Russian ammo in 7.62 X 39 and in .223 why prices are so low?


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stinger 327
July 4, 2010, 11:22 PM
Why are the Russian brands of ammo cost so much less than the most common USA brands of ammo? Do they jam or ruin the gun?:confused:
Of late I have been seeing lots of different Russian companies coming out with ammo which is priced significantly less than most of the common made in the USA brands. i.e. Tula, Wolf. They both have a strange clear coating on the shells.
In these two calibers 7.62 x 39 and in Remington .223 the cases are usually not brass and not reloadable. They maybe steel cased. In this respect are there any downsides to this lower cost ammo since I don't reload?
I was told never to put the Russian ammo through a Ruger Mini-14 otherwise it will void the warranty.:confused:
On an AK which has the reputation of shooting anything reliable-goes bang every time, shooting steel cased shells or brass shells shouldn't make a difference in damaging rifle? :confused:

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MinnMooney
July 4, 2010, 11:35 PM
You've hit on several of the reasons why Russian surplus ammo is so cheap.

1.) It's non-reloadable.
2.) It's a steel case which is much cheaper than brass
3.) Many times they are Berdan primed
4.) Sometimes the powder/primers are corrosive so you have to clean your rifle completely after every use.
5.) They are almost always loaded with FMJ bullets which are much cheaper than most other bullets.

The coating that you see is a polymer coating so the steel won't gouge your chamber so badly.
For the price, though, it's fun plinking ammo. Don't buy this stuff to use either hunting or out in the wide-open prairie dog fields as they are NOT frangible so they'll ricochet.

In these two calibers 7.62 x 39 and in Remington .223
P.S. Russian doesn't come in .223 Rem. but in it's near-twin the 5.56x45

stinger 327
July 4, 2010, 11:40 PM
You've hit on several of the reasons why Russian surplus ammo is so cheap.

1.) It's non-reloadable.
2.) It's a steel case which is much cheaper than brass
3.) Many times they are Berdan primed
4.) Sometimes the powder/primers are corrosive so you have to clean your rifle completely after every use.
5.) They are almost always loaded with FMJ bullets which are much cheaper than most other bullets.

The coating that you see is a polymer coating so the steel won't gouge your chamber so badly.
For the price, though, it's fun plinking ammo. Don't buy this stuff to use either hunting or out in the wide-open prairie dog fields as they are NOT frangible so they'll ricochet.
What does boxer primered mean is this bad? Most of this Russian ammo says Beridan primered? Spelling?
All of these Russian ammos state on package "Non Corrosive" but I clean my guns always after every shooting session.
I have seen hollow points in 7.62 x 39 in the Wolf brand.
Now for the $$$ these should be good to shoot on the range? Unless the range doesn't allow steel core?

MinnMooney
July 4, 2010, 11:44 PM
You caught me just before I edited my reply.

"Boxer" primers are the most commonly used commercial priming system. The primers itself has a cup and "anvil" and the primer pocket in the case has one flash hole in the center of the pocket. This makes it easy to punch out the old primer with a simple pin punch.

"Berdan" primers do not use the "anvil", it is formed into the case head and thus there are two flash holes on either side of the anvil. This makes the Berdan much harder to reload. These are the most common primers used in Russian ammo.

As you are not a reloader, this makes little diff to you.

mljdeckard
July 4, 2010, 11:46 PM
We love this question.

Most of this ammo is steel cased. Steel is cheaper than brass to produce. The problem lies, in that there is a reason we use brass in the first place. It is very malleable, and when it fires, it balloons up and tightly seals the chamber. Steel is less elastic, it doesn't do this as well, and more gas escapes into the chamber as the cartridge fires, making the process dirtier. And while I'm not an expert in such things, I'm going to guess that the powder they use isn't as clean-burning as what we are used to. This means that the chamber and gun will foul worse and more quickly than with other ammo. The coating on the outside is to improve lubricity to try to ensure reliable extraction. Silver Bear is zinc plated.

It is also Berdan primed. (This is a process different than modern ammo we use today.) It can't be reloaded. this discourages some American shooters where we have a healthy reloading culture. Most of the rest of the world doesn't care.

Does it do damage? You will get varying opinions in here. Here's MY rule. I use Russian ammo in Russian guns. AK/SKS? All day long. Makarov? Sure. A beater AR that is just for fun? I will shoot it, but I wouldn't be surprised if it starts to gum up when it gets hot. For a really NICE AR I might thing twice. My heirloom M-1 Carbine? NOT A CHANCE.

I doubt a Mini would suffer terribly from using it. They are pretty loose. I would try some and see what happens. If it runs well, shoot it all you want.

stinger 327
July 4, 2010, 11:47 PM
You caught me just before I edited my reply.

