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Using mild steel bi metal bullets for practice? Read this.


Alaskapopo
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This is why most of us have a 'match' rifle and a 'practice' rifle. Match rifle only comes out to play a few times before the match and only shot with match ammo. Practice rifle gets everything else, cheap/leftover from previous year, etc.. :)

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This is why most of us have a 'match' rifle and a 'practice' rifle. Match rifle only comes out to play a few times before the match and only shot with match ammo. Practice rifle gets everything else, cheap/leftover from previous year, etc.. :)

I have only one three gun rifle that I use in two divisions so it get shot a lot. I do have a JP upper on order and I plan to use it more sparingly.

Pat

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Match bullets cost $160/1000 powder $55/1000 rnds primers $25/1000 even with free brass and labor that's $240 per thousand plus incidentals and freight. Figure 7,500 a 10,000 rnds max life on a match rifle, or $1800-$2200 worth of ammo and $650 ish for a barrel, gas block and tube, recoil spring and bolt. The cost of ammo, travel, training and match fees quickly surpasses the cost to buy and rebuild the rifle. Our hobby is expensive, no two ways around it. If the only way you can afford to practice or the only ammo that you can find is bimetallic, it would be better to smoke a barrel faster than to not shoot.

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I am not really surprized either. I wonder if all bullets were boat tailed, and if they are, is the angle and length of the boat tail the same? This could have a definate effect on throat erosion. I enjoyed reading this article.

Hurley

Edited for spelling.

Edited by HRider
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Match bullets cost $160/1000 powder $55/1000 rnds primers $25/1000 even with free brass and labor that's $240 per thousand plus incidentals and freight. Figure 7,500 a 10,000 rnds max life on a match rifle, or $1800-$2200 worth of ammo and $650 ish for a barrel, gas block and tube, recoil spring and bolt. The cost of ammo, travel, training and match fees quickly surpasses the cost to buy and rebuild the rifle. Our hobby is expensive, no two ways around it. If the only way you can afford to practice or the only ammo that you can find is bimetallic, it would be better to smoke a barrel faster than to not shoot.

I can reload for cheaper than I could buy that steel stuff. If you are serious about the shooting sports sooner or later you will have to start reloading.

Pat

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Pat you are starting to sound like us " old guys". Couldn't agree more. Check out Midway dog town bullets, or bulk 55 grain soft points guys, it doesn't have to be a fmj

Oops a perfect double..

Edited by kurtm
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Pat you are starting to sound like us " old guys". Couldn't agree more. Check out Midway dog town bullets, or bulk 55 grain soft points guys, it doesn't have to be a fmj

Oops a perfect double..

I can learn. Lol no more M4 Benelli. I seldom use 77 grain bullets now except for the really long range stuff. I generally shoot 55 grain FMJ reloads and sometimes 52 grain Hornady BTHP's. The soft points are fine like you said and one side effect is they tend to be more accuracy than comparable FMJ bullets. The reason I am using FMJ's is cost.

Pat

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Even if it wears a barrel faster it would still be far cheaper to shoot steel jacketed bullets if you but ammo and don't reload. You could buy 2-3 barrels for the price of one case of good ammo!

Also those guys should be taken with a grain of salt as they don't seem to be very knowledgeable ar15 armorers. Needing an angle grinder to remove a taper pin? Not to mention getting stuck cases because of neglecting to use a chamber brush.

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Even if it wears a barrel faster it would still be far cheaper to shoot steel jacketed bullets if you but ammo and don't reload. You could buy 2-3 barrels for the price of one case of good ammo!

Also those guys should be taken with a grain of salt as they don't seem to be very knowledgeable ar15 armorers. Needing an angle grinder to remove a taper pin? Not to mention getting stuck cases because of neglecting to use a chamber brush.

That is only true if your buying cheap mil spec chrome lined barrels. Expensive stainless barrels have less than half the life of a chrome lined barrel used in the study and they cost from $300 to $600. So no its not worth shooting steel bullets. You also have to figure in the costs to have a smith change the barrels for you or your cost iin buying the tools needed to do it yourself. When everything is added up steel bullets end up costing you more in the long run. And actually the article was very well written and they do know their stuff. On the chamber extraction. All rifles were treated the same and the brass cased ammo did not malfunction at all. Your argument is weak. That is like saying well if they had babied the guns and broke them down and cleaned them very magazine they would have ran fine with crap ammo.

Pat

Edited by Alaskapopo
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Expensive stainless barrels have less than half the life of a chrome lined barrel used in the study and they cost from $300 to $600.

OK then, that is the cost of 1 case of brass ammo more or less. But if you're using high dollar barrels, you need accuracy so you're not going to consider Wolf ammo anyway. I have some rifles with expensive barrels, but they aren't the ones that I take to a MG shoot to do mag dumps at tannerite laced cars! Even if I did, the math is clear that it would cost less to shoot steel cased ammo.

You also have to figure in the costs to have a smith change the barrels for you or your cost iin buying the tools needed to do it yourself.

