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Steel Case Ammo?

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by bear72, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. bear72

    bear72 Member

    Feb 23, 2011
    Ive owned my 1911 for about a month now, Ive feed everything through it from JBHP +P's to the cheapest wal-mart FMJ's and havent had a malfunction yet "knock on wood". I asked my wife to pick me up some ammo while she was at wal-mart today and she came home with TulAmmo 230gr fmj's...Steel case, ive never seen those, I usually give my superviser my brass because he reloads and when I asked him if he wanted the steel case he said "heck no" but then again he doesnt reload nickel either...something about it affecting the dyes. Anyway, I fired two clips through my pistol and it fired great, actually it seemed to chamber more smooth than some higher end stuff. I know this ammo is cheap, but does anyone know the pros/cons of the steel case? Im betting its "dirtier" than good brass ammo, it looks pretty cool though. I may have just gotten lucky with my pistol, I didnt have to sand the feed ramp to void out the 500 round "break-in" period that you sometimes need to do, its just feed it all without issue, although when I chamber the first round I notice with some ammo, usually the personal protection higher end stuff its a little "tight" when I release the slide, like it barely fits, but with this stuff it just slams home with ease...if that makes sense. srry this is a bit long winded just to get some info on this steel case ammo :whistling:
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
  2. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    It is typically very dirty, no big deal IMO. Some guns like it better than others. A lot of people think steel ammo will wear your extractor. Just because it is steel does not mean that the steel cannot be made intentionally soft. Steel cases do not expand as much a brass which causes some guns to malfunction.

    I am about to buy a lot of steel ammo because the cost of factory brass ammo is really hurting my range time, and unfortunately I have not yet learned and gotten set up to reload.

    If your gun cycles it fine then I say go for it. It is usually about 15 cents a round cheaper.

  3. Tiro Fijo

    Tiro Fijo

    May 31, 2011
    Steel cased ammo is for AK's and can actually hurt your guns. Sure, someone will say "I've shot X thousand rds. in my 1911...," but I assure you no gunsmith worth their salt will recommend it for anything but a Combloc assault weapon. I've seen extractors break on AR's from using it if that helps.
  4. HotRoderX

    HotRoderX Gen4 BETATester

    Jan 15, 2011
    I have personally shot a box of Tula thought my 1911 with no ill effect. I have read and heard it can possibly gouge the feed ramp on a 1911. I didnt have this happen but I also only shot 50 rds of it. I have shot close to a 1000 rounds or more thought my Glock 17. I have had zero issues with it.

    It does make since it will ware the extractor faster but the rate of ware would be negligible at best. I think what it comes down to is how you personally feel like I said never had it hurt any of my guns. The only problem I have ran into is ever once and a while you get a dud primer but at the price difference Its worth the risk.
  5. Merkavaboy

    Merkavaboy Code-7A KUZ769

    If steel cased ammo is so bad and "damaging" to firearms, then why would a company like Hornady be loading steel cased Training & Match ammo in calibers 9mm, 40S&W, 45ACP, 5.45x29mm, 223 Rem, 30 Carbine and 308 Win? Wouldn't you think that they would be concerned about their steel cased ammo damaging their customers' guns?

    Even Black Hills is loading a steel cased 9mm load.

    Cheaply made parts break all the time. When people break extractors when shooting brass cased ammo, do they also say "don't use brass cased ammo, they break extractors"?
  6. Brucev


    Jul 19, 2009
    I've been firing steel cased ammo for years. I can't remember the first I bought. I've used it in 5.56mm/.223 in a COLT Hbar, 9mm in GLock 17L, and .45 ACP in a Glock 21 and several 1911's (both COLT and Springfield). I have not ever had a single issue of any sort at any time using this ammunition. I have fired hundreds of rounds of the TULA .45 ACP without a single issue. I like it for shooting in places where it is difficult/impossible to recover the brass. It shoots POI to POA identical to any other 230 gr. FMJ factory load on the market. I've not ever had any parts failure on either the rifle or pistols. The steel cases are also environmentally friendly... i.e., given time they rust away! Enrich the soil! :whistling:
  7. Tiro Fijo

    Tiro Fijo

    May 31, 2011

    RJ Reynolds still makes cigarettes hence they must be good for you, right? Hornaday was losing out in the ammo frenzy and does not have the capacity nor the wherewithal to crank out huge amounts of range fodder. They import Russian cases. It's all about profit.

