Norinco ammunition - what is the story?


Matt Dillon
February 5, 2009, 11:49 PM
Folks, recently a friend of mine acquired quite a bit of 7.62x25 and 7.62x39 Norinco. The 7.62x39 is all steel case, some of it is green steel, and some of it is a copper washed looking steel. From the head stamps, it looks as though it was made in 89 and 91.
Is this stuff any good? I have heard that some of the Norinco was armor piercing, and that for some reason or other Clinton decided to ban it from importation.
What is the story with this ammo? is it any good, fairly accurate? Will it rot out the inside of his SKS and AK?
Thanks in advance for your insight!

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February 6, 2009, 12:01 AM
Some of it has a mild steel core but it is not armor piercing, though by the letter of the law it is considered AP. People pay big money for the steel core stuff for whatever reason, break down a round to see if you have the steel core stuff.

February 6, 2009, 12:13 AM
Since there are AK handguns and the cartridge has a cheap steel core (which is considered "armour piercing" under the GCA of 1968 I think) they are illegal. Someone really needs to make an amendment to that thing to allow mild steel cores because the crappy steel is cheaper than lead.

February 6, 2009, 05:10 AM
Some of the Chine ammo was corrosive too.

February 6, 2009, 05:16 AM
Just sell it on the environmental grounds. Look no lead.
And Winchester makes a big deal about their no lead product.

February 6, 2009, 05:53 PM
we used to pick it up at the local store for $1.79 for a box of you can imaging what it cost them.

it runs fine in my SKS and AK

Clinton outlaw the import of cheap Chinese ammo under presure from domestic ammo manufacturers who couldn't compete in price.

as a sidenote - Winchester voluntarily withdrew their highly controversial Black Talon ammo from the market at the same time

February 7, 2009, 11:54 PM
that company was Olympic Arms and the handgun was an AR-15 rifle chambered in 5.56x45. other manufacturers asked him not to produce the "pistol"...but he figured there was a market for it and money to be made

unless you're refering to another case

February 8, 2009, 02:50 AM
A dollar a round huh? I think I just found $700 dollars sitting on my ammo shelf.

February 8, 2009, 03:29 AM
Put it on Gunbroker and test that theory. You may have to break it up into 50 round lots though.

April 17, 2009, 03:20 PM
Norinco ammunition was imported into the US from the late 80's until 1994 when the Clinton Administration banned its importation (apparently) because the Chinese were not abiding by arms export agreements that they had made with the US in which they promised not to sell arms and ammunition to terrorists and despots around the world. Norinco is the commercial name for the government-owned ammunition and weapons factories of the Chinese government. Norinco-produced small arms (rifles, pistols, machineguns and shotguns) are stamped with the stylized number 66 inside a triangle. Norinco ammunition is produced in a number of state-owned factories all over China. Norinco ammunition (in my experience) tends be good quality, fairly accurate, but also dirty. I would not trust any ammunition produced in any Communist country that is marked "non-corrosive". A good rule of thumb is to assume that it is corrosive and clean your weapon appropriately after shooting it. Norinco produces mainly steel-cased, Berdan primed, non-reloadable ammunition. However, they did produce .223 Remington ammunition with reloadable brass cases and non-corrosive (supposedly) Boxer primers. The .223 Remington ammo that I have is supposed to approximate the performance of US M193 ammunition. I hope this helps.

April 17, 2009, 03:45 PM
a few factors led to it:

their ammo got banned when AK/AR pistols were made. that is why technically any pistol is a rifle and any rifle is a pistol. It's retarded. It is also partly why there was a huge backlash against Olympic Arms.

But the main thing that happened with Norinco was that they got caught selling machine guns and REAL assault weapons to some druggers and gangs in the US. The importation restrictions were the response - it was mainly to kill Norinco from the American market after they got caught. It worked. The other importation bans that came to stop inexpensive weapons and hurt gun enthusiasts (barreled receiver bans, etc.) was just riding a good anti-gun idea further.

Olympic Arms also had their name come up in that controversy as well, I believe. I can't remember why or what, though.

April 17, 2009, 03:58 PM
NORINCO .223 was good stuff in its day, and dirt cheap. Had an uncle buy a case of it in 1993, and during that year I tested it in an Israeli made (IMI) Galil ARM w/18" barrel. Hundreds of rounds fired was 100% fire/feed and eject, and when tested for velocity averaged a pretty consistent 3031 fps.

I reloaded some of the brass and it worked fine, but the extractor grooves were not straight, and it seemed "soft", especially at the rim. Their ammo may not be absolute top shelf, but their weapons are... I'd put my Norinco 1911A1 against any GI style with regard to reliability, accuracy, and quality of materials; damn good slide to barrel fit too. Paid $225 NIB in 93, and wish I had bought a dozen.

April 17, 2009, 05:28 PM
It seems like I do remember a story about a ship that was boarded by US Customs in California and found to be carrying lots of full-auto Norinco AK rifles that were being shipped to drug dealers in California. I guess the Chi-com generals that run Norinco got greedy and shot themselves in the foot beacuse they got their weapons and ammo banned in the US. You can still get new ones in Canada, though.

April 17, 2009, 06:06 PM
The copper washed 7.62x39 is excellent, I would save it for when and if it's really needed.
I have a few cases of Yellow box Norinco stashed alongside this copper washed SP Norinco.

Aside from being great ammo, it's valuable :)

April 17, 2009, 07:55 PM
I've reloaded Norinco 5.56 yellow-box brass cases, they worked just fine. Usual crimp primers...

Matt Dillon
April 17, 2009, 08:25 PM
I have a few cases of Yellow box Norinco stashed alongside this copper washed SP Norinco.

Aside from being great ammo, it's valuable
How valuable is valuable?

April 17, 2009, 08:44 PM
Easily .60 per round, possibly more.

April 17, 2009, 10:17 PM
I sold 540 in the yellow box for $135.
It was to my Dad and he twisted my arm...

April 18, 2009, 04:05 AM
Wow, I never heard much about that Olympic Arms AR before, seems people avoided talking about it when I posted a thread on the 7.62x39 version long ago. If it's piston-operated, I want one, but somehow I think they're very hard to find.

April 18, 2009, 08:24 AM
Ratshooter: A dollar a round huh? I think I just found $700 dollars sitting on my ammo shelf.

Dang, I just found $7000 dollars worth if I sold them at .50 cents around :)

April 18, 2009, 05:01 PM
Hey Saltydog don't dump them all at once or you will kill the market.:neener:

I don't care what they are worth, I'm not selling anything. Period.

April 19, 2009, 08:21 PM
I hate to derail a thread, but...
As for the reason the steel core is illegal the ATF talked some gun company into making a handgun that fired 7.62 x 39. Before that the government couldn't ban the sale of steel core rifle ammo. But because it was now considered handgun ammo too it fell under the ban on armour piercing handgun ammo. You can't really ban armour piercing rifle ammo because just about every large caliber, centerfire rifle will penetrate armour. So they only banned it in handguns. And once there was one manufactured handgun on the market that shot x 39 the fix was in.

I don't doubt this one bit, but there are plenty of handguns that chamber the .223 (5.56) round. AR pistols are just the newest, the TC Contender has been chambered in it for many years. So why can ammo be bought with the SS109 bullet still? Granted it is outrageously expensive now. But I loaded up on it several years ago for $.12/rd. At that time, it was cheaper than WWB 55gr. FMJ.

Like I said, I don't wholly doubt the reasons. (ATF talking someone into building the pistol is a little far fetched.) But 2+2 is not equalling 4 here, so what's the scoop behind that?


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