Wolf .223 steel case, is it boxer primed?


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kellyj00
July 26, 2007, 12:38 PM
Does anyone know if wolf .223 steel case ammo is boxer or berdan primed?
I know someone who's got 1000 empty cases, is there any way to tell if it's reloadable easily, as in how can I tell if it is boxer or berdan primed?

Will it hurt my depriming die to try to deprime it?

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fletcher
July 26, 2007, 12:43 PM
It's boxer primed.

From their website: http://wolfammo.com/1_rifle.htm

kellyj00
July 26, 2007, 12:53 PM
that's GREAT! does anyone know how to trim a steel case or if it's going to cause any trouble for my Lee dies?

Am I breaking new ground by trying to reload steel cases?

edit: got so excited, I forget to thank Fletcher! Thanks Fletcher!

jlbraun
July 26, 2007, 12:56 PM
Woah! That's new!

fletcher
July 26, 2007, 01:34 PM
I've heard steel cases are pretty much non-reloadable, but I can't give any justification or personal experience to confirm that.

Kimber1911_06238
July 26, 2007, 01:53 PM
steel cases shouldn't be reloaded....they aren't as malleable as brass and tend to crack. Why risk injury or damaging your firearm? I know people who have reloaded steel cases for handgun ammo....they got one or two reloads and then split cases. I also doubt that reloading steel cases is very good for your reloading equipment....it's not designed for that.

fatelk
July 26, 2007, 02:19 PM
Been there, done that. Lots of split necks. Didn't seem to hurt anything, but I wouldn't bother with it again. I have also loaded the Wolf .45 steel cases, but again not worth the trouble in my opinion.

I have a few USGI .45 steel cases from the 40's and 50's, they seem to last a little better. They must be a little better alloy or something.

ocabj
July 26, 2007, 03:18 PM
It's got to be killer on the resizing die.

LexDiamonds
July 26, 2007, 03:44 PM
I wouldnt bother trying to trim them.. if you want to, they are good for 1 reload then I would junk them. With the price of brass, its not a bad idea... especially concidering a set of lee dies is all of $25 bucks.

Bottom Gun
July 26, 2007, 04:34 PM
It's dangerous.
Steel cases can develop minute cracks when resized and the case can crack or rupture. I wouldn't reload steel cases if I were you.

You can distinguish boxer from berdan priming by looking inside the case.
Boxer primed brass has a single large flash hole. Berdan primed brass has two small flash holes.

bobaloo
July 26, 2007, 05:59 PM
ar15.com's reloading section has quite a bit of info on this you might want to check out.

Quite a few folks have been doing it recently with no ill effects so far. I can see the advantage for when you don't want to have to chase your brass.

kellyj00
July 26, 2007, 06:08 PM
bobaloo: darned good point. I just need a big magnet to pick that stuff up.
those folks at Wolf may be on to something revolutionary...if only 223 wasn't the only boxer-primed ammo they made.

Thanks for the advice gents.

fatelk
July 26, 2007, 08:12 PM
Properly lubed, I doubt they would damage your dies at all. Dies are very hard tool steel, steel casings are quite soft. Just be sure to lube them properly. I loaded a few and the only problem seemed to be plenty of split necks, as I mentioned. I don't shoot a lot of that caliber and have plenty of brass so it wasn't worth it to me, just wanted to see if I could.

Whatever you do, don't try to anneal them like you would brass. It wouldn't work.

Lennyjoe
July 26, 2007, 10:48 PM
I refuse to shoot Wolf ammo out of my AR's. Last time I shot Wolf ammo I had to use a guide rod to pound out the case.

Those that shot with me at Yuma can attest to that.

Plenty of used .223 brass out there for reloading. Hell, I have about 2000 empty cases sitting around now. Got 90% of them for free.

Do your AR a favor and use brass.

Then again that's my .02c worth.

kellyj00
July 27, 2007, 10:03 AM
I'm having trouble finding any .223 brass for cheap let alone free.
there's plenty of hte new stuff running around, but I may as well just buy new bullets for plinking if I'm buying new brass.

I'll give it a try.

Walkalong
July 27, 2007, 10:11 AM
There are a couple of die hards who say they reload steel cases with no problems, but I would not recommend it for most of the reasons already put forth.

Sunray
July 27, 2007, 12:33 PM
Steel cases aren't reloadable, boxer primed or not. Steel, even the mild steel used in cartridges, is not elastic like brass is. Plus the steel gets slightly hardened upon firing.
"...having trouble finding any .223 brass..." Midway lists new Remington .223 brass at $16.99 per 100 or $167.99 per 1,000.

ilbob
July 27, 2007, 01:05 PM
A shooting buddy tried reloading some steel 45ACP cases. He reloaded and shot them with no problems. But, he decided he could get enough brass cases that it was not worth messing with the steel ones.

With all the Berdan primed cases being sold, one would think there would be some market for selling Berdan primers for reloading them.

kellyj00
July 27, 2007, 01:11 PM
I've taken all of your suggestions and concern under advisement, but I'm not seeing any real issues with reloading steel that concern me. I would imagine that the harder steel would crack much more easily than the softer brass, but there are some very soft, very well annealed, low-carbon steels out there that bend very well without breaking. I can't imagine Wolf ammo making casings (or anyone else for that matter) out of anything other than soft soft steel. Granted, I will quadruple check them for any sort of cracks or stretch marks.

+1 on the Carbide steel dies argument. Yes, the soft steel of a casing is indeed probably harder than the brass equivalent, but it may very well be thinner, and I can guarantee it isn't a hardened steel or alloy that they're making these casings out of....that would be extra work and frankly it wouldn't add anything to the case other than maybe rust resistance. remember this is cheap ammo.

I remember getting a tongue lashing for using Titewad powder in 45acp's too from everyone on the face of this planet, and it seems to work great.

In fact, I've got an entire 1,200 rounds of 45acp loaded up with 2.5 grains of Titewad under 230 grain RN and TCBB lead. It's a darned solid target load. I don't have a chronograph, but they cycle the action on all the guns they've been shot through and there has been no noticable signs of damage to the casing, the gun or anything in between....that's after the guy at hodgdon said "anyone loading pistols with titewad is taking his life in his own hands."

I take risks to prove to myself what I think is right or wrong, but I'm not a maroon about it so I haven't killed myself yet. This is what makes us the species that we are, IMHO. I really don't see a darwin award going out to a guy who "reloaded steel ammo cases instead of brass ones" so the embarrassment should be kept to a minimum.

Thanks again for all the constructive advice. If nothing else, you can at least say "I told you so" when I break my $25 dies or blow my fingers/face/arm off.

Walkalong
July 27, 2007, 01:41 PM
but I'm not seeing any real issues with reloading steel that concern me. :what:

Steel does not have the elasticity of brass. The case is the only thing between you and high pressure gases in your face (as in a case head seperation) The elasticity of brass cases allows it to expand and seal the chamber from hot, high pressure gases blowing back out of the action. It can do this repeatedly. Brass cases give us warning signs before it fails here so we can quit using it before it fails. Does steel? I dought it and am not going to find out.

In fact, I've got an entire 1,200 rounds of 45acp loaded up with 2.5 grains of Titewad under 230 grain RN and TCBB lead. It's a darned solid target load. I don't have a chronograph, but they cycle the action on all the guns they've been shot through and there has been no noticable signs of damage to the casing, the gun or anything in between....that's after the guy at hodgdon said "anyone loading pistols with titewad is taking his life in his own hands."

I have reloaded .45 ACP with Competition with good success without data from anywhere. Ramshot shows no data for it and .45 ACP, BUT, I am still not going to reload steel.

Oh yea. "I told you so" :neener:

kellyj00
July 27, 2007, 03:44 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tensile_strength

fatelk
July 27, 2007, 05:44 PM
There are two issues with the strength of a casing.

1. The neck needs to be soft so it can stretch and seal the chamber. Brass is the winner here. Steel just won't take the repeated stretching that brass will. Then again, I've had a lot of split cases and they don't seem to hurt anything.

2. The base needs to be fairly hard to take the pressure. I'm no metalurgist but I think steel compares favorably to brass here, and this is where the real danger is from a catastrophic case rupture.

I don't mean to offend anyone, but this seems to be another case of some people who have successfully done something arguing with others who have never tried it but are convinced it's horribly dangerous and absolutely cannot be done.

To those who say steel cases are not reloadable- you are wrong. If you say it's not a good idea to reload them, then there is something to debate and I just might agree with you in some aspects. If they are flat-out not reloadable, how is it that I have accomplished the impossible and reloaded them?

All that being said, I personally think it's rather a waste of time to do so because they are truly inferior to brass for reloading. As with any reloading, do not take my word for the safety of loading anything. You do so at your own risk.

