Wolf Steel Cased Ammo Bad for My Colt AR?


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drwindmill
May 1, 2007, 10:54 AM
Is steel cased Wolf bad for my Colt AR-15? My friend has a DPMS and he says not to shoot the Wolf ammo or any steel case ammo. I have shot it through my Glock and don't see any problems. It just seems if I can't shoot the Wolf, I won't be shooting much. I also don't want to hurt my Colt. If someone could enlighten me on this subject I would greatly appreciate it...Thanks

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DogBonz
May 1, 2007, 11:10 AM
After having a few ruptured cases in 45ACP (a low pressure round) and having had primers pop out of 9mm rounds, I don't like Wolf ammo and don't trust it. I have seen two AR's with broken extractors, and in both cases they were shooting Wolf ammo. Was it the Wolf? I can't say for sure, but with their track record, I will not be shooting any wolf ammo that is not brass cased.

funfaler
May 1, 2007, 11:13 AM
The steel used in steel cased ammo is much softer than the steel parts that in your Colt that will come into contact with it, so extra wear is not an issue. Look at some of your spent cases, see where the contact points are, and you will notice that there is little "wear marks" on the case, so there is equally, little wear marks on your rifle.

The quality of the Wolf 223 has been pretty good, for what it is. As good as most surplus that I have shot. It might smell different and be a little more dirty, but should function fine. The lacquer coated stuff had a problem with cases sticking in hot chambers, but the polymer coating seems to fix most of that. My Colts eat up the lacquer, while the J&T kit I build doesn't like it so much. Not really an issue, as it is rare to see it anymore.

Colts are "tough" they can take it. Some folks prefer to not use it, but reality is that it is fine if you choose to.

There have been some issues with the Wolf steel 308, being over/under charged and some issues in that caliber, but the 223 has been out for a long time with many users, so any REAL problem with it would be very well known by now.

Buy it, shoot it and enjoy

trueblue1776
May 1, 2007, 11:14 AM
I shoot steel ammo through my bushie and it works just fine, I was hesitant for a long time, but I tried it. So far 2000+ rounds of steel and no problems, hope that helps. I think the folks who dog steel cased ammo are "purists" who can spend 500 bucks to go shoot on the weekends.

possum
May 1, 2007, 03:06 PM
in my first ar which was a bushmaster, i had over 3000rds of wolf and various types of steel cased ammo and i never had a problem, i have sold it since and bought an a3 instead of the a2 that i had, and i haven't shot any through it only because i was getting such a great deal on the umc yellow box, but now that that is dried up i am gonna start shooting it(wolf) again.

i don't depend on it to save my life, but it is great for high volume shooting/ trainning, and getting the fundamentals down. it has it's place i like it and don't mind shooting it at all.

drwindmill
May 1, 2007, 03:16 PM
Thanks for all the great responses, it looks like I will be putting my order in for 1000 rds or so. Thanks again

SlamFire1
May 1, 2007, 03:23 PM
Lacquer on case performs two functions: rust resistance and as friction reducer. Most steel case ammo has some sort of coating to prevent steel on steel contact. A drop of oil on the top round in a clip will aid in the extraction function of this type of cartridge. Assuming you don't attract grit after the oil drop.

walking arsenal
May 1, 2007, 03:38 PM
According to Pat Sweeneys book of the AR-15 steel cased ammo doesn't hurt anything.

I don't know if i like the idea of oiling the top round. Where did you pick that info up?

I could see that oil increasing chamber pressure a bit, maybe not to unsafe levels but still...........

RockyMtnTactical
May 1, 2007, 03:39 PM
It should work fine in a good weapon. Your Colt shouldn't have troubles... but I wouldn't use it for serious stuff unless you had nothing else...

drwindmill
May 1, 2007, 04:03 PM
I would absolutely only be using the Wolf for target shooting and plinking.

DogBonz
May 1, 2007, 04:15 PM
A drop of oil on the top round in a clip will aid in the extraction function of this type of cartridge. Assuming you don't attract grit after the oil drop.

Powdered graphite. Sprinkle a little pwodered graphite in your loaded mag to help it function smoothly. Brownels sells it in a squirt type bottle pretty cheap.

Mannlicher
May 1, 2007, 04:19 PM
its not my favorite ammo, but it won't 'hurt' your AR. I bought a lot of .223 Wolf just to store away.

blackhawk2000
May 1, 2007, 04:22 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/search.php

Zeke Menuar
May 1, 2007, 04:23 PM
With the price of ammo, my AR better feed Wolf. And not hiccup.

