Wolf Ammo: Pros and Cons


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Drakejake
February 2, 2003, 05:41 PM
I have bought and shot a variety of brands of non-premium ammo, but have stayed away from Wolf for fear that it would damage my handguns. I need to buy some Makarov ammo. Should I consider Wolf at only $4.99 per box, or stick with S&B at $6.99?

Thanks,

Drakejake

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denfoote
February 2, 2003, 06:11 PM
My Makarov's love the stuff. (9x18)
My Ruger P-95 tolerates the stuff. (9x19)
The rest dislike it!!!

Zundfolge
February 2, 2003, 06:24 PM
I've never had any feed or reliability problems with the Wolf ammo in my Mak, however I've found S&B and Barnaul to be significantly more accurate (and somewhat cleaner too).

Now in .40, Wolf is the only thing thats ever jammed in my Kahr and gets my Steyr extremely dirty ... and isn't as accurate as PMC


only real plus is it's cheap.

Sven
February 2, 2003, 06:25 PM
Wolf Match .22 - VERY accurate, Ely primed... made in Germany, I believe. Great stuff.

I don't like the look of the other Wolf ammo, though it seems popular.

444
February 2, 2003, 06:58 PM
I have shot a lot of Wolf ammo. Right off the cuff I have used it in 9x18 Mak, 7.62x54R, .223, .22LR. I have shot a box of it here and there in a couple other calibers. I have never had any problems with it at all. In fact I have shot right around 2000 rounds out of various AR15s without any problems at all. I am going to continue to buy it. It is cheaper than reloading and I don't have to pick up the brass.

Dave Markowitz
February 2, 2003, 10:33 PM
There is a lot of BS floating around the Internet the Wolf is bad ammo and will somehow damage your gun. What I've found is that while it may not be especially clean or accurate (I haven't tried the .22s), it works just fine and shows no signs of pressure.

I ran some Wolf 62 grain .223 through a Bushmaster Dissipator a few years ago and it worked fine, show so-so groups, and the gun just needed to be cleaned a bit more than usual. Big deal. Wolf 7.62x39 is my current choice for my SKS and AKs.

The only 9x18mm I've ever put through my Bulgarian Makarov is Barnaul ball (also from Russia), from the case I bought along with the pistol. It's had ~400 rounds through it, and the only malf has been one failure to lock the slide back after the last shot in the mag was fired.

Zip06
February 2, 2003, 10:46 PM
The Makarov was designed to take that steel cased Russian ammo. My Makarov's love the stuff and have shot several cases of Wolf, Barnaul and LVE ammo without any malfunctions. The Wolf (109 grain) is pretty dirty and the recoil is brisk and the LVE shoots a flame out the barrel but no malfunctions. For about $90 bucks a case how can you lose? Russian ammo for Russian guns.

10-Ring
February 2, 2003, 11:01 PM
The subject of Wolf ammo comes up now and then so a search on the topic (hear & on TFL) might be worth while.
I stay away from the stuff.

Snaps
February 2, 2003, 11:34 PM
I've run it through my M4 quite a few times. Only drawback I've seen is that it seems to leave a lot or residue afterwards. Figure handguns shouldn't be any different.

Bob Locke
February 3, 2003, 04:03 AM
The thing I disliked the most about Wolf ammo was the stench that the burnt powder gave off. I swore off the stuff after a few boxes because I was gagging between shots.

MarineTech
February 3, 2003, 11:03 AM
From the times I've fired it, I came to one conclusion. It's dirty, smelly, extractor wearing, lacquer fouling, gas system choking ammo.

With the other ammo choices out there in the same price range (surplus, S&B, etc), I won't use it.

Tropical Z
February 3, 2003, 12:54 PM
Wolf is fine! I prefer Barnaul though if its available.S&B also finds its way into my guns.They're all good.I like ammo with sealed primers.

bountyhunter
February 3, 2003, 06:42 PM
"There is a lot of BS floating around the Internet the Wolf is bad ammo and will somehow damage your gun. "

Just in case anybody wants another opinion, I'll summarize the BS floating around:

1) Wolf handgun ammo is steel cased and lacquer coated. The lacquer melts and deposits in the barrel thraot. If your gun is fitted tight, it will jam a case in the barrel which has to be pounded out with a dowel. If the barrel is loose, it will cycle but youy still have to scrub the crap out.

