Practice ammo question?

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Post by smsnyder on 9/4/2019, 7:51 pm

Due you guys shoot steel case ammo in your target guns? Does it hurt the firearm?

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Post by Wobbley on 9/4/2019, 11:27 pm

Not as a general rule. Some guys might shoot the aluminum cases stuff from Speer or Federal if it’s ammo that shoots well and is similar to their preferred load.

Most of the steel cased stuff isn’t very good and seldom shoots well.

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Post by oldsalt444 on 9/4/2019, 11:52 pm

smsnyder wrote:Due you guys shoot steel case ammo in your target guns? Does it hurt the firearm?

You're kidding, right?  Not only no, but hell no.
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Post by chiz1180 on 9/5/2019, 2:05 am

I have found it is almost always cheaper to reload. The trick is buying components in bulk. It is surprising how quickly you can hit the breakeven point on the cost of a reloading setup.

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Post by smsnyder on 9/5/2019, 2:06 am

https://ammoseek.com/ammo/9mm-luger      Most of this ammo casing is made of steel with FMJ bullets. I don't reload so I need to buy factory made ammo.

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Post by Tim:H11 on 9/5/2019, 5:35 am

Never. Really I practice with what I compete with. That way the gun is zeroed and performs the way I’m used to it doing at the match as it did in practice. Reloading 45 is cheaper than factory so there’s no real reason to shoot something else for match vs practice if you’re making it yourself. If you are buying ammo then the regular factory stuff isn’t going to be conducive to good training. It won’t behave or perform the same. For rimfire however, you can get away with lesser expensive ammo for practice and something a little better for match.
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Post by oldsalt444 on 9/5/2019, 10:21 am

If you own a target pistol, then odds are you're serious about shooting and becoming a better shot.  That means you need to shoot a lot.  If you shoot a lot then it pays to start reloading.  It will quickly pay for itself in savings.  You have the ability to tailor your loads.  You can't do that with factory ammo.  Forget the steel case stuff.  It is mediocre at best, very dirty, hard on your gun and well, you get what you pay for.
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Post by SteveT on 9/5/2019, 12:27 pm

Some of us come across as being a bit snobbish about shooting. Forgive us, we take this game pretty seriously. 

My first recommendation is shoot more 22. Many stock 22's can group well and you can get good quality standard velocity 22 ammo for 5-10 cents per round.

Whether 22 or centerfire, the key is to have ammo accurate enough in your gun that you can identify your own shooter errors and not be fooled by the gun and ammo. My general rule is when your offhand groups are shrinking to approach 2x the gun / ammo group from a rest, shot by a skilled shooter, it is time to think about upgrading your equipment. Until then, work on the shooter. In practice, I think about a 6-8" gun is the limit of usefulness for bullseye shooting. I have also found that many guns will group reasonably well (3-4") at 50 ft and 25 yards but few stock pistols, other than 22, will group at 50 yards. If you are only shooting at shorter distance you might be ok. maybe.

If you can find steel case ammo that will group reasonably well in your gun, then sure, why not. If you shoot a lot of steel case ammo (>10-20k), I would not be surprised if there is some wear in your chamber. My best guess (and it's only a guess) is that they use pretty soft steel in cases, so I am not sure if much wear there would be. Also almost all commercial ammo is at the high end of pressure and velocity within SAAMI specs so you will probably also get more barrel wear, battering etc. But, if you are shooting a stock, non-bullseye gun, that may not be such a big deal. Eventually you will want to replace the barrel and a lot of other parts in the gun if you want to continue with Bullseye.

As others have said, I don't want to shoot steel cased ammo in my custome built bullseye gun. I don't like using it in a plinker, but that is mainly the desire to collect and save the brass for reloading.

If you think you will continue in bullseye, I recommend paying a little more for cheap brass case ammo and saving the cases for the future. 

Whatever you do, buy a few different possible loads and test them. If you are as inexperienced as I suspect, then I recommend finding a bullseye shooter in your area to help testing.
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Post by smsnyder on 9/5/2019, 12:38 pm

Very good Advice. Thanks You

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Post by Allgoodhits on 9/5/2019, 2:00 pm

I would amend some of the excellent comments with, at first the "size" of the groups really don't matter as much as the shape of the groups. Learn to shoot, such that the groups are "round". If the group is round, then the shooter is doing a pretty decent job with the sights, grip, position and trigger. Shoot the round groups, then refine the process to shrink the group diameter. In time, when you are not seeing any size in group size reduction, it may be time to invest in better ammo or gun. My .02
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Post by Slartybartfast on 9/5/2019, 2:10 pm

SteveT wrote:If you shoot a lot of steel case ammo (>10-20k), I would not be surprised if there is some wear in your chamber. 

The only "test" I've ever seen looking a the idea steel cases can cause wear or damage was a total farce. They shot thousands of rounds and severely overheated the firearms. Both the brass and steel ammo firearms showed extreme damage. Steel was worse, but IMO that's down to the steel removing less heat in ejected casings.
Haven't seen any data on steel vs. brass fired at non-destructive heat generating rates.
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Post by Wobbley on 9/5/2019, 2:11 pm

Here ya go. Not much more than the steel cased and this is high grade ammo.

https://www.outdoorlimited.com/handgun-ammo/9mm-ammo/geco-9mm-ammunition-220340050-124-grain-full-metal-jacket-case-of-1000-rounds/
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Post by sharkdoctor on 9/5/2019, 3:43 pm

Steel cases are often lacquered to prevent corrosion and the lacquer can cause problems by gumming up chambers.  I don't shoot them so my observations are of other's problems.

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Post by SteveT on 9/5/2019, 4:34 pm

Slartybartfast wrote:
Haven't seen any data on steel vs. brass fired at non-destructive heat generating rates.
I just assume steel is harder than brass, so it might wear more. I wouldn't be concerned about shooting it occasionally, but I've got between 50 and 100k rounds through my original wad gun and probably between 20 and 50k rounds in my current match gun. I worry about these things.
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Post by -TT- on 9/5/2019, 7:50 pm

It's maybe worth saying that many ranges hate steel and aluminum cartridges. They're basically worthless and need to be sorted out and thrown away when reclaiming brass.

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Post by chopper on 9/5/2019, 9:00 pm

I think the best thing about steel cased ammo is, a magnet with pick them up.

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Post by jglenn21 on 9/6/2019, 7:47 am

Yep our range uses one of the roofer push around magnetic brooms to pick it up.. pretty easy
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