"Boxer" primers are the most commonly used commercial priming system. The primers itself has a cup and "anvil" and the primer pocket in the case has one flash hole in the center of the pocket. This makes it easy to punch out the old primer with a simple pin punch.

"Berdan" primers do not use the "anvil", it is formed into the case head and thus there are two flash holes on either side of the anvil. This makes the Berdan much harder to reload. These are the most common primers used in Russian ammo.

As you are not a reloader, this makes little diff to you.
Thanks Yes I'm not a reloader and don't understand the different primers. I just want to make sure this low cost ammo doesn't damage the guns in any way like on a Ruger Mini-14 as it says the warranty is voided.

MinnMooney
July 4, 2010, 11:50 PM
All of these Russian ammos state on package "Non Corrosive" Most recently made Russian ammo is non-corrosive but there are tons of older milsurp that is labeled "corrosive".

I have seen hollow points in 7.62 x 39 in the Wolf brand.
and you might see some 5.56x45 that is HP but I've not seen it. It's almost all FMJ (which is all that is allowed in war for GIs).

benEzra
July 4, 2010, 11:51 PM
4.) Sometimes the powder/primers are corrosive so you have to clean your rifle completely after every use.
This is true of Russian military surplus, but is not true of new production Wolf, Barnaul, etc., which is indeed truly noncorrosive across the board.

mljdeckard
July 4, 2010, 11:51 PM
AFAIK, none of this ammo has used corrosive components for many years. If you have some that's corrosive, it's very old.

It's no more or less frangible or likely to ricochet than any other ammo.

Beagle-zebub
July 4, 2010, 11:58 PM
The jackets of a lot of the bullets, not the cores, are sometimes part steel. (An alloy of copper and steel.) These jackets are called "bimetal" on the packaging. Many indoor ranges won't let you fire these in their facilities.

Steel-core bullets can't be imported.

MinnMooney
July 5, 2010, 12:01 AM
mljdeckard (post #9) : It's no more or less frangible or likely to ricochet than any other ammo.

Sorry but FMJ is way more likely to ricochet than ballistic tipped or thin-jacketed varmint bullets which are made to blow up on contact with anything. Many ranchers will not allow FMJ bullets on their property due to the ricochets that have hit their cows, houses & out-buildings. The wardens in western N. & S. Dakota warn prairie dog shooters to refrain from FMJ for the same reason.

bensdad
July 5, 2010, 12:24 AM
I think I read somewhere that the boxer primer was invented overseas, and is now the most common style in the U.S., while the berdan primer was invented in the U.S. and is now the most common over there.

mljdeckard
July 5, 2010, 12:26 AM
It's not like Wolf is the ONLY FMJ people commonly shoot at all. I shoot all kinds of FMJ ammo.

stinger 327
July 5, 2010, 12:31 AM
The jackets of a lot of the bullets, not the cores, are sometimes part steel. (An alloy of copper and steel.) These jackets are called "bimetal" on the packaging. Many indoor ranges won't let you fire these in their facilities.

Steel-core bullets can't be imported.
Is there away to tell if the bullet is steel core other than label? I was told they can start fires which is why ranges won't allow them.

MinnMooney
July 5, 2010, 12:39 AM
It's not like Wolf is the ONLY FMJ people commonly shoot at all. I shoot all kinds of FMJ ammo.
There are many brands of ammo, both foreign and domestic, that have FMJ bullets and I shoot them also. They are cheap, fairly accurate and fun. What they are NOT intended for, however, is hunting or for shooting in flat areas without a backstop or berm.

In a hunting situation, they'll just poke a 1/4" hole through the animal with a very small amount of damage. You'll have a wounded animal with little chance of tracking any sort of blood-trail.

nalioth
July 5, 2010, 12:41 AM
On an AK which has the reputation of shooting anything reliable-goes bang every time, shooting steel cased shells or brass shells shouldn't make a difference in damaging rifle? All Soviet weapons were (and are) designed to use steel component ammunition. You won't hurt your AK by using steel cased ammo in it.

mljdeckard
July 5, 2010, 12:43 AM
That's plenty of damage for pot-guts and prairie dogs. Particularly at 4000+ fps.

stinger 327
July 5, 2010, 12:43 AM
There are many brands of ammo, both foreign and domestic, that have FMJ bullets and I shoot them also. They are cheap, fairly accurate and fun. What they are NOT intended for, however, is hunting or for shooting in flat areas without a backstop or berm.

In a hunting situation, they'll just poke a 1/4" hole through the animal with a very small amount of damage. You'll have a wounded animal with little chance of tracking any sort of blood-trail.
In war isn't that all they use is FMJ? Why not HP used in war? Reliable feeding problems, Geneva convention etc?
Wolf makes a 7.62 x 39 in hollow point as well as FMJ.

MinnMooney
July 5, 2010, 01:01 AM
In war isn't that all they use is FMJ? Why not HP used in war?

