Shooting steel case ammo

Mike D

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I have been in a lot of conversations on this topic. Some say absolutely not, some, (myself included) say shoot and clean the gun when you get home. A lot of it IS on the dirty side. I remember hearing someone say that the government supplied troops with steel case ammo in the war, didn't know if that was true of not. I recently found this in one of my safes. File under info no one was looking for, but interesting.
Hope everyone is covid free and still shooting!
 

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264BORESTEVE

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Some years back, I had a Springfield GI model that I was putting a fair amount of Wolf 230 ball (steel case) through. I had gotten a super buy on 1000 rounds I couldn’t pass up. I clean my guns after every outing. At about the 500 round mark through the pistol I noticed, what could be best described as, a slight “dent” being worn on the top side of the inside of the chamber. I slowly cycled this ammo through the pistol making note of the angle of feed out of the magazine and contact points along the way. The mouth of the case was making contact with the affected area of the chamber every time. While the case steel is softer than the barrel steel, it was slowly wearing away at the harder steel in an accelerated fashion. I sold the rest of the ammo to a friend with a Glock 21 that didn’t seem to care, even though I told him why I was selling it. I haven’t shot any steel cased ammo since. This may not happen on every pistol, but it did on mine.
 

Mike D

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Good point, and it was the government, so they probably overlooked that, as normal wear. I've checked mine, don't see any unusual looking wear patterns, but I'll keep an eye open. Thanks for the info!
 

spacelordmaster

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Steel case ammo is not worth the $2.00 you are saving my brother. That 1911's health is worth more than that. Stick with the normal stuff.
 

NITINOL

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I would advise you to avoid steel cased ammo { except for 'blaster' units. ("Blaster" is an unofficial term used by a group I hung around to denote a functional but worn, inaccurate from 'mileage', or out of spec used platform (usually rifles) that was still safe to use.) } Militaries have armories, and backing of nation states; thus, can replace parts/units even with unnecessary accelerated wear.
I also avoid the lacquer '?' coated ammo as well. Friend had a new/fresh ammo round 'glue' in his chamber which lead to a case-head separation in his mini14.
The steel case is harder in itself, and I'm also concerned of it increasing abrasion damage when crud gets in during use. IE: sandy dust, dry mud dust, high round count event.
This is my choice for my equipment. I do not have a need or emergency cause for use of steel cased ammo. Before the 'shortage', I could get the brass cased ammo without issue, direct pickup, at competitive prices for what I have. Add in shipping and barrel replacement, not such a deal any more.
Note: I do not have numbers on the people who used/use steel cased ammo and have suffered the extra wear and who did not. Your mileage may vary.
 

Mike D

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Steel case ammo is not worth the $2.00 you are saving my brother. That 1911's health is worth more than that. Stick with the normal stuff.
I agree, I wasn't recommending a diet of the stuff, as stated in the original post. I was just pointing out that at one time, the government did, in fact, supply our troops with it. All of my guns are clean enough to eat out of. Would I shoot some of it on occasion? Sure. But, if you want to see dirty, just look at your remaining ammo in a mag of 5.56 after you've gone through 15 or 20 rounds, with a can hanging on the front of an AR pistol. Now that's dirty! Anyhow, the theme of the post was the box, from the Evansville, IN ordinance plant. (A 1911 oddity)
Keep shootin'
 

Bender

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Nothing wrong with steel case ammo Mike’

As long as you realize the limitations, there are no downfalls. Most wear will be seen on the extractor. The lacquer buildup isn’t an issue, as long as you clean regularly. Clean the chamber damn well before shooting brass. I had heard rumors of the use of steel case 45, had never seen a box. Very cool Mike’
 

joepistol

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i've been a brass hound for many years, collecting fired cases that others left lying on the ground.
somewhere, @ sometime in years past, I found a few steel cased 45acp cases. As I was younger,
( & less wiser) I actually loaded a steel case with a light load, to see if it would work.
It functioned fine..Don't think I did this more than once,, just did it to see if it would work.
The case had a '43 head stamp.My .guess it was GI ammo.
.so yes, there was steel cased 45 ammo.back during WWII era,
I'll have to look for it in my stash..as I don't seem to ever get rid of brass..
 

