Tula Ammo Woes

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by AgentTikki, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    Had a chance this weekend to get together with a few buddies and go out to the desert for a shoot.

    On the table at the beginning of the day we had 10 ar15s a shotgun and and handful of handguns.

    At the end of the day we had 7 ARs up and running and 3 awating surgery.

    The culprit.....Tulammo.

    In the first hour of shooting, a 14.5 sabre defence carbine went down with a shell casing stuck in the chamber. Also in the first hour, a brand new PSA CHF 15" carbine went down with the same problem, however this one was rescued with the help of a hammer and cleaning rod (RIP). The next victim was a 11" carbine gas Ar15 pistol about an hour later. The steel case had its lip ripped off by the extractor. The owner had a DNR order on it, so no CPR was given. The last victim was the PSA again...and again. It was revived again and again, for a total of 3 casings stuck in it. The very last time, the owner swore up and down that he'd never buy cheap @ss russian ammo again. The final body count 3 AR15s, and 1 very sad very bent cleaning rod.

    A couple thousand rounds were shot that day, a majority of which was probably Tulammo. I didn't run much of it, but any and every problem that came about was with it. I had M855, M193, AE.223, PMC Xtac, MFS 55 fmj and match Fiocchi 69 gr. I didn't get any stuck in my chambers. (thank goodness) :rolleyes:

    I guess the moral of the story is...........bring a couple cheap wooden dowels with you if you run russian steel case ammo.




    Onna side note, I also ran .223 MFS 55 grain fmj and could not get it to cycle in my 18", rifle gas, more than 2-3 round even with the gas block fully open. I'm guessing not enough oomph to cycle the bcg with a large gas system. My 18"er ran AE and Fiocchi 69 grain just fine. My 16" middy DD barrel with FA BCG ran the MFS just fine for at least 3 mags.



    There were plenty of guns to go around, and good friends to trying to help with one another. All in all a great day, only 90 ish degrees in the desert with a nice strong breeze that helped us keep cool.

    Good times.:D
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  2. fuldagapflieger

    fuldagapflieger New Member

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    Learned my lesson on my AR's as well....Tula, Silver Bear, other brown paper wrapped metal or other by-products go into my AK with nary a hiccup. AR's get Federal, Rem and yes, even Georgia Arms brass cases.
     

  3. Fathead00

    Fathead00 New Member

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    I've bought Tul ammo ONCE. Luckily I was at the range and they returned it for me. I was loading the mag for my P95 and the ammo was loose in the mag. I tried 4 different mags and all the same. I went and told them, so we tried different ammo and was fine. So, I WILL NEVER by that ammo again!!! :)
     
  4. flybuddy

    flybuddy New Member

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    I've shot quite a bit if it in both AR and pistols but I'm an AR novice. Guess I've been lucky. Curious, you mentioned that mostly Tula was shot and there were apparently several ARs that did NOT have problems. Are some AR models more prone to issues with steel case ammo than others? Should this be a consideration when buying or building an AR? I would thing there's some value to being able to shoot significantly cheaper ammo without hiccups. Maybe that's why some folks buy AKs?
     
  5. Sgt_Skrb_25

    Sgt_Skrb_25 New Member

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    I don't like to run TulAmmo , but I have ran it in both my 16" middy and my 7.5" pistol. It was during the ammo crisis. They both chew it up just fine. I don't know if it was the BCG? I have Fail Zero in both , and have never had issues. What BCG's were ran? PSA?
     
  6. Steel_Talon

    Steel_Talon New Member

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    I've run a ton of Tula through my Ak's never a glitch.. Never would run it through my Ar's...
     
  7. ccase39

    ccase39 New Member

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    I have run about a thousand through my Bushmaster and have not had a problem once. That being said from now on I am going to stay away from steel all together. I don't want damage and now that the gun is broken in and the courting phase is over I don't shoot as many rounds as I used to and just spend a little more for brass.
     
  8. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    It is not the steel, it is the coating ON the steel. The cartridge design of the .223/5.56 mm is not conducive to anything but BRASS! The Russians designed the 7.62 X 54r and 7.62 X 39 guns/ammo with a generous body taper and (by our standards) loose tolerances. By comparison most western rifles are match grade. Any buildup in the chamber is going to cause problems.

    I run TulAmmo and other laquer coated, steel cased ammo all day everyday from my SKS's and AK's with nary a hitch. I would not consider such garbage in a 5.56 rifle
     
  9. unclebear

    unclebear New Member

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    You gotta think about this, ARs are delicate machines kinda like a fancy sport car where 90% of russian / Eastern block weapons are more like my old work truck, one looks pretty and requires the best gas possible to keep her runnin nice and smooth. Where the other looks like well a work truck and you put what you can in it and she just keeps runnin.

    You get what I'm sayin here ARs need good qaulity ammo made of brass where everything else russian can just eat anything that you can fit in the gun.
     
  10. QueenGlamis

    QueenGlamis New Member

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    We have put ALOT of polymer coated steel Wolf (came in a regular box, not loose) and brass thru our Spikes mil-spec and not a single fail, jam, misfeed, misfire etc. Our friend has the S&W M&P and jams occasionally with brass (he has never shot steel) but is fixable to resume shooting. :)

    The lacquer coating is not your friend, but polymer (from what I have read, not an expert here) is much better for the gun.

    Surprised you found a place in the desert to go shooting in Kommiefornia!
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  11. Sgt_Skrb_25

    Sgt_Skrb_25 New Member

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    If needed you can always polish out the feed ramps, extension, and chamber to make it nice and smooth. I did this on my 7.62x39 AR build to prevent issues. Got the idea form Purehavoc. It some before and after pics.
     

