steel vs. lead core?


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BobTheTomato
February 26, 2007, 08:49 AM
Is there any advantage to steel or lead core for 7.62x54r surplus? I know steel will attract a magnet but is there anything else better or worse?

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Macchina
February 26, 2007, 09:01 AM
In bullets designed to be armor piercing, the steel core is hardened alloyed steel, tungsten, or other super hard metal. In economy ammo, the steel core is soft mild steel because it is cheaper to manufacture. Lead cost more than steel, and I believe it is easier to copper plate a steel bullet than a lead one. The steel core really just makes it cheaper, and prevents expansion on game animals. I am no expert though.

EricTheBarbarian
February 26, 2007, 09:48 AM
supposedly the steel core can spark and light the woods on fire. Sounds cool and have never seen it except on some full-auto and artillery ranges in the army, but itd be something id like to see.

Geno
February 26, 2007, 10:02 AM
I thought steel core-ammunition was illegal except for the 5.56 ammo. Save for that which is antique, such as old stashes of 7.65 X 54 and the like. I have never heard of any justification for steel core other than armor-piercing capability. Other than over-penetration, zero-expansion and increased likelihood of ricochet, I have heard of no other problems. I have heard that steel-core ammo is not near as-accurate-as lead-core.

Doc2005

Neo-Luddite
February 26, 2007, 10:03 AM
In some cases, depending on the circumstances of manufacture, the steel core can better penetrate a hard target (acting like AP to a lesser extent, which is of course purpose built to do so). This was the case with Norinco 7.62 x 39 --and it is no longer imported as a result. It was ruled to be 'non-sporting'. It commands a higher premium on the secondary market.

Michaelmcgo is right on the cost factor probably being the case. Is the steel harder on the weapon in the long run (doesn't compress in the bore as much)?--doubtful in 7.62 x 54 especially. It would be mild steel. Now, on the other hand, real AP is harder on the bore over time.

The best bet is to read several reviews on the exact type before you buy.

mercman
February 26, 2007, 10:03 AM
Many ranges prohibit the use of AP (steel core) ammo as it tears up their backstops and can start fires in dry areas.

Neo-Luddite
February 26, 2007, 10:14 AM
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"I thought steel core-ammunition was illegal" (to DOC2005):

No, not as a blanket law for rifle ammo-the problem lies (in part) in that some smaller rifle calibers were ruled to be pistol ammo because someone offered one for sale in that caliber. ATF ruled that ss109 5.56 was legally not AP, and also ruled that m2 .30-06 AP was not AP. The rules get very fuzzy and mostly apply to 'sporting' use tests for import. This is why the Chi Com steel core ammo doesn't come in any more.

This is just my understanding. In any case, you are usually OK owning AP ammo unless you live in a place that forbids it (like I do in good old Illinois:mad: ). The best bet is always to read the ATF regs.

Red Tornado
February 26, 2007, 11:43 AM
That steel core 54R will shoot through approximately anything. Things that look like cover, like trees or houses, are actually only concealment with that stuff. It shoots good in my rifles, and I've always got a backstop, so no problem. I haven't shot enough to notice increased wear on the barrel, and probably never will...I can't even guess how many rounds that would take.

But it's cheap and reasonably accurate, so buy it cheap, stack it deep.
RT

USSR
February 26, 2007, 12:37 PM
I know steel will attract a magnet but is there anything else better or worse?

I don't know about the particular 7.62x52R ammo that you have, but just because a magnet is attracted to the bullet, doesn't mean it is a steel cored AP bullet. Most .308 and .30-06 bullets that attract a magnet are bullets with a mild steel jacket and a lead core. Not AP ammo by any stretch of the imagination.

Don

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