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Old December 16, 2019, 03:35 PM   #1
the45er
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Shooting steel bullets in 45 ACP

Tulammo - I have some but am concerned that shooting it in my 45's might not be the best thing for my barrels. Is the concern valid?
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Old December 16, 2019, 03:43 PM   #2
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I think your ammo is steel case, not steel bullets. The bullets themselves should be lead with a copper jacket, the same as any other round. As such it will have no effect on your barrel. Some are concerned about the steel case will accelerate wear on the extractor. Personally that has not been my experience
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Old December 16, 2019, 04:21 PM   #3
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I don't know but I'll tell you this, a magnet sticks to the bullets like glue!
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Old December 16, 2019, 04:49 PM   #4
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The bullets can be bi-metal (with steel) in addition to the cases being steel.

Will this wear your barrel faster than copper jacketed lead? Lucky Gunner has a test on their website to address this question for ARs. Now keep in mind with an AR there is notably higher pressure and bullet velocity, which should wear barrels much faster than a pistol. In the test the end result, IIRC, was that while bi-metal bullets will wear barrels faster, by the time you wear out the barrel you could buy multiple replacement barrels with the money you've saved.

Now with a pistol it's a bit different than just screwing in a new barrel. You would likely need a certain degree of fitting. That said, I imagine you would still save far more than spent on a new barrel (by the time you would wear one out).

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Old December 16, 2019, 06:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the45er
Tulammo - I have some but am concerned that shooting it in my 45's might not be the best thing for my barrels. Is the concern valid?
Yes.

The bullet cover is much softer steel than a gun barrel, so a few rounds of it once in awhile shouldn't do any harm. Just don't make it a regular thing.

I once bought a thousand rounds of "surplus" ammo that turned out to be a steel-covered bullet with a copper wash over the steel. I gave it to a cousin who didn't care what it was as long as it went bang.
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Old December 16, 2019, 06:38 PM   #6
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I wouldn’t shoot it in a $2k 1911.
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Old December 16, 2019, 06:57 PM   #7
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I’ve shot many 1000s through untold handguns with no problems, shoot away
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Old December 16, 2019, 07:08 PM   #8
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Shoot it!
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Old December 17, 2019, 02:20 PM   #9
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Wally’s is (supposedly) getting out of the ammo business and they are selling their remaining inventory off cheap, i.e., Win USA Forged 9mm steelcased 150 round boxes for $11.00. So I’ve been shooting a lot of this ammo and it shoots fine in my Gen3 17 & 19. No damage or excessive wear to speak of.
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Old December 17, 2019, 02:57 PM   #10
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I have picked up used barrels at gun shops, gun shows for my M1911s. All are pretty accurate. I would got that route.
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Old December 17, 2019, 05:59 PM   #11
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Wally’s is (supposedly) getting out of the ammo business and they are selling their remaining inventory off cheap, i.e., Win USA Forged 9mm steelcased 150 round boxes for $11.00.
I keep hearing that. I keep looking for it without seeing anything but white box for what they've always sold it for.
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Old December 18, 2019, 04:22 AM   #12
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It's likely to wear the barrel more, but wear is much lower on a subsonic caliber, and the cost savings on ammo are so drastic that you'll likely come out ahead even if you do eventually need barrel replacement.
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Old December 18, 2019, 12:39 PM   #13
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"...magnet sticks to the bullets like glue!..." Still isn't a steel bullet. Only the jacket is steel and it's very mild steel at that. Steel cased is just that. The cases are mild steel.
"...bullets can be bi-metal..." That means they are lead cored with a copper wash on the mild steel jacket.
All of the above won't hurt any firearm. However, some extractors dislike steel cases. And the ammo is made to be cheap not accurate. Mild steel being much less expensive than brass and copper. None of it is very high in quality either.
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Old December 19, 2019, 01:44 AM   #14
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I read about the use of steel cased ammo for the M1911A1 during WW2 and it was found to have a reputation for breaking extractors, so they discontinued it and went back to brass cased ammo.
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Old December 19, 2019, 08:12 AM   #15
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As an aside, actually 2...I have been 'told' by one or 2 that steel is either OK or will wear out your extractor BUT the second 'aside'..the 4 local to me WW are out of ammo now. Last foray I got lots of Federal alu and brass 9mm for $5 for 50 and Winchester white box .380 for $7 per 50.YOWSER!!

BUT brass/alu so similar in $ to the forged stuff..and my ranges don't like steel cases..I'll stick with brass or aluminum..
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Old December 20, 2019, 10:33 AM   #16
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The very mild steel used in the jackets will do no harm to your weapon whatsoever.

I've used a ton of this kind of ammo. During WW2 and Korea., American arsenals made billions of rounds of steel jacket for issue to the troops.