Correct. FMJ is, by Geneva Convention rules, the only type of general purpose bullets that are allowed. I think HPs are ok for snipers but there are probaly more knowledgeable folks in this forum who know about the exceptions to the Geneva rules.

FMJ bullets have a higher wound:kill ratio than HPs or other mushrooming-type bullets. If you wound someone rather than kill them it takes three soldiers out of battle; the wounded soldier and two more to carry him back to a medic or evac. Not only that but the wounded soldier lives to go home.

Again, I see that mljdeckard (post #17) is pushing that it's OK to shoot prairie dogs with FMJ bullets. I wish that you'd do the responsible thing and not promote such an unsafe practice. Please admit that you're wrong (or, at least stop with the unsafe wisecracking). Some novice prairie dog shooter may do as you suggest and make access harder for all of us responsible shooters.

stinger 327
July 5, 2010, 01:42 AM
Correct. FMJ is, by Geneva Convention rules, the only type of general purpose bullets that are allowed. I think HPs are ok for snipers but there are probaly more knowledgeable folks in this forum who know about the exceptions to the Geneva rules.

FMJ bullets have a higher wound:kill ratio than HPs or other mushrooming-type bullets. If you wound someone rather than kill them it takes three soldiers out of battle; the wounded soldier and two more to carry him back to a medic or evac. Not only that but the wounded soldier lives to go home.

Again, I see that mljdeckard (post #17) is pushing that it's OK to shoot prairie dogs with FMJ bullets. I wish that you'd do the responsible thing and not promote such an unsafe practice. Please admit that you're wrong (or, at least stop with the unsafe wisecracking). Some novice prairie dog shooter may do as you suggest and make access harder for all of us responsible shooters.
This reminds me of what I heard that the 9mm caliber was created for wounding as to tie up soldiers with carrying their wounded to safety.

ShooterMcGavin
July 5, 2010, 02:16 AM
I don't understand the ricochet problem with prairie dogs. Does the FMJ ricochet back from the prairie dogs after a hit?? Or is a FMJ more likely to ricochet after hitting the ground?

stinger 327
July 5, 2010, 02:20 AM
I don't understand the ricochet problem with prairie dogs. Does the FMJ ricochet back from the prairie dogs after a hit?? Or is a FMJ more likely to ricochet after hitting the ground?
I always thought of it like the difference between shooting a BB gun and a Pellet gun. The BB gun always richochet breaking other things like windows but was highly penetrative and did more damage to glass.
The lead pellet expanded upon impact and absorbed the impact flatten on impact and transferred all energy into target.

Sam1911
July 5, 2010, 08:10 AM
Correct. FMJ is, by Geneva Convention rules, the only type of general purpose bullets that are allowed

This is one of those myths that just won't die!

The Hague Convention of 1899 (and again in 1907) were where the rules of war were hammered out to try to restrict undue suffering casued by expanding or "dum dum" bullets.

The U.S. did not sign the agreement but adheres to the restrictions regardless.

The Geneva Conventions came after WWII and cover the humane treatment of victims of war.

Steve Marshall
July 5, 2010, 08:39 AM
So many "experts", so little time. The original post queried as to why Russian brands were less expensive than others presumably domestic. Forget #'s 1,2,3,4. #5 has a kernel of truth. FMJ's are/can be, SLIGHTLY less expensive than hollowpoints. The true reason for Russian ammunition tending to be lower? Production costs are significantly lower. Labor and materials are cheap. Steel cases cost nearly as much to produce as brass by the way. To my knowledge (that's a pretty handy phrase by the way), no ammunition was ever marked as corrosive. Packaging at a later date may have been so marked but not at manufacture. The Hague Accords are what banned expanding bullets.

Patriotme
July 5, 2010, 09:42 AM
This reminds me of what I heard that the 9mm caliber was created for wounding as to tie up soldiers with carrying their wounded to safety.
The story about _______ caliber being created to wound is false. The military (any military) does not create calibers to wound. This is especially true of pistol rounds. Think about it. A pistol is a close range weapon and if the ammo is created to merely wound an enemy is very likely that he will also get the chance to wound or kill you. A lot of people talk about this caliber or that gun being created to wound. It's not true.

