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Ranges and banning steel cased ammo

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by xwingband, Feb 15, 2013.

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  1. xwingband

    xwingband Member

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    I have questions regarding steel cased ammo mostly in regards to the issue of availability. If someone that works at a range or knowledgeable about why there's does it please chime in.

    1) What is the primary motivation behind banning steel cased ammo?

    Since I suspect it's either reloading/recycling...

    2) Does a range figure the cost of that into their rates? Say for example, the rate they charge completely covers their overhead without reloading or any money they get from recycling the ammo for raw materials. Would it be then ethical to say no steel cased ammo? You've covered costs and it's simply inconvenient to take out the steel.

    I could possibly understand that if they know how many casings they get on average and factor the extra money they get from that into their rates. That would be reasonable to ask for no steel because they're eliminating their labor costs of taking out the steel to give you a lower rate.

    I have been thinking about this because I generally have avoided steel ammo. Now with the cost of ammo I'm considering it because I know my guns will handle it no problem as I have quality guns I clean often, but the range I typically go to banning steel holds me back. Due to my current situation it's not a great option to go to another range and I don't have the $ to buy tons of ammo, so if steel cased is the cheapest and I can get a few hundred rounds of that it's a big motivator to keep me shooting something at all. Otherwise I'm not dumb and won't pay out the bum for less ammo in brass, so I would soon end up not shooting for lack of ammo.
     
  2. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    Sometimes steel cased = steel core.

    When a range wants to protect it's steel plates and butts, sometimes they'll say no steel core ammo, and include steel-cased for extra measure.
     
  3. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    Bi-metal jacketed bullets... there is a little steel in the jacket of the bullet.
     
  4. Derek Zeanah

    Derek Zeanah System Administrator Staff Member

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    What Ken said. But I've also shot at ranges that prohibited picking up brass (even your own brass). In these places I'm pretty sure the goal is to keep the brass easy to sell without requiring sorting.
     
  5. xwingband

    xwingband Member

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    I understand the steel bullet issue for safety, but in my particular case I don't think that's the issue. They used to not care about the ammo. It makes me question their business decisions/ethics.

    The first time I encountered their new rule I had only a .22 with me and, honestly asked if they made steel 22 at all... Now when I go they're checking my ammo with a magnet. That probably came because someone put ammo into a different box.

    So if safety isn't the issue and they're making an economic decision to make it easier for them I'd be peeved. I'd like to know if there is any other concerns that I'm unaware of.
     
  6. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    OK, the reasons given so far are the most common ones for restrictions like this.

    So instead of asking us why they made their decision . . . .


    Why not ask the people who run that range?
     
  7. xwingband

    xwingband Member

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    That's a fair question and I probably will ask them next time I go. They've been busy lately (as all ranges and shops I'm sure have been) and it hasn't been an issue when I could easily get brass cased ammo. I'm just looking at my ammo and the prospects of replacing what I shoot that it may be worth going elsewhere and shoot steel. I was also curious about the motivations across the board for these restrictions.

    EDIT: Like is there any environmental concerns? I know lead would be the primary issue in regards to ventilation, but I don't know if steel particles would be a concern?
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
  8. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    The only environmental concern I've seen is with lead. And when they have that concern, the require lead-free ammo.


    SigArms Academy went that route.
     
  9. Zardaia

    Zardaia Member

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    First I've even heard of prohibition of steel case instead if just steel core. Finally became member for on base range, only restriction there is caliber. Anything over .308 balistically is prohibited until u qual for a special members badge by demonstrating a certain degree of accuracy with it.
     
  10. rgwalt

    rgwalt Member

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    Even if they can cover their costs and turn a profit with fees, it isn't unethical to pad their bottom line by recycling and selling brass. If you don't like it, you are free to take your business elsewhere.
     
  11. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    An indoor range I know of says they do not allow steel cases because the bullets are usually either bi-metal or steel core and their backstops can't handle it. An outdoor range I have used doesn't have a problem with steel anything. Their berms can handle the bullets and a strong magnet makes it pretty easy to separate the steel cases and bullets from brass or copper and lead.
     
  12. gk1

    gk1 Member

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    Most places that are concerned with steel cases are using a magnet to check for steel core bullets, and just exclude anything that the magnet is attracted to. The signs are to minimize complaints, IMO
     
  13. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    Or, why not ask them to buy a magnet?

