flawlessly. It happened with all three mags, then I changed ammo and no mag issues. That gun had about 8,000 rounds through it firing lots of brands of ammo without any hiccups whatsoever (like I said, even cycled this stuff if you ever got it loaded).  Would definitely stay away from TulAmmo!  However, I now carry a Beretta Nano, and have used Monarch steel case ammo in that with no problems at all.
Brian | Jan 21, 2013 1:13 AM
I can only find steel case ammo now. Did you polish those steel casings by hand? Did you ever shoot any polished and did they feed and eject well? Thanks
Charles | Jan 21, 2013 1:32 AM
I would stay away from TulAmmo. I shot a box of 50 today in my Glock 19 Gen 4 and had one failed primer and one fizzle, for that small a sampling it is a 4% failure rate, and that didn't include the five failure to extract rounds. New gun with only 50 rounds previously through it and always thoroughly cleaned following shooting sessions.
Paul | Jan 21, 2013 10:01 AM
@ Brian
I never shot the polished round.  Polishing Steel casings by hand is very labor intensive.  Considering the amount of time it would take to polish a box of 50 you are better off just buying brass.  Wish they would make steel ammo that is pre polished, as that would likely fix any of the ejection issues.
marvin schultz | Jan 24, 2013 2:01 PM
I've beenreading alot of comments about Tul ammo and the problems folks have had with it, well I bought a Taurus PT-809 the other day and there was no ammo to be found, well yesterdfay I found some Tul at wal mart in Bay City, TX. I went ahead and bought all they hasd ( 6 boxs of 50 rds ea. ) well now I'm glad I did, I went to a friends house and shot 15 rds with no problems at all, so those folks that are saying there brand new PT-809 missfires every other shot must have a problem with there new gun, I'm not saing mine will not missfire later, but that it has'nt yet and hope it never does, the 809 is one fine sooting pistol.
Paul | Jan 24, 2013 2:22 PM
Thanks for your feedback!  I almost wonder if some manufacturing runs had issues, as some guys say it works great, and others say it has issues.  Besides the friction of the steel casings, which is an obvious issue, I kind of wonder if they had some quality control issues ( bad primers, and or underloading the rounds with powder) which could also cause ejection issues.
Jim | Feb 7, 2013 12:30 AM

Ammo that has a rough surface on the case may not seat completely into the chamber, and then move forward a tiny bit when struck by the firing pin.
This could help explain the misfires.

I have used a rock tumbler, with corn cob media, to clean brass used for reloading.
It can also be used it to gently tumble surplus ammoor other old cartridges that had turned dark from age. 
I wonder if this process could gently polish the steel cased ammo enough so as to allow smoother feeding, full chambering of the round, & easier extraction.
No manual labor required, just time. Allow a lot more media, or fewer rounds, when tumbling loaded ammo to reduce contact between cartridges.

Mike | Feb 8, 2013 11:05 PM
Just bought a Taurus pt809.  9 mm ammo is not to be found...anywhere!  Finally found Tulammo on Cheaperthandirt.com.  We will see what we will see....
Scott | Feb 19, 2013 2:51 PM
Just chiming in with my $0.02.  I was wondering, (with the Tulammo) if you polish with scotch brite, it would be a lot less work than compounding and might give similar results . . .
Any thoughts?
Mike Rogers | Feb 19, 2013 10:33 PM
Put 50 rounds Tul 9mm steel case thru my Pt809 last Sat....no worries....but 
i thi k i will go brass or aluminum from now on
Jesus Flores | Feb 23, 2013 2:37 PM
Fired about 200 rounds a few weeks ago from my 9MM (SAR K2P).  No problems at all.  Still prefer brass but get  what you can now a days.
Paul | Feb 23, 2013 2:48 PM
Thanks for your feedback Jesus!
The shortage on ammo sucks.  I actually wrote another article discussing the shortage at walmart. 

However most gun ranges still have plenty of ammo, since they tend to reload their own.  Still I don't like paying $20 for box of 50 x 9mm. 

Another thing about Tulammo is it rusts.  So if you buy it , be sure to shoot it promptly.  Stick to brass if you are building a nice back stock for your home arsenial.
Griff | Feb 27, 2013 12:36 PM

I've noticed my weapon is much "dirtier" after shoot 100 Tulammo vs, PMC.

Regarding the shortage of 9mm ammo .... that's "banner's" back door gun control.