Mike Galway

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The longer this ammo shortage goes on , the less picky people tend to be . In '08 I saw people scarfing it up that previously would never have bought it . I've shot some a couple times , didn't notice anything .
 

gordyt

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I had an interesting experience with the Winchester steel case 9mm ammo (that I ordered by mistake).

My Staccato P would not function reliably with it. That is the only ammo that it ever had a problem with.

My NC Thunder Ranch Combat Special had zero issues with it.

I also tried it in an old Ruger P95 DC. Also zero issues.

Anyway, I had a thousand rounds of the stuff. I'm a little more careful when I order ammo now.
 

Mike Galway

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I have been in a lot of conversations on this topic. Some say absolutely not, some, (myself included) say shoot and clean the gun when you get home. A lot of it IS on the dirty side. I remember hearing someone say that the government supplied troops with steel case ammo in the war, didn't know if that was true of not. I recently found this in one of my safes. File under info no one was looking for, but interesting.
Hope everyone is covid free and still shooting!
I have used steel case ammo many times but not in my semi auto's of any kind. Lets face it steel is harder than brass and brass is more malleable. The repeated striking of the steel casing on an ejector and other contact areas will in time show more than a brass casing because of the hardness difference. Now on my bolt action rifles it is of no issue since if you carefully and slowly extract the spent casing you control the amount of strike force to eject the casing. I have many 8mm mauser steel surplus which work quite well. The steel surplus I have is also lacquered. Pretty much that is my take on it. Take care!
 

Jennifers

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Yes, the US Military issued steel cased .45 ACP ammo in WWII. I've got some WWII steel cased WWII 8mm Mauser and 9mm too (German). ALL US military .30 M1 Carbine ammo was/is NON-corrosive too, while the corrosive primed .30-06 ammo lasted until 1954, for target ammo, as the corrosive primer gave better accuracy. Yes, China made some "WWII style" steel cased M1 Carbine ammo, dated, I think, 1954 or 1955 that was corrosive. Some of it was sold as "US mil. steel cased .30 Carbine ammo", but it wasn't US made.

ALL steel cased cases (yes, including Berdan) CAN be reloaded (the factory loaded it didn't they?!). The trick is to use WAY, WAY "too much" lube when resizing, and wait for the "BANG!" when the boxer primer pops loose! First time I did it I thought it was a live primer going off!

Just for fun, you DO know that Col. Berdan, of Berdan primers was an American officer (later General) in the Civil War (aka war of Northern Aggression) and designed the Berdan primer don't you? Lt. Boxer (later Lt. Col.) of Boxer primer fame was an English officer who designed the Boxer primer. The hunters in the west NEEDED to be able to reload their own ammo, Europe (Royalty, corrupt politicos) were pretty much opposed to the slaves,,, er.... sheeple, ...ah... working classes having guns and being able to reload ammo, (a "right" reserved for the upper classes, don't you know) so adopted the Berdan primer. At one time the US ammo factories sold reloading kits for PRIMERS, but this was usually for shotgun primers, with primer pellets and anvils. You think 9mm loading is a pain? Try prying out the shotshell primer anvil, putting a primer pellet in the primer, and then seating a new anvil!

As to the Winchester steel-cased 9mm (or any other steel-cased "US" ammo), Winchester does not make the cases, they "import the cases and load them here to Winchester factory spec". At least that is what the Winchester factory lit. claims. I have not tried it, but have read reviews of it, which may or may not be totally accurate/true, as to accuracy, being dirty, etc. Some claim Win set up a seperate line for the steel cased stuff, with different (dirty) powders to force people to go buy their White Box ammo. I enjoy a good conspiracy story as much as the next person, but I have some trouble with the "two lines/dirty powder/load junk" story.
 
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mm1911

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I’ve had a few FTE’s with my 45 caliber 1911’s, unfortunately they were in matches so went back to brass, shot tons out of my Glocks with no issues, if all I had would certainly shoot out of my two 9mm 1911’s
 

Zipper046

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I usually avoid the steel cased stuff....personal preference. If I do shoot it...it's usually Wolf 9mm in one of my Glocks. It was fine for plinking/practicing, but I wouldn't run a match with it or use it for carry ammo. And I NEVER use it in my beloved 1911's....LOL.
 

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