Questions about Steel cased ammo


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AR-yoter
March 5, 2011, 12:55 PM
i have noticed a few boxes of .223 at walmart that are about $5 but they are steel cased, i know that steel expands when hot now heres my question, would it hurt my AR at all to run those through? just seems weird they would be so cheap without some sort of drawback, im sure its like Ford and Chevy some people swear by them and some people would never use them i was just hoping i could plink cheaper and still shoot the .223 ( W/O a 22 conversion kit):evil:

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FC
March 5, 2011, 01:04 PM
They won't hurt your rifle at all.

Hanzo581
March 5, 2011, 01:25 PM
Some say they wear on your extractor a little more, I dunno, I run the Tula stuff in my SIG 556 from time to time and it runs fine. I say if your weapon will cycle it, go for it.

MIL-DOT
March 5, 2011, 01:31 PM
Ditto. From everything I've ever heard or read, the steel cased stuff is completely fine through AR's. I've also read that the cheap steel used in these casings is actually softer than the brass cases, but I can't state that as a fact. Anyone ?

rcmodel
March 5, 2011, 01:31 PM
Russian ammo is for Russian guns.

rc

FC
March 5, 2011, 02:01 PM
I've also read that the cheap steel used in these casings is actually softer than the brass cases, but I can't state that as a fact. Anyone ?

It seems to deform by hand much easier than brass, I've fired many thousands of rounds of it through multiple guns in different calibers with no problems of any kind.

Gordon_Freeman
March 5, 2011, 02:08 PM
Even though I've read many many posts about how it is ok to shoot these, I would not shoot them out of an expensive AR. I would only shoot them through an AK type gun.

brnmuenchow
March 5, 2011, 02:13 PM
Some gun's don't mind them, and some do. My cousins mini-14 hates them and a friend of mine's AR not too thrilled about them as well, but can tolerate it more than the previous mentioned mini-14. I have alway's stated that if there is any chance of long term damage to an AR it would be after thousands of rounds and that it is simply a personal choice as to the cost of savings on ammo offsets the possiblity of maint. or replacement of the rifle.

AR-yoter
March 5, 2011, 02:32 PM
well i guess ill give her a go .. other than the extractor all the sites just say they shoot dirtier but nohing like siting down and giving them a good clean thanks alot guys ill post if something goes wrong just always better to check first

belercous
March 5, 2011, 11:33 PM
I run Wolf thru my Bushmaster AR-15 with no problem. It had a problem when new, but that could be due to break-in. Now they hit within 1" at 50 yds. Not bad for cheap ammo.

One caveat; You could have problems gumming up the chamber if you do a lot of fast-firing and let a round sit in the chamber. It tends to melt the coating off the steel case and gums up the works causing mis-feeds/fires.

Hanzo581
March 5, 2011, 11:37 PM
I don't think the steel cased ammo he is talking about, Tula at Walmart for $4.99 a box is lacquer coated. At least I didn't notice it.

DoubleTapDrew
March 6, 2011, 12:20 AM
No it wont hurt it. Some guns choke on it but most will cycle it fine, buy a box or two and make sure it works in yours then blast away.

Patriotme
March 6, 2011, 01:00 AM
I have 3 AR's and all run steel cased ammo without any issues. Most of what I shoot is Russian ammo and I've put at least 1000 rnds of steel cased ammo through each AR (shooting is a family thing for us) in the past year. I've had no problems.
Some rifles seem to do really good with steel cased ammo and some don't. I guess I've been lucky. I've shot Brown Bear, Golden Bear, Silver Bear, Wolf and Tula (now Tulammo) without any problems. 55gr Brown Bear seems to be the most accurate of this mediocre lot. Actually 55gr Brown Bear does better than Remington and American Eagle in my experience. Tula is the least accurate in my opinion and it seems that this ammo gets the most complaints about not working well in AR's. It's the cheapest though. There's some interesting vids and reviews of Tula on www.vuurwapenblog.com .
The steel cases are softer than your extractor so that shouldn't be an issue. If your extractor does wear out early then it will cost you a whopping $5 or so to replace it. Considering that steel cased ammo is 1/3 to 1/2 the price of the least expensive American ammo one or two boxes just paid for your extractor if it should need replacing.
When you shoot a bullet the case expands to fill the chamber. This allows most of the gases to flow down the barrel propelling the bullet foward. Steel cases do not expand as much as brass cases so the Russian ammo doesn't seal the chamber quite as well. This allows more gases to flow back and causes your weapon to be a bit dirtier. Your chamber gets dirtier and there have been instances of shooters having brass cases get stuck in a chamber after switching over from shooting a lot of steel cased ammo. The stories of the laquer melting and gumming up chambers seem to be more of a myth than facts.
Most of the Russian ammo is now either zinc plated (Silver Bear) or polymer coated (Wolf and Tula). Brown Bear is still laquer coated to the best of my knowledge. BTW, Hornady is now making 5.45x39mm with steel cases. I've read somewhere that they are importing their cases from Russia.
Most of the Russian ammo seems to be somewhat underpowered which may be one of the causes of malfunctions in some rifles.
It's cheap ammo and serves it's purpose. I wouldn't trust it for anything important like self defense but it's great for training and casual plinking. Not every range day is about benchrest shooting.
I used to shoot a lot of 9mm Silver Bear years ago. I noticed that after a year or two of storage (bedroom closet-temp controlled enviroment) the cases got an odd film on them. I believe the zinc oxidizes like most metals eventually do. There was never any issue with the ammo just an odd texture to the cases. Something to think about if you're buying in bulk.
Sturmgewehre on YouTube has an interesting vid on Wolf ammo that's worth watching and there's a ton of info on www.ar15.com and www.m4carbine.net on the subject.

