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Brass vs. Steel Cased Ammo – An Epic Torture Test
#1
this is actually a very extensive article.

link-
http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/brass-vs...ased-ammo/

a brief snippet:

Quote:There are two major types of centerfire rifle cartridges available on the market today:

Those which are loaded with steel, and
Those which are loaded with brass

This seemingly simple variation has caused a never ending stream of argument, discussion, speculation, and questioning from new and seasoned shooters alike. Complicating the conversation are other variables that typically get lumped into the argument without proper segmentation, such as:

The different coating options available on the steel-cased ammo (lacquer or polymer)
The different projectile loadings available (copper jacketed lead, the bi-metal coating that most Russian manufacturers use, etc)
The different propellant (gunpowder) burn rates

Our team decided to try something ambitious and daunting: to provide the best resource and data available to answer these questions once and for all through objective experimentation and observation.

We realize this is a lofty and borderline arrogant goal. We’ve done our best. Please keep reading to see if you agree.
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#2
I'm not even going to read the article. I hear people bitch all the time about how their $800 rifle is too delicate to shoot steel case ammo. How it beats up the extractor and chamber. Then I hear guys with full auto NFA M16s who shoot nothing but steel cased ammo. I think I'll trust the opinion of the guy with the $25k machine gun. If the steel cased ammo was a problem, they wouldn't use it.
Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
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#3
Warpt762x39;64905 Wrote:I'm not even going to read the article. I hear people bitch all the time about how their $800 rifle is too delicate to shoot steel case ammo. How it beats up the extractor and chamber. Then I hear guys with full auto NFA M16s who shoot nothing but steel cased ammo. I think I'll trust the opinion of the guy with the $25k machine gun. If the steel cased ammo was a problem, they wouldn't use it.

That's absurd on it's face. There are manufacturers that will tell you that you void your warranty if you shoot steel cased ammo. There are numerous instances of certain brands that have kaboom problems with steel cased ammo. Just because someone with NFA is able to shoot something does not mean that someone with a generic AR can shoot the same thing. There is Egyptian 9mm that is available that works exceedingly well in NFA subguns but causes a major kaboom in handguns, and that isn't even steel cased. That is only one of many other ammo situations that can be named.
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USAF (1976 -1986) NRA, GOA Anim_sniper2
"The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living." Dan Cofall
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#4
billamj;64912 Wrote:
Warpt762x39;64905 Wrote:I'm not even going to read the article. I hear people bitch all the time about how their $800 rifle is too delicate to shoot steel case ammo. How it beats up the extractor and chamber. Then I hear guys with full auto NFA M16s who shoot nothing but steel cased ammo. I think I'll trust the opinion of the guy with the $25k machine gun. If the steel cased ammo was a problem, they wouldn't use it.

That's absurd on it's face. There are manufacturers that will tell you that you void your warranty if you shoot steel cased ammo. There are numerous instances of certain brands that have kaboom problems with steel cased ammo. Just because someone with NFA is able to shoot something does not mean that someone with a generic AR can shoot the same thing. There is Egyptian 9mm that is available that works exceedingly well in NFA subguns but causes a major kaboom in handguns, and that isn't even steel cased. That is only one of many other ammo situations that can be named.

The subgun ammo problem is because the ammo was loaded to higher pressure. Same thing with Czech surplus 7.62x25mm ammo. It's fine for subguns but can cause major problems for your Tokarev. The CZ52 can fire it because it was designed to. Shooting hot subgun ammo in a pistol is completely different than shooting steel cased ammo in a semi auto or full auto rifle. If a full auto can handle it then the semi auto version of that rifle can handle it. Most of the rumors about steel cased ammo came from the lacquer coating on the case. Wolf, the most common steel case brand, hasn't used lacquer in over ten years. I never got the whole gummed up chamber thing with the lacquer cases anyway. People would bitch that the gun would gum up after a few rounds because the gun got hot and melted the coating on the case. Hell I've fired thousands of rounds of old Wolf steel case ammo and never had a problem and I was shooting rapid fire in the middle of 116 degree summers. Never had a single jam and I rarely cleaned that rifle.
Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
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#5
billamj;64912 Wrote:There are manufacturers that will tell you that you void your warranty if you shoot steel cased ammo. There are numerous instances of certain brands that have kaboom problems with steel cased ammo.

Do you have any links to what brands and the kabooms? I'm honestly curious becuase I feed my AR mainly steel (with the occasional brass digestif) and I'd like to know which brands to avoid.

WPA seems to shoot very well for me, much better than PMC bronze or Remington UMC, which was a surprise.
stimrob, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#6
I shoot some brass but mostly Herter's from Cabela's. Never had any issues with steel casings! The AK really loves them!
___________________________________________________________
A Reading from the Book of Armaments, Chapter 4, Verses 16 to 20:

Then did he raise on high the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, saying, "Bless this, O Lord, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy." And the people did rejoice and did feast upon the lambs and toads and tree-sloths and fruit-bats and orangutans and breakfast cereals ... Now did the Lord say, "First thou pullest the Holy Pin. Then thou must count to three. Three shall be the number of the counting and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither shalt thou count two, excepting that thou then proceedeth to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the number of the counting, be reached, then lobbest thou the Holy Hand Grenade in the direction of thine foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it."
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#7
stimrob;64939 Wrote:
billamj;64912 Wrote:There are manufacturers that will tell you that you void your warranty if you shoot steel cased ammo. There are numerous instances of certain brands that have kaboom problems with steel cased ammo.

Do you have any links to what brands and the kabooms? I'm honestly curious becuase I feed my AR mainly steel (with the occasional brass digestif) and I'd like to know which brands to avoid.

WPA seems to shoot very well for me, much better than PMC bronze or Remington UMC, which was a surprise.

I don't have them on this computer, I'll have to check at home. Bushy, when they were Bushy, stated blatantly within their warranty that using steel cased ammo would void the warranty. Olympic specifies the use of brass on their FAQ and their warranty does not cover damage from "Damage or malfunction resulting from use of other than factory SAAMI specification brass cased new production ammunition.
Damage or malfunction resulting from the use of any imported, hand loaded, reloaded or factory re-manufactured ammunition." Stag Arms uses the phrase "Use of “handloaded”, reloaded or non-standard Bushmaster Firearms, International will not be responsible for the results of careless handling, unauthorized adjustments, defective, low quality, reloaded, or improper ammunition, corrosion, neglect, ordinary wear and tear, or unreasonable use. may cause your firearm to fail to fire, jam, or to dangerously increase pressure and cause barrel to burst when firing." In the past I've seen that used to cover the same thing as the Oly stuff does.

My suggestion would be to check with the manufacturer of your particular firearm.

ETA: The new Bushy warranty includes: "Bushmaster Firearms, International will not be responsible for the results of careless handling, unauthorized adjustments, defective, low quality, reloaded, or improper ammunition, corrosion, neglect, ordinary wear and tear, or unreasonable use." Of course they get to decide what is or is not defective and/or low quality.
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USAF (1976 -1986) NRA, GOA Anim_sniper2
"The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living." Dan Cofall
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#8
Warpt762x39;64905 Wrote:I'm not even going to read the article. I hear people bitch all the time about how their $800 rifle is too delicate to shoot steel case ammo. How it beats up the extractor and chamber. Then I hear guys with full auto NFA M16s who shoot nothing but steel cased ammo. I think I'll trust the opinion of the guy with the $25k machine gun. If the steel cased ammo was a problem, they wouldn't use it.

It isn't that mine is to delicate. But I only reload brass.
This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins. -Ben Franklin
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#9
Connal;64950 Wrote:
Warpt762x39;64905 Wrote:I'm not even going to read the article. I hear people bitch all the time about how their $800 rifle is too delicate to shoot steel case ammo. How it beats up the extractor and chamber. Then I hear guys with full auto NFA M16s who shoot nothing but steel cased ammo. I think I'll trust the opinion of the guy with the $25k machine gun. If the steel cased ammo was a problem, they wouldn't use it.

It isn't that mine is to delicate. But I only reload brass.

Well reloading steel is possible, it's exceedingly difficult.

Manufacturers put stuff like that in their warranties to cover their ass. Call up S&W and ask if you can shoot .38 Special in their .357 Magnum. They'll tell you to only use what is marked on the gun. Militaries have used steel cases for decades. The US military used steel cased ammo during WW2. I believe it was mostly .45ACP but .30 Carbine came steel cased too. Therebis nothing different between brass cased and steel cased ammo except the case material and the steel used in very soft. Hell Hornady loads some of their ammo in steel cases. Steel Match and their 7.62x39mm and 5.45x39mm ammo are all loaded in imported steel cases.
Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
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#10
Warpt762x39;64981 Wrote:Well reloading steel is possible, it's exceedingly difficult.

haven't noticed much of a difference between the two on the press.
the fabrication doesn't stop in the shop, that's what the field guys are for.
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