That being said, I keep an extra bolt and the parts to fix the extractor just in case. So far, my AR shoot Wolf just fine, with proper maintenence.

ZM

NavyLCDR
May 1, 2007, 04:23 PM
You do want to keep the chamber clean, though. Lots of rapid firing and the high heat might cause some of the laquer to build up in the chamber.

jlbraun
May 1, 2007, 04:36 PM
What is all this talk about "Oh, just lube the ammunition and it will run fine"?!?

Is this what owning an AR has come to, where one has to OIL THE AMMO so the gun runs?

Note that I don't own an AR, and this kind of talk prevents me from ever wanting to own one if they're honestly this much trouble. :scrutiny:

glockman19
May 1, 2007, 04:41 PM
I personally don't like Wolf Ammo, or any Aluminum cased ammo including CCI Blazer. I usually buy CCI/Speer (brass), Federal, American, Remington and Winchester. I also personally don't like Fiocchi, or Magtec(sp), I have not used Black Hills or Corbon, Hornaday.

dfariswheel
May 1, 2007, 04:41 PM
jlbraun:
They're talking about ways to get an AR to run with STEEL CASED ammo.

jlbraun
May 1, 2007, 04:51 PM
@dfariswheel

I'm aware of that. Given that steelcase Wolf is $189 / 1000 rounds shipped, and brasscase is $399 / 1000 shipped, I would be inclined to shoot mostly steelcase. If steelcase is this much of a problem for an AR, I don't want one.

Plink
May 1, 2007, 05:00 PM
The fact that shooting steel cased ammo will actually void the warranty of some brands of AR-15s should be a clue. Shoot steel cased ammo in guns designed for it. I've shot a lot of Wolf ammo in a number of guns. It's ok plinking ammo, but I have had extractor wear in some of my guns because of it. Shoot it in your AR at your own risk.

pharmer
May 1, 2007, 05:08 PM
Brass is elastic in that it expands slightly under peak pressure and contracts afterward. Steel expands but does not contract after the pressure spike. Extractor has to yank that bad boy out (hence the lube advice) and steel to steel contact is never a good thing. Why do we use brass tools to work on guns? Guy who told me this knows a lot more about guns than I do. Although that ain't saying much. Joe

RockyMtnTactical
May 1, 2007, 05:35 PM
Brass is elastic in that it expands slightly under peak pressure and contracts afterward. Steel expands but does not contract after the pressure spike. Extractor has to yank that bad boy out (hence the lube advice) and steel to steel contact is never a good thing.

This is one of the major reasons it is inherently less reliable vs. brass casings. I hear of people getting cases stuck much more often w/ steel cases than w/ brass...

possum
May 1, 2007, 06:01 PM
also another suggestion that i would like to add, though i used the old laquer covered type, the new polyformance is much better and seems to work better and not cause as much melted laquer problems like some of the older stuff which is now called the "military classic". all of it will work but if you have a choice i would go with the poly coated stuff!

Nomad, 2nd
May 1, 2007, 06:24 PM
The steel case is softer than your gun.

Even if it wern't:
The difference in ONE case of wolf VS whatever else will buy MORE than 6 extractors.

Extractors are easy to swap out.

If your gun runs with Wolf... use it.

MRIman
May 1, 2007, 07:34 PM
Wolf is the ONLY thing I feed my Bushy!!!!
She eats it and spits it out every time.
She will "bump a 30" with no problems,even 120rd. drums of the stuff!!!
Just clean her well each and every time,and all is good!!!

MRI

DoubleTapDrew
May 1, 2007, 08:02 PM
I've never had any problems feeding my AR Wolf. I've only used the poly stuff, not the old lacquer coated kind. I don't know if it would be my go-to zombie bear load, but for plinking you can't beat the cost savings over mil-surp ammo.

obm
May 1, 2007, 08:27 PM
funny how gun manufacturers tout their guns as bullet-proof(pun intended) to sell their guns then run away screaming like school girls at the mention of steel cased ammo. if your gun can't handle surplus ammo maybe you should find a new gun manufacturer.

i forget which website it was, but the writer theorized that steel cased ammo doesn't expand as well as brass...which allows more carbon fouling to enter the chamber. fouling in the chamber causes friction. friction causes extraction problems. solution was to clean your firearm more.

possum
May 1, 2007, 09:06 PM
Just clean her well each and every time,and all is good!!!

IMHO this should be done regardless of what ammo is being used and how much!

Plink
May 1, 2007, 09:36 PM
Extractors are easy to swap out.