Patriotme
July 5, 2010, 10:06 AM
There is nothing wrong with the Russian commercial brands (Wolf, Tula, Bear, etc). I've put a few thousand rounds of 9mm Silver Bear through a Kimber and Ruger P89 with no problem. Several years ago this stuff was even cheaper than reloads. It was a great deal and it's a shame that prices have risen. I've had no problems with the Silver Bear and not only is it reliable it's also good for storing. I had a minor flood several years ago and due to poor planning my ammo ended up underwater for several hours. Had it only been a few hundred rnds I probably would have thrown it away. As it was a few thousand rnds I dried it all out and wiped it down a few days later. I had two misfires out of this ammo. Bear in mind that it was a mix of Blazer, Silver Bear, reloads and shotgun shells of various calibers and manufacturers. All of it was good (except 2 rnds) despite being under water (all of the .22lr got tossed without testing).
I will say that the zinc plated Silver Bear ammo can get a odd looking discoloration and film on it after a few years of storage. It still feeds fine and goes bang.
I've got a couple of AR's and I usually shoot Tula, Brown Bear and Silver Bear in them. There have been no problems and they all feed fine. Accuracy is nothing to brag about (55gr Brown Bear seems best-Tula is worst) but these brands shoot as well as some domestic brands (Remington) in brass.
Someone said that the steel cases do not expand to fill the chamber and this causes more fouling. This is true. Some also say that the steel cases are harder on M4 extractors and firing pins. This might be true but the Russian ammo is made from softer steel (still harder than brass though) than the extractors. I haven't had a problem yet but I will say that my M4's are less than a year old and only have around a thousand or so rnds through each of them. Extractors and firing pins only cost a few dollars and I keep an extra in my range bag.
A few people have had problems with the laquer on Brown Bear ammo (and Wolf?). After a lot of shooting the laquer can supposedly cause the bolt to be basically glued into the foward position if it's allowed to cool with the BCG foward. I haven't seen this yet but it's evidently happened enough for AR shooters to know about it. I've read about this happening with Ruger Mini 14's too. Silver Bear is zinc plated and Tula is polymer coated if this is a worry.
One last thing, some people on the forums write about having the rim torn off of the case and having a hard time removing the empty case from the chamber. I haven't seen this either. I do have a broken shell extractor (CheaperThanDirt-$8) just in case.
I shoot at least once per month and have had no problems with Russian ammo. I told you about the internet stories and have no doubt that someone somewhere had problems with laquer and extraction of broken cases. I haven't seen it though and I don't personally know any other shooters that have had these problems. An extra firing pin, extractor and broken shell extractor stays in my range bag just in case and was paid for long ago out of the savings from shooting the cheaper steel cased ammo.

stinger 327
July 5, 2010, 12:13 PM
There is nothing wrong with the Russian commercial brands (Wolf, Tula, Bear, etc). I've put a few thousand rounds of 9mm Silver Bear through a Kimber and Ruger P89 with no problem. Several years ago this stuff was even cheaper than reloads. It was a great deal and it's a shame that prices have risen. I've had no problems with the Silver Bear and not only is it reliable it's also good for storing. I had a minor flood several years ago and due to poor planning my ammo ended up underwater for several hours. Had it only been a few hundred rnds I probably would have thrown it away. As it was a few thousand rnds I dried it all out and wiped it down a few days later. I had two misfires out of this ammo. Bear in mind that it was a mix of Blazer, Silver Bear, reloads and shotgun shells of various calibers and manufacturers. All of it was good (except 2 rnds) despite being under water (all of the .22lr got tossed without testing).
I will say that the zinc plated Silver Bear ammo can get a odd looking discoloration and film on it after a few years of storage. It still feeds fine and goes bang.
I've got a couple of AR's and I usually shoot Tula, Brown Bear and Silver Bear in them. There have been no problems and they all feed fine. Accuracy is nothing to brag about (55gr Brown Bear seems best-Tula is worst) but these brands shoot as well as some domestic brands (Remington) in brass.
Someone said that the steel cases do not expand to fill the chamber and this causes more fouling. This is true. Some also say that the steel cases are harder on M4 extractors and firing pins. This might be true but the Russian ammo is made from softer steel (still harder than brass though) than the extractors. I haven't had a problem yet but I will say that my M4's are less than a year old and only have around a thousand or so rnds through each of them. Extractors and firing pins only cost a few dollars and I keep an extra in my range bag.
A few people have had problems with the laquer on Brown Bear ammo (and Wolf?). After a lot of shooting the laquer can supposedly cause the bolt to be basically glued into the foward position if it's allowed to cool with the BCG foward. I haven't seen this yet but it's evidently happened enough for AR shooters to know about it. I've read about this happening with Ruger Mini 14's too. Silver Bear is zinc plated and Tula is polymer coated if this is a worry.
One last thing, some people on the forums write about having the rim torn off of the case and having a hard time removing the empty case from the chamber. I haven't seen this either. I do have a broken shell extractor (CheaperThanDirt-$8) just in case.
I shoot at least once per month and have had no problems with Russian ammo. I told you about the internet stories and have no doubt that someone somewhere had problems with laquer and extraction of broken cases. I haven't seen it though and I don't personally know any other shooters that have had these problems. An extra firing pin, extractor and broken shell extractor stays in my range bag just in case and was paid for long ago out of the savings from shooting the cheaper steel cased ammo.
I guess I better keep any Russian ammo away from the Ruger Mini-14 and just use PMC, Remington, Winchester, or Federal in .223.

