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Old November 16, 2008, 01:05 PM   #1
BushBuddy
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.223 Steel Case Amunition

I've noticed that steel case ammunition is much cheaper than brass. A friend of mine told me not to use steel case ammo in my AR because it will ruin my gun, tear up the receiver. Is this true?
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Old November 16, 2008, 02:06 PM   #2
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nope. Not true. Buy it cheap, and blaze away with confidence.
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Old November 16, 2008, 02:11 PM   #3
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Tear it up and ruin it? Nope....but steel is indefinately harder on yourgun than brass would be. Also it is more succeptible to rust. Check these casings for anti-corrosive primers. Cheap ammo often has corrosive primers. This WILL ruin your BBL. So you can buy cheep but watch the corrosive primers. In addition to the primers watch the lacquer coated casings. These gum up your gun if you dont watch out. I was in the shop with a guy who was trying to send his gun back to bushmaster. It was so caked up with the stuff. I checked in with the shop later bushy cleaned it all out for the guy. Odd...
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Old November 16, 2008, 02:46 PM   #4
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Yup, AR's like to be clean. When a buddy of mine bought his first AR- I gave him some pointers along the way with a heavy emphasis on keeping it clean. He made his way to Camp Perry with a dirty one where I guess the humidity played it's card. In short order, he said he was sitting there taking in awful looks and snide remarks from a USMC Line Armorer who preached a cleaning sermon to him. He's a great fella and a good friend... but still- I ain't a-gonna let him forget that.
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Old November 16, 2008, 03:40 PM   #5
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It wont ruin your gun, but it wont run as reliably, in general. Avoid Wolf, try the Bears...
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Old November 16, 2008, 05:33 PM   #6
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Over 2k rounds of Wolf MC through my Bushmaster with not one problem. Thats means every round fed, fired and ejected without any problems. I just took delivery of another 1k rounds of Wolf.

There is no excessive wear on the extractor. Not the best ammo, but it is good range, plinking and general shooting ammo. The steel in the case is softer than the steel in your rifle.

Wolf hasn't used lacquer in years. Even when they did, someone posted that they tried to "melt" the lacquer off a fired case with a propane tourch. Nothing happened.
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Old November 16, 2008, 08:10 PM   #7
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its dirty ammo though used 8mm mauser wolf stuff and eek never again its my friends gun but i feel bad making him clean so long....
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Old November 18, 2008, 02:31 PM   #8
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Thanks

Thanks everyone, I appreciate the feedback.
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Old November 18, 2008, 07:08 PM   #9
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Been shooting Wolf for years, never a problem. Just keep your firearm clean. Wolf now uses a polymer coating on their shells. Lacquer is a thing of the past unless you get old ammo that's been sitting around in a mom and pop gun shop.
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Old November 18, 2008, 09:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Wolf hasn't used lacquer in years. Even when they did, someone posted that they tried to "melt" the lacquer off a fired case with a propane tourch. Nothing happened.
I've never had a problem with the lacquer myself. Only with bad primers and bad QC, with Wolf in a variety of calibers.
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Old November 19, 2008, 08:00 AM   #11
Bartholomew Roberts
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Quote:
Wolf now uses a polymer coating on their shells. Lacquer is a thing of the past unless you get old ammo that's been sitting around in a mom and pop gun shop.
From my experiences, neither the lacquer or the polymer coatings have anything to do with the problems caused by steel case ammo. I have seen both lacquer and polymer steel cases stick in AR15s. I've also heated lacquer cases to 500F plus and left it much longer than it would ever see that temperature in a rifle and no lacquer melted. I've even seen the Hornady training ammo fail to function in some AR15s and it is superlative ammo, although steel cased.

Clearly the straight walled 5.56x45 case and the chamber of an AR15 are not a great match for steel. My hypothesis is that the steel just doesn't expand the same as the brass and isn't as quick to shrink back. Certainly steel cases work in a lot of ARs with no problems; but just not as reliably as brass.
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Old November 19, 2008, 09:36 AM   #12
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I think it was on ar15.com that someone mentioned a problem with brass cases sticking in his Colt AR. It boiled down to shoot quite a lot of steel cased ammo followed by brass cased ammo.

The steel cases don't expand and seal the chamber at tightly as brass. This can allow some fouling to enter the chamber. If enough fouling accretes in the chamber, brass cases used later can "stick" in the chamber due to the now uneven surfaces. In the example situations he gave, he had to use a rod to pound the empty case out of the chamber.
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Old November 19, 2008, 09:53 AM   #13
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Yea, correct on the above post.

it was brass that would stick after shooting a bunch of steel.

Stick with steel, and don't switch it up with brass and you'll be fine. Clean 'er up real good and you can shoot brass again.
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Old November 19, 2008, 05:52 PM   #14
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I've shot several magazines of brass ammo right after shooting several magazines of Wolf ammo and never had a problem.
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Old November 19, 2008, 06:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
it was brass that would stick after shooting a bunch of steel.
Clean your rifle! Problem solved.....
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Old November 20, 2008, 03:40 AM   #16
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Quote:
Stick with steel, and don't switch it up with brass and you'll be fine. Clean 'er up real good and you can shoot brass again.
Quote:
Clean your rifle! Problem solved.....
Cleaning may not be viable in the midst of a serious conflict. I'm thinking in the aftermath of some disaster when the thugs come calling.

