Question about cheap type of 5.56


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happygeek
March 17, 2010, 11:01 PM
I ran into a guy at the surplus and bulk ammo store the other day who was on his way out with a big crate of 5.45x39. He told me to check out centerfiresystems.com, which is where he'd bought his AK. I was just on the site and was thrilled to see M14 mags for way less than $30 a pop. Also noticed they have 5.56 for 24 cents a round, but it's described as being ".223, Polymer, FMJ, Russian Mfg, 62Gr" (http://www.centerfiresystems.com/AM223122.aspx). What's this polymer? Also, anyone know if this stuff is good to shoot in a Sig 556? 24 cents a round sure beats the 40 cents a round I was paying at the store for Federal or PMC 5.56.

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noob_shooter
March 17, 2010, 11:07 PM
good find.. i wouldn't try it just yet.. i'm wondering if i can shoot these with my AR15

briansmithwins
March 17, 2010, 11:09 PM
Polymer refers to the case coating. I've got about 2000 rounds of that type of ammo tru my ARs with no problems.

BSW

lions
March 17, 2010, 11:10 PM
^ Yep. Those are steel case with a polymer coating instead of a lacquer coating. Do a search and you will have no shortage of reading material.

DoubleTapDrew
March 17, 2010, 11:14 PM
Looks like Wolf, they make a 62gr. .223
It should be fine but you may want to try a box first to make sure it functions ok in your rifle.
It's steel cased ammo with a polymer coating (used to be lacquer but people complained about it gumming up actions) to prevent rust. It's dirty/stinks and not that accurate, but if you want to make noise and punch holes it's fine. The jackets on those bullets are also thicker so I wouldn't use it for defensive ammo unless it was all that was available. That price seems about average (post obama scare) but I haven't checked the price of wolf 5.56 lately.

Z-Michigan
March 17, 2010, 11:15 PM
That ammo is probably the same, from one of the same factories, as Wolf steelcased ammo. It's fine for nonprecision use. A lot of people don't like it, but it goes bang (usually) and is cheap for high volume shooting. There are various internet legends about how it wears out extractors, chambers and barrels, but those are largely discredited by people whose opinions I trust.

happygeek
March 17, 2010, 11:24 PM
One more dumb question, if I'm using iron sights, am an average shot, and am using it at 100 to 200 yards will I even notice if it's less accurate?

Thanks for the replies and info!

DoubleTapDrew
March 17, 2010, 11:38 PM
Probably not. Guns that can shoot 1-2MOA usually shoot 2-4MOA with it which is decent at 100yds.

Boba Fett
March 18, 2010, 12:30 AM
Kind of looks similar to Monarch ammo. I wonder how they compare in quality and accuracy...

http://www.academy.com/index.php?page=content&target=products/outdoors/hunting/ammunition/target_shooting&start=0&zoom=1&selectedSKU=0324-03600-0223

rd2007
March 20, 2010, 10:31 AM
I put 40 rounds of Monarch steel cased rounds through my son's M&P 15 last week without an issue. I believe it was $5.59 for 20 rounds, which was nearly half the price of the brass ($9.79/20). I always shoot the Monarch stuff through my AK and of course it doesn't mind. 5.56 box said it's made in Russia and the 7.62x39 is from Serbia.

Hatterasguy
March 20, 2010, 02:17 PM
Its probably steel case Wolf. People say its ok ammo but I still can't bring myself to put cheap Russian ammo through my rifle.

I'll pay the extra dime a round to get brass cased PMC, Prvi or Federal.

wally
March 20, 2010, 02:31 PM
I'll pay the extra dime a round to get brass cased PMC, Prvi or Federal.

Not me, I consider it: shoot ten cases, get a free rifle!

"Ain't much of a gun if Wolf breaks it." I'll never understand how someone would trust in a gun that can't shoot cheap ammo. If TSHTF you'll wish you could find "Wolf quality" in short order.

--wally.

Hatterasguy
March 20, 2010, 02:54 PM
Thats one way to look at it.

I still feel guilty, like using cheap oil in my truck guilty.:D

NG VI
March 20, 2010, 04:19 PM
I have run it through my CMMG, it was fine. All of it worked, did not have any failures (ever with that rifle, it was great. But then I've had nothing but good luck any AR platform, even that beater 16A2 in Basic.) with it, wasn't shooting for groups but it hit the various little things I was shooting at.