GRIZ22
July 5, 2010, 12:35 PM
Why are the Russian brands of ammo cost so much less than the most common USA brands of ammo?

Nobody hit on the big reason Russian ammo is so cheap. The average Russian makes $60 a month if they're lucky. Production costs are about the biggest chunk of many manufactured goods.

stinger 327
July 5, 2010, 12:44 PM
Why are the Russian brands of ammo cost so much less than the most common USA brands of ammo?

Nobody hit on the big reason Russian ammo is so cheap. The average Russian makes $60 a month if they're lucky. Production costs are about the biggest chunk of many manufactured goods.
This is true but do you think it is also reflective of the components and quality of the ammo made?

NMGonzo
July 5, 2010, 12:48 PM
They shoot good out of my rifle for little money and they kill stuff good.

MinnMooney
July 5, 2010, 12:50 PM
Nobody hit on the big reason Russian ammo is so cheap. The average Russian makes $60 a month if they're lucky. Production costs are about the biggest chunk of many manufactured goods.

I agree. That is probably the number 1 cost savings. There are many reasons why milsurp and modern Russian ammo is cheaper. Steel is cheaper (by a large margin) than brass in both production costs but, also, in raw material cost. FMJ bullets are about 2/3 the cost of hollow points and 1/2 the cost of polymer-tipped bullets. The powder is not of the high quality (read dirty chambers) as western produced ammo.

One poster reminded me that it was indeed the Hague Convention of 1899 that created the rules of war and about the types of ammo that would be allowed. I knew that but got caught up in the popular belief that it was from the Geneva Convention.

stinger 327
July 5, 2010, 12:50 PM
They shoot good out of my rifle for little money and they kill stuff good.
That's my thinking too. They still kill and get the job done

Zack
July 5, 2010, 03:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle-zebub
The jackets of a lot of the bullets, not the cores, are sometimes part steel. (An alloy of copper and steel.) These jackets are called "bimetal" on the packaging. Many indoor ranges won't let you fire these in their facilities.

Steel-core bullets can't be imported.

Is there away to tell if the bullet is steel core other than label? I was told they can start fires which is why ranges won't allow them.

He said they can not be imported... Only way to tell is cut the bullet open. But thats only if you have old ammo.

http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/AMM652-5.html this is lead and steal core. Its a mix.
http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/AMM653-5.html this is steal core. I thought you could not buy this stuff?

ljnowell
July 5, 2010, 03:32 PM
P.S. Russian doesn't come in .223 Rem. but in it's near-twin the 5.56x45
I would disagree, I have seen plenty of Russian 223.

Kwanger
July 5, 2010, 04:04 PM
I guess I better keep any Russian ammo away from the Ruger Mini-14 and just use PMC, Remington, Winchester, or Federal in .223.
Why? I have a friend who has a Mini-14 and shoots nothing but steel cased ammo - he's never had a problem yet. If you have a quick search on the 'net, you'll find that it seems the Mini-14 is not generally picky about ammo. If you have a rifle that shoots steel cased just fine, by not doing so you are missing out on some good savings, IMO.

Kwanger
July 5, 2010, 04:10 PM
A few people have had problems with the laquer on Brown Bear ammo (and Wolf?). After a lot of shooting the laquer can supposedly cause the bolt to be basically glued into the foward position if it's allowed to cool with the BCG foward. I haven't seen this yet but it's evidently happened enough for AR shooters to know about it. I've read about this happening with Ruger Mini 14's too. Silver Bear is zinc plated and Tula is polymer coated if this is a worry

This is a bit of an internet myth widely perpetuated. Fact is, steel case (any steel case, regardless of coating) does not expand as much as brass, therefore the chamber gets dirtier quicker, hence the chance it may gum up a bit sooner (although I've never had one that has). See this article: http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu18.htm

The main point to take away from it, to my mind, is not to shoot brass immediately after you've just had a range session with steel.

levsmith
July 5, 2010, 06:40 PM
The old lacquer coated steel case stuff will get stuck in the chambers on some guns if you allow the round to cool in a hot chamber. I have personally witnessed this. My friend has an ar-15 and had some of the old lacquer coated brown bear and had one get stuck in the chamber and i'll tell you right now, that is a pain in the rear to get out.

I've never seen it happen on Russian guns though and I have had 1000 rounds of it through my SKS without a problem. Its mainly just a problem on the American made guns which have tighter tolerances. There is no need to worry about this anymore though because as far as I know, there are no manufacturers currently using lacquer anymore. There is still some of the lacquer coated stuff out there but its older stuff and will eventually be gone. I've ran over 1000 rounds of the new polymer coated steel cased ammo through my ar-15 and haven't had any problems with it at all.

Just my 2 cents.

