GUN I feel bad for people whose ARs can't eat steel cased ammo

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by GearHead, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. GearHead

    GearHead Active Member

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    Mine loves it :bowdown:

    But seriously, I can't make this thing jam if I want to. I've tried running 200 rounds of Wolf followed by 100 rounds of Brown Bear through it really fast to gunk up/heat up the bore and then ran a buttload of PMC and Centurion through to see if it would jam up...nada. Fucker kept firing. What a piece of shit.

    In all srsness though, are there any WMDers who have problems with steel cased ammo? Seems to be mostly idiots who hav problems with it...and there are a lot less of those here than Barfcom.
     
  2. eWRXshun

    eWRXshun hai

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    250rds wolf, 200rds monach, 300rds brown bear with 300rds xm193 and M855 mixed in there, only failure was when my friend didn't seat a brand new pmag in all the way.

    idk who has problems with steel cased. my old bushmaster chewed it up all day as well.
     
  3. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    The steel case ammo is really hard on your bolt and extractor. A couple hunders rounds does not qualify. If you were to shoot a couple of cases worth you would see and experience why it is not recomended. Generally the ammo that comes in a steel case is not known for it's accuracy. If your a cheap bastard and are just plinking it might be OK for you. If you had a nice rifle, were shooting for accuracy, long range shooting, compeating or training you would be better off with better ammo.

    Lastly cheap bastard who shoot steel case ammo tend to not pick up their cases and junk the range. If you shoot brass cases and did not pick them up then chances are somebody that reloads will.
     
  4. jeepilot

    jeepilot Banned

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    I've shot Silver Bear through mine, and I had an out of spec round one time that jammed that chamber requiring me to mortar it open. No other issues with that ammo though. Everything else has been privi or federal xm193
     
  5. The Cable Guy

    The Cable Guy New Member

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    My AR has no problems eating up Wolf.

    That being said, I've only ran about 500 rounds of it through it due to fire season in CA. I'd probably get a spare bolt and a few extractors just in case though.
     
  6. sickmonkey44

    sickmonkey44 01

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    I ran mostly wolf through my 5.56 AR. Sold that.

    I built a 5.45x39 AR. That's what I think about steel cases. :boink:
     
  7. Paul Revere

    Paul Revere OT Supporter

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    wow, so a whole 300 rounds? :rofl: take yar's advice. shoot a few cases of that shit through your gun and see how great it'll be.
     
  8. Slick26

    Slick26 Gun|Bike|Cigar|PS3|Beer |Whisky|Night Crew

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    First time I shot my AR I used Wolf and within the first 60 rounds I had a jam, and it was a doozy.
     
  9. Pineapple Devil

    Pineapple Devil beat it!

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    had a case of wolf ran through my RRA AR. no problems so far. now i primarily shoot .22 out of it
     
  10. You have any data to back that up? Wolf isn't exactly using high quality steel for these cases. The truth is that both your extractor and bolt are made of far harder steel than the Wolf cases, and using them will not harm your rifle. Even if it did (which it doesn't) the cost savings vs. other plinking ammo would easily pay for new bolts/extractors far more quickly than the ammo could possibly wear them out.

    Slightly off topic, but relevant... if these steel cases are damaging to bolts/extractors, then why don't we see all sorts of problems with AK style rifles that shoot steel cased ammo almost exclusively? Did the Communists happen upon some magic steel for their bolts/extractors that resists the damaging effects of steel cased ammo?

    Cliffs on Wolf (and other steel cased ammo):

    1: It's dirty. The cases don't obturate to the chamber as well as brass and you will see more carbon buildup in there. Simply give it a good cleaning and it'll all come out. People have had problems with stuck cases after shooting a bunch of steel cased ammo, then shooting brass cased ammo. Just clean the chamber when you're done with the steel and you'll be fine.

    2: It's certainly less accurate. This isn't match ammo, this isn't ammo designed to shoot groups. It's plinking ammo. I hate hearing people talk about how it's not accurate enough for them, then they go out and dump magazines at milk jugs offhand at 50 yards. Believe me, it's accurate enough for that.

    3: If one or two rounds have a problem in a case, consider that to be a small downside. Again, this is cheap plinking ammo. Don't bring it into a war zone or rely on it for home defense. If you get a bad round just eject it and move on.
     
  11. Slick26

    Slick26 Gun|Bike|Cigar|PS3|Beer |Whisky|Night Crew

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    Ah Jesus... here we go again.
     
  12. As long as people approach this topic from a position of FACTS rather than opinions or feelings, this should be a short discussion.
     
  13. Here's a little bit of fact...

    Good brass cases are generally made of 260 brass, also called "cartridge brass." This material has a hardness of HRB77 (that's a Rockwell Hardness of B77.)

    Steel cases like found in Wolf ammo are made of mild steel, something like a 1018. I have not been able to find the specific formulation Wolf uses, but it is well known that they use a cheap mild steel, and 1018 (or a similar material) is the likely alloy (and really, it wouldn't make sense for Wolf to use a harder, more expensive steel.) 1018 has a hardness of HRB71.

    Yeah, 1018 mild steel is actually SOFTER than 260 brass.
     
  14. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    This is a pretty good summary of what I think of the stuff. Personally I don't shoot the stuff much but it runs fine in my gun and have no hesitations about using it.
     
  15. Keesh

    Keesh New Member

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    Agreed.


    I've tried looking up info on the mild steel vs. brass, thanks for posting that MG.
     
