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SacTown
12-08-2011, 8:43 PM
I don't mean to make a brass vs steel bashing thread, just shared experience and insight. I don't reload so I'm considering buying steel cased ammo for plinking at the range since, well, it's cheaper than brass. I'm not looking for accuracy here, just dirt cheap ammo that goes bang and functions good enough for plinking, not SHTF scenarios. I've read good things about Brown Bear and was wondering what you all think about running it through your AR's. Also do you think running steel cased ammo is bad for an AR?

Here's one post I found on the internet of a guy running 2500 rounds of Brown Bear and 2K rounds of Silver Bear through his AR in 6 days.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_16/543748_6_Days_of_Magpul___4000_rounds_of_steel_amm o____.html

bloodhawke83
12-08-2011, 9:11 PM
no problems here, my bolt it still "clean" from 250 rounds. going to finish the rest this weekend. i have only done a snake clean in the barrel.

Reductio
12-08-2011, 9:15 PM
I prefer silver bear, but I dumped through half a case last time I was out on BLM. No problems.

SacTown
12-08-2011, 9:29 PM
I prefer silver bear, but I dumped through half a case last time I was out on BLM. No problems.

Why do you prefer silver bear?

SacTown
12-08-2011, 9:30 PM
no problems here, my bolt it still "clean" from 250 rounds. going to finish the rest this weekend. i have only done a snake clean in the barrel.

Good to hear. Where do you go shooting at?

IntoForever
12-08-2011, 9:32 PM
Never had a problem with it, goes bang every time and consistent enough for plinking. I even reload the cases once.

bloodhawke83
12-08-2011, 9:34 PM
Good to hear. Where do you go shooting at?

rancho most of the time, hitting up spenceville this Saturday.

EvoXRiley
12-08-2011, 9:39 PM
Some Ar's will run it and some dont my runs it all day, great for plinking and accuracy is the same for me ,but my gun isnt a bench gun I say do it!

bloodhawke83
12-08-2011, 9:40 PM
once in a while a spent case will get stuck, always keep a cleaning rod in your range bag. out of 250 rounds, one got stuck.

SacTown
12-08-2011, 9:41 PM
rancho most of the time, hitting up spenceville this Saturday.

Yea I go to Rancho quite a bit although I prefer going somewhere that doesn't have rules against holstering weapons and no "1 shot per second rule"...

SacTown
12-08-2011, 9:43 PM
once in a while a spent case will get stuck, always keep a cleaning rod in your range bag. out of 250 rounds, one got stuck.

Good to know. I usually have it with me just in case.

bloodhawke83
12-08-2011, 9:46 PM
Good to know. I usually have it with me just in case.

Even happened with the higher quality match grade steel case ammo, hornady ammo.

Lead-Thrower
12-08-2011, 9:54 PM
My AR doesnt like steel cased much, but my Mini-14 will eat that stuff all day without a hiccup. I have used mostly the Herters stuff from Cabelas in the past, but I might try a different brand to see if anything changes. I dont see anything wrong with running steel cased through an AR, other than you might have to have the extractor replaced sooner (cheap and easy fix)...

Reductio
12-08-2011, 10:47 PM
Why do you prefer silver bear?

No polymer coating on the steel, it's got zinc or whatever. In any case, it totally removes the "it's gunking up my chamber" problem.

SR-71 BLACKBIRD
12-08-2011, 11:31 PM
I have had no issues with silver bear. I would stay away from Tula in your AR-15 unless you bring that cleaning rod like someone mentioned earlier. Here is what happened a few times with the Tula.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff320/planetstation/CIMG4188.jpg

h0use
12-08-2011, 11:37 PM
I have had no issues with silver bear. I would stay away from Tula in your AR-15 unless you bring that cleaning rod like someone mentioned earlier. Here is what happened a few times with the Tula.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff320/planetstation/CIMG4188.jpg

Was wondering is your barrel a 16in. I heard that is caused because of the gas system trying to pull out the case to soon? If it's shot out of a 20in you won't have any problems.. There is a YouTube video that talks about it. Anyways I shoot alot of steel cased ammo with out any problems. My lwrc is going on 11k rounds with out any problems. Just keep it lubed and cleaned.

jumpthestack
12-09-2011, 12:35 AM
I would recommend getting a relatively small amount, like < 500 rounds, and seeing how it runs first. If it works then it's no problem, but if you're going to have stuck cases regularly, it's not worth it. I was getting a stuck case within about every 100-200 rounds of Wolf, and no problems with brass ammo in the same AR. I later found out my chamber was a tight .223 despite being marked 5.56. After having it reamed out to 5.56, there were no problems while shooting about 200 rounds of Wolf.

