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Discussion Starter #1
I bought my XDM Elite in 9mm about 4 months ago and could not find ammo. So I bought 400 rounds not knowing it was steel. I have shot most of it (maybe less than 100 rounds left) while slowly buying more non steel 9mm. Still the expense of both finding and affording 9mm ammo has kept me from shooting my XD much. Someone has just offered me some steel 9mm. I am new to shooting and ignorant of certain things. I do know loading steel with my XTS speed loader is harder.

Is putting steel through an XD bad idea? Are there parts that wear out as a result that can be easily replaced or would shooting steel wear out all parts of my XD?
 

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My concern with steel ammo has less to do with its safety or wear to the pistol and more to do with its quality. Most tends to be on the low end of quality meaning it's less accurate (not really a major issue given my meager shooting skills) and dirtier requiring more frequent thorough cleaning. Some also has steel core bullets which doesn't go over too well at a lot of indoor ranges as they can damage the back stops. If you see sparks when you bullet strikes the back stop, you've got steel cores.

I get the temptation to get ammo from anywhere these days, especially for a new pistol (I also bought an XDM Elite within the last 7 or 8 months), but I can't justify paying nearly 4 times what that ammo was selling for 18 months ago especially if it's low quality. Shoot what you have judiciously and without worrying about your gun and don't give in to the price gougers.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My concern with steel ammo has less to do with its safety or wear to the pistol and more to do with its quality. Most tends to be on the low end of quality meaning it's less accurate.
That's my favorite part of steel ammo, I can claim "Normally my groupings are about 2" but since I am shooting steel today....."

I bought my gun about 5 months ago, my first pistol in 40 years. No ammo at the store so I ended up buying some on GB, not even knowing my first 400 rounds would be steel. It has worked out okay and I have been mixing in the brass I can find but trying to get rid of it so I can move on. I am paying 70 cents per round when I can even get ammo locally not often, and have to drive 2 hours to get to a real town.

Then someone I am dealing with offered me some steel 9mm. Because of the desperate ammo situation, I was tempted. But for 200 rounds it is not worth the shipping. If he had 1000 rounds I would be more tempted. As it stands I just don't shoot my XD often, which is sad. A few weeks ago I spent the beginning of the day practicing with my PPQ 22. I broke out my XDM-E. Fired 6 shots knocked down 6 plates, then put the gun back in the range bag. My plan was to fire at least a whole magazine maybe even two. But after shooting 6 for 6, I figured that was a good note to end on.

I may just have to bite the bullet and bid on 500 or 1000 rounds so I can shoot 9mm more often.
 

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I am paying 70 cents per round when I can even get ammo locally not often, and have to drive 2 hours to get to a real town.

I may just have to bite the bullet and bid on 500 or 1000 rounds so I can shoot 9mm more often.
You must have considerably more disposable income than I do. LOL.

Brass 9 mm was going for about 16 to 18 cents per round delivered in January of 2020, I'm not willing to pay 4X that. I have a ton of .22 LR and 12 gauge that I can use to scratch the shooting itch for the next year or two. I don't see ammo prices coming down as long as people are willing to pay such exorbitant prices. No offense intended.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You must have considerably more disposable income than I do. LOL.

Brass 9 mm was going for about 16 to 18 cents per round delivered in January of 2020, I'm not willing to pay 4X that. I have a ton of .22 LR and 12 gauge that I can use to scratch the shooting itch for the next year or two. I don't see ammo prices coming down as long as people are willing to pay such exorbitant prices. No offense intended.
No my budget is totally blown, but can't help myself. After I bought my SA 5 months ago I realized the predicament I was in and have since invested heavily in .22 ownership. I have watched the price of .22 triple as well. On occasion I have purchased boxes or 9mm between $15-20 per 50. If I could find a good quantity at those prices I would invest in the rounds and my 9mm skills. I enjoy pliking with my .22s but feel it is important to solidify my skills with a 'real' pistol.
 

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My concern with steel ammo has less to do with its safety or wear to the pistol and more to do with its quality. Most tends to be on the low end of quality meaning it's less accurate (not really a major issue given my meager shooting skills) and dirtier requiring more frequent thorough cleaning. Some also has steel core bullets which doesn't go over too well at a lot of indoor ranges as they can damage the back stops. If you see sparks when you bullet strikes the back stop, you've got steel cores.

I get the temptation to get ammo from anywhere these days, especially for a new pistol (I also bought an XDM Elite within the last 7 or 8 months), but I can't justify paying nearly 4 times what that ammo was selling for 18 months ago especially if it's low quality. Shoot what you have judiciously and without worrying about your gun and don't give in to the price gougers.
They do not have “steel core” bullets; this is an oft-touted “internet fact” that simply is not true.

They all have standard lead cores. Steel cored pistol ammunition has been illegal to import since the 1980’s (if not earlier).

Some steel cased rounds have a what is called a “bi-metal” jacket—instead of a copper alloy jacket, they have a mild steel alloy jacket that is washed with a copper gilding paint to reduce friction.
 

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Some steel cased rounds have a what is called a “bi-metal” jacket—instead of a copper alloy jacket, they have a mild steel alloy jacket that is washed with a copper gilding paint to reduce friction.
I stand corrected. So this mild steel jacket is enough to cause the sparking I've seen at indoor ranges?
 

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The problem with ANY "grade" of ammo is simply that unique guns (as in your SPECIFIC 9mm XDm-Elite, the one with that specific serial number - not your neighbor's 9mm XDm-Elite, not your shooting buddy's 9mm XDm-Elite, not your favorite instructor's 9mm XDm-Elite or the 9mm XDm-Elite that your range has as a rental: your own SPECIFIC AND UNIQUE gun) can potentially "dislike" any one or another make/model of ammo.

It doesn't matter if you're shooting the cheapest, junkiest range-fodder or the highest priced premium defensive or "match" ammo. It's just a matter of tolerance stacking.

So, it's upon you, the shooter of that unique and specific gun, to make sure that the ammo you've selected first and foremost feeds and functions your gun (feeds in the magazine, bullet exits the barrel, cartridge is powerful enough to cycle the action, spent case extracts/ejects reliably), and second, that you vet it for external ballistics (point-of-aim/point-of-impact, aka "zero," and performance-at-range). ;) Some ammo simply will not function well in a specific gun. Some ammo (may or may not be that same ammo as previous) may produce weird external ballistics. It just happens.

Hint:

Even at high-end training classes, you won't see shooters sprinting back to the line to load up with "match" ammo or premium defensive ammo to shoot graded exercises. :p Just about all range-fodder perform equally - and as long as you've vetted the ammo you've chosen for those two factors above, you're golden.

The mechanical accuracy of a defensive/duty handgun should hold a 2-to-two-and-a-half inch diameter circle at 25 yards, according to Larry Vickers. Commonly available range fodder can easily hold this standard - and better - as long as tolerance-stacking isn't an issue.

Good shooters can routinely and reliably (more than 7 out of 10) hit a B/C zone steel at 100 yards and beyond, using typical range-fodder ammo, out of not only full-sized service pistols, but even compacts and sub-compacts.

I'm really not kidding about any of this.....

I've been to several multi-day intermediate-level handgun classes where shooters with $1K, $2K, or even $4K guns are just cramming the cheapest ammo that they can find (often steel-case) into their guns...simply because they know that it's "good enough" for what the class demands.

And I've written many times here on XDTalk about my own efforts to be come a better shooter - and that specifically involves my weakest area, that of pushing distance. Here, on posts number 72 and 73, I talk about my shortcomings -and redemption, after the aid of my shooting buddy- at the 50, 75, and 100 yard lines: "New" XDm9 from Cleveland - POA/POI &amp... I shot that day mostly with c.2016 new-manufacture Freedom Munitions 9x19 115 gr. as well as a few 124 gr. Speer Lawman that was at least one, if not two years older. The latter is almost "premium range fodder" 😅 , but the former is decidedly in the "wow, you ain't definitely no suga daddy" camp. 🤣
 

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Hi,

I'll invite myself in on the steel case ammo discussion, only because I've got a couple hundred rounds of Tula in my ammo box that I haven't shot yet. My local indoor range does not allow any Russian made ammo (Tula, Wolf). But the next time I go outdoors I'll bring it along to see if it will play nicely. Yes, these are not steel bullets, just steel cases. As Mr. @Cuda66 says, that's illegal. And I enjoy Mr. @TSiWRX information-laden posts. "Tolerance stacking"..... I love that kind of talk. ;)

For Mr. @Photobug, I feel your pain. Being a new shooter myself, I started buying ammo for $17-$18 a box just last summer. Now the cheapest I can find at my local stores is up to $25 a box. Even .22LR has crept up since the last time I bought a bulk pack, to 10 cents a round. Ouch.

That's my favorite part of steel ammo, I can claim "Normally my groupings are about 2" but since I am shooting steel today....."
LOL! :ROFLMAO: I love it. I'm going to use this the next time I'm at the range. ;)


Oh, but I digress. My meager experience and extensive research tells me it's OK to shoot steel case when I have to, just not all the time. Some people say it can be hard on the extractor. Meh. Like the Apostle Paul says, "Moderation in all things." A little bit now and then (couple hundred rounds) won't hurt. Enjoy! Let us know how you like it/how it performs when you have a chance to shoot it. I'll do the same.


Thank you for your indulgence,

BassCliff
 
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Huh?? Rationale?
Usually for two reasons—one legitimate, one kinda bogus.

First one: some imported steel cased ammo has (as mentioned earlier) a steel jacketed bullet; this steel jacket, upon impacting the armored backstops (or concrete floors/walls/ceilings, which is not uncommon) can, will, and does cause sparks. Since theres often a lot of fine combustible debris downrange (shredded targets, unburnt powder), this can, will, and does cause fires. So, this is a pretty legit reason for ranges (particularly indoor ranges) to prohibit steel cased ammunition.

The second one: A lot of indoor ranges sell their spent brass to commercial reloaders, who don’t like the steel cases. This is kinda bogus, because all it takes is a magnet to separate out the steel cases from the brass.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Usually for two reasons—one legitimate, one kinda bogus.
I have not been to an indoor range, I have been shooting outdoors all winter in NW Wyoming. I am looking forward to it. I believe indoor ranges also sell ammo they would rather you buy their ammo.
 

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For Mr. @Photobug, I feel your pain. Being a new shooter myself, I started buying ammo for $17-$18 a box just last summer. Now the cheapest I can find at my local stores is up to $25 a box. Even .22LR has crept up since the last time I bought a bulk pack, to 10 cents a round. Ouch.
You are fortunate to live in a city and can buy ammo in a store my local gun shop gets ammo in maybe once a month now but less for the last couple months. When I got my XD they had nothing and I bought 400 rounds at 80 cents a round and had no idea i was getting steel ammo. It was even labeled Winchester, yep steel Winchester in bulk.

As far as pricing, consider yourself lucky. I paid $35 for a box of 50 9mm in my LGS and my wife paid $13 for 100 rounds of .22 while traveling. I feel prices are going up weekly if you can get it.

I ended up not buying any more steel. He only had 200 rounds, and it was not worth shipping.
 

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I bought my XDM Elite in 9mm about 4 months ago and could not find ammo. So I bought 400 rounds not knowing it was steel. I have shot most of it (maybe less than 100 rounds left) while slowly buying more non steel 9mm. Still the expense of both finding and affording 9mm ammo has kept me from shooting my XD much. Someone has just offered me some steel 9mm. I am new to shooting and ignorant of certain things. I do know loading steel with my XTS speed loader is harder.

Is putting steel through an XD bad idea? Are there parts that wear out as a result that can be easily replaced or would shooting steel wear out all parts of my XD?
Check out Ammoseek.com for finding ammo at a reasonable price.
 

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Hi,

You are fortunate to live in a city and can buy ammo in a store my local gun shop gets ammo in maybe once a month now but less for the last couple months. When I got my XD they had nothing and I bought 400 rounds at 80 cents a round and had no idea i was getting steel ammo. It was even labeled Winchester, yep steel Winchester in bulk.

As far as pricing, consider yourself lucky. I paid $35 for a box of 50 9mm in my LGS and my wife paid $13 for 100 rounds of .22 while traveling. I feel prices are going up weekly if you can get it.

I ended up not buying any more steel. He only had 200 rounds, and it was not worth shipping.
Yes, living in Southern California Suburgatory has a few advantages which are quickly being outweighed by the disadvantages. I'll take advantage of the good stuff for as long as I'm here.

The big box LGS around here seem to be trying their best to hold the line on their ammo prices but there are always limits. Some smaller shops do a little gouging. I once drove over a half hour to a mom-and-pop store because I'd heard they don't have purchase limits. When I got there I found out why. I ended up buying two boxes of WWB 124 grain for $60 each. I just didn't want to go away empty handed after driving so far. Another time at a closer LGS I had waited in line for an hour because I heard they had 9mm. When I got in the store I paid $80 for fifty rounds of hollow point. Again, because I'd invested so much time I didn't want to go away empty handed. Most of my ammo has been collected piecemeal from Big 5 or Turner's, at a rate of about 100 rounds a week or less. I have not tried to shop at my local Bass Pro Shop. The first time I went there it was a zoo and had a three hour wait just to get into the firearm department. I'll have to try it again to see if things have settled down. Somehow I doubt it. ;) I've got a vanity thread chronicling my ammo quest here: BassCliff's Noob Ammo Ramblings Feel free to stop by and commiserate. :LOL: :cautious:

I'll let you know when I shoot my steel. Turns out I've only got 100 rounds. I'm sure it will be fine. I wish you all the best. :)(y)

And my thanks to Mr. @Cuda66 for explaining why indoor ranges will ban steel ammo. I couldn't've said it better myself. :D

Thank you for your indulgence,

BassCliff
 
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