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Brown Bear vs. Silver Bear vs. Golden Bear?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by philpost, May 31, 2010.

  1. philpost

    philpost Well-Known Member

    Besides the $, can anyone clarify the difference?
  2. migkillertwo

    migkillertwo Well-Known Member

    Silver Bear is zinc-coated steel cased, golden-bear is brass-coated steel cased ammo, and brown-bear is just laquer coated steel-cased ammo.

    Some people say that the laquer sometimes melts and gums up your action. This is BS. even if you held the laquer-case under a blow-torch it wouldn't melt, so it won't melt under firing.

    Also, Silver-bear is slightly hotter (more powerful) than brown-bear. This is good not necessarily because it is more lethal, but because it is much less likely to cause "short-stroking", where there isn't enough gas going into the gas key to move the bolt backwards and chamber another round.

    I've never seen golden-bear .223 ammo, so get silver bear, or get PMC (its not really that expensive)
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Silver Bear will corrode badly if it gets wet. That's all I know. Never shot any steel ammo for serious work. Just cheap blasting/plinking at the range in my AK. I have shot Brown Bear and Golden Bear and they work just fine. They will not corrode if they get wet.
  4. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Well-Known Member

    Post #2 is correct, and I don't know anything contrary to #3, I just haven't gotten bear ammo wet. A few things to add:

    -lacquer cased ammo works fine to great in many firearms, including AKMs and HK91/G3/CETME types
    -some or all recent Brown Bear production has the gray polymer coating that Wolf has been using for a few years, not lacquer
    -in my experience Brown Bear is typically better than Wolf (black box, russian, steel-cased) in accuracy and consistency, though that isn't saying a whole lot
  5. philpost

    philpost Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the feedback, I just wanted to stock up for an Appleseed - sounds like Brown Bear will do the trick.
  6. M1key

    M1key Well-Known Member

    In 223, the 62 soft points seem to be more accurate than hp or fmj.
  7. philpost

    philpost Well-Known Member

    BTW, I'm shooting 7.62
  8. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Well-Known Member

    Stock up on a brick of Federal 550 bulk instead. From all accounts, you will be shooting fairly close range (emphasis on position shooting, sight picture, proper handling, et cetera) so a centerfire isn't really needed. Nothing wrong with one, but a good semi-automatic .22LR will save you a bit of loot.

    If you are set on using the .223Rem. then the three little bears have done well for me. I like Golden Bear the best, but really have no complaints out of any Barnaul manufactured ammunition (just don't have tack-driving expectations for accuracy).

  9. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Well-Known Member

    All of it is better than Wolf IMO.
  10. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    I will say this; I shoot tons of all the above stuff, and I will say the silver bear is allways the most accurate.
  11. SGW42

    SGW42 Well-Known Member

    Is laquer coated steel okay to run through a bolt gun? I picked up some Barnaul .308 on the cheap and was planning on using it to practice with my M77.
  12. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Well-Known Member

    Should work fine in a bolt gun. I ran some Silver Bear through my Rem 700 and it worked just fine.
  13. philpost

    philpost Well-Known Member

    I'm bringing one as well, but I hoped for one day of using the AK, just to really familiarize myself with it.
  14. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Well-Known Member

    I choose Silver when I can get it, because it's cheaper than Gold and nicer than Brown. Nothing against any of them.

    Especially in straight-sided rounds, the Brown Bear does 'feel' a little 'sticky', to me. Very much doubt it's the lacquer melting, think it's just more likely to hold onto dirt or fouling, or that the lacquer is softer than the other coatings and thus imparts more friction against chamber walls once the case has expanded. Or if it's true that Silver is loaded hotter, so just comes free more definitively.

    No harm either way, and didn't seem to leave any crud that wasn't the usual burnt powder. They all function fine. Results on the business end are lacking, compared to domestic stuff.
  15. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Well-Known Member

    Nothing wrong with that (of course there is nothing wrong with using it for your primary if you really wanted to). Be safe and have fun.

    That's funny, my local shop sells the Golden and Silver at the same price (slightly more than Brown). It does make since now that I think of it though.


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