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Old July 18, 2013, 01:23 PM   #1
Tucker 1371
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1911 and Steel Cased ammo

Hey TFL,

I've been sitting on a few hundred rounds of Herters .45 ACP for about 3 years, bought it to run through a Taurus 1911 which I had no qualms about doing. Now the Taurus is gone and I have a Colt and, ammo being what it is these days, I was wondering about the short and long term wear of the steel cased bimetal jacketed ammo on parts such as the feed ramp and barrel.

If there's no significant accelerated wear caused over brass cased ammo I may shoot this stuff up.
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Old July 18, 2013, 01:38 PM   #2
Noreaster
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I used steel case Tula in my S&W 1911 and I ended up with a black mark on the frame just under the feed ramp. I scrubbed and polished and can't get it off. It hasn't affected function, just cosmetic. SS gun.
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Old July 18, 2013, 02:03 PM   #3
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Sorry...apparently the Herters cases are their own special animal.

Last edited by csmsss; July 18, 2013 at 02:08 PM.
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Old July 18, 2013, 02:09 PM   #4
James K
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Steel case .45 ammo was issued to the military in WWII, and there were no problems with it. It has, of course, corrosive primers, but all GI ammo of that period (with the exception of .30 Carbine) did. I have fired a fair amount of it with no problems. As CSMSSS says, the case is mild steel and IMHO, it would take an awful lot of firing it to affect anything. Note, though, that the cases are harder to work when reloading, so most shooters discarded steel cases.

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Old July 18, 2013, 02:15 PM   #5
Tucker 1371
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Do the bimetal jacketed bullets cause any significant barrel wear over plain copper and lead bullets?
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Old July 18, 2013, 02:16 PM   #6
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I practice revolver reloads using steel-cased dummy rounds, throwing the moonclip at the cylinder, and haven't seen any signs of wear or damage from the rounds rattling into the chambers.
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Old July 18, 2013, 04:01 PM   #7
BigJimP
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I don't shoot steel case ammo thru any of my 1911's ( just don't like the idea of it ....vs brass or nickel plated )..../ but I could see where it would cause some wear on the ramps...not the barrel chamber - at least not on a good match grade barrel.

Nickel plated doesn't seem to cause any wear...vs brass.../ but the nickel plated cases are harder to resize in my press and they're more brittle so they crack sooner.../ but I run nickel plated thru with the brass with no issues.
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Old July 18, 2013, 09:57 PM   #8
Olympus
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1911 and Steel Cased ammo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tucker 1371 View Post
Hey TFL,

I've been sitting on a few hundred rounds of Herters .45 ACP for about 3 years, bought it to run through a Taurus 1911 which I had no qualms about doing. Now the Taurus is gone and I have a Colt and, ammo being what it is these days, I was wondering about the short and long term wear of the steel cased bimetal jacketed ammo on parts such as the feed ramp and barrel.

If there's no significant accelerated wear caused over brass cased ammo I may shoot this stuff up.
You'll be fine. Shoot it up. There's nothing about your Colt that can't be easily replaced with factory parts. You'll likely never see any signs of wear with only a few hundred rounds.

If you'd have said a few thousand rounds...that's different.
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Old July 18, 2013, 11:42 PM   #9
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I have seen some reports in 1911s about Herter's ammo (and possibly other cheap, steel cased ammo) causing primer flow back up because the firing pins did not seal tightly in the steel case. The most extensive discussion I've seen is over at http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=325790. Look specifically on page 3, post 58. Greyson is in pretty tight with Ed Brown and talked to them about this issue. The primer flow problem may cause pitting in the breach face and long term problems with the operation of the gun. You can find some other, less substantiated posts about primer flow issues with some steel cased ammo in 1911s.

I do not know if the primer flow issue is specific to 1911s. I have shot some steel cased ammo in non-1911s and never noticed a problem.
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Old July 19, 2013, 12:08 AM   #10
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Ok, While everyone else is spot on you are not actually concerned about the steel case you're more worried about the bimetal vs copper or lead bullets? Bimetal will cause more wear just because its harder then either copper or lead but not to any terrible degree I would think. I would take as said before thousands of rounds rather then just a few hundred, possibly more.
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Old July 19, 2013, 04:11 AM   #11
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There was a great write up on using bimetal bullets in ar15s and premature wearing of the rifling. I don't remember the name of the article but maybe you can find it. The author fired steel ammo and winchester through several Bushmasters and the steel bullets caused allot of wear on the barrels.
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Old July 19, 2013, 07:12 AM   #12
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The casing shouldn't be a problem at all, it's fairly soft and your barrel and extractor are made of much tougher stuff.

Now the bimetal jacket on the bullet itself... can't answer that one. If it's only a couple hundred rounds I'd use it up. Heck if it's a couple of thousand rounds I'd use it up. The steel used is VERY soft (for steel), and a barrel is much much harder.

Here's an interesting article on it from a guy and an electron microscope

http://www.uspsa.org/front-sight-mag...BiMetal-Ammo-8
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Old July 19, 2013, 11:59 AM   #13
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I can't locate the test but someone put 6 identical rifles to the test shooting 3 with bimetallic and 3 with conventional copper jacketed ammo.
The test was with an identical quantity of ammo through all 6 rifles and the 3 using bimetallic showed significant wear as compared to the other 3 which were as new.
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Old July 19, 2013, 09:05 PM   #14
Tucker 1371
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I have read the article on steel cased vs brass through ARs, very enlightening. Just wasnt sure if the same story with pistols, lower velocity shorter bbl length etc.

KyJim, thanks for the info on the primers, I had no idea. I like my Colt too much to risk it.
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REV. 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
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Old July 20, 2013, 01:14 PM   #15
Skans
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Just about everything I shoot these days is Wolf Steel-cased ammo. I shoot steel cased ammo in the following handguns with no problem:

Ruger LC9
Sig X-Five Competition
Glock 17
STI 2011 45

I'll start worrying about this ammo when something breaks.......maybe.
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