Steel Casings..?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by SmokyMtnHiker, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. SmokyMtnHiker

    SmokyMtnHiker New Member

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    When I was growing up I would go to the rifle range with my father. I loved it! :) All of the casing that my dad and I fired down range were all brass.

    I went shooting with a few buddies about a week ago. We met at one buddy's farm property. I own two rifles. But I'm looking into a 9mm semi-auto pistol. Another buddy brought his Glock 22 for me to shoot. He bought some TulAmmo .40 to shoot because it was very cold and we had about half-inch of snow on the ground. He reloads but he didn't want to police the spent casings to reload.

    I had no idea these were even around, like I said before all I knew was brass. I know steel casings can't be reloaded.

    Are there any downfalls to these types of rounds that could damage the firearms that one would use? The only thing I would use these rounds for would be at the range because they're cheap :D Any other use I would use brass (i.e. personal protection, home defense and the proverbial SHTF :eek:)
     
  2. sputnik1988

    sputnik1988 Active Member

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    I have heard for years that they were bad for your guns, and have never seen any evidenceof such damage. The Russians have used steel casings for years with no problem. But, I had a bad experience not a week ago with Tula ammo, I went to chamber a round and the bullet fell out of the casing... I won't be buying any more.
     

  3. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    downside of steel cases:

    cannot be loaded past mid range loads as steel doesnt expand and seal the chamber. hotter loads cause case rupture or case head seperation. you also get blowback due to the unsealed chamber. usually not an issue since steel isnt typically loaded very hot.

    secondly steel cases corrode fast so a preservative is needed to prevent that. typical a lacquer is used to prevent rust. if your chamber is chrome lined this isnt an issue. if your chamber is NOT chrome lined a round left in a hot chamber will melt the lacquer and it can build up on the chamber walls leading eventually to stuck cases. the lacquer will not coat chromed chambers. thats why you see some AR15 users shoot steel just fine and others have problems.

    you can safely shoot steel in an unchromed bore so long as you dont let the rifle get too hot.

    steel cases are contrary to myth reloadable but they will damage non-carbide dies over time. reloading steel cases dies must be cleaned frequently to remove lacquer buildup.
     
  4. Sport45

    Sport45 New Member

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    If I quit buying every product I had one bad experience with I'd sure save a lot of money...
     
  5. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Many of the steel cases also use Berdan primers. Berdan has flash hole(s) offset from center, and cannot be reloaded using standard reloading gear (which is for Boxer primers) Berdan primed rounds CAN be reloaded, but IMHO are a huge PITA.
     
  6. sputnik1988

    sputnik1988 Active Member

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    Having one or two FTF out of a 50 round box is understandable, when you have one round fall apart and about five more pull apart with the greatest of ease, that is inexcusable.
     
  7. BlueTurf

    BlueTurf New Member

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    I had a problem shooting ammo with steel cases in a Mosin Nagant. The 7.62 x 54 ammo had lacquer-coated steel cases. After firing a few shots the barrel would start getting hot and the lacquer coating on additional rounds would soften up, causing the spent brass to stick in the chamber. I had to use a cleaning rod to remove the brass. I did not have this problem when I shot ammo with brass cases.
     
  8. Ranger-6

    Ranger-6 New Member

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    I shoot steel case TulAmmo .45 FMJ out of my 4595TS carbine all day long.
     
  9. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    You just now noticed steel cased ammo? Have you been hiding under a rock? Steel cased ammo has been around since at least the 1940's. The US made .45 ACP and .30 Carbine ammo with steel cases in WWII.
     
  10. SmokyMtnHiker

    SmokyMtnHiker New Member

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    Lol not exactly. But like said I only ever shot brass with my dad so thats what I know.

    Sent from my SCH-I500 using FirearmsTalk
     
  11. Bear304inc

    Bear304inc New Member

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    is aluminum casing considered same as steel? Have bought blazer aluminum .40 recently with no apparent problems.
     
  12. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Aluminum is not the same. It does not rust, but will corrode. The protective coating on the Blazer cases does not gum up the chamber (that I have ever heard).

    Brass is ideal. It has properties that are perfect for the job. It expands to seal the chamber and bounces back enough to allow unlocking and extraction once the pressures have subsided. Brass can be used over and over (anealing extends the life). Steel does not expand as efficiently as brass. That is why the former Soviet cailbers are tapered. It allows for easier expansion in the chamber. Steel can be reloaded a few times, but the coating is problematic in the sizer die. Aluminum is potentially reloadable, but it is not known how many times. I have experimented with reloading the Blazer cases. I would not consider reloading as many times as I would brass. I have reloaded some WWII era US .45 ACP steel cases several times w/o problems.
     
  13. Bear304inc

    Bear304inc New Member

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    Good info Robo, thnx..
     
  14. MrWray

    MrWray New Member

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    Hornady even makes a steel casing series ammo
     
  15. phildenton

    phildenton New Member

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    sounds like still some cosmo in the chamber, or headspace is bad.