Steel casing vs. brass
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:59 PM   #1
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Default Steel casing vs. brass

Why is ammunition with steel casing cheaper than brass casing? Is steel lower performing than brass?

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Old 10-17-2012, 12:04 AM   #2
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No but it is cheaper. And due to the high temps & pressures they are subjected to, they are not reloadable. Personally I try to stay away from steel casings.

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Old 10-17-2012, 12:11 AM   #3
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Copper is $3.70 per pound
Zinc is $0.85 per pound
Steel is $900 per met ton
or $0.40 per pound

I believe that the brass used in ammo is ~70% copper and ~30% zinc.

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Old 10-17-2012, 12:21 AM   #4
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As jmckoy stated!

He hit the nail of the head! Steel ammunition is much less cost to produce. But what ever you do! Stay away from the steel case that has the varnish finish on it. It can cause you some serious problems if used in the AR Rifles. If you like steel that is fine but I like JMc advised, do not prefer to use it in my weapons. Brass is at a premium $$$$ due to the demand in China and other industrial parts of the world. That is why some manufacturers are manufacturing less expensive steel case rounds in their economy level ammunition. Some other issues are steel case to steel extractor regarding more wear then brass. And in reality the steel does not seal pressure in the chamber as well as brass casings do. If you have a rifle that has some throat erosion wear the seal is worse and will cause wear in the throat quicker. Of course, I am speaking of ARs that are shot an excessive amount and develops wear. Otherwise they will shoot fine and some of the new stuff has a polymer coating on the steel case to protect them from corrosion. I do not know anything negative about them other than the considerations above that are mentioned.

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Old 10-17-2012, 12:43 AM   #5
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The use of steel cased ammo is very old going back over 100 years. The arguement that it wears extractors does not worry me. The money saved shooting steel cased ammo will buy many AR-15 extractors. The Herters brand is clean accurate and runs on time according to my screens.

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Old 10-17-2012, 12:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitestalker View Post
The use of steel cased ammo is very old going back over 100 years. The arguement that it wears extractors does not worry me. The money saved shooting steel cased ammo will buy many AR-15 extractors. The Herters brand is clean accurate and runs on time according to my screens.
I was surprised to hear about Herters ammo as they went out of business years ago a quick search did turn this up
http://lonelymachines.org/2010/07/19/herters-ammunition-isnt/
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:58 AM   #7
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I have no problem using steel cases the stuff is great to practice with and at a great price!
Most folks couldn't afford to shoot enough of it to make any noticeable difference in their firearm.

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Old 10-17-2012, 02:28 AM   #8
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Cabelas Herter Brand ammo is a good product. The Blog was anti Herter Brand for what ever reason. Every ammo company has problems with over loaded Ctgs. Remington has had many such problems. Remington is a good product but has some problems. Herter .223 is a good plinking level ammo.

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Old 10-17-2012, 04:40 AM   #9
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Thanks for the input. I actually just read a good article from cheaper than dirt and it helped to ease some of my doubts about steel-cased ammunition as well.

http://cheaperthandirt.com/blog/?p=23045

I found some cheap Monarch steel-cased 9mm at Academy for only 10 bucks a box so I'm gonna load up on that stuff for the range.

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Old 10-17-2012, 05:16 AM   #10
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The U. S. used some steel cased ammo during the Second World War, at least in .45 ACP ammunition. It works for one time. In some applications, it works fairly well. I understand - and could be mistaken - it was primarily used in submachineguns.

There's a lot of 7.62x39 Russian ammo used in AK47 and SKS rifles. Those rifles in MILITARY configuration have fairly generous sized chambers. So extraction is not such a problem and steel cased ammo has NEVER been intended for reloading. In commercial calibers and commercial guns, there's a bit of an extraction problem. Not overwhelming, but it exists.

For me, I have little use for steel cased ammo because I'm a reloader. If I had a box of it - in a caliber I use (not 7.62x39) I'd find a use for it, but only in circumstances where I'd probably lose the cases.

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