2) Extractors are not made of hardened steel (in fact, 1911 extractors are spring steel). Normally, they work against brass all day. Change the ammo case to steel, extractor wear accelerates exponentially due to the hardness of the case.

3) Some extractor tips have sheared off when trying to pull out a case gummed up by the lacquer.

4) Wolf ammo is filthy and the power is often uneven.

5) Olympic Arms Inc (who makes AR-15 clones) posted a warning on their website that the use of Wolf ammo voids the warranty on their guns. They could no longer afford to replace actions ruined when the lacquer dried in them. They did not warn against "steel case ammo", they specifically named Wolf as the only brand.

If you still want to use it, go for it.

CWL
February 3, 2003, 09:10 PM
I know a Vietnam-era ex-Marine who had Wolf ammo jam so tightly in the chamber of his AR15 that when he tried to pound it out with a dowel, the rim broke off. A broken-shell extractor wouldn't work because the steel casing was glued into the breech so tightly that attempts with solvents like thinner and Kroil Oil wouldn't budge it. It needed to be pried out bit by bit with a screwdriver. Scratched-up a lot of expensive gun. Too bad he isn't internet literate, so I had to learn his story first-hand.

On the other hand, it looks A LOT better than the crap ammo I've seen used in SE Asia. Save it for your Soviet weaponry and it'll probably give no headaches.

No4Mk1*
February 3, 2003, 11:30 PM
The Makarov was the standard issue pistol of the USSR.

One of these is true:
1. The Russians decided to build new factories to produce ammo to export to the USA.

2. The Russians use the same factories that produce their military ammo to produce ammo for export.

Soviet weapons work well with Soviet ammo. Don't waste your money.

By the way, at a difference of $2 per box, you "save" enough money to buy another extractor after about 3 boxes and enough to buy another Makarov after about 4000 rounds.

I have never heard of a Makarov extractor breaking, but it is just a machine.

Diesle
February 4, 2003, 02:28 AM
Its crap in my book.


Diesle

bountyhunter
February 4, 2003, 06:44 PM
"One of these is true:
1. The Russians decided to build new factories to produce ammo to export to the USA.

2. The Russians use the same factories that produce their military ammo to produce ammo for export.

Soviet weapons work well with Soviet ammo. Don't waste your money.

By the way, at a difference of $2 per box, you "save" enough money to buy another extractor after about 3 boxes and enough to buy another Makarov after about 4000 rounds."


Extractors cost $6? On my guns, a decent extractor is about $30 and $6 is the shipping.

It is a fact that Russian (and some NATO) guns are built to cycle this Wolf junk. A loose barrel and re-inforced extractor might do it. Your Kimber or Colt is a different story.

As to cost savings, it depends on caliber: at Natchez Shooters Supply you can typically get Sellier + Belott (which is pretty decent) for about $5-$10 more per case on 9mm, about $15 - $20 more per case on .40 and .45. So, about $0.50 - $1 per box saved shooting Wolf (depends on caliber). But, S+B is reloadable brass case which doesn't trash your gun.

Zip06
February 4, 2003, 06:56 PM
Bountyhunter is right on target. While I use Wolf with my AK and Mak's, I would only use it in an emergency with any other firearm. In pistol calibers, for just a few bucks more you can get Blazer, American Eagle, Winchester White Box or some S&B.

444
February 4, 2003, 11:39 PM
I have participated in perhaps a dozen threads just like this, discussing Wolf ammo. Out of all the threads, they share one similar characteristic. No one that posted in them ever had trouble with Wolf ammo (other than maybe a jam, or dirty). The closest we can come is, "I knew a guy......................."
We hear about extactor problems, laquer problems etc. But I have yet to read a post that said, I had this problem.
On the other hand when you read the guys that actually fire it, it does fine.

DAL
February 5, 2003, 11:35 AM
I'll probably regret saying this, but I haven't had any real problems with my decidedly small sampling of Wolf ammo in 9x18, 9x19, .45 ACP, or 7.62x39. Granted, the stuff is dirty and smells, but it's worked for me so far. I probably just won't make a habit out of using it in my 9x19 or my .45.

