Wolf ammo...how good/bad?


June 15, 2008, 12:29 AM
How good/bad does this ammo work for your gun? Not sure if I should trust it or not...

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chris in va
June 15, 2008, 12:38 AM
I've read a lot of people having problems with Wolf in their handguns. Works fine with rifle ammo in an AK or SKS though.

June 15, 2008, 01:28 AM
I regularly use Wolf ammo in various rifle calibers... 303, 223, 7.62X39, 7.62X54R and have never had any problems. Sometimes it seems a little dirtier than other commercial brands but not always. In pistol calibers, I've had equally good results with the .30 for the M1 Carbine, the 9X18 Makarov, and the 7.62X25. I've been using Wolf for about 3 years with no FTF, pressure issues, or notable accuracy concerns. Can't speak to the 9mm, .40, or .45 however but I would expect similar good performance.

June 15, 2008, 01:30 AM
I would not shoot it if it was given to me.

Sir Aardvark
June 15, 2008, 01:59 AM
Wolf ammo used to be "formulated" different in that it had a lacquer coating. This lacquer coating would sometimes cause build-up in the chambers of some guns, thus causing feeding/extraction problems, leading to a poor reputation for this ammo. This has since been resolved because nearly all of it now comes polymer-coated.

Also, the steel cases are not popular at most shooting ranges, with some places (mostly indoor ranges that sell the brass to reloaders) actually banning the use of any Wolf ammo.

Some people have reported a lot of carbon build-up in chambers that can also cause feeding/extraction problems, and they also say that Wolf ammo is very "dirty" and even smells funny.

You need to keep in mind that all Wolf ammo is loaded according to SAAMI specs, so safety should not be a concern.

I shoot Wolf ammo in my AK, and never have had a problem, although I have never used their handgun ammo.

A general rule-of-thumb that you'll see posted here on THR is:
"Use commie ammunition in commie guns"

This is because you'll see posts now and then about how Wolf ammo won't work in someone's M14, but you'll never, ever, ever, see a post about how Wolf won't work in someone's AK47 or SKS.

June 15, 2008, 02:09 AM
One of these days I'm going to get an assortment of Wolf steel-cased ammo and fire it in all my semi-auto guns. When/if I do, I'll post the results.

How many rounds do you supposed it would take to get some degree of certainty on a go/no-go in a given gun?


Old Dog
June 15, 2008, 02:13 AM

Sigh. Thousands of rounds of Wolf .223 and 5.56 through my ARs, thousands of rounds of Wolf 9mm through my SIGs, Berettas, an H&K and a Taurus, and hundreds of rounds of Wolf's .45 ACP through several 1911s of various brandnames. No problems, ever. But, based upon "what I've read on the internet," I must be just plain lucky ...

June 15, 2008, 03:04 AM
Only used Wolf ammo in my AK's,RPK,and SKS's...never had a problem so far.

June 15, 2008, 03:07 AM
Used it for .45 ACP and 5.56. Seems to work.

June 15, 2008, 03:21 AM
I do not like it in 40 S&W. Dirty and not very accurate.

June 15, 2008, 04:46 AM
Here are the main points/counterpoints that are going to be brought up in the course of this thread.

1. Wolf is dirty. (which honestly is kind of true)
2. Wolf is crap.
3. No, it's not.
4. Wolf leaves unsavory lacquer in guns.
5. No it doesn't.
6. I won't shoot cheap ammo through my awesome pistol.
7. It works fine, my awesome pistol works great with it.
8. Steel cases hurt guns.
9. No, they don't because the steel in the casing is softer than the extractor.
10. Wolf in inaccurate/unreliable/not worthy of discussion
11. Wolf is good for practice, reliable, underappreciated.

I am probably missing a few, but this is roughly the quintillionth thread on Wolf ammo that I have seen on THR, and the above points are brought up as sure as the sun rises.

For the record, I have used Wolf in lots of different guns and have never had a complaint. I liked the .45 so much that it was what I used as carry ammo up to the point that I stopped carrying a .45. Now I use hydra-shoks for my .45 in it's new role as house/truck gun, but Wolf is still my preferred practice ammo.

