Steel case ammo, yes or no?

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; So long story short, I paid extra for a chromed line barrel and would like to maintain its value outside of normal wear. Does the ...

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Thread: Steel case ammo, yes or no?

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    Member Array 033111's Avatar
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    Steel case ammo, yes or no?

    So long story short, I paid extra for a chromed line barrel and would like to maintain its value outside of normal wear. Does the much more easily found 7.62 steel casings degrade it faster or not? I canít find any conclusive information and hope that someone here would have first hand experience or very accurate 2nd hand knowledge.

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    VIP Member Array Recon1342's Avatar
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    Lucky gunner did a really good torture test some time back comparing the wear rates of various types of ammo. Hereís the link, Iíll let you decide for yourself...

    https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/bra...el-cased-ammo/
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    Member Array lyodbraun's Avatar
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    Yes indeed buy it use it, Iíve shot thousands of it and no issues ...

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    Obviously steel cased ammunition won't affect the barrel's bore. Don't know about long term effects on chambers.

    I've only dabbled with steel cased ammunition in .45 ACP, .223, and 7.62X39 as cheap "burnin' ammo" for plinking sessions. I don't know much about differences in wear characteristics, but don't much like the idea of steel cases, even mild steel cases clunking their way through my guns actions and chambers.

    Since I hand load I'm not much interested in buying steel cased ammunition beyond an academic interest.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

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    VIP Member Array 5lima30ret's Avatar
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    I have shot thousands of cheap steel cased ammo in my AR's and AK's with zero problems other than being somewhat dirtier. I don't shoot it in my handguns.
    Retired Police Lieutenant, Former UH-1N Huey & MH-53 Pave Low Gunner, Retired USAF Reserve, Glock Armorer, AL Retired LEO CPP, NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, LEOSA Qualified, Active FOP Executive Board Member

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    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    Shooting steel-cased ammo is grounds for punishment for us range-brass scroungers.
    sgb, bmcgilvray, msgt/ret and 4 others like this.
    Retired USAF E-8. Curmudgeon on the loose.
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    Senior Member Array retired badge 1's Avatar
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    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.
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    Member Array jamf1234's Avatar
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    The only real big no no for steel cased is in revolvers.
    The cases get stuck and you have to tap them out!


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    Member Array demanic's Avatar
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    I think that the only ammo I've ever put through my SKS has been steel cased. No problems there.

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    Distinguished Member Array KILTED COWBOY's Avatar
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    Other than the cost, why use it when copper/brass is readily available
    I spend too much on high quality firearms to use cheap ammo
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    VIP Member Array RScottie's Avatar
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    I shoot steal cased in my AKM which was designed for it, so, no problems.

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    What is it in a firearm design that makes it "designed for steel cases"?
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    Distinguished Member Array drmordo's Avatar
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    I have more malfunctions with steel and aluminum cased ammo, so I avoid both.
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    VIP Member Array RScottie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    What is it in a firearm design that makes it "designed for steel cases"?
    From my understanding it is how they size/shape the chamber?

    Not real sure but I've been told many times that AK's like steal cased ammo because that is all the comm-bloc countries used in them.

    I know that mine shoots it quite well so no reason to buy the more expensive stuff, so there is that.

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    Senior Member Array Sarge45's Avatar
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    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.

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