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Old 07-12-2019, 05:59 PM
Mr. Sockpuppet Mr. Sockpuppet is offline
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Default Steel jacketed handgun ammunition confusion



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There seems to a great bit of disagreement about the effects of using lead core, steel jacketed handgun ammunition, especially when using such within an indoor range.

As such, what are the differences, if any, between steel jacketed (not steel core) and copper jacketed handgun ammunition upon range facilities? I don't care about copper washed, zinc coated, etc. ammunition, because it is irrelevant to the question.

If you can reference a authoritative source for your information, I would appreciate it.
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:15 PM
arleigh arleigh is offline
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Years ago I had a gun that had some great target representations, and I mistakenly shot some steel jacketed rounds through it and the accuracy went away to the point I did not want the gun any more .
If you don't care about the rifling go for it .
As to indoor ranges, some times the penetration is too rough on the back stop .
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by arleigh View Post
...As to indoor ranges, some times the penetration is too rough on the back stop.
Are you able to tell me how steel jackets are any harder than copper jackets?
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Sockpuppet View Post
Are you able to tell me how steel jackets are any harder than copper jackets?
GMCS is laminated sheet material produced by rolling a mild steel billet sandwiched between two slabs of gilding metal. As used for jacket material in NATO practice the steel does not contact the bore, a 7.62mm jacket having the steel cup being about 1mm thick being sandwiched between two layers of gilding metal which are about 0.1mm thick.

In ComBloc practice the mild steel jackets are not laminated, but are electroplated to prevent rusting and the plating is only about 0.05mm thick and therefore may be cut through by the rifling.

In both cases a mild plain carbon steel, annealed sheeting is used, similar to that used in manufacturing food cans. Typical hardness of steel jacket material is normally in the range of 200-220 Vickers DPH, vs. 160-180 for 90/10 gilding metal.
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Old 07-13-2019, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Sockpuppet View Post
Are you able to tell me how steel jackets are any harder than copper jackets?

The other guy just did. Steel is harder than copper, obviously. Take a look at tests done with exclusively russian steel ammo vs. copper/lead ammo. After a few thousand rounds, you've got a smooth bore.

https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/bra...el-cased-ammo/

As far as ranges, steel ammo can penetrate somewhat deeper than traditional ammo, and has the chance to produce sparks/fire when hitting other steel.

I see that first hand when shooting russian ammo at my steel plates in my yard. Regular ammo thwacks the plates, nothing else. You'll see sparks when russian ammo hits it.
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Old 07-13-2019, 05:49 PM
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Steel jacketed ammo is also a fire hazard due to sparking, which is why it is banned from many public ranges.
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:48 AM
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Steel jacketed ammo is also a fire hazard due to sparking, which is why it is banned from many public ranges.
I've heard the same thing, but have yet to find anything authoritative about that particular risk. Can you point me to any documented proof for such for run ranges?

I know that Copper has a high conductivity and as such, doesn't spark easily. Though I have seen Copper produce sparks on the machine shop floor, especially in an environment with carbon.
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Old 07-15-2019, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
GMCS is laminated sheet material produced by rolling a mild steel billet sandwiched between two slabs of gilding metal. As used for jacket material in NATO practice the steel does not contact the bore, a 7.62mm jacket having the steel cup being about 1mm thick being sandwiched between two layers of gilding metal which are about 0.1mm thick.

In ComBloc practice the mild steel jackets are not laminated, but are electroplated to prevent rusting and the plating is only about 0.05mm thick and therefore may be cut through by the rifling.

In both cases a mild plain carbon steel, annealed sheeting is used, similar to that used in manufacturing food cans. Typical hardness of steel jacket material is normally in the range of 200-220 Vickers DPH, vs. 160-180 for 90/10 gilding metal.
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Originally Posted by EchoMirage View Post
The other guy just did. Steel is harder than copper, obviously. Take a look at tests done with exclusively russian steel ammo vs. copper/lead ammo. After a few thousand rounds, you've got a smooth bore.

https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/bra...el-cased-ammo/

As far as ranges, steel ammo can penetrate somewhat deeper than traditional ammo, and has the chance to produce sparks/fire when hitting other steel.

I see that first hand when shooting russian ammo at my steel plates in my yard. Regular ammo thwacks the plates, nothing else. You'll see sparks when russian ammo hits it.
I thank everyone for the information, but my question lies with the difference between steel and copper jacketed handgun ammunition upon range facilities.

