NATO surplus 7.62x51

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by redfin00, Jun 12, 2021.

  1. redfin00

    redfin00 Member

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    This ammo being 40 years old,safe to shoot?Hirtenberger boxer or bred an. Thanks!
     
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  2. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Welcome to THR, redfin00!

    Should be Berdan and should be just fine to shoot.

    Hirtenberger has a reputation as excellent 7.62x51NATO.

    Enjoy! :)
     
  3. redfin00

    redfin00 Member

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    Thanks,glad to be here.Yes berdan didn’t check auto correct.The boxer is easier to reload they say,the berdan not so much?No difference in shooting,one better than other?Saw THR on Survivalist board post
     
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  4. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    Welcome - and make a point of checking in regularly - always lots of good info here (as well as folks skilled enough to spot and call out BS when it occurs).
     
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  5. tark

    tark Member

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    There is no difference in performance between boxer primed ammo and berdan. But reloading berdan is just, simply, a pain in the ass compared to boxer primed ammo. If the ammo has been stored correctly it will be just fine to shoot.

    And welcome to the monkey house!!!
     
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  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Berdan primed cases are difficult to reload with equipment and components readily available in the USA. I would consider them disposable.
     
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  7. redfin00

    redfin00 Member

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    Thanks!
     
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  8. lightman

    lightman Member

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    Welcome Aboard! I agree with the others, your ammo should shoot just fine. Berdan primed cases can be reloaded but as plentiful as 7.62/308 brass is I wouldn't go to the trouble.
     
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  9. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    It's generally good enough as general military ammo.
    Some boxes shoot better than others, so keep that in mind.
     
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  10. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    The primary difficulty in reloading berdan-primed cases is related to the decapping process(removing the expended primer cups from the cases).

    Boxer-primed cases sport a single, centered flashhole so a centered decapping pin mounted in the resizing die does the trick.

    Berdan cases feature 2 (and, rarely 3, I have read) flashholes so removal is not as simple. From what I have determined by investigating the subject, a hydraulic approach appears to be the most efficient decapping method, but I have yet to find a proper berdan case hydraulic decapper available for purchase in the States, so ... :(
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
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  11. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    FWIW, Ian and Karl at InrangeTV use surplus Hirtenberger as their economy 7.62 NATO ammo of choice. Halfway through this vid Karl specifically mentions this ammo:

     
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  12. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    As long as the ammo isn't severely discolored/corroded, shoot it. Worst thing that could happen is it won't fire.
     
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  13. redfin00

    redfin00 Member

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    Thanks for the video,researched a bit but never saw that one!Was in Visalia 2006-2008 on a job.Neat place,thanks. Again!
     
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  14. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Just check it for corrosion spots or other deterioration... but I think you'll be fine. Hirt is supposed to be pretty good stuff... I've not shot any, I've always had other surplus.
     
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  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Most I have seen (illustrated) were home built.

    A friend's .450 BPE came with a couple of boxes of Kynoch brass. Actually .450 Nitro, but the chamber is the same. There was one live round which he pulled, it would have been a large overload in the BPE, and there was one .500 mixed in with the .450s; so he had nine cases to start out with, eight of them fired.
    We decapped them the low-tech way, clamp the sizing die upside down in a vise and dig the primer out with an awl driven into the indent at a flat angle to avoid hitting the anvil.
    Correct size Berdan primers were available at the time, I don't know if they are now.

    Fortunately, Bell was setting up for .450 and he bought a supply of those for Boxer primers and loading got a lot more convenient.

    The few handloaders in England now seem dependent on US equipment but there used to be a small but innovative English industry. Wamadet made a little press that bridged the gap between hand and bench tools and the Prime press was said to be so powerful as to size .30-06 to 8x33 in one pass. Both were meant for small English houses, the Wamadet is small enough to store in a kitchen cabinet, its dies and accessories in a shoebox. The high leverage Prime came on a sturdy steel tripod you could set up next to a card table. Then set it in a corner and throw a drape over when not in use.

    Prime had several designs of Berdan decappers.
    The Hydro Punch put a nozzle through the case neck firmly against the flash hole so that a whack on its piston with a mallet would hydraulic decap with one drop of water.
    The Power Punch set a nozzle against the flash hole and popped a primer, literally firing the spent primer out of its pocket. Using one primer to decap and one to reