Thursday, December 1, 2022

Does NORINCO 223 REM Ammo Use Steel Core Projectiles?

I recently had the high bid on 60 boxes (1,200 rounds) of NORINCO 223 Remington ammunition. This ammo used to be frequently imported into the USA; however, it was banned in the early 1990s (93 or 94 depending upon two different sources) by President William J. Clinton. Despite the fact that he banned all importation of Chinese ammunition and I think firearms too, Clinton extended most favored nation trading status to that country. 
Back to the ammo: One of the most frequent questions raised about this ammo is whether or not the projectiles (bullets) are steel core. I tried to find out by doing an online search and found several firearms forums in which there were threads that posed the same question. The thing was, the answers were not definitive and there thus was a lot of controversy as to whether or not the bullets are steel core. So, I decided to find out myself and did a video while doing the finding out. The video will answer that question - at least with regard to the NORINCO 223 REM ammo that I just received.
The answer - watch the video for it - was kind of, sort of almost definitely what I had expected. Some things I read while researching the question online (before I did my test) were that: This the bullets are 55 grain, it uses full metal jacket bullets, it has high quality reloadable brass cases, it is boxer primed, it is pretty accurate, it is not prone to misfires and it is essentially manufactured to the same specs as M193 ammunition. I took in all that with a grain of salt; some of that may be correct and other things mentioned may be incorrect.
Here is what I learned when I did the video and looked over the ammo boxes:Whether or not it is steel core (watch the video to see if steel core). What NORINCO claims it to be: it is 223 REM, it is brass cased & boxer primed, it is reloadable brass, it is "non corrosive". It was made in the the P.R. China (People's Republic of Chine). All that was stated on the boxes. What is not stated  on the boxes is the grain weight of the projectiles and that they are FMJ.
Note that I put quotation marks around "non corrosive". That is because that is what was printed on the box - non, then a space, followed by corrosive. In English it would be noncorrosive to be correct. So I leave it to you to decide if NORINCO was saying is noncorrosive or if they were they pulling a fast one and saying it actually is corrosive but misleading us with the word non preceding corrosive but apart from it. Of course, it could merely be a foul up in the translation when they wrote up the words to be placed onto the boxes nor that the bullets are FMJ.
In the event it does not show here, this is the web address for the video: 
 All the best,
Glenn B


Sambo said...

I think it is copper washed steel jacket with a lead core. My friend blew his colt AR up using Norinco ammo. It was a hot overload. I quit shooting that ammo after that

Glenn B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glenn B said...

Well, I suppose if you want to believe they have a steel core after failing to be magnetic in the magnet test I ran on them, you can believe whatever you like. The thing is that in the case of my Norinco 223 REM ammo you would be wrong because it obviously is not magnetic. All steel ammo I have tested is magnetic.

As for blowing up a gun, how do you know it was due to an overcharged round? Did your "friend" pull bullets on other cartridges of the same ammo lot and weigh the powder charges finding other cartridges that were overcharged, is he certain he did not have a barrel obstruction maybe due to a sqib load or some other blockage, is he certain his AR was not faulty and so on?

All the best,

Trumpeter said...

I have some old Norinco with the same box. Very old. I put a super magnet to the tip and no action.