Times are a -changing in the West. Gun slinging is riding toward the horizon of progress. Ammunition can be expensive, and right now prices continue to soar. Folks are turning to alternative methods of stocking up on bullets during this uncertainty. Plastic has had a long relationship with firearms. But one of the newest ways is plastic molding of ammunition. Plastic bullets can be cheaper to manufacture and transport, while offering very promising benefits.
WHY POLYMER CASED AMMO?
Although still being perfected, polymer ammunition offers a lot of benefits to the firearms community. The first being cost to manufacture. In large quantities, plastic ammunition costs less to manufacture and requires less energy. Also, since the material and finished product are both lighter than their brass alternative, there is a cost benefit for shipping, as well as a lower environmental impact on transportation.
In addition, plastic polymers can have different color additives for manufacturing. When in a pinch, working with different grain weights and different calibers, the benefit of color coded ammo is very “user friendly”. Like mentioned above for the benefit of transportation, polymer cased ammunition is lighter than brass. This is especially beneficial when considering military personnel that require holding a certain amount of rounds on their person at a given time. For example, combat personnel could potentially hold double the ammunition at the same weight or the same amount of ammunition at half the weight. Lastly, the plastic polymer casing acts as an insulator causing the firearm to run cooler.
ARE WE THERE YET?
Not exactly. Plastic ammunition shows a lot of promise when it comes to cost, ease, and capabilities. However, many details are still being perfected by engineers in the plastics industry. Although I also listed it as a benefit, the weight of the bullet can also prove to be a challenge. Naturally, the difference in weight is going to impact performance of the projectile. Thus, experts are still hunting for a better solution. We don’t want consumers to sacrifice performance for price.
However, weight seems to pose less of a problem than heat. Once again we piggy-back off one of the benefits of the polymer cased ammo: cooler firearms. Even though at first this may seem like a benefit, over time this could prove a problem. Obviously, heat is a measurement of energy. Thus, if the plastic bullet is keeping the barrel cooler because of its insulating properties, it means that heat is being redirected, not destroyed. In the case of plastic ammunition, this heat at the mouth of the barrel increases the risk of throat erosion, especially in cheaper guns.
PLASTIC INDUSTRY’S ROLE IN FIREARMS
The plastic industry continues to make headway as they aim for better firearms and better options for ammunition. We love working along progressive projects. At Nylacarb, we are equipped with the resources to make polymer cased ammo and look forward to our contribution in this market.