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Old January 06, 2013, 16:08   #1
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Steel cased ammo?

Looking for opinions on pros and cons of steel cased ammo, looking to stock up on a budget. Is the stuff woth the savings?
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Old January 06, 2013, 18:03   #2
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Originally Posted by stitcher View Post
Looking for opinions on pros and cons of steel cased ammo, looking to stock up on a budget. Is the stuff woth the savings?
Seen decent reviews on the Tula stuff and terrible on Wolf, not to mention first hand (around 2002) seeing that something in Wolf .223 would corrode non-chromed parts and having numerous failures out of Wolf 9mm during that time period getting topped off with a squib load.

Also, the only time I have ever had a cracked extractor was with S&B .223 (which the boxes used to be marked exactly the same as S&B brass case .223,) but that was with a parts house extractor and only 1 out of several hundreds of rounds of steel case .223 fired.
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Old January 06, 2013, 21:47   #3
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Thanks for the info!
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Old January 06, 2013, 22:08   #4
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I used the steel case in a lot of classes (cheap and you don't get to police your brass anyway) - It doesn't seem to be a problem in my AR. But having said that I have had people who have problems running it in their AR at some of the classes.

So I would buy a couple of boxes - clean you weapon well and try them out.
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Old January 06, 2013, 22:16   #5
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I used the steel case in a lot of classes (cheap and you don't get to police your brass anyway) - It doesn't seem to be a problem in my AR. But having said that I have had people who have problems running it in their AR at some of the classes.

So I would buy a couple of boxes - clean you weapon well and try them out.
I can recall claims that some non-chrome chambers wouldn't work with steel case stuff, but that was back when Wolf lacquered case was about the only steel case around(other than the S&B oddity I found) and it still functioned fine in my non-chrome other than rusting the crap out of it.

Good advice too!
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Old January 06, 2013, 23:20   #6
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[rant]


Steel-case .223 ammo is sub-standard, and will tie up a lot of AR-15's

There are those who react every time somebody says anything against steel-case .223 ammo.
First they will tell you to "break in" your rifle some more.
Then, if the steel-case .223 still fails they will insist that your rifle is "defective."
Lastly they will begin preaching about how they "wouldn't own a rifle that won't shoot steel-case."

I've had bad luck with steel case in both of my AR-15's.
After about one magazine, it starts short-cycling until a case seizes in the chamber, and the extractor rips the rim off.
On top of that, its underpowered.

Don't use it.

One is a full-length Armalite A2 with standard rifle buffer (chamber appears to be chrome - cannot say for sure about the bore).

Other is a Chrome-lined J&T-sourced 10.5 SBR with H2 buffer (rips rims with, and without, the Gemtech HALO suppressor).

After about one magazine, each rifle starts short-cycling until a case seizes in the chamber, and the extractor rips the rim off.

Neither of my guns are problematic with quality BRASS-CASED ammunition.

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Seriously, you can try some of that stuff in your rifle if you want.

I recommend that you load three mags each with 20 rounds.

Fire the first mag quickly without pausing.

If the gun has not choked by the end of the first mag, quickly insert the second mag.

Quickly fire 10 rounds from the second mag.

Cease fire.

Wait one minute try to fire the next shot (shot #11 second mag).

If the gun has not choked yet, fire four more shots.

Cease fire.

Wait one minute, and fire the remaining rounds in the mag.

Quickly insert the final mag, and fire all 20 rounds in rapid succession.

If the gun has not choked by the end of the third mag, you may conclude that your rifle *probably* tolerates steel-case ammo.

Otherwise, remember to bring a stiff cleaning rod to the range to bang the stuck cases from the chamber, and remember the stuck cases will be HOT.

The cleaning rod will also become extremely hot after two insertions in a hot bore.


Somebody will be along shortly to remind us that steel-case .223 works fine in AR's so long as you ram a steel-wire brush in the chamber to clean out whatever residue it is that steel-case ammo leaves behind, that brass-case ammo does not leave behind.

Then somebody will remind us that steel-case .223 ammo is fine in AR's unless you make the "mistake" of shooting brass-case ammo in the gun after you shoot the steel-case ammo - as you will discover that if you thought the stuck steel-case ammo was hell, the stuck brass-case ammo is worse by orders of magnitude.



