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Questions about Steel cased ammo

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by AR-yoter, Mar 5, 2011.

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  1. AR-yoter

    AR-yoter Member

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    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:
     
  2. FC

    FC Member

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    They won't hurt your rifle at all.
     
  3. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    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.
     
  4. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    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 ?
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Russian ammo is for Russian guns.

    rc
     
  6. FC

    FC Member

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    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.
     
  7. Gordon_Freeman

    Gordon_Freeman Member

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    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.
     
  8. brnmuenchow

    brnmuenchow Member

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    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.
     
  9. AR-yoter

    AR-yoter Member

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    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
     
  10. belercous

    belercous Member

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    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.
     
  11. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    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.
     
  12. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    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.
     
  13. Patriotme

    Patriotme Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  14. AR-yoter

    AR-yoter Member

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    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
     
  15. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    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.
     
  16. chevyman097

    chevyman097 Member

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    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:
     
  17. FatPants

    FatPants Member

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

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

    nalioth Member

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    This 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?)
     
  19. crossrhodes

    crossrhodes Member

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    Steel is fine for me

    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.
     
  20. Matt-man

    Matt-man Member

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    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.
     
  21. gun addict

    gun addict Member

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    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.......
     
  22. hueytaxi

    hueytaxi Member

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    The majority of the world's forces are shooting steel cased. Seems to work for them.
     
  23. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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

    mljdeckard Member

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    It runs just as dirty in a piston gun as it will in a DI gun.
     
  25. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    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.
     
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