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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I know we all like to stock up on ammo best we can, also stay in practice with our weapons. As I am always looking for the best deals on ammo, I keep running across these Russian polymer-coated steel case ammo. Of course in my Mosin-Nagant, I buy this without second thought, I figured it was what it was made to use, but in my other guns I am honestly, quite leary. Now this ammo is non-corrosive, but still I have a hang up with steel case ammo even if it is polymer coated.
I am not going to claim I have the best weapons money can buy, but I think I have good quality weapons, and I don't want to do damage to them trying to save a few dollars on ammo. Is this steel case ammo ok to fire in these weapons?, or would a person be causing undue wear on weapons designed to handle brass-cased ammo? Anyone have an opinion, I'd like to read it, thanks. -dave-
 

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This has been debated for years. I run the stuff without thought and haven't had an issue. The argument against is this, brass expands and steel does not. The brass case expands inside the chamber, the steel case does not and so there is a lot of blow back. This grit and mess gets between the case and chamber wall and acts like sand paper. Also you will notice a lot of lacquer coating all the parts and this over time can cause a malfunction.
 

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Never had an issue with this kind of ammo. You should be good.
 
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I have shot a couple hundred rounds of this stuff through one of my rifles, I of course thoroughly cleaned it after each shooting. I never had an issue with it, but I have heard of other people having malfunctions with it. I have a few friends/family members that have also shot a fair amount of this ammo, and none of them have had any issue.
 

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For the most part no. The bad stuff has been off the market for years
 
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Really. Four years ago I'd bought some Russian in 223 and tried to use it in my AR180 to qualify. Now you have to remember we police tend to rip thru a goodly number ofrounds at a pretty fast clip. One magazine and then the polymer seized in the chamber and it took several blows on the charging handle to dislodge the spent case. Next round was the same. In our pistols, they work fine, but in a rifle, never again for me. My life is way to precious.
 

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I use Poly coated Wolf ammo in my Yugo AK 47 and I'll use Russian milsurp whenever I get around to buying a Mosin M-44. I only use boxer primed reloadable brass cased stuff in my Bushmaster. If I was an avid target shooter I'm sure I'd burn the cheapest stuff I could find through it and replace parts as they broke, wore out etc. That's pretty much what I store too. I haven't seen much Russian .223 in the stores anyway.
 

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Some of the Wolf 5.56 ammo requires the you heavier buffer springs often called the wolf spring. Many already have it and don't know it . That is why one has an issue and another does not. It seems to be a lesser issue now than a few years back.
The Ar180 if memory serves me right was chambered for .223. Most steel case out there is 5.56. I have never seen steel case .223 in the market.
That is one of the issues you can have firing 5.56 in a weapon that was truly chambered for 223.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I would like to thank everyone who answered my post, and to Rickky for posting the link. A lot of pro's and con's to be considered, and I'll probably never shoot near the number of rounds in the test, but the thought of doing more damage to my weapon by going with cheaper steel rounds is hard for me to get past. Truthfully, I am not using an automatic rifle, but rather a bolt action rifle with a 4-16 scope, more (least in my mind) a hunting or sniper rifle. It's a Weatherby Vanguard series 2 in .308, not a top of a line rifle, but Weatherby prides itself in sub MOA shooting rifles, and the one I have seems to hold true to that statement. I'd like to keep it that way, I am leaning towards staying will brass ammo. Thanks again for taking time to respond. -dave-
 

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You may find this interesting. They used the 5.45 because it is a well known very dirty round. Steel case. This was not a direct test of steel case but was used.
It was to show how a gas piston does not need a lot of lube and how well they stand up to cheap ammo. It does however prove a point about steel case in this platform. 4500 rounds no lube added before a FTF and then it kept going.
All this darn gun talk I'm going shopping.

 

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Also, even though the luckygunner test is a great example - they do draw one possibly erroneous conclusion. The barrel wearout is from the bullets being copper washed steel plated - not copper plated like most bullets. You can find hornaday training rounds that are steel cased, they will cost more than wolf but are a great bargain, that will not run as dirty or cause barrel wear out since they use a real copper jacket on their bullets.

I have primarily used steel cased ammo for training in the past few years, but now that I'm into reloading when I'm out of my current supply I don't think I'll ever buy more.
 

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Also, even though the luckygunner test is a great example - they do draw one possibly erroneous conclusion. The barrel wearout is from the bullets being copper washed steel plated - not copper plated like most bullets. You can find hornaday training rounds that are steel cased, they will cost more than wolf but are a great bargain, that will not run as dirty or cause barrel wear out since they use a real copper jacket on their bullets.

I have primarily used steel cased ammo for training in the past few years, but now that I'm into reloading when I'm out of my current supply I don't think I'll ever buy more.
They were probably talking about the bullet not the case, Hornaday used some cheap casings from Russia but their bullet was copper jacketed. Some of Wolf ammo the bullet itself has a steel jacket instead of copper and is just copper plated.
 

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My solution is to run steel cased ammo through guns that were designed with steel cased ammo in mind and brass cased ammo through guns that were designed with brass cased ammo in mind.

Yes I have interchanged steel and brass, though I tend not to mix them within a caliber. I've only had one issue with steel cased ammo and that was with one mini 30 that absolutely becomes a jamming single shot with any/all steel cased ammo.

The problem appeared to involve port pressure and primer thickness. I ditched the steel cased CPI spec ammo and switch over to brass cased Sammi spec ammo and it shot like it was supposed to shoot. Accurately and with a high degree of reliability. YMMV
 

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My thoughts on the steel cased stuff:

Read your owners manuals or call the manufacturers to see if it's ok in their guns before you use it. One manufacturer (Ruger) in particular says not to use it. Rumors have been floating around the internet for a couple years about the steel cased Berdan primed ammo causing broken firing pins in the Mini-30. The theory behind the rumors seems solid to me so I wouldn't use it if I owned a Mini-30. Otherwise if the manufacturer says it's ok then go ahead and run it but I'd plan on being a little more diligent in my cleanings.

-Infidel
 

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I know our gun range won't allow steel to be used as it damages the wall. Not sure where you practice as this may not be an issue, but that is the rules at our indoor pistol and rifle range.
 

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I know our gun range won't allow steel to be used as it damages the wall. Not sure where you practice as this may not be an issue, but that is the rules at our indoor pistol and rifle range.
Are you referring to steel jacketed bullets, our outdoor range doesn't allow the use of steel jacketed bullets during the summer months because of the increased likelihood of starting a range fire (flint and steel). Which has happened on two occasions that I know of. One minor fire and one more serious fire.
 

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Are you referring to steel jacketed bullets, our outdoor range doesn't allow the use of steel jacketed bullets during the summer months because of the increased likelihood of starting a range fire (flint and steel). Which has happened on two occasions that I know of. One minor fire and one more serious fire.
he may mean steel cased - but it MOST likely doesn't have to do with the reason he was given - it is most likely because the range is too lazy to pull the steel cases out of the brass when they sell it. (they never heard of a magnet...?) There are several ranges near me that have the same stupid rule... But I pick up my brass so they can ****
 

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I prefer the silver bear zinc plated cases, but you have to keep them dry and not expose them to much humidity because the zinc will corrode fairly quickly.
 

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he may mean steel cased - but it MOST likely doesn't have to do with the reason he was given - it is most likely because the range is too lazy to pull the steel cases out of the brass when they sell it. (they never heard of a magnet...?) There are several ranges near me that have the same stupid rule... But I pick up my brass so they can ****
You nailed it.
 
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