Barnaul "Brown Bear" ammo. Good, or not so much?


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dcarch
February 13, 2013, 11:44 PM
Hey all! Despite the current shortage, I have the opportunity to purchase some "Brown Bear" 123 GR HP or 125 GR SP ammunition for fairly reasonable prices to use in my AK-type rifle. I have previously had excellent experiences with Golden Tiger ammo, but I haven't really tried any Brown Bear. Now I realize "yeah, it's an AK, it'll eat anything", but I still would prefer to use higher quality ammo if I can get my hands on it. Call me an elitist if you will. (I actually clean my AK regularly too!:what:) So what sort of experiences have you all had with this ammo? Good, bad, average? Any and all info (including groups, if you happen to have any) would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Dcarch

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firesky101
February 13, 2013, 11:47 PM
I much prefer Barnul (Brown, Silver, Gold Bear) to the Tula/Wolf stuff. I fed my AR plenty of Silver Bear, and it has never had a hiccup.

Texan Scott
February 13, 2013, 11:54 PM
It's ok quality-wise. What your individual rifle makes of it is - well, up to your rifle. Never saw an SKS that cared ... I've seen a ruger mini30 that wouldn't feed half of it or group the other half on a paper plate at 100 yds. Try it. If you don't like it, I bet someone here buys it.

DPris
February 14, 2013, 12:21 AM
Through three AKs here the 123 HP Brown Bear has been decently accurate, perfectly reliable, and surprisingly consistent in chronographed velocities.
Denis

JohnnyK
February 14, 2013, 12:25 AM
I love all flavors of brown bear... from 9mm to .223, 7.62 x 39 and .308

Sebastian the Ibis
February 14, 2013, 12:29 AM
It works just fine. Its what AK's were designed to shoot.

primalmu
February 14, 2013, 12:31 AM
Barnaul produced ammunition for the Russian army during WWII. Presumably it also produced ammunition afterward for the AK-47. According to their website, they still produce military ammunition. I think you'll be fine. ;)

bigfatdave
February 14, 2013, 01:03 AM
Brown Bear is fine for anything that runs steelcase

Myers431
February 14, 2013, 01:16 AM
I run Silver Bear when possible, but have not had any issues with Brown Bear when used. Silver Bear is a little easier to spot spent cases for cleanup.

sixgunner455
February 14, 2013, 04:20 AM
I like Barnaul ammo for russian-chambered weapons. I seek it out for my Makarov, and when I had an SKS, for that, too.

Not the most accurate ammo in the world from that SKS, but then again, it wasn't the most accurate rifle I've ever owned, either. The Makarov shoots it well.

Aaron1100us
February 14, 2013, 04:55 AM
I shoot Brown bear 7.62x54R in my Tiger. No problems so far.

Sent from my PB99400 using Tapatalk 2

henschman
February 14, 2013, 01:11 PM
I wouldn't hesitate for a second to run it in an AK. I prefer Golden Tiger, but in this market, you take what you can get!

Dr. Sandman
February 14, 2013, 01:26 PM
DCARCH-
What do you mean by fairly reasonable prices?

Asking what kind of ammo to feed your AK is like asking what kind of meat to feed your dog. The dog's not gonna care! From what you have posted, you should look into an AR-15. You'll fit right in with those guys!

Deer_Freak
February 14, 2013, 01:27 PM
I have tried Brown Bear ammo in my 7.62 x 54R. It shoots far better than any milsurp ammo. It gives me no problems feeding or extracting. At 200 yards I can put almost every shot on a paper plate with the stock military sight. When I do shoot off the plate I know I pulled off the target before I go look at it. That accuracy is about all you can ask of a 90/31 Mosin Nagant. I shot a deer with a 203 gr SP just to see how the SP performs. The wound was very comparable to a 30/06. I shot the deer in the neck. The deer went down instantly. My shot hit about one inch above the deer's spine. The meat was bruised well past the spine and the exit wound ripped the deer's throat open.