This is what steel-case ammo (lacquer AND poly) do in the two ARs from my collection.

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Old January 07, 2013, 01:00   #7
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About three months ago my son and I ran 500 rounds of Wolf (WPA) through a non-chrome AR, a SIG 556 SWAT and a Norinco 84S with absolutely no problems of any kind. About equal number of rounds through each and all in about an hour (we were just blasting). No black magic or steel brushes involved - just loaded and shot. YMMV.
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Old January 07, 2013, 01:12   #8
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Cylindrical chamber = Brass cased ammunition

Conical chamber = Steel cased ammunition
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Old January 07, 2013, 03:59   #9
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I've got a 5.45x39 AR, it gobbles the stuff up no problem.

I do appreciate that there is a difference in case taper b/t 5.45x39 and 5.56x45 though...
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Old January 07, 2013, 08:45   #10
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I've never had an issue with steel in my Fal's , AR's just in my Armalite 308 but thats because it was a pile of crap - looked cool ! Likes others I've seen many reviews from great to horrible .
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Old January 07, 2013, 09:11   #11
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I never use stainless steel cleaning brushes in any of my firearms and I'm certainly not slamming steel cases into any chambers. Not a scientific opinion, just my biased one.
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Old January 07, 2013, 09:22   #12
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The OP doesn't specify caliber or weapon - if it is a FAL, DO NOT use steel case.
I am ofthe opinion that 7.62x51 being a fairly straight walled case, steel is not an option at all regardless of the weapon involved, but that's JMHO.
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Old January 07, 2013, 10:57   #13
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5.56mm steel case will run fine in anything EXCEPT an AR-15. I have fired it through half a dozen piston rifles and an HK clone without any problems. I have never tried an AR with a piston.
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Old January 07, 2013, 11:05   #14
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Funny my BCM carbines have all run steel without one problem. One carbine has at least five thousand rounds of steel case ammo through it.
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Old January 07, 2013, 12:38   #15
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One can only conclude that karma is the deciding factor....
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Old January 07, 2013, 12:53   #16
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I have run up to 1k wolf through my Sendra conversion with no issues. I start to get sporadic fte's after that. I have 5 AR's, they all run on steel case with few issues. Not saying better or worse than brass, just that that I run it in most of my guns such as 9mm .40 s&w .45acp and .223 satisfactorily.

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Old January 07, 2013, 13:15   #17
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If you have Russian blood in your veins, the ammo Karma gods will smile upon your ferric-cased rounds of glasnost-inducing projectiles.

Preeyatna poznikomitza, moi drug!

(Really, make sure your chamber at least is chromed and that your extractor has ample force and also that your weapon is tuned so the bolt does not unlock too soon--I.E. retard your BC's rearward travel enough so it begins extraction after chamber pressures are at their lowest. Then once everything runs ok, get over the fact that steel ammo will increase wear-and-tear on your extractor--among other parts--faster than brass).

[Edit--avoid lacquer cases in .223/5.56 as there is not sufficient case-taper to self-clean this melt-prone substance during operation]

Carrier assembly speed is incredibly relevant and important to how an AR functions. If you are getting huge extractor gouges in your case-rims, one of 3 things is the culprit (or a little of all 3):

1. Your bolt is unlocking too soon and thus extracting too soon while there is still pressure within the spent case. -- Cause: overgassed or too light of a BCA/Buffer. -- Fix: Get a FA Bolt-Carrier and/or an H2/H3 buffer and/or new buffer spring.

This problem isn't as prevalent with brass as brass is far less prone to sticking to the inner walls of a chamber.

