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Steel case vs. brass case ammo.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by stchman, Dec 14, 2009.

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  1. stchman

    stchman Member

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    Hello all.

    I know this subject has been talked about before. I want to just offer my opinion FWIW.

    I have shot quite a bit of steel case and brass case ammo. I can find no difference in the two from a function perspective.

    I have shot steel case exclusively through my SKS and AK with zero problems.

    I also have found that the AR folks are the ones that seem to complain the most about steel case ammo.

    I find it somewhat amusing that "cheap" Russian rifles can shoot thousands of steel case rounds with no ill effects while "expensive" AR rifles cannot make it through a box without jamming and breaking the extractors. This is an exaggeration for example purposes.

    The only firearm I shoot brass through exclusively is .22 rifle and .44 Magnum. I have never found anyone that makes steel case .44 Mag ammo. It would be nice as .44 Mag is so expensive.

    I shoot mostly brass case in my 9mm pistols as there seems to be almost no proce difference between brass case and steel case 9mm ammo. Not to mention that brass case is far more available in 9mm from my observations.
     
  2. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    I guess unless your reloading it is not a problem.
     
  3. CWL

    CWL Member

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    If you shoot certain rifles that have tight chambers, steel cased ammo can be a nightmare, but for general plinking, I agree with you 100%.
     
  4. NWCP

    NWCP Member

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    I run steel cased ammo through my CZ VZ58 only. It was made to digest the stuff. I use brass cased ammo on the rest of my firearms.
     
  5. chuwee81

    chuwee81 Member

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    Well, i posted about this a while back and have gotten responses that PRETTY SUBSTANTIAL AR crowds are using steel ammo. Extractors can wear but they are cheap to replace. You save more money by buying the steel cased ammo.

    AK design or the Russkies cartridge design has slight taper in them and would not have any issues with their lacquer coated surplus ammo. .223/ 5.56 has a straight case and heated chamber can lead to case sticking up. It seems to be the primary concern but not about broken extractors anymore. I also heard that it's about some company doing shortcuts by using out of spec materials for their extractors that lead to failures.

    IIRC, I have read in AR15.com that one poster had 17,000 rds before he replaced the extractor due to wear and he had more than half of them steel cased ammo.
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I find it amusing that you fail to see the difference in the commie guns & ammo designed to operate with steel cases at much lower pressure.

    The 5.56 case has much less body taper then the 7.62x39, operates at 40% higher pressure, and the AR-15 doesn't have an extractor system designed from the get-go to yank steel case ammo kicking & screaming, out of communist chrome-lined chamber firearms.

    You are comparing apples & oranges in both case design and rifle design.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  7. possum

    possum Member

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    i have shot ar's that fire steel cased ammo fine, however my personal ar dosen't run very reliably or long with steel cased. it will run multiple training courses, and thousands of rounds, and all day long with brass cased ammo.
     
  8. stchman

    stchman Member

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    According to Wikipedia 7.62x39 runs at 51488 psi while 5.56x45 runs at 62366 psi. That is a difference of 21%, not 40%. The .223 Remington runs at 55000 psi. This is a difference of 6.82%.

    Yes, the smaller cartridge has higher pressure, but not that much higher.

    On my AK only the bore is chrome lined not the chamber. My Yugo SKS has neither a chrome lined barrel or chamber.
     
  9. kanook

    kanook Member

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    In my SKS I had a steel case split and stop the gun in its tracks. cost $10 to fix.

    Does this mean all steel case ammo is junk, NO.

    All this did is stop me from shooting it again.

    (Yes I've had brass split too, but it comes out easier.)
     
  10. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    It also shows that you don't really know what you are talking about.

    Notice the difference in shape between x39 and 5.56? See how much more tapered the x39 case is?

    The x39 is shaped that way for ease of extraction since they PLANNED to use steel cased ammo up front. It has absolutely nothing to do with the rifles that shoot it.

    5.45x39 is made the same way, for the same reason. It's 10mm wide at the base and 9.25m at the neck.

    5.56 is 9.58mm at the base and 9mm at the neck.

    7.62x39 is 11.35mm at the base and only 10.07 at the neck. That's a LOT of taper.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  11. stchman

    stchman Member

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    My Mini-14 seems to have no problem extracting either steel or brass case .223 or 5.56.

    I know what is coming next.... "the Mini-14 is such inaccurate junk that blah, blah, blah, blah...."
     
  12. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    My ARs have no problem extracting either steel or brass case 5.56

    What exactly is your point?

    The ammo designs took into account the material the case would be made out of. That steel case 5.56 came later means that the design did not take that into account.

    So, there will be more incidences of rifles failing to extract steel case 5.56, no matter what rifle type that may be.

    Some will work fine, many won't. Has nothing to do with the rifle.
     
