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Thread: Brass Vs. Steel Cased Ammo

  1. #1
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Default Brass Vs. Steel Cased Ammo

    This is an extremely long article with a LOT of detail. I thought many of you would be interested.

    http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/bras...el-cased-ammo/


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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Wow, Great find.......
    So you show up for work.....boss says "Today you are gonna fire 10000 rds thru a Bushmaster".
    You say......"Well, ....OK"

    No matter what you will still see arguments on brass vs steel.
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    First 50 years...worried about the small stuff...second 50 years....Not so much
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    And you get to write off the expense of 40,000 rounds of ammo and three AR units on your income tax!
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I once read an article about a similar comparison with .44 magnum and the trouble they had with getting volunteers to fire handguns all day. After an hour everyone would say, "I'm done". But firing an AR that long wouldn't be too bad.

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    I once read an article about a similar comparison with .44 magnum and the trouble they had with getting volunteers to fire handguns all day. After an hour everyone would say, "I'm done". But firing an AR that long wouldn't be too bad.
    Skeeter Skelton did a similar test using a Colt Gold Cup back in the 1970s and had the same problems recruiting "volunteers" for the effort. It sounds like fun, but someone has to load all those magazines!

    Did you read the entire article???

    They melted a set of open sights, blew up the battery in an aimpoint and discolored an upper unit from excessive heat.

    The phrase "I've enjoyed as much of this as I can stand" comes to mind.

    This excessive heat build up also makes their barrel wear measurements less valid. Erosion would be less rapid with less heat applied to the barrel. They were key-holing from every barrel by the 5,000 round mark.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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    Im not about to spend the money on brass for my AK when steel case is a fraction.



    But, thats an AK.

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    I was thinking about the same thing all the way through the article 11B.

    Solution to the Brass or steel question, how many spare parts to have on hand, malfunctions per hundred round counts....buy an AK.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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    Im in no way bashing an AR, but... Ive got over 20 years experience with them, 16 of it in the Infantry.

    Sold my AR and bought an AK. A little later, I had to buy my daughter an AK... she SLEPT with it for 3 nights after she first got it.

    Anywho... with the exception of a 1 in 5K (Tula) ammo failure rate... the weapon has never ever failed to fire or find it's mark.

    And for those that say its "not accurate", its not "as accurate" as a 223... but 200 yards and in, its toast....
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px1iuGKMkL8


    With my life on the line... I trade a few MOA for stupid crazy reliability.



    However, back on topic for the OP's sake... I do "think" that the brass vs steel debate is over rated. Its a fact that some ARs handle steel better than others... the M&P Sport 15 is recognized as an "eat anything" weapon (one reason I am eyeballing it, plus economy of buy).

    If you do deep deep research on AR15 and steel case, its really not a serious concern for the longevity of the weapon.. rather pick a weapon that eats steel ammo without disgust.




    EB

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    BTW, with tremendous pride, I must point out she is shooting standing unsupported with iron sights.

    I have patiently taught her everything she knows, but I still have much to teach. Going to buy some air soft AKs so we can "play"... Shes excited to do the Australian Peel with it. Yup, thats my girl...

    EB

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    Hmmm... better than sex...


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    Default Brass v Steel Ammo cost/performance/Also AR/AK200/HK accuracy, then and now

    “Brass vs. Steel Cased Ammo – An Epic Torture Test”
    Jan, 08, 2013 (over 2 years ago)
    This and several other reviews (some linked below) were discussed in great detail on some “invitation only*” forums I am a member of about 2 years ago. The gist of the discussions were about how accuracy dropped off over time at an accelerated rate with the use of poor quality ammunition compared to higher quality brass-case rounds as demonstrated by this and more extensive testing done by the military. (note: Germans and others first used Steel rounds in WWII when copper was in short supply, not because steel was better. Germans also used old men and young boys as soldiers not because these were better or shot more accurately.) Below are some notes I took and have recently edited (reduced content for this post) and added more current links to. Note that with the new AK-12 Kalashnikov the Russians have made significant attempts to improve accuracy (because it matters). Some have said the AK-12/200 is their answer to the newest German HK416, they are not as concerned with the aging M4/AR-15 platforms. Just because some former “East Bloc” nations manufacture cheap ammo does not necessarily indicate that regular or elite Russian troops would use it in actual combat. What a “country” exports for 3rd world conflict is not an indication of its own defense, the US military purchased large quantities of these rounds, but for Afghan troops not their own.

