Will Steel Cased Ammo Hurt Your Gun?

   08.11.20

Will Steel Cased Ammo Hurt Your Gun?

(Image: Screenshot from video)

Not long ago, I posted a Brownells video about lubricating an AR’s BCG, part of their “Smyth Busters” series that talks about gunsmith myths and shines the light of fact on topics of concern for shooters. This time, they talk about steel-cased ammo and whether it’s bad for your firearms.

Some folks claim that steel-cased ammo will damage your gun because steel is harder than brass, which is the traditional material used for metallic cartridge cases. Others claim the heat of firing will melt the thin coating on the exterior of the case, which is applied to prevent the steel from rusting.

But, they say, none of that is true.

Even torture tests which generate extreme heat fail to melt those coatings, they say — and about the only increased wear you’ll see from steel cases will be to your gun’s extractor.

Shooting steel is a bit dirtier, though, with some of the case coating scraping off with use, and increased leakage of gases because the steel doesn’t seal against the chamber walls as well as brass — so expect to clean your gun more often if you run steel.

For more details, check out the 7-minute video, then let us know what you think.

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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