Newb question about gunshop and 7.62x54R ammo


December 20, 2006, 11:02 PM
I am relatively new to the milsurp rifle game, and I have been trying to find the best ammo for my 1948 Izhevsk Mosin Nagant M44. I have some Polish light ball with a 1984 headstamp, which works fine, but about 1 in 10 cases split vertically down the neck. So I have been looking for some others to try.

I recently stopped by a local gunshop that stocks 7.62x54R, and the guy sold me a few boxes of what he called "Sellier & Bellot non-corrosive 7.62x54R". He really played up the whole non-corrosive angle, he said it was "modern", and I figured I was getting a heck of a deal at only $5 a box.

I got suspicious when I got home and the only place I could find "Sellier & Bellot" on the boxes was his in-store pricetag. I did some digging and I think I've identified it as Czech Silvertip. The headstamp has "bxn" and "64" on it, and here is a picture:

Is there any way that this stuff is really:
a) non-corrosive?
b) Sellier & Bellot? (I know they're Czech)
c) modern?

I feel like an idiot:uhoh: , and I am thinking about letting this shop owner know what I think of him and his ethics:cuss: . Could this have been an honest mistake? I'd like some guidance here. To clarify, I don't care if it is corrosive. But I bought it that day because I was told that it was "good ammo" by someone who presumably knew their stuff. I guess it is more of an ethics question than an ammo question.

Note to self: Do research before spending $$.:o

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December 20, 2006, 11:18 PM
Yes, that's Czech silvertip. Yes, it's corrosive. It was made in 1964, so it's not really modern. I don't think it's S&B, though they might've been military back then. It is good ammo (though it can cause sticky bolts in guns with less than clean chambers). I found it to be reasonably accurate in my M44, though not so good in the SVT (stuck cases and mediocre accuracy). Personally, I wouldn't shop at that shop again; what he said was unethical at best. If you like the ammo, Aim Surplus,, has it for $70/800 + shipping.

December 20, 2006, 11:24 PM
I have heard good things about the ammo, despite my experience when buying it. I'll get a chance to shoot some of it with my younger brothers in a few days, so we'll see how it works.

I guess I should have been tipped off by the $150 M44 on his milsurp rack.:barf: Live and learn...

December 20, 2006, 11:24 PM
If you want to try some actual production ammo, I have the same rifle that you have, and i've had good sucess with Brown Bear. Just my 2 cents. Hope you find some you like :)

-- Chris

December 21, 2006, 12:45 AM
Although i hate to say this, gun shops are probably the worst place to get info on guns. A lot of times its more of a testosterone thing of "i know more about this boomstick than you so..:neener: "

Stuff ive been told in gun shops lately

" i wouldnt get any 1911 style pistol for defence, they're unreliable and inaccurate. Glocks are better"

" The 10mm will out produce any load in any caliber in a revolver. That includes the big magnums"

"the 10mm was brought out to compete with the 44 magnum, in fact they just started loading it hotter to give the 454 a run for its money"

As you can see gun shops are apparently staffed by idiots. If by chance you do find a good gun shop, spend all your money there.

Anyway back to the corrosive ammo place-of-shame, dont go back there there is plenty of good cheap 7.62x54r out there that is actually what it says it is.

December 21, 2006, 12:49 AM
Actually that Czech Silvertip ammo is probably the best surplus stuff out there. It's very accurate and I know this because I have shot over 20 boxes of it already!! LOL I buy it from my local dealer for $3.00 a box though, not $5.00.

December 21, 2006, 01:36 AM
My favs are the Hungarian silver-tip and Bulgarian yellow-tip. They ARE good stuff.

That gun store guy flat-out lied to you, as almost everything he said was dead false.

Beetle Bailey
December 21, 2006, 02:00 AM
Yep, that's Czech silver tip light ball ammo. It's corrosive and made in 1964 (I've seen '60s and '80s stuff). I've heard it's made by the same factory that makes S&B, but don't know how to confirm that without a trip to the Czech Republic. Could it have been an honest mistake? I suppose so, but I wouldn't bet on it. If you think the guy is trustworthy and made an honest mistake you can try the following:

Shoot the ammo you bought and save the cases (make sure you clean up the barrel and boltface).

Put a long nail halfway into a block of wood and put a spent case over the nail so that the nail head is inside the case and touching the inside of the primer.

Wait a week and see if the nail head is rusty. That means the ammo is corrosive.

Go back to the store with your evidence and show him the rusty nail and the case with the '64 headstamp. That's your proof it's corrosive and not modern.

Be polite and calm when you are talking to him and see if he makes it right. If he is honest and cares about customer service, he should do something to fix the situation.

As far as the quality of the ammo, I shot 400 rounds of the stuff thru my M39 and got great groups. I didn't have the "sticky bolt" problem but many people have complained about it. I plan to get another case next month.

I just got a case of the Hungarian light ball because it seems to get good reviews, but I haven't shot any yet. Either way, if your rifle likes the Czech ammo, buy it by the case for the best deal. Enjoy your Mosin Nagant - I just got my fifth one a few days ago.

December 21, 2006, 02:59 AM
o yea the hungarian silver tip is deff top notch as far a milsurplus goes.

December 21, 2006, 04:14 AM
The sticky bolt problem has nothing to do with the ammo, it's because of how the refles were packed away for many years. Read it here:

Here is a site that will explain most of the surplus 7.62X54R ammo that's floating around:

December 21, 2006, 08:44 AM
" i wouldnt get any 1911 style pistol for defence, they're unreliable and inaccurate. Glocks are better"

" The 10mm will out produce any load in any caliber in a revolver. That includes the big magnums"

"the 10mm was brought out to compete with the 44 magnum, in fact they just started loading it hotter to give the 454 a run for its money"

..... and to think I bought a Glock 10mm :eek: :)

December 21, 2006, 09:42 AM
Regarding the sticky bolt problem, there's some bad info in the link.

If you put Sweet's solvent on a bronze chamber brush, it will eat it alive (literally) in short order. Sweet's is a very STRONG ammonia product, and bronze or brass will be softened and dissolved.

December 21, 2006, 10:09 AM
Hutch is correct, ammonia does wonders for the problem. As a matter of fact, an old timer told me to shoot some Windex down the barrel before I do my normal cleaning after shooting corrosive milsurp ammo. It's the ammonia that does the trick.

Gun Wielding Maniac
December 21, 2006, 05:02 PM
I've had rifles which, no matter how much I cleaned the chambers bore brush or not, would still suffer sticky bolt problems with certain ammo. So, I must insist that ammunition is at the very least, a big contributor to the problem. Czech BZN is one of the worst offenders.

George S.
December 21, 2006, 07:03 PM
You should probably consider all 7.62x54R milsurp ammo to be corrosive regardless of the date of manufacture. Being corrosive is not that big of a deal considering that the corrosive stuff is all that the Soviet Army had during WWII and the rest of the Communist Bloc nations had for their rifles afterward.

A quick soaking with either warm or cold water or even Windex with ammonia will kill the corrosive salts that are found in the primers. The powder itself is not corrosive, it's the material in the primers. Just liberally soak the bolt face, chamber and bore immediately after shooting then clean as usual when you get home.

Thers is modern 7.62x54R ammo that is non-corrosive (wolf, Winchester and Remington have soft-point hunting ammo are examples) and you can buy new cases so you can reload your own.

Some of the milsurp steel-case ammo has a lacquer coating to prevent rust and extended firing of this stuff can cause cause the lacquer to transfer to the chamber walls. It dries as the chamber cools and when you fire the rifle again, the stuff on the walls gets warm and mixes with the coating on the new rounds and the bolt can stick after just a few rounds. Keeping the chamber free of the lacquer is the key to smooth operation of the bolt.

December 21, 2006, 09:52 PM
print out documentation take it back to the guy and ask if he may have been mistaken.

December 22, 2006, 12:21 AM
..... and to think I bought a Glock 10mm

And i will too...well a Witness probably as glocks fit my hand slightly worse than bricks, if you can find the "loaded almost to 454" rounds:D

Stiletto Null
December 22, 2006, 12:41 AM
I remember when my FN-49 arrived...I asked one of the counter guys at the shop to grab it for me (since it was obviously in the safe, like any other new arrivals after the first day it came in), and he said that there was nothing around for me. So I walked off looking kind of miffed. The shop owner asked me why I was puzzled, and I said "[blank] says there's nothing here for me", so he went and dug it out himself.

Said counter dude was not to be seen about a month afterward. Too much of an airhead, I guess. He tended to pass on some pretty silly "information" to customers.


Back on topic, that's definitely Silvertip. Good ammo, great bullets (if you have the time/motivation to pull them), but most definitely corrosive.

December 22, 2006, 11:08 AM
...a heck of a deal at only $5 a box.:eek:

As you note, Live and learn.... And like any other hobby, there will be a lot to learn.

Try to buy bulk when posible. Much cheaper.

December 22, 2006, 12:00 PM
Czech Silver tip,

147 Grain Steel case,


S&B? That's outright fraud. There's no way to NOT know this is Combloc Milsurp as this stuff is priced and advertised that way. Cases come in big green wooden boxes with this stuff in a steel can.

Good news, this stuff is pretty good ammo and will go bang everytime.

I wouldn't buy anymore ammo there as this guy obviously ripped you off.

December 22, 2006, 01:14 PM
S&B is commercial ammo. Comes in a pretty green and yellow box with a big S&B logo.

It's good stuff, especially their east bloc calibers. Rumor has it that they are the actual manufacturer of the 7.62x54R that's sold under the Winchester name as well.

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