Steel core ammo...


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DWS1117
October 27, 2004, 12:22 AM
Is it legal? Several people locally have said that it isn't. I have two boxes of 8mm mauser that I was told it is steel core.

How do you tell if it is steel core? I guess I could pull out a hacksaw and cut into one.

If this turns out to be steel core, and it is not legal, how best to get rid of it.

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444
October 27, 2004, 12:47 AM
The best and easiest way to tell if your ammo is steel cored is to simply hold a magnet next to it and see if it is attracted to the magnet.

I am no legal expert, but I am 99.9% sure there is nothing illegal about steel core ammo. At least from a federal standpoint, I don't know if there are any local laws against it.
It is not unusual at all to find that certain millitary surplus ammo is steel cored.
It isn't a big deal unless you are shooting steel. I shoot a match that invovles shooting steel plates of various sizes sometimes out to 400 yards and sometimes out to 800 yards. If you get caught using steel core ammo, you will be thrown out and asked not to come back. Why ? Because it put holes in the targets.
One other minor concern depending on where you live is the risk of starting a brush fire from the bullet hitting a rock and causing a spark. In the dry desert southwest this is a concern and we have had fires start that way at our local club.

scbair
October 27, 2004, 10:28 AM
As I recall, a bunch of steel core 7.62 x 39 ammo was imported from China, years ago. Importation was subsequently prohibited, as this was considered "armor piercing" ammo.

I'm not an attorney, and never really got too interested in this isue, so I'm not sure if this importation ban would apply to any rifle ammo (such as 8mm), or if this was because some handguns were developed & manufactured chambered for the 7.62 x 39. :confused:

At any rate, I'm pretty sure mere ownership violates no federal law; If you got 'em, keep 'em or shoot 'em! Again, this is a purely non-legal (not to say illegal :D ) opinion . . .

Viking6
October 27, 2004, 11:20 AM
I think the Turkish 8mm is steel cored based on magnet check.

armoredman
October 27, 2004, 11:29 AM
Both the Albanian and Czech 7.62x54R have mild steel cores. Tons of this stuff gets sold every day....I need some more myself. BTW, I'd love to see a pistol in THIS round - with someone else shooting it....

RON in PA
October 27, 2004, 11:41 AM
The magnet tast is no good because a lot of imported, surplus ammo may be lead core with a mild steel jacket. The Europeans used mild steel plated with cooper alloys for years and may still do for all I know. The only 100% way of knowing for sure is to cut through a bulllet.

benEzra
October 27, 2004, 12:06 PM
Steel-core .223 (except M855), 7.62x39, and 7.62x51/.308 is banned by a 1994 BATF(E) ruling on the 1986 "cop-killer bullet" law; these three calibers have been considered handgun rounds for purposes of that law since 1994. Not sure if possession is legal or not, but it's definitely not legal to sell it (IIRC).

8mm Mauser is not subject to that law, so you're fine.

jefnvk
October 27, 2004, 12:13 PM
.308 is a handgun round? What were they smoking?

Either that, or thanks Thompson for your Contender.

HankB
October 27, 2004, 01:21 PM
a lot of imported, surplus ammo may be lead core with a mild steel jacket. Actually, at least some .30/06 USGI M2 ball ammo is steel jacketed, too.

jem375
October 27, 2004, 08:07 PM
supposedly you can't buy steel core or it can not be imported into the U.S.,I have steel core from Norinco that I bought before the law went into effect and as such it is legal to own...............

Kevlarman
October 27, 2004, 08:49 PM
I have a bunch of the Turk 8mm too, and it's not steel core; it merely has a slight steel jacket. And yes, I've cut into the bullets with a pair of dykes and it's all lead.

Tory
October 28, 2004, 12:18 AM
"supposedly you can't buy steel core or it can not be imported into the U.S."

Then how is it I have BAGS of IMI SS109 bullets and BOXES of Barnaul mild steel jacketed bullets to load .223 with? And yes, they both have steel; each jumps when a magnet is passed over it. More obvious with the Barnaul because the whole (plated over) jacket is steel, as opposed to the penetrator in the SS109 bullet. ;)

jem375
October 28, 2004, 01:24 AM
We bought 5 cases of the Norinco yellow box 7.62x39MM steel core ammo and when the ban went into effect, it was no longer imported in.....the gray boxes of lead core were allowed in the country until Norinco was blackballed by the government.....now all you can find are Wolf or Barnaul it seems, but I doubt if they are steel core............

saltydog452
October 28, 2004, 03:17 AM
Steel core ammo=s AP ammo which=s "other destructive device". If I had any of that stuff, I wouldn't let it become common knowledge, nor would I sell it.

salty.

Tory
October 28, 2004, 10:52 AM
"now all you can find are Wolf or Barnaul it seems, but I doubt if they are steel core............"

The Barnaul was bought this time last year; the IMI about 2 years ago. Must be that new magnetic lead I've heard so much about..... :rolleyes:

rick_reno
October 28, 2004, 11:27 AM
Federal rules bans dealers from selling certain steel core ammo - in most states it's ok to possess and use. Here (http://yarchive.net/gun/politics/armorpiercing.html) is a link describing the rules.

Below is my revised article on federal regulation of armor
piercing (ap) ammunition. The Crime Bill re-wrote the definition.
Does anyone know what brands of ammo were meant to be banned by the
new sub-paragraph (ii)? I presume it is meant to cover the handgun
equivalents of Barnes Solids; solid copper bullets. But I am not
aware of any such ammo. Solids for handguns made out of most other
metals would have been banned by the superseded langauge.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The definition of ap ammo is at 18 USC 921(a)(17):
"(B) The term `armor piercing ammunition' means-

(i) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and
which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other
substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass,
bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or

(ii) a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and
intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25
percent of the total weight of the projectile.