JoJon | Mar 3, 2013 8:29 PM
I had similar problems running tulammo through my Sig Sauer SP2022. I've fired around 4-500 rounds of brass through it without a single malfunction. I like shooting tula in my AR-15 so I gave the 9mm a try as well. I had approximately one jam per each 10-15 rounds. It was always a failure to feed, and the bullet got stuck on the feed ramp. I like shooting cheap ammo, but I don't even know if this was worth shooting with for training because the constant jams were too distracting.

Also it turned my hands black from handling and my support hand turned black from the burning powder. I'd say it's pretty dirty stuff.
Larry y | Mar 7, 2013 6:56 PM
Got TulAmmo Brass in .380 auto and it works fine in my S&W PPK!
fred | Mar 17, 2013 6:51 AM

tulammo is coated with a hard varnish--to keep the steel casings

from tarnishing.a tight gun will have trouble shooting these rounds.

a loose gun can handle them better;

the varnish gums up the works-----

oldbill | Mar 24, 2013 9:51 PM

I have shot 45 ACP Tula in my Glock 36 with no jams or failures. Also in Springfield Armory 1911a Stainless and Beretta PX4 Storm. No jams or failures to eject. I'm not one to overly clean a handgun.
I have 2 9mm. A Taurus which would shoot rocks covered with cement, and a Ruger 9C that's pretty sensitive. I have fired 9 mm Tula through both of them with no Jams and no extraction issues. I have problems with lead Semi-wadcutters and lead in general. Bullets are unstable or the barrel leads up. So I am faced with keyholing and trashcan size target patterns or unacceptable leading. The Tula was a refreshing break. I'm saving about half the cost by reloading and casting my own bullets. A lot of effort for guns used for target shooting and not carried.

I recommend the Tula in both 45 ACP and 9 mm. Just clean the gun if you are going to use Tula as carry ammo.

Robyn | Jun 2, 2013 9:50 PM
I tried the Tula Ammo and it jams in my Ruger SR9 consistently.  I'm fairly new to shooting so I thought I was limp wresting.  After shooting 100 rounds of brass....it was the Tula, and not me. 
Bud | Jun 30, 2013 3:22 PM
I just bought 500 rounds of Tul Ammo 9MM steel cased.
I plan on shooting this weekend. I might have some up for sale if they preform poorly LOL :)
I plan on shooting them through my Berretta 92FS. We will see ! I will return and post the outcome. I bought them because of availability and low price. $12 a box. (Low price at this time.) 
Paul Cochran | Aug 19, 2013 10:44 AM
I've tried the TulAmmo rounds last weekend and for the first time in its lifetime my XDs was jammed.
Paul V | Aug 21, 2013 4:14 PM
Paul V Conboy | Aug 21, 2013 9:51 PM
P.Martinez | Nov 26, 2013 12:56 PM
Tulammo jammed in my xd subcompact.In the mag and at ejection. Alternating with brass rounds fixed the problem.
E Jennings | Dec 27, 2013 10:10 PM

Tulammo also has steel in the bullet.( try it with a magnet) and thus , many indoor ranges won't allow it..I personally don't have any issues running Tulammo in any guns a Bersa thunder9, 2 glocks, and a SW sigma ...the tulammo works just fine but I do notice its a bit dirtier after several hours on the range with it as opposed to midgrade brass ammo like WWB, Blazer or Remington UMC ....I actually have had much more issues with the Federal CRAPion they sell at Wal Mart...i get at least 2 ffe and several real obvious "light loads" out of every 100 rds of the Federal lowgrade stuff.. .as for the packaging..Herters 9mm ammo comes in an even smaller package of 50 rds..same idea as the tulammo yet even smaller profile.. I got 20 boxes at Cabelas , and save the boxes for when I buy bulk loads of 500 or more rounds.. its stacks better in the safe and the range bag....

Bobby | Mar 7, 2014 7:58 PM

My experience with Tula is nearly identical to David's comment in Oct 2012.

I just picked up a Beretta Px4 Storm last week. I've put a few hundred rounds through of brass cased ammo (Win white box and Federal 115 gr) flawlessly.

Then I tried out the cheap Tula steel ammo and my magazines HATED it. I am using 10 round 9mm magazines in the full size Px4 (NY bulls****). The ammo slides right out of the top of the magazine once you get 6 in there. After fiddling and observing, it seemed pretty obvious what was happening: the rough texture of the steel casing compared to the brass was creating friction down in the magazine. As you push the spring down to load a round, instead of the spring normally pushing the ammo upward against the top of the magazine like usual and them staying in place, the friction from 5+ rounds in the mag works hard against the spring and the upward force is lessened. Therefore, the top one or two rounds you load are only loosely pressed against the top of the mag, and slide right out.

