steel case vs brass case
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:27 PM   #1
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Default steel case vs brass case

I'm sure there are many here that, like me, know absolutely nothing about reloading. I'm aware that only brass should be used to reload ammunition, and not steel cases.

My question is why?

While we're on the topic of steel cases, why do some gun manufacturers only recommend using brass factory loads, and not using brass reloads, or any steel case ammo? If I can recall correctly, I believe my Glock manual strongly discourages the use of steel case. Is there any truth to this? And again, why?

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Old 02-23-2011, 05:59 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by falseharmonix View Post
I'm sure there are many here that, like me, know absolutely nothing about reloading. I'm aware that only brass should be used to reload ammunition, and not steel cases.

My question is why?

While we're on the topic of steel cases, why do some gun manufacturers only recommend using brass factory loads, and not using brass reloads, or any steel case ammo? If I can recall correctly, I believe my Glock manual strongly discourages the use of steel case. Is there any truth to this? And again, why?
Steel does not expand as well as brass due to the fact that it is so hard. When something is harder it is more brittle which can lead to case failure.

Using steel cases in a glock will void the warranty however, we have fired over a thousand steel cases through our 23 with no issues.

We reload daily so if you need any advice feel free to pm me.
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:04 PM   #3
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Using steel cases in a glock will void the warranty however, we have fired over a thousand steel cases through our 23 with no issues.
That's what I'm wondering. What is so terrible about steel that would void the warranty?
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:06 PM   #4
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That's what I'm wondering. What is so terrible about steel that would void the warranty?

The hardness of it could harm the chamber, or the hardness could cause case failure in the chamber resulting in that polymer being blown to pieces.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:56 PM   #5
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It is the hardness it tears up ejector and feed ramps and other softer parts used it alloy and aluminum guns.

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Old 02-24-2011, 03:45 AM   #6
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So anything other than say, a full steel 1911, and you shouldn't use steel case ammo?

Kind of hard to believe that Glocks, being the wonder pistol that never breaks, never fails, wouldn't be able to eat that ammo.

For the record, despite owning a Glock I am by no means a fanboy. The price was right. However I would like to move into the realm of JMB

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Old 02-25-2011, 01:30 AM   #7
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The real question though is "If you reload, why would you WANT to shoot steel cased ammo?" There is nothing wrong with steel cased ammo except maybe it uses different powders that may not burn as well as others, but that is manufacturer specific. The steel cases cannot be reloaded and could rust, causing weakness in the case and therefore create a dangerous situation. As mentioned before, the steel cases are more brittle and harder than brass. They would be very tough on sizer dies.

If you look closely at your owners manual, you will notice that shooting reloads of any kind will void the warranty. This is pretty much the case across the board with all gun manufacturers because they have no control over how you, an individual, load your ammo.

Also, for reloading, the aluminum cases are no good. They are loaded with berdan primers so they cannot be reloaded by the average reloaders. They use these materials because they are cheap, not because they are good. CCI caught on with their Blazer line of ammo and now are finally offering the "Blazer Brass" ammo which can be reloaded. It has probably doubled their Blazer ammo sales.

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Old 02-25-2011, 02:54 AM   #8
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So anything other than say, a full steel 1911, and you shouldn't use steel case ammo?

Kind of hard to believe that Glocks, being the wonder pistol that never breaks, never fails, wouldn't be able to eat that ammo.


Your first question....no, steel should not be shot in ANYTHING, IMO. Steel ammo is cheap and hard on any weapon, regardless of the material the weapon is made out of. When cartridge rounds were designed they didn't just pick materials out of the sky and brass was selected for a number of reasons. It is soft(won't wear into the weapon), it expands under pressure faster then the metal around it(it seals the chamber), it has natural lubricating properties(won't stick in the chamber, won't stick in a magazine, again...won't wear the weapon). Steel has none of these properties.
The steel used in ammo is the cheapest of the cheap steel and would be better off being made into a pepsi can.

Your second question.....glocks have the ghey. BAD!
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:45 AM   #9
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Steel cases also usually have either a poly or lacquer coating to prevent corrosion and add a little lubricity to the cases. Sometimes this can build up in the chamber and cause for sticky feeding and extraction. Steel doesn't have the ductility to be reformed/resized through repeated loadings like brass and its often berdan primed, though I have read about a few people actually reloading steel cases...not something I would try.
I tried steel cased ammo in my AR before and just didn't like the feel of it when chambering a round. My old DPMS would not even want to chamber the first round without using the forward assist most times, I didn't like the idea of steel on steel. YMMV
My AK on the other hand never got fed anything but steel

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Old 02-25-2011, 08:35 PM   #10
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The real question though is "If you reload, why would you WANT to shoot steel cased ammo?"
I don't reload, just wondering why it is that only brass should be reloaded and not steel.

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Your first question....no, steel should not be shot in ANYTHING, IMO.
I've never bought any steel ammo (that I'm aware of anyway), although I have used brass reloads in my gun, thereby voiding the warranty I suppose. I guess this explains why at gun shows the steel stuff seems to be a few bucks cheaper than brass?

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Your second question.....glocks have the ghey. BAD!
Yea, yea.....I had the money, and I wanted a gun Now I don't have the money, and I still want a real gun
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