Originally Posted by Falstaff
Is there lead in a steel core russian bullet? What is the bullet jacket made of in a steel core bullet? I assume the only reason the commies/warsaw pact used steel was because its cheaper than brass and lead, or is there another reason?
Thanks for that informative link.
Yes there's lead in steel core Russian bullets. Most if not all of the Russian military surplus steel core ammo has a bi-metal jacket. It's exactly like you said. The reason they call it bi-metal is that the jacket is made of steel and covered with a plating or gilding as they refer to it of some other type of metal, usually copper. Most of the commercial steel case stuff we see has steel jacketed lead bullets that are coated with various things including copper. I'm not sure of all the reasons they used the steel core but cost was one. It's mild steel and not tungsten steel which is harder and if I remember correctly what is used in the SS109 bullets on M855 penetrator ammo. They're not concidered armor peircing but more like barrier defeating but they do do more damage to a target than lead only core bullets.
5.45x39 Russian 7N6 surplus for the AK74 is also steel core. Here's some cross sections of ammo. http://www.ar15.com/ammo/project/Ammo_Cross_Sections/
If you look near the bottom they have the 5.45x39 round and it gives you an idea of what the steel core looks like. I only looked through it briefly so I'm sure if they have the 7.62x54R in there but I've seen what one looks like pulled apart. The steel looks like a pellet cut off of a rod of steel stock encased in lead.