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Reloading 5.56mm/.223 Rem steel cases.

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Gunnut 45/454, Jul 30, 2012.


  1. Gunnut 45/454

    Gunnut 45/454
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    I actually found some reloadable steel cases while out shooting last week. They were still in good shape so I decided to give tham a try- I've never shot any steel cased ammo in any of my AR's . :whistling: So I deprimed and loaded them up with a load of 24.5gr BM and 55 gr FMJ's( not a top end loading).
    Took them out an put them through my PSA carbine, have to remember not to use bolt release to load first round. I had to mortor rifle when the first round failed lock up. With use of charging handle fed just fine. Shot 10 rounds down range zero problems. At 100 yards with 4MOA Reddot about 3" group.:supergrin: No split cases, pockets still tight, rims good loaded for 2nd firing we'll see how it goes.:cool:
     

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    #1 Gunnut 45/454, Jul 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
  2. Foxtrotx1

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    Sounds like the cases need to be sized smaller.
     

  3. Gunnut 45/454

    Gunnut 45/454
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    Foxtrotx1
    I did a full length sizing on them! Could have been some crud in the chamber as I said above zero problems after first round fired.
     
  4. Foxtrotx1

    Foxtrotx1
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    Ah ok, I missed that. Sounds like crud in the chamber then.
     
  5. m2hmghb

    m2hmghb
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    Steel and brass have different elasticity factors. It could be crud in the chamber and after being sized the steel bounced back more then the brass, or it could be a tighter chamber and so on. I do know I reloaded 45 acp steel over 10 times without an issue, but that is 20,000 psi compared to around 40,000 psi. Good luck!
     
  6. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker
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    Why in the world would you want to risk damaging your sizing die to load steel cased rifle? Not to mention the danger of loading multiple rounds in a AR of possibly improperly neck sized cases. As mentioned already steel does no offer the elasticity characteristics of brass. Your in risk both slam fires and severely set backed bullets.
     
  7. m2hmghb

    m2hmghb
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    The sizing die is a lot harder then the steel case. The steel case is a lot softer then the rifle barrel. The setback issue is there, but not likely until repeated firing.I dont know why you think it would be prone to slam fires.
     
  8. WiskyT

    WiskyT
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    Did it take a lot of effort to resize them? What brand of cases were they and how easily did the standard primers fit?
     
  9. country85

    country85
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    I watched a you tube video of a guy who pulls new 7.62x39 tula ammo steel case and loads them with noslers, but I have never heard of reloading fired steel cased ammo. May have to give it a try!!
     
  10. Gunnut 45/454

    Gunnut 45/454
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    Nope once I got enough lube on them they ran through just like brass. One thing I did notice is that the length they are cut too is what they stay at! I guess this is why they don't give great groups cause the cases I have range from 1.752 to 1.760" ! They also seemed to grip the bullet tight, didn't chamfer one case and it shaved the jacket on the bullet.
     
  11. dkf

    dkf
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    I noticed some .223 steel cases at the range the last time I shot. They are a dull nickel color. Not the greyish color of the polymer coated steel cases.
     
  12. fredj338

    fredj338
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    Not worth the effort, really. I can find brass cases anywhere. I have loaded steel cases in 223 & 45 just to see if it can be done & results vary. It DOES take a lot more effort to resize cases, that is telling me it's not good for my equip. Neck tension will vary quite a bit after one reload as steel work hardens diff than brass. Again, no point really, other than doing it for SHTF. Your gun & gear, your decision, but I think it's penny wise & pound foolish as my grandma used to say.:dunno:
     
    #12 fredj338, Jul 31, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
  13. Gunnut 45/454

    Gunnut 45/454
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    Yea that used to be the case, but in the last few years the brass guys either don't shoot brass or they pick it up. I don't find half the brass I used to. Really though I didn't notice any more force required to size these then brass.
     
  14. fredj338

    fredj338
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    Not sure what you are sizing on but on my 550 or 650, it's probably 30% greater force needed to resize steel cases. It's easily felt vs brass which resizes quite easily. Again, to each his own, but steel cases were never meant to be reloaded, but shot & recycled.
     
    #14 fredj338, Jul 31, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
  15. Decguns

    Decguns
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    I did pretty good business back in the 90's pulling FMJs from X54R and X39 ammo and loading them with soft points. I resized the necks before loading. But I never could achieve constant neck tension. I tried reloading Wolf X39 cases, which worked OK. But again, I couldn't get decent neck tension on about 1 of ever 5 cases.

    Steel cases have a slightly larger capacity than brass, so you can actually load them about 10% over max. There used to be an Australian site with loads for Barnaul cases. I remember the 5.56 velocities were about 5% faster than brass.
     
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