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View Full Version : Steel cased ammo (noob)


Blasian6
03-05-2012, 8:50 AM
I pick up my RRA LAR-15 Elite Operator on Friday so I wanted to search for ammo. I got advice from my local gun store to stay away from steel cased .223/5.56 ammo. Is it really that harmful to the rifle?

kurac
03-05-2012, 8:56 AM
Well, steel cased ammo typically comes from former communist countries. It is the cheapest ammo you can usually find and such being the case, it is not going to be as good as USA produced ammo in fact some of it is pretty bad. It can leave a lot of junk in your barrel and action and I have even seen some steel cased .223 not have a primer flash hole through the case. Getting a loose primer in you AR 15 action will cause you lots of problems.

If you were inquiring about shooting it in a SKS or AK variant I would say have at it but for an AR 15, I would advise to stick with brass cased ammo.

L4D
03-05-2012, 9:04 AM
buy it, try it. If it works you'll save some money. If not post a thread here and watch the fireworks.

Ive been using steel cased ammo for years and have not had a single problem.

shy 7th
03-05-2012, 9:07 AM
Some of the things you will read on the internet regarding steel cased ammo:

It is dirty...
It may or may not cause malfunctions...
It may or may not increase the rate of wear-and-tear/replacing-parts...
It is not loaded consistently causing inaccuracy...
It is cheap...
It may or may not destroy your gun...
It may or may not run perfectly in your gun...
You should only use steel cased ammo in russian guns...
If your AR doesn't run steel cased ammo you are less of a man...

You will read a lot of subjective posts extolling or disparaging this ammo. Some people use it. Some people don't. Some people only use it in some of their guns and don't use it in others.

My advice, buy a box or two. Try it out. If the results are acceptable for the price, then keep using it.

SR-71 BLACKBIRD
03-05-2012, 9:09 AM
You can try some steel case. I would not advise buying it in bulk at first before you have made sure your rifle likes that brand. I have never had issues with Silver Bear. I have had issues with Wolf and Tula. See picture below. Cases would get stuck in barrel. Had to use a cleaning rod to pop out the spent cases. No fun the first round when I was out shooting with out the cleaning rod (that ended the shooting day).

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

milotrain
03-05-2012, 9:15 AM
If you look around hard enough you can find decent ammo that's not steel cased for the same cost. You spent the money to get a nice RRA, don't cheap out on the ammo. Additionally some of the steel case stuff has corrosive primers and unless you love cleaning your gun I wouldn't shoot it.

Buy this stuff. Good brass, no steel core. 1k for $300
(http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.aspx?item=AP223FMJ55&name=Prvi+Partizan+PPU+.223%2f5.56+M193+55grn+FMJ+ 20rd+Box&groupid=156)
If I didn't reload it's what I'd buy.

Blasian6
03-05-2012, 9:25 AM
Thanks guys, much appreciated

NorCalK9.com
03-05-2012, 9:27 AM
Alot of people with AR's make excuses, they blame the ammo for this or for that, but simple fact is this. If your rifle cant function with any ammo chambered for your weapon it aint worth the cost of parts it was built with.
also ive never seen combloc 223/556 that is corrosive! Im sure maybe someone made some but wolf/tula is non corrosive!
Hope your AR is better than mine

wsmc27
03-05-2012, 9:54 AM
buy it, try it. If it works you'll save some money. If not post a thread here and watch the fireworks.

Ive been using steel cased ammo for years and have not had a single problem.

:iagree:

Not yet mentioned, some ranges (indoor and out) won't allow steel cased and/or steel-core.

In some instances it may be fire concern related, sometimes I think they just want to collect brass as opposed to having steel cases to weed out? :confused:

fwiw, we've run a few hundred rounds each of Tula, Brown Bear and Silver Bear and had no issues. Wouldn't hesitiate to try others, good to know if your equipment functions on a variety of ammo imo.

milotrain
03-05-2012, 9:56 AM
It does look like all the Wolf/Tula stuff is non corrosive. But for a savings of less than $100 for 1k of ammo? I'd rather keep my brass in case I ended up reloading (which I did so that was a good idea).

sd_shooter
03-05-2012, 12:10 PM
Why is it that steel cased ammo is ok in an AK? Would the 'problem' of poor sealing be present in that platform as well? And stuck cases? (Perhaps it's the actual shape of the 5.56x45 vs 7.62x39 that's the problem.)

G60
03-05-2012, 12:40 PM
Steel cased ammo will not harm your gun.

Anyone who cries "but, steel on steel!" can be ignored, steel casings are a soft steel.