2. Your extractor is too weak. -- Cause: wore out extractor spring. -- Fix: Get new Extractor Spring.
3. Your chamber is too rough/unchromed. --Cause: Crappy chamber. -- Fix: Polish your chamber or get a new barrel.
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Old January 07, 2013, 18:20   #18
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Thanks for all the info, I've always fed mine brass I will stick with it!
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Old January 07, 2013, 19:12   #19
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i shoot steel and brass no issue with ether.... only steel i shoot is tula though.
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Old January 08, 2013, 07:56   #20
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Steel cased shooter here. No problems in 223 or 308.
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Old January 08, 2013, 20:03   #21
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Here is an excellent article about shooting steel cased ammo vs brass. The "bi-metal" jacket wore out the barrels much faster than the copper jacketed bullets did
http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/bras...el-cased-ammo/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyrottimus View Post
...make sure...that your weapon is tuned so the bolt does not unlock too soon--I.E. retard your BC's rearward travel enough so it begins extraction after chamber pressures are at their lowest...

1. Your bolt is unlocking too soon and thus extracting too soon while there is still pressure within the spent case. -- Cause: overgassed or too light of a BCA/Buffer. -- Fix: Get a FA Bolt-Carrier and/or an H2/H3 buffer and/or new buffer spring...
You do realize that the BCG does not start moving until after the bullet clears the muzzle
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Old January 09, 2013, 00:25   #22
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another two-scents worth

I came into a Bushie some years back (the last ban) and with it came a near-case of steel cased lacquered ammo. Wolf, IIRC. So I had no problems with it and in fact is probably the larger part of ammo that Bushie has fired. I was careful to keep the rifle clean but didnt "hone" the chamber with a brush on a drill as some suggest.... Never saw cases like the one WEG has posted. Just lucky I guess.
The ammo is different but that Bush is one of my house "go to" guns. I dunno why some folks diss Bushmaster. Knowing what I have heard, I wouldnt choose to run steelcase thru my Colts..
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Old January 09, 2013, 00:30   #23
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Same reason FALFilers dis Century
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Old January 09, 2013, 06:19   #24
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Back when Wolf lacquered cases were common someone heated one with a torch(can't recall if it was pics or vids as well) and couldn't get it to come off.
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Old January 09, 2013, 09:36   #25
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Originally Posted by STGThndr View Post
I came into a Bushie some years back (the last ban) and with it came a near-case of steel cased lacquered ammo. Wolf, IIRC. So I had no problems with it and in fact is probably the larger part of ammo that Bushie has fired. I was careful to keep the rifle clean but didnt "hone" the chamber with a brush on a drill as some suggest.... Never saw cases like the one WEG has posted. Just lucky I guess.
The ammo is different but that Bush is one of my house "go to" guns. I dunno why some folks diss Bushmaster. Knowing what I have heard, I wouldnt choose to run steelcase thru my Colts..
My sole AR is an early Bushie carbine with a fluted medium weight barrel. Don't know how much, if any, was steel, but it's had 1-2k through it of any 5.56 I could scrounge without a hitch.

I've been told the early Bushmasters were pretty good, not so much in recent years. I know that I briefly owned a Colt carbine similar to the Bushie and the Colt was a POS so I sold it and kept the Bushie. I don't regret it one little bit.
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Old January 09, 2013, 10:11   #26
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Here is an excellent article about shooting steel cased ammo vs brass.

http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/bras...el-cased-ammo/
That article is without-doubt the most exhaustive, and well-done, exposition I have ever seen on this subject.

Thanks for the link!
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Old January 09, 2013, 10:18   #27
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Back when Wolf lacquered cases were common someone heated one with a torch(can't recall if it was pics or vids as well) and couldn't get it to come off.

+1.


It's the red case-mouth and primer sealant that flakes off and can cause gumming up, NOT the actual lacquer on the case.

I've shot around 10,000 rounds of Wolf .223, most of it the green lacquered case variety, without problems through the AR-15s I owned at the time. The guns used were a 1978-era Colt SP-1, a Franken-rifle A2 that had an FN barrel, and my son's CAR-15 with a Bushmaster "pencil" barrel. All of these had chrome-lined bores and chambers except the CAR-15, and that was only because we used the barrel from the J&T kit. It DID have problems choking on Wolf at first but once we swapped the barrel out it never balked at Wolf again.
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Old January 09, 2013, 10:29   #28
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Wow that is an awesome article. Thanks
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Old January 09, 2013, 15:46   #29
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Here is an excellent article about shooting steel cased ammo vs brass. The "bi-metal" jacket wore out the barrels much faster than the copper jacketed bullets did
http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/bras...el-cased-ammo/