Zeke/PA
July 27, 2007, 06:01 PM
I would take the advice of others here and NOT even attempt to reload the steel cases.
As far as reloadable .223 brass goes, there is usually a ton of it available at your local shooting range.
Grandson and myself picked up about half a five gallon bucket full not long ago. Actually we were selective and only picked up the "shiney"ones.
Zeke

kellyj00
July 27, 2007, 07:21 PM
thanks fatelk. I feel a little better about it after finding someone else who did the same thing.

Before I started reloading a few months ago, I was scared to try it. After I got my press and equipment, it turned out it was actually very loose tolerances and common sense that help me out.

I may be jinxing myself here, but I don't worry too much when I reload. I've heard all kinds of interesting discussion of how I'm going to kill myself by not buying a more than one reloading manual...blah blah blah. Also, the book that came highly recommended, "Abc's of reloading" was a waste. All history and very little concept. It was like a high school textbook, dull and full of worthless fact. I really don't care for any of that book, at all, whatsoever. That said, I'll ship it on to the next guy who wants it for free (you pay shipping) so you can avoid the $20 it cost me off of amazon. That's 1000 primers I just wasted on a worthless history book.

Concepts are what matters.... A case contains an amount of powder which propels a bullet down a tube. the amount of powder seems to be variable as the cooking time of a briskett. Put 2.0 grains of red dot in a 45acp and the bullet still works, squib it and the worst thing that can happen is it you bulge your barrel (no, you don't die from a squib load....see the thread I started on "worst experience wiht a squib load" on this forum) , double charge it and you're looking at a pretty big whollop that's not good for you or the gun, but it's not going to take your head or hand off. Ok, if it's possible to triple or quadruple charge, I'd imagine that may take out a finger or blow up the casing or something, but a fella would have to be pretty darned inattentive to do that.

Use a bad casing? Guess that ain't so bad either. I haven't heard of anyone dying.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is...it ain't science for folks like me. It's just part of saving money and taking calculated risks. If nobody took risks, then we probably wouldn't be having this discussion right now because there would be nothing called a Firearm and we'd all be eating a diet of entirely apples, because that's the only thing we could be sure would be safe to eat. Thanks Eve, you just had to do it, didn't ya? Geesh...never listen to a snake.

fatelk
July 27, 2007, 08:33 PM
Jason, glad I could put in my two cents worth. I'm just relaying my experiences, and I'm not a metalurgist. I've only been reloading for a couple decades. I'm actually surprised that more of the wizened old timers haven't weighed in, guys that have been loading for half a century or more.

Not that years of experience automatically make you the expert. I have done some dumb things and had my share of close calls. Reloading is not really an exact science, but I have been just lucky to have never hurt myself or damaged a gun. I've learned you can experiment and develop your own loads not in the books; just be real careful, pay attention to the details. You are responsible for your own safety.

As to the steel .223 cases, my opinion is that it's safe to try but I think you will be dissapointed with the results. If you want some cheap .223 brass, PM me. I have a bunch of mixed range pick-ups.

ilbob
July 27, 2007, 09:11 PM
Not that years of experience automatically make you the expert.
Seeing as the steel cased boxer primed stuff is a relatively recent development, all those years of experience in reloading brass cases may not mean all that much.

fatelk
July 27, 2007, 10:20 PM
Boxer primed steel cases may be a recent thing, but berdan steel cases have been around a long time. I have reloaded them too.

Lennyjoe
July 28, 2007, 12:33 AM
I have a crate full of .223 brass. If you really need some I'll sell you a couple hundred at rock bottom price. Let me know.

kellyj00
July 28, 2007, 01:16 AM
lennyjoe: name your price. I'd rather not use this stuff, but it's free. I'd like to have something I could load up and store for some time without risk of corrosion.

regarding the 50 yrs or more experience.... I said I had "years of experience" during a job interview once. The fella do the interview looked at me and just said "how long have you been using a pencil?" bewilderment... "well, I started writing in grade school, I guess." "you have Decades of experience in that, but I'm having trouble making out some of the stuff you put down on this job application....and my penmanship ain't much better"

It was a job as a truck mechanic....he was somehow in charge of that.

Lennyjoe
July 28, 2007, 07:05 PM
600 once fired cases for $30 shipped USPS priority. They are once fired Lake City brass. Will need to be deprimed, resized and cleaned.

That's $22 for 600 cases and $8 for shipping.

You can either paypal the funds or send me a postal money order.

If you need more I can fill the box to the rim and send it out for $60. Should be right around 1500 cases.

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