|"The deals you miss don’t hurt you”-B.D. Raney Sr.|
I don’t buy steel cased ammo as a rule, but I usually try some steel in a new rifle. We are talking AR style rifles here.
The main trouble I have with steel case is stuck cases causing a FTExtract.
One of my tests consists of running a full mag to heat things up, then loading the next case and letting it sit and cool.
If, after cooling down, I can extract the round with the charging handle, I move on to other tests.
But the stuck case, IME, is the big offender.
Any fixes for this?
A friend of the son left me a jammed up Sig 320 to look at. I was able to free the spent steel case, he left ammo too.
First off, I don’t think he ever field stripped & lube the gun, I started with that.
I then noticed the steel cases were bone dry, had a feel like fine sandpaper. Those cases with a rather dry gun/chamber was a bad combination.
These were a type of Winchester steel I believe, no ‘lacquer’ type coating.
I took most of the ammo & lightly lubed the cases, gun oil & a cloth. With this they were much more to my liking, slid better.
One may not want to do that, or say one shouldn’t have to do that with ammo? While that could be true, it solved this problem 100%. A properly lubed gun helped to, in this instance.
Don’t know all the particulars, but sometimes there are ways to make things work.
There is also the phenomenon of leaving a lacquered case in a hot chamber that can potentially cause problems. Of course conditions vary, ammo maker, case finish, & temp of chamber, wife’s tale for some.
agree -- so many issues potentially at play it may be tough to find out for 100% sure.
the main thing is understanding fundamentally what happens inside the chamber that is DIFFERENT when shooting brass vs steel. mainly -- brass expands steel does not.
for this reason -- i would only ever use steel for training / fun shooting. anything that might even remotely require ammunition 'for real' gets quality brass case.
good summary here despite all the click ads:
Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
|Little ray |
I shot tens of thousands of rounds of steel ammo in an AR as a three gun shooter when I was active in that game for a period of years. It ran every bit as reliably as brass ammo in my two guns. (One was a Bushmaster, and the other was a homebuilt on a no-name upper.) I saw dozens of other shooters, and didn't see any real difference between steel and brass cases.
This included lacquered ammo and the other coatings used on commie ammo. They were all the same - very reliable - no different from brass that I could tell.
I was also a course designer and range master, so I closely watched a lot of other shooters. The one thing that most often makes an AR less reliable is inadequate lubrication. Slick those things up. I'd rather see oil dripping out of them than a too dry AR. Keep them adequately lubricated, and that is wetter than most people keep them, especially if you are shooting 30, 40, or 50 rounds quickly and heating them up. After lubrication, the next most common fault is bad magazines, but that causes different failures and you can tell when it is the mag.
Theories about lacquer and steel not expanding much are fine (although it also my understanding the commie steel ammo is not generally lacquered any more, anyway), but my actual, fairly extensive, experience is that it is lubrication most of the time and not steel cases.
The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
|Gracie Allen is my |
FWIW, ComBloc cases are generally switching over from lacquer to a sort of polymer coating. I tend to shoot brass in ARs myself, but experience with bolt action rifles suggests to me that the lacquer actually has a bit more lubricity than the polymer.
AKs will chow down on anything but they tend to be heavily- if not over-gassed, they have chromed chambers (which not all ARs do), and they tend to have larger extractors so that the force of the BCG coming back is applied to more of the rim's surface during extraction.
IOWs, I wouldn't doubt that its worthwhile to try more lubrication, but it's possible that there's no be a quick or efficient fix for the problem. I do know that DPMS CS was at one time quite specific about not using steel cases in their 7.62x39 ARs although others have reported good results with steel cases in similarly-chambered Armalite ARs.
They both expand. Brass being more "elastic", contracts back to somewhat close to it's original size. Steel does not.
|E tan e epi tas|
Ditto squared the above.
You can see this in a revolver right quick. A steel case will expand when fired and possibly be a bear to eject from a revolver vs. brass you can see that the steel forms and stays that way where the brass is far more malleable.
