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.223/5.56 Ammo Help Needed

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by bigdough666, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. bigdough666

    bigdough666

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    Went to the range today to shoot my new AR for the first time. Picked up 500 rounds of Wolf steel cased ammo for $120 at the local gun show last week. I managed to get through 3 full PMags and then on the 3rd round of the 4th one, FAILURE. Gun jammed, and the bolt wouldnt move. I managed to get it apart and this is what I found
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Once I was able to get the case out of the barrel, it looks to have bulged up and stuck itself into the barrel. I was told the cheap Wolf ammo I was using is the cause of this. So now Im stuck with around 400 rounds of this stuff left.
    SOOO, do I keep shooting it? Was this just a bad round?? OR should I get rid of it and not risk it??
    What other brands do you guys recommend for cheap plinking ammo? Ive seen Brown/Silver Bear ammo pretty cheap as well, any better??
    Any help/comments will be appreciated guys. Thanks.
     
  2. Hoss230

    Hoss230

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    I would keep shooting it, but pick up some brass-cased stuff, as well. I'll shoot the steel stuff all day in my AK's, but my AR's get brass. Take a look at Cabela's site. They have some Fiocchi and PMC stuff for as cheap as $6.99/20. Also, make sure you run that AR wet. I have one AR in particular (Colt) that just won't last over 100 rounds if it isn't wet.
     

  3. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA

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    Keep shooting it. I have shot over 2k rounds of Wolf MC and still have another 2k stock piled for plinking.

    What happens, is the steel case does not expand and seal off the chamber as well as brass cased ammo. You get some carbon build up, especially if you shoot a lot of the Wolf pretty fast. People usually end up with a FTE, which is what you got.

    Carry a cleaning rod, push the case out, use a chamber brush and continue shooting. Wolf is okay, but not if you are going to shoot like Rambo. I use the Wolf I have for general plinking, doing some drills (not emptying mags one after the other), etc.
     
  4. bigdough666

    bigdough666

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    Thanks for the info guys, appreciate it.

    I am going to look for some brass ammo and hope this cheap stuff does ok as I keep shooting it.
     
  5. RyanNREMTP

    RyanNREMTP Inactive/Banned

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    Another issue with the steel cases is some of them have a lacquer coating on them. If the barrel gets hot the lacquer will melt off and can cause the shells to stick.
     
  6. Kentak

    Kentak

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    I'll state from the get-go that I'm neither an engineer nor metallurgist, but I've always been skeptical about the notion that steel cases don't allow as good of a pressure seal as brass cases. The steel is a soft, mild steel and the walls are thin. I have a hard time believing 50,000 psi won't seal that sucker up tight against the chamber wall.

    To bigdough666:

    Who made your gun? Is the barrel and chamber chrome lined? All else being equal, cases are less likely to stick in a chrome lined chamber.

    Examine some fired cases and compare them to unfired cases from the same lot. If there is roughness in the finish of the chamber, it is often visible on the fired cases. Brass ammo might be better for this kind of a check.

    If you suspect a rough chamber, take the gun and some spent cases to a gunsmith for examination and chamber polishing. The improved reliability of extraction could be well worth the cost, which shouldn't be too much.

    Any idea when your Wolf was manufactured? The older Wolf ammo had a lacquer coating which could gum up the chamber from the heat of rapid fire. Eventually, the build up of that residue could cause enough "texture" in the chamber to prevent case extraction. Newer made Wolf ammo (for at least a few years) has a polymer coating which appears to have reduced this problem considerably. It's possible that gun show Wolf could be the older stuff.

    Wolf ammo works well in AK-47's. Note that the 7.62x39 (AK-47) case has a greater taper than .223/5.56 case. The steeper taper makes extraction considerably easier, and is partly the reason AK's have such a good reliability reputation.

    I don't see any reason why you shouldn't use up the ammo, unless you have continued problems like this. Then, I'd say take a small loss and sell it to an AK-47 owner looking for some bargain ammo. You paid 24 cents/round, sell it for 20.

    I don't shoot steel Wolf in my AR's. It's mostly a bias on my part and I'm not going to get into a debate with Wolf fans about how good it works in their rifles. That's fine, go for it. If I had a place to shoot where I could blast away rapid fire and burn up several hundreds of rounds at a time, I probably would use it, too.

    Get that chamber checked out. And, wouldn't hurt to examine your extractor any maybe get an O-ring for that extractor spring.

    Good luck and happy, safe shooting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
  7. Kentak

    Kentak

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    Did you save the stuck case? Any chance you could take a close up pic (in focus, please) of the "bulging" you said you noticed?
     
  8. Kentak

    Kentak

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    More comments:

    Here's a pic from Box-O-Truth showing polymer coated Wolf at the top, and lacquered at the bottom. Note the difference in color.

    [​IMG]

    The Wiki entry on Wolf ammo refers to "tests" that show that steel cased ammo doesn't obturate gasses as well as brass. The source of this info seems to be Troy on Arfcom. Now, Troy is highly regarded for his expertise on ammo matters, and his info on this may well be correct. As I stated above, I'm no engineer. But, I wonder if any truly competent testing has been done on this. Maybe--I just haven't seen it.
     
  9. Lawnboy

    Lawnboy

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    I had the same problem on my first day with my AR. Most likely your problem was lubrication. I got the jam out lubed up and it went fine from there.
     
  10. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA

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    The lacquer does not melt or come off. The same this happens with the polymer cases, you get carbon build up in the chamber and may end up with a FTE.

    This is a polymer case that caused me to have a FTE. I was shooting a lot of the Wolf pretty fast and this case got "stuck". You can see the carbon on the case. I have another pic of a brass case with the same build up but can't find it right now. The chamber had some carbon build up from the Wolf, then I switched over to brass cased ammo.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. luv2brode

    luv2brode

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    i like the wolf stuff in my ars none are picky and they are tools if needed they can be replaced and fixed but aint seen no wear issues or had any problems
     
  12. Graves

    Graves Diesel Junky

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    TMI mate.:supergrin: