1. Check out the Hot Deals section of the Marketplace forum to view and order an official Mossbergowners.com hat.

Low brass shells (steel?)

Discussion in 'Ammunition' started by ybrik, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. ybrik

    ybrik .410

    Messages:
    36
    folks, I'm new into shotguns and I just bought Winchester's 12g dove & clay.

    It's a low brass but I noticed a magnet sticks on it, so it's steel.

    Is this bad for the shotgun? As I know in pistols and ARs, steel casings could cause issues.
  2. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    14,132
    Where does the magnet stick to?

    The "brass" or the payload?

    Either way, if it's the payload that does have steel in it, the barrel will be fine because the shot cup/wad is actually what's holding the bulk of the pellets as it's fired through the barrel. Mind you, not all of the pellets will be securely in the shot cup, but most of them will be.

    The "brass" or whatever material that Winchester is using these days, shouldn't hurt your chamber either.

    Edit, I just checked some Remington hulls that I've reloaded a half a dozen times, the "brass" on them is slightly magnetic too.

    Won't hurt anything.
    ybrik likes this.
  3. ybrik

    ybrik .410

    Messages:
    36
    Thanks for the info John. Actually I was referring the the brass. But why is it magnetic though? Is it still brass or steel somehow?
    I read something about "steel washed" brass but really vague on that term.
  4. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    14,132
    The most simple answer is that steel is less expensive than brass.

    Even a brass coating is cheaper than actual brass is.

    Also, that's another one of the many reasons why the "cheap shells" are cheap.

    Your arm will fall off before the chamber is worn out. Shoot all you want.
  5. nitesite

    nitesite Sheepdog Moderator "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    5,515
    The budget shotshells with steel bases have been around for decades and they won't hurt a thing in your shotgun.

    Millions... MILLIONS of these shells have been sold and there aren't issues with shooting them.

    See, there is HARDENED steel, such is used in firearm barrels and there is MILD steel which is a lot softer. Mild steel cannot wear or deform a shotgun chamber or extractor.
    John A. and ybrik like this.
  6. DarkPassenger308

    DarkPassenger308 .270 WIN Supporter

    Messages:
    207
    Agreed. I just happened to have one of those strong rare-earth magnets on my work bench yesterday and was surprised when it snapped against a box of a Brenneke Green Lightning slugs. That made me curious about the Brenneke projectile, since it's a hardened lead alloy. I assumed it had some iron or steel in it. Nope. It was the brass.

    I shrugged it off, thinking, "huh. I guess they're using brass plated steel these days."

    Shoot it and clean it just like anything else.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    nitesite likes this.
  7. ybrik

    ybrik .410

    Messages:
    36
    That rare earth magnet is neodymium. I attracts a lot than a regular magnet so I thought the case was a steel enough to cause wear.

    Thanks for the comments nitsite & DP308.
  8. nitesite

    nitesite Sheepdog Moderator "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    5,515
    You are quite welcome.
  9. ybrik

    ybrik .410

    Messages:
    36
    By the way, what's the advantage of brass-coatings on the steel? Is it just for aesthetics or even just with this coating would it still help the case contract as the pressure goes down in the chamber after firing?
  10. Rossignol

    Rossignol The Original Sheriff Staff Member Global Moderator Sponsor Moderator

    Messages:
    12,760
    Prevents rust. Maybe?
    RichardL likes this.
  11. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    14,132
    Brass coating helps prevent the steel from rusting.

    And people have came to expect "brass" on their shotgun shells.
    RichardL likes this.
  12. ybrik

    ybrik .410

    Messages:
    36
    So those low brass target loads which is shiny silver, does that mean it's bare steel or some other coating?
  13. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    14,132
    I have no idea. They may have some nickel coating or something on them.
  14. DarkPassenger308

    DarkPassenger308 .270 WIN Supporter

    Messages:
    207
    I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the brass coating acts as a lubricant for the chamber. Probably better extraction vs steel on steel contact.

    Just speculation.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    John A. likes this.
  15. Rossignol

    Rossignol The Original Sheriff Staff Member Global Moderator Sponsor Moderator

    Messages:
    12,760
    I could see that possibly but I can't help but wonder if the lacquered steel wouldn't be more cost effective. So all this gets interesting! Brass because we expect it and it's what we're used to, so they coat the mild steel and maybe, maybe, it provides a little something to help with chamber release?
    RichardL likes this.
  16. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

    Messages:
    6,991
    I picked up a bunch of used skeet shells at the range to reload and they turned out to have not steel, but aluminum bases. I reloaded a few but most of them turned out to have a fair bit of deformity where they were grabbed by the steel extractor. I don't know if this is typical or if that gun had a tight or sharp extractor or what, but it was not only embossing the aluminum it was leaving a fair-sized burr.

    Aluminum can work harden and crack rapidly, so I didn't bother trying to save those hulls. I did reload a lot of them which were brass plated Steel. But for my fancy loads I picked through the used hulls for the real high brass heavy duty plastic ones.

    They've been easier to find than I expected, because guys are bringing out boxes of old shells they've been hoarding and shooting them off. Some of these models probably haven't been on the shelves for a while.

    But I tossed a big bucket of those aluminum skeet hulls. All had extractor damage.
    nitesite likes this.
  17. hombre243

    hombre243 20g Premier Member

    Messages:
    665
    I read long ago that the brass on the shotshell base is to satisfy the hard nosed shooters that refuse to shoot anything else. That is what shotshells had in the beginning and that is all they settle for now...plain and simple...money. If the ammo makers can't get it one way they will get it another. I bet there are a whole wob of those shooters who shoot Mossbergs.
  18. BigT

    BigT Copper BB

    Messages:
    8
    I bought some of that cheapo Winchester Dove and Clay ammo earlier this year to dove hunt with. About every fifth or sixth round my Benelli auto would pull the steel casing right off the plastic shell. I contacted Winchester and they were kind enough to send me another 100 pack. I just use them in my double barrel now. By the way, Winchester did verify that the casings were steel with a coating for lubrication purposes.
    nitesite likes this.
  19. nitesite

    nitesite Sheepdog Moderator "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    5,515
    Wow. Sorry that your Benelli tore them up, but good on Winchester for helping out.

    Benellis autos are extremely hard on extractions that is for sure, especially when using the cheap soft metal bases found on cheap ammo. There is a lot of stress on the shell base compared to many other shotgun actions. Benelli is not the only maker to have this issue in their semi autos. It's physics, and many semi-autos are pushing the limits.
    BigT likes this.
  20. Gridiron504

    Gridiron504 .22LR

    Messages:
    16
    I was shooting my Mossberg 590 Mariner this past weekend and I bought some Winchester #8 birdshot and it was cased in steel. My shotgun would malfunction about 70% of the time with a failure to eject. The shell would stay inside the barrel and the extractor would fail to pull it out. So I would have to either rack it like a million times for it to come loose, or take the magazine tube off and pull the barrel off the receiver and pull the shell out myself. However, when I switched to some bottom shelf, cheap, 00 Buckshot that was cased in brass; I had zero issues and the weapon ran FLAWLESSLY through 100 shells.
    BigT likes this.

Share This Page