Home Firearms Ammo Making The Case For Steel Cased Ammo

Making The Case For Steel Cased Ammo



Posted over at the Cheaperthandirt blog, they talk about both the pros and cons of using steel cased ammo. While there are some down sides to using steel cased ammo, such as polymer coatings and dirtier powder, there’s also a few positives to using steel cased ammo. Such as cheaper cost and availability. Heck even WalMart carries steel cased Tulammo these days.

I’ve used thousands upon thousands of rounds of steel cased ammo in my Russian and American made guns, and while I’ve had a few jams, stovepipes and light strikes, I still feel steel cased ammo has its place. Would I use it for home defense? Definitely not, but for plinking at the range it’s hard to beat when you factor in the cost savings.

Do you use steel cased ammo? Comment below and let us know if you’re for or against using steel cased ammo in your weapons.


  1. I have done some experimentation with steel cased ammo in my AR-15.

    Originally, my gun didn’t like it much, but then I started mixing a round of brass in for every 10 rounds of steel and, while it didn’t run flawlessly, it did function well enough to be a viable inexpensive practice round.

    Previously, I’d had a “hard” stoppage (case wedged in the chamber, had to use a cleaning rod to tap it out) after about 50 rounds. When I started mixing steel/brass at 10:1, the gun continued to run past 150 rounds, and did not experience a single “stuck case” stoppage.

    Details at http://tinkerers.blogspot.com/2012/05/ar-15-and-steel-cased-ammo-how-to-make.html … I plan to continue testing this summer and will update.

  2. I have used steel case in the past ($179 for 1,000 rounds of 9mm is hard to beat) and while it has its place, I have found my magazines have the biggest issue with it. When its put in the mags, the coating makes it stick to itself more than brass cased ammo and my mags have a harder time feeding it to the top of the feed lips. If I tap it it will eventually work its way up. Its fine for the range, but like the author said I wouldn’t bet my life on it.

  3. I was under the impression that using steel cases in semi autos (AR15s specifically) was bad because steel being harder than brass, would cause more damage to the chamber/extractor when failures start to occur. Brass just gets deformed and your rifle’s components take less of a beating. I also heard the polymer buildup but Wolfs been trying hard to beat that rap. In an AK47 I wouldn’t mind because the Russian magic inside would protect it, but for what they go for these days I’d still be weary.


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