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Steel cased .223 through my AR?
#1
If I run 1000 rounds of steel cased ammo through my Bushmaster xm15-e2s, is it going to seriously damage my rifle or no? Assume I'll be cleaning my rifle after every 200 rounds.
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#2
Steel definitely is dirtier and AR's have much tighter tolerances than AK's. So obviously cleaning more frequently is good preventative maintenance. My understanding is casings / rounds can get stuck if you let it get too hot from shooting and then cool without clearing the weapon, so keep that in mind. I think its because the if the coating heats up a lot and then is allowed to cool it can act like glue and jam up the action. People are scared to run steel cased ammo in AR's for good reason, but if you take the proper measures you can use it and be fine. It wouldn't be my first choice but if you can put your hands on it for a good price I wouldn't hesitate to use steel for some slow range shooting.
LostCyborg, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Jun 2013.

You wouldn't be able to run as many people over with that car if it didn't drive as far. It should only have a 10 gallon fuel tank.
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#3
LostCyborg;121723 Wrote:Steel definitely is dirtier and AR's have much tighter tolerances than AK's. So obviously cleaning more frequently is good preventative maintenance. My understanding is casings / rounds can get stuck if you let it get too hot from shooting and then cool without clearing the weapon, so keep that in mind. I think its because the if the coating heats up a lot and then is allowed to cool it can act like glue and jam up the action. People are scared to run steel cased ammo in AR's for good reason, but if you take the proper measures you can use it and be fine. It wouldn't be my first choice but if you can put your hands on it for a good price I wouldn't hesitate to use steel for some slow range shooting.

Thank you! This will be for plinking and range use only, not for competition shooting or "the revolution" Ninja
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#4
Stuck casings can be attributed to lacquer coated steel casings and not polymer coated casings. As far as I know the lacquer coated casings are becoming a thing of the past. Lacquer coated casings are typically green and the polymer casings are gray as far as I've experienced.

Only thing I would be concerned about is prematurely wearing out extractors mainly at 1000 rounds. They are easily changed though. Never had an issue running steel cased in my AR's. Keep 'em clean too.
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#5
Doesn't hurt to take a dowel to the range with you just in case you get a stuck round. I speak from experience.
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#6
I started getting stuck cases (non-lacquer btw) at roughly 1,000 rds.

That said, I never cleaned it aside from the bore.
Had I cleaned the chamber I don't think I'd have had an issue.

Will I continue to shoot steel? Sure.
Do I trust it for more than range shooting now? Nope. At least not with steel.
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#7
Steel cases are softer than extractors, if they wear out the extractor it was junk to start with. keep your chamber clean and youll be good to go(carbon builds faster in chamber with steel case) take a rod to knock out stuck cases(this is a indicator its time to break out chamber brush and clp too). You should be able to go way past 200 rds between cleanings. when it was cheap 6-8 years ago we'd tear through a few cases in n afternoon with a few malfs but keep it lubed and chamber relatively clean and youll be fine. i just tore through 300/.223 & 500/7.62x39 saturday and have yet to clean either.
bumpo, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Aug 2013.
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#8
I've shoot lots of Hearter's steel case .23 through my AR's and haven't had any issues. As mentioned above, keep it clean and well lubed and you shouldn't have any issues! *coughweaponshieldcoughcough*
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#9
RocketFoot;121769 Wrote:I've shoot lots of Hearter's steel case .23 through my AR's and haven't had any issues. As mentioned above, keep it clean and well lubed and you shouldn't have any issues! *coughweaponshieldcoughcough*

That's what I was considering ordering a case of to shoot at the range. I use Powder Blaster in my barrels and receivers. That stuff is really good at removing everything. I then lightly oil everything with CLP. I do plan on picking up some weapon shield once I run out of CLP.
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