Not if it fails on you when you need it the most. I wouldn't hesitate to run steel cased ammo through my plinking guns, but none of my "serious" guns will ever see another round of it.

10-Ring
May 1, 2007, 09:40 PM
Stay away from the Wolf! I have experienced this ammo w/ buddies' AR's and the steel case just were not meant to be :D

SlamFire1
May 1, 2007, 09:41 PM
I don't know if i like the idea of oiling the top round. Where did you pick that info up?

I could see that oil increasing chamber pressure a bit, maybe not to unsafe levels but still...........

From all those pre WWII machine guns that had oilers. One of the Nambu's did that, I think. Col Chin's fourth book shows oiler designs, one drop of oil per cartridge. These designs were attempting to reduce breech friction. The Peterson rifle used wax. As long as the oil film is very thin, nothing bad will happen. Does not take much oil to get lubrication.

SlamFire1
May 1, 2007, 09:53 PM
NTX

twinhairdryers
May 1, 2007, 10:28 PM
It is good practice and plinker ammo for sure. Plan on 1 round in a 1000 average with a misfire or bent case, but then again that is on par with most of the high dollar brass too from what i've found (better than UMC). Believe me, the 1200.00 bucks i've saved on ammo using Wolf in all my guns are well worth a 14.00 extractor replacement. In fact, I can buy another bushmaster altogether with a bunch of spare mags for that. If you shoot a lot, you will want to consider this. It will wear your extractors a bit faster in some guns with soft extractors, but who cares?? We are still talking about a failure mode in X 1000 rounds.

Damn the Man
May 2, 2007, 03:39 AM
So far this whole thread has been in ref. to .223. What about an AR in .308. Has anyone shot steel .308 through thier AR? I'm picking up my new DPMS LR308 on Sunday (very excited). I've been shooting steel 7.62 through my SKS since day one with no issues. But for a $150 rifle I wasn't expecting tight tolerances. I don't want to screw up my new rifle with it's first magazine. Am I now doomed to the most expensive ammo ever because of this rifle platform's idiosyncracies? What exactly is the worst that can happen? Broken bolt/extractor? Blowing my arm off?

TheDisturbed1
May 2, 2007, 04:15 AM
the worse i've heard about wolf is some nasty residue and smell.. I've ran about 200 rnds thru my .223 AK, no problems (a few duds, but thats the worse and only problem i had).

RockyMtnTactical
May 2, 2007, 04:41 AM
I'm pretty sure that DPMS discourages the use of steel cased ammo in their guns.

Damn the Man
May 2, 2007, 05:06 AM
I'm pretty sure that DPMS discourages the use of steel cased ammo in their guns.

Probably. But that just makes me want to try.:D
Will there be a problem?
What about handloading? I'm sure they don't encourage it, but has anyone had a problem?

funfaler
May 2, 2007, 12:05 PM
There have been several reports of Kabooms with Wolf steel 308, do some searches.

I for one have not shot it, and I suspect I will not for quite some time, I have a "little" surplus available instead.

Reports of the Wolf Gold 308 is very good.

Onmilo
May 2, 2007, 12:18 PM
I do shoot steel case ammunition in some rifles.
I do not shoot steel case ammunition in any AR15/M16 type rifle period.
Don't shoot it in a Mini 14, a Reminton 742/7400 or a Browning either.
I do make pretty good money every single year removing stuck and broken steel cases from the chambers of AR15 rifles and Mini 14s and that includes Wolf, Barnaul, and god only knows what else people are coming up with.

Don't buy a $1000.00 rifle if you aren't willing to feed it quality ammunition.
At the very least take the time to learn the quirks of reloading for a semi auto rifle and practice the hobby if you wish to shoot for less.

That or prepare to pay me, or some other gunsmith, good money to get the case out of your chamber.
It will happen to you eventually, I can almost guarantee it.

Oh yeah, Saiga and Bulgarian AK sporters and the few Chinese 5.56 AKs that actually work shoot steel case blaster ammo just fine.
We sell loads of the stuff to guys who own these rifles and not one, ever has experienced a broken or stuck case.
If you really want to shoot cheap I recommend the Saiga.

