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Old October 17, 2013, 10:21 AM   #1
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A silly question about ammunition and steel core rounds

For the longest time, I was under the (Mistaken) impression that steel cased rounds all had a steel core penetrator of some such, thus making them unsuitable to shoot at indoor ranges.

My question is in regards to Wolf Performance ammunition, would this ammunition be prohibited? How can I tell if a round has said steel core penetrators in them that would make them prohibited at indoor ranges. I'd like to buy some more ammunition for my AR15, or at least shoot what I have on hand (That being wolf ammunition) at a nearby range without having to buy new ammo at this point.

Please forgive my ignorance here, and thanks for reading.
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Old October 17, 2013, 10:55 AM   #2
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Typically at indoor ranges, it simply doesn't matter what the actual construction of the bullet itself is. It is -FAR- easier for the management of the range (for their own protection) to simply enforce whatever rule is easiest for them to enforce.

Many ranges will prohibit simply by brand, others will run a strong magnet over the bullet itself.

So while we could have a discussion on what some ammo can/may/will do to the backstop of an indoor range, it may end up being a moot point when you visit a particular range. And while this may annoy or anger some folks... I thinks it's awfully difficult to tell someone that owns the place how they should run it.

Many conspiracy theories run rampant, usually circling around the idea that patrons get "set up" to purchase over priced ammo from the range/shop instead, but that doesn't override the idea that someone owns the place and that person isn't the customer.
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Old October 19, 2013, 10:30 PM   #3
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As stated above, the range makes the rules.
I shoot at one indoor range that prohibits all steel cased ammo, and at another prohibits steel core and bimetal jacketed bullets in both pistol and rifle calibers. If the bullet sticks to their big rare earth magnet, it is verboten in their range.
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Old October 20, 2013, 03:46 PM   #4
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brass case doesnt mean steel core or steel jacket bullet.

Many ranges make money reselling the fired casings they shovel off the floor. Reloading companies wont buy steel cases,, so no profit there. And many ranges wont let you bring your own ammo or take your casings home so thats a good profit margin there.

However i have oodles of soviet surplus from the 50s featuring a BRASS case with steel core bullet.
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Old October 20, 2013, 07:27 PM   #5
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I don't know any indoor ranges here that don't allow steel core or case, but then I don't know all the ranges and all their rules.
But the outdoor ranges don't allow any steel that sticks to a magnet. As it poses a fire danger.
In fact, a few weeks ago at Oak Tree something started a fire, a brush fire up the hill when I was there. Within seconds it was a large fire.
We use a magnet to look for steel at Burro Canyon.
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Old October 21, 2013, 03:51 AM   #6
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The reasoning behind prohibiting steel jacketed ammunition is damage to the backstop here at Diamondback in Lewiston. Steel on steel after thousands and thousands of rounds can eventually wear away the bullet trap. At the Lewis-Clark wildlife club range outside Lapwai we have had concerns of brush fires due to sparks in the middle of summer.
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Old October 21, 2013, 07:53 AM   #7
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The range does not make that much money selling the brass. In fact, it probably doesn't even cover the labor of sweeping the stuff up. Also, separating steel cases from brass is easy. Most ranges do not object to steel or aluminum cases. The story I've heard is that: 1) it tears up the concrete floor and 2) it can cause a fire inside of the backstop. The one indoor range I go to permits bi-metal pistol ammo, just not bi-metal rifle ammo.
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Old October 21, 2013, 04:23 PM   #8
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Do you mean steel cartridge case or steel jacket?
I thought you meant cartridge case, but some people seem to be replying in regard to jacket. I remember hearing about some steel jacketed bullets, but I don't think any are available commercially in the US.

Anything harder than lead hitting the bullet traps is going to cause more wear than lead. If they use the magnet test they can't tell is the ammo with steel cartridge case also has steel in the bullet or not.

Also, lead rarely ricochets back to more than 10 yards. Every time I have seen or heard of a fragment coming back it was jacketed ammo and the fragment had at least part of the jacket.
Lots of really good reasons NOT to shoot steel or jacketed rounds at an indoor range.
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Old October 21, 2013, 05:24 PM   #9
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I'm talking about the steel/bi-metal core that apparently is present in some surplus ammunition. From my understanding, this is most prevelant in Russian surplus 7.62x54r ammunition (though I could be wrong, the spam can stuff I got stuck to a magnet)

I've not tried testing any of the Wolf ammunition that I have to see if it'll stick to a magnet or not.

Other than testing the ammo with a magnet, I was wondering if there is a marking on the packaging or the rounds themselves that would denote if they have such a thing in them, that would make them forbidden to shoot at my local indoor range.

Initially, I had assumed that Steel cased ammunition = they must all have steel/bi-metal penetrators in them, therefore are not allowed to be fired at my range. That apparently is not the case.
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Old October 22, 2013, 03:30 PM   #10
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Wolf 7.62x39 is bi-metal (steel/lead bullet). So is Wolf 5.56.
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