I’ve lately been the one on this board crowing about how my little Steyr downs cheap Wolf ammo without a hitch. Well now it’s time for me to eat some of that crow, as my M40 *finally* choked on Wolf.
Ordinarily, when I go out shooting, I shoot about 50-100 rounds, bring the piece home, clean it, and put it away for next time. But, I was wondering just how it’d fare without cleaning, so this time I was letting it go until it failed.
It didn’t take long. Somewhere around 200 rounds of Wolf, I had a “failure-to-extract.” The empty case got pulled out about ¼”, and then the extractor popped off the rim. And, since the piece then attempted to chamber a live round, the stoppage was a bear to clear (though, once I was able to remove the magazine and live round, the empty case just fell right out). I resumed shooting, and my Steyr very, very quickly began doing it every single time. Awful.
I had some brass-cased S&B ammo on hand, so I loaded up two magazines with the S&B and let ‘er rip. Perhaps surprisingly, all 20 rounds of brass-cased ammo worked just fine. But, when I returned to Wolf, I got more of the same FTE’s.
Giving up and going home, I broke down the Steyr and discovered that the chamber was absolutely filthy. It was like baked-on crud. So I gave it a good scrubbing with Hoppes and a bristle brush. The extractor itself seemed fine (I’d just taken it apart for cleaning a few weeks ago) so I just left it alone. Putting it back together and test firing the next day showed that Wolf ammo was again working okay in my Steyr.
So, I’m guessing that it was almost certainly a dirty chamber issue. I mentioned this to the guy down at J&G Sales (where they sell tons of Wolf) and he confirmed that S&W’s and Berettas frequently suffered similar FTE’s with the steel-cased Wolf ammo (apparently, few complaints about Wolf in Glocks. Guess Glocks will eat anything).
It seems like my Steyr is somewhere between the fussy Berettas and the anything-goes Glocks in the ammo tolerance department. Not a big deal for me - I ‘d never considered using Wolf for anything but casual shooting, and an occasional functional failure during practice only encourages practicing recovery drills. And, so long as my Steyr is stone reliable with defensive ammo, I don’t care too much if it chokes on Wolf when it starts to get really dirty.
But, I sure do understand now why Wolf is so disparaged on this board!