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Getting your AR to shoot steel cased rounds more reliably

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posted on Dec, 17 2012 @ 09:43 PM

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 problem.
edit on 17-12-2012 by GambitVII because: (no reason given)

edit on 17-12-2012 by GambitVII because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 17 2012 @ 09:50 PM
reply to post by GambitVII

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 usually get.

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?

Brace to be called redneck cowboys for owning ARs

edit on 17-12-2012 by scorpiosin because: wheeeee

posted on Dec, 17 2012 @ 10:04 PM
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?

posted on Dec, 17 2012 @ 10:14 PM
I just avoid buying crap wolf ammo.
I also reload.
No sense making a million mods on a weapon that should function fine with some regular pm.

posted on Dec, 17 2012 @ 11:16 PM
reply to post by g146541

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?...

posted on Dec, 17 2012 @ 11:39 PM
reply to post by scorpiosin

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.

posted on Dec, 17 2012 @ 11:44 PM
reply to post by stirling

if wear and tear is a problem, thwn somethings wrong with the ar all together. i have friends who are at the 30,000+ round count. and its the WASRs aks that are jamming in the range. not our rifles.

who said anything about anything other than just being able to make ARs run steel?
edit on 17-12-2012 by GambitVII because: (no reason given)

edit on 17-12-2012 by GambitVII because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 12:46 AM
The AR was designed to be a full auto weapon the M16. when they came out with the AR15 they cut away the part of The bolt needed for full auto fire.

This made the bolt lighter and less affective. i put a tungsten plug in the back of the bolt of my AR15 years ago and it has fired better ever since.

You can put in a M16 bolt carrier but its a "slight" gray area with some LEO agencies.

posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 12:54 AM
reply to post by GambitVII

I have never seen an AK jam (WASR or GP 75). I have seen AR's jam due to improper cleaning or a magazine issue. I suppose it comes down to how you maintain your rig and what kind of mag you use.

posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 01:11 AM

Originally posted by VikingWarlord
reply to post by GambitVII

I have never seen an AK jam (WASR or GP 75). I have seen AR's jam due to improper cleaning or a magazine issue. I suppose it comes down to how you maintain your rig and what kind of mag you use.

I saw a number of jammed AKs in Vietnam.

AKs are made from steel and in Vetnam they rusted big time.
Plus the VC had to keep them hidden part of the time and not protected.

the M16 did not rust near as much and then the big problem was the military using the wrong powder and telling the troops the wrong way to clean them and not issuing enough cleaning kits.

posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 01:13 AM
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 mention something...

posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 10:53 AM
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.

posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 03:02 PM
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 without problems.

posted on Dec, 21 2012 @ 04:01 PM
I use Bear ammo in my AR. I have put around 1300 rounds through it without a single jam. Lacquered steel and brass coated steel. Wolf on the other hand....I wont be buying that again.


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