One of the things I've always had an issue with the AR was how picky it can be with ammo. For a long time, I steered away from the use of steel
ammunition as a result of all the myths and rumors going around concerning them. Then on of course, I had first hand proof when I used it for the
first time and got a failure to extract every 30 rounds.
Then a friend of mind brought his AR with him to the range and the next thing I knew, 600 rounds flew by and it continued to function with no
malfunctions. That dazzled me, so i went in a search to replicate those results and sure enough it created some results.
This is pretty much a run down of what I had to get for everything to work smoothly: (keep in mind, this is configured to my rifles gas settings and
it may not work for others)
- Strengthened Buffer Spring (carbine config)
- H2 Tungsten Buffer
- BCM Enhanced Extractor Spring
- M16 Style BCG
Here's what I had to accomplish:
My goal was to slow down the cycling enough for smoother extractions. And the way to do that is to get heavier components and stronger springs. But
not too much that it will cause issues.
I've ran a ton of rounds, and I've got to say it can be done. Just when I was about to give up on making steel work, I'm now about to give up brining
some emergency equipment to treat a malfunction hasn't and probably won't happen in the near future.
If anyone asks, I can't give you the exact solutions to make it possible for your firearm since I don't know all the details concerning your rifle.
Not to mention I'm still learning myself. But I can say is that my modifications have greatly increased my AR's reliability in more ways than just
making it possible to shoot a wider variety of rounds reliably.
In short, if you want to make steel rounds work you'll have to experiment with your rifle in order to properly diagnose and solve the
edit on 17-12-2012 by GambitVII because: (no reason given)
edit on 17-12-2012 by GambitVII because: (no reason
Hmm thanks for the info. My neighbor has an AK and I have an AR and he jokes with me about how much cheaper his steel ammo is than the brass I
I've always been paranoid about using steel from reading horror stories about jams and the lacquer coating eventually coating the chamber but I dunno
if that is just an internet myth or not. I've seen that new polymer coated steel I considered but haven't tried yet. I'm about to build another AR
and will work those upgrades into it - where did you get the buffer spring? What brand is it?
Do you think there is sufficient savings to offset any aditional wear and tear? and how about Lubes?
Also how are the casings going to work in your reloading press assuming you reload...
Would they be harder on dies?specially the neck?
fine if you have a never ending supply..but what about running out and using some odd rounds sometime?
I could see borrowing a box or two at range practice now and then....have done so in the past..
Its always smart to make sure any gun feeds and functions on a wide selection of ammos....
Not to denegrate proper PM....much grief has been avoided thus...
But still anyone wants to rely on the function under varied conditions....
I once had a stainless steel 45 auto race gun....freeze up so hard it had to be dissassembled to clear properly...because of wrong lube for the
pouring rain, and wroung powder selection...
It competed fine at the drier higher altitudes where ilived and built it...but failed to make the trip to a lower much wetter climate due to
ignorance.....or poor planning...
Howd i know it rained 4 days of every 6 down there?...
thats the buffer spring that i got (red). i originaly had an oversized gas port on my carbine length so getting the strongest spring reallly helped
make it possible. I now have a midlength gas system and so far there are no malfunctions.
----- now to reply to everone else
of course its not necessary to make your ar be able to run steel. but being able to do so is more of a personal achievement thing with the bonus of
having a rifle that can shoot a wide variety of ammo and having a rifle that will function when abused and negleted.
If a WASR is jamming that's because for about three years the monkeys at Century couldn't figure out how to put a damn barrel on straight. The gas
block being twisted puts the gas piston in a bind. Its fixable but you need a hydraulic press to do it. It's also a PITA.
Seriously, man. I rock AKs because they *don't* jam. You can set them on fire due to mag dumps and they *still* don't jam.
Edited for clarification. I have seen an AK jam a few times. The figure is so low that I could count it on both hands. My current iteration probably
has 40k down the pipe. Intentional dummy rounds for malfunction drills being the exception.
edit on 18-12-2012 by netwarrior because: forgot to
My understanding is that AR's tend to dislike steel ammo because 5.56/.223 are straighter cases than 7.62x39. Since 7.62 angles in more, it has less
friction or something when being drawn back. Brass is evidently more forgiving than particularly coated steel.
If you look into 7.62 AR's or 5.56/.223 AK's (are there any? 5.54 or whatever is different), you'll probably see different reliability
characteristics with steel than with brass.
Steel .223 is actually very uncommon to run across. I don't think it's worth adapting the rifle too when the adaptations may increase wear on the
rifle. You're basically just running it harder, it seems.
Ive found that although its cheaper, youll find that if you spend the little extra on Brass, you wont have to clean near as much, and it wont jam so
much because of that, I can see that you have some problems with jamming, unless you shoot then look at your gun everytime. My AR used to jam, it had
a 1:8 twist, i scapped that crappy barrel for a Nato 1:9 twist, with a much better reciever. I havent had a jam since, and I can shoot the crap ammo
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