Ye of little faith in steel cased ammunition be warned, this is definitely not the same stuff being pumped out of the Gulag in black boxes!
If you've read any of my other articles, then you know "cheap" is my middle name when selecting which ammo to run in my guns. I've come to embrace this stingy spending on premier ammo with the mindset that more inexpensive rounds down range> less rounds of higher cost per round*. No the asterisk is not a typo, that statement carries with it a big BUT. All the cheap ammo in the world doesn't do you much good if it wont reliably feed, go kaboom, and extract from your blaster.
Luckily the reloading rapscallions over at Freedom Munitions have pulled an ace out of their sleeve with the new American Steel ammo that does just that. Recently debuted in 9mm, by recent I mean today, American Steel features a steel casing with a brass plating for smoother feeding and less wear on your firearm. On top of that it's loaded with the same 115gr RN bullet and powder as the brass cased alternative , plus it's priced the same as their remanufactured 115gr RN 9mm. Oh wait, one last minor detail before I forget-It's made in the United States.
If all of those selling points don't instantly have you pulling out the plastic to try some for yourself, here's some food for thought. Remember when President Barrack Hussein decided to ban Russian ammo from being imported? All of that steel cased ammo that many love and I loathe, was virtually unavailable or suddenly skyrocketed in price. How do you prevent something like this happening again in the future? Easy, make it here in the states.
"So it's cheap, made in the U.S. and constructed of high quality materials but how does it perform in the real world?"
I thought you'd never ask. Now I'll admit after one too many issues with steel cased 9mm from the likes of TulAmmo and Wolf running in my not so stock guns, I wasn't holding my breath that this American Steel ammo was going to do that great either. Even on my the drive to my range and up until the exact second I pulled the trigger on my first round I asked myself "how much better could it be than the stuff the rooskies are cranking out?"
Five hundred rounds later (yes I really shot that much of it) and I have to say this ammo is everything that it's been hyped up to be. I really wanted to have some malfunctions so I can once and for all say NO to any steel cased ammo. Not one failure to feed, failure to extract, stove pipe, bad primer, or anything of disastrous sorts. To me this was semi shocking, considering the guns I was running this ammo through, a stockish Glock 19, Rock Island Armory 2011, and what might be the pickiest Glock 34 on the face of the planet.
The discerning Glock 34 has an extremely light trigger which usually means it's a toss up whether or not it'll strike hard enough on cheap Russian ammo primers so for it to not have any hiccups is a true testament to the reliability of the 9mm American Steel rounds, in my opinion at least. I'm no ballistician but I'm almost positive that this boring consistency comes from the slick brass plating and the quality primers that Freedom uses.
How It Shoots
This isn't so much a negative as I originally thought, but its a little on the fireball side. Which at first caught me off-guard but after a quick change of underwear and a few mags later you hardly notice the sparks. Some people might have an issue with that stating things like how it'll mess with their tactical ninja vision when shooting bad guys at night but that's not what this ammo is meant for. I actually kind of like the sparks that it throws because they make for some awesome pictures but what do I know?
As far as accuracy is concerned, It didn't perform any better or worse than Freedom's 115gr RN new ammo so no need to show off my tight groups at infinity yards.
It Did What To My Guns?
Common sense would've told me to clean the guns before heading to the range with this American Steel ammo but I guess I missed that day of Gun Blogger University. Five hundred rounds split between 3 guns later and none of the barrels, chambers, or guts of the guns looked any worse than they did before. Ideally I'd run 2,000 rounds through one clean gun but that'll have to wait for another time but my inner Ms. Cleo tells me all I'd end up with is a sore trigger finger, zero malfunctions, and your usual amount of filth.
What Do I Really Think?
Made in Murica? Check
I'd like to think that my clever choice of words or my less than average photography skills in this article are what are going to sell you on Freedom Munitions new American Steel 9mm ammo but you're smart enough to see through that myriad of smoke and mirrors. The reality is its extremely low priced training/ plinking ammo that goes bang every time and is made in our country. Need I say more?