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  12. flybuddy

    flybuddy New Member

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    IMO, the AKs are clunky weapons compared to the ARs. In battlefield conditions it does seem that the additional reliability would give an edge to the AKs.
    Reminiscent of the space program where we spent millions developing a pen that wrote in zero G while the russians simply used pencils.
     
  13. purehavoc

    purehavoc New Member

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    I sent 4000 + rds of tula down range last summer thru PSA and Spikes and have had zero problems. NO its not great ammo but its not any dirtier than WWB ammo . its not match grade ammo but it will still shoot 1.5 MOA .
    It doesn't have the lacquer coating , its a very very thin poly coating that acts as a lubricant . Tikki , you now know the secret of how to get steel to run properly now get busy and fix the problem ;)
     
  14. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    Heh. I was just reporting on what happened. I only ran a couple mags of the stuff in my girls. I usually run pmc and AE or Federal brass.

    Gun #1 was a 14.5 carbine, frankenstien home brew with a Sabre Defence heavy barrel.
    Gun #2 was a brand new PSA Carbine with FN barrel
    Gun #3 was a brand new frankenstien home brew pistol PKArms barrel with a carbine gas system.

    None of these birds were mine, tho I really did try and help these girls get back up and running. This was the relatively new stuff with poly coating. All 3 had the same problems. Cases that would not extract, even when pounding it out with a hammer.

    Honestly most of these guys won't bother to take the time to work over their chambers like you guys. Buying brass cased ammo is probably gonna solve any and all issues in the future, as their particular builds obviously do not like them.

    I did trade a couple mags of my relatively good stuff for tula and mfs to make sure it ran fine in my girls. I ran into no issues. (thank the lord).

    I just wanted to share our experiences! I'm not making any judgements o

    By the way...I LOVE my ar500 targets...3/8" is holding up fine with .223, 5.56, 45, .357. 9mm, and 40. Even as close as 15 yards. Nothing more satisfying than ringing steel.
     
  15. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    I remember reading an article by Patrick Sweeny on problems he had with polymer coated ammo if it was left sitting for a while in an already hot and dirty chamber.

    Out of curiosity did the affected guns have chromed bores and chambers, and were the rounds allowed to sit in a warm chamber for a bit? How many rounds into shooting were the extraction failures experienced.

    I know that there are theories out there about carbon blow by and buildup in the chamber contributing to sticky chamber problems with coated ammo. The theory being that the lesser expansion of the steel cases will allow more carbon to build up in the chambers and the combination of heat, coating, and carbon will kind if hot glue the casing in the chamber.

    Sweeny's solution on a hot and dirty AR was to keep the chamber empty until he was going to be firing, so the coated rounds weren't sitting in a hot chamber.

    Just curious, and some thoughts on how this might happen.
     
  16. purehavoc

    purehavoc New Member

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    The poly isnt like lacquer , if more like the consistency of a teflon coating , very very thin but not slick like teflon. So I dont think it would matter if it sat in a hot chamber . My problem with the 7.62 barrel was #1 its not chrome lined but Im not 100% sure that would have made a difference at all . #2 the chamber was just to tight and not cleaned up there were a few tooling marks in it and really needed cleaned up and isnt polished like a chrome chamber which caused some dragging on the steel cases during extraction . Brass expands and contracts very quickly thats just the nature of brass its springy , steel on the other hand swells and stays there which does create more drag during extraction . Now I didnt touch my feed ramps, I always say if it doesnt have issue feeding dont try to fix what isnt broke .
     
  17. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    Quite honestly, I wasn't keeping track of it as there was a lot going on. We did have some safety protocols, as in, do not load your boomstick until your are out on the range and ready to shoot. Unload your giggle stick, when bringing back to the table. So in theory there should have never been a round roasting in the chamber in the 90+ degree sun. But I can kind of see what he was talking about. I just asked and all three rifles with problems were chromelined bores and chambers.

    It was hot enough to deform plastic containers. Even my plastic tool box, got deformed in the sun and wouldn't close right (the lid expanded and to the point the latches wouldn't latch right). I saw a few plastic containers of candies and the like outright deform into Dali-esque contorted shapes. According to the local weather report it was supposedly 97 degrees out that day. But it was hard to gauge the actual temp as there was a relatively strong wind that was keeping things cool. It was hard enough lift and destroy my new 12x12 shade stand even tho it was staked and had rocks to hold it down on all 4 corners. The wind was strong enough to make me give up on trying to get groups at 100 yards.......not because it was pushing the bullets around, but it was actually pushing the rifle around making it nearly impossible to get a stable sight picture.

    On top of setting up targets, I was juggling trying to dial in my new adjustible gas block and being an impromptu RO, keeping an eye out for the newbies and helping them have a little fun. But I can say that problems didn't arise until at least after a couple mags.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  18. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The coating on the steel cases is not the problem. The steel cases let a lot of residue blow by and into the chamber since they dont seal as well as brass. The carbon build up in the chamber causes the cases to stick. Make sure you clean the chamber after shooting steel and before you shoot brass. The brass will grab the carbon and jam if used immediately after shooting steel. The AK has a piston and dont get as dirty as the AR which craps in its own nest.
     
  19. kryptar19

    kryptar19 New Member

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    I've put thousands of rounds of mixed steel (Tula, wolf, monarch,etc,) through all of my AR's, never had a problem. My S&W and PSA build just love to eat junk food.
     
  20. sparky17

    sparky17 New Member

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    I have shot plenty of Tula with no problems. I have shot steel then brass in the same trip even in the same mag. A year of shooting without cleaning my rifle. Could the problem could be varying powder weights. Maybe some rounds are creating higher pressures.