Steel case vs. brass case ammo.


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stchman
December 14, 2009, 04:01 PM
Hello all.

I know this subject has been talked about before. I want to just offer my opinion FWIW.

I have shot quite a bit of steel case and brass case ammo. I can find no difference in the two from a function perspective.

I have shot steel case exclusively through my SKS and AK with zero problems.

I also have found that the AR folks are the ones that seem to complain the most about steel case ammo.

I find it somewhat amusing that "cheap" Russian rifles can shoot thousands of steel case rounds with no ill effects while "expensive" AR rifles cannot make it through a box without jamming and breaking the extractors. This is an exaggeration for example purposes.

The only firearm I shoot brass through exclusively is .22 rifle and .44 Magnum. I have never found anyone that makes steel case .44 Mag ammo. It would be nice as .44 Mag is so expensive.

I shoot mostly brass case in my 9mm pistols as there seems to be almost no proce difference between brass case and steel case 9mm ammo. Not to mention that brass case is far more available in 9mm from my observations.

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mcdonl
December 14, 2009, 04:05 PM
I guess unless your reloading it is not a problem.

CWL
December 14, 2009, 04:07 PM
If you shoot certain rifles that have tight chambers, steel cased ammo can be a nightmare, but for general plinking, I agree with you 100%.

NWCP
December 14, 2009, 04:10 PM
I run steel cased ammo through my CZ VZ58 only. It was made to digest the stuff. I use brass cased ammo on the rest of my firearms.

chuwee81
December 14, 2009, 04:12 PM
Well, i posted about this a while back and have gotten responses that PRETTY SUBSTANTIAL AR crowds are using steel ammo. Extractors can wear but they are cheap to replace. You save more money by buying the steel cased ammo.

AK design or the Russkies cartridge design has slight taper in them and would not have any issues with their lacquer coated surplus ammo. .223/ 5.56 has a straight case and heated chamber can lead to case sticking up. It seems to be the primary concern but not about broken extractors anymore. I also heard that it's about some company doing shortcuts by using out of spec materials for their extractors that lead to failures.

IIRC, I have read in AR15.com that one poster had 17,000 rds before he replaced the extractor due to wear and he had more than half of them steel cased ammo.

rcmodel
December 14, 2009, 04:20 PM
I find it somewhat amusing that "cheap" Russian rifles can shoot thousands of steel case rounds with no ill effects while "expensive" AR rifles cannot make it through a box I find it amusing that you fail to see the difference in the commie guns & ammo designed to operate with steel cases at much lower pressure.

The 5.56 case has much less body taper then the 7.62x39, operates at 40% higher pressure, and the AR-15 doesn't have an extractor system designed from the get-go to yank steel case ammo kicking & screaming, out of communist chrome-lined chamber firearms.

You are comparing apples & oranges in both case design and rifle design.

rc

possum
December 14, 2009, 04:25 PM
i have shot ar's that fire steel cased ammo fine, however my personal ar dosen't run very reliably or long with steel cased. it will run multiple training courses, and thousands of rounds, and all day long with brass cased ammo.

stchman
December 14, 2009, 04:35 PM
According to Wikipedia 7.62x39 runs at 51488 psi while 5.56x45 runs at 62366 psi. That is a difference of 21%, not 40%. The .223 Remington runs at 55000 psi. This is a difference of 6.82%.

Yes, the smaller cartridge has higher pressure, but not that much higher.

On my AK only the bore is chrome lined not the chamber. My Yugo SKS has neither a chrome lined barrel or chamber.

kanook
December 14, 2009, 04:42 PM
In my SKS I had a steel case split and stop the gun in its tracks. cost $10 to fix.

Does this mean all steel case ammo is junk, NO.

All this did is stop me from shooting it again.

(Yes I've had brass split too, but it comes out easier.)

TexasRifleman
December 14, 2009, 04:50 PM
I find it somewhat amusing that "cheap" Russian rifles can shoot thousands of steel case rounds with no ill effects while "expensive" AR rifles cannot make it through a box without jamming and breaking the extractors. This is an exaggeration for example purposes.

It also shows that you don't really know what you are talking about.

Notice the difference in shape between x39 and 5.56? See how much more tapered the x39 case is?

The x39 is shaped that way for ease of extraction since they PLANNED to use steel cased ammo up front. It has absolutely nothing to do with the rifles that shoot it.

5.45x39 is made the same way, for the same reason. It's 10mm wide at the base and 9.25m at the neck.

5.56 is 9.58mm at the base and 9mm at the neck.

7.62x39 is 11.35mm at the base and only 10.07 at the neck. That's a LOT of taper.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v689/xxxjedixxx/KIF_5612.jpg

stchman
December 14, 2009, 04:58 PM
My Mini-14 seems to have no problem extracting either steel or brass case .223 or 5.56.

I know what is coming next.... "the Mini-14 is such inaccurate junk that blah, blah, blah, blah...."

TexasRifleman
December 14, 2009, 04:59 PM
My Mini-14 seems to have no problem extracting either steel or brass case .223 or 5.56.

