Pros: Less expensive then brass cased ammunition
Cons: Can not be reloaded and is more dirty then other ammo
This is a review of Blazer 9mm 115 gr FMJ bulk ammo. This ammo is designed for use in handguns and can also be used in pistol caliber carbines and Submachine guns.
With the ever rising cost of ammunition shooting has become more and more expensive. The rising costs have been blamed on a combination of higher fuel prices adding to the transportation costs to get the product to the shelves and increased demand for the raw materials used in ammo, specifically lead and brass.
While there are other ways to deal with rising ammo costs, such as shooting less or learning to reload your own ammo, I have dealt with the increase by looking for cheaper ammo to shoot.
The Blazer line of budget ammo from CCI is exactly what I was looking for.
Unlike most conventional small arms ammunition, the Blazer ammo does not use brass for the cartridge case. Instead the Blazer ammo is loaded into aluminum cases. Since the price of aluminum is less then the price of brass, this allows the ammo to be manufactured at less cost. The Blazer line is marketed as "budget" ammo and much of that savings is then passed along to the consumer.
Although aluminum cases are cheaper then brass cases, there are drawbacks. The aluminum cases may not always reliably eject from some firearms. Because aluminum is less "elastic" then brass the case may not be grabbed properly by the gun's extractor, which can cause a failure to eject. This is very dependent on the gun and while I have not personally had any problems with aluminum cased ammo failing to eject from my guns, I have heard other shooters report this problem.
Another disadvantage of aluminum cases is that they can not be reloaded by home reloaders as can brass cases. That is because aluminum is more brittle then brass. To make sure no one tries to reload the aluminum cases anyway, they are manufactured using the Berdan primes that are more common in Europe instead of the American standard Boxer primers. Since Berdan primers are nearly impossible to get in the U.S., and require different reloading equipment to use, this eliminates the possibility of anyone accidentally reloading these cases.
Since anyone who already reloads their own ammunition at home probably already knows that aluminum cases can not be used for reloading, this is not a problem. This ammo is marketed towards those shooters who want to save money on ammo but who do not reload their own ammunition already.
The last issue with the Blazer ammunition is that it does make your gun dirty. Since this is a budget ammunition, it uses a less expensive propellant, and the result is more grit and residue in the gun after a long shooting session. Cleaning your gun thoroughly after a range trip solves this problem.
As far as reliability, I have never had a problem with Blazer aluminum ammunition failing to fire or for the cases to fail to eject from any of my pistols. In use, the ammunition seems to be slightly less accurate then other ammo in it's price range, but not so much as to be a problem for most shooting. This isn't match ammo by any means. It's just decent, cheap ammunition designed so that shooters can shoot more and pay less. It fills that purpose perfectly.
Here are my other ammunition reviews.
Personal defense ammo for semi-auto pistols:
Winchester Ranger SXT RA9TA 9mm Luger 127 gr +P+ is a top defensive load
Federal C9BP 9x19mm 115 gr JHP is a great standard pressure defensive load
Winchester 9mm Luger 115 gr Silvertip is a good standard pressure load
Winchester .45 ACP JHP's for target shooting or self defense
Personal defense ammo for revolvers:
Speer .38 Special +P 135 gr GD SB - Ammo for snub revolvers
Winchester .38 Special +P 125 gr Silvertips are not for Werewolves
Winchester .38 Special 110 gr Silvertips is a good standard pressure load
Blazer .357 Magnum JHP's for inexpensive target shooting with Magnum Force
Economical target ammo:
Winchester White Box 9mm 115 gr FMJ ammo is good, cheap target ammo
Remington UMC Mega Pak 9mm ammo is good bulk ammo
Blazer Brass 9mm 115 gr FMJ is good, cheap ammo for shooters on a budget
Sellier & Bellot 9mm Luger ammunition - An OK plinking round
Federal American Eagle 9mm 115 gr FMJ is good, economical bulk target ammo
Winchester White Box 9mm FMJ ammo is 50 rounds of good, cheap practice ammo
American Eagle 9mm 147gr FMJ FP for target shooting
Winchester Win Clean 9mm bulk ammo for lead free target shooting
American Eagle 9mm 147 gr TMJ ammo reduces the risk of heavy metal poisoning
Blazer .45 Auto pistol ammo for 1911 pistols or other .45 ACP guns
American Eagle .45 Auto (.45 ACP) for the classic American 1911 pistol
The Winchester .45 ACP 230 gr FMJ load is a good budget ammo choice
Blazer Brass .45 ACP 230 gr ammo is good, inexpensive fodder for semi-auto pistols
American Eagle .45 ACP 230 gr TMJ ammo reduces toxic chemical exposure
9x18mm Makarov FMJ ammo by American Eagle for the pistol of the Russian Bear
Wolf Military Classic 9x18mm Makarov ammo - Avoid at all costs
American Eagle .38 Special 130 gr FMJ ammo for revolver shooters
American Eagle .38 Special 158 gr LRN: Good cheap ammo for revolver shooters
Winchester .38 Special FMJ Q4171 - You can do better
Winchester Super-X .22 LR target ammo for .22 plinking