Tula Ammo.. Reloadable?


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Henry45
June 21, 2012, 02:06 PM
Local gun shop has good deals on 5.56 and .45 Tula cans. I understand these are steel cartridges. Are they reloadable, and is anyone using them. Good ammo maybe to shoot at the range, but I'm not so sure it's that good of a deal if it's shoot it and forget it...

Thanks guys!

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1KPerDay
June 21, 2012, 02:13 PM
I personally wouldn't try reloading steel RIFLE cases. I know it's possible but I'm not sure they hold tolerances as well as they should. I'm no expert. IIRC Tula has made both berdan and boxer primed stuff so make sure it's the latter if you want to try reloading.

If the steel .45 is boxer primed, I'd try reloading it, sure. If it sizes well enough to hold a bullet in place without setback, I'd use it. I have reloaded some 50's era steel .45 cases quite a few times with no issues. They're cadmium (I think) plated, though. I have enough brass .45 that I don't bother with steel (other than previously noted plated stuff), personally.

Some say steel will scratch/wear your sizing dies, so take that under advisement.

Josh45
June 21, 2012, 03:07 PM
I have loaded Tula cases before in .45 ACP.
But this stuff has some kind of laquer on it IIRC and also remember someone saying that the steel is hard on your dies and could damage them in the long run.

Don't even bother with aluminum cases. You better of sticking to brass and nickel cases for loading up. Lots of life in them.

RandyP
June 21, 2012, 03:23 PM
Boxer primed steel cases are 'theoretically' reloadable a very few number of times...but for all practical purposes steel and aluminum cased rounds are meant to be low cost shoot it and forget it ammo.

Most shooters do not reload so the material used is not an issue as long as they function in the firearm. I have used steel case in .380, 9mm and .45ACP and have no negatives to report through my pistols. It all has always gone bang and made a caliber-appropriate sized hole in the paper zombies at the range.

jcwit
June 21, 2012, 04:07 PM
Yes its possible to reload steel & aluminum cases. A number of years ago I did an experiment reloading both of these and concluded that its possible. I used mild loads and cast bullets.

With that said, do I recommend it, NO! Its also possible for all my vehicles to easily surpass 100 mph, do I recomment doing that on public roads?, again the answer is NO!

Stick with brass, its ment to be reloaded.

Henry45
June 21, 2012, 04:53 PM
Yeah this is what I thought, I've only reloaded brass, but wasn't sure about this Tula ammo.. It's a shoot it and forget it.. I like to keep my cases.. :)

kingmt
June 21, 2012, 05:22 PM
I can't tell you how many thousand bullets I have stuffed if steel cases. I had several loadings on the steel by NS only after the new to me FL sizing.

I have used more powder with less pressure signs(not sure that is a good thing tho).

After several thousand I did ware down a mandrel a .001" that cost $2 to buy. Lee wouldn't let me pay for it tho.

I still load some for shoot & scoot ammo but if I needed it then I'd keep loading it.

Hondo 60
June 21, 2012, 05:32 PM
Seems to me there'd be more problems than what it's worth.

My AR hates the stuff.
When my barrel's ice cold it shoots fair.
When it warms a bit the lacquer coating is too sticky & starts jammin'

My own brass reloads are a tiny bit cheaper & a whole lot more accurate.

1KPerDay
June 21, 2012, 06:35 PM
Seems to me there'd be more problems than what it's worth.

My AR hates the stuff.
When my barrel's ice cold it shoots fair.
When it warms a bit the lacquer coating is too sticky & starts jammin'
The TulAmmo .223 I've shot a bunch of comes in a white and black box and has no laquer on it. It has been flawless in my ARs, Mini, and SCAR 16. FWIW

Hondo 60
June 21, 2012, 08:21 PM
Perhaps my chamber is a bit tighter?????

All I know is Tulammo 223 & my rifle don't get along.

Hacker15E
June 25, 2012, 09:52 PM
Tula reloads just fine.

The batch I loaded in these photos started a little long (1.77) and had to be trimmed, but sized normally (RCBS small base sizing die). The cases were initially poly coated, but I wet tumbled them in stainless pins and the coating all came off, revealing this nice gunmetal-gray shiny case.

The bare steel had no issues feeding or extracting in my AR (14.5 carbine-gas PSA). No problems with any case damage, such as cracked necks. 55 gr over 25 gr of Varget.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v450/Hacker15E/8e52d607.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v450/Hacker15E/4c835415.jpg

zxcvbob
June 25, 2012, 10:00 PM
They reload as easily as brass cases as long as you get the boxer-primed ones. I haven't figured out yet what the best use of them is though; I get occasional failures to eject with hot-loaded 62 grain bullets. I think they'll be fine with moderate 55 grain loads. I haven't reloaded any more than 2 times yet.

My plan (subject to change) is to use brass cases for 62's and steel cases for 55's, and that's how I can tell them apart at a glance if they escape from their labelled boxes.

highbrow
June 26, 2012, 01:00 AM
I have reloaded and shot over 4000 rds of Wolf and Tula 223 thru my franken AR without cleaning over the last year. Not very accurate but 100% reliable. Using TAC powder and 55gr fmj. What is really pathetic is spending as much time in the grass looking for steel cases as for brass cases.

FROGO207
June 26, 2012, 11:36 PM
Looking for steel cases!:what: Get a strong magnet man! that will save you a bunch of aggravation.:)

SlamFire1
June 27, 2012, 11:08 AM
The batch I loaded in these photos started a little long (1.77) and had to be trimmed,

How do you trim steel cases? I would think it would eat up steel cutter blades?

jcwit
June 27, 2012, 11:51 AM
We'll spend thousands of a fancy rifle, hundreds if not thousands on a scope, purchase a case for the setup thats close to a hundred if not more. Then in the next breath claim how the latest gun cleaner selling for $10.00 for a 4 oz. bottle is the greatest invention to mankind, BTW thats $320 bucks a gallon. Then search for the cheapest way out for ammo.