The question is, will your gun cycle it.

zfields
03-05-2012, 12:53 PM
Why is it that steel cased ammo is ok in an AK? Would the 'problem' of poor sealing be present in that platform as well? And stuck cases? (Perhaps it's the actual shape of the 5.56x45 vs 7.62x39 that's the problem.)

looser chambers on AKs, With the extra carbon build up, they still dont stick.

ScottsBad
03-05-2012, 1:53 PM
Alot of people with AR's make excuses, they blame the ammo for this or for that, but simple fact is this. If your rifle cant function with any ammo chambered for your weapon it aint worth the cost of parts it was built with.


I can't agree with this statment. Anyway, if your rifle is really important to you then use what the manufacturers suggest which is brass case ammo. If the rifle is a beater or you really don't care, use steel.

I consider my rifles investments, I use brass. I want my rifles to operate perfectly.

Here is the issue with steel case ammo:
- Your rifle was built to use brass cased ammo, and brass expands and contracts at a different rate than steel. Steel ammo can cause malfunctions.

- Steel ammo is made to be CHEAP, the loads may be weak and the powder quality may be low causing your rifle to become dirty faster. Weak loads may not bring out the accuracy potential of your rifle.

- Steel cases are coated to resist corrosion and approximate the lubricity of brass. The coating can be transferred to your chamber or other parts.

- Steel is harder than brass, this implies more wear.

These may or may not be problems for you. They may or may not occur in your rifle. Steel works fine in my AKs and it works fine for many folks, I'm not here to judge. I just think you should know about the choices and their possible ramifications.

What ever you choose have fun shooting.

Mail Clerk
03-05-2012, 2:44 PM
I pick up my RRA LAR-15 Elite Operator on Friday so I wanted to search for ammo. I got advice from my local gun store to stay away from steel cased .223/5.56 ammo. Is it really that harmful to the rifle?

Blasian6,

If you gonna shoot any steel cased ammo consider Wolf as it has non-corrosive primer. Just shoot slow and you should have no jams.

Mail Clerk

NorCalK9.com
03-05-2012, 2:44 PM
Lmfao @scottsbad
Bud the coating on steel ammo does NOT transfer to your rifle.
A noob might be fooled into thinking that but not myself.
Ive seen plenty of ar's function with steel flawlessly.
Mine is just a prom queen that wont drink beer!
If a rifle cant handle different types of ammo than it aint a rifle i'd trust my life with.
Guns are more than investments for me, they are meant to have fun with and if needed save my life or my loved ones.
Thank you for your typical input fron a typical ar point of view

kurac
03-05-2012, 3:00 PM
Why is it that steel cased ammo is ok in an AK? Would the 'problem' of poor sealing be present in that platform as well? And stuck cases? (Perhaps it's the actual shape of the 5.56x45 vs 7.62x39 that's the problem.)

If someone can post some pictures of an AK or SKS extractor compared to what you will find on an AR-15, it will require no further explanation.

bohoki
03-05-2012, 3:16 PM
i used to think it had to do with the taper of the case but now my theory to jams are that the steel case does not expand enough to seal off the chamber from the dirty grungy sticky powder residue of russian "smokeless" powder every time ive had a sticky case i knock it out and it has black crud on the walls

oddly enough the steel case stuff works fine in my chrome lined one and my mini 14 i only have trouble on my er shaw 20" barrel

Rob454
03-05-2012, 4:51 PM
Alot of people with AR's make excuses, they blame the ammo for this or for that, but simple fact is this. If your rifle cant function with any ammo chambered for your weapon it aint worth the cost of parts it was built with.
also ive never seen combloc 223/556 that is corrosive! Im sure maybe someone made some but wolf/tula is non corrosive!
Hope your AR is better than mine

I'm from this school of thinking. My guns either take whatever I feed them or I sell them if i cannot get them to function properly with any ammo. I go as far as testing them by loading different brands and case materials in the same mag

milotrain
03-05-2012, 5:01 PM
You are assuming a great deal from ammo manufacturers. Also just because it will cycle any ammo doesn't mean it's going to shoot it with anywhere near useful accuracy so the need to have it cycle everything seems useless. I can see you making the same statement where you expect it to cycle and hold a decent group, but we all know that's a pie in the sky desire so what makes simply cycling that great?

Quinc
03-05-2012, 5:06 PM
You are assuming a great deal from ammo manufacturers. Also just because it will cycle any ammo doesn't mean it's going to shoot it with anywhere near useful accuracy so the need to have it cycle everything seems useless. I can see you making the same statement where you expect it to cycle and hold a decent group, but we all know that's a pie in the sky desire so what makes simply cycling that great?


I shoot MFS zinc cased rounds through my 26" AR15 and have no problem hitting 4" clays at 500yards. The only time I have had problems with steel cased ammo is when bump firing, it tends to rip the rims off. In both my AR's and my AK's.

Cabelas has Herters onsale right now for 4.49 per 20. But some and try it.

NorCalK9.com
03-05-2012, 5:06 PM
@milotrain
My saiga 556 does on avg 2nahalf in groups with steel case ammo, it cycles it perfect, and it doesnt fail to eject like my ar. A group means nothing if your rifle dont shoot!

vintagearms
03-05-2012, 5:12 PM
I can't agree with this statment. Anyway, if your rifle is really important to you then use what the manufacturers suggest which is brass case ammo. If the rifle is a beater or you really don't care, use steel.

I consider my rifles investments, I use brass. I want my rifles to operate perfectly.

Here is the issue with steel case ammo:


- Steel ammo is made to be CHEAP, the loads may be weak and the powder quality may be low causing your rifle to become dirty faster. Weak loads may not bring out the accuracy potential of your rifle.

- Steel cases are coated to resist corrosion and approximate the lubricity of brass. The coating can be transferred to your chamber or other parts.

- Steel is harder than brass, this implies more wear.

.

I guess Hornady TAP ammo is cheap then because it uses steel cases. :facepalm:

The coating cannot be transferred to your chamber; this extra blowback is caused because the steel case does not expand like brass.

Sticking occurs when using a combination of brass and steel without properly cleaning the chamber.

There is no more wear using steel cases or brass.

milotrain
03-05-2012, 5:16 PM
2.5" groups at what range? I dunno I guess I just expect a pretty high degree of accuracy and I don't care about picking up ammo off the street for a SHTF scenario, but then I don't believe I'm going to be engaging mall zombies. I want 2.5" at 600 yards and my reloads will do it, and they cycle every time.

Blasian6
03-05-2012, 8:53 PM
A lot of different opinions and I appreciate them all!

MrPlink
03-05-2012, 9:00 PM
all of my centerfires run steel no problem.
This includes the obvious, as my AK and SCAR will eat anything, and since its the popular gun my LMT AR has no issues with it. I dont mean just the hornaday stuff either, wolf tula bear uly whatever. Despite that I usually buy 193 or PMC simply because it is more consistent and groups better. But if $$ is tight, or I know I have rookies coming out to the range to eat up all my ammo, well steel case it is!

On a related note, my SCAR using crappy wolf can get under half inch groups at 50yds! It all goes to crap at a 100 though, but still Im impressed it shoots that tight at any range.

Gnome
03-05-2012, 9:29 PM
Steel. Brass. Adamantium. My Mini 14 eats them all! FTW!:D




Sorry guys. I couldn't resist... :shrug:

SinisterBud
03-05-2012, 10:41 PM
This should help http://youtu.be/P5ZB3UfG960

chad68
03-05-2012, 10:50 PM
I rolled the dice a couple days ago and ordered 500 rounds of that Herters stuff in .308 from Cabelas for my new bolt gun.

I think it's cheap enough if it don't like it, I won't be out too much either. I'm hoping even though it's cheap it will work good in a bolt action. I'm really curious to see what kind of groups it can manage.

Richard Erichsen
03-05-2012, 10:52 PM
I pick up my RRA LAR-15 Elite Operator on Friday so I wanted to search for ammo. I got advice from my local gun store to stay away from steel cased .223/5.56 ammo. Is it really that harmful to the rifle?

Steel cases "can" get stuck in the chamber, but why they get stuck there is important to deciding if you want to try steel cased ammo or not. It's not the lacquer or polymer coating that causes it, it's the nature of steel and how clean the propellent used burns.

Steel is more rigid than brass and will not expand as much when the case is under the intense pressure after the propellent has been ignited. This property of expansion is called "ablation." When a case expands, it seals the chamber throat and prevents burning propellent from circulating back around the case and chamber walls, which can lead to a buildup of deposits that can lead to case sticking. Ironically the same property that sometimes makes steel ammo problematic is what makes it work so well in fluted chambers like the SVT-40 and the delayed roller delayed blowback weapons from the likes of CETME, HK and FAMAS.

Not all steel cased ammo is equal. Some have cleaner burning propellents than others. The cleaner burning the propellent, the less likely you are to have issues. Polymer coated or lacquer coated, or even nickel plated or copper washed doesn't matter.