  16. No problem. I'm trying to find the hardness specification on Carpenter 158 steel. I know that's not what's commonly used now (what's used now is allegedly even better) but that's what was used in the past for AR bolts.
     
  17. Ok, so I registered for the technical data area on Carpenter's website. Their 158 alloy is rated on the Rockwell C scale, which is different from the B scale used to rate the 260 brass and 1018 mild steel. The C scale is used for harder steels. I'm looking for a conversion factor to compare it to 260 and 1018.


    EDIT: I found a conversion table... The case hardness of the 158 (case hardness being the one that matters here, as it's the material that's in contact with the steel cartridge case) is HRC 61-62 depending on the treatment. The conversion chart for HRC to HRB doesn't even go that far. The HARDEST HRC rating that's converted to HRB is HRC 55, which corresponds to HRB of 120. What can logically be gained from this is that the HRC 61-62 case hardness of the 158 alloy is MASSIVELY harder than the 1018 and 260 materials. (Taken the other way, trying to convert the HRB numbers of 77 for the 260 and 71 for the 1018 would actually result in a HRC number LESS than 0) For shits and giggles, the core hardness of the 158 (that's the part under the case hardening, which doesn't really matter for our purpose here since it never contacts the cartridge case) is 37-38. That corresponds to a HRB rating of 110, still massively harder than either 260 or 1018.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2009
  18. Razardica

    Razardica Active Member

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    I came into post what MG posted

    Your tool steel extractor and bolt (made of Carpenter whateverthefuck) are way harder than the malleable, soft steel that the cases of this stuff are made out of.

    Obturation in the chamber, blah blah blah.

    I have a case of Hornady training ammo for my EAG course in a few weeks.
     
  19. Where have you been? I haven't seen you in here lately.
     
  20. zumin3k

    zumin3k New Member

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    Good info MG, thanks.
    My AR is 5.45 and shoots exclusively steel cased. Haven't had a failure yet...
     
  21. ChipOnShoulder

    ChipOnShoulder New Member

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    The amount of money you'd save shooting two cases of Wolf vs. brass reloads you could buy yourself a new bolt carrier group, compared to shoot factory brass ammo.

    I can't bring myself to shoot Wolf though, knowing that in 2006 I could've bought a case of Lake City XM855 for the exact same price (or slightly cheaper) than what Wolf is going for these days.

    I'd rather got through the huge hassle of reloading brass. Plus, the snob factor runs a bit high in me despite my measly income and best efforts to un-snobify.

    If I were to shoot Wolf, all i'd do is make SURE to bring a rod to the range. I've now personally seen 5 people get stuck cases with Wolf, and all of them didn't bring rods. Sometimes I had mine, sometimes i didn't. At my 3 day carbine class, a national guardsman/cop shot 2000 rounds of Wolf out of his beat up LMT with no cleaning, and got only 1 stuck case. However, a 19 year old kid with two limited edition Magpul/Noveske rifles got malfunctions all the time with Wolf. The kid may have failed to lubricate his rifles adequately, i dunnow.
     
  22. JRucker2004

    JRucker2004 New Member

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    there's a LOT more to it than just the hardness of the metal. Cases do strange things when under 50,000 psi. When under those kinds of pressure, similar metals will sometimes gall when dissimilar metals don't.
    The fact of the matter is steel cased ammo has been around for a LONG time, and most militaries used it during ww1 and ww2 (including us, how's that for an internet commando conundrum).
    I've shot a few thousand rounds of wolf .223 through my first AR, and had a few stuck cases after I neglected to clean the chamber. Quick swipe of the brush, and I was back in business.
     
  23. What else am I missing? The extractor issues bandied about by people really don't have to do with any galling, it's always some vague "it wears the extractor" comment. The firing of the case really wouldn't have any effect on the extractor as far as steel vs. brass goes. The only real wear on the extractor is as it snaps over the case rim and then as the case rotates out of it when its ejected. As far as those things go, the hardness of the materials is the issue. As for the bolt wear issues, I'm really interested in what exact kind of bolt wear people are talking about.

    I agree with the rest of your post.
     
  24. ChipOnShoulder

    ChipOnShoulder New Member

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    The issue with Wolf cases has been agreed upon by internet experts (lol) seems to be lack of obutration, where the case doesn't expand enough to seal the chamber completely... hence why brass after wolf is more likely to get stuck.

    I remember reading that you should always tumble lube off of brass cases, or else the case won't stick to the chamber enough during firing and put more wear and tear on your bolt. Wouldn't a similiar issue happen with Wolf, where the case doesn't expand enough to stick to the chamber? That might be what people are referring to with Wolf ammo being harsher on the bolt itself.

    I'm a lazy fuck, i've never tumbled lube off of my loaded rounds, haha, that's probably 4K down the pipe this year?

    Like I noted before though, the amount of money you save shooting Wolf makes all this kinda irrelevant. Shoot 3 cases, buy a new BCM/LMT bolt and cam pin, you still come out $400 ahead compared to shooting 3 cases of factory brass ammo, given prices are at $350-$400 for brass vs. $240 for Wolf.

    I thought I was getting raped when I was buying Lake City green tip for $220 in 2005. :hs:
     
  25. The lack of obturation is well known. The steel has a higher tensile strength than the 260 brass and is more resistant to the pressure than the brass. That's what leads to the higher chance of getting a case stuck, especially if you shoot a brass case after the steel case without cleaning. That said, it's easy enough just to clean the chamber, and if you do get a case stuck, just unstick it. My main point that I want to get across in this thread is that the bolt/extractor wear issues are based on nothing factual.
     

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