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Old Ranger
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Posted: 22 November 2017 at 10:40pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Now I don't mind a bit doing all the case prep work on
5.56mm cases and the civilian .223Rem. If I did, then I
don't belong here amongst my brother reloaders, right?
But then again, sometimes I can't pass up a deal. I
bought several boxes of Russian made .223Rem steel cased
rounds for below what I can load for. Financially, a
pretty good deal. 62gr FMJ at 3,051fps. Great for my 1:8
barrel. So far, right up my alley, right? If I shoot in
the woods or pastures and the cases go off into the
ozone, who cares? Can't reload em anyway.

Then yesterday I actually hunkered down at the bench and
shot some. 4x scope in place. 2 1/2" black dot painted on
a 9" paper plates. My redneck style high class targets in
place. My sand filled kitty litter container front rest
in place on the old B&D workmate bench and a rusty
folding chair. Dogs behind me lounging in the sun. The
Old Ranger was ready to get busy.

First few rounds were scattered around in a 4" spread at
100yds. Not what I call acceptable. I load 62gr FMJ that
often are sub MOA. But 4"? Really? Must be I'm trying too
hard with the scope. Stripped it off the rail and put the
M4 carrying handle sight in place. Ah, that's more like
it. Comphy with my beloved iron sights, I re-engage the
target. Out of 5 rounds, 3 left and 2 right. Scattered as
before with the glass. A four inch spread. I'm
flabbergasted.

I abandoned the bench and walked to the 50yd line and
shot standing. Felt good. Smooth despite the still rough
trigger [not broken in yet] and no sling but the silly
one on the rear plate. Better, but still scattered. Same
distance and such with my loads are ALL in the bull. Out
of 5, 3 in the bull and 2 out.

I'm now wondering if my below cost of reloading, Russian
steel cased factory loads are such a great deal? Well,
I'm picky when it comes to my rifle. I have only two in a
rifle caliber and one in pistol, but they all shoot very
tight with my loads. But "Bullets By Boris" blow!
Guess I'll just plink with em, and a 4" spread is sorta
almost kinda ok for pluggin' hogs I reckon. But
they sure ain't no "two bit target" to win a $10 bet.
(When training troops at Ft. Benning, I'd make and win
bets on shooting a quarter off a rail at a hundred with
my sniper rifle).
Sure won't be making any bets with this Russian
stuff! but the hogs likely won't care! Besides, they
don't carry any cash on em anyway!

Edited by Old Ranger on 22 November 2017 at 10:46pm


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richhodg66
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Posted: 23 November 2017 at 7:47am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

The only experience I have with anything similar is some steel cased Russian 7.62x54 ammo called Brown Bear that was packaged in a pretty plain card board box and loaded with some kind of heavy soft point with a lot of exposed lead on the nose. They actually shot well through my Mosin, and would probably hit like a hammer if a guy wanted to hunt with a Mosin.

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M700
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Posted: 23 November 2017 at 10:18am | IP Logged Quote M700

Some of the Russian steel-cased ammo is covered with a thin layer of lacquer to prevent rust.

That lacquer can gum up the chamber.

And ya, it's inexpensive for a reason...

Guy
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: 23 November 2017 at 4:16pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

I have no experience with steel cased .223 ammo, but have had a bit of experience with Chinese and Russian military ammo in my Mosin-Nagants. When I got my first Mosin back likely 25-30 years ago, it came with five boxes of Hansen Arms FMJ boxer primed brass cases (Yugoslavia). They were fairly accurate and cases were decent enought, but about 2 out of 10 rounds had either punctured primers or blown primers. I then determined that my $50 Mosin was actually an M-28 Sako reworked by the Finns in 1928 and they used a medium heavy 28" Sig barrel that I miked at .3085 dia. The Hansen Arms ammo was about .310 diam. and resulted in elevated pressure.

Well, I ended up sporterizing that Mosin or as military collectors would say, (Bubba'd it). It would likely sell for an easy $450 or maybe a good bit more today in original condition, but I like it like it is.

I ended up getting a carbine length Mosin and doing the same to it for my son, and it had a .312 dia. bore, so all that Hansen ammo was used up in it along with some of the Chinese and Russian military ammo that I had picked up in cans. Some was steel cased with some kind of copper wash on it and some was just Berdan primed brass. Mostly cheap jacketed 149gr. with lead core and some has steel core.

I have likely four or five different versions of the miltary Mosin ammo and after pulling bullets from each, it appears that all the different types of ammo have identical powder, no matter what country or arsenal it came from.