When the cases stick, they fail to extract properly and cause a jam. Torn case rims from the extractor yanking the case out while the case wants to stay put being the more severe "stickers". Thoroughly cleaning the chamber causes the problem to go away.

Smaller boxes of 20 rounds can be tried and there are MANY to choose from. Hornady makes steel cased ammo, but use quality double base propellents and non-corrosive US primer compounds with a US made projectile in a Russian made case assembled in Russian factories.

R

famas619
03-05-2012, 11:31 PM
I use both steel, and brass. I have used steel for 3 years and never had an issue.

schneiderguy
03-06-2012, 12:09 AM
I shoot MFS zinc cased rounds through my 26" AR15 and have no problem hitting 4" clays at 500yards. The only time I have had problems with steel cased ammo is when bump firing, it tends to rip the rims off. In both my AR's and my AK's.

Cabelas has Herters onsale right now for 4.49 per 20. But some and try it.

You shoot sub MOA with ****ty steel cased ammo?

LikeAllGuns
03-06-2012, 12:24 AM
Lmfao @scottsbad
Bud the coating on steel ammo does NOT transfer to your rifle.
A noob might be fooled into thinking that but not myself.
Ive seen plenty of ar's function with steel flawlessly.
Mine is just a prom queen that wont drink beer!
If a rifle cant handle different types of ammo than it aint a rifle i'd trust my life with.
Guns are more than investments for me, they are meant to have fun with and if needed save my life or my loved ones.
Thank you for your typical input fron a typical ar point of view

Winner winner chicken dinner.... I agree !!!!!!!!

mostly with ''If a rifle cant handle different types of ammo than it aint a rifle i'd trust my life with''

milotrain
03-06-2012, 8:20 AM
I guess I have a lot of guns that I don't need to trust my life too then. Dude, you have to make sure that your sproks are freshly sharpened. How can you trust your life to a dull spork? MY FAMILY NEEDS PROTECTING!!!!!!! ;)

SR-71 BLACKBIRD
03-06-2012, 8:36 AM
Blasian6: :p

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff320/planetstation/look-what-you-have-done-cat-cats-kitten-kitty-pic-picture-funny-lolcat-cute-fun-lovely-photo-images.jpg

peter95
03-06-2012, 8:52 AM
i run them every once in a while if i found a super deal on it. But usually I run the better brands.

Honestly, if your ar takes it, use them, but I would alternate just so that your ar runs some nice rounds too.

haters will always hate.

h0use
03-06-2012, 8:56 AM
i have been shooting steel ammo threw all my guns with out any problems. my lwrc has over 8k rounds of wolf with no problems. just keep your guns cleaned and oiled.

SURVIVOR619
03-06-2012, 12:04 PM
:iagree:

Not yet mentioned, some ranges (indoor and out) won't allow steel cased and/or steel-core.

In some instances it may be fire concern related, sometimes I think they just want to collect brass as opposed to having steel cases to weed out? :confused:

fwiw, we've run a few hundred rounds each of Tula, Brown Bear and Silver Bear and had no issues. Wouldn't hesitiate to try others, good to know if your equipment functions on a variety of ammo imo.

I'm not aware of any ranges out her in S.D. that allow it - likely because they can't collect and reload and make some dough. Which is perfectly their right as a business.

I intentionally bought 1K WPA just to keep for SHTF since I can't shoot it at the ranges where 95% of the time I shoot. It works well in my AK.. Haven't tried in my AR yet.

Enjoy your new rifle brother!

SacTown
03-06-2012, 12:59 PM
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=509178

The War Wagon
03-06-2012, 1:17 PM
RRA's have been known to come with chambers that were NOT true 5.56 spec. Steel ammo is even LESS forgiving than brass, so you might want that checked, before you give your 'smitty a lot MORE business than just a chamber reaming! http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/images/icons/icon11.gif

stix213
03-06-2012, 1:57 PM
Brown Bear .223 55gr works flawless in my RRA upper..... Only ammo I shoot out of it.

Quinc
03-06-2012, 3:38 PM
You shoot sub MOA with ****ty steel cased ammo?

Like clubbing baby seals.

ThemBastards
03-06-2012, 4:59 PM
I pick up my RRA LAR-15 Elite Operator on Friday so I wanted to search for ammo. I got advice from my local gun store to stay away from steel cased .223/5.56 ammo. Is it really that harmful to the rifle?

Try it. I ran lacquer and polymer coated x39 in my AR all day the first time I took her(not positive she is a she yet) out and not one hiccup at all... If you gun likes it then maybe clean it more than you would if you only used brass(I clean after ecvery trip anyway) ... do it