My buddy got a great deal on steel case ammo to use in his CMMG AR rifle. He had all sorts of feeding problems, and has given up on steel case ammo.
Make sure your gun is actually 5.56 NATO chambered not .223, use a lighter buffer weight if your already running an H Buffer, lube the ever loving crap out of your gun first, and then clean often when shooting wolf/silverbear,barnul.
That usually takes care of most of the steel cased ammo problems. That Russian stuff will work it is just cheap, sloppy, dirty, dirty ammo.
No idea. I do believe that steel cases wear the extractor faster then brass. The average shooter will never shoot enough to see the difference though. I am a fan of the TulAmmo line and have been happily feeding it to mine.
"It is useless for the sheep
to pass resolutions in favour of
vegetarianism" ~ R. W. Inge
From what I understand about steel case ammo is that the steel does not expand or spring back like that of brass. Therefore, the seal in the chamber is not as efficient to prevent blow-by of escaping gases.
All I know is I've shot both dirt cheap TulAmmo and high end Hornady ammo out of my AR...not one FAILure with the higher end stuff...steel cased TulAmmo crap I get failure to feed, stuck cases and other crap like that to waste my range time on fixing. What I've really learned is I got exactly what I paid for (which was very little) with the cheap stuff. That has been my experience. I don't think you can make a blanket statement about "Brand X" not working on "Brand Y" gun b/c there are just too many factors involved. The best thing to do is just experiment with different brands, grains, steel/brass etc and narrow down a brand thats affordable for you to shoot that your gun likes as well. My brand/weight/material combination that my AR eats with no problems is the PMC 55GR .223 (Gold/Black box). That is for MY particular AR and I've come to that conclusion after shooting probably 25 different brands/weights through my rifle and taking notes on ea. one. I have recently starting shooting surplus brass 5.56 ammo out of my rifle which has been cycling/feeding like a champ too! The ammo Gods smiled on me one day a while back and I found a pawn shop locally that sold me 500 rds. of the surplus 5.56 for $125. I jumped on that like a trampoline! haha
In my 20" A2 styled rifle the Russian stuff be it Tulammo or Wolf short stroked and failed to feed most of the time and got stuck in the chamber. Took about an hour before i finally freed it the first really bad time. That was the Polymer stuff.
So sold that rifle
Built a 16" M4 styled rifle and decided to try the steel in that... runs just as good as the military brass surplus in my rifle. Again the polymer coated stuff.
Both rifles are from the same manufacturer as well, Del-Ton.
That's 90% of what I shoot out of all my rifles, including my 2 AR-15s. I also shoot it out of my S&W M&P9, my ATI 1911, my Taurus TCP my friend shoots it out his Glock 19, and his Taurus TCP and his AR-15.
The ONLY issue I've ever seen was the extractor ripping the rim off the casing on my friend's AR-15 because the chamber hadn't been cleaned in a while. If you keep your rifle reasonably clean(mainly the chamber) it will never cause any problems. You can also do as I do and shoot 9 steel followed by 1 brass. The brass expands and grabs 99% of the stuff that is on the chamber wall because the steel doesn't expend as much as the brass, and the brass will pull that stuff out. That also minimizes how often you have to clean the chamber. Just know what you need to change about your cleaning, and save money. The idea that steel cased automatically means cheap crap is idiocy. As has been said before, Hornady sells match grade steel cased ammo. The only reason they didn't before, is people wouldn't buy it before. The public is slowly coming around to sanity, so now that they can sell it, they're getting in on the market.
Mix some brass with the steel cased ammo in your mag and clean the crap out after you are done shooting and you shouldnt have any real problems.
If something breaks a few years down the road and they ask, you "only used top end factory loads and would never think about putting that cheap steel crap in you rifle." then let them TRY to prove otherwise.
Think of the countless AKs, SKSs, Mosin Nagants, RPK, PKM and dozens of other types of Russian weapons have thousands of the steel caesd rounds more and you would ever fire and still work just fine.
So are they telling you that some "commie gun" is better made than thier MADE IN THE USA AR is?? hmmm
I agree with Tac, however I have seen cases where the so called polymer coating after numerous rounds gets hot and adheres to the extractor,once cool the extractor has broken off or cracked-even in a Colt AR15.....and Tac is 100% correct, make sure your weapon states 5.56. If it states .223 and you shoot (Regardless of manufacturer) 5.56 there are pressure differences and you can both damage the weapon and get hurt.
Look at it this way almost all of your match ammo Hornady being one is now in steel case. i feel sure that a company that has their reputation is not going to make something to hurt your gun or bring them lawsuits. i have 3000 plus rounds of Wolf through my Rock river AR and not one problem. It does shoot a little dirty though.
Reliability issues aside, as others have said above there are manufactorers ranging from from Wolf to Hornady making steel cased ammo, some of it is better quality than others. Some of it is dirtier then others, some of it has the lacquer/polymer coating and some doesn't.
I will repeat myself that the steel used in the casings is not as hard as the steel used on your extractor. So if anything is going to wear it is the casing not the gun's internals. And if your shooting that much to where your extractor is wearing out anyways you should be able to afford to buy a new one. And probably by that time do some other routine maintenance and replacement of parts. A gun i s just like any other machine. It needs care, cleaning, and eventual parts replacement after lots of use.
Easiest solution to all of this.
Buy some steel cased ammo, if it works in your gun for the amount of shooting you do, great. Go for it. Blast on. If not then don't use it.
I am shocked by the amount of reason in this thread. I know guys that insist the Russians don't know how to make ammo and refuse to shoot any of it through their AR's, at the mention of steel they get all wobbly-kneed and pale.
I am glad their is still some reason and rational thought to be found out there.