Shell Shock Cases and Tools Now Shipping

Shell Shock Case

Shell Shock Technologies announced the company is now shipping its new NAS3 cases and S3 reloading tools. The NAS3 cases are the two-part case design that I reported on earlier this year. Since that time, I have had a chance to load (and reload) production cases as well as shoot factory loaded ammunition that uses these cases.

While I am still testing the design, so far I see no concern about the product’s ability, durability or safety. The dies are designed to work with all of the major press brands, and I’ve had good luck using an RCBS single stage press and a Lee Classic Turret press.

Offered in 9mm right now, the company has plans for expansion into additional calibers in the near future.

The NAS3 case is a two piece design that uses a nickel plated aluminum head with a nickel alloy body. The pieces are held together with a proprietary compression joint. The advantage associated with the design is a lighter overall case (roughly 50% lighter than brass) while offering improved tensile strength, elasticity and corrosion resistance than brass. According to the company, the metal properties allow for many reloads (37x in one test) and the cases are pressure tested beyond 70k psi.

Pricing for 500 cases is $60, 1000 cases is $100 and 10k cases is $850. Die sets are $99. A quick check of Starline cases at Midway USA shows $79/500 and $150/1,000 for virgin brass cases. Nickel-plated are more expensive. For what it’s worth, Creedmoor’s 9mm ammo is $1 cheaper/50 rounds with an identical load in a NAS3 case as compared to the brass cased load.

So, the economics look like it might work, and in my limited testing, I’ve had no problems loading or shooting them. So far, things look positive for this company.

Phil Note: I also have the loaded ammo as well as the cases and dies. Like Richard I’ve had good luck loading used as well as virgin cases. The ammo just works well.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • PK

    Oh, good! I’ve been looking forward to trying this stuff… should be interested to see how it works out with higher pressure loads, too. If it holds well, then the slick nickel body of the case should theoretically resist scratching from feed lips much better, along with being able to be reloaded quite a few times more than brass. Exciting stuff!

    • alex waits

      I’ve been looking forward to it as well.

      • PK

        Kind of hard not to. Brass, aluminum, steel, various platings, and that’s about it. There hasn’t been very much change in cases in a long, long time, and this seems substantially more promising for many reasons than the partially polymer cases. Still lighter in weight, but much stronger, possibly lasts longer than brass, and so on.

        The fact that the internal capacity is identical and no changes in loads need to be made especially interests me. I may be able to cook up some +P+ subgun loads and actually have more than the single reload out of each case! Ejection can be violent with the high power loads, and the body/mouth just gets so dinged and scratched.

    • noob

      I wonder if it is suitable for military use in 5.56. the weight reductions alone will be attractive.

  • raz-0

    Well starline is $130 per k, theirs are $100 per k, so it is cheaper.

    If it makes 9mm major, they might be able to sell to the USPSA open guys.

    • CS

      Actually it’s cheaper than that when you buy their bulk load. 10,000 case discount will run you $850 or about 8.5 cents a shell.

      • iksnilol

        And if you can reload it 10 times, it becomes less than a cent a shell. And they got 30+ reloads out of them (for normal loads :O )

  • alex waits

    This is the innovation gun owners need.

    • noob

      And the innovation gun owners deserve.

      • jestertoo

        Is this the innovation gun owners want?

        • Ebby123

          If it gets adopted industry-wide, YES!!!

          Just imagine – steel case ammo becomes a historical footnote, the cost of plinking ammo drops by $1.50 a box, brass and all-aluminum cased ammo eventually is phased out, and the new brass can be reloaded so many times that you’ll lose it before you wear it out.

      • Ebby123

        Deserve? What exactly have gun owners done to deserve this?

        This is one of the unicorn-rare instances where something the gun blog crowd gets excited about actually intersects with economic viability in the real world.

        I couldn’t be more thrilled about it, but we didn’t earn this. We didn’t contribute a thing besides demand for cheap 9mm ammo.

        • noob

          If the consumer supplies demand and money to buy the product with, the consumer deserves quality and innovation. If the supplier can find no demand for their product, they can not long survive. With our dollars we choose who survives and who vanishes from the earth.

          • Ebby123

            Respectfully – you’re very wrong.
            The consumer only deserves what they are willing to pay for.

            Innovation is something consumers WANT, but are rarely willing to pay for.
            Top Quality is something consumers WANT, but refuse to pay top dollar for to varying degrees.

            Ultimately, deserve never enters the picture. You are not entitled to newer and cooler products any more than you are entitled to someone else’s money.

            I see this as a fundamental issue among the gun blog crowd. Somehow a notion has gained traction that companies are required to produce innovative products with awesome quality at a price cheap enough that people are willing to pay… when no such obligation exists.