The logic escapes me.

1KPerDay
June 27, 2012, 12:52 PM
Makes perfect sense to me. I spent all my dang money on my rifle, so I have to buy cheap ammo so I can shoot it! :D

jcwit
June 27, 2012, 12:57 PM
Never been in that situation.

That'd be like buying a fancy car and no money for gas!

I know, I know, you were joking, I guess?

kingmt
June 27, 2012, 02:07 PM
If it works it would just be stupid to pay more without getting more.

I have no problem with the steel cased stuff.

I use a Lee trimer to trim mine.

jcwit
June 27, 2012, 04:04 PM
If it works it would just be stupid to pay more without getting more.

So this means using surplus ammo is just as good as using factory ammo. After all they all go bang.

If it just works its good to go, and foolish to upgrade?

I'll stick to brass for reloading. Got many 5 gal. buckets of .223 brass that has yet to be looked at.

kingmt
June 27, 2012, 04:23 PM
In most cases yes. Most of the people I see at the range couldn't hit a piece of note book paper 3 out of 10 times at 50 yards. Surpluse will work great for them. I can't even say factory junk is any better anymore.

jcwit
June 27, 2012, 04:30 PM
In most cases yes. Most of the people I see at the range couldn't hit a piece of note book paper 3 out of 10 times at 50 yards.

HaHa, Very true, sad but very true. Watched a few Officers shooting at one of those man targets with a paper plate stapled to it. Not sure what the purpose of the plate was as they were never hitting it, this was at 30 feet.

Legion489
June 27, 2012, 04:59 PM
Yes, steel cased ammo is reloadable. I have never seen boxer primed steel .223, but it might be out there. The .45 ACP is usually boxer primed and easily reloaded. Most .40 S&W and some 9 is too.

The trick to reloading steel cases is use PLENTY of lube! WAY too much lube is just about right for steel rifle cases and even if using carbine dies for handgun cases, it never hurts to lube any/all cases (brass/steel) as it works so much easier.

I have loaded plenty of steel cases and .30 M1 Carbine and .45 ACP were made in WWII for Allied use and were reloaded many times when there was nothing else. The problem with steel cased Russian .45 is the primer lets go with a BANG! and it can scare you the first few times you punch one out. They seem to last a long time, as I lose them before they wear out.

As to cheap surplus/steel cased ammo (Hornady is using steel cases for some of their lower priced ammo), for plinking and the like, sure, why not? For serious use, buy the best you can, a couple nights in the hospital will pay for a few cases of good ammo, needed because you bought the cheapest reloaded junk at the gunshow and "couldn't afford" the good stuff.

I use my reloads at IPSC shoots and I'm pretty sure I can hit the note book paper at 50 yard with no problem with my reloads. Yes, we do get cops who come in (they shot free with duty gear) and brag how they are great shots and super fast and all, then can't hit, at all, a standard target at 10 yards and can't clear leather under ten to twenty seconds. No I am NOT kidding!

As long as the ammo goes bang and is safe, most any trigger time is good, but I also have to agree, spending enough money to buy a car and then going "Hey, you got any ammo for $2 a box I can shot in it?" does sound kind of silly. SOME surplus is about as good as you can find (7.5 Swiss for example) for ANY ammo, but most is 2"-3" ammo and some of the junk is 8" or more out of any gun. Like I said, for killing cans, who cares?

jcwit
June 27, 2012, 05:13 PM
Remember folks, surplus ammo was orginally made for battlefield use, accurate to minute of enemy. Another reason sniper teams reload their own ammo in many cases, made for accuracy, minute of enemy at 1/4 mile and longer.

jcwit
June 27, 2012, 05:16 PM
I use my reloads at IPSC shoots and I'm pretty sure I can hit the note book paper at 50 yard with no problem with my reloads. Yes, we do get cops who come in (they shot free with duty gear) and brag how they are great shots and super fast and all, then can't hit, at all, a standard target at 10 yards and can't clear leather under ten to twenty seconds. No I am NOT kidding!

I do not shoot IPSC but I do agree with your statement, absolutely right.

kingmt
June 27, 2012, 08:19 PM
I don't know who scores them then because if you couldn't clear the holster in 10 seconds then you would have no time to get your shots off when part of the coarse is 3 seconds.

zxcvbob
July 2, 2012, 12:46 AM
I went to the range after church tonight cuz it doesn't get dark here until well after 9:00 this time of year. Practiced with my revolver for a while. Then went looking for brass (almost any brass; I can use it or trade it), and steel .223's. I picked up about 350 pieces of gray-coated steel .223's (left the lacquered ones behind. Got home and started sorting them. I only found 7 pieces that were reloadable out of that whole batch, and 5 of those were lacquer-coated ones that I let slip in. :facepalm:

In the past, I've only picked up the gray-colored ones and at least half have been reloadable.

I did find a pretty quick way to sort them; instead of looking at the headstamps, just drop a Lee pistol decapping pin down the neck and feel for the primer hole.

kingmt
July 2, 2012, 11:37 AM
I look for the lacpuer ones.

Swampman
July 2, 2012, 11:28 PM
I've reloaded thousands of steel cased 7.62x39 rounds and I haven't noticed any increased wear on my dies. Bear in mind that the steel used in cartridge cases is very soft and malleable, it's not made out of recycled files or armor plate.

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