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Thread: Steel Core or Steel Jacketed Bullets

  1. #1
    Veteran landtoy80's Avatar
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    Steel Core or Steel Jacketed Bullets

    Most of my Eastern Block ammo is copper plated steel jacketed lead filled or FMJ with a steel core.
    Can you buy bullet that are steel core or steel jacketed?

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    Senior Veteran turbothis's Avatar
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    steel jacket? would this not kill your rifling??? you would be better off with a cast iron bulet......
    have cnc mills, will work for food.
    http://www.gunsnorthwest.com/

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    Senior Veteran rifleman's Avatar
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    lol...tt, yeah you'd think that anything steel running down the barrel would take the barrel with it. thats why you should only use soft metals to clean the barrel/rifling. like copper, etc...
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    Senior Veteran turbothis's Avatar
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    my buddy has a loading press for his 45acp and we loaded some rubber bullits with nothing but primer and shot my other buddy in the back through a thick coat at about 20 feet and he still got a large welt from it. lol, just had to share!
    have cnc mills, will work for food.
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    Senior Veteran rifleman's Avatar
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    yeah cheaper than dirt is selling something like that for varments, supposedly silent.
    We will leave no man behind. Unless you're an a$$hole. Then good luck.
    If you know how many guns you have, you don't have enough. -Butch W.
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    GMCS bullet pictures

    A while back I bought some of the CMP's surplus GMCS (Gilding Metal Clad Steel) jacketed 30-06 ammunition for my Garand. I, too, was concerned about possible damage from steel-on-steel wear at the bullet-to-bore interface. So I pulled one of the bullets (a 152 grain M2 ball type) from a loaded round and sectioned it for analysis. The two attached pictures show the overall sectioned bullet (GMCS_Bullet.jpg) and a close-up of the jacket (GMCS_Jacket.jpg).

    In the close-up of the jacket you can see five layers. They are, from top to bottom:

    Mottled grey: Lead core of the bullet
    Light brown: Gilding metal on the inner surface of the jacket (about 1 mil thick)
    Grey: Steel jacket (about 16 mils thick)
    Light brown: Gilding metal on the outer surface of the jacket (about 3 mils thick)
    Black: Resin (potting compound to hold the sample for sectioning).

    The three mil (0.003") soft gilding metal layer is what actually contacts the bore and prevents direct steel-on-steel contact. It is softer than steel and relatively slippery (like the oil between an engine's piston and the cylinder wall). If this layer was not present, I wouldn't fire this ammunition in any of my rifles.
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    Bullet availability

    Quote Originally Posted by landtoy80 View Post
    Most of my Eastern Block ammo is copper plated steel jacketed lead filled or FMJ with a steel core.
    Can you buy bullet that are steel core or steel jacketed?
    Yes, you can. In fact, I'm having trouble locating milsurp bullets that are NOT steel jacketed. Steel is cheaper than copper so it's finding more use as the bullet jacket base material, with a small amount of copper-based gilding metal used to prevent excessive wear of the bore.

    You can still buy steel cored bullets as components for some calibers. They're sometimes difficult to find but they are out there.

    FWIW, a few years back the BATF classified 308 steel core rounds as armor piercing and prohibited us mere mortals from owning them. (Oddly, they exempted 30-06 AP ("black tip") which is the ballistic equivalent of the M61 round. Go figure...). Here's the link: http://www.atf.gov/firearms/legal/armor.htm
    The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.

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