My ARs have no problem extracting either steel or brass case 5.56

What exactly is your point?

The ammo designs took into account the material the case would be made out of. That steel case 5.56 came later means that the design did not take that into account.

So, there will be more incidences of rifles failing to extract steel case 5.56, no matter what rifle type that may be.

Some will work fine, many won't. Has nothing to do with the rifle.

stchman
December 14, 2009, 05:00 PM
A lot of people I know that own ARs complain that steel casings get stuck too much to use them.

I can see exactly where this thread is headed.

TexasRifleman
December 14, 2009, 05:04 PM
I can see exactly where this thread is headed.


You knew that when you started it.

A lot of people I know that own ARs complain that steel casings get stuck too much to use them.

And again that would make sense, given how the rounds were designed.

Again, is there a point to this? You are saying that "the sun comes up in the east" like it's a revelation or something.

Statistically, rifles firing steel case 5.56 will have more problems than rifles firing 7.62x39 due to the case taper. That's pretty commonly known, it's not like you've discovered fire or something.

Not trying to be rude, but you're really not saying anything that isn't pretty well know. What you are doing is trying to connect it to the rifle type, and you're not going to be able to do that.

oneounceload
December 14, 2009, 05:39 PM
I know what is coming next.... "the Mini-14 is such inaccurate junk that blah, blah, blah, blah...

Well, you at least got that part correct - I'd also wager you're probably the type that likes to spray and pray, thinking that is something to be proud of.......Oh well, to each their own (but it isn't)

Accuracy trumps firepower everytime

stchman
December 14, 2009, 05:48 PM
Spray and pray?!! No, ammo cost too much. You would lose that wager.

Amazing, I also asked if anyone had ever heard of someone manufacturing steel case .44 Mag ammo. I see that has fallen on deaf ears.

I have also noticed that if you say anything but the most flattering things about an AR people get their feathers all ruffled. Geez.

I have fired quite a few steel cased 9mm rounds in my SR9. From what I see the 9mm Luger cartridge has ZERO taper yet it still seems to eject no problem.

spartanpride
December 14, 2009, 07:23 PM
So do yall think that shooting steel cased ammo thru a good, accurate 1911 with a tight chamber is bad for it, if youre just using the ammo for plinking but the same gun with different ammo for defense?

TexasRifleman
December 14, 2009, 07:37 PM
From what I see the 9mm Luger cartridge has ZERO taper yet it still seems to eject no problem.

Max pressure for 9mm is around 35,000psi while max pressure for a .223 is around 55,000psi.

Do you really expect that you'd see comparable case deformation between the 2 rounds if the case is made of the same material?

That and the surface are of case in contact with the chamber is MUCH higher in rifles so there is more drag. It's not very complicated.

I have also noticed that if you say anything but the most flattering things about an AR people get their feathers all ruffled. Geez.

Not at all, but most people insist that you be honest when doing it, and your posts were not honest. You attempted to tie the AR to problems with steel cased ammo and you can't do that because of the design issues explained earlier.

An AR upper chambered in 7.62x39 or 5.45x39 wouldn't have any problems at all with extraction, at least not any more than an AK, because of the design of the cartridge. Those were designed from day one to be made with steel cases and the problem was well known, hence the taper.

SSN Vet
December 14, 2009, 08:01 PM
why does the AK and the SKS have to be compared to every other rifle on the planet, as if it was some kind of divinely inspired work of angelic perfection.

they are what they are... and they do what they were intended to do very well.

what they are not... is match grade, tightly toleranced tack drivers.

.............self edited the rest, as it really wasn't the High Road....

though it was, imho, quite biting, whitty and funny.....

DAVIDSDIVAD
December 14, 2009, 08:13 PM
Man, I was going to post, but there is already way too much butthurt and hostility in this thread.


You should be slightly ashamed of your behavior, Texas Rifleman. You're usually the level headed person in threads like these.

moooose102
December 14, 2009, 08:30 PM
i have never bought ANY steel cased ammo. just does not seem right to me to try to save $2.00 a box when firearms cost so much to replace. besides, reloading can save you WAY more than you will ever save buying steel cased ammo. i have, just for experimentation, reloaded some steel cases i found on the ground (pistol ammo). i have been quite cautious while sizing them, but everything seems to be fine with them. i have reloaded one batch (of 5) 4 times, with no ill affects to anything that i can see. still, i always feel funny when i know they are running through my gun. just seems wrong. but, sometimes, you need to know things, and trying it is the only way to find out.

Deanimator
December 14, 2009, 08:36 PM
I guess unless your reloading it is not a problem.
I reload all of the centerfire calibers I shoot. Steel cased ammunition is worthless to me, except as carry ammunition, and nobody makes steel cased ammunition of ANY use to me for carry.

iiibdsiil
December 14, 2009, 08:42 PM
Don't EVER mention that an AR or a 1911 isn't perfect. The thread will head right to the pooper.

Joeywhat
December 14, 2009, 08:50 PM
My AR eats steel ammo like a fat kid in a candy shop.