    As you may have seen on TV news clips, often poorly or untrained fighters in foreign conflicts hold their firearms over their heads or around corners and shoot wildly, wasting ammo and giving away their position. Typically they do this just for the news camera, but in actual combat as well, so quality/accuracy of ammo/firearm is the least of their concern. Poorly trained fighters die quickly due to lack of training and psychology more than gear/weapons, this has been true for thousand of years. But good weapons can give a well-trained warrior or survivor an edge.

    Analytical questions to ask your self when you read evaluations of munitions:
    Does cheap ammo save you money if you clean often?
    What other issues may you encounter?
    How does it affect ACCURACY, and is this an issue if you are trying to feed yourself or defend your life. Does the life of your firearm’s barrel make any difference in a survival/SHTF situation? Do you want shells/cases that can be reloaded?

    First a very brief edited down analysis of old article OP posted last December:
    Article is best viewed on a notebook or desktop computer but small screen portable device is OK. I.e. performance charts.

    Report below also includes a two min. video summary if that is all you have time for. (in Link posted by OP, Rick)

    http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/bras...el-cased-ammo/

    4 Identical Bushmaster AR-15 Carbines with 10,000 rounds each
    Federal Brass-Cased & Copper Jacket
    Wolf Steel-Case with Polymer Coating & Bi-Metal Jacket
    Tula Steel-Case with Polymer Coating & Bi-Metal Jacket
    Brown Bear Steel-Case with Lacquer Coating & Bi-Metal Jacket

    • Systematically observed and tested various parameters
    ◦ At the start: accuracy, velocity, chamber and gas port pressures, chamber cast
    ◦ After 2,000 rounds: accuracy, velocity
    ◦ After 4,000 rounds: accuracy, velocity
    ◦ After 5,000 rounds: throat erosion, chamber cast
    ◦ After 6,000 rounds: accuracy, velocity
    ◦ After 8,000 rounds: accuracy, velocity
    ◦ After 10,000 rounds: accuracy, velocity, chamber and gas port pressures, throat erosion, extractor wear, chamber cast, barrel wear
    • Logged every malfunction of every rifle-ammo combination
    • The rifles were cleaned according to a preset schedule and temperatures were monitored and kept within acceptable limits.
    Sectioned the barrels and otherwise made unique observations after the test was complete

    Ammunition and guns were tested in adverse conditions to determine which ammo type and specific rounds were most reliable, dirtiest, which coating performed better, most accurate, maintained best velocity throughout the test, caused the most erosion and wear to the entire firearm, and which resulted in the cheapest over all cost.

    Note the “fine print” in this test analysis that a high percentage of malfunctions early on for the Tula in Bushmaster caused the F.A. to be swapped out. If this had been a military test Tula would have been disqualified because Tula ammo WAS the DUT (device under test) not the firearm. Thus anyone with a serious military background might question the validity of 25% of this report. However, realistically both the Bushmaster AR-15 platform and Tula are very popular so it makes sense that they were left in this article. Just don’t ignore the details when you read the report or it could be misleading.

    theboxotruth shooting-wolf-steel-cased-ammo-in-an-ar15

    http://www.theboxotruth.com/educatio...mo-in-an-ar15/
    This was a much simpler test but showed some issued that can result if you mix different ammo types. June 2014

    Violent Extraction (Feb 10, 2012)
    blog.cheaperthandirt dot com: steel-cased-ammunition

    http://blog.cheaperthandirt.com/steel-cased-ammunition/
    0.223 FAL rifle with Steel-Case ammo. Also History of when United States Army used steel cased 45ACP ammunition in WWII as an austerity measure.

