Steel case ammo bad?



I did the math a while back. Steel does shorten the life of your barrel, a bit. But the number of rounds needed to wear it out is rather high. The savings in ammo more than pays for a new barrel. However, some guns are picky and don’t like to cycle on steel. Only my comp AR is like that. Also, many indoor ranges to not allow steel cased ammo because the lead is low grade, has steel in it, and damages the back stop and bullet traps.


Definitely a savings! I mainly only shoot steel out of the 7.62x39 ruger Ranch bolt action rifle, and some out of my s&w 2.0. 9mm



Ruger Ranch bolt in 7.62x39 - interesting rifle, am considering it (as well as several others).



I run steel in my Hi Point(who cares if I wear it out! It was $129!) and it does fine. My Walther PK380 doesn’t like it at all, and my AR-15 has a match grade chamber so steel is a no way.

Of course my Type 53 will eat all the steel I feed it!


I make sure everything I carry can cycle it. But I prefer not to shoot it myself. But, I do use it to judge a weapons system and reliability. If it will cycle steel case, then I do not worry about it. This is something I tell a lot of people. For the ultimate in accuracy, you need the weapon to be as tight as possible. For reliability, you need it loose (there is a sweet spot for both of course) I prefer to be somewhere in between those.
I will shoot steel case but not out of any match grade barrel. Oh, the horrors I have seen…
I can say this, if you have a match grade stainless barrel… do not heat up that barrel and then leave a cartridge in the chamber. It will stick! Hahahhaha


Here is my take on it. Some steel ammo is far more durable than brass ammo if it is lacquer coated. Here is a test for everyone to try. Take a round of brass ammo and a round of steel case lacquer coated ammo and drop both of them in a glass of water and leave them for a week. After a week remove the projectile with a billet remover and see if the powder is dry in the brass and steel. I have already ran this test a few times and I was surprised that I could still fire the steel lacquer ammo, but the brass ammo powder was mud.


For all but absolute have to precision shots steel case is fine, great for plinking and accurate enough for any carbine/pistol training…I use it in a Wilson Combat stainless fluted match barrel 1/8 Wylde chamber and it creates no issues…I would not own a gun that will not run with steel…


a lot of the steel case ammo also is sealed at neck and primer…majority of 5.56/223 is not other than military grade ammo…they are also sealed at primer and neck…if there is a red or some other color ring around neck or primer it has been sealed and should last a very long time in water…


I’ve saved enough money on the steel ammo for the Ruger that I can go out and replace the rifle tomorrow!


Can’t beat the price for what you get!


I think the real issue with steel cased ammo isn’t so much the case, but the bi-metal bullets many of them are loaded with. Very harsh on barrels and indoor range backstops. Otherwise, the case material isn’t a huge deal unless its in a very tight chamber and only because of the differences in expansion speeds between brass and steel


as far as savings goes though, its hard to beat. for the price difference, if you don’t mind a few hiccups here and there you can afford to shoot out an AR barrel every few months and replace it with money still left over compared to shooting the same amount of rounds with brass cased ammo. I read a study charting this out a while back that was extremely comprehensive and detailed examining the effects of different brands of steel cased ammo on rental guns at a popular range and it was pretty amazing actually. I’ll have to look around and see if i can find that again.


If I remember right, it’s like 20k-30k rounds to shoot out a barrel with steel ammo. Brass is a bit higher, like 40k+ That’s a lot of rounds. Even reloading my .223 cost per bullet is about 20 cents each.


For me in my case it boils down to the dollar
I can buy 2k rounds of steel .223 for the price of a case of brass that’s a no brainer in my book
But most of my weapons are designed to shoot steel cases ammunition
The argument of bi metal projectiles is pretty futile in most people’s cases
Most people that even regularly go to the range and shoot won’t shoot enough ammo to blow out a barrel in all honesty
Would I shoot steel in a AR sure if it’s all one had
I’m a bullet junkie and own a very very large stockpile of ammunition
In today’s market one cannot achieve this buying brass cases ammo unles your rich
In the end honestly a bullet is a bullet I’d rather have a lot than just a little
I don’t nickel and dime though I buy by the case
Just my .02



have you shot steel case ammo thru your Ruger 7.62x39 rifle? Any problems doing that?


Ive ran several k of steel case through one of my AR15s, no issues at all.


I’ve shot over 600 rounds of wolf steel without any issues in the ruger


My first range trip with my Ranch 7.62x39 I shot 250 rounds of steel case with zero issues, I have no reason to even shoot brass cased ammo in it…even at the cheap steel prices I doubt any normal shooter will ever shoot the barrel out of one…


How do you like your trigger? Its the one thing i might change on mine.