The cost of steel-cased ammunition is usually significantly less than rounds with brass casings, making it a tempting purchase for target practice. Brass casings provide optimal performance, as they expand and contract quickly when fired, blocking gases and soot from entering your chamber. Steel is harder and expands and contracts more slowly, and you'll find more residue in your gun after shooting it.
Steel Isn't Always a Steal
Unlike brass, steel casings get coated with polymer or lacquer to prevent corrosion. Under high temperatures, lacquer can melt slightly, leaving a thin residue in your gun that you'll need to clean after each practice session. Polymer has a higher melting temperature and won't leave a residue. The slow expansion and contraction of steel casings can cause some guns to jam. However, if you want to put a lot of rounds through your gun and don't mind a bit of extra cleaning, steel casing is an affordable way to practice.
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