June 15, 2008, 05:21 AM
Ive only used it in my SKS. It works just fine there but i reload for all my other firearms, so ive never tried it in any of them. I read an article in The American Rifleman, where one of the writers reloaded steel cased ammo and got about 3 reloads out of it.

The Lone Haranguer
June 15, 2008, 07:30 AM
Mixed. I've shot a fair amount of 9mm through various handguns with no problem. I had some misfire problems with .45 in one gun (but not another), and in .223 the older lacquer-coated style left a case stuck in the chamber of a Ruger Mini-14. The powder was pretty stinky - somewhat like burning hair - and left more than the usual amount of soot residue, but this cleaned up easily with normal procedures.

I will give my standard advice (for the quintillionth time;)): buy a box or two and try it in your gun(s) before committing to a case purchase.

June 15, 2008, 08:13 AM
The only trouble I had with wolf in 9mm .40 and .45 was that is appeared to run dirtier. Other than that no FTF or FTE.

June 15, 2008, 08:30 AM
I've run thousands of rounds of Wolf through my AR's. Yes, its a little dirty, but thats ok, I clean my guns after each range trip.

Have had no failures to feed or extract. Had one round fail to go bang. It is all I use in my AR's at the range, when I shoot brass I end up losing too much of it.

June 15, 2008, 08:32 AM
It's dirty, it's steel cased, it's less accurate in my experience than normal(brass cased) commercial ammo, but it does goes bang(though you WILL find a dud or two once in a while). IMO, it's good plinking ammo(not prone to KBing, cheap, accurate enough) but I wouldn't use it for SD ammo.

Marlin 45 carbine
June 15, 2008, 08:35 AM
I don't shoot it in my Mini30 due to reports of firing pin breakage w/it. I have shot it in my 9mm Luger pistol and my Makarov w/so-so results.
I just recently tryed some Wolf Military Classic and was surprised, it shot well and was fairly clean - this was in my Mak. seemed to be fairly hot loaded also.

Deer Hunter
June 15, 2008, 08:52 AM
I've shot the .45 and 9mm through my CZs and it's worked fine. No hang-ups.

June 15, 2008, 09:24 AM
I've had few problems with Wolf in any caliber, I'd vote .40S&W as the worst as it seems to be under powered compared to the rest. The extra friction from the steel cases is a challenge for some magazine designs.

Ultimately my Wolf problems have been traced back to marginal extractors, and/or dirt/oil in the chamber, or marginal magazines. First shots after cleaning will be a problem if you leave oil in the chamber -- think suction cup, not lube.

Personally I'd never trust a gun for personal self defense that could go thru a box of Wolf without issues as it means to me the gun's design has inadequate performance margins.

However, I agree if you've a tight "target" gun or your goal is to shoot the smallest groups possible, Wolf is a waste of money.

I've shot probably over 20,000 rounds of the stuff in a variety of guns, but I've quit buying it as the cost of a case of Wolf vs. the cost of the cheapest brass cased ammo has the Wolf usually a bit more expensive after you factor in the value of once fired brass to a reloader. I'm shooting mostly reloads these days, slowly working my way thru the ~10K rounds of Wolf I've stashed away from back when it was ~$100 a case, when oil went over $60 a barrel I knew ammo prices would rise so I bought as much as I could find storage space for and still regret not having bought more!

Like with any cheap ammo, try a few boxes before you invest in cases as your specific gun and your goals will be the only valid determent of if its "good" or not.


June 15, 2008, 09:28 AM
The only guns I use Wolf in are the Combloc stuff, SKS, AK and Makarov as they were designed for it.

A/C Guy
June 15, 2008, 10:59 AM
I use it all the time because it costs 40% less than the next least expensive factory new 40 s&w ammo I can find. In my 4006 my groups are tight and I never have a FTF or FTE.

Savage Shooter
June 15, 2008, 12:47 PM
I shoot wolf in my savage 12fv .223 and it shoots just fine It is a little dirtyier but hey its cheap beggers can't be choosers I just get to spend that much more time with my gun cleaning it. Its always worked fine for me.

June 15, 2008, 12:48 PM
It's the best ammo ever.
It's adequate
It's the worst ammo ever.

June 15, 2008, 01:17 PM
Read your manual. Some manuals specifically state not to use steel cased ammo. My P85, on the other hand, states you can use brass, steel or aluminum cased ammo without issues.

June 15, 2008, 03:47 PM
I put about 1,000 rounds of Wolf through my 45's with no ill-effects. It always went bang too. That's the only Wolf hand-gun round I use. I tried a box of Wolf in my CZ-82 and it was jam-city.

The 7.62x39 and .223 works just fine in my rifles. Just be sure to clean the chambers well. Reason being the steel case doesn't expand as well as a brass case and the chamber gets more exposure to the combustion by-products of the round.

I bet more Wolf gets shot than any other brand out there and Armageddon hasn't broken out yet. :)

June 15, 2008, 04:03 PM
Here's my very simple rule. Use Russian ammo in Russian guns.

Wolf in a Makarov: Good.
Wolf in a Keltec, BAD.

Wolf in an SKS or AK: Good.
Wolf in a Mini 30: BAD

Wolf in an AK variant chambered for 5.56: Good.
Wolf in an AR: VERY BAD.

Wolf .30 carbine in my family heirloom Inland: NEVER.

June 15, 2008, 04:10 PM
I've had good luck with Wolf pistol ammo.

The steel-case .223 ammo sticks in the chambers of my two rifles.

June 15, 2008, 05:53 PM
Goes bang. Is dirty. Slightly cheaper.

Functions really well in commie guns. Preferred fodder for commie guns.

However, have had no problems with it in my non-commie guns.

Prices on ammo have made this bargain ammo not much of a bargain nowadays...

June 15, 2008, 06:42 PM
in pistol calibers,no problems with .380,9mm,45ACP,22cal,9x18mm.
some problems with 30 cal M1 carbine in my Ruger Black Hawk with sticky extraction. jwr

June 15, 2008, 06:45 PM
I've never bought any but I've got some in trades in 9mm & .45 and it went bang. Smells terrible and seems a bit dirtier than most. Much prefer Georgia Arms bulk stuff...

June 15, 2008, 10:39 PM
Wolf in a Makarov: Good.

Not in mine, jam city.

Wolf .30 carbine in my family heirloom Inland: NEVER.

Hehehe. My Inland loves the stuff and never even hiccups with Wolf...

Moral of the story. Try it and see if it works in your gun if you want to run some cheap plinking ammo.

June 15, 2008, 10:47 PM
If you're just plinking, don't mind the steel case, and don't mind dirty ammo, it's good stuff. HOWEVER, some guns may not like it (mainly fail to feed / dirty), and therefore shouldn't use it. I use it in my 1911 (Just bought 1000 rounds of 9mm for it - practiced last week and shot an IDPA match last night with no issues), Makarov, and shortly my AR-15. Never had a problem. Also know that most of it is steel jacketed, and this may or may not be prohibited at any indoor ranges you visit.

Smells terrible
It certainly does have a unique smell, but I personally wouldn't describe it as bad. My fiance hates the smell as well.

But, you could have used the search function and found as much in the dozens of threads addressing Wolf ammo. IMO, just treat it like any other ammo - if it works in your gun, great, you have a cheap option for plinking. If not, toss it and try something else. To each his (or her) own.

June 16, 2008, 01:24 AM
I have run a few hundreds rounds of 9mm Wolf "classic" through my IMI Baby Eagle. It feels equal to other bargain ammo choices in power and is certainly no dirtier than CCI or WWB. Accuracy is equal or less than other bargain ammo, but I purchased it for plinking. My pistol had it's first malfunction with wolf (slide failed to lock back) but has since failed with other ammunition. I assume it is a bad magazine(s) which bodes poorly for a fairly new, and expensive, magazine which was purchased directly from IMI.

Overall.... it hasn't been as bad as it could have been. There is no evidence of lacquer left from the cases and the barrel stays as clean as ever.

June 16, 2008, 08:17 AM
The new poly coated stuff is ok in my AR. I don't use it in my pistols. The steel casing facilitates faster extractor wear.

June 16, 2008, 09:34 AM
Wolf ammo makes my guns absolutely filthy. I'm not a great fan.

June 16, 2008, 10:58 AM
The brass cased Wolf Gold is pretty good stuff and my .303 loves it. Wolf's .22 fodder is decent too.

The steel cased stuff is another matter. For my commie stuff it is fine. I have no worries in military 9mm Paras. I've, however, seen issues with AR and 1911 extractors being beaten up buy it, but I've never done a study to definitively prove it. My M1 carbine doesn't seem to care for it much either and it tends to be dirty.

June 16, 2008, 11:06 AM
I've not had much luck with it. Even the poly coated stuff locks my Bushmaster AR up and I can't get through hardly any mag without a problem.

Then again, my shootin buddy has shot thousands and thousands of rounds of all sorts of Wolf product and hasn't had much issue at all.

June 17, 2008, 09:39 PM
I've shot Wolf in my Makarov and my Saiga rifle... it goes bang every time so far... and it's some of the cheapest ammo I've been able to find. I'm guessing that the 9x18 and 7.62x39 being "bloc" loads, the ammo tends to run fine in them.

Just a guess, but I think most gun designers tend to design their guns to match the generic cartridge they have available in a particular caliber, and that's probably why the guns from the former communist countries do well with the Wolf ammo. It runs fine in my SKS and PA-63 as well.

As for ammo being "dirty"... that's why they sell powder solvent and patches. I've got lots of guns, but none of them are self-cleaning. I've bought a number of guns that were shot previously and never cleaned that the previous owners claimed something was wrong with the gun... but after a good cleaning, it ran fine. The first thing I do after buying a used gun is take it apart and clean it, so I can examine all the parts to see if I need to order anything. You wouldn't believe how much powder and gunk I've taken off of parts and from underneath grips that never got cleaned out.

A little cold blue, oil, and effort, and you wouldn't recognize some of the firearms I've bought. "Holster wear" is easily fixed with a little cold blue, and while Wolf ammo might be "dirty", it's the shooter that's responsible to keep the weapon clean... not the ammo. We used to shoot cases of "corrosive ammo" and clean the guns afterward without any ill effects to the barrels or parts.

You might not want to use "dirty" ammo in a firefight, or in a war zone, but for generic, range shooting... it's just fine. My guns get dirty no matter what I shoot.


Steve in PA
June 17, 2008, 10:31 PM
I've shot about 1k rounds of the Wolf poly MC through my Bushmaster without a single problem.

June 18, 2008, 08:02 AM
I use wolf exclusivley in my com-block handguns and rifle's with excellent results. I got a GREAT deal last year on a case of wolf .45. I shot the whole case w/o a single problem.

Steve C
June 18, 2008, 12:45 PM
I bought a case of 9mm when it was below $100 as practice ammo. Shot them up in a couple different guns and didn't have any problems other than one undercharged round out of the case though it did cycle the pistol.

It was as accurate as any low cost ammo. Ran it over my chrono, the velocity was typical at around 1,220 fps, standard deviation was under 20 fps when shot from a Glock 19.

I haven't bought any of the Wolf recently as my last case purchases have been Privi Partisan that had reloadable cases. I've been hand loading the 9mm some since the price went up.

J Star
June 18, 2008, 03:23 PM
Just my 2 cents:

As far as dirty - My 995 carbine eats Wolf and WWB.

When I am done shooting Wolf, I pull the mag, check the chamber, check it again, and put the gun away.

When I am done shooting WWB, I pull the mag, check the chamber, check it again, and have to wipe down the gun so the black $#!^ that's all over it doesn't get all over my case.

Although, it does smell funny. Anybody know why that is? :confused:

45 GAP
July 20, 2008, 12:40 AM
I have several thousand rounds of the brass cased wolf for my AR-15's. The Evolution with the match chamber doesn't like it at all, fails to feed, but the DPMS M-4 likes it a lot. The same is true of the polymer cased ammo that I run through them. I shoot a lot (thousands) of 7.62x39 through my SKS and my Mini-30, all steel cased, with no problems. I give my guns a complete cleaning on a regular basis, The AR's much more frequently, the SKS at least once a year :)

July 20, 2008, 08:53 AM
Just shot another match last night with Wolf in my 1911 - no problems at all :D

The red sealant around the primer will crack and get pieces all over the place, but other than that, I notice no additional gunk compared to shooting UMC.

