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Old October 9, 2001, 06:09 PM   #1
SpyGuy
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Can steel-jacketed ammo damage a barrel?

I shall soon be receiving my Mini-14 and am in search of some good, inexpensive (oxymoron?) .223 ammo. Unfortunately, as a result of recent events, everyone has been buying up everything, particularly the Winchester Q3131A. (Btw, while I'm even more glad to be getting my Mini now, I had started to put together my order before 11 Sep.)

Sellier and Bellot make a .223 55g FMJ "M193" round that sells for around $3.50/box of 20. However, I have read that the bullet is jacketed with soft-steel (with a copper plating). Will shooting this ammo damage my barrel?

Is there another type of ammo I should be looking for or can someone recommend a source of Q3131A?

Thanks!
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Old October 9, 2001, 06:16 PM   #2
No4Mk1*
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What is the exact price of the Winchester ammo? Shooting less expensive ammo will eventually "save" enough money to buy another Mini-14. If I had to bet, I would say that your barrel will not be worn out by then. Post the price if you would.
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Old October 9, 2001, 06:41 PM   #3
scouter27
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Steel can be made softer than some copper's. I'd imagine this jacket would be a very soft steel. You are probably safe, however, I don't use steel jacketed ammo in any of my rifles, just in case.
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Old October 9, 2001, 06:43 PM   #4
saands
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SpyGuy ... I just bought some "tarnished" .308 from these guys and it looked like factory fresh ammo! ... a friend went for the "deal" ($9 a case cheaper) on the slightly dented .308 and couldn't see any dents! He also got some of their .223 and was very happy, but I haven't seen it myself.

http://www.southernammo.com/prod02.htm

AMAZING prices ... the only thing is that the manufacturers, at least on the .308, are mixed ... but on the bright side, they ALL grouped tightly around the same POI.

For this tip, I'd say you owe me one, but I actually found the link from an earlier post on TFL, so I can't personally take credit

Enjoy!

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Old October 9, 2001, 07:01 PM   #5
James K
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Soft steel jackets have been used for years in both military and sporting ammunition. Almost all U.S. .30-'06 or 7.62mm is steel jacketed. The steel is plated with gilding metal or cupronickel which provides a slightly softer surface, but its real purpose is to prevent the steel from rusting.

The amount of wear of a steel jacket over a gilding metal jacket is insignificant.

Jim
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Old October 10, 2001, 04:34 PM   #6
Roadrunner
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So Wolf's bimetal jacketed ammo is fine to use in my SAR-2? I'm having a hard time locating any copper jacketed 5.45 ammo.
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Old October 10, 2001, 05:40 PM   #7
Cawdor
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Try PMP from Century Arms.
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Old October 12, 2001, 03:23 PM   #8
Bruegger
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Spy Guy - historically, soft steel was used in countries that don't have the ready access to copper that we have in the Americas. Like Jim Keenan says, the soft steel is pretty soft and barrel wear shouldn't be significantly greater in a standard barrel. For really high-pressure loads, I dunno for sure, but I'd guess the wear would be more noticeable. And personally, I wouldn't shoot steel jacketed or steel core through an expensive match barrel, just like I wouldn't shoot AP through a match barrel.

saands - I got the same deal as your friend from Southern Ammo and thought they must have shipped the wrong stuff to me! I couldn't find the dings either. The ammo was a bit tarnished/dirty, though nothing a rag or soap & water wouldn't wipe off.

You can't beat loaded ammo for less than most places sell once-fired milsurp brass!

Semper fi,
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Old October 13, 2001, 09:18 AM   #9
mussi
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I shoot hi-power with my SIG 550. I shoot a lot, usually 300 rounds a
session.

I notice wether I shoot PMC copper-plated stuff or Swiss Army issue
5.6mm GP90. Latter has a steel jacket and damages barrels pretty
quickly. A SIG 550 or PE90 strictly fed with PMC will hold it's
precision a tad longer (about 3000 rds) than with GP90. The barrel
lasts about 15000 rds with GP90 and 25000 with PMC or some other
copper-jacketed stuff. I can testify to that since I keep logs on my
rifles.
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Old October 13, 2001, 02:21 PM   #10
darogue1
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try this..........

www.ammodeal.com Bought .30 carbine from them. S&B comes to 3.19 per box of the non SS109 stuff. That is per 500. Hope that this helps. Enjoy the mini. I have one they are fun. I have spiced mine up a little. Hope that this helps. DAROGUE1
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Old October 13, 2001, 06:51 PM   #11
johnwill
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Hmm...

"Almost all U.S. .30-'06 or 7.62mm is steel jacketed."

I took a round of 30-06 from the stuff that I bought from the CMP, Lake City 1959, and I cut a nick in one of the bullets. I don't see any steel...

*** Never mind, my magnet sees some steel, I must be blind!
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Old October 14, 2001, 07:09 PM   #12
mbott
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johnwill,

It's easier just to test with a magnet.

LC 69 and LC 72 both have the mild steel under the copper. LC 66, on the other hand, does not. Even all the HXP (Greek) .30-06 that I came across several years ago had the mild steel under the copper.

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Old October 14, 2001, 10:12 PM   #13
James K
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Which is used often comes down (surprise!) to the cost and availability of copper.

Jim
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Old October 15, 2001, 04:13 PM   #14
Bruegger
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I've got a few hundred rounds of LC 67 .30-06 and I think it's all steel core. I know a random sampling attracts a magnet. It is Talon reman stuff.
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Old October 15, 2001, 04:41 PM   #15
johnwill
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I think it may just be the steel jacket under the copper flash.
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Old October 15, 2001, 10:50 PM   #16
James K
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FWIW, don't get steel jacket confused with steel core. They are different things.

Jim
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Old October 16, 2001, 08:44 PM   #17
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I second the recommendation for PMP.
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