          • noob

            okay, let’s do a thought experiment

            say you want an item where quality matters like for instance a car, but due to the situation in your country the only ones available are badly made. You know the people making them can do better but the suppliers collude to fix prices high, the supply scarce and quality low.

            There are consumer protection laws – The Ford Pinto Case saw the car company pay out money for selling a thing that was nominally a car but too shoddy to use.

            There is also the force of the market where money can be taken from inefficient taxi companies and given to Uber because the quality of user experience is better and the price cheaper.

            It is within the power of a service provider to sit on their haunches and dish up whatever they feel like. If they are price fixing in a cartel they can be hard to dislodge. But ultimately a service provider serves the customer, and if they do not customers can get a loan, start a company and disrupt the calcified deadwood incumbents out of existence.

            (unless the incumbents get a bunch of bailouts and are allowed to keep their cartel by force. that’s a different story)

          • Ebby123

            Comparing a conspiracy to cover up a serious safety issue to “we want you to invent cooler toys for us to play with” is disingenuous.

            Again, we (gun owners) WANT new innovations, and it may be wise for forward thinking companies to invest in new innovations, but at no point do we DESERVE innovation, nor are we OWED the same.

  • AC97

    I’m interested…

  • Drew Coleman

    Very interesting. I might be willing to try this stuff out.

  • aka_mythos

    I think this is a truly innovative engineering approach to case design.

    They have clearly dissected the basic material property needs at different portions of the casing and identified a cheaper way to produce by designing an assembled product.

    • iksnilol

      + if it lasts longer than it is even more profitable. Even if it lasts as long as regular brass it still is cheaper 🙂

  • John

    This might be one of those little-noticed inventions that turn the global firearms culture on its head once again.

    Aluminum. Once sought after for its rarity, now commonly sold in sheets of cooking foil and cans of drinking fluid everywhere. Wonder if this will make things change.

    • Swarf


  • ??

    Im excited to buy these and the proprietary dies. And run them in my 9mm Major Glock. 70k PSI is an awesome reassurance to the 50k psi loads I run on the regular. Also you can pick them up with a magnet and reload them. THIS IS WIN WIN WIN!! Please make .40 and .45 cases also!!! I have guns that need these magical new cases too.

  • ??

    Im excited to buy these and the proprietary dies. And run them in my 9mm Major Glock. 70k PSI is an awesome reassurance to the 50k psi loads I run on the regular. Also you can pick them up with a magnet and reload them. THIS IS WIN WIN WIN!! Please make .40 and .45 cases also!!! I have guns that need this magic too!

  • Swarf

    I wonder what kind of wildcatting you could get up to with this technology in .357 out of a pre-FG Marlin 1894…

  • If the guys over at Brian Enos forum can work up good and safe 9mm Major loads with these, then I think this could be pretty huge.

    • ??

      Take a look at my post. These cases offer things that were never before possible.

  • noob

    When it comes time to recycle the shot-out cases, is there an easy way to separate the brass and aluminium and cast them back into ingots?

    • Twilight sparkle

      They melt at different temperatures and you should be able to tell a difference in density

    • Swarf

      Gravy separator?

  • Adam

    Nothing new… Will have to go back throw Guns and ammo or Handloader magazines from the 80’s to find the article… But it was done before.

    • Nunya Bidniz

      Sure you’re not mis-remembering the announcement of the CCI all-aluminum-cased [non-reloadable] ammo? That 1st hit the market about that time, iirc…

      • Adam

        No, not CCI.. I emailed a mate in a cartridge collectors guild that has a few boxes of it, They made it in a few pistol and rifle calibres including Basic brass for wildcatters

  • Marc

    Any chance to see these in 10 mm?

    • My buddy emailed them about 10mm, curious what they say.

      From a cost / high pressure benefit, 10mm would be an ideal application.

  • Mike

    Is it wrong to want to be able to get this in 7.62×29?

    • Mike

      Need coffee. *7.62×39
      I want to handload a nice subsonic bullet to use with that fancy new wolverine pbs-1.

  • Twilight sparkle

    I wonder if that joint will cause increased rates of case head separation with violently extracting firearms, that could explain the need for everything to have a coating that increases lubricity

    • iksnilol

      I know steel cased 30-06 rounds with a “joint” similar to that that’s intended for safety (Russian 6mm Unified had the same thing I am talking about).