Uruz003
12-09-2011, 10:13 AM
Brown bear works really well for my AR which eats through it flawlessly. The lacquer does leave some gunk in the bolt where the firing pin resides, but it hasn't led to any failures. I've yet to try silver bear, but I do know that it's a higher grainage (better for my 1/7 barrel) and the zinc coating should eliminate the lacquer issue.

till44
12-09-2011, 12:45 PM
Keep your BCG wet and you shouldn't have any problems. I have seen friends complain that their ARs won't consistently function with it, but after telling/showing them to go heavy on lube, the gun it runs fine. I've put a few thousand rounds of the brown/silver bear and tula through my guns and honestly can't remember having any problems.

SacTown
12-09-2011, 12:51 PM
Keep your BCG wet and you shouldn't have any problems. I have seen friends complain that their ARs won't consistently function with it, but after telling/showing them to go heavy on lube, the gun it runs fine. I've put a few thousand rounds of the brown/silver bear and tula through my guns and honestly can't remember having any problems.

What lube do you use for your AR? Grease or oil?

SacTown
12-09-2011, 12:53 PM
No polymer coating on the steel, it's got zinc or whatever. In any case, it totally removes the "it's gunking up my chamber" problem.

I didn't know that. Will have to look into Silver Bear and compare prices. Thanks.

SacTown
12-09-2011, 12:55 PM
Brown bear works really well for my AR which eats through it flawlessly. The lacquer does leave some gunk in the bolt where the firing pin resides, but it hasn't led to any failures. I've yet to try silver bear, but I do know that it's a higher grainage (better for my 1/7 barrel) and the zinc coating should eliminate the lacquer issue.

The lacquer that builds up from Brown Bear. How much more often do you need to clean it when compared to shooting non-lacquer coated stuff? Also is it difficult to get it off? Thanks

coyotebait
12-09-2011, 12:57 PM
I don't know about Brown Bear, but I've been running Wolf through my Mini 14 and my AR.....no problems with it. I've even done the unthinkable, switched from Wolf to brass. :eek: Every gun is different, buy some and run it, see how it likes it.
Oh, and I use a synthetic assembly lube to lube the bolt in my AR.

tonelar
12-09-2011, 1:00 PM
Only issues Ive seen with Tula (Wolf, Brown Bear, etc) was from their lacquered cases in hot, new chambers. Since they moved up to a polymer coating (years ago) I've seen no further extraction (stuck case) issues.

I run Wolf out of my $600 AR, $3,000 AUG and everything in between.

chicoredneck
12-09-2011, 1:06 PM
I have run about 1000 rounds of brown bear through one of my ARs. It's slow, dirty, smelly, inaccurate, and goes bang every time I have pulled the trigger on a loaded chamber. It works. I have come to aprpeciate IMI surplus ammo. It's clean burning, accuate, and loaded to the 556's full potential. With some careful shopping it can be had at nearly the same price as broown bear. At least it used to be. I have not had to buy 556/223 ammo for a couple of years now as I'm pretty well stocked up. Centurion is another quality ammo that is near the price point of brown bear and shoots much cleaner and is more accurate. I don't know how fast the centurion is loaded, I haven't run any through a chronograph, but it should be more than adaquate for plinking.

donking
12-09-2011, 8:43 PM
Keep your BCG wet and you shouldn't have any problems. I have seen friends complain that their ARs won't consistently function with it, but after telling/showing them to go heavy on lube, the gun it runs fine. I've put a few thousand rounds of the brown/silver bear and tula through my guns and honestly can't remember having any problems.

:iagree:

Have put 6000+ rounds of cheap russian ammo through an AR. Don't like the quality control of Tula/Wolf. Mostly shot Golden Tiger. The Brown and Silver bears along with MFS worked fine too.

