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Thread: Anyone tried Wolf steel-case .303 in the Bren?

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  1. #21
    Advisory Panel Brian Dick's Avatar
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    Why not just stock up on brass cased Germanicon MEN ammo while it's available. At .50 cents a round, how can you possibly go wrong? It's made to Mk.7z specification instead of Mk.8 like the Wolff which is much better anyhow, especially if you shoot rifles too. .

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    Really Senior Member TactAdv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Dickicon View Post
    Why not just stock up on brass cased Germanicon MEN ammo while it's available. At .50 cents a round, how can you possibly go wrong? It's made to Mk.7z specification instead of Mk.8 like the Wolff which is much better anyhow, especially if you shoot rifles too. .

    Wolf is 38c/rd retail, I pay 26c/rd wholesale in 10,080rd pallet lots (36 cases).

    So far, I have put just slightly under 5000rds through my factory original '42 Daimler-Monotype MkII machinegun, with ZERO issues as I have explained before. I use about 8 barrels interchangeably, MK I and MK II's.

    It also has worked flawlessly in the 4-5 No. 4 MK I* rifles I have tried here.

    I suspect any feeding issues are the result of re-constructed/welded receivers and/or well used barrels. A tip in general would be to take a good dab of Flitz metal polish on a stack of cotton patches or .410ga cotton swab and spin it in the chamber at low RPM using an electric hand drill. Just that simple treatment will clean up a multitude of past sins and give you a very nice chamber wall surface.

    And, Yes, raw or sharp inside edges of ANY metal magazine feed lips will tend to engrave on the cartridge case outer walls, adding considerable friction and markedly increasing stripping forces required. A quick treatment with an 800grit or higher stone along the entire inner sheet metal feed lip surfaces will tone down the tendency to engrave.
    -TomH
    Last edited by TactAdv; 06-04-2018 at 12:56 PM.

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  6. #23
    Member kpj53's Avatar
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    Quick update, brought 60 rounds of wolf and 40 rounds of the MEN stuff from SG with me today, shot two boxes of wolf with no issue then three blown out case heads in a row from the third box. Looks like the extractor ripped the case apart before the case released. Gun still ran fine but after two rounds there was ton of smoke coming from the action so I checked the fired cases. I took it apart quick to make sure something didnt break/move and everyting looked fine. Fired one more single round and it blew out the bottom again. I stopped using the wolfe at that point, the third box was from a new batch I just received. I dont see any lot numbers on the boxes, but the printing on the box is a little different on the newest ones.

    I switched the MEN ammo and had no issues with it for the next 40 rounds.

    Not sure if I got some 'bad' wolf rounds or maybe the chamber was a getting sticky. I shot 100 rounds in a row through the same barrel with the wolf last time so who knows (always clean it after shooting). I will use the rest of the wolf in my bolt action rifles and go back to brass case in the bren I think. Didnt do any damage to the rifle, most likely the bullet was clear of the barrel when the case failed. Just a lot of soot.. If you look at the pic you can see the rim is on angle from the extractor wrenching the case head out.
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    Last edited by kpj53; 06-21-2018 at 05:39 PM.

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    Contributing Member Mr E's Avatar
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    The distance between the extractor and the chamber is over twice what I would expect to see in a properly head spaced gun. Have you checked to see if your gun is head spaced off the case and not the bolt stops. I have seen several rewelds that were head spaced off the bolt stops.
    To me the picture shows the case was still under pressure when it failed so I would assume either excessive HS or over gassed
    1ATSR 177AD & 4/3 RNSWR

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    Contributing Member Vincent's Avatar
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    My guess is the gun was headspaced with what he calls his “numbered” barrel (the one he is saving).

    He says he has three different barrels. One he got from IMA. What are chances of it headspacing the same as his “numbered” barrel?

    Some folks think you can stick any barrel in a Bren and it will work. Wouldn’t it be nice if that were true!

  9. #26
    Member kpj53's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    My guess is the gun was headspaced with what he calls his “numbered” barrel (the one he is saving).