Even if the myth about steel case wrecking rifle extractors were true, an AR extractor is super cheap and easy as all hell to replace, what's the problem? You save enough on a very small amount of that to buy another extractor and have money left over.

Bullseye_shooter
March 20, 2010, 10:47 PM
They are basiclly Wolf ammo
and I've got terrible review on them on MidwayUSA spend th extra few bucks to get quality ammo

Quentin
March 21, 2010, 02:38 AM
Well Cabela's has Herter's .223 steel case in store for $4.99 a box. Pretty sure it's equivalent to Wolf and sure hard to pass by. I stocked up.

happygeek
March 21, 2010, 02:50 AM
Went to the range today and gave some Wolf a try. I saw some in the store I get cheap silhouettes at and figured I'd give two boxes a try before I order any online. It ran fine in my Sig 556. I got back really late so I'll clean the thing tomorrow and see how dirty it got. I'm not too worried about it running dirty though. Even with the cheaper Wolf I can't afford to shoot more than 50 or so rounds a week of anything but 22LR.

I only shot the Wolf at 100 yards and accuracy seemed fine. Like I said, I'm an average shot [at best] and am using iron sights until I can afford some optics so I don't even notice if it's not match grade ammo.

noob_shooter
March 21, 2010, 07:22 AM
Quentin, check the bullet sitting before firing. I check a few boxes and found out some had access copper jacketing hanging out. The case mouth or walla must have scraped the copper jacketing when the bullet was pressed in.

SHvar
March 21, 2010, 11:51 AM
As far as the company, I dont know anything about that one, I use alot of Brown bear.
Dont believe the rumors about the steel cases causing parts to wear faster/or break, the steel cases are so thin and soft they wont cause any more wear than brass will.
Try a few boxes, look closely at the weapon during, after, firing, then closely during cleaning, see what you notice.

benEzra
March 21, 2010, 06:03 PM
Even if steel-case ammo is hard on the extractor (and it's not clear that it is), you can buy a brand new top-grade bolt assembly from Bravo Company for $69.95, or spare extractors even cheaper.

http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-AR15-Bolt-Assembly-MPI-p/bcm%20bolt%20assemly%20mp.htm

If you're saving $100/1K compared to brass cased ammo, that pays for itself pretty quickly even if it does wear the extractor faster than usual, and it's not even clear that it does.

Having said that, I would be more concerned about bullet jacket hardness than case composition, I think. It's a bit more expensive to replace a barrel than an extractor or a bolt. I honestly don't know much about whether or not bimetal jackets (as used in Wolf and such) increase bore wear, and that is a question I'd like to know the answer to.

bludog_3
March 24, 2010, 10:45 AM
You can pick up 1000 rnds of Tula at Cabelas for 21.5 cents a round right now ($214.99). I shot 40 rounds of it this last weekend and had sub-moa groups at 100 yards with iron sights.

Z-Michigan
March 24, 2010, 12:13 PM
It has almost been disproven that there is any added extractor wear. But even if there is, the cost savings will buy you a new extractor in only a couple 100 rounds.

Having said that, I would be more concerned about bullet jacket hardness than case composition, I think. It's a bit more expensive to replace a barrel than an extractor or a bolt. I honestly don't know much about whether or not bimetal jackets (as used in Wolf and such) increase bore wear, and that is a question I'd like to know the answer to.

This is the lingering doubt for me as well. Most sources, including arfcom and the AR15.com ammo FAQ, clearly say that these steel jacketed bullets have no effect on barrel wear. OTOH, this company says that it's awful for your barrel:

http://www.superiorbarrels.com/FAQs.htm

The most authoritative source I know is the reports of US ordnance testing, since some US .308 ammo uses steel jackets (like Russian though with a thicker copper plating) and others are copper jacketed. I have not seen the actual reports, but what I've read is that there is a minor increase in wear with copper-plated steel jackets, but not enough to really matter.

Of course, going back to pure costs, if the steel jackets wear out your barrel in 5000 rounds and copper in 20k rounds, then the cost savings would likely justify a barrel replacement every 5000 rounds anyway. A standard AR barrel runs around $200 +/-, and you can save $100+ per 1000, so you would come out well ahead.

briansmithwins
March 24, 2010, 12:40 PM
Don't worry about wearing out the with steel jacketed bullets.

5.56barrels get shot out at the throat as it's eroded by gas. The forward 2/3rds of the barrel will still be cherry when you're junking the barrel for a shot out throat. BSW

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