There has been a lot of misconception and taboo surrounding operators who choose to run steel cased ammo through their AR-15, but is it really that bad for your weapon?
A lot of operators believe that steel cased ammo is corrosive and inherently more damaging to your AR-15, but this is simply not true. The myth of the ammo being corrosive has been long since debunked and a little website surfing will lend you to this fact.
What is true about steel cased ammo is that is has a different odor than the typical run of the mill ammo that you can purchase for your AR. Quite frankly, it kind of smells bad, but the smell of any gun fire is better than the smell of none.
What is also true about steel cased ammo is that it does happen to be more dirty than its brass counterpart. And due to this fact, you will need to make sure you clean your weapon after every time you shoot while running steel cased ammo.
The operators who do use steel cased ammo frequently in their AR-15s like to use the ‘dripping wet’ technique, and it is exactly how it sounds. You will put a lot of lubricant on the Bolt Carrier Group, to ensure smooth firing of the ammo.
But keeping your weapon in clean and well oiled condition is something that all operators should do regardless of what type of ammo they are running. But it is more important because the steel cased ammo is known for being dirty.
And it is certainly hard to pass it up considering that at some locations the steel cased ammo is extremely lower of a cost than that of brass ammo. But it is all up to personal opinion and choice.
There are some operators that insist on using strictly brass, because they do not like the way the steel cased fires, because it tends to be a little less accurate. But certainly not to the degree that it would be life or death.
But as with everything when it comes to firearms, it all depends on what you are trying to do with your weapon.
If you are at a range in a shooting competition, it’s probably not a good idea to run the steel cased ammo because of the accuracy problem. Especially in this scenario where accuracy is exactly what you’re aiming for.
But if you’re just at the range plinking, practicing, or teaching a newbie, steel cased is perfectly fine and 100% safe for your AR-15. And the fact that the ammo is cheaper, for these circumstances, it would probably be a good idea to run the cheaper stuff.
Another thing to note is that steel cased ammo typical has a lower grain percentage than that of the regular .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO ammo.
And because the grain percentage is lower, if could potentially cause jams in your rifle that would not have happened if you were using the other ammo.
The AR-15s gas system is very sensitive, along with every other part of the weapon, so when you are trying to fire the steel cased, your AR might have a little difficulty with the lighter load of the it compared to the heavier load of the .223 or 5.56.
But a lot of operators have no problem with this at all, just something to understand if you happen to run into this situation while shooting steel cased ammo.