Why Steel-Cased Ammo Is A No-Go At Shooting Ranges

Are you someone who enjoys target shooting? If so, you may have encountered shooting ranges that prohibit the use of steel-cased ammunition.

a bunch of bullets

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While this type of ammo can be cheaper and more efficient for some guns, it can pose various risks and challenges to shooting range operators.

In this article, we will explore why shooting ranges prohibit the use of steel-cased ammunition and the facts surrounding this controversial topic.

From the damage it can cause to bullet traps and backstops to the fire hazard it poses, we will investigate why steel ammo is a no-go at shooting ranges.

Additionally, we will explore the reasons why some people still choose to use steel-cased ammo and the potential implications of this choice.

Key Takeaways

  • Shooting ranges prohibit steel-cased ammo for various reasons, such as the inability to reload or recycle, damage to bullet traps and backstops, risk of sparks and backfiring, and more wear and tear on backstops than copper jackets.
  • Steel-cased ammo can also cause damage to ranges, targets, and structures, ignite unburnt powder, and pose a fire hazard. Due to increased fire risk, steel-cored rounds are almost prohibited on indoor ranges.
  • However, steel-cased ammo is popular among gun owners due to its cost-effectiveness and efficiency for some guns. It is often surplus from other countries, and some guns have steel casings because steel holds up better than brass.
  • Understanding range rules and avoiding ranges that prohibit steel-cased ammo is essential. Additionally, some ranges ban aluminum cases for the same reasons as steel cases.

Reasons for Prohibition

You might have wondered why shooting ranges prohibit steel-cased ammo, but the reasons behind this are valid.

Based on my understanding, steel cases are generally not reloadable, while brass cases can be reloaded. In some cases, the brass from spent brass cases is sold to help cover the costs of maintaining shooting ranges.

Additionally, it is believed that steel jackets, commonly found in steel-cased ammunition, can cause more wear and tear on firearms than brass jackets.

Steel rounds can also spark and backfire, posing a severe safety risk to shooters and the range. The potential for igniting unburnt powder and causing a fire hazard is also a concern, as well as the fact that steel cases attract magnets and cannot be sold like brass cases.

Overall, these factors make steel-cased ammo a no-go at shooting ranges. The potential for damage to bullet traps and backstops, increased wear and tear on backstops, and the risk of sparks and backfiring make it a safety hazard that most ranges are unwilling to take.

So, if you’re heading to the range, double-check their rules and regulations and leave your steel-cased ammo at home.

Reasons for Popularity

Opting for steel-cased rounds is often more cost-efficient and practical for specific firearms. Many gun owners prefer steel-cased ammo due to its lower price point, making it a more affordable option for those who shoot frequently.

Additionally, some guns, such as AK-47s and other military-style firearms, are built to handle steel-cased rounds better than brass.

Despite the drawbacks of steel-cased ammo, it remains a popular choice for those looking to maximize their shooting budget. Steel-cased rounds also have the added benefit of being readily available as surplus from other countries.

However, it’s important to note that some ranges may still prohibit steel-cased ammo, so it’s always best to check with the range rules before bringing your own ammunition.

Additional Facts

When choosing ammunition for your firearm, it’s essential to know that some imported rounds may have steel cores. This is significant because steel-cored rounds are nearly universally prohibited on indoor ranges.

This is because steel-core bullets can cause sparks that might ignite paper target scraps or gunpowder residue, and they can penetrate backstops and bullet traps, causing damage to ranges, targets, and structures.

See the table below to help you better understand the differences between bullets with steel cases and steel cores.

This table provides a breakdown of the different types of ammunition, their characteristics, and their potential impact on shooting ranges. Knowing the ammunition you’re using can help ensure a safe and responsible shooting experience for yourself and others.

Type of AmmoCharacteristicsImpact on Shooting Ranges
Brass-Cased AmmoCan be reloaded and recycledLess wear and tear on backstops than steel cases
Steel-Cased AmmoCannot be reloaded or recycledMore wear and tear on backstops than brass cases
Steel-Core AmmoBullet has steel coreNearly universally prohibited on indoor ranges due to the risk of sparks and damage to ranges. Steel-core ammo is also prohibited for hunting in many states due to concerns about its ability to penetrate through targets and potentially cause harm to unintended targets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can steel-cased ammo be reloaded at home?

You cannot reload steel-cased ammo at home due to its lack of elasticity. Steel cases cannot be resized and reused like brass cases. It is also prohibited at many shooting ranges due to safety and maintenance concerns.

Are there any types of ranges that allow steel-cased ammo?

Some outdoor ranges may allow steel-cased ammo, but indoor ranges typically prohibit it due to safety concerns. Always check with the range before bringing any ammunition to ensure compliance with their rules and regulations.

Is there a difference in accuracy between steel-cased and brass-cased ammo?

Steel-cased ammo may hurt accuracy due to the potential for inconsistency in the casing dimensions. Brass-cased ammo is typically more consistent and reliable, leading to better accuracy.

Are there any safety concerns with using steel-cased ammo in certain guns?

Using steel-cased ammo in certain guns may cause safety concerns due to the risk of sparks, backfiring, and damage to bullet traps and backstops. Following range rules and avoiding ranges that prohibit steel-cased ammo is essential.

How do steel-cased bullets affect the environment compared to brass-cased bullets?

Steel-cased bullets are not environmentally friendly as they cannot be recycled like brass-cased bullets. They also pose a fire hazard and can damage ranges and structures. Always pick up your brass and avoid ranges that prohibit steel-cased ammo.

Darren is a proud and patriotic individual who firmly believes in upholding the principles of the Second Amendment. As a concealed gun carrier, he understands the importance of personal protection and the right to bear arms.