(C) The term `armor piercing ammunition' does not include shotgun shot
required by Federal or State environmental or game regulations for hunting
purposes, a frangible projectile designed for target shooting, a projectile
which the Secretary finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting
purposes, or any other projectile or projectile core which the Secretary
finds is intended to be used for industrial purposes, including a charge
used in an oil and gas well perforating device."

[Secretary means Secretary of the Treasury, in reality determinations
are delegated to the Technology Branch of ATF]

Note the following things from the definition:

1) The definition was changed as part of the 1994 Crime Bill,
primarily by the addition of bullets intended to be used in a
handgun whose jacket is more than 25% of their weight. The previous
language is at the end of this article, for comparison purposes.

2) AP ammo is the bullets ONLY, not the loaded ammo, although ATF has
identified some AP ammo by the loaded ammo, not projectiles, for the
information of FFL dealers, who are not supposed to transfer AP ammo.
#From this it follows that loading the bullets identified above does not
constitute "making" AP ammo; making the bullets themselves does.

3) USE - The bullet must be able to be used in a handgun. Rather than
construing this to mean regular handgun calibers, ATF construes this to
mean any caliber for which a handgun has been made, including handguns
in rifle calibers, like .308 Winchester, and 7.62x39, for purposes of
bullets covered by (B)(i). Thus bullets suitable for these calibers,
as well as other rifle calibers for which handguns have been made (at
least commercially made) which are constructed as described below would
be AP ammo.
However bullets that fall into the AP definition under (B)(ii), because
their jackets comprise more than 25% of their weight (solid copper bullets?)
must be intended for use in a handgun, not just be able to be used in a
handgun.

4) CONSTRUCTION - The bullet must either have a core made ENTIRELY out
of one or more of the listed metals, or be full metal jacket type
bullets with a jacket comprising more that 25% of its
weight. Thus SS109/M855 .223 bullets are not covered,
because their core is only partly steel, and partly lead. Lead
is not a listed metal, and bullets with cores made partly out of lead
are OK. ATF has expressly ruled that SS109/M855 bullets are not
covered.

5) Hardness of the bullet is irrelevant.

6) Ability to actually penetrate any kind of soft body armor is irrelevant.

If you are NOT a (FFL) licensee under the Gun Control Act (an individual):
ok to OWN AP ammo
ok to SELL AP ammo
ok to BUY AP ammo
ok to SHOOT AP ammo
NOT ok to MAKE AP ammo (18 USC 922(a)(7))
NOT ok to IMPORT AP ammo (18 USC 922(a)(7))
The only persons who can make AP ammo are holders of a type 10
FFL, also needed to make destructive devices, and ammunition for
destructive devices. The only persons who can import AP ammo
are holders of a type 11 FFL, who can also import DD's and ammo
for DD's. The FFL's cost $1000 a year.

If you are a licensed manufacturer or importer:
NOT ok to SELL or DELIVER AP ammo (18 USC 922(a)(8)
(with exceptions for making/importing for law enforcement, export, or R&D).
No additional restrictions, except as listed below. This applies
not only to holders of type 10 and 11 FFL's, but also type 7 and 8
FFL's (makers and importers of guns other than DD's), as well as
holders of a type 06 FFL (maker of ammo other than for DD's).

If you are a licensed dealer, manufacturer, importer or collector:
NOT ok to SELL or DELIVER AP ammo without keeping a record of the sale, similar
to the bound book record for firearm sales. (18 USC 922(b)(5)).
No additional restriction, except on dealers as noted below.
The records required to kept on sale or delivery of AP ammo need only
be kept for two years, not twenty years, like firearm records. See
27 CFR 178.121, and 27 CFR 178.125.

18 USC 923(e) allows the revocation of a dealer's FFL
for willfully transferring AP ammo, with exceptions for sales to law
enforcement and so on. This is dealers only; holders of a collector
FFL (type 03) may willfully transfer AP ammo if they wish, but must comply
with the record keeping noted above.

Some states also regulate or prohibit armor piercing ammo, and these
laws may bear no relation to how the federal law works. For state
laws, check locally. The following states regulate AP ammo,
to my knowledge, but the definition and sort of
regulation may (and likely does) deviate widely from the federal
approach. NV, OK, RI, VA, AL, NY, NJ, IL, IN, KS, LA, MN, FL, PA.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The former statute: 18 USC 921(a)(17)(B) - "The term 'armor
piercing ammunition' means a projectile or projectile core which
may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding
the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination
of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or
depleted uranium. Such term does not include shotgun shot required
by Federal or State environmental or game regulations for hunting purposes,
a frangible projectile designed for target shooting, a projectile
which the Secretary finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting
purposes, or any other projectile or projectile core which the
Secretary finds is intended to be used for industrial purposes,
including a charge used in an oil and gas well perforating device."

jem375
October 28, 2004, 12:58 PM
Tory....understand yet???? Good post Rick....

Tory
October 28, 2004, 05:23 PM
1. The regulations expressly EXCLUDE .22 caliber projectiles. This would make the .223 Remington/5.56 NATO cartridge and a whole class of varmint calibers exempt by definition.

That being the case, why would a specific exclusion of SS 109 bullets be needed?

2. Aside from the above caliber exception, the Barnaul bullets, although bearing a mild steel jacket under copper plating, may be additionally exempt under the 25% weight rule.

At any rate, declaring the SS 109 bullet, which was DESIGNED to be light armor piercing, NOT to be AP ammunition is absurd. This, of course, is entirely in keeping with much firearms law...... :rolleyes:

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