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Fmj=Barrel Wear?


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#1 old fart

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 04:54 PM

my brother came by this morning and told me not to buy any full metal jacket ammo, he said it will wear the gun barrel out in less than a thousand rounds. is this true?, i use federal 115 grain fmj to target shoot and hollow points for defense. thanks

#2 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 06:25 PM

Most of the fmj bullets I have seen are copper or copper clad. I would think that steel jacketed bullets may have the potential to prematurally wear a barrel but not the copper coated ones.

Edited by PA RIDGE RUNNER, 06 July 2012 - 06:26 PM.

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#3 TerryfromAR

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 06:33 AM

From what I just read, it appears that the problem arises when you use "Cheap Russian Made Ammo" the higher grade American ammo's have a thicker copper coating over a steel jacket that eliminates Steel on Steel contact where as the cheap russian stuff doesn't
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#4 cayugad

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 10:16 AM

Full metal jacket ammunition varies in quality I was told, by a gun smith. I worry more about the primers in the lower end cartridges then the bullet. Also consider that some of these military rifles are shooting thousands of rounds a year out of some of these rifles, using full metal jacket ammo. I can't see them making ammo that would destroy the barrel in such a short length of service. But then I really have no evidence to support your question one way or the other.

I can tell you out of my SKS I purchased and shot FMJ ammo and in large number. So far the rifle has not shown signs of reduced accuracy.
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#5 mudduck

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 11:32 AM

Federal FMJ bullets are copper clad, and Federal hollow points are also copper clad. Each bullet contacts the barrel at the shoulder of the bullet, not at the point(or tip). No difference in shooting either one.

#6 REDGREEN

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 05:26 PM

As stated by Terry, the cheap stuff has a light copper wash on it. They are steel on steel. Some use highly corrosive primers too. Stay with made in America and have fun.

#7 mudduck

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 06:02 PM

The venerable AK47 is 65 years old, has been shooting "cheap russian made" full metal steel jacketed bullets all these years. Not to be argumentative, but not all steel is created equal. Depending on the amount of carbon added to iron, different hardnesses can be achieved. More carbon= harder steel. Bullet jackets are not made out of "tool" grade steel. Copper is commonly used as a bullet jacket because it has a higher melt temp than lead, thereby creating a better seal, and more uniform gas pressure than just lead. Countries that don't have a readily available supply of copper, commonly use "soft" steel, which can even be softer than some varieties of copper. Now, having said all that, Oldfart said he was using Federal FMJ and Hollowpoints. I would not personally use steel jacketed Russian ammo (like Wolf brand) for 2 reasons- Like mentioned by others, poor quality primers and corrosion problems and 2, failure to feed and fire problems. Oh, 1 more reason, some gun ranges prohibit steel jacketed ammo because of claims it ricchochets more and sparks may cause fires in dry conditions

#8 cayugad

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 09:51 PM

When I purchased my SKS many years ago, a bunch of us actually purchased rifles as a group and got a heck of a deal on them. Then we purchased a case of ammo from Sportsman's Warehouse. Again, very inexpensive. It actually shot real well. But for hunting, I purchased some Winchester hunting rounds for the rifle. Now those are really accurate, and they knock the snot out of a deer. Such a small bullet. Yet it does such damage. One of the friends that purchased the rifles with me, his SKS was claimed by his daughter, and its all she deer hunts with. He "claims" she shot a small doe with some of that Sportsman's Guide hollow point ammo and that it worked fine on a deer. I have never shot game with that bulk military Russian ammo. I am not sure if that Russian hollow point stuff was steel. He said the deer she shot, she got excellent expansion with the round. If it were steel, I would not have expected that. One reason I purchased some actual American made Winchester hunting rounds for my rifle.
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#9 Leo

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 10:16 AM

You really need to use a good copper solvent bore cleaner after you've shot a pile of any ammo. Leaving metal fines in the bore will take serious toll on your rifling. It's real easy to shoot a bunch of cheap ammo and forget you are leaving some metal in the bore. It's not just corrosive cheap powder fouling you need to be worried about! Just a powder solvent bore cleaning is NOT enough after a serious plinking session with any ammo. A good copper bore solvent will also remove mild steel fines. What many folks don't realize is that copper solvents will indeed actually attack steel. That's why it's imperative to not let it sit in the bore longer than the manufacturers recommended time. I run a patch soaked with Gun Scrubber or Brake Cleaner through the bore after I've used copper solvent. This neutralizes the copper solvent. Then I completely dry swab it out.

These "premium" solid copper bullets that are so popular nowadays are the absolute worst offenders for leaving copper fouling. I've seen more than one "shot-out" barrel that was in reality just badly fouled with metal.

This is the Copper remover I have used for years and years. Follow the instructions on the bottle EXACTLY.

http://www.shooters-.../copper-remover
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#10 cayugad

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:41 PM

I agree Leo. Normally if I shoot a LOT.. I will use a good solvent and a bore brush. And sometimes take some JB Bore Paste and scrub the bore. It really takes the stuff out of the barrel and makes them shine. For instance, in my Sig Sauer 522 .22 caliber I have solvent and brushed it, and once did a bore paste treatment. So far the accuracy is still there.
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#11 mudduck

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 08:03 PM

I guarantee you one thing, if I had a rifle or pistol, that after the first 25-50 rds fired through it, and it was still grabbing enough copper off the jacket as to create a copper fouling issue, I would be talking to the manufacturer and asking if they used a hacksaw and chisel to cut the rifling in it.


#12 Leo

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 07:49 AM

I guarantee you one thing, if I had a rifle or pistol, that after the first 25-50 rds fired through it, and it was still grabbing enough copper off the jacket as to create a copper fouling issue, I would be talking to the manufacturer and asking if they used a hacksaw and chisel to cut the rifling in it.


I agree the first 25 - 50 rounds through a new barrel are going to grab more copper at first because the edges of the rifling lands are clean and sharp. But even after this "Break-in" the rifling does not stop grabbing copper. It slows down considerably but it doesn't stop. That's just the nature of rifling and the bore. It still grabs the bullet tightly enough to twist it and seal the gases behind it. The result of this metal on metal contact is the bullet is still going to leave some copper behind. A good bore solvent will remove much of this copper after an average shooting day (say 50 rounds).

The point I was trying to make is that it is possible to shoot enough that a regular bore solvent will not remove enough copper fouling to keep it from accumulating. The inevitable result. The barrel will start to act like it's "Shot-out".

Trust me, before you decide to toss a barrel that's acting "shot-out" try the Shooter's Choice Copper Remover. It's absolutely amazing stuff.
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#13 mudduck

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:35 PM

Leo, like yourself, I can't stand to put away a dirty gun. But lets take an average deer rifle, gets shot maybe 20 times a year,thats 40+years to put 800-1000rds through it. Copper jacketed bullets add lubricity to the barrel, in fact some copper residue is a good thing, as evidenced by precision made hand loads and a chronograph. Your first clean bore shot is generally always your slowest shot. Your first three shots will generally always not group as well as the next 3 shots (even if you wait until all shots are coldd bore). I know you know all this. My whole point all along was only to answer Oldfarts question about shooting FMJ bullets and premature barrel failure, specifically Federal FMJ.I stand by what I said earlier, his barrel will never notice a difference between Federal FMJ and JHP bullets. While the rest of the discussion interests me, perhaps a new thread is in order, and we leave this one to answering Oldfarts question,lol (makes me laugh everytime I type that!)


#14 Leo

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 04:49 PM

You're right Jeff.

To get back on track. Nope, you are not shortening the life of your barrel shooting the Federal FMJ's.

It's a rumor started by folks who shoot piles of cheap FMJ ammo with corrosive components that don't clean their guns adequately.

Whether the jacket covers the tip of the bullet or not makes no difference to the rifle. Not all FMJ's are the same. A broad statement that claims FMJ's shorten barrel life to 1000 rounds is simply not true. Bad ammo and bad gun care can do that but to blame it on FMJ's is a major stretch.
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