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Steel or Brass?

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  • Steel or Brass?

    Thoughts and opinions on this debate? Benefits? Drawbacks? etc..

  • #2
    I won't use steel, for it does not expand at firing the same way brass does. That could lead to poor chamber sealing, and cause too fast fouling and worst case, stuck cartridges and loss of forward velocity. Not to mention how extra fastidious you have to be with cleaning. But if the manufacturer of the firearm or perhaps public testimony says it's ok in a particular piece I guess I'm OK with it. I daresay Russian arms digest it well since much Russian ammo seems to have a steel cartridge. But I don't own a thing I would dare to use it in.
    sigpic ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ "Come and get them" Leonidas I to Xerxes, at Battle of Thermopylae

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    • #3
      My M1A is cut with a tight match grade chamber, having said that I have fired close to a thousand rounds of the steel cased Herters fodder through it, not one problem yet.

      The best testimonial I can give, my buddys Thompson, a full auto, can digest the steel cased herters as fast as you can feed it. Thats from the drum, or 30 rnd sticks. The stick magazines are much harder to feed than a drum, it just goes and goes and goes.

      Obviously we are doing this from a cost standpoint, and we have a magnet to pick the cases up with, you do get a few pennies for salvage.
      Only 511 ft lbs of Tq and only 1100 degrees EGT, damn, I need more fuel...

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      • #4
        how can one be sure it doesn't have polyester coating, but instead perhaps a natural varnish?
        sigpic ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ "Come and get them" Leonidas I to Xerxes, at Battle of Thermopylae

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jonnyseeandoh View Post
          how can one be sure it doesn't have polyester coating, but instead perhaps a natural varnish?
          Thats a good question. One that I have no answer to. In cleaning the M1A chamber I did not find it to be any dirtier than normal. Now I shot some Wolf 308, thats a different story. It was bad, still cycled, but carboned the gas cylinder up damn near as bad as blanks with an adapter.
          Only 511 ft lbs of Tq and only 1100 degrees EGT, damn, I need more fuel...

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          • #6
            Well, I guess we can say Wolf has polyester then. But Several vendors I look at are not selling certain Wolf or Bear products because of high complaints. Herters seems like trustworthy folk, so maybe I'll try a box or two of their stuff and see where it gets me.
            sigpic ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ "Come and get them" Leonidas I to Xerxes, at Battle of Thermopylae

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jonnyseeandoh View Post
              Well, I guess we can say Wolf has polyester then. But Several vendors I look at are not selling certain Wolf or Bear products because of high complaints. Herters seems like trustworthy folk, so maybe I'll try a box or two of their stuff and see where it gets me.
              I did have some of that Norinco copper washed stuff from years back. It was ok, but powder residue was very bad too.
              Only 511 ft lbs of Tq and only 1100 degrees EGT, damn, I need more fuel...

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              • #8
                Copper wash today would cost a fortune I reckon. To the extent that brass has got copper in it, I bet we see a lot more reloads at retail!
                sigpic ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ "Come and get them" Leonidas I to Xerxes, at Battle of Thermopylae

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                • #9
                  I try to stay with brass for most of my guns. I'll never run steel again in my M1 Carbine, it started tearing up the injector.

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                  • #10
                    Brass all the way for me. That shit steel cased junk won't feed properly in my AR..
                    "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." - Confucius

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                    • #11
                      If an AR won't cycle steel, you have problems. I have over 2000rds of silver bear and wolf WPA through my m&p. Also my BCM has seen a good many rounds. Also have ran brass In between steel magazines. Never had one hiccup. Keep you gun cleaned and it will be fine. But you guys keep on snobbing the cheap steel stuff. More for me to buy!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mrconductor View Post
                        If an AR won't cycle steel, you have problems. I have over 2000rds of silver bear and wolf WPA through my m&p. Also my BCM has seen a good many rounds. Also have ran brass In between steel magazines. Never had one hiccup. Keep you gun cleaned and it will be fine. But you guys keep on snobbing the cheap steel stuff. More for me to buy!
                        I will say this, most AR failures that I have witnessed with my own lookers have been steel cased ammo issues.. The best ones that I have seen is when the owner gets the gun hot and the steel cases get stuck in the chamber! Everyone has their own preferences and favorites, I just prefer brass cased ammo myself.
                        "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." - Confucius

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                        • #13
                          The M16 I was issued in Basic Training loved to give bolt overrides and failed extractions, so much that it was a wonder I got an Expert Marksman badge. I reckoned it was a worn bolt and weak extraction finger. Nothing to do with brass or steel debates but the discussion brought this to mind. It had been used in Vietnam, or least manufactured in that era so it was good and sloppy by the time I got it.
                          sigpic ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ "Come and get them" Leonidas I to Xerxes, at Battle of Thermopylae

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jonnyseeandoh View Post
                            The M16 I was issued in Basic Training loved to give bolt overrides and failed extractions, so much that it was a wonder I got an Expert Marksman badge. I reckoned it was a worn bolt and weak extraction finger. Nothing to do with brass or steel debates but the discussion brought this to mind. It had been used in Vietnam, or least manufactured in that era so it was good and sloppy by the time I got it.
                            I have heard stories of certain AR's using improperly manufactured extractors from the factory. I really cannot back that claim up though.
                            "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." - Confucius

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                            • #15
                              I shot several hundred rounds of wolf steel ammo over the weekend. From my observations: its dirty and not as accurate, but I didn't have any problems with it at all.

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