The real lesson here is to save the steel cased ammo for when you run out of the better brass cased ammo!
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Old November 20, 2008, 08:04 AM   #17
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If you're willing to "baby" an AR some steel case is great.It shouldn't be this way but sometimes it just is.If not,just stick with brass cased ammo or step up to an AK!
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Old November 21, 2008, 09:55 AM   #18
Steve in PA
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Don't know about "babying" an AR, but my rifle shoots steel and brass the same, and gets treated the same. No babying involved.
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Old November 21, 2008, 10:45 AM   #19
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The Wolf polymer coated .223 is decent ammo and won't hurt your AR.

I shoot the stuff in my AC556 full-auto. I've examined the spent cases and the poly coating is still intact - indicating that the steel casing never even came into contact with the chamber. If you have a stuck cartridge, the steel casing POSSIBLY could be a little harder on your extractor.

The Wolf ammo got a bad reputation when they were lacquer coated. The lacquer would melt off and gum up the chambers and cause cartridges to stick in the chamber. Not so with the newer poly-coated ammo. My AC556 gets quite hot when I'm shooting it - but not hot enough to melt the poly-coating.

Nor is the worlf ammo really prone to rust - also because they are poly-coated. The only draw back to using the wolf ammo is that it is too dificult to reload. Also, after the cartridge is fired, the cases do become prone to rusting if left out in the elements.

I am buying wolf .223 and 9mm when I can find good deals on the stuff. The ammo dealers have a lot of this stuff on order. I am hoping that after Obama's inaguration, the run on ammo will "cool off" and I might be able to pick up some more cheap wolf ammo at that time.
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Old November 21, 2008, 11:36 AM   #20
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Wolf is junk, and I have seen numerous rifles screwed up by it.

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Old November 21, 2008, 12:05 PM   #21
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Wolf is junk, and I have seen numerous rifles screwed up by it.
What rifles?

And, are you talking about poly-coated wolf, or lacquer-coated wolf? Lacquer coated wolf screws up rifles. You can't even find lacquer coated wolf for .223 rifles any longer.

And, please tell me how those rifles were screwed up.

I know that I and other AC556 owners regularly run Wolf poly-coated .223 ammo through our guns at full-auto, with absolutley no ill effects. I can't imagine an AR15 not being able to eat poly-coated wolf ammo. Prior to wolf coming out with the poly-coated cases, no one would use the stuff in their AC556's because it would coat the chamber with hard lacquer resin.
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Old November 21, 2008, 12:29 PM   #22
Bartholomew Roberts
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I have witnessed a Bushmaster choke on the polymer casings just the same as the lacquer. After about 100 rounds, whenever it got hot it would have a stuck case that required serious effort to clear. The owner would then scrub the chamber spotless (with hardened carbon deposits so big I initially thought the bolt lugs or some other part had broken) and then it would run another 80-100 rounds. Same rifle ran fine with brass.

I don't think the case coating has anything to do with it because I've seen lacquered cases do just the same thing and nobody has ever shown me a case where the lacquer has melted off - not to mention I cannot do it in my own experiments. I'd also add that Hornady uses lacquered steel in their training ammo and seem to have no problems.

I have seen old Wolf gunk up chambers with a red goo; but that was clearly the neck sealant and not lacquer. I wonder if this is the source of the lacquer myth?
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Old November 21, 2008, 01:54 PM   #23
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What rifles?

And, are you talking about poly-coated wolf, or lacquer-coated wolf? Lacquer coated wolf screws up rifles. You can't even find lacquer coated wolf for .223 rifles any longer.

And, please tell me how those rifles were screwed up.

I know that I and other AC556 owners regularly run Wolf poly-coated .223 ammo through our guns at full-auto, with absolutley no ill effects. I can't imagine an AR15 not being able to eat poly-coated wolf ammo. Prior to wolf coming out with the poly-coated cases, no one would use the stuff in their AC556's because it would coat the chamber with hard lacquer resin.
Please do a search. This topic has been rehashed over and over again. If you like the stuff from a cheapness perspective, more power to you. If I have sinned against the Wolfammowoobie by again expressing my disdain for the stuff sorry..

Shoot all you want out of your transferable machine gun...if one blows your receiver, penny wise, pound foolish.

I think the stuff is crap. it sucks. Thats from a dealers perspective that would love to be able to make the huge margins out of it. Ce la vie, I'm not going to sell pure and simple crap.

YMMV

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Old November 21, 2008, 02:52 PM   #24
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I shot a hundred rounds of Wolf Military Classic .223 a couple of weeks ago. The last of the Wolf that I had and out of the 100 rounds I had one failure to feed properly. That seems to be about the average for me personally when I use that stuff however I have zero problems when I shoot brass. I religiously clean and lube my rifle after every shooting session so I don't know why it happens. I decided to stick with brass exclusively when shooting my AR-15. I bought a huge load of Prvi Partizan .223 it's almost as cheap and its brass.
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Old November 21, 2008, 09:21 PM   #25
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Garbage.

Wolf is for AKs and Makarovs, to torture a western design with it is cruel to our fine rifles.
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