You do realize that the BCG does not start moving until after the bullet clears the muzzle
i linked this one in the ammo section, too. they did a really good job

however, i don't shoot steel in my ar's
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Old January 09, 2013, 17:43   #30
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The "bi-metal" jacket wore out the barrels much faster than the copper jacketed bullets did


Doesn't bode well for a fair amount of surplus 7.62x51. Always wondered about that and everyone I asked thought it was of no consequence.
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Old January 09, 2013, 21:16   #31
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So if I read the summary correctly, they shot up 36,000 rounds of .223 (10k of three types, 6k of another) just to write that article. In addition, they spent a fair amount of time in the machine shop, dissecting (and completely destroying) the four AR barrels.

This makes me wonder: who sponsored the test and article? Since they just happen to SELL ammunition, is it possible that their supplier (or manufacturer) of brass-cased, copper-jacketed ammo had something to do with it?

It all just seems a little too convenient and predictable - not to mention EXPENSIVE, if all you're doing is creating content for your web site.
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Old January 09, 2013, 21:28   #32
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So if I read the summary correctly, they shot up 36,000 rounds of .223 (10k of three types, 6k of another) just to write that article. In addition, they spent a fair amount of time in the machine shop, dissecting (and completely destroying) the four AR barrels.

This makes me wonder: who sponsored the test and article? Since they just happen to SELL ammunition, is it possible that their supplier (or manufacturer) of brass-cased, copper-jacketed ammo had something to do with it?

It all just seems a little too convenient and predictable - not to mention EXPENSIVE, if all you're doing is creating content for your web site.
I wondered about that last night, but never thought to check it either. Looks like they currently sell every brand of ammo they tested except the (was it Silver or Brown?) Bear.


http://www.luckygunner.com/brands

I did catch their position that the cost of ammo vs. cost of barrel at fewer rounds was still in favor of the steel cased ammo in the review.
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Old January 09, 2013, 23:13   #33
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I wondered about that last night, but never thought to check it either. Looks like they currently sell every brand of ammo they tested except the (was it Silver or Brown?) Bear.


http://www.luckygunner.com/brands

I did catch their position that the cost of ammo vs. cost of barrel at fewer rounds was still in favor of the steel cased ammo in the review.
Yep. They said steel was the way to go and that their testing was more than what most would put a rifle through.

I don't think they have a spin

And after reading it through i still won't shoot steel

I'm not sure they are selling something. My opinion
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Old January 10, 2013, 16:30   #34
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Have shot a lot of Steel Cased .223 through various, mostly franken, ARs. I have also seen and had stuck cases in AR chambers. One was on another guys AR and it stuck the bolt closed. I got it open by tapping the carrier through the port using a chunk of wood as a punch. Another was on my AR and it ripped the rim and was easily knocked out with a cleaning rod. I will continue to use steel cased for classes. I will NOT use steel cased for practice (because I will use reloads and a case catcher), 3-Gun competitions, or war. OK, if I am all out of brass cased and the war aint over for me yet, I will use steel cased. But, my advice to you is that it is crap, don't use it, and for sure don't pay big money for it.
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Old January 10, 2013, 17:25   #35
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Somethin else I remembered from the foggy vaults of yesteryear.. I picked up a case of 8mm, either it was Nazi-made or made in a Nazi plant right after the war. Dark green case
and looked like the lacquered stuff. I managed to shoot quite a bit of this stuff, not knowing at the time when or if we would be getting any more 8mm. The markings on the case I seem to recollect looked German and the case (box) itself looked 3rd Reich-ish with what appeared to be German on it. The ammo itself was a real kick in the heinie, loud, flashy and fairly stout. Anyway the stuff had held up well and was probably the first steel-cased ammo I ever used. No issues with lacquer or anything else gumming my Mausers.
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Old January 13, 2013, 11:37   #36
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The Lucky Gunner guys do a lot of their own testing. They share a lot of it with the shooting community. I don't suspect any foul play.

Their ammo prices are always... way up there. I don't know anyone who buys from them.
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