Patriotme
July 5, 2010, 06:40 PM
This is a bit of an internet myth widely perpetuated. Fact is, steel case (any steel case, regardless of coating) does not expand as much as brass, therefore the chamber gets dirtier quicker, hence the chance it may gum up a bit sooner (although I've never had one that has). See this article: http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu18.htm

The main point to take away from it, to my mind, is not to shoot brass immediately after you've just had a range session with steel.
I'm not sure if it's a myth or not. A decent amount of people seem to complain about it happening on www.ar15.com . This is a pretty common thread and while I agree about your point about the brass cases getting stuck there are others that complain about the bolt carrier group getting stuck in the foward position even when the chamber is empty. The common theme is that a lot of laquer covered ammo was shot and the gun was allowed to cool with the bolt carrier group foward. I haven't seen it and really don't worry about it. It's not like I'm taking this ammo to war.
I've shot brass cased ammo immediately after shooting the steel cased stuff and had no problems (just last week). It does make sense that a dirtier chamber will cause problems and steel cased ammo does give you a dirtier rifle. I suspect that as there are a lot of new AR owners out there they are probably not giving the chambers the cleaning that they need after shooting the Russian stuff. Most of those asking for help on AR15.com or www.M4Carbine.net seem to be new owners.

Patriotme
July 5, 2010, 06:44 PM
The old lacquer coated steel case stuff will get stuck in the chambers on some guns if you allow the round to cool in a hot chamber. I have personally witnessed this. My friend has an ar-15 and had some of the old lacquer coated brown bear and had one get stuck in the chamber and i'll tell you right now, that is a pain in the rear to get out.

I've never seen it happen on Russian guns though and I have had 1000 rounds of it through my SKS without a problem. Its mainly just a problem on the American made guns which have tighter tolerances. There is no need to worry about this anymore though because as far as I know, there are no manufacturers currently using lacquer anymore. There is still some of the lacquer coated stuff out there but its older stuff and will eventually be gone. I've ran over 1000 rounds of the new polymer coated steel cased ammo through my ar-15 and haven't had any problems with it at all.

Just my 2 cents.
Brown Bear seems to still using laquer coated cases. I like the accuracy of this stuff compared to the rest and usually pick up about 500 rnds or so every couple of months. They also advertise on www.cheaperthandirt.com that it's laquer covered although it could just be older ammo still in the marketplace. I hope that Brown Bear changes to a polymer covering like Wolf (Tula).

Patriotme
July 5, 2010, 06:48 PM
I guess I better keep any Russian ammo away from the Ruger Mini-14 and just use PMC, Remington, Winchester, or Federal in .223.
I wouldn't worry about it too much in the Mini 14. I did a lot of research before getting my M4's and I considered Mini 14's (and AK's, FAL's, etc) instead for various reasons. A few people on the Mini 14 boards complained about the bolt getting stuck foward but it was not a common event. Actually it's not exactly common with any of the weapons but it happens enough that it's a good idea to know how to fix the problem.
Think of it like a squib load. Most people will never have one in their entire life but it is a good idea to know about them.

stinger 327
July 6, 2010, 03:20 AM
I wouldn't worry about it too much in the Mini 14. I did a lot of research before getting my M4's and I considered Mini 14's (and AK's, FAL's, etc) instead for various reasons. A few people on the Mini 14 boards complained about the bolt getting stuck foward but it was not a common event. Actually it's not exactly common with any of the weapons but it happens enough that it's a good idea to know how to fix the problem.
Think of it like a squib load. Most people will never have one in their entire life but it is a good idea to know about them.
I'm going to have to re-check my warranty because I know I saw a clause in there that if you use certain ammo it will void the warranty.

stinger 327
July 6, 2010, 03:23 AM
All Soviet weapons were (and are) designed to use steel component ammunition. You won't hurt your AK by using steel cased ammo in it.
I think an AK-47 made by Norinco will eat any kind of ammo and spit it out.

Sam1911
July 6, 2010, 06:42 AM
I'm going to have to re-check my warranty because I know I saw a clause in there that if you use certain ammo it will void the warranty. Don't get too awful hung up about what the warranty clause might say. Almost all gun manufacturers make some kind of cautionary or "warranty voiding" statement about ammo as a hedge against having to fix guns damaged by REALLY bad rounds.

One of the common statements is that the gun should only shoot new, factory ammo -- no reloads. Not many of us can afford to shoot if we're supposed to stick to that.

Steel cased ammo isn't going to hurt a thing.

Travis McGee
July 6, 2010, 08:09 AM
I just bought 1,000 rds of Brown Bear 55gr HPs. Accuracy reports are good, haven't shot it out of my AR yet. I like the idea of a HP for SHTF/defensive use. I didn't sign the Hague Convention, so I want to use the most effective bullet possible, if it comes to that.