It never harmed their M-1s or 1911s.
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Old December 21, 2019, 12:33 AM   #17
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steel

Ammunition using bi-metal projectiles (bullets) and have been discussed as to wear on the barrel. I wonder though, how much a mild steel case v. a brass case wears on component parts like the breech face, extractor and ejector?

Also, Ben Dover, are we sure that US arsenals used bi-metal projectiles in WWII and Korea for the 1911 and the M1 rifle (and I assume, M1 carbine)?

I think I have seen some .45 ACP that had steel case, but I cannot say for certain. I don't know if I have seen a U.S .45 or .30 carbine or rifle round with a bi-metal projectile jacket. 'Course, I never have really put a magnet to any either.......always believed that US arsenal GI ammo was copper cased, copper jacket lead, or black tip AP....... copper jacket and hardened steel core.
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Old December 21, 2019, 12:39 AM   #18
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look first, post later

Well, a very cursory search seems to indicate that there was indeed bi-metal projectiles in US produced in ammo, WWII.

I had no ideal, curious as to what other can add.
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Old December 21, 2019, 12:48 AM   #19
Jim Watson
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Steel jackets go all the way back to the .30 Army ( .30-40 Krag). Then plated with cupronickel.
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Old December 21, 2019, 04:28 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDBerg View Post
Wally’s is (supposedly) getting out of the ammo business and they are selling their remaining inventory off cheap
While that is true to some extent, it is somewhat misleading. People think, "selling their inventory" means selling what they have left on hand in their stores and warehouses. That is not the case. Wal-Mart has contractual agreements with most all of their vendors, (ammunition manufacturers included), to purchase a given amount of product during the duration of said contracts.

What that basically means in a nutshell, is they will continue to purchase ammo from their vendors, and sell it until those contracts run out, not the ammo supply in their stores.

That is how Wal-Mart is able to sell it's goods for less than other stores. They agree to purchase very large volumes of product over a given time span. They have the ability to move large amounts of product, because of the size and amount of stores they have. Where as other stores do not have the nationwide, (and in some cases worldwide), sales network that Wal-Mart has. They then get these goods at much cheaper prices. It's basically nothing more than, "volume pricing" on steroids.

The bottom line is Wal-Mart could very well keep selling ammunition for the next several months. For some stores it might even be a year or more, until the purchasing contracts run out.

Remember, this was all politically motivated by Wal-Mart to appeal to the anti gun crowd. So it was an almost certainty there was going to be a fairly large amount of B.S. wrapped up in the whole proposal. This was it.

"Getting out of the ammo selling business", was basically true..... However it will be at their leisure. The dollars, ALWAYS the dollars first and foremost.
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Old December 21, 2019, 07:06 AM   #21
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I don't use an awful lot of Tula .45 ACP in my 1911 but it is nice to shoot a box or three every now and then and not have to worry about chasing brass. IMO extractor wear from steel cased is internet hearsay. As for barrel wear I agree with TunnelRat. If it even does accelerate wear it would take so long to do it that it would be a non issue
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Old December 21, 2019, 07:13 AM   #22
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The only steel cased ammunition I shoot is 7.62 X 39 MM out of my AK's. They're designed around steel cased ammunition. I reload for everything else. So for me steel cased ammo isn't worth the tiny bit of savings it offers in pistol ammo. I can buy brass cased, boxer primed pistol ammo for just a few pennies more per round.

Right now I don't reload 9 MM or .45 ACP because factory ammo is so cheap. But at some point it won't be. Then I'll have 5 gallon pails of the stuff to reload. I also have the dies, powder, and bullet molds. So my guns will never go silent due to lack of ammunition.
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Old December 21, 2019, 08:19 AM   #23
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The bottom line is Wal-Mart could very well keep selling ammunition for the next several months. For some stores it might even be a year or more, until the purchasing contracts run out.

Remember, this was all politically motivated by Wal-Mart to appeal to the anti gun crowd. So it was an almost certainty there was going to be a fairly large amount of B.S. wrapped up in the whole proposal. This was it.
I don't doubt what you said but the 4 WWs local to me..all their handgun ammo shelves are bare. 9mm, 380, 38spec, 357mag...40cal...all are no mas.

Not making any political statements, just my observation around here.
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Old December 22, 2019, 11:55 PM   #24
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cupro nickel

I've got some old WWI era (half moon clipped in original boxes!!) .45 acp that is indeed cupro nickel and was aware of that arrangement early on. But I believed that once copper/lead go developed as time went on, bi-metal for U.S. arsenal ammo became a thing of the past.

Clearly I was wrong. Live and learn.

Hope your feeling better Watson!!
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Old December 28, 2019, 01:59 PM   #25
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I got 'round to poking in my box of oddities.
A .45 ACP headstamp ECS 43 has a galvanized steel case and a copper plated steel bullet jacket. Magnetic on both ends.
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