One thing I did notice after firing a couple of boxes of the stuff through my Glock 26 was that my fingers were slightly green from the lacquer.:uhoh:
DAL

meathammer
February 5, 2003, 04:34 PM
444,

I had a bad experience with Wolf first hand. I have posted this in the past, (whenever Wolf ammo is mentioned) so I apologize for sounding redundant. I bought 5 boxes of Wolf 180gr .40 S&W at a gun show about a year ago. I shot 1 box through my Beretta 96 without a hitch. (Other than the stink generated.) Second box, whole new ballgame. Fired first shot, casing jammed in the chamber so tight it had to be hammered out with a dowel. Thinking it was maybe a fluke thing, grabbed another box, first shot - same thing. The casings were REALLY stuck! After removing the jammed casings, I compared them to some spent brass I had fired, and the diameter was noticeably larger on the Wolf. Not good. So, Wolf is not an option for me anymore. Buddies of mine feed it to their AKs and SKSs all day with no problems. Looser tolerances perhaps? Other pistols? Don't know. I definately won't put any through my 1911. If any of you shoot Wolf and it works, more power to you. I hope none of you have the same problem I had. My 96 has only failed me once with brass ammo, and it was some cheap reloads.

RockyNH
February 6, 2003, 06:20 AM
I had almost the same problem.. Bought a case of wolf .40 and shot the first 100 rounds thru my Taurus 101 with no problem. Next 100 on another day I had a case jam so tight I had to disassemble and pound it out.

Went back the next day, shot a couple clips of Winchester and all seemed fine, loaded up the wolf and the 2nd clip it stuck another case... Not sure if its laquer or what but I will not buy any more, not worth the savings. I will probably try and use up what I have left unless it gets too much worse.

Pat

WESHOOT2
February 6, 2003, 10:25 AM
I understand intellectually the reasoning behind buying inexpensive ammunition, but emotionally I go beserk.

Is money SO TIGHT that one would risk their guns firing such crap?
Or is it the perception that those few pennies will actually add to to "savings"?

I am at a total loss to understand this. Really.
There is some much GOOD ammo at slightly more expense.

IMO Wolf ammo is *****.

rick_reno
February 6, 2003, 11:54 AM
This season, one of our league shooters in our local Bullseye league picked up one of thos Baikal target pistols. In trying various brands of ammo (eley, rws, aguila, federal, wolf, lapua, others) we found the Wolf match 22 would not function in the gun. It shot great when it worked, but lacked enough power to cycle the gun. That gun needs 1060 fps min. to function, and the Wolf was down around 1030 fps. After dealing with multiple albis in our matches, he switched to Aguila SV. It's also Eley primed, is very inexpensive and showed no degradation in accuracy when fired from the rest.

Sleeping Dog
February 6, 2003, 01:29 PM
Rick_Reno,

The Wolf 22 target stuff is completely different than the other Wolf stuff.

The .22 Wolf is brass-cased, made in Germany, clean-burning, accurate. It's subsonic and has wax-coated lead bullets, or coated with something like wax.

The .22 jams in my Ruger 22/45 when it's warm out, probably because the wax gets sticky. It's fine in the winter. And it's great in my bolt rifles.

The controversial Wolf ammo is the other stuff - dirty, steel-cased, painted with lacquer, and more like a +p load.

Regards.

No4Mk1*
February 6, 2003, 09:36 PM
I think that many here are not reading the original post. Drakejake is specifically looking for Makarov ammo. I agree that Russian Steel cased ammo is less reliable in US and Western European designed guns than brass cased ammo, but Drakejake is not asking what to feed his Glock with, but his Makarov.
I believe all of the above accounts of failures of Russian steel cased ammo and thus I would not use it in American or Western European weapons.

However in the 4 days that this post has been open, no one has mentioned an ammo-caused failure while using Russian ammo in a Russian designed gun. The only Makarov failure of any kind which has been mentioned is failure to lock the slide back. That could have been a light round, but is more likely the gun as a light round would result in a failure to feed for rounds 1-7 and failure to lock the slide only on the last shot.

I stand corrected, Makarov extractor, plunger, and spring set costs $12 delivered from www.makarov.com

Still waiting to hear about all the jamming makarovs....

Jackanape
February 7, 2003, 01:40 AM
The only Wolf hangun ammunition I like is the 9 mm Makarov. Works great, smells bad. As others have said, this is the ammuntion Makarovs were designed to fire.

The Wolf Match Target .22lr is great stuff. I haven't used it in a semi auto, but my Ruger Single Six and CZ-452 like it a lot. If I'm not mistaken, it's made by SK Jagd. Good stuff...

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