Brass vs. Steel casings

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Brass vs. Steel casings

Postby Jmann135 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:12 am

What is everyone's opinion on brass vs. steel? Has anyone had to replace parts as it's claimed, due to excessive wear from the steel casings? If so, was it still worth it money wise given the price difference?


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Re: Brass vs. Steel casings

Postby JustaShooter » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:45 pm

My opinion is that the trade-off in price of ammo vs loss of accuracy and replacing parts sooner is not worth it. Brass only for me in my ARs. AKs on the other hand, I'll run steel all day.
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Re: Brass vs. Steel casings

Postby Bruenor » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:49 am

Here's a nice comparison test on the subject. ... ased-ammo/
If I recall it's the bimetal bullets you might want to avoid rather then the material the case is made out of.

As indicated by accuracy testing, the steel cased/bimetal jacketed ammunition caused accelerated wear to the inside of their respective bores. While the barrel of the Federal carbine had plenty of life left, even after 10,000 rounds at extremely high rates of fire, the Wolf and Brown Bear barrels were subjected to the same rates of fire and were completely “shot out” by 6,000 rounds.

At the end of the test, the chrome lining of the Wolf and Brown Bear barrels was almost gone from the throat forward, and the barrels had effectively become smoothbores, with the rifling near the muzzles acting only as a mild suggestion on the projectiles. A throat erosion gauge could be dropped into the bore from the muzzle end with absolutely no resistance.

Completely shot out at 6000 rounds, means half shot out at 3000, and a quarter shot out at 1500 rounds.... a progressive reduction of accuracy is what I read into that.

The difference in price between brass and steel cased (more specifically, copper jacketed and bimetal jacketed) ammunition means that you’ll have plenty of savings with which to buy new barrels – even if you shoot so fast that you replace them every 4,000 rounds. For this chart, brass ammunition was calculated at $130 per thousand higher than steel and replacement barrels at $250 apiece.

So the question is do you want to save on ammo and extend barrel life, or do you wish to spend part of that savings replacing barrels as they wear to save a bit more money. I guess it depends somewhat on how much you shoot.

Like JustaShooter, I shoot steel cased in my SKS, and AK variants and all brass cased / Copper jacketed in my AR's. I also reload the brass cases in 5.56 or convert them to 300 blk, so that's a ammo savings offset on the brass cased side.
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