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.
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 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.
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.
Going from left to right, Brass cased round, Steel cased round, Polished Steel cased round.
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
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 ).