Steel case ammo, yes or no? - Page 2

Steel case ammo, yes or no?

This is a discussion on Steel case ammo, yes or no? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Buy it cheap, stack it deep. Cheap steel ammo is 90% of all the ammo that I shoot. If your gun does not run properly ...

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Thread: Steel case ammo, yes or no?

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array Chuck808's Avatar
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    Buy it cheap, stack it deep. Cheap steel ammo is 90% of all the ammo that I shoot. If your gun does not run properly with steel case ammo, your gun does not work properly.

    Unless you are trying to reload, or want quality defensive ammo that all comes in brass cases, I see no real point in buying brass cased ammo as it works just as well and is cheaper.
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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by retired badge 1 View Post
    During World War II there were shortages of many strategic materials, including copper (which is the key element in cartridge brass and bullet jacket material). As a war time expedient both cartridge cases and bullet jackets were made of mild steel, which is much softer and more ductile than the steel alloys used in firearms barrels or receivers.

    As I recall there were two problems to overcome in these developments. The first was corrosion (rust), and the second was lubricity. For bullet jackets these issues were resolved by applying a copper wash (light copper plating) of the jacket surfaces. For cartridge cases the solution was coating the cases with either varnish or shellac, which provided some corrosion resistance while also improving lubricity during functioning in automatic and semi-auto firearms.

    My reading on this subject commented on research done on barrel life, with the results indicating that wear to the rifling was within an acceptable range (bearing in mind that military thoughts on this are quite different than those of an individual caring for his own personally owned firearms).

    Over the years I have used quite a bit of steel-cased ammo and steel-jacketed bullets of US GI surplus origin. Other than the necessity for good cleaning procedures (good old GI surplus bore solvent and plenty of bronze bore brushes) I can recall no negative issues. My use was in .30 Carbine, .30 M2 Ball, and .45ACP.
    I've used a bit of the World War II .30 Carbine and .45 ACP. Reloaded it too, mostly because some loading manual said one couldn't. Don't recall about the .30 Carbine, but the .45 ACP primer pocket was some odd size, somewhere between the .175 of the small pistol primer and the .210 of the large pistol primer. Seems like it took a .204 boxer primer, perhaps to keep anyone from later reloading the case.

    Anyway, I reamed the primer pockets out to .210, loaded 'em up and fired 'em off in my 1918 Colt 1911. That was over 40 years ago and I still see those five or six cases drift through whenever I prepare large batches of "general purpose" loads for the .45 ACP. Don't know how many times those cases have been reloaded and without trimming either.

    Same for the .30 Carbine. A few come through whenever I get in a big reloading way to feed the Carbine, left over from early experimentation in my youth.

    I think rust would be the big bug-a-boo in reloading boxer primed steel cases. Rusted ones would almost have to have diminished strength characteristics.
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  3. #18
    Distinguished Member Array DZUS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drmordo View Post
    I have more malfunctions with steel and aluminum cased ammo, so I avoid both.
    Many here are fine with them, and that's good info. That said...

    I do not buy, or use steel or aluminum cased ammo.

    .

    .
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  5. #19
    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Shooting steel-cased ammo is grounds for punishment for us range-brass scroungers.
    I like to shoot aluminum cased just to drive you guys nuts...
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  6. #20
    Member Array APX-9M's Avatar
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    I had more problems with steel than brass ammo too, but never with Tula steel cased ammo. Some people will have problems with one particular brand of steel or aluminum cased ammo, and then go on to assume and make blanketed statements about ALL of that kind of ammo when, just with some brass ammo, their gun might not have liked that one brand of ammo...

    I buy it all the time for years for both my rifles and handguns... Nothing has broke or worn down prematurely because of it.

  7. #21
    Member Array APX-9M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge45 View Post
    It's not the steel cases that wear the bore, it's the bimetal bullets. Steel cases carbon up your chamber and can mildly accelerate wear on the extractor hook.

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
    I clean my guns, so even if what you say is true, it's a non issue. I haven't noticed any extra wear or extractor issues from almost exclusively firing steel cased ammo out of my ARs and AKs. Never had an extractor issue with my pistols other with one brand (I forget the name) that keep getting stuck in the chamber.




    I can buy more, save more money, and shoot more steel cased ammo. If anything does wear out after thousands of rounds, the cost of the replacement part will be much less than the money I saved. With that said, I never had a problem and think most of the stuff you hear on the inet is hyped up.

  8. #22
    VIP Member Array Chuck808's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by APX-9M View Post
    I clean my guns, so even if what you say is true, it's a non issue. I haven't noticed any extra wear or extractor issues from almost exclusively firing steel cased ammo out of my ARs and AKs. Never had an extractor issue with my pistols other with one brand (I forget the name) that keep getting stuck in the chamber.




    I can buy more, save more money, and shoot more steel cased ammo. If anything does wear out after thousands of rounds, the cost of the replacement part will be much less than the money I saved. With that said, I never had a problem and think most of the stuff you hear on the inet is hyped up.
    Exactly. Lets say youre shooting an AR15 for instance. Lets say the average life of a barrel (a much more expensive part than an extractor thats a couple dollars and a 45 second swap) is 40,000 rounds with regular use of brass case ammo. Lets say the steel case/jacket ammo wears it out at a crazy accelerated rate, and it is shot out at 20k rounds. A pretty common price for Wolf 223 55gr steel case ammo is $180/1k. For any of the brass case 55gr cheap basic ammo, lets say its $310/1k. With the cost savings you would have earned from the $130 per case you saved, times 20 cases, you saved $2,600 in ammo over those 20k rounds. Thats enough to buy a barrel for your old rifle, a new rifle, new optic, and a few more cases of steel case ammo.

  9. #23
    VIP Member Array Glock2201's Avatar
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    I think a lot of people shoot steel case ammo and I have few boxes kicking around in 9mm because at one point that was all there was out there. I prefer to pay a little extra for brass so I can reload it.

  10. #24
    VIP Member Array Nmuskier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamf1234 View Post
    The only real big no no for steel cased is in revolvers.
    The cases get stuck and you have to tap them out!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    That can happen in semi automatics too. Then it leads to extractor problems because the extractor rips over the rim as the slide moves rearward, and then slams back over the rim as the slide returns to battery.
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  11. #25
    VIP Member Array craze's Avatar
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    For me the entire appeal of the 7.62x39 chambering is the relatively inexpensive steel cased ammo. I own 5 rifles in that caliber, all steel all the time for all of em. One of the reasons I can't warm to the mini-30 is reputation of not being reliable with steel cased ammo.
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