Does steel jacketed handgun ammunition hit any harder than copper jacketed handgun ammunition? If so, can you point to anything but anecdotal evidence that supports such?
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Sockpuppet View Post
I thank everyone for the information, but my question lies with the difference between steel and copper jacketed handgun ammunition upon range facilities.

Does steel jacketed handgun ammunition hit any harder than copper jacketed handgun ammunition? If so, can you point to anything but anecdotal evidence that supports such?
Lead core, mild steel jacket FMJ ammo is no more damaging to AR500 plate than GM jacketed FMJ.

But steel jackets will produce sparks upon impacting steel plates and have been known to cause fires in indoor ranges, igniting paper and crumb rubber residues and accumulated unburned powder.

https://www.firehouse.com/home/news/...shooting-range

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/guns-bl...fires-in-west/
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
Lead core, mild steel jacket FMJ ammo is no more damaging to AR500 plate than GM jacketed FMJ.
This is what I believe, despite what people state about it. Depending upon thickness, the steel is more than capable of withstanding high velocity rounds. Combine it with ballistic rubber, and the backstop is fairly protected.

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Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
But steel jackets will produce sparks upon impacting steel plates and have been known to cause fires in indoor ranges, igniting paper and crumb rubber residues and accumulated unburned powder.

https://www.firehouse.com/home/news/...shooting-range

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/guns-bl...fires-in-west/
The USFS published a study of ignition by rifle rounds in the wilderess some 5 or so years ago, but I'm not aware of any study, report, or a published story about steel jacketed ammunition that has ever caused an indoor range fire.

Even the Firehouse.com story you linked doesn't state such. From the story:

Quote:
...Fire investigators were trying to determine the cause Sunday night, but they said it appeared the fire erupted in a back area where ammunition was stored...
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Sockpuppet View Post
This is what I believe, despite what people state about it. Depending upon thickness, the steel is more than capable of withstanding high velocity rounds. Combine it with ballistic rubber, and the backstop is fairly protected.
Beliefs or not, if the range doesn't want me to use steel-jacketed or steel-core ammo, I'm not going to use it. It's their call. I'm not going to go looking for scientific data and peer-reviewed studies to find some information to show the range owners that I should be allowed to use the steel ammo. That's just kind of a **** move.

As far as shooting starting forest fires . . . I suppose if conditions are tinder-dry, you might get something going just from the heat of the rounds going downrange rather than sparking. Or because some fool was shooting tannerite in said conditions.
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:28 PM
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Beliefs or not, if the range doesn't want me to use steel-jacketed or steel-core ammo, I'm not going to use it. It's their call. I'm not going to go looking for scientific data and peer-reviewed studies to find some information to show the range owners that I should be allowed to use the steel ammo. That's just kind of a **** move.
Unless, of course, one is attempting to locate information to prove or disprove a supposition, so to make an informed decision with respect to such.

That isn't a **** move, but rather one of thoughtful leadership.

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As far as shooting starting forest fires . . . I suppose if conditions are tinder-dry, you might get something going just from the heat of the rounds going downrange rather than sparking. Or because some fool was shooting tannerite in said conditions.
Forest fires ignite for a variety of reasons. Human behavior being what it is, account for a near majority of the most senseless reasons why such occur.
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Old 07-20-2019, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Sockpuppet View Post
I thank everyone for the information, but my question lies with the difference between steel and copper jacketed handgun ammunition upon range facilities.

Does steel jacketed handgun ammunition hit any harder than copper jacketed handgun ammunition? If so, can you point to anything but anecdotal evidence that supports such?

I boils down to "it happened at one range, one time, so we're going to ban it at our range so it'll never happen here."

I really think that's the only reason. There is a greater chance of a sparking fire, or of greater backstop damage.....so to mitigate that chance, ranges jumped the gun and ban steel ammo.

Same thing with serpa holsters.....a few instances of operator error...ie: pulling the trigger on a glock or light triggered 1911.....and suddenly everyone blames the holsters instead of the USER, and started banning serpas from classes. It's the same thing the gun grabbers are doing with gun control......blaming the tool, not the user. The holster does not pull the trigger......the user pulls the trigger.

Besides that example, I personally think that's why ranges don't want russian ammo. And just like classes and serpas.....no matter what evidence you show them, they're not going to change their minds. No matter how many thousands of times I've drawn my Beretta out of my surplus serpa dropleg, without ever a negligent discharge......classes still won't 'allow' serpa holsters. So no matter what evidence you show a range that steel ammo won't necessarily damage a backstop or start a fire.....they won't change their mind.
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Old 07-20-2019, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arleigh View Post
Years ago I had a gun that had some great target representations, and I mistakenly shot some steel jacketed rounds through it and the accuracy went away to the point I did not want the gun any more .
If you don't care about the rifling go for it .
As to indoor ranges, some times the penetration is too rough on the back stop .
I seriously doubt that "some" steel jackets caused the accuracy to "go away". Can you quantify "some"?

Same goes for the rifling. If that were the case, then Id have a number of guns that were now smoothbores, which they arent.


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Originally Posted by EchoMirage View Post
The other guy just did. Steel is harder than copper, obviously. Take a look at tests done with exclusively russian steel ammo vs. copper/lead ammo. After a few thousand rounds, you've got a smooth bore.
If that were really the case, there would be a lot of smoothbore rifles and a few other things out there.

I seriously doubt "most" will shoot their guns enough, and/or in a manner, that its going to be an issue.

Ive never really been a fan of steel cased/jacketed ammo, especially if other things were available, but I have shot my fair share of it.

Ive shot it out of things like my MAC, which was full auto and has one of the higher cyclic rates, and the rifling seems to have not noticed. And that was a "cheap" gun with a steel barrel, and no chrome.

Are sparks possible? Sure. Then again, Ive seen copper jacketed rounds cause sparks when they impacted certain materials, even rocks.

I never noticed that "steel jacketed" bullets caused any more damage than copper jacketed. "Steel core" is something different. But of course, they are different bullets too.
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Old 07-20-2019, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by EchoMirage View Post
I boils down to "it happened at one range, one time, so we're going to ban it at our range so it'll never happen here."

I really think that's the only reason. There is a greater chance of a sparking fire, or of greater backstop damage.....so to mitigate that chance, ranges jumped the gun and ban steel ammo.
I think a lot of the issue here is, some of this type ammo is steel jacketed, and some steel core. Both will attract a magnet, which often seems to be a "test" for useable vs banned ammo.

I really dont think that the steel jacketed ammo is the culprit for the backstop damage, but the steel core could very well be.

The simple response for the owners is, the "magnet test". Which just happens to ban all of it.

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Originally Posted by EchoMirage View Post
Besides that example, I personally think that's why ranges don't want russian ammo.
I think the main reason is, they want to sell you the ammo they are selling.
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Old 07-22-2019, 03:56 PM
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...So no matter what evidence you show a range that steel ammo won't necessarily damage a backstop or start a fire.....they won't change their mind.
Except in my particular case, in which my gun club Board of Directors has just reversed it's policy with respect to such.
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:13 PM
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Just a thought....

Maybe they don't want steel cases mixed in with their brass cases on the floor

Simple fix......ban any steel ammo
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:21 PM
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Just a thought....

Maybe they don't want steel cases mixed in with their brass cases on the floor

Simple fix......ban any steel ammo
I'm sure that its a consideration for those who sell brass reloaders, but scrap metal (in this case, aluminum and steel) is also purchased by recycling businesses.
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Old 07-24-2019, 02:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Area Man View Post
As far as shooting starting forest fires . . . I suppose if conditions are tinder-dry, you might get something going just from the heat of the rounds going downrange rather than sparking. Or because some fool was shooting tannerite in said conditions.
It's not about starting forest fires with steel jacketed ammunition, its about starting a fire in an indoor range. Unburnt gunpowder will accumulate in an indoor range, go sweep one and you'll see what I mean. Outside this isn't a big issue because well humidity and wind will prevent a significant amount from collecting in concentrated enough patches to pose a serious threat. But in a concrete box with shredded rubber as a back stop? Yea that's a MAJOR fire hazard.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:36 AM
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It's not about starting forest fires with steel jacketed ammunition, its about starting a fire in an indoor range. Unburnt gunpowder will accumulate in an indoor range, go sweep one and you'll see what I mean. Outside this isn't a big issue because well humidity and wind will prevent a significant amount from collecting in concentrated enough patches to pose a serious threat. But in a concrete box with shredded rubber as a back stop? Yea that's a MAJOR fire hazard.
When one's indoor range backstop is cleaned regularly, it is not of issue.

My club's indoor pistol range is cleaned for two days, of lead, copper, and (shredded rubber and paper) refuse, quarterly.

No money changes hands, as the vendor does such for the lead and copper.
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