AR-yoter
March 6, 2011, 08:51 PM
well i went out today n popped off 40 rounds and it shot 2'' at 100 with 2 flyers, for cheap ammo im pretty impressed

mljdeckard
March 6, 2011, 09:01 PM
You will find it runs dirtier than brass ammo. The case doesn't expand and seal the chamber as well, and more residue leaks out.

I crank tons of the stuff through my SKS. I won't shoot it out of my grandfather's heirloom M-1 carbine.

chevyman097
March 6, 2011, 09:17 PM
There is no drawback to steel cased/mil surp ammo. Only pluses, its cheap! people will argue the point till they are blue in the face. Ill just smile and keep shooting. :evil:

FatPants
March 6, 2011, 10:13 PM
You will find it runs dirtier than brass ammo. The case doesn't expand and seal the chamber as well, and more residue leaks out.
Shouldn't make any difference in a direct impingement "craps where it eats" AR.

Even though I've read many many posts about how it is ok to shoot these, I would not shoot them out of an expensive AR. I would only shoot them through an AK type gun.

Because a cheap AK is made out of better materials than an expensive AR? Riiiiiiight.

nalioth
March 6, 2011, 10:29 PM
Some say they wear on your extractor a little moreThis is a myth, brought about by a bunch of cheap folk buying cheap extractors that were not properly manufactured (bad heat treat) and wore out rather quickly.

Since the cheap folk didn't by "expensive" brass-cased ammo, they naturally blamed the steel cases, even though the extractor would have worn at an accelerated rate with any ammo.


Steel cased ammo is quite easily run in any modern quality firearm (it makes little sense for steel-cased ammo makers to provide the means to the destruction of their industry, no?)

crossrhodes
March 6, 2011, 11:20 PM
I have just a smidgen over 10,000 of wolf through my AR and I haven't had any real problems related to the steel case ammo, same extractor just changed the spring around 5,000. The steel ammo has improved greatly in the last 10 years. I also see Hornady is selling steel case ammo now.

Matt-man
March 6, 2011, 11:26 PM
My AR (a BCM upper on a Fulton Armory lower) runs fine with cheap Tula steel-cased ammo.

The Hornady steel-cased "training" ammo is good stuff - I put 1100+ rounds of that ammo through the gun over the course of a 3-day class with no ammo-related issues at all.

gun addict
March 7, 2011, 12:50 AM
shoot steel case ammo out of your AR, what've you got to worry about? Okay say it breaks an extractor at, what, 2000 rounds, that's a $5 replacement part.......

hueytaxi
March 7, 2011, 12:57 AM
The majority of the world's forces are shooting steel cased. Seems to work for them.

chris in va
March 7, 2011, 02:21 AM
Shouldn't make any difference in a direct impingement "craps where it eats" AR.

That's funny stuff. I'll have to remember that phrase.

mljdeckard
March 7, 2011, 07:10 AM
It runs just as dirty in a piston gun as it will in a DI gun.

FROGO207
March 7, 2011, 08:16 AM
The only downside is no reloadable brass for me after. I will shoot it where there is no chance or need to recover reloadable brass casings. Not as accurate as reloaded either but generally the same as most inexpensive factory rounds IMHO.

seuadr
March 7, 2011, 11:33 AM
i haven't shot any steel cased out of a long gun, but the other day i put 500 rounds of wolf through my springfield XD with no problems what so ever. it's a brand new gun, never had anything but steel through it. I inspected the extractor carefully, couldn't see any signs of abnormal wear (or any wear at all, for that matter!)

it is kind of dirty, and not so accurate, but, iwas just breaking the girl in so who cares?

