steel casing ammo, your thoughts.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cowboy898, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. warriflefan

    warriflefan Member

    Sep 4, 2011
    Meadow Vista, CA
    I reload, but I like stocking up on ammo cheap too. It's nice to just go to the range and not have to worry about searching for brass, especially with my Makarov.

    It's lame when people tell you that you are going to blow up your rifle with steel cases, though. I mean seriously, I've been shooting the stuff since I was a kid and never had any problems except with my mosin before I got all the cosmoline out of the chamber.

    The steel doesn't shrink after expanding like brass does, which makes it harder to extract from a ruff chamber.
  2. warriflefan

    warriflefan Member

    Sep 4, 2011
    Meadow Vista, CA
    Herters ammo from cabellas always shoots great for me. Just go for the poly coated steel and not the laquered stuff and you should be good to go.

    Lots of people buy milsurp to shoot and don't complain about it being non-reloadable.

  3. Little Rooster

    Little Rooster New Member

    Oct 17, 2007
    Old Dominion

    where did you get these results
  4. StoneChimney

    StoneChimney New Member

    Nov 27, 2010
    Glens67, steel does not expand or contract to the degree brass does. This results in the case possibly not 'gripping' the chamber walls on firing. You can see this on some rifles where steel cases that are ejected are obviously sooty compared to brass.

    When the case is temporarily pressed into the chamber wall, it is absorbing some of what would be transferred rearward onto the bolt face. Lilja Barrels, for example, estimates up to 50% of potential maximum bolt thrust is mitigated in this fashion. Less of that temporary grip on the chamber wall, the more thrust put on the bolt face.

    I don't worry too much about anything other than AR-pattern rifles in 7.62x39 - which is our second most popular caliber in that platform. There is only so much exterior diameter possible of the bolt, so to accommodate the larger case head metal has to be removed from the bolt face which makes the lugs more vulnerable in that design for that caliber. Extensive use of steel-cased ammunition in AR-pattern rifles chambered for 7.62x39 can cause premature locking lug failure.

    The extractor problem on these rifles is due to the lacquer coating combining with the soot blowback to create a 'sticky' chamber which can cause extractor breakage. Yes, steel-cased lacquer coated ammo with dirty powder (Wolf) will at first cause excessive bolt thrust then go to the other end of the spectrum and cause extractor failure.

    Our solution to this problem is to use upgraded Carpenter-158 bolts in that caliber and stronger extractor spring buffers. We have used the 9610-alloy AR15 SuperBolt with good success as well. We caution buyers against extensive use of steel-case ammo, particularly Wolf. There are other imported ammo brands (Golden Tiger) that do a fine job and don't seem to have the same degree of issue.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
  5. Ken W

    Ken W Member

    Jan 9, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    Being on a limited income I have little choice but to use steel cased ammo, mostly .223, 9mm, 7.62x39 and 45 auto by Ulyanovsk and Tula from Wally World. I try to stay away from Wolf since I've had quite a few rounds start to gather rust in a short period of time in storage.
  6. warriflefan

    warriflefan Member

    Sep 4, 2011
    Meadow Vista, CA
    So in summary, it sounds like if you have proper headspace and chamber diameter with most calibers, steel case ammo should not cause a problem (unless it has a laquer coat).
  7. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

    Oct 24, 2011
    That question has been asked and answered. If you do not trust the shelf life of steel case ammo; dont buy it.
  8. medalguy

    medalguy Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    New Mexico
    I don't buy nice guns to use cheap crap ammo in them.

    Those of us who enjoy older military surplus weapons such as AKs and Mosins have no problems using the ammunition these weapons were designed to shoot. I would not and do not shoot steel cased ammo in my higher end rifles either, such as a match AR15 or FAL.

    And by the way, steel cased ammo is not "crap" but it is very inexpensive and functions very well in the weapons they were designed to shoot.

    As far as the government using steel cased ammo to reduce the usable life of ammunition, keep in mind it's primarily made by comblock countries, not US companies although there are reports of some US companies starting to test this out in an effort to hold down the price of sporting ammunition. It's certainly not the U S government doing this.
  9. fordtrucksforever

    fordtrucksforever Member

    Nov 14, 2011
    East of DFW
    The cost of copper has risen 10 fold since China has been emerging as a major player in the world economy. Since it takes copper to make brass, cost becomes a big factor. Steel shells have been around a long time and if kept out of the elements, it lasts just like any other ammo. Since it is coated, that lessens potential wear on the gun. I would surmise that extended periods of using steel cartridges would result in some buildup in the chamber area. Regular intervals of cleaning would eliminate any side affects of using them. I found a handful of unspent brass and steel ammo in the back of a truck bed. Been sitting thu the seasons of weather for a year of so. Brass was green in the usual places and coated steel shells were unaffected. Some of the cheaper steel ammo available that are painted with just black lacquer wont hold up as well if left outside.
  10. HunterAlpha1

    HunterAlpha1 Former Guest

    Aug 8, 2011
    Yorktown, VA
    speaking of cooper, last summer i took a small pickup truckload of copper wiring up to the local metal place and got almost $300 for the load, and the majority of the stuff i took up there was the less valuable steel and iron. as i've been saying for months now, copper will soon be the new silver.
  11. H0tr0dder

    H0tr0dder New Member

    Dec 6, 2011
    I bought a box of federal brass and a box of tulammo steel, the cheapest Walmart had, .45 rounds to pleasure shoot my 1911. I noticed no real difference in the ammo and no damage to the firearm. I was ok with it but that's just my opinion.
  12. sliclee

    sliclee New Member

    Jun 5, 2011
    Miami Beach Florida
    someone who sells steel cased ammo might give you bad advice Lee
  13. Little Rooster

    Little Rooster New Member

    Oct 17, 2007
    Old Dominion

    I didn't say I didn't trust steel ammo it is what it is. It's has a purpose
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