I took 5 rounds of Brown Bear (laq'd steel), 5 of Silver Bear I had (shiny silver colored zinc) and 5 brass FMJ rounds, and did a corrosion test. I left one of each buried in dirt under a rain spout, lying in dirt in the rain, and even in a cup of salt water for a week. Then I sprayed them with WD40 and wiped them dry. The silver bears look terrible but feel smooth. The brown bears are only a little discolored and also feel smooth. The brass is perfect of course. I have not tested them yet, but they all will feed and fire, I'm pretty sure. No corrosion is visible that changes the dimensions.

I did this to "worst case" the storage treatment of the Russian ammo. If Brown Bear can take this mistreatment, years in a dry box should not change them at all.

Travis McGee
July 6, 2010, 08:12 AM
BTW, the 1,000 rds of Brown Bear 55gr HPs from CTD cost me under $300, delivered price, and they arrived in 3 days.

stinger 327
July 6, 2010, 02:59 PM
This is one of those myths that just won't die!

The Hague Convention of 1899 (and again in 1907) were where the rules of war were hammered out to try to restrict undue suffering casued by expanding or "dum dum" bullets.

The U.S. did not sign the agreement but adheres to the restrictions regardless.

The Geneva Conventions came after WWII and cover the humane treatment of victims of war.
I have also heard that FMJ is preferred in a war zone because it penetrates so much that you hit one soldier and then it continues on to hit another soldier.

stinger 327
July 6, 2010, 03:01 PM
Don't get too awful hung up about what the warranty clause might say. Almost all gun manufacturers make some kind of cautionary or "warranty voiding" statement about ammo as a hedge against having to fix guns damaged by REALLY bad rounds.

One of the common statements is that the gun should only shoot new, factory ammo -- no reloads. Not many of us can afford to shoot if we're supposed to stick to that.

Steel cased ammo isn't going to hurt a thing.
You save that much $$$$ by reloading?
Gun companies probably are afraid of the individual that is going to handload a bullet beyond the standard a real hot load that will damage their firearm so the company doesn't want to be held responsible for someone else's action of this sort.

mljdeckard
July 6, 2010, 03:10 PM
Minnmooney,

The only one who thinks there is a problem using FMJ ammo for all general purposes is you.

Sam1911
July 6, 2010, 03:26 PM
I have also heard that FMJ is preferred in a war zone because it penetrates so much that you hit one soldier and then it continues on to hit another soldier.

Yes, yes! And FMJs are only supposed to wound the enemy, thus tying up support resources to deal with the injured soldier, and the Nazi's had proof of the extra terrestrials we captured and imprisoned at Area 51, and the ammo shortage was a deliberate strategy of the current Administration to scare so many people into buying all the ammo up that "regular folks" couldn't find any!

;)

(Yeah...that last one was actually said here on THR ... seriously!)

Sam1911
July 6, 2010, 03:30 PM
You save that much $$$$ by reloading?
Are you serious? Well better than half, depending on the round. I couldn't reload 5.45x39 cheaper than Soviet surplus stuff ($0.12 a round) but I can load something like .44 Spc. for probably close to 1/3 the cost of a box of factory ammo.

Gun companies probably are afraid of the individual that is going to handload a bullet beyond the standard a real hot load that will damage their firearm so the company doesn't want to be held responsible for someone else's action of this sort. Of course. Actually, gun companies (all companies, really) don't want to pay any claim they don't HAVE to -- because any claim costs them money. Most don't give you a hard time if you've shot reloads, unless you're trying to get them to replace a bulged barrel or a whole gun that blew up "for no reason."

stinger 327
July 6, 2010, 03:51 PM
Yes, yes! And FMJs are only supposed to wound the enemy, thus tying up support resources to deal with the injured soldier, and the Nazi's had proof of the extra terrestrials we captured and imprisoned at Area 51, and the ammo shortage was a deliberate strategy of the current Administration to scare so many people into buying all the ammo up that "regular folks" couldn't find any!

;)

(Yeah...that last one was actually said here on THR ... seriously!)
Yes I remember that well the ammo scare. People that bought from Walmart couldn't find any ammo on the shelves along with other sporting goods stores. Those gun shops that did have the ammo raised the prices and put limits on how much one person could buy.
If I remember one of the stories for everyone to go buy up the ammo was that they were going to make it so that each bullet is identifiable to purchaser and this would result in prices going up. Also with the current administration it was said they would be cracking down on this after the health care reform issues.
Sounds like the so called gas shortage and crises of 1974 and 1979 when they had gas rationing odd plates one day and even plates the others.

stinger 327
July 6, 2010, 03:53 PM
Are you serious? Well better than half, depending on the round. I couldn't reload 5.45x39 cheaper than Soviet surplus stuff ($0.12 a round) but I can load something like .44 Spc. for probably close to 1/3 the cost of a box of factory ammo.