  • Nunya Bidniz

    They need to rethink their business model: it’s difficult to reload 9mm cheaply enough to justify the expense vs. just buying new ammo, unless you do it on a LARGE scale. They need to come out with this stuff in large case types where the wt. savings will be substantial, & which already co$t enough $o that reloading is a fi$cally viable $ituation. IE: 44Spc, 44RM, 45acp, 45LC, 45Cas, 460SW, 500S&W. Oh, oh, & how about 45-70? That’s a large, nominally straight walled case that virtually everyone who shoots it reloads, at ~$1.50/rd for a box of new ammo…

    9mmP is just going to cause them to go broke in short order. And won’t that be a shame?

    • Darren

      No, their business model is spot on. This isn’t just for reloaders. Creedmoor has already started selling ammunition in the casing and I expect other manufacturers to follow suit. It isn’t just cheaper to reload, it is actually cheaper to make initially. Creedmoor is actually offering it for 2 cents less per round than its non SST cased version and it comes in a plastic container.

      • Nunya Bidniz

        I think you’re missing the point: 9mm is a commodity priced caliber: as a new start-up they should be pursuing the premium-priced, low volume end of the market in order to finance their growth so that they can compete on the commodity/volume scale. Otherwise, Olin/FG/ATK just cuts their profits for a quarter and squashes them like a tiny bug. Or buys them out & shelves the technology as too disruptive to business as usual.

        Don’t wrestle w/ a pig: you both get dirty, only the pig enjoys it!
        [B.A. in Economics from UC Irvine, class of ’89. Yup, I’m the pig in this scenario! ;D]

        • Darren

          Not sure if you are suggesting I don’t enjoy a good discussion or not. I’m not missing the point. You are. This isn’t just some new company doing something marginally better. The case is 50% lighter, much more re-loadable, cheaper, and faster to produce. From all the reviews I’ve seen on companies now using it, it is living up to expectations. Even if other manufacturers cut their prices, they still have to come to terms that their brass casings are the inferior product. The choice for 9mm was calculated and deliberate. They want into that commodity market. They believe they can go head to head with the competition in the place it matters most. Law Enforcement would benefit from the reduced weight. Competition shooters are looking at a case that is not just lighter, but more likely to produce more constant results reload after reload. Not to mention easier to pick back up. As a defensive cartridge, it will also handle +P and +P+ loads better than brass.

          The bottom line is this. Ammo is like toilet paper. You get what is most reliable. Unless Kroger is significantly cheaper, I’ll be buying Charmin. At 6 cents a casing in bulk for the SST NAS3, the bottom would have to fall out on copper for brass to be a cheaper choice. Even once fired brass still runs about 4 cents a round.

          • Nunya Bidniz

            Stranger things have happened. And it doesn’t require copper prices to fall so much, if aluminum, and more importantly nickel, prices go up. We’re just lucky the U.S. is on such good terms w/ Canada: we don’t have any nickel mines of our own.

            They’d still be better off pursuing a high-margin, low-volume approach to optimize corporate growth & profitability. If you continue to disagree with that, you’re daft. EOM

          • Hinermad

            I realize a number of reloaders think they’re the top of the food chain, but it ain’t so.

            A manufacturer who has to invest in new tooling and processes to enter a market is going to want to keep them as busy as possible to get the most return for his investment, That means volume, and one of the the biggest volume cartridges is 9mm. The fact that they can also compete on price (which is a characteristic of commodity products – price is the main differentiator) means they’ve got a good shot at lasting long enough to get around to making other size cases.

        • iksnilol

          But the premium market is waaay smaller and less profitable.

          • Ebby123

            VOLUME sells, not expensive investments in tiny niche markets.

    • Winston Behle

      They will be coming out with all calibers eventually. 9mm is just the beginning. Source: they are a client of my PR agency.

      • joe mack

        I hope they come out with .300 rem ultra mg. this is hard to get brass

        • Kivaari

          It’s hard to get because not many people use it.

      • Ebby123

        Do they have an NDA with your PR agency? And is that your real name, because if answer “Yes” to both you might want to rethink publishing that in a public forum.

        Just looking out for you.

        • Winston Behle

          It’s not exactly a secret. We announced other calibers in the first press release sent out in May. I’d link to it but it doesn’t seem like I’m able to do so in this comment box.

    • datimes

      I reload 9mm, 115 grain plated bullets, with W231, and CCI primers, for $12.00 per hundred. I don’t load on a large scale but I do buy in bulk getting a cost benefit and insurance on the next panic (in 3 days maybe?)

  • Tony

    What’s the case capacity? Hopefully their 9mm case doesn’t have the case capacity of a brass .380 case.

    • alex waits

      Reportedly same interior case dimensions.

    • ??

      “900 cubic millimeters which is very similar to brass cases available on the market.”

  • ??

    These cases are amazing for handloading experimenters like myself. The magic is real.

  • ??