What's the deal with steel-case ammo?


PDA






pak29
September 19, 2011, 08:08 PM
So I put 100 rounds of 9mm Wolf steel-case ammo through my Ruger P95 at the range today. Seemed accurate enough for plinking, and no failures of any kind (never had one on the Ruger). Normally I shoot major brand brass case stuff, but went for it this time due to the price (about $10 per 50, versus, say $12-13 for major-brand).

I've found some threads here while searching about problems feeding Wolf ammo in ARs. This appeared to be due to varnish on the casing, if I interpreted the rants correctly.

What have your experiences been? Is it any less accurrate, and if so, any thoughts as to why? Any feeding problems?

I'll keep brass-case rounds in the gun for HD use, but wondered what the general consensus was on this lower-priced ammo. Thanks!

If you enjoyed reading about "What's the deal with steel-case ammo?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
91 whiskey
September 19, 2011, 08:21 PM
I use Herter's (re-branded Wolf I think?) in my PT1911 all the time during the warmer months at the State Game Area range. I shoot indoors during the winter and my range doesn't allow steel cased ammo because they repackage the spent brass and sell it to re-loaders. It's fairly accurate for my purposes and I've yet to experience any FTF/FTE's.

Hanzo581
September 19, 2011, 08:23 PM
All long as your gun cycles it properly, run it.

Shadow 7D
September 19, 2011, 08:33 PM
because they repackage the spent brass and sell it to re-loaders.

The metal expands less, so REALLY sloppy chambers can be a problem
the metal RETRACTS less, so Really TIGHT chambers can be a problem

Lacquer hasn't been used for 5? years, and really it's single use, inexpensive ammo,
consider that MANY countries (including the USA) have and do use it as their military ammo.

OARNGESI
September 20, 2011, 05:30 AM
some guns you cant use steel because of the barrel

RevDerb
September 20, 2011, 05:54 AM
some guns you cant use steel because of the barrel
What feature of the barrel makes this statement true?

pak29
September 20, 2011, 07:28 AM
Thanks for your replies. I found another source, this article (http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu18.htm) on Box O' Truth, observing that steel case ammo does not appear to expand as much to form a seal in the chamber, allowing gasses to leak around the cartridge and foul the chamber, leading subsequent brass cases to get glued in place.

TonyT
September 20, 2011, 10:30 AM
A fellow shooter used the Wolf steel cased 9mm ammo extensively when it was selling for $99 per case of 5000. I tried two boxes in two different 9mm's I owned and expereinced feeding failures. That was the extent of my experimentation with Wolf steel cased ammo. In any case it was the dkirtiest shooting ammo I have ever used. I have not tried the newly announced Hornady steel cased ammo.

momano
September 20, 2011, 10:34 AM
Someone told me that they don't use steel cased ammo because they thought it would wear the extractor faster than brass. Has anyone experienced this?

pekosROB
September 20, 2011, 10:36 AM
I use the Herter's for .30 carbine in my M1 Carbine and it has FTL's occasionally, but that's usually on the 30 round mag and not the 15. FTL's happen but not too often with the standard 15 round mag.

I only shoot brass through my handguns though.

Racebannon
September 20, 2011, 11:05 AM
Steel cased ammo came about in large numbers in WWII. It workd but brass is considered a better material due to it's flexability. I use both types without problems.

Wishoot
September 20, 2011, 11:50 AM
some guns you cant use steel because of the barrel
Huh?

The rumor is that it could harm extractors, but I'm not sure how a steel case could harm a barrel.

silversport
September 20, 2011, 03:52 PM
could he have meant steel jacketed ammunition???
Bill

Shadow 7D
September 20, 2011, 07:14 PM
Tombac???
well don't tell the commies
and don't shoot any wolf or bear or...

there is SOME IRON ammo out there that's rather exotic (Vz. 82 ammo for the Czech Vz. (CZ) 82) is the ONLY one I can think of, AND it's banned, seem iron rounds are considered AP by the Feds.

alex4922
September 21, 2011, 01:09 AM
My Bushy AR loves Wolf ammo. Slick as Chocolate through a fat blonde. Accurate enough for tactical classes and no unusual wear seen. Now that Hornady is putting out steel case ammo I think we all can relax and enjoy the savings. I will say that after about 500 rounds of Wolf, the insides of my AR looks like a blackened tuna steak. A squirt of Breakfree every now and then keeps things rockn.

Alex

OARNGESI
September 21, 2011, 04:13 AM
What i seen on the internet is barrels damaged because of the use of lead bullets glock for example actually reccomends against it

mljdeckard
September 21, 2011, 04:37 AM
Leading in polygonal-rifled barrels is unrelated to steel-cased ammo.

I use Russian ammo in Russian guns. It may not make any difference the vast majority of the time. But I can't bring myself to try it in my grandfather's heirloom M-1 carbine.

MikeNice
September 21, 2011, 05:35 AM
So, Silver Bear should be fine to use in most if not all guns? I've seen some really tasty prices on 500 round lots of the stuff.