Shawn Dodson
March 7, 2011, 11:35 AM
Quote:
You will find it runs dirtier than brass ammo. The case doesn't expand and seal the chamber as well, and more residue leaks out.

Shouldn't make any difference in a direct impingement "craps where it eats" AR.

Some ARs don't function well with lacquer/polymer coated steel cases apparently because the steel case doesn't expand and seal the chamber and the residue deposited in the chamber causes lacquer/polymer coated steel cases to become seized in the chamber.

If you've never fired lacquer/polymer coated ammo but you're contemplating it then I suggest you buy 80-100 rounds to function check it in your particular rifle before you make any bulk purchases.

One of my M4s (the one I call "Fat Bob") shoots very accurately with Brown Bear 62gr HP ammo. My other M4 ("Skinny Bob") sprays large groups that are low and to the right with it.

FatPants
March 7, 2011, 08:48 PM
i haven't shot any steel cased out of a long gun, but the other day i put 500 rounds of wolf through my springfield XD with no problems what so ever. it's a brand new gun, never had anything but steel through it. I inspected the extractor carefully, couldn't see any signs of abnormal wear (or any wear at all, for that matter!)

it is kind of dirty, and not so accurate, but, iwas just breaking the girl in so who cares?

500rds of ANYTHING, and your pistol will be dirty!

Patriotme
March 7, 2011, 09:15 PM
i haven't shot any steel cased out of a long gun, but the other day i put 500 rounds of wolf through my springfield XD with no problems what so ever. it's a brand new gun, never had anything but steel through it. I inspected the extractor carefully, couldn't see any signs of abnormal wear (or any wear at all, for that matter!)

it is kind of dirty, and not so accurate, but, iwas just breaking the girl in so who cares?
I've run a few hundred rnds of 9mm Silver Bear through an XDM with no issues. I've run thousands of rnds of 9mm through a Kimber Stainless Target II without any problems.
Never tried the Wolf handgun ammo though.

lono
March 7, 2011, 11:34 PM
I have ran hundreds of steel cased rounds in my AR, 1911 and M9 with no problems what so ever.

WoofersInc
March 8, 2011, 02:27 PM
So far I have used Wolf in multiple AR's, a FN FS2000, a STG 556, a Golani, a Mini-14, a Daewoo DR200, and an HK93. All of them ran fine with it. All of the above have 5.56 chambers, not match chambers. I would be upset if they didn't work with steel cased ammo.

Had some guy at they range come completely un-hinged when he saw me shooting the HK with Wolf ammo. Started actually yelling at me that I was destroying it. Tried to explain that I considered the HK a battle rifle and if it won't work with whatever ammo was available then it was already worthless. He didn't get it. Had to have the RO remove him he got so irrate about it. I have shooters not collectibles.

jaymac
March 8, 2011, 03:16 PM
When I purchased my Doublestar M-4 I had the same questions about using steel cased ammo. So, I called Doublestar and asked if there was a problem shooting steel cased (Wolf) ammo in the M-4. They stated that it was no problem, in fact they used Wolf to test each rifle for function.

MD_Willington
March 8, 2011, 03:35 PM
I shoot 62gr HP Silver Bear in my $300 AK, my friend shoots the same ammo in his AR, I could have bought 5 of my AKs for the price of his 1 AR... both do just fine with the Silver Bear...

AR-yoter
March 9, 2011, 09:41 AM
prolly just basic math now cheaper ammo saves me 10-12 a box so after 10 boxes i could prob replace the extractor if it broke ..

XM855
March 9, 2011, 11:06 AM
I've run over 1,200 rounds of steel through my Rock River, and I've had zero issues of any sort. Wolf, Tula, Silver Bear, Herter's, etc. all run just fine.

Only thing to watch out for is to get polymer coated rounds rather than lacquer coated. I haven't had any experience with it, but the lacquer is supposed to gum up your action. Most modern steel cases ammo is polymer anyways, but just something to watch out for.

And on the issue of wearing out your extractor; seriously, an extractor is like $15, you can do the math.

Only thing is, don't shoot brass after steel. The steel doesn't expand as well as brass, so carbon will get in the chamber, then when the brass expands and heats up that carbon it will get stuck in the chamber. Not a catastrophic failure, but still a PITA.

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