Is brass-cased ammo better than steel-cased ammo? Each has pros and cons, but can one be deemed superior?
Some say brass ammunition is better because it creates a better chamber seal than steel ammunition. Brass is also more malleable than steel, meaning there is less blowback in the chamber and less gas blowing back in your face when you fire.
Steel-cased ammunition is often cheaper than brass-cased and is less malleable. It also could not be reloaded by traditional methods. Steel is aimed at the cheaper ammo market. Some are concerned that steel ammo may damage the bolt carrier on an AR-15 because it is harder than brass.
Through some very serious testing with steel-cased ammo, SKs, AKs and well-made modern AR-15s held up just fine against steel ammunition. The steel cases are a softer steel than both the barrel and the bolt carrier. The abrasion people complain about isn’t as big of deal as you may have heard.
Which Is Better?
You can use steel-cased ammo without a problem in most firearms. If you’re using it for plinking or occasional training, steel ammo will work for you very well. It won’t destroy your gun, but you won’t get the best accuracy as you would with brass-cased. For plinking, steel ammo is great, but it is not recommended for a match.