You don't need a smith to install a pre-fabbed AR-15 barrel... If you're starting with a blank and installing a barrel extension you need a gunsmith, but if you're buying a barrel with the barrel extension already installed, then the most specialized knowledge you need is "righty tighty, lefty loosey" :) (though I guess if you swing a hammer like a girl, you need either a gunsmith or an angle grinder to remove taper pins :D)

The tools cost 4 magazines of XM193. If you're shooting enough to even make this discussion worthwhile, it's worth your time to buy the tools and turn the wrench yourself even if you don't shoot steel jacket ammo.. A vice block and barrel wrench is a rounding error when we're talking about buying enough ammo to wear out a barrel.

And actually the article was very well written and they do know their stuff. On the chamber extraction. All rifles were treated the same and the brass cased ammo did not malfunction at all. Your argument is weak. That is like saying well if they had babied the guns and broke them down and cleaned them very magazine they would have ran fine with crap ammo.

All I'm saying is they burned 36,000 rounds of ammo but ignored an issue with steel cased ammo that is common knowledge among AR-15 enthusiasts.

Either:

A) they are not familiar enough with the weapons/ammo they were testing to know that steel cases do a poor job of sealing the chamber and the resulting chamber fouling must be removed frequently if you don't want stuck cases.

or B) They were aware of this issue going in, but chose to tailor their "study" to promote a particular product.

I choose not to assume a hidden agenda so I must assume that they were not familiar with ar-15s and steel case ammo and that they didn't do a little basic research before wasting 36,000 rounds.

If my life depends on it or I need to hit a small target, I'm not going to use cheap steel cased ammo .

But if I'm sending a lot of rounds down range and the targets are big/close, it will cost me about $1500 less to buy 10 cases of wolf and 2 new barrels than 10 cases of XM193(or whatever). If for some reason I'm insane enough to blast Wolf through a Kreiger barrel, it will still cost $1000 less for the same 10,000 rounds.

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Yes the average person does need a smith or a armorer friend to install barrels for them unless they purchased the tools. Its not that hard but you do need the tools and the vast majority of AR owners I know do not change their own barrels. Especially the ones who would be willing to use Wolf or similar ammo. Like others have said this was a very eye opening and well written article. It put into words what many of us already knew. Which is steel bullets are not good for your barrel.

Pat

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Which is steel bullets are not good for your barrel.

I agree, but they are good for you wallet. :)

I disagree that it was eye opening as as nothing new was learned and existing knowledge wasn't used to make the "study" more useful as far as the reliability portion goes. (edit: maybe I misunderstand "eye opening". If it means "brought attention to pre-existing knowledge", then I agree with that)

Edited by Griz
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Which is steel bullets are not good for your barrel.

I agree, but they are good for you wallet. :)

I disagree that it was eye opening as as nothing new was learned and existing knowledge wasn't used to make the "study" more useful as far as the reliability portion goes. (edit: maybe I misunderstand "eye opening". If it means "brought attention to pre-existing knowledge", then I agree with that)

Again no not when your paying for new expensive Stainless barrels every 3k. I am getting 3K because stainless barrels generally have about half the life of a chrome lined barrel. They were getting 6K out of the chrome lined barrels so 3K is probably what you would get out of a stainless barrel. One poster here in Finland talked about having bullets tumble from his stainless barreled gun at around 4K. A new $300 to $600 barrel every 3K is not better on your wallet. As for eye opening a lot of people falsely have been reporting that bi metal bullets like those from Wolf are just fine on your barrel. Which this proved was completely false.

Pat

Edited by Alaskapopo
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Are there any Steel CASED 223 ammo mfg's, that run regular brass jacketed bullets?

Some of the Russian stuff used to not have non-steel jackets. The only way to know for sure is to use a magnet as I have cases of Wolf with either type of jacket and as far as I can tell the markings on the packaging didn't change.

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Which is steel bullets are not good for your barrel.

I agree, but they are good for you wallet. :)

I disagree that it was eye opening as as nothing new was learned and existing knowledge wasn't used to make the "study" more useful as far as the reliability portion goes. (edit: maybe I misunderstand "eye opening". If it means "brought attention to pre-existing knowledge", then I agree with that)

Again no not when your paying for new expensive Stainless barrels every 3k. I am getting 3K because stainless barrels generally have about half the life of a chrome lined barrel. They were getting 6K out of the chrome lined barrels so 3K is probably what you would get out of a stainless barrel. One poster here in Finland talked about having bullets tumble from his stainless barreled gun at around 4K. A new $300 to $600 barrel every 3K is not better on your wallet. As for eye opening a lot of people falsely have been reporting that bi metal bullets like those from Wolf are just fine on your barrel. Which this proved was completely false.

Pat

I think we're more or less on the same page. The only disagreement is that I think that those with $600 barrels would not consider steel jacketed ammo in the first place for accuracy reasons, so I don't think that case applies to this subject... If they are happy with the accuracy they get from bottom of the barrel ammo, they obviously are not making good financial decisions in the first place because they wasted money on an expensive barrel that they don't need for their application.

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