close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

40,000 Round Brass vs. Steel Ammo Torture Test

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by lucky-gunner, Jan 9, 2013.


  1. lucky-gunner

    lucky-gunner
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    327
    0
    Location:
    USA
    The question of brass vs. steel ammunition has spawned a seemingly never-ending debate from new and seasoned shooters alike. Our team at Lucky Gunner Labs took 4 brand-new AR-15 carbines and a total of 40,000 rounds of 55 grain FMJ ammunition from Federal, Wolf, Tula, and Brown Bear out to the Arizona desert for an epic brass vs. steel ammo torture test to try and scientifically settle this debate once and for all.

    Scroll down for a written summary of our test, click here for our 2-minute video summary, or go read the full test results at Lucky Gunner Labs by clicking here.

    Our Test Tools:

    Our Test Methodology (Full Summary):

    • We paired each ammunition type with a specific Bushmaster AR-15 and then fired all 10,000 rounds of it through that particular carbine.
    • We systematically observed and tested various things, including:
      • 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
    • We logged every malfunction of every rifle-ammo combination.
    • We cleaned each rifle according to a preset schedule and temperatures were monitored and kept within acceptable limits.
    • We sectioned the barrels and otherwise made unique observations after the test was complete.

    Our Test Results For Reliability (Full Summary):

    • Federal: 10,000 rounds, 0 malfunctions.
    • Brown Bear: 10,000 rounds, 9 malfunctions (5 stuck cases, 1 magazine-related failure to feed, 3 failures to fully cycle).
    • Wolf: 10,000 rounds, 15 malfunctions (stuck cases).
    • Tula: DNF (6,000 rounds in alternate carbine, 3 malfunctions).

    Our Test Results For Cost (Full Summary):

    • Federal's brass rounds performed the best but certain brands of steel-cased ammo are most cost-effective, even after factoring in the cost of replacement barrels. Click here to read more.

    Full Report Summary (including an overview video, pictures, methodology, and full findings): Click Here To View

    And most importantly, next time you're engaged in this age-old "brass vs. steel" debate, use the 40,000 rounds of ammo we put down-range in our test to back up your position!

    http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/brass-vs-steel-cased-ammo/
     

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
  2. triggerjerk

    triggerjerk
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    1,456
    50
    Great test.

    It would be interesting to see the same test applied to AK variants to see what happens to those weapons' barrels.
     

  3. catalyst686

    catalyst686
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    1,175
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Awesome test!
     
  4. Tiro Fijo

    Tiro Fijo
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    6,281
    7
    I bet that if they did that test before the lastest panic they wish they had that ammo back to sell. :whistling: :supergrin:
     
  5. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster
    Expand Collapse
    Millennium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 1999
    17,759
    541
    Location:
    Hartford, Vermont
    Federal wins, for sure.
     
  6. Tarowah

    Tarowah
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    954
    0
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    Fantastic tests! I have always wanted to have enough cash to buy 3-4 Glock 17s and do the same kind of thing, but the wife (and bank account) says it isnt going to happen.
     
  7. KennyFSU

    KennyFSU
    Expand Collapse
    What to wear...

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    1,838
    19
    Location:
    Florida
    Awesome info, thanks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. orangeride

    orangeride
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    573
    15
    Did you guys see any erosion of the bolt face around the primer area? I've read that shooting steel can be harder on the bolt face.
     
  9. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster
    Expand Collapse
    Millennium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 1999
    17,759
    541
    Location:
    Hartford, Vermont
    how many barrels they wore out?
     
  10. HKLovingIT

    HKLovingIT
    Expand Collapse
    Resident Evil

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    4,369
    0
    Location:
    Out On The Tiles
    Fantastic job!:wavey:
     
  11. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster
    Expand Collapse
    Millennium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 1999
    17,759
    541
    Location:
    Hartford, Vermont
    The ammo must have cost a fortune!!!
     
  12. Berto

    Berto
    Expand Collapse
    woo woo

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2003
    24,036
    1,918
    Location:
    WA
    I will keep using brass cased and copper jacketed ammo, it looks like.
    Great test.
     
  13. Fear Night

    Fear Night
    Expand Collapse
    NRA Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    2,865
    2
    Location:
    Sweet Home Alabama
    That is very impressive that the Federal ammo went 10k rounds without a single malfunction.
     
  14. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster
    Expand Collapse
    Millennium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 1999
    17,759
    541
    Location:
    Hartford, Vermont
    That's correct. Federal gets my vote.
     
  15. vafish

    vafish
    Expand Collapse

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    16,541
    29
    Location:
    Commonwealth of Virginia
    Two

    posted from my stupid smart phone, please excuse any spelling mistakes.
     
  16. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster
    Expand Collapse
    Millennium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 1999
    17,759
    541
    Location:
    Hartford, Vermont
    Just two? I would think four or five. :cool: