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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there all I have heard a great amount about reloading Steel cased ammunition and decided to give it a go myself, I did a fair bit of research and got stuck in reloading some .223

Many people have claimed that Wolf ammunition cannot be reloaded due to being steel cased and the primers being sealed into the case with a red glue which as we know upon firing falls into many fragments and makes the gun dirty as hell. Also some have claimed that the primers that wolf use are smaller than the ones used by most.

I apologise for the video quality but I was using my webcam which is all I currently have available to me.

I will be traveling to the range tomorrow to test the ammunition against brass cased ammunition loaded with the same load and against British Surplus ammunition.

Rifle to be used is a straight pull Ruger Mini 14 rifle, range will be 300yds.

The loud banging you can hear is boxes of cases rattling as the press is moved up and down, have no fear this occurs when reloading all types of ammunition

 

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Big Safety Issue Here!

THere is a HUGE safety issue here, unless I'm missing something. Wolf is Berdan primed (2 small flash holes). This guy appears to just put his case into his press and run it up into a depriming/sizing die. There is a loud 'bang" and he removes what he says is the "deprimed and sized" case.

It appears that he is using a "Boxer" de-priming pin to just punch a new hole in the bottom of the berdan primed case (which causes the loud bang). This is not safe and will completely mangle and ruin the primer pocket. You can't use Boxer primers in Berdan cases, even if you punch in your own new flash hole.

Jubbles, I have some serious concerns for your own safety with this ammo, the safety of the people around you at the range and for other people who are new to reloading that might think this is OK. ITS NOT! There are some ways to deprime Berdan (Wolf) cases, BUT THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM!!
 

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I don't think its that's serious. I mean he is making a bigger hole. That's what you need. I think he will bee ok. If the hole is bigger than it should be he might get a slight rise in chamber pressure. Due to quicker ignition of power.
 

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BulletMaster
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Wolf Polyformance 223,45 ACP & 40 S & W steel cases are boxer primed.
http://www.wolfammo.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=76&Itemid=115

I wouldn't personally bother reloading the bottle neck .223 case not for a semi-auto gun,bolt action and neck size the case only maybe a couple time but only in a SHTF type situation. The high pressure 40 cases I just stick with brass,but I would reload the 45 ACP with cast bullet loads till they split which take quiet a few times.

Wolf primers,well Russian primers really since Wolf is just an importer are available in all sizes at most online reloading suppliers and some local shops,I shoot several K of them every year,there the same primers used in the Russian ammo.

http://www.flame.murom.ru/en/default.htm
 

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I stand corrected. :eek:: Its' been awhile since I last checked on Wolf ammo's priming. So with that, I wish Jubbles good luck with his expiriment. :thumb:
 

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BulletMaster
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I stand corrected. :eek:: Its' been awhile since I last checked on Wolf ammo's priming. So with that, I wish Jubbles good luck with his expiriment. :thumb:
It's hard to keep up with everything,I been doing this reloading thing for 30+ years and there is always something new to learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I stand corrected. :eek:: Its' been awhile since I last checked on Wolf ammo's priming. So with that, I wish Jubbles good luck with his experiment. :thumb:
Mate I'd just like to say I really appreciate your concern so thank you very much for your comment. It is Boxer primed and there was no undue force used to de-prime, neck size or full length size the cases
 

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I could maybe see with 7.62x39, but why with .223. Spent brass reloadable cases are littered all over every range in the US. In fact, they a tripping hazard in most places I have been at.

I might be handy some day possibly. but you're putting extra wear on your bolt and extractor mechanism, risking jambs for failure to extract, risking throwing out a set of dies, and risking catastrophic gun damage. The damage is from a piece of the case neck being left in the chamber while a second round goes in.

Brass and steel are two completely different animals in many aspects. Surface friction, elasticity, metal failure modes. Here's a simple test. Take a steel and brass case and flatten it with a vise halfway down. Now bend the case back and forth the same way and see which one breaks first.

Here's a place that has something interesting. For $160 you get 1,000 once fired lake city brass and 1,000 hornady heads.

http://www.oldsargesdropzone.com/products.php?scatid=40
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Results!

So today I went to my local range and set up at the 300yd line feeling pretty good about the whole thing but being a little nervous about any potential horrific accident with barrels, butt stocks and bits of me flying in all directions. Naturally being British I decided that everyone else who had told me that this couldn't be done was clearly wrong.

So I lay down got on the radio and requested 4 ten round groups and for measurements of them to be given to me. The results are approximations given to me by those working in the butts and so must be taken with a pinch of salt.

British Surplus - 12-14 inch group
Wolf Factory - 12 inch group
Wolf Reload - 12 inch group
Brass Reload - 18 inch group

The Brass Load was fired first and I believe that put simply I was the cause of the increased group size in comparison to the others. All of these groups could have been reduced under the use of a more competent shooter.

I appologise for the poor video quality but I really am working with the best I can get at the moment


As is shown in the video the cases have not suffered from their second firing and appear to be in good enough condition for a third firing.

This Tuesday I will venture out to the same range and fire the same cases with the same loads in them and compare against the brass fired before them and also if possible some Wolf and Surplus.
 

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I am a range rat and have saved enough BRASS to keep my childrens children set for life. No messin with steel for me. Besides the steel case wolf ammo is so cheap in .223 I wouldn't bother...:)
 

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British Surplus - 12-14 inch group
Wolf Factory - 12 inch group
Wolf Reload - 12 inch group
Brass Reload - 18 inch group
sounds about right for a mini14... lol... i had one for about 8 years now and its been a bittersweet relationship the entire time.
 

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Thank you for your post have thought of doing it myself.......
Is the sizing of the steel cases a big problem?
Was there much run out on your brass?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you for your post have thought of doing it myself.......
Is the sizing of the steel cases a big problem?
Was there much run out on your brass?
The sizing of the steel cases was not a problem what so ever, it was smooth and easy to do, even the same as Brass.

What do you mean by run out?
 

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hmm, I was always told never to use steel for reloading as you'll need new dies after about 500 rounds if you even get that far, and their berdan primed, yea your making the flash hole bigger, so no biggie....WRONG! By making the flash hole bigger your severely increasing your chances of a primer to rupture and you recieving the back end explosion of a bullet and a bullet getting stuck in your barrel....that's the LEAST that could happen by doing this....it may not have happened yet, but it's only a matter of time.


Unless they are boxer primed than you'll just be buying dies all the time from trying to shape steel.
 

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Reloading steel cases does sound interesting but my only concern is the primer pocket. i am only just getting into reloading myself so i know enough to be dangerouse. LOL

my question to you is on your steel cases dont they have 2 or 3 small inlet holes from the primer to the main chamber of the steel case. compared to traditional brass casings that have just a single large hole for ignition from the primer to the powder? (the originial reason that i have heard why this type of ammo is not reloadable)

second when you deprime the cartridge the first time are you not pushing the steel out through the bottom? i saw you use your chamfer tool it just puzzled that maybe there might be a problem there? could you take a few pictures maybe of the cartridges in each stage so we can see just a little better.

i would try it myselft but i am kind of worried of breaking my resizing die when the needle pushes out the initial primer.
 

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BulletMaster
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Wolf steel case .223 is BOXER PRIMED it's been mentions in several post already.

On the subject of enlarging flash holes,it's not a big deal as long as you do it for the right reasons,most people that load precision ammo uniform primer pockets and debur the flash hole to increase consistency between rds. deburring the flash hole actually doesn't enlarge the flash hole by very much but makes them all consistent for uniform ignition. Lapua brass for PPCs, BRs, .223, etc. and other foreign brass makers use smaller flash holes in there brass most all have a .060" or .065" flash hole which is one of the things that contributes to BR accuracy and consistency. American brass has a .080" or .085" flash hole I don't know what size Wolf uses in the boxer primed steel case ammo.

As far as enlarging the flash hole on purpose,some general uses for doing so are with subsonic or reduced powder charge loads that use small charges of slow fast burning pistol or shotgun powders or when using compressed BP loads like in the 45-70 in new brass with standard size flash holes intend for use with smokeless powder,you can also enlarge flash hole when shooting your favor glue bullet in your handgun caliber of choice which is primer powered only.

Enlarging the flash hole will increase pressure to some extent but remember were talking about low pressure loads to begin with so its not an issue when used with those type loads. It also keep the primer from backing out due to the fact that low pressure loads don't produce enough chamber pressure to reseat the primer when there fired like normal loads do. These case must be clearly marked and never used for normal pressure loads.

What do you mean by run out?
I think he means did the cases need trimming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
hmm, I was always told never to use steel for reloading as you'll need new dies after about 500 rounds if you even get that far

Unless they are boxer primed than you'll just be buying dies all the time from trying to shape steel.
Were you told by the same "experts" that told us steel couldn't be reloaded at all?

If me having to buy a brand new set of dies is the worst that happens then I will walk away a happy man better to actually try something and fail than never get out there and do something.

One thing I am curious about is if steel is so hard on dies it wouldn't be economic to manufacture it in the first place.
 
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