Shear_stress
May 2, 2007, 12:21 PM
No problems whatsoever with polymer-coated Wolf .223 in my mid-length RRA carbine. But don't take my word for it:

The following ammunition advisory is given on Bushmaster's website:

"BUSHMASTER PERSONNEL HAVE USED THE FOLLOWING AMMUNITIONS in various calibers for testing at the factory, and found they will cycle without malfunction and have not caused damage or problems:
PMC / SPEER / REMINGTON / WINCHESTER / WOLF / SELLIER & BELLOT
AMERICAN EAGLE (Federal Manufactured) / M.E.N. (German Manufacture)"

http://www.bushmaster.com/faqnew/content_by_cat.asp?contentid=215&catid=103

DPMS only warns against the old lacquer-coated ammo, and only because it fouls the chamber:

"Lacquer Coated Ammunition or Steel-cased, lacquer coated ammunition

The problem with this ammunition is that the lacquer coating on the case. As the barrel heats up, the lacquer turns to a soft, varnish substance and upon cool down, becomes very solid and difficult to remove. This effectively creates an undersized chamber and creates understandable problems."

http://www.dpmsinc.com/support/warning.aspx

drwindmill
May 5, 2007, 07:43 PM
Sounds like it has a lot more to do with the lacquer coating than the actual steel case...

silverlance
May 5, 2007, 07:58 PM
Onmilo, I'm glad that you are making good money. That said, I would think that stuck and broken cases would occur more often with brass than steel

In any case, now you've finally justified my purchase of a set of broken case extractors. Up till now I always thought they were a 20.00 item that never got used and was just a good way for stores to make money.

depicts
May 5, 2007, 09:12 PM
Colonel Cooper in one of his last columns mentioned that in WWII, steel case ammo was issued for the .45 auto. He said standard practice for savvy combat vets was to put a drop of oil on the top cartridge. I'm guessing this would apply to .223 as well, though in my experience with my Bushmaster, it isn't necessary.

modifiedbrowning
May 5, 2007, 09:21 PM
I have never had a problem with Wolf in my ARs.
The big problem with Wolf is supposedly that it will break extractors (not that Wolf ever broke mine). As Nomad,2nd pointed out extractors are cheap and the cost savings of Wolf will easily outweigh the cost of a new extractor.

esmith
May 5, 2007, 11:03 PM
I wouldn't use wolf for any precision shooting as it doesn't burn as efficently as say federal would.

My friends says that if i want to hunt a lot with a .308 that i shouldn't fire too many wolf rounds before hand. Would this do any bad?

MudPuppy
May 5, 2007, 11:17 PM
My issue M16 broke an extractor...and it never saw round of wolf.

RockyMtnTactical
May 6, 2007, 01:19 AM
Yes, but how many rounds of M855?

MudPuppy
May 6, 2007, 02:19 PM
Probably a bit more that a billion. :D

This was on an A1, just as the A2s were entering service with the USMC and 82nd--so it was probably on the back side of its service life.

Still, the seemed to be such delicate little things, especially in comparison to the M1 I was more familiar with or an AK.

I think the laquer is an issue because of the taper of the 5.56 vs a x39 round (that's just speculation).

cbsbyte
May 6, 2007, 03:34 PM
Wolf is cheap ammo, fine for plinking but not target shooting. I doubt it will hurt your AR, but you never know. It is known that Wolf ammo is usually underpowered compared to standard factory ammo. A friend chronograph some Wolf .45 ACP, his Smith 1911 had problems feeding, to standard Winchester white box, same weight bullets, and found the Wolf to be about 100-150 fps less than the Winchester. This may cause feeding issues in some firearms.

Samuel_Hoggson
May 6, 2007, 04:25 PM
Older Wolf was lacquer coated and if you paused long enough with a hot barrel a stuck case could result. Even so, it never happened to me.

Have over 10k black box Wolf poly mostly through 3 different M16 uppers. Zero problems of any type. No broken parts. No failures to cycle. Money saved to date vs commercial M193 surplus equivalent is enough to purchase a brand new complete Colt upper from Sawlesales. So I really don't care if I do break an extractor.

But I doubt I will break anything by shooting steel. I have yet to find a fired case that shows any evidence of polymer finish abrasion. No part of the steel case is touching any part of the steel chamber/bolt/extractor.

Most steel case .223 is loaded to mild pressure and velocity specs. I consider this a plus. Finally, I like being able to clean up at shoots with a power-magnet.

Negatives: dirty (requires more frequent cleaning interval) and inaccurate. If you shoot alot of Wolf and fail to clean the chamber before making a switch to NATO spec brass case a stuck or separated case can result.

Sam

trueblue1776
May 6, 2007, 07:42 PM
Steel is fine, prefer Barnaul (brown/silver bear) to wolf, costs a teeny bit more, quality seems better. Just ordered two 500 rd cases last night from Ammunitiontogo for 220$ shipped, that's about the same price as wolf and it's nickel plated instead of lacquer.

drwindmill
May 17, 2007, 09:59 PM
Isn't the barnaul all laquered?

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