    He says he has three different barrels. One he got from IMA. What are chances of it headspacing the same as his “numbered” barrel?

    Some folks think you can stick any barrel in a Bren and it will work. Wouldn’t it be nice if that were true!
    I have headspace gauges and check every barrel, every one I fire is in spec. matter of fact the IMA barrel is a little tighter than the others. I have put many through that barrel, both steel and brass, with no issues. Just the one box started having issues, the MEN brass cased ammo finished out the day had no issues.

    It was more of a sticky case and extractor ripping the case head off with some pressure in the barrel than a blowout I think.

    And no it is not headspaced off the bolt stops. Simple fix was to start using brass cased ammo again I am not going to keep trying any more out of that box, they could even be a little bit overloaded as well. I fired the rest of them in my No4 today and the bolt stuck a few times, never ever did that before, who knows. For 2.00 more a box why take a chance..

    The gas setting was on #2, the #1 setting wont cycle the action all the way so the gas wasn't cranked up. Another poster in this thread seemed to be having the same problems. I'm not knocking the wolf ammo, it worked fine for quite a while until it didnt
    Last edited by kpj53; 06-26-2018 at 01:09 AM.

  10. #27
    Contributing Member Mr E's Avatar
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    kpj53 what HS gauges are you using? whats your HS for the barrel that the blown cases were in? who's version of SA bren are you using (striker,hammer, pirate, historic, did you build it)? I ask this because some builders drill out the gas port which in one case makes setting 1 equal to setting 4
    I ask because I really need a supply of good cheap ammo and dont want to get piles of wolf if its going to be trouble in the bren or vickers.
    1ATSR 177AD & 4/3 RNSWR

  11. #28
    Member kpj53's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr E View Post
    kpj53 what HS gauges are you using? whats your HS for the barrel that the blown cases were in? who's version of SA bren are you using (striker,hammer, pirate, historic, did you build it)? I ask this because some builders drill out the gas port which in one case makes setting 1 equal to setting 4
    I ask because I really need a supply of good cheap ammo and dont want to get piles of wolf if its going to be trouble in the bren or vickers.
    It is a striker, not sure on the exact builder but very nicely done. No the gas regulators were not drilled on any of the barrels.

    I dont know who makes the HS gauge, its an old one I bought from apex years ago, marked SM .210 .074 No1 so I assume a field.

    I also have a disc type no-go that mics at .068 if I remember to double check, right now it will close on the .068 with a little pressure and no way will close on the .074.

    I counted the boxes of wolf 303 I have left and it looks like I fired 360 rounds of it through it with no issues except it wouldnt feed the first round sometimes, had to pull the charging handle twice. You can see the rims were digging in the mag and on each other, I polished one mags feed lips and that problem went away as long as I used that mag.



    Why it started having issues with that one box I dont know, I brought three 20 rd boxes of wolf and two of the MEN brass cased with me. First two boxes of wolfe worked perfect, I loaded 20 in the mag on the third box and the first two rounds just didnt sound right but still functioned fine. Looked at the two ejected empties and they were both broken, one had the lip bent down in the pic and another just pulled the case head off on an angle with no signs of blowout.

    I always keep the disc HS gauge with the gun tools with me so I checked it quick, it was the same as its always been. Decided it was best to use the brass cased MEN and call it a day, which worked perfect.

    After a little more looking at the wolf cases there is no doubt they are thin in that area, there is also another piece of metal, primer flash hole it looks like, pressed in there right where they cracked. Its possible it could have fired a little out of battery, or the bullet got pushed in feeding and caused an overpressure. Could have been some overcharged rounds in that box. Could have been a couple bad cases. Could have been something got in the chamber and was sticking the case. The other 18 rounds may have worked just fine. I wasnt going to experiment on a fairly expensive gun that day to see if it would keep happening with the steel cased ammo.

    I was happy with the performance of the wolf, especially for the cost, but since I have other bolt rifles to use it with I think I'll use PPU or the MEN brass in the bren from now on. Its not like the wolf blew up the gun or hurt anyone, if I couldnt get PPU or the MEN I would probably try it again.

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