Use CLP to keep BCG wet.
http://www.joeboboutfitters.com/Break_Free_CLP_4oz_p/breakfreeclp4oz.htm

Here are some older threads on Cheap Russian Steel Cased Ammo
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=478476
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=495019
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=491037
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=459384
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=422392
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=478052
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=371950

.

EvoXRiley
12-09-2011, 8:48 PM
my 5.45 AR runs milsurp all day long even when its fairly dry. our guns arent that picky as many people claim, with good cleaning issues should be minimized.

NorCalK9.com
12-09-2011, 10:14 PM
I have had no issues with silver bear. I would stay away from Tula in your AR-15 unless you bring that cleaning rod like someone mentioned earlier. Here is what happened a few times with the Tula.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff320/planetstation/CIMG4188.jpg

My s&w mp15 sport I bough 6 weeks ago n sold already, I put 500 rounds of tula steel thru it n no cleaning, I gave new owner 500 rounds of it too and he's done 400 in the last 2 weeks, no probs at all. Dont blame the ammo!

Uruz003
12-10-2011, 2:18 PM
The lacquer that builds up from Brown Bear. How much more often do you need to clean it when compared to shooting non-lacquer coated stuff? Also is it difficult to get it off? Thanks

I still clean it after every shooting session which averages about 200 rounds, and have yet to do any prolonged tests since it still needs to be completely broken in and I've been having extractor issues (none of which happen with Brown Bear) The gunk buildup is mild after 200 rounds, coating the firing pin and chamber, but the firing pin still moves freely and reliably ignites the round. I don't clean the rifle any more often because of the build up, and it's pretty easy to remove.

h0use
12-10-2011, 2:48 PM
More mis-information.

The lacquer will NOT burn off. The primary cause for Wolf ammo not functioning correctly is that it is not loaded to the same velocities as American or European ammo. Usually up to 200 FPS slower.

Steel cases do NOT expand. This is why you NEVER shoot brass cased ammo after shooting steel cased ammo. The steel cases do not expand to seal the chamber, allowing gases and carbon to blow back through the chamber, building up carbon and crud in the chamber. If you fire brass cased ammo, it DOES expand, sticking to the crud built in the chamber.

This is not to say steel cases won't stick, they will.

The lacquer coating is to prevent rust.

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu18.htm

Please quit perpetrating the myth.

chicoredneck
12-10-2011, 3:03 PM
More mis-information.

The lacquer will NOT burn off. The primary cause for Wolf ammo not functioning correctly is that it is not loaded to the same velocities as American or European ammo. Usually up to 200 FPS slower.

Steel cases do NOT expand. This is why you NEVER shoot brass cased ammo after shooting steel cased ammo. The steel cases do not expand to seal the chamber, allowing gases and carbon to blow back through the chamber, building up carbon and crud in the chamber. If you fire brass cased ammo, it DOES expand, sticking to the crud built in the chamber.

This is not to say steel cases won't stick, they will.

The lacquer coating is to prevent rust.

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu18.htm

Please quit perpetrating the myth.

Thank you! I commend you for providing a link to back up your statement. I agree with your post 99%. I have found it effective to shoot a couple of steel cased rounds followed by a few brass cased without cleaning the chamber. The reason is is that the brass has a chance to clean out the carbon fouling before it gets to be so bad to cause cartridges to jam. If I am just plinking without concern of accuracy I have found it effective to load 3 or so steel cased rounds followed by a brass cased round or 2 then back to steel. This has worked without fail to this date and allowed me to fire a thousand rounds per outing without having to worry about switching between steel or brass. It also has the benefit of making it easier to clean my chamber when I get home.

chicoredneck
12-10-2011, 3:09 PM
After firing lacquer coated ammo, often you may find flecks of loose lacquer in your reciver and bolt. This is usually caused by the bolt, extractor, and feed ramp scratching the lacquer coating off, not it melting away.

Don29palms
12-10-2011, 3:26 PM
My DI AR has a SS barrel and a tight chamber. I have used steel case ammo in it and it will shoot about 50-100rds before cases start sticking. If I run a chamber brush through it it's good to go again. I don't have any problems at all with brass ammo. My GPU AR has a chrome lined chromoly barrel and the chamber is not as tight. It will shoot whatever ammo I put through it all day and night without problem. the accuracy of steel case ammo is bad at best but good enough for plinking and shooting steel targets. It is definitely cheap. Even cheaper than reloads. I like the Silver Bear the best of all of the steel case ammo. If your rifle can shoot it run it!

