steel casings in ar-15?


July 30, 2012, 06:00 PM
i was wondering if using ammunition with a steel casing (tula, military classic, american eagle, wolf) would be at all harmful for an ar-15. i know it wont "break" the gun but will steel casings wear out the chamber / bolt faster? how about hornady steel casing fmj?

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July 30, 2012, 06:06 PM
What AR do you have? My M&P 15 cycles Tula .223 fine. If you can run that crap it will run any ammo. I don't really worry about parts because my barrel isn't chrome lined and is a mid range AR.

July 30, 2012, 06:07 PM
i will wear it down a faster, hard steel on hard steel is alot of pressure. Brass on Steel is much easier on the BCG, the soft brass will expand a bit and conform better to the chamber. Also steel casings have a higher rate of jamming and in some cases getting stuck in the chamber.

July 30, 2012, 08:09 PM
The steel used for those cases is very mild and will not wear out your rifle any faster than using brass cased. Steel cases do not seal the chamber as well so your rifle will get dirtier faster. I've used a bunch in my rifles and had no problems.
Hornady uses Russian steel cases.

July 30, 2012, 08:17 PM
you'll most likely wear out the extractor faster. A replacement is what, 15 bucks? less? you only have to shoot a couple boxes of ammo for that math to start working out in your favor. heck the savings on one case of steel ammo is pretty close to the cost of a whole new barrel.

July 30, 2012, 08:29 PM
I use a lot of Hornady Steel match, it really depends on your rifle I've seen less than mil-spec bolts brake extractors with steel case ammo. Other than that never had a problem.

July 30, 2012, 08:37 PM
Wow, another one of these threads? The short, nothing will wear out any it won't ruin the rifle...if it runs in your rifle, use it, it's cheap...if it won't run in your rifle, your rifle is likely overgassed, undergassed or has too much buffer/spring.

Of course, steel cased ammo is like everything else. All is not created equally. If you are lucky enough to have a rifle that will run the dirt cheap Tula, just run with it. If you have trouble with Tula due to short stroking, try Brown Bear or Silver Bear. The Hornady stuff is excellent, especially the match stuff.

July 30, 2012, 10:04 PM
its not so much the steel case but the iron jacketed bullet. There is a thin copper jacket about two pieces of paper thick on top of iron. I am not sure if there is enough copper to protect your rifling but logically if it shoots like a copper jacketed bullet the construction is performing in close proximity to copper. I choose to shoot precision ammo.

July 30, 2012, 10:08 PM
No, it will not appreciably wear out any part of your rifle faster -- BCG, extractor, barrel, whatever.

Plenty of threads on this here and many other firearms forums about this precise topic, and many of those threads perpetuate the same tired old tales and myths about how steel will kill your rifle.

I challenge anyone to actually present documented evidence otherwise, because thusfar I have not seen any. On the other hand, I have seen documented evidence from folks who have used lots of steel case, bi-metal jacket ammunition and have not seen any atypical wear to their rifles.

July 30, 2012, 10:18 PM
Yeah I am with Hacker.

If it does wear out parts faster, it is probably negligible. Maybe 20,000 rounds of brass case will see slightly less wear and tear than 20,000 rounds of steel case. But again, it will be negligible, and the cost savings from the steel will buy you 2 or 3 new AR's in the time being.

Again, it would take some actual long-term studies with larger sample sizes to show the difference and I don't know of anyone who has the will, finances, or inclination to do that.

July 30, 2012, 10:30 PM
I shoot mostly brass, but i have shot thousands of rounds of hornady steel match and Wolf with one issues. One of my 3 ARs doesn't like Wolf bullets. The case is fine, the bullets key hole. Otherwise, they load, cycle and eject as intended. I just don't shoot wolf out of that one AR.

Shoot a couple of boxes and see how it goes before buying 1000 rounds.

The hornady steel match is a bargain for match. It shoots very good.

July 30, 2012, 10:32 PM
Steel is perfectly safe to shoot in any gun, though a chrome-lined chamber is highly recommended to reduce the effects of fouling. Word of note, though: do NOT run brass after shooting steel without using a chamber brush. Steel does not expand as much, which results in fouling blowing by the case into the chamber until it seals. Using brass after that will result in a case stuck in the chamber quite solidly, with somewhat less strength than JB Weld. It may even result in the case head being ripped off by the extractor or a broken extractor.

If in doubt, just buy a case of PMC. It's good quality ammo, and not much more expensive than the Russian stuff.

Horny Toad
July 31, 2012, 10:24 AM

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