Average Joe
July 20, 2008, 05:47 PM
Buy a box and try it, then decide if you and your gun like it.

July 20, 2008, 09:48 PM
If you're worried about it mucking up your fancy auto, how about loading some moon clips with 45acp and having some revolver fun? No extractor worries anymore! Compared to the ridiculous price of brass 38 special or 357, you can practice with "full house" 230 gr hardball (which should mimic 230 jhp rounds) for less than new 38 special LRN.

Of course if you reload the 38/357 can get a whole lot cheaper, but since I don't at the moment...

July 21, 2008, 12:07 PM
i put 350rds of wolf 230gr fmj through my 1911 the other day at the range on top of that i had 50rds of jhp from winchester, and 200rds of umc as well. all 600 rds and no issues, not even with the wolf. i have many many more rds of wolf left and i will continue to use it. is it dirty yes, did i get a good deal on it? yes, does it go bang every time? yes it does. this was my first attempt at wolf handgun ammo as i have used the rifle ammo alot and i have had no issues in rifles and or handguns.

July 21, 2008, 05:14 PM
i have had no problems with wolf so far, even tried some 20ga for trap, they went bang and the bird's went to pieces :rolleyes:

July 21, 2008, 06:59 PM
I like wolf but recently in my Beretta cougar I had one squib just past the chamber and had a bunch of smoke blown my way. I had numerous issues with both boxes. All the rds were underpowered. I personally think that batch had some compromised powder. (I was shooting 9mm) I think it was a bad lot because I have shot numerous boxes of 9mm wolf 40 7.62x39 223 9x18 and never had an issue. So if you do use wolf I would recommend absolutely always wearing your safety glasses in case you get a bad lot like I did. In my experience that was just an unusual lot that I got. Like I said I've never had crap that bad that wasn't somebodies reloads.

2nd 41
July 21, 2008, 09:38 PM
I would not shoot it if it was given to me.
I bought a Stainless Gold Cup months ago. My friend gave me a box of WOLF to try.....I gave it away and told him they worked out fine. Too many people suggested not putting it through a quality Pistol

July 21, 2008, 09:50 PM
I fired it through my AR's without any problems at all but it sticks in the chamber of my DPMS .308 after about 5-7 rnds. I have to use a cleaning rod to remove the empty casing and clean the bore / chamber and I can fire a few more rounds until it does the same thing again. I guess I have some of the older ammo. I haven't bought any since then, I go for the Winchester 147gr, 200 rnd. deals at about $149.00 or so.

July 21, 2008, 10:47 PM
Wolf Ammo? Big NO-NO. I wouldnt shoot it even if you give it to me for free. Rather shoot walmart promotional ammo lol.

Daniel Foster
July 22, 2008, 12:58 AM
Pilot is exactly right. It really depends on what firearm you are using. My Auto Ordnance M1 carbine hates Wolf, but my Saiga .223 has never had a problem with it. Anything AK or SKS-wise should be fine using Wolf.

July 22, 2008, 01:09 AM
It's great the number of people that say, "oh no, never..." and give no reason to not shoot it.

I have shot plenty of wolf, silver bear, golden tiger, brown bear and other steel cased ammo. Its all a little dirty, but usually doesn't cause problems. I have only had one stuck case in my yugo sks, and it came out with a strong yank on the bolt carrier.

Even in guns like AR's wolf shoots fine. It is a little slower but goes bang.

And woodrow, you can get winchester 147gr. .308 cheaper than that. I can have 200 rounds shipped to my house from AIM surplus for under $140. And you could probably find better deals than that. https://www.aimsurplus.com/

Prince Yamato
July 22, 2008, 01:54 AM
Wolf is like Soviet WWB. The Military Classic ammo is dirtier because it's lacquer coated, but the 9mm black box feels just like WWB. Shot fine out of my Beretta and my Glock. It certainly won't damage whatever gun you shoot it out of.

July 22, 2008, 03:23 AM
It's OK in the right gun. The lacquered case stuff can cause some problems in some guns. It can be a little hard on some extractors if they are not hardened enough. I use it in most of my com bloc guns.

July 22, 2008, 11:46 AM
What little experience I have had with wolf, I've had no issues.

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