i bought 500 rounds of steel cased 223 from cabelas and ive been hearing mixed reviews. these in particular say "non corrosive" and "polymer coated" but im still nervous. what do you guys think? pay twice the money for ammo or take my chances with the steel
...steel cased ammo is almost always the "cheaper stuff"...and is hardly ever loaded to full power ammo pressure levels...likewise...steel isn't the "optimal" material for shell casings...it doesn't have the physical and mechanical properties of brass...you would be amazed by the number of things that occur when a shell is fired...related to the shell casing itself...that contribute to the reliable functioning of the firearm...
...brass is more lubrious than steel...which aids in the chambering of the round and the extraction of the shell casing...brass is more elastic than steel...so that the brass shells form a better gas seal against the chamber walls while the cartrage is firied...allowing less gas to escape...brass is more resilient than steel...so that it almost returns to it's origional shape while letting go of the chamber walls...brass cases relaxe and requires less force to extract...brass is also less brittle than steel...reducing the probability of permanant plastic deformation and cracking...brass has superior flow charastics...reducing the probability of rapture....brass has greater thermal conductivity...allowing the weapon to run cooler by absorbing more of the energy produced by the firing of the cartrage ...taking this energy with it when ejected...and brass is more corrosion resistant than steel...that is...brass won't rust...just to name a few...
Steel WILL cause wear and tear on your rifle at an accelerated rate, more so than just the chamber and extractor either, since steel cased ammo almost always used much dirtier powder that can also be gritty. It can be a pain to clean.
Also, steel doesn't slide quite as smooth as brass, so they lubricate the cases with polymer. I have heard that the coating leaves a slight residue in the chamber which can build up over time. This isn't an issue if you just keep shooting steel, since steel does not expand when fired, but brass cases will expand in the chamber when fired, and if there is enough residue and the gun is hot enough, the case will be stuck in the chamber.
I have never seen any real evidence about this, but I know that the one case that I've ever seen stuck in a chamber was a brass case after a lot of steel cased ammo had been ran through a mini 14 fairly quickly.
I also wouldn't hunt with it, velocities are low.
Nothing inherently wrong with steel though, all varieties of wolf are actually acceptably accurate in my sig, around 4MOA, which is plenty good for plinking ammo. Not really good enough for target shooting, but nothing wrong with plinking either. I can say that the 62gr green tip surplus is much less accurate, as is the remington 333 round packs at walmart right now.
I wouldn't own a rifle that wouldn't at least feed wolf.