    My local range is dead right now (just the same as it was four years ago). I was there with a friend Tuesday; we both handload.

    Just like four years ago, we were alone for the majority of our time there--and for the same reason--nobody has any ammo. Or if they do, they are sitting on it, waiting to see how long this will last.

    My range is making no money, because there are no shooters. I think they would welcome any customers with any types of (aluminum/steel/etc.) cases. If your range is otherwise, more power to them. If they are starving and turning away business based on steel cases, they get what they deserve.
     
  14. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    there are places that sell the brass
    some are too cheap to sort with a magnet
     
  15. thump_rrr

    thump_rrr Member

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    Our indoor range prohibits the use of steel core ammunition for obvious reasons.
    They wouldn't care if Woody Woodpecker made the cases out of wood.
     
  16. Constrictor

    Constrictor Member

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    Our range says steel case ammo is a fire hazzard. It sparks when it hits the floor and ignites unburned powder on the floor.
     
  17. scallop

    scallop Member

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    Was given the fire hazzard reference also by a range in Lancaster, Oh.
     
  18. ObsidianOne

    ObsidianOne Member

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    I'm without words...
     
  19. splithoof

    splithoof Member

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    Steel cases a hazard????? That last one is totally absurd. Find another range.
     
  20. Guy B. Meredith

    Guy B. Meredith Member

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    Several outdoor ranges I've frequented either ban or discourage steel casings--even the mild steel on GI issue M1 rounds--for fear of fire in the surrounding vegetation.
     
  21. hueyville

    hueyville Member

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    Drop a quarter million bucks, build your own and set your own rules. Make payroll every week, maintain equipment, keep inventory up and pay insurance. Then make your own rules. I walked into a range back in the day with two 75 round drums loaded up with steel core surplus ammo not really thinking about it. After two extended AK mag dumps I noticed a lot of debris blown back around the shooting line. I made a mess of that lane. Out of respect showed up next morning with a welder and high tensile rods and fixed my screw up. I just had to make a rule in mine today. Hollow points and cast up to 44 mag. No 9mm or 45 jacketed ball as if was denting certain areas of the trap. But with mine being free nobody can complain about rules.
     
  22. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    That was mighty good of you, huey.

    Yup, when you paid for the range, you can set the rules.

    Some of the ranges around me have taken to using crushed tire rubber on their indoor ranges. Hit that stuff with steel bullets and it can ignite. Skip a steel round off a concrete floor, it can spark and ignite the unburned powder on the floor. And I've seen people put rounds into the ceiling and the floor.


    Yeah, perhaps they can have staff look through all their customer's ammo with magnets to exclude all that stuff. Or they can decide they just don't have the time and do things like this.

    If you don't like it, don't shoot there. Go run your own public range and find out the total stupidness people are capable of, and you might conclude you wouldn't take on that risk if it meant your money was on the line.
     
  23. denton

    denton Member

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    I'm the Executive Officer of our shooting club, and I have the job of dealing with our insurance company.

    Bullets containing steel are a fire hazard. They can and do start fires in the vegetation on outdoor ranges.

    At our range, there are about six weeks during the summer when bullets containing steel are absolutely banned. If we get particularly hot, dry weather at other times, we we ban them then as well.

    We are a small, non-profit, all volunteer operation, running a public range on county land. You can shoot all day at our range for $7 or all year for $45. Now with that in mind, our insurance bill is $14,000 per year. If we do not carefully control risk, we will pay even more. Keeping insurance costs down is critical to keeping our range fees down. We could loosen up the rules, and start charging $10 per day, but we don't think that would be what our customers want.
     
  24. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

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    In my experience, if a range is concerned with damage to their equipment, they will know the FPS cutoff for ammo they allow such as 2100 FPS at one range I visit.

    If a range says "no steel cased ammo" then they are selling or reloading the brass. Someone in the back probably broke a FL sizing die trying to reload a steel case.
     
  25. flatlander937

    flatlander937 Member

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    My LGS has a 100yd indoor/underground rifle range with some kind of digital target system(I honestly haven't used it myself so I'm not 100% of how it works or even looks, just have a basic idea)... and it caught on fire at the backstop several years ago, it was from tracer rounds but I -think- after that the insurance company required them to deny steel cased/cored ammo as well... or so I was told by one of their range workers a while back.
     
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