Jackal
February 14, 2013, 01:32 PM
Most people prefer Bear ammo over Wolf.

kerreckt
February 14, 2013, 01:39 PM
I believe the only difference between the 3 bears is the coating or finish on the case. Everything else is the same. So there shouldn't be any difference in accuracy. As long as it feeds and ejects you're good to go.

fallout mike
February 14, 2013, 01:57 PM
I have shot brown, silver, and gold in a few different guns. Never had a problem yet.

dcarch
February 14, 2013, 04:29 PM
Asking what kind of ammo to feed your AK is like asking what kind of meat to feed your dog. The dog's not gonna care! From what you have posted, you should look into an AR-15. You'll fit right in with those guys!
You know, one of the most core things my dad taught me was that you take care of your possessions. You change the oil in your truck. You vacuum your house. You clean your rifle regularly. You store it safely and keep excess moisture out of the area you keep it in. I'm not an elitist, I simply want to make my weapon work as reliably as possible and last as long as I possibly can. I also don't have a lot in the way of spare funds, so I prefer to use better ammo when I can if it is comparable in price to lower quality stuff. If that makes me a snob, then I guess that's what I am.

whetrock
February 14, 2013, 06:10 PM
Had some Silver Bear 7.62x54R (203 Grain I think) and it was impressively accurate out of my 1932 Hex Izzy, stuff shot about 4.5-5MOA which was better than the little surplus I've tried. Not mind bending accuracy by any means, but for an old 91/30 I was happy.

Fleetman
February 15, 2013, 10:25 AM
I've used Brown Bear in my AK with zero issues....make sure you clean the chamber well, particularly after rapid fire since the laquer finish can transfer to the chamber (when very hot) and eventually build up and cause extraction difficulties.....not a catastrophic problem just simple extraction issues requiring cleaning.

Quentin
February 15, 2013, 11:39 AM
You know, one of the most core things my dad taught me was that you take care of your possessions. You change the oil in your truck. You vacuum your house. You clean your rifle regularly. You store it safely and keep excess moisture out of the area you keep it in. I'm not an elitist, I simply want to make my weapon work as reliably as possible and last as long as I possibly can. I also don't have a lot in the way of spare funds, so I prefer to use better ammo when I can if it is comparable in price to lower quality stuff. If that makes me a snob, then I guess that's what I am.

Sounds like a good philosophy your dad passed on. Just don't overclean which is damaging. I've run Wolf, Tula, Bears and old surplus with no problem. And let my AK and ARs get pretty dirty. I think you'll be pleased with Brown Bear.

Dr. Sandman
February 15, 2013, 12:29 PM
Do you mind telling us what you mean by "fairly reasonable prices"?

45lcshooter
February 15, 2013, 01:10 PM
When I had my SKS and AK all I fed it was Wolf and Wolf Military. When I couldn't find that ammo, there was always Brown Bear on the shelf and I wondered why. Well after a magazine I found out why, constant jamming in both rifles. And buddies rifles too only had problem with Brown Bear and the Bear lineup of ammunition.

We cleaned out guns on a regular basis, so that couldn't have been the issue. I guess just bad ammo, and they were all different lots, of ammo. Not the same lot number in the guns.

ldlfh7
February 15, 2013, 01:24 PM
Not bad ammo, fairly accurate for the price, but the lacquered cases get hot and leave a nasty residue behind in your rifle. Better than no ammo though.

dcarch
February 16, 2013, 01:14 AM
"Fairly reasonable" is seven dollars for a box of twenty. I think that's reasonable, considering how unstable the market's been.

theriflespeaks1863
February 16, 2013, 03:47 AM
I've always had good luck with Barnaul/Brow Bear- my 1942 91/30 eats it like candy- I use the 203 gr. Soft-Point loads for hunting, and they do MORE than enough for Wisconsin Whitetails. I use the 174 gr. "Match" FMJ Boat-Tails for target, on occasion. I shot this 4-shot 50yd group over the summer with those loads:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=179804&stc=1&d=1361000365

That's roughly 2 MOA, by my math. (The fifth shot was dumped WAY low on accident- it was hot, and I was shooting in a T-shirt...:fire::cuss: ) Better than you'd expect out of some battle rifles.

I've never had any problems (less one sticky bolt incident- but that was because it was pushin' 95 degrees out...) with the ammunition, and it's been good to me so far!

okiewita40
February 16, 2013, 07:45 AM
I think all the bear ammo is gtg.

dcarch
February 16, 2013, 01:06 PM
Excellent. I'll pick some up, and once things thaw out a bit here, I'll let you all know what kinda results I got!

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