SacTown
12-10-2011, 3:59 PM
Thanks everyone for the shared experiences. Looks like I just need to get myself some and try it out for myself. Does anyone know of site that sells either BB or SB for a decent price without having to pay an arm and leg for shipping and other fees?

donking
12-10-2011, 4:03 PM
http://palmettostatearmory.com/223-556-ammo.php
http://www.sgammo.com/catalog/rifle-ammunition/223-556mm
http://www.the-armory.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/223_ammunition.html
http://www.weaponsworld.com/ammunition.html?cat=101
http://www.wideners.com/itemview.cfm?dir=18|830|845
http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/index.php/cName/rifle-ammo-223-556

Munny$hot
12-10-2011, 4:04 PM
Brown Bear is good stuff, but the ultimate budget round get a Spikes Stainless Steel .22LR Evolution kit (@190.00) from Shadow65 here on CGN. I like the idea of shooting a Tactical using 600-800 rounds and spending 20.00 in ammo. Accuracy and bullet flight path is similar to 5.56 up to 50 yards and not a huge difference at 100 yards

SacTown
12-10-2011, 4:09 PM
http://palmettostatearmory.com/223-556-ammo.php
http://www.sgammo.com/catalog/rifle-ammunition/223-556mm
http://www.the-armory.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/223_ammunition.html
http://www.weaponsworld.com/ammunition.html?cat=101
http://www.wideners.com/itemview.cfm?dir=18|830|845
http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/index.php/cName/rifle-ammo-223-556

thanks!

h0use
12-10-2011, 5:06 PM
Lastgun show I picked up 1000 rounds or 169$

stormy_clothing
12-10-2011, 5:09 PM
My suggestion usually is that if it wont shoot cheap ammo it's not a viable option for anything more than target shooting.

My friend just bought 3 stags and all of the run flawlessly with a myriad of brands of steel case

chrisf
12-10-2011, 7:26 PM
works fine in my $500 beater ar-15 But then again everything does :)

adrenalinejunkie
12-10-2011, 7:51 PM
I bought 240 rounds of Wolf ammo for mine. Took it to the range and had one misfeed due to mag error. It shot just fine. Well, the 30 rounds that I shot that is....the range had to take it and hold in their office till I left because it's steel core....Are brown/silver bear steel core? I have to wait to shoot my wolf till I go out to the desert who knows when now haha.

Reductio
12-10-2011, 8:00 PM
I bought 240 rounds of Wolf ammo for mine. Took it to the range and had one misfeed due to mag error. It shot just fine. Well, the 30 rounds that I shot that is....the range had to take it and hold in their office till I left because it's steel core....Are brown/silver bear steel core? I have to wait to shoot my wolf till I go out to the desert who knows when now haha.

Bi-metal jacket, lead core. Socal ranges won't let anything with steel in it go downrang as it might spark a fire. Easy way to check it is with a magnet.

adrenalinejunkie
12-10-2011, 8:02 PM
Bi-metal jacket, lead core. Socal ranges won't let anything with steel in it go downrang as it might spark a fire. Easy way to check it is with a magnet.

That's what I thought alright thanks for the info. Guess i'm buying brass-cased from now on :/

Reductio
12-10-2011, 8:17 PM
That's what I thought alright thanks for the info. Guess i'm buying brass-cased from now on :/

It's not the casing that matters, its the jacket of the bullet itself. Most steel-cased ammo is magnetic though, but not necessarily so (see Hornady's training ammo.) PMC for cheap range stuff!

adrenalinejunkie
12-10-2011, 8:41 PM
It's not the casing that matters, its the jacket of the bullet itself. Most steel-cased ammo is magnetic though, but not necessarily so (see Hornady's training ammo.) PMC for cheap range stuff!

Good point. Yeah I was referring to the fact that generally speaking steel-cased is steel-cored as well. PMC isn't steel-cored? I'll be all over that. I heard that steel casings don't expand as much as brass casings do though, so more powder fouling can occur rearward of the casing. Is this true?