None of it shot all that well so I have put it all aside for plinking and I reload for both Mosins. A .308 dia. 165gr. Sierra SBT Gameking for the Finn and a .311 dia. Sierra 150 gr. flat based Spitzer for the Carbine. Both shoot very good with my reloads with the Finn delivering excellent accuracy. And I have some cast loads made up as well.

The canned military ammo and steel cased ammo seems to be only worth what one pays for it at best.

Edited by Ham Gunner on 23 November 2017 at 4:26pm


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joed
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Posted: 26 November 2017 at 6:13am | IP Logged Quote joed

There was plenty of this ammo going around during the shortage. I
refused to shoot it, maybe I did something right after reading how it
shot.

Wonder why it's so terrible.   Is it the powder, bullets, primers or the
case?   

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Old Ranger
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Posted: 26 November 2017 at 8:34am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Joe, it could be all the above!
Lacquered steel cases are nothing new. We used steel
cased .45ACP in WWII. My father even had some back in the
50's as I remember. But they expand and feed differently.
As to the other components, I've heard all the Russian
ammo has the same stuff. Powder, primer, and bullet from
the same source. Though this is not confirmed by my
actual study, just what "they" say...

I do know that my rifle is capable of sub-MOA if I can
shoot very still and maintain a proper discipline. With
Chech made PPU brass cased 62gr FMJ, it's tight! Good
shooting ammo. But at nearly 50 cents a round, I'll load
my own for under a quarter with brass from Capital
Cartridge and Hornady bullets bought in bulk.

All I know is where I "saved money" with the steel cased
fodder, I lost accuracy. That's unacceptable here in my
little piece of the planet. But it's ok for close
quarters with hogs and armadillos in the woods.

My granddaughter was given 100 rounds of the same ammo
mfg but in 55gr FMJ. It too shoots poorly in her Windham
with a 1:9 barrel. 2.5"~3" at 50yds is pretty bad. And
that was from a mechanical rest and from the prone.

I know that once I've shot this stuff up, I'll not be
using it any further.

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rednekpaul
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Posted: 26 November 2017 at 2:15pm | IP Logged Quote rednekpaul

I bought 1000 rounds of the steel cased stuff a few years back, thinking I was getting a great deal. Well it didn`t function in my AR and my boys AR. Lesson learned. I still have 980 rounds somewhere.
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M700
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Posted: 27 November 2017 at 8:23am | IP Logged Quote M700

Old Ranger - ya I had a box of that steel-cased WWII .45 ammo years ago. It shot just fine.

I wonder if that stuff has any collector value now? Wouldn't matter, I shot it about 30 years ago.

Guy
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Old Ranger
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Posted: 27 November 2017 at 3:34pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Sat down today in 74F with little wind to speak of at
the 100m range. Standard 9" paper plate in place. No
printed bull, just plain. 30 rd mag with 62gr FMJ
"Russian Rustys" ready to go. Three shot intervals of one
minute with a five minute rest between sets. As you can
tell, I don't just bust off rounds like an idiot and heat
my barrel like a welding rod!

After all 30 rounds of Rustys were shot I had 29 holes in
the plate. All over the place! This is typical now
of my shooting of these " Bolshevik Firecrackers". Guess
they're ok for plinking and shooting hogs, but nuthin'
else. I will say this, they cycle well and the cases land
in a 1' radius 8' from the bench at 4 o'clock...
Everytime. That's sumpin' at least.

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joed
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Posted: 27 November 2017 at 5:00pm | IP Logged Quote joed

I wish it was 74 here, been in the 30's for weeks now with a good
wind.   Typical for November.   

Bothered by the fact that the steel case ammo is so inaccurate.   I
never touched it because I had my doubts about it, now those
doubts are confirmed.

As you said Wade it is probably any number of components.

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KinleyWater
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Posted: 29 November 2017 at 7:10pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Steel case in a war-era Mosin is great. Load boom, lots of flash and smoke. My brother's toy. Sure, 6 inches at 100 is terrible, but think about it for a sec... A 74 year old rifle made in desperation by unskilled workers, for a peasant army with no expectation of maintenance; it's not that bad. A while back, I bought a mess of steel cased 9mm to do malfunction drills. I had assumed that it would cause jams based on all the horror stories I had read, but I never even had one issue.

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Kosh75287
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Posted: 02 December 2017 at 12:57pm | IP Logged Quote Kosh75287

Whenever I ponder the cost savings of steel-cased ammo, I also figure in the price of replacing a busted extractor to the cost of the steel-cased stuff.

It's true that a busted extractor isn't the result of EVERY use of steel-cased ammo, and it's also true that busted extractors will eventually happen with brass-cased ammo. But since my past shooting endeavours have pretty well assured me the position of "poster child" for Murphy's Law, I tend to stay away from steel-cased anything.
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