Steel cased ammo

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by Bronco141414, Apr 26, 2014.

  1. Bronco141414

    Bronco141414 New Member

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    Just got my Ruger SR1911 and haven't taken it to the range yet. I was strolling by the ammo section of Walmart and saw that steel is going for around $15 a box (of 50) while brass is going anywhere from $21-$25 a box (of 50). I heard steel is rough on your internals and dirty and stuff. Really is it that bad? Seems like it would be worse in my AR than my 1911 considering the abuse i have seen 1911's go through. What are your opinions?
     

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  2. sputnik1988

    sputnik1988 Active Member

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    The casing will cause no more wear than a brass case, but the projectile has a bi-metal jacket, therefore it's harder. The harder surface will slightly accelerate barrel wear, slightly.

    The biggest myth about steel cased ammo is the lacquer or poly coating melting and gumming the chamber, it simply doesn't get hot enough to do so and even if it did the round would have to set in the chamber for awhile for it to happen.

    Because of the different properties of brass and steel, they don't cool and contract at the same rate so some guns don't like it, generally it's casings with straighter walls that have an issue but sometimes they don't.

    Try it out, if it works well, go for it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014

  3. Pasquanel

    Pasquanel Proud to be an American Supporter

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    I shoot a lot of steel because its affordable, you would have to be a very prolific shooter to ever notice any wear associated with using steel cased ammo.
     
  4. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    some pistols do have problems with steel cased ammo and some don't. the only way to know is to try it out. if you have problems try out different ammo before condemning the gun though. if it has problems with different types of ammo, then look at possible problems with the magazines first.

    personally i have shot very little steel cased ammo because i reload, so i buy brass cased for the cases.
     
  5. karateguy28

    karateguy28 New Member

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    I JUST got the Ruger sr 1911 yesterday and ran a box of steel ammo through it and it ran flawlessly. If it works, go for it. Good luck and happy shooting.
     
  6. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    Wolf, WPA, etc. Is no dirtier than Winchester white box.

    I advocate that no one except me shoot steel case, maybe the price would come back to 6 to 8 bucks per box then. :p
     
  7. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    I have seen where steel cased ammo gave a pistol a hard time with ejection due to excessive heat. Two guys were sharing a Walther PP. They would give the pistol a little rest, and it would start functioning again.

    I gave them some brass cased ammo, and things worked like a champ.

    The powder used is what creates the above normal dirt, not the casing.

    Have I noticed any accelerated wear on my guns? Compared to when I was using it for competition, no.
    I would be okay to use it for break in or range practice, but not for EDC.

    And it is not recommended to reload steel cases. Another reason I prefer brass.
     
  8. qwiksdraw

    qwiksdraw New Member

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    Steel cased ammo is made from a soft steel which allows it to expand, but not quite as much as brass, which is why it is a bit dirtier. It is not hard enough to damage the barrel or even the extractor. The feed issue is usually related to the rim specs being slightly different than brass cases which an extractor may not grab consistently.

    The heat and lacquer issues is something that has been problematic with rifles where barrel heat is generally higher than handguns. Ammo manufacturers have developed better ammo and the lacquer issues are more a thing of the past. So if you have surplus ammo, you should clean the barrel after shooting a couple hundred rounds.

    I shoot steel cased in 9MM and 45 ACP and have not had any problems in 1911s, Glock and Sig Sauer pistols. I also shoot steel cased ammo in my AR. However, my Bersa Thunder 380 did not like steel ( or even aluminum) cased ammo.
     
  9. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    None of my guns are as accurate with steel as they are with brass cased ammo. Many times steel case ammo is accurate enough. I shoot steel case ammo in my 91/30. I only need to be confident I can hit the deer in the neck. I don't care if I can shoot the buttons off superman's cape.
     
  10. sputnik1988

    sputnik1988 Active Member

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    Generally that has more to do with inconsistent loads (cheap ammo)
     
  11. gr8oldguy

    gr8oldguy New Member

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    I shoot steel from time to time. I can see no difference between the steel and brass. The steel used is much softer than the steel used to make a barrel. There is no way it can hurt the gun. Get it, shoot it and enjoy it if it cycles okay through the pistol. good luck
     
  12. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    just as Sputnik mentioned, inconsistent loads equal inaccurate ammo. not the case its loaded into.

    Hoarnady offers steel match ammo for several pistol calibers and a couple of rifle calibers. Hornady has an excellent reputaion for quality and accuracy.

    http://www.hornady.com/store/Steel-Match-handgun
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
  13. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have had good results with Wolf, Brown Bear and Silver Bear (best). Tul was not very good. Primer depth was inconsistent causing some light strikes on the ones set really deep. Hornady is producing steel cased target loads so it cant be all bad.
     
  14. sputnik1988

    sputnik1988 Active Member

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    I've noticed this too, Tula seems to be the most mediocre of the steel cased stuff, it shoots decent but not as well as the others mentioned.
     
  15. KG7IL

    KG7IL Active Member

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    I have excellent reliability with Tula FMJ's in .45 ACP in my Kimber Ultra Covert (3")

    Dirty, but reliable. Cheap...
     
  16. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    Fixed it fer ya. :p. Ain't no cheap ammo these days. :(
     
  17. Eagle1803

    Eagle1803 New Member

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    I prefer brass as it is easier to load and not as dirty.
     
  18. nightal

    nightal New Member

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    I have not shot any Wolff steel since the late 90's, I use to shoot it in 2 Ruger pistols, KP 90-KP 89 both have ramped barrels.
    I found it was dinging the ramps, was dirty, smelly, smokey.
    I have never shot it in any 1911 pistols. I do know they changed the coatings they used, it may be better now???