    Kalashnikov AK-12 (AK-200) assault rifle if you can find one:
    RT dot com kalashnikov-plant-inside-ak12

    http://rt.com/news/216431-kalashniko...t-inside-ak12/

    A brief overview (AK-200, AK-12):
    military-today dot com firearms/ak_12.htm

    http://www.military-today.com/firearms/ak_12.htm
    “The light version is chambered for 5.45x39 Soviet mm or 5.56x45 mm NATO ammunition, while the heavy version is chambered for more powerful 7.62x39 mm Soviet and 7.62x51 mm NATO rounds. Barrel of the AK-12 has revised rifling for improved accuracy. Worth noting that the old AK-74 has inferior accuracy to most Western assault rifles of the period.”
    New muzzle brake also reduces recoil and can keep you “on target” for more rounds. Much can be said about flash, sound supppressors, don’t forget your $200 ATF paperwork, if you live in a state where these are allowed and are hunting varmits/coyotes.

    Parameters these articles did not cover well or at all are: the primers, quality of the propellants and their specific components etc., seemed a little bit fuzzy about the effects of the actual projectiles on the rifling on the inside of the barrel and why, but fairly straight forward about allowing them to overheat being part of it. Did not do test on slower cooler cycle. I assume this was because the authors assumed this was obvious to all readers who knew ballistics basics.
    Also not covered in any article that I have ever found are non-brass case very high grain (magnum) rounds for high accuracy over a long distance regardless of the country of origin.

    There are far more detailed/comprehensive reports from various DOD branches and various large law enforcement departments and agencies in the USA and around the world but they are not as easy to read, and often redacted for the public. They do however cover these other aspects and more calibers, weapons and ammunition manufacturers. So if you like munitions engineering/science and have clearance, look it up have fun. IMHO all those governments really want to release just enough information to assure you that they are using your taxes wisely.

    *“Invitation only forum” specifically one group of friends who have known each other for decades, through service, work, sports, camping. Now we communicate over secure encrypted electronics about many things including munitions, all legal topics but only with people we have know from real life, from face to face friendships, never faceless people from cyberspace. Nothing wrong with meeting people on public forums but it is never the same, I find those conversations more shallow.

  12. #12
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Since you posted it here I removed the other post as a duplicate.

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    Default Shooting Sports gain popularity in Major Universities

    These young people have learned the importance of an accurate firearm with quality ammunition. A few of them grew up in homes that had negative misconceptions about firearms but a proper introduction at a competitive gun range with quality instruction can change all that:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...9d2_story.html

    Combine quality gear with proper technique and if you are ever in an actual survival situation you can make every shot count. Indoor ranges are a great place to start because they reduce the variables, this allows the student to focus on each element, one at a time. But at some point the young person needs to advance to outdoors and possibly even Biathlon or a vast array of other more advanced outdoor shooting sports to improve their skills. Fewer animals are wounded and "lost" as a result, during the hunt.

    Edit: Recent Summer Olympic games have only had relatively short range shooting events, reasons given were cost not something else.

    http://www.issf-sports.org/theissf/c...pic_games.ashx

    The last time 300 meter firearm rifle was an event was 1972, 1000 meter was in the 1920s. Interest in firearms is very high in the USA and many other counties, I seriously doubt cost is actually an issue there are many sponsors willing to pay for the facilities and even team training.

    But shooting sports in the USA and internationally is growing and is very strong, there are many international competitions in many different events with a wide range of firearms, air guns, and other devices that launch projectiles.
    Last edited by TXyakr; 03-16-2015 at 06:29 PM. Reason: Cost? of shooting sports at olympics

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