View Full Version : tula .223 rem steel jacket rounds in a mini-14?

October 9, 2012, 01:05 AM
i was wondering if any of you folks out there have had any experience with the tula .223 rem steel jacketed rounds in your mini-14, i saw a couple of 20 round boxes at wally's world earlier today for under $5 a box, would like to hear some info and feedback, thanks.

p.s. had to edit due to that fact folks thought i ment steel cased vs. brass cased, i ment steel wrapped lead.

October 9, 2012, 10:15 AM
From reading a lot of posts on this forum and others, it depends on the gun. Some guns appear to hate any steel cased ammo and some eat it up like candy. Some folks swear they would never use steel cased ammo in their guns and others use it all the time. There does not appear to be a consensus one way or another. You'll just have to try some out and see for yourself. My Mini 14 I bought back in 1972 eats steel cased ammo all day long without a hitch.

October 9, 2012, 08:17 PM
As far as I know it should run ok on the Tula stuff. I think most of the fears with steel cased ammo is in the Mini-30 where it's rumored that the steel cased berdan primed ammo is responsible for broken firing pins. Personally I won't run steel cased ammo in my Mini-14 because I reload. You might want to keep in mind that Ruger doesn't seem to approve of the steel cased Russian ammo.
The Mini-14 Ranch and Mini Thirty Rifles are designed to use either standardized U.S. military, or factory loaded sporting cartridges manufactured in accordance with U.S. industry practice. Always be careful to ensure you are using the correct ammunition for your rifle. See “Ammunition Notice” & “Warning - Ammunition,” below.


October 10, 2012, 05:14 AM
My brother's mini will eat steel or brass. I'd say as long as it cycles fine, use it. Just don't switch to brass after shooting steel. I think everyone knows that, though.

October 10, 2012, 10:56 AM
Just don't switch to brass after shooting steel. I think everyone knows that, though.

I didn't.

Do you mean on the same day, or do you mean for ever after? And why?

October 10, 2012, 11:23 AM
Just don't switch to brass after shooting steel. I think everyone knows that, though.

Really, I never heard of that either. Please explain.

October 11, 2012, 01:29 AM
My Mini-14 has 1911 style buffers on the op rod and gas tube. It will not shoot tula with them on. If I take the buffer off the gas tube it will shoot tula just fine. I prefer and almost always shoot brass cased ammo since I reload. Dont really care for steel cased ammunition.

Incidentely, The mini-14 with both buffers will shoot everything Ive ever put in it without one single issue. That includes all factory and handloaded ammo.Tula is the only ammo that Ive ever tried that would not. I have to admit, I was kinda glad.

Tucker 1371
October 12, 2012, 05:15 PM
I'm trying to get away from steel case as much as possible and still keep shooting. I was running some Tula thru my ACR (really just trying to get rid of it bc I have some m193 surplus now) and the bolt literally tore a section of the case head off. The primer was good so the round fired but I had to stop shooting and run a rod down the barrel to pop the case out of the chamber. I had spent about 500rds of the same batch of ammo with no failures other than a stovepipe but this IMO is unsat.

Once this crap is gone I wont buy it again. I will continue to run The Herter's thru my M1A (I know, I know, it's bad but it keeps my shooting, I feel guilty for it every time I load a mag) but since it's apparently just rebadged Tula I may consider trying to hunt down some Port Surplus or Silver Bear .308, I know SB isn't much better but it seems like a slight upgrade to me. If SB makes 5.56 I'd look into them over Tula if you're broke like me and must go steel cased.

October 14, 2012, 06:35 AM
Try a couple boxes and see how it works for you. If it doesn't work, don't use it.

October 14, 2012, 08:47 AM
Sorry for the delay, gentleman, but concerning shooting brass after shooting steel...

These guys do a better job of explaining it through a test here: http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu18.htm

What I have read from many sources has led me to have a strong belief that steel cases don't expand as much as brass cases do in the chamber, therefore, steel cased ammo will leave more powder and residue in the chamber than a brass case (which, by design, seals the chamber almost completely). Many people have had problems shooting steel cased stuff, then without reaming the chamber out, start shooting brass and have extraction failures. I'm no expert, but I certainly will stay away from doing so. If you have done it and you didn't have any problems, then honestly I'm sure you're fine.

October 14, 2012, 08:51 AM
This is the nugget from the source above that will be most helpful in understanding what I mean:

"What's happening here is that the steel Wolf cases aren't expanding enough to form a good seal when fired, so some of the (dirty, carbon-filled) gasses are getting between the case and the chamber, causing a build up of carbon in the chamber that is far in excess of normal. Then, firing a brass case that DOES expand fully will result in that case being "glued" into the chamber by the carbon buildup.

It actually looks to me like the SA brass is BRITTLE, not too soft. Soft brass will be deformed at the case rim where the extractor pulled through it, while hard, brittle brass will just have that section of the rim broken off.

Likely, neither ammo would be a problem on its own, but mixing them is clearly bad news.

October 14, 2012, 05:27 PM
I have a new ruger Mini 14,I bought a case of the Tula very cheap.I had 2 misfires. I checked the ammo no powder. I called Ruger they said if you use that ammo it will void the warranty. I returned the ammo and bought some Federal.
BTW that Tula only has a very light copper wash covering a steel bullet. I am not in favor of sending a steel bullet down a steel barrel, just saying.:) Cliff

October 16, 2012, 09:10 PM
thanks folks for all feedback and info so far, i'm thinking that i dodged the bullet on this steel bullet issue. :D