I had success helping the spring force the ammo upward by tapping the bottom of the mag with the heel of my hand. The ammo fires successfully when you actually get a round chambered -- but that's the issue. I had to tap rack and bang the hell out of these Tulas and will not be putting anymore through my Px4.

gil | Apr 7, 2014 12:44 PM

150 rounds with 2 glocks 19 g4 no jams no problem !!! Realiable ammo for practice recomend this anytime !!!

kishkin | Jun 13, 2014 4:46 PM

Went through 300 rounds of tulammo with not a single problem. Both guns I used with this ammo are Turkish made Canik 55s, one is CZ75 clone, the other knock off of Walther P99. I did have 2 stove pipes out of 100 with rem. steel cases fired before, but not with Tulammo. I think it is a good ammo.

Shiloh | Oct 9, 2014 3:45 PM

I've run Tulammo through my Hi point C9, no hate please, with no issue.  It's mainly for self defense and target practice. Prefer brass shells, but the steel casings go through it perfectly without any jams.

omar | Jan 23, 2015 4:03 PM

I have a beretta 92fs and px4 storm in 9 mm.  They both eat up the tulammo with no problem.  I only use for the range and clean the guns after every use.   I would recommend for practice.  

John | May 13, 2015 8:50 PM

I bought 4 boxes of this ammo because of the good price. Never had any trouble shooting cheap ammo through my M&P9C before so I figured I should have no trouble with these. With the first 2 boxes I had feeding issues on almost every round. The previous casing would eject just fine but the round coming up behind it would get stuck. So I figured I just finish off what I had left and never buy them again. The second round from the 3rd box misfired and somehow jammed the slide. It won't budge more than a fraction of a centimeter. So until I can get to a gunsmith tomorrow I have a live round stuck in my pistol. I'll never buy this amunition again.

Paul | May 13, 2015 8:57 PM


Sorry to hear about your experience.  I have been shooting aluminum cased ammo which tends to be almost as cheap if not chaper than the steel cased stuff.  At least at Walmart it is. Federal makes some, as well as other companies.  Only negative is you can't reload it like brass.  Thus far not a single misfire with the Aluminum stuff.

Rudy B. | Dec 19, 2015 1:17 PM

I also had problems with the TulAmmo 40 S&M in my new Sig Sp2022 I've gone to the range twice using Brazer Brass 200 rounds each time. Had not one problem. And I cleaned my gun when first bought and everytime i come home from the range. Now the 3rd time to the range I had purchased 200 rounds of TulAmmo the first 2 magz went semi smooth had the slide stick back a couple times. Then the next 2 magz it would really get stuck back for a sec and then jam up. And that day I had a friend record me with my slo mo on my iPhone and I noticed the shells barely popping out in the gun about 3-4 inches. If it was any less they would have been falling out. I'm not sure if it was a bad batch of ammo and maybe not enough gunpowder or what but it drove me nuts. So I went and bought another 50 round box of winchesters and used all 50 rounds with no problem went real smooth. So I'm not sure if I will ever buy TulAmmo after that experience with them. 

Bob Van Elsberg | Jun 19, 2017 7:01 PM

I looked at the ballistics listed on the side of the box of Monarch steel case 9mm ammo and the velocity and energy were far higher than on their brass case ammo. This scares me. This has to mean higher than normal pressures--I think we're talking Plus-P-Plus. I think this is basically military ammo marketed to civilian  shooters. I wonder if this ammo was designed for use in sub-machine guns, which could be built to handle the higher pressures?  Go to Academy and put a box of steel case and a box of brass case Monarch 9mm ammo side by side and read the ballistics. The brass case is delivering ballistics comparable to a similar bullet weight in a .357 Magnum. I don't think 9mm pistols were designed to take that.

Marcus Harmon | Aug 14, 2017 3:41 PM

TulAmmo works well in my CZ 75O1 Tactical but works badly in my CZ 2075D Rami. 

James bender | Feb 7, 2018 8:51 AM

My hipoint c9 chews tru tula ammo no probs at all not one jam or ftf stove pipe it shoots real dirty and has alot of flash out the barrel bit fires and cycles fine

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