    Your gun. Your money. I stand by what I have been told & seen.
  8. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Happy Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    Bend Oregon
    I've happily shot many 100s of pounds of steel cased commie .45 acp though my 1911s over the years with no negative issues. I buy it by the case.

    ........will buy another case or two at the local gunshow this weekend!
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
  9. hotpig

    hotpig IAFF Local 4766 CLM

    Like Brucev posted I started when I did not want to pick up my brass. I have had such good luck with it I find myself using more of it all the time. Since adding a Slidefire stock to one of my AR15 I will have to rake up some of the spent cases because they are getting a little deep in my shooting area.
  10. Darkangel1846


    Jul 19, 2004
    I've heard it both ways for handguns....don't really know the answer.
    Rifles are a different story. On tight tollerance rifles like the preban colts 1/7.. steel cases can cause a problem. The steel casing does not expand when fired like the brass casings do(from what I'm told) and hot carbon builds up between the casing and breach. This will cause a round to become stuck in the breech. Happened to my colt a few years ago....round number twenty steel casing became lodged in the breech during extraction. Had to use powder solvent and then acetone plus a wooden dowel to pound it out. Didn't scar the breech. On the other hand a looser tollerence rifle like my 13 year old Bushmaster AR carbine with the AK muzzle break eats the steel ammo without any problems. JMHO


    Aug 22, 2009
    The only thng I've ran into with it lately is I've had a bunch of the Tula 9mm with hard primers. A buddy gave me a bunch he didn't want. 2-3 hard primers out of every bunch. Never any problems in my guns. Have had friends say they have had problems. Most not. U.S. used steel ammo in WW II for awhile. As others have said Hornady and other U.S. makers are using it to help keep costs down. I doubt they would use it if it caused problems. Seems to come down to individual guns.
  12. michael e

    michael e

    Nov 20, 2010
    Everyone arguees over it. I use it every now and then, but since I reload I stay away from it just for that reason. I dont reload for my rifles so I use steel in my AR AK SKS Mini14/30s. Over 5k threw each of these without an issue. Some alot more but none less than that. I have not had an issue with it. Its all up to you , dont believ everything someone says when its a story from a friend of a friend of a friend stuff.
  13. ssfeldjager


    Jun 6, 2005
    You worry too much over nothing. Your M1911 isn't [or, shouldn't be] made of glass. Go shoot it.
  14. Krag


    Jan 24, 2010
    I have shot 1000s of rounds of Hornady and Black Hills steel case ammo through a variety of pistols and can make the following observations:

    1. It's just as accurate as brass case ammo.

    2. Primer ignition is very iffy. In general it's more reliable with hammer fired pistols than striker fired. I've had best results with my 1911s and Berettas. Worst with Glock and M&P. For some reason my XDm loves the stuff?

    3. More (much more!) ignition problems with 9mm ammo while .40 and .45 runs much better.

    4. The lubrication used on the cases allows them to slip out of the lips on some single stack 1911 mags if handled roughly.

    I've heard that both B.H. and Hornady has dropped steel case ammo from their catalogs. I for one won't be sorry to see it's demise.
  15. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    I have to assume that from the bullet weight you mention (230gr) that the caliber of your M1911 is .45 ACP.
  16. robhic

    robhic WOLVERINE!!!! Platinum Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    I think the general consensus is that steel-cased ammo is OK in smaller doses. I've used TULA and Wolf in both 9mm and 45 without problems. Yes, it can mess up the extractor but the cost of an extractor vs. the savings on ammo costs is, IMO, a no-brainer. If the extractor breaks or wears, get another for a few bucks and think of all the $$$ you saved using the steel-cased stuff. You'll get over it real quick! :supergrin:
  17. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    This is news to me. :shocked:
  18. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Happy Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    Bend Oregon

    ....better let tese guys know then!
  19. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    Has anyone ever tried reloading the steel cases?