PabloJ
September 21, 2011, 08:31 AM
I tried some of that Russian stuff in the past. It produces more smoke which smells bad. Using it made me feel like I was buying inexpensive food with lots of preservatives which is very unhealthy to eat.

sansone
September 21, 2011, 08:34 AM
Huh?

The rumor is that it could harm extractors, but I'm not sure how a steel case could harm a barrel.
I think he means brrl/CHAMBER ?

Omaney
September 21, 2011, 11:40 AM
I use steel cased all the time in my CZs. No probs except Wolf is typically sootier.

wlewisiii
September 21, 2011, 01:25 PM
Ruger explicitly says that steel cases are ok in their P series manuals. That's as far as I think about it and if I find cheap steel case ammo, I buy it and use it.

InkEd
September 21, 2011, 03:45 PM
I use it pretty often in my guns. Other than residue left by the dirtier propellants used there really isn't any problems with it.

bergmen
September 21, 2011, 04:19 PM
I guess I don't understand why they would make steel cases in the first place. Much more difficult to form than brass and doesn't provide near the seal necessary to keep gas from escaping.

Cheaper?

Dan

19&41
September 21, 2011, 06:45 PM
I've only used Wolf Military Classic steel case in my AR and it works great. The steel cased Makarov ammo in my CZ 82 sparks like no other smokless ammo I've seen, but works well.

GreySmoke2
September 21, 2011, 07:24 PM
I bought 500 rds of Tula .45acp about three months ago I ran about 200 rounds thru about 5 handguns. With a few FTFeed. No big issues. I cleaned the guns but not the mags. Fast forward to last week when I loaded up about 30 mags with the stuff and went to the range with my brother. The single stack ran ok with one or two FTF's but the double stack mag'd pistol were jam o matics. I examined the guns and even recleaned one and no change. Then I examined the mags. The rounds were not moving in the mag ie when I stipped a round off the top, the one below did not rise up to replace it or only moved a short bit. My guess is the blowback around the chamber from the steel not forming a good seal cause the mags to get gunked up somewhat and with the combination of the somewhat rough surface of the Tula cases the rounds were not presenting in the breech properly. Guess I got alot of mags to clean.

Anyone else experience this?

pak29
September 22, 2011, 09:51 AM
Ruger explicitly says that steel cases are ok in their P series manuals. That's as far as I think about it and if I find cheap steel case ammo, I buy it and use it.

Thanks for that bit of info, wlewisiii. It hadn't even occurred to me to check this, as a friend of mine was told by Ruger that his jamming problems were caused by off-brand ammo and Ruger's tight tolerances. This was a large part of my hesitation to use it in the first place. .

Good observation about magazine jamming, GreySmoke2. I'll keep a sharp eye out for that, too.

USAF_Vet
September 22, 2011, 10:45 AM
I buy TulAmmo for my 9mm and .45 for plinking and practice.

I save the more expensive brass for HD and carry loads.

ForumSurfer
September 22, 2011, 12:45 PM
What have your experiences been? Is it any less accurrate, and if so, any thoughts as to why?


Slightly, but for range fodder, it works just fine. WWB, S&B and other run of the mill range fodder fmj stuff is only very slightly more accurate. If I'm trying for really tight groups at distance, I'll most certainly look elsewhere.

Any feeding problems?

Ar - No
Glock 40/19/45 - no
Kimber 1911 with good mags - no
DPMS 308 AR - Yes, but only when I used pmags
SKS - No
Beretta 96/92 - no
XDM 40 - no
Para p12 - no
Smith and Wesson M&P - no

Thanks for your replies. I found another source, this article (http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu18.htm) on Box O' Truth, observing that steel case ammo does not appear to expand as much to form a seal in the chamber, allowing gasses to leak around the cartridge and foul the chamber, leading subsequent brass cases to get glued in place.

Never experienced that issue with the above mentioned firearms. Most range sessions are 200 rounds or more.

Now when the session is almost over and all I have is a handful of brass and steel cased rounds, mixing brass with steel in the magazine causes magazine feed failures. I've got a few handguns with a few thousand rounds of Tula through them that don't cause me problems or experience any abnormal extractor wear.

NMGonzo
September 22, 2011, 06:20 PM
many a time this question has been posed.

It's fine.

Kiln
September 23, 2011, 04:58 AM
Just my personal opinion but I wouldn't use steel cased ammunition in pistols with an aluminum or soft alloy feed ramp for fear of developing little dings that decrease reliability but other than that I'm sure it'd be fine.

mgmorden
September 23, 2011, 10:10 AM
I reload so not being able to reuse the brass is a major detractor. Other than that, I have shot the handgun stuff a few times. Worked fine. I've had issues with extraction on the rifle stuff, but that was years ago and the coating on the newer stuff seems better.

Overall, when comparing the prices steel is cheaper, but minimally so, so I personally just opt for budget brass ammo. Shoots fine, and I get extra cases to reload.

If you enjoyed reading about "What's the deal with steel-case ammo?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!