Colt Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always used brass ammo in my rifles and never had any type of problems, any of you guys use steel case ammo like wolf or Tula? And if you do what are if any problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
From what I've heard it depends on how you shoot. My understanding is that the casings have a coating on them that when the barrel gets hot it can melt and adhere to the chamber. I have read on other forums where people had a casing get stuck in the chamber and not eject. I am under the impression that if you don't do a lot of rapid firing you would be okay. Either way you should pay closer attention to cleaning your firearm just in case.

I use PMC 55gr. and I've bought 1000 rds for only $40 more so for me it's not really worth the risk or trouble of having a lodged casing ruin my day. I'm fairly new to shooting so hopefully if I'm off base someone else will chime in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
True, my local shoppe has Tula 100 rounders for $38.99. I have a surplus of brass stuff but I would like to have some splinting ammo.Thanks for your info
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Well, there's nothing in the warranty that says not too. Personally I stick with the PMC, I bought a couple thousand rounds before the hoarding started. Think I picked up a 1000 round case of 55gr for $319.00 at SG ammo back last fall.
 

·
*** ColtForum MVP ***
Joined
·
15,871 Posts
There's stories that lacquered steel cases coating will melt in the hot chamber and cause cases to stick.

First, lacquer doesn't melt. As an experiment get a fired lacquered steel case and heat it up with a torch and see if the coating melts.
Second, if there was a coating on steel ammo that would melt and cause jams, you'd think the Soviets and their allies would have discovered this after shooting billions of rounds of lacquered steel cased ammo in full-auto weapons all those years.

What can happen is the chamber in American weapons can foul due to leakage past the steel case. Steel isn't as elastic as brass and doesn't seal the chamber as well as brass. If your particular rifle does have leakage. it's the fouling that can cause extraction problems.
The reason for these problems is that the Soviets designed their weapons to work with steel cased ammo, and designed their steel cased ammo to work in their weapons.
American weapons were designed with no thought at all to the use of steel cased ammo, just brass.

For those reasons, Soviet weapons have more tapered chambers to aid feed and especially extraction of the less elastic steel cases.
This causes some loss of accuracy due to the design.
American weapons have more straight walled chambers, which work well with brass cases but not so well with steel.
It's the less elastic steel cases that don't contract as much after firing that tend to be harder to extract, and this can prematurely wear extractors.

Bottom line is, if your rifle works well with steel, you have to decide if you'll shoot enough of it to wear out the barrel.
Second, you have to decide if buying and installing a new barrel sooner is off-set by the savings of the cheaper steel ammo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think I am more amazed that a bushmaster went 10,000 rounds without any problems. That's for the info, looks like I am going to just keep buying brass for now, unless the zombie apocalypse happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
There's stories that lacquered steel cases coating will melt in the hot chamber and cause cases to stick.

First, lacquer doesn't melt. As an experiment get a fired lacquered steel case and heat it up with a torch and see if the coating melts.
Second, if there was a coating on steel ammo that would melt and cause jams, you'd think the Soviets and their allies would have discovered this after shooting billions of rounds of lacquered steel cased ammo in full-auto weapons all those years.

What can happen is the chamber in American weapons can foul due to leakage past the steel case. Steel isn't as elastic as brass and doesn't seal the chamber as well as brass. If your particular rifle does have leakage. it's the fouling that can cause extraction problems.
The reason for these problems is that the Soviets designed their weapons to work with steel cased ammo, and designed their steel cased ammo to work in their weapons.
American weapons were designed with no thought at all to the use of steel cased ammo, just brass.

For those reasons, Soviet weapons have more tapered chambers to aid feed and especially extraction of the less elastic steel cases.
This causes some loss of accuracy due to the design.
American weapons have more straight walled chambers, which work well with brass cases but not so well with steel.
It's the less elastic steel cases that don't contract as much after firing that tend to be harder to extract, and this can prematurely wear extractors.

Bottom line is, if your rifle works well with steel, you have to decide if you'll shoot enough of it to wear out the barrel.
Second, you have to decide if buying and installing a new barrel sooner is off-set by the savings of the cheaper steel ammo.
Very well said as usual.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
I put about 500 rounds of wolf through my High Standard HSA-15 with no problems. Since then I have read where the bullets used are a thin copper coat over steel and hard on barrels so I stopped using wolf or any other steel cased ammo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
852 Posts
Dfaris has it all figured out, particularly the business about Soviet weapons being designed for the tapered steel cased rounds, but not American ones.
I'm equipped to reload 5.56, but for the moment I'll score some brass-cased ammo when the price gets in the $0.45 @ round range. Hopefully the hoarding will soon taper off and prices will drift down again. As it stands, I have enough ammo to shoot some of it, and that works for me.
Moon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Shot hundreds of rounds of Wolf and TulAmmo with no problems...just keep your chamber clean using GI chamber brush and proper lube. My 6920 has 2000 rds through it with a mix of steel/brass ammo...not one malfunction encountered...my experience with steel case ammo has been positive...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
852 Posts
The other reputed issue with steel in an AR is wear on the extractor, which has a pretty hard life anyway in the carbine-length systems. Again, no personal experience with the problem, just repeating what I've read.
Moon
 

·
*** ColtForum MVP ***
Joined
·
15,871 Posts
As above, the reason for any excessive wear on the extractor is the harder extraction caused by the straighter walled steel cases and it's inability to expand and contract as well as the much more elastic brass cases.

Anytime you have a harder steel case that doesn't extract as easily as brass, you'll probably have more wear and tear on an extractor.
Again, all this comes down to whether your specific rifle works well with steel, and your cost/benefit analysis as to whether the greater wear on the barrel and possibly extractor is worth the much lower cost of the ammo.

In other words, does buying a new extractor at some point, and having to buy a new barrel sooner outweigh the savings on ammo cost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Probably more information that you'll ever want to know but still a pretty good read.

Brass vs. Steel Cased Ammo – An Epic Torture Test
Thanks for sharing that article. I guess I will continue to stick with factory fresh brass in my Colts since I do a lot of training with them (2600+ rounds in two 6920 MOEs since I got them a couple of months ago).

I am going to continue my plan with building a nice 5.45x39 ar however, and shoot the crap out of it with some Wolf ammo.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top