Of course. Actually, gun companies (all companies, really) don't want to pay any claim they don't HAVE to -- because any claim costs them money. Most don't give you a hard time if you've shot reloads, unless you're trying to get them to replace a bulged barrel or a whole gun that blew up "for no reason."
You are probably right and who knows what laws will be coming up to thwart reloading like the rest of the gun related industry.
Knowing my luck I would blow myself up with having gunpowder around so I will continue to buy factory ammo already made.

GRIZ22
July 6, 2010, 11:16 PM
This is true but do you think it is also reflective of the components and quality of the ammo made?

The low wages in Russia go all the way down to the miners that get thw raw materials from the ground. As far as quality goes it is not the best from far from the worst. There was a Russian General or Admiral who quoted as defining Soviet design technology as "perfection is the enemy of good enough" (supposedly paraphrasing Voltaire). This applied to all Soviet military designs. Want the best 7.62x39? Get Lapua (now about $1.25 a round) or some IMI if you can find it. Want something good enough? Get Russian military ammo or Wolf. This is not a quality control issue but a philosophy issue.

stinger 327
July 7, 2010, 12:55 AM
This is true but do you think it is also reflective of the components and quality of the ammo made?

The low wages in Russia go all the way down to the miners that get thw raw materials from the ground. As far as quality goes it is not the best from far from the worst. There was a Russian General or Admiral who quoted as defining Soviet design technology as "perfection is the enemy of good enough" (supposedly paraphrasing Voltaire). This applied to all Soviet military designs. Want the best 7.62x39? Get Lapua (now about $1.25 a round) or some IMI if you can find it. Want something good enough? Get Russian military ammo or Wolf. This is not a quality control issue but a philosophy issue.
Where do you get Lapua or IMI which I have never heard of. Ditto for Lapua.

Kentucky_Rifleman
July 7, 2010, 12:55 AM
I guess I better keep any Russian ammo away from the Ruger Mini-14 and just use PMC, Remington, Winchester, or Federal in .223.

No one mentioned this yet, but several of the AR guys will tell you to avoid surplus 5.56 surplus ammo, which is loaded hotter than American .223. I don't shoot ARs, mostly bolt guns, but it's an issue worth getting some expert advice on.

Russian .223 should be fine though.

As a point of trivia (which I learned here, BTW) the "Dum-Dum" rounds Sam 1911 mentioned earlier are soft lead slugs. I had always heard the term "Dum-Dum" used as a synonym for any lead slug designed to kill humans. The term began with the big British .455 Webley revolvers. They made a run of ammunition that was like a wadcutter on steroids, and they were dandy man-stoppers, but the Geneva folks bitched and the Brits redesigned the ammo. The term Dum-Dum came from the factory where that generation of ammo was made - Dum-Dum, India.

KR

Kentucky_Rifleman
July 7, 2010, 01:04 AM
You are probably right and who knows what laws will be coming up to thwart reloading like the rest of the gun related industry. Knowing my luck I would blow myself up with having gunpowder around so I will continue to buy factory ammo already made.

With a Mini 14, factory cheapo ammo might be the best solution anyway. handloading for a bolt rifle can yield ammo far better than anything you can buy, but reloading for an autorifle won't produce ammo as distinctly superior, some better? sure, miles better? no.

Plus, those Minis really sling the brass, and the ones I've seen ding the hell out of the brass in the bargain.

If you get into shooting bolt rifles or big-bore handguns, reloading will save you a chunk of dough (50-75% off factory ammo). If you want to shoot much and you're not independently wealthy, reloading can help keep the ammo costs under control. As a bonus, you can load much better ammo than you can buy.

KR

GRIZ22
July 7, 2010, 01:12 AM
Where do you get Lapua or IMI which I have never heard of. Ditto for Lapua.

Midway has Lapua (made in Finland). I ahven't seen any IMI (Israeli Military Industries) for several years. maybe someone else has seen it somewhere.

stinger 327
July 7, 2010, 02:37 AM
Where do you get Lapua or IMI which I have never heard of. Ditto for Lapua.

Midway has Lapua (made in Finland). I ahven't seen any IMI (Israeli Military Industries) for several years. maybe someone else has seen it somewhere.
Thanks I will ch eck into th at.

Sam1911
July 7, 2010, 07:03 AM
but reloading for an autorifle won't produce ammo as distinctly superior, some better? sure, miles better? no.


Heh, that statement needs to be clarified: Reloading for SOME auto rifles (like most Mini-14s, 5.56NATO Kalashnikovs, and maybe bargain bin ARs) won't produce ammo quite as distinctly superior.

If you have a match-grade, competition, or varmint-hunting AR, you aren't going to be feeding it surplus ammo. When your rifle is capable of shooting 1/2 M.O.A. or better (and you spent a lot of money to build it that way), feeding it mil-surp ammo is, in fact, "miles" worse.

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