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Old September 8, 2018, 08:00 AM   #1
Mobuck
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New upper for "steel match" ammo

I found a good deal on a pile of Hornady "Steel Match" ammo so I've decided I'm going to have a designated steel case upper. Nothing special, just a diet of 100% steel case ammo. We'll see if things work or break due to the steel cases but I'm doubting I'll note much diff. My S&W 5.45 upper has been working for years on steel case only ammo w/o issues.
If the steel match ammo is as accurate as the brass case Hornady econo grade ammo, I'll be a happy camper.
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Old September 8, 2018, 09:13 AM   #2
Ben Dover
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The Hornady steel case is "Match Grade." It should be more accurate than their brass case.
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Old September 8, 2018, 11:07 PM   #3
marine6680
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It uses their match bullets, so barrel life should be good.

The extractor may wear out quicker, and it will be more dirty probably.
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Old September 9, 2018, 07:25 AM   #4
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Since the ammo is actually loaded by Hornady, I'm not sure it will be any "dirtier" than other domestic ammo. The 5.45 V-Max Hornady I've used seems no worse than other caliber domestic.
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Old September 9, 2018, 08:33 AM   #5
brasscollector
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Are you going to buy an upper off the shelf or build your own? I know certain manufacturers recommend against using steel cased ammo for some reason.
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Old September 9, 2018, 06:35 PM   #6
marine6680
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By dirtier, I mean because of case blowback. Steel doesn't seal the chamber as well.


Manufacturers recommend against steel case for a couple reasons... The main reason is that most steel case is Russian, and has an odd pressure curve that may not cycle an AR well. So they want to avoid warranty claims due to weak ammo. The other reason is that cheap Russian ammo wears out parts faster.
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Old September 9, 2018, 09:58 PM   #7
Mobuck
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"Are you going to buy an upper off the shelf or build your own?"
Already assembled (not built), test fired, and zeroed. A jumble of assorted parts including some second hand pieces from the parts box. Brownells BCG, decent standard PSA FCG, 18" rifle gassed barrel from an internet sale, used gas block/tube/handguard, and generic upper BUT it runs like a champ and showed pretty good accuracy with generic commercial reloaded FMJ. I assembled uppers using two of these barrels and this one seems a bit more accurate right off the blocks. The 18" rifle gas was just barely getting enough gas during the initial test firing but a few shots took the edges off and it now does fine.

Marine6680, I understand your comment now. Hadn't really given that much thought. Guess we'll see when the ammo gets here.
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Old September 11, 2018, 04:57 PM   #8
bfoosh006
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Be sure to get a chrome lined chamber. Chrome is about ten times "harder" then steel... so very little chance of steel case "wearing" a chrome lined chamber.
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Old September 11, 2018, 08:15 PM   #9
Mobuck
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Melanite inside and out as far as I know.
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Old September 12, 2018, 12:20 PM   #10
bfoosh006
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Melonited Chamber Barrels are better then a SS barrel, IMHO, with steel cases.

Any way I look at it.. the "harder" the chamber surface the better.

BTW, which Steel Match Ammo ? 75gr ?... If so... buy a decent barrel... I repeatedly have hit man-sized steel torso targets at 794yds with 75gr Horn. Steel Training ammo.

And given the Horn. 75gr bullet... it doubles as a GTG SD round. All for about 30cents per round.
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Old September 12, 2018, 02:26 PM   #11
T. O'Heir
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The entire upper won't make any difference at all. A steel case only extractor will though.
The material the case is made out of has nothing to do with 'Match' grade either. The bullet does. Just remember that Hornady Steel cased ammo is not reloadable.
You're doing the whole thing backwards too. If you're going to use factory ammo, you buy the rifle first and try a box of as many brands as you can to find the ammo it shoots best. Not the ammo first and hope a new rifle will shoot it well.
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Old September 12, 2018, 05:01 PM   #12
Ben Dover
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Steel cased Match only means that Hornady has decided to load their Match grade bullets in a less expensive steel case so the "unwashed masses" can now afford them,
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Old September 12, 2018, 09:13 PM   #13
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The ammo I got is 55 grain flat base HP. I've shot the same bullets in Hornady's brass cased "American Gunner" grade the last two winters with positive results. I'd prefer V-Max bullets for coyotes but the 55HP has done OK out to maybe 300 yards.
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