  13. stchman

    stchman Member

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    A lot of people I know that own ARs complain that steel casings get stuck too much to use them.

    I can see exactly where this thread is headed.
     
  14. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    You knew that when you started it.

    And again that would make sense, given how the rounds were designed.

    Again, is there a point to this? You are saying that "the sun comes up in the east" like it's a revelation or something.

    Statistically, rifles firing steel case 5.56 will have more problems than rifles firing 7.62x39 due to the case taper. That's pretty commonly known, it's not like you've discovered fire or something.

    Not trying to be rude, but you're really not saying anything that isn't pretty well know. What you are doing is trying to connect it to the rifle type, and you're not going to be able to do that.
     
  15. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Well, you at least got that part correct - I'd also wager you're probably the type that likes to spray and pray, thinking that is something to be proud of.......Oh well, to each their own (but it isn't)

    Accuracy trumps firepower everytime
     
  16. stchman

    stchman Member

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    Spray and pray?!! No, ammo cost too much. You would lose that wager.

    Amazing, I also asked if anyone had ever heard of someone manufacturing steel case .44 Mag ammo. I see that has fallen on deaf ears.

    I have also noticed that if you say anything but the most flattering things about an AR people get their feathers all ruffled. Geez.

    I have fired quite a few steel cased 9mm rounds in my SR9. From what I see the 9mm Luger cartridge has ZERO taper yet it still seems to eject no problem.
     
  17. spartanpride

    spartanpride Member

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    So do yall think that shooting steel cased ammo thru a good, accurate 1911 with a tight chamber is bad for it, if youre just using the ammo for plinking but the same gun with different ammo for defense?
     
  18. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Max pressure for 9mm is around 35,000psi while max pressure for a .223 is around 55,000psi.

    Do you really expect that you'd see comparable case deformation between the 2 rounds if the case is made of the same material?

    That and the surface are of case in contact with the chamber is MUCH higher in rifles so there is more drag. It's not very complicated.

    Not at all, but most people insist that you be honest when doing it, and your posts were not honest. You attempted to tie the AR to problems with steel cased ammo and you can't do that because of the design issues explained earlier.

    An AR upper chambered in 7.62x39 or 5.45x39 wouldn't have any problems at all with extraction, at least not any more than an AK, because of the design of the cartridge. Those were designed from day one to be made with steel cases and the problem was well known, hence the taper.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  19. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    why does the AK and the SKS have to be compared to every other rifle on the planet, as if it was some kind of divinely inspired work of angelic perfection.

    they are what they are... and they do what they were intended to do very well.

    what they are not... is match grade, tightly toleranced tack drivers.

    .............self edited the rest, as it really wasn't the High Road....

    though it was, imho, quite biting, whitty and funny.....
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  20. DAVIDSDIVAD

    DAVIDSDIVAD member

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    Man, I was going to post, but there is already way too much butthurt and hostility in this thread.


    You should be slightly ashamed of your behavior, Texas Rifleman. You're usually the level headed person in threads like these.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  21. moooose102

    moooose102 Member

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    i have never bought ANY steel cased ammo. just does not seem right to me to try to save $2.00 a box when firearms cost so much to replace. besides, reloading can save you WAY more than you will ever save buying steel cased ammo. i have, just for experimentation, reloaded some steel cases i found on the ground (pistol ammo). i have been quite cautious while sizing them, but everything seems to be fine with them. i have reloaded one batch (of 5) 4 times, with no ill affects to anything that i can see. still, i always feel funny when i know they are running through my gun. just seems wrong. but, sometimes, you need to know things, and trying it is the only way to find out.
     
  22. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I reload all of the centerfire calibers I shoot. Steel cased ammunition is worthless to me, except as carry ammunition, and nobody makes steel cased ammunition of ANY use to me for carry.
     
  23. iiibdsiil

    iiibdsiil Member

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    Don't EVER mention that an AR or a 1911 isn't perfect. The thread will head right to the pooper.
     
  24. Joeywhat

    Joeywhat Member

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    My AR eats steel ammo like a fat kid in a candy shop.

    So I dunno what you're talking about.

    Seen the same with several other rifles at classes, matches, etc.

    If you're AR won't fire steel ammo it needs to be fixed (or thrown out...). If it's a varmint gun or something and has a match chamber then obviously it may not like it. I'm talking 5.56 guns.
     
  25. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    I've heard all the stories about steel case ammo. It gets stuck, the lacquer melts, the extractor breaks etc.... I have used steel cased ammo for years, and never had one stick, or the lacquer melt. I have never had an extractor break, and if I did, the price of the steel ammo outweighs the cost of an extractor. Some people here give advice based on hearsay, and never had the problem themselves, others can't even take apart their Ruger pistols and put them back together, and these are the people who are giving advice ......
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
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