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Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by NitroxAZ, Oct 6, 2009.
Will shooting ammo with a steel casing do any harm to my handgun?
I won't fire steel in my CCW's but find no issues with my fun guns. My AK is fed a steady diet of Wolf but then it's an AK.
What damage does it do? I bought some for my XD45 and CZ-82.
The most common thing I've heard is that steel cases are usually coated with a lacquer that starts gumming things up when your gun gets hot.
Anyone know why steel cases are coated?
Even the ones like Blazer ammo? They don't appear to have a laquer coating on them.
Blazer is aluminum.
Steel slamming into steel is not good for either so I shoot no steel cased ammo in anything I own.
Steel rusts to they coat it to keep it from rusting. If a case rust it weakens and then you get a KABOOM and you get a free trip to the plastic surgeon.
Steel case ammo is made for a softer form of steel,but it is still harder than brass. The main problem associated with steel case commie ammo is it's just more dirty and harder on the shell extractors of some pistol and rifles but not all. Some firearms fire thousands of rds. and never have a problem while other wear and brake extractor easy.
When fired the steel case doesn't expand in the chamber and seal it as tightly as the brass case will thus letting some of the gas blow by the case neck and shoulder and carbonr residue will buildup in the chamber,then when you switch to say brass case ammo without cleaning in between the brass swells in the chamber tighter and with the carbon residue buildup causes the case to stick in the chamber,this is most often seen in firearms that have tight chamber specifications and are not as loose as the com bloc weapons which are designed to shoot the steel case ammo.
As long as your particular firearm handles steel case ammo and doesn't cause any function or wear problems shoot it all you like,just remember to clean the weapon especially the chamber area before switching to any brass case ammo. The lacquer coating is almost a thing of the past now all the com bloc ammo mfg. are or have switched to the ploy coating. Personally I like the lacquer coating myself better than the poly,I've seen the ploy coated ammo rust in lesser conditions than the lacquer coating ever would.
The lacquer coating buildup is more of a myth than anything,the carbon buildup is more of the problem,just clean your weapon when your done with your shooting secession and you want have a problem with either. One thing to also pay close attention to with com bloc ammo is the primer sealant they use on some ammo it has a tendency to gum up the works a lot faster than the lacquer coating ever will especially in the firing pin area.
I shoot some steel case ammo in various rifles and pistols and never had a problem it's dirty but decent ammo. I wouldn't use it in a CCW weapon but for about anything else it's fine and cheap if your not a reloader.
Lacquer is rarely used any more with current commie block ammo. Most modern manufactures use a polymer coating.
They are coated to stop oxidation.
Thanks. I thought the Blazer and Silver Bear stuff was steel and not aluminum. Good to know.
CCI Blazer is Aluminum case and non reloadable, CCI blazer brass is brass case and reloadable. Silver Bear is zinc plated steel case,Golden Bear is brass plated steel case and plain old Bear is either lacquer or poly coated steel case depending on which one you run across. All the bear ammo is berdan primed and non-reloadable.
FWIW, most handguns were designed around a brass case. The chamber dimensions and configuration is such that the fairly fluid nature of brass properly seals the chamber on firing and retracts with the drop in pressure. Steel cased ammo in such a chamber is not ideal (not necessarily harmful though). The nature of the steel is such that it cannot obturate (conform to the chamber dimension) enough to get the type of seal the gun was intended to have. The steel cased ammo will leave more soot in the gun (not just because of the dirtier powder).
If you look at the two primary calibers available in steel cased ammo, 7.62 X 54R and 7.62 X 39. Both have significant body tapers. This allow the pressures to act on the body of the case, swell it appropriately and still extract w/o great difficulty.
Cases such as .223/5.56 X 45 and .308/7.62 X 51 are straight bodied by comparison. The intended brass case can swell/seal and spring back to allow proper functioning.
IMHO shoot steel cased ammo in guns designed for steel cased ammo. Stock pile some steel cased ammo for a SHTF situation if you wish. You can put 87 octane gasoline in your LS-6 Corvette, but you will not get the performance you want. You "may" cause damage in the long run.