Some guns just don’t shoot steel. Tight chamber etc. lube helps a bit for short while but some guns don’t shoot steel well.
Most western guns are designed around a brass cased round.
"Guns are tools. The only weapon ever created was man."
|fugitive from reality|
The above article is poorly written and contains multiple assumptions and outright mistakes. The author is apparently trying to see the issue from all sides, and in doing so assumes too much. He also tries to explain the operating systems of various rifles in an attempt, (I assume), to sound much more expert than he really is. In doing so all he actually does is reveal his ignorance on the subject.
The issue of steel cased ammo in an AR-15 has been around for over 30 years. Pretty much every assumption made as to why malfunctions happen has been proven wrong, and the only place I've ever heard of the lacquered coating actually causing problems is at an event like Knob Creek where weapons are fired for extended periods in full auto, and heat related failures are more common.
My personal experience in using zoo brand (Wolf, Brown\Silver Bear, Cheetah), as well as Tula and Red Army ammunition is if the gun was correctly built you won't have any problems. I've used thousands of rounds of 7.62x39\223\9mm\45 ACP steel cased cartridges with no FTF\FTE issues what so ever. I've shot some high round count long hours at training events where everyone else was shooting steel and haven't seen any issues that weren't firearm or magazine related.
To the OP it sounds like your chamber is a bit on the tight side, or has a burr or other imperfection. Or it could be tolerance stacking. Can you be more specific in how many rounds of what kind of cased ammo are you using to perform your tests? There are a few of well documented conditions that you may be running into, but without more info it's hard to offer any advice.
Edited for spelling.This message has been edited. Last edited by: SgtGold,
'I'm pretty fly for a white guy'.
|Frangas non Flectes|
A few years back, I put about fifteen hundred rounds of Wolf through an AR without cleaning just to see how long it would take to have any kind of failure. Had my first and only stuck case right around a thousand rounds. Pounded it out with a range rod and squirted some them remoil in the bolt carrier and chamber and kept going without any further problems.
Not saying it’s a smart thing to do, or recommending such a test, but I was curious and wanted to see. I won’t speculate on the reasons why or why not, just reflecting my experience here. Lube was the answer to the problem, and it didn’t take a whole lot.
"It's good for you, because it's got chia seeds and mayonnaise!"
more torture test info here. very detailed / thorough.
Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
This is a bit counter intuitive, since brass is much softer and more easily workable than steel. Steel cases have thinner walls due to the increased tensile strength which is why the .277 Fury uses a hybrid case with a steel head - stronger, thinner, can can be filled with more powder.
Depending on case wall thickness brass should more easily expand to seal the chamber. But since it is softer perhaps it won't grip the chamber as much and will more easily deform during extraction if there is a burr or high spot in the chamber. Steel cases are more likely to grip an imperfection and not easily deform around it during extraction.
That said, I use steel cases in Commie-designed guns, and brass cases on NATO-designed guns. That Winchester Steel Case is fine in my Scorpion even though Czech Republic isn't Commie anymore. I would wince putting that stuff through, say, a P210. On a chrome lined AR I wouldn't mind using steel case. I think the issue to watch is the extractor since it is the weak link on all AR's and steel cases may cause more wear than brass.
The only steel case ammo I shoot in anything except an AK is Silver Bear … ive never been interested enough to find out what the coating is but I’ve never had a problem with it & after showing it to my SOT it’s what he uses it for plinking/testing fodder … before this latest ammo shortage I payed $149/500 and bought 6 cases, so between that & my reloading I hope to last until prices come back down.
If you really want something you'll find a way ...
... if you don't you'll find an excuse.
I'm really not a "kid" anymore ... but I haven't grown up yet either
Also consider chamber differences. Just because a round chambers does not mean the barrel has been correctly manufactured and every tolerance checked, especially if you're talking a cheaper barrel where QA/QC processes are the first thing removed to save cost.
If you have one barrel that doesn't like steel I would check it with a few gauges, but getting those gauges will likely cost about as much as a new barrel, so it's not something a hobbyist generally looks at.
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