7.62x54R Bulgarian...Any Good?


October 15, 2007, 07:16 PM
Hows the Bulgarian 7.62x54R surplus ammo stack up? I have a few Mosin Nagants and a PSL want some light ball ammo but don't want to deal with case head seperations or "loose" tolorances to muck up the works in the PSL. Anyone have any adventures with the Bulgarian stuff?

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October 15, 2007, 07:34 PM
I've fired some from the 60s through my M44. Not bad results, about mid-pack of all the stuff I've run through, BUT it was pretty sooty though.

October 15, 2007, 08:08 PM
Be careful with the PSL. You want light ball for it, not heavy ball. (don't get yellowtip)

Light ball ammo also has the benefits of shooting a flatter ballistic curve, hit a lower POI at 100 yards and it will be softer on the shoulder in the Mosins.


October 15, 2007, 08:58 PM
I picked up 300 rnds of it at the last gun show in my area. It was the cheapest ive been able to buy and the results were about the same as my czech ammo. 2" at 50 yards.

October 15, 2007, 08:58 PM
I didn't particuliarly cared for the Bulgy 7.62x54r.

I was shooting the Bulgy with a M39 and had problem extracting. I literally had to hit the bolt up to extract the empty. I switched with Brown Bear and did not have any extracting issues.


October 15, 2007, 09:07 PM
Yes, it is good stuff. Better then pretty much any other surplus 7.62x54r besides the 7N1.

October 15, 2007, 09:14 PM
I LOVE Bulgarian 7,62x54r.

The best thing about it is when you pull all the bullets, you have 300 rounds of primed virgin brass!:D Here I was, buying Graf brass for $40/100, when I was sitting on a stack of primed brass.

Even if you don't fuss with it, it's good stuff. My chamber is much cleaner shooting that than any steel case surplus.

October 15, 2007, 09:48 PM
I have bought some 1952 Bulgarian LPS (mild) steel core ball ammo. It is sure fire and seems to be prettty accurate, though I've only been able to fire about a dozen or so rounds of it thus far- neck cracked on one of them and left a mess in my rifle's magazine- bullet seperated under recoil, left powder jamming EVERYTHING up. I have a hankering that I simply overlooked a small prexisting crack when I loaded the mag up- it took 3 rounds for the bullet to be josseled loose. On the plus side, it gave me the oppertunity to weigh a projectile- it came in at an even 149 grains- looks like a pretty nice bullet. The powder is somesort of extruded powder. That said, I bought some in quanitity and will probably buy more soon.

I like the brass cases. The eject very well from my Finn, and I assume (at least it quells me mentally) that I'm saving my weapon from unnecesarry wear and tear. The cases are Berdan primed- so not readily reloadable, but being brass, there is some decent scrap value to them at least- helps bring the price per round a little bit.

October 15, 2007, 11:21 PM
I like the bulgarian light ball, but you have to be careful. The tin I picked up had 35-40 rounds that were cracked, or had very deep crimps/dents around the neck.

These are the rounds I pulled with just my fingers out of the cracked cases

Here is one of my favorits cases from the bunch. Although it is not cracked, I didn't shoot it either.

October 16, 2007, 12:07 AM
I think I have about 1,600 rounds of Heavy Ball (yellow tip). While I've only opened one tin, every round I've checked in the opened tin has been spot-on shiny and new-looking as the day it was made.

Now, I don't know about the other tins-- maybe I was lucky and opened the best tin that I have.

Side note:

I've read mixed reviews of how heavy ball (yellow tip) shoots in different rifles. Some seem to like the stuff and others hate it.

I got this to shoot in a 1941 Sako-made Finn M28 SA marked "D" Bore Mosin Nagant. Does anyone know what I can expect? I've had the rifle a while, but just haven't found the time to try it out.


-- John

October 16, 2007, 01:05 AM
I have about 1500 rounds of heavy ball on hand, plus another 300 light ball. I haven't had any problems with the heavy ball so far (300 fired), but the tin of light ball I shot had neck splits on about 10% of cases after firing. I never noticed any cracks or loose bullets in either batch, so it may be a brass issue.

I initially bought two tins of each bullet weight and spent a week test firing with different guns, ranges, etc. After discovering the neck split issue on my light ball, I decided to stock up on heavy ball.

Accuracy-wise, I have no complaints about either bullet weight in my Mosins. I have run both types through an M44, 91/30, and M39 with zero extraction problems. Accuracy was better than Polish steel case ('84 production) and similar to Czech silvertip light ball ('86 production).

From my 1942 M39 (D barrel, VKT), I average about 3 MOA at 100 yds.

From my 1948 M44 (Izhevsk, pristine bore), I average 2-3 MOA offhand at 50 yards.

From my 1937 91/30 (Izhevsk, dark bore), I average 5-6 MOA at 100 yards.

Your mileage may vary.

PS: My heavy ball is stamped '55 production, and my light ball is stamped '51. FYI

October 16, 2007, 12:25 PM
The heavy ball tins that i have opened are of much better quality in terms of the brass cases than the light ball of similar vintages. Dont know why, but it is that way for sure.

Harley Quinn
October 16, 2007, 02:11 PM
In other threads some mention how hard it is to get this ammo now.

Is it still an issue, many guns are being sold but the ammo is scarce?
What is point of owning one that shoots this, if that is the case? :uhoh:


Anyone have one of these rifles for their ammo?


October 16, 2007, 03:58 PM
I have several thousand rounds of the 1955 yellow tip Bulgarian heavy ball. Kicks like a mule but looks brand new and shoots great. I love it.

Harley Quinn
October 16, 2007, 04:29 PM
Heavy ball and kicks hard, and you love it? What good is it :what: Not good for hunting, might have been a good round for snipers :eek:


October 16, 2007, 04:42 PM
Heavy ball and kicks hard, and you love it? What good is it

Some guys like a reminder that they are shooting a real gun, like me. Plus you can bust holes through heavy metal objects with them, which is fun.

October 16, 2007, 06:10 PM
Heavy ball was for machine guns, and quite literally was referred to as "long range" bullets because of their increased effective range.


October 16, 2007, 06:48 PM
BTW. I bought a couple tins of the heavy ball, and have had no problems with it. I won't buy anymore of the lightball.

October 17, 2007, 12:38 PM
Thanks for all the good feedback everyone. I decided to pick up three tins of the Bulgarian light ball at J&G Sales for $49 a tin and give it a try. Really didn't see any options either as no one else really has any surplus in stock or at decent prices. If my PSL doesn't like it the Nagants will!

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