So I dunno what you're talking about.

Seen the same with several other rifles at classes, matches, etc.

If you're AR won't fire steel ammo it needs to be fixed (or thrown out...). If it's a varmint gun or something and has a match chamber then obviously it may not like it. I'm talking 5.56 guns.

Average Joe
December 14, 2009, 09:22 PM
I've heard all the stories about steel case ammo. It gets stuck, the lacquer melts, the extractor breaks etc.... I have used steel cased ammo for years, and never had one stick, or the lacquer melt. I have never had an extractor break, and if I did, the price of the steel ammo outweighs the cost of an extractor. Some people here give advice based on hearsay, and never had the problem themselves, others can't even take apart their Ruger pistols and put them back together, and these are the people who are giving advice ......

emerson
December 14, 2009, 11:14 PM
Back in 2000/2001 I was acquainted with someone who had access to a Steyr AUG. The rifle shot well, but when the barrel heated up lacquer coated steel ammunition would get stuck in the barrel and would not extract. This would not happen at all firing brass cases.

If you put regular gasoline into a high performance engine it very well may knock. If you put regular gasoline in a standard car there is typically no problem - two different systems, two different fuels, two different results.

And no, I neither own an AR nor do I care too much for them (or the Steyr for that matter.)

Uncle Mike
December 14, 2009, 11:51 PM
Don't EVER mention that an AR or a 1911 isn't perfect. The thread will head right to the pooper.

Oh yeah...let's see...All Ar's and 1911's are junk! worthy of being shmelted into boat anchors! We can take a joke! This IS The High Road!

Since the mud is slinging in regards to brass and steel cases....

I have listened to many state that steel cases are harder than brass cases, and the steel will wear the innards of your fine firearm quicker than brass will...yet others claim the steel alloy used in cases is just as 'soft' as the brass cases....

Whatyathink?

Not trying to jack your thread or anything, but while we are this close...

There are several folks in the 'ammunition manufacturing' business that will tell you that gilding metal jackets used on projectiles will not wear a barrel any faster than copper will, they say the gilding metal is just as soft and flexible as copper... I cannot say that I totally agree with that one.

Several 'barrel' manufacturers I put the question to said that gilding metal jacketed bullets will indeed wear the bores faster than copper.

opinions...documentation....premonitions....

rcmodel
December 16, 2009, 04:39 PM
what I see the 9mm Luger cartridge has ZERO taper yet it still seems to eject no problem. Well see, you don't see that the 9mm is a tapered case either.

The mouth measures .380" and the head measures .394".

So, it does have .014" taper from one end to the other.

rc

Walkalong
December 16, 2009, 05:19 PM
I have also noticed that if you say anything but the most flattering things about an AR people get their feathers all ruffled. Geez.

Not at all, but most people insist that you be honest when doing it, and your posts were not honest. You attempted to tie the AR to problems with steel cased ammo and you can't do that because of the design issues explained earlier.Correct

Man, I was going to post, but there is already way too much butthurt and hostility in this thread.

You should be slightly ashamed of your behavior, Texas Rifleman. You're usually the level headed person in threads like these. I haven't noticed where TR has anything to be ashamed of. He was refuting staements with facts.

The OP started a thread on a controversial subject, seemed to carefully word it to ruffle feathers, and then seemed to try to fan a potential flame later. It isn't working yet, as posters have only stated facts to back up their opinions. No one is flaming the OP...........yet anyway.

TexasRifleman
December 16, 2009, 05:27 PM
You should be slightly ashamed of your behavior, Texas Rifleman. You're usually the level headed person in threads like these.

I'm wearing a little thin on the whole "XYZ gun sucks and here's why" threads I guess.

I think there are plenty of good gun topics without another "AR vs AK" or "9mm vs 45" battle :)

TX1911fan
December 16, 2009, 07:42 PM
Why would you bag on TexasRifleman. He's speaking the truth. I could just as easily come here and said that ARs suck because my .223 chambered rifle won't shoot 5.56. It wasn't designed to shoot 5.56, so that's why it won't shoot it (safely at least). It's not the rifle's fault. The AR was not designed to shoot steel cased ammo, the AK was. How hard is that to understand? It's as dumb as complaining about how ARs are more accurate than AKs and saying that an AK sucks because of it. ARs were DESIGNED for accuracy, AKs more for reliability and ease of use than accuracy.

By the way, my AR is chambered in 5.56, has fired close to 2,000 rounds of steel cased ammo with no problems. I have another 2,000 in storage, but am now reloading brass cased.

evan price
December 17, 2009, 05:02 AM
OK, to the OP- if we're assuming that AR designs suck, that the AK design never jams- I've got a pickle for you-

I have a Romanian WASR-3 AK. It's an AK47 chambered in 5.56. Guess what? I still get jams with steel cased ammo in that AK when firing Wolf or Brown Bear. Cases sticking in the chamber.

So, no, it's not all about the rifle, the design of the ammo is much more to do with the problem.

I would imagine an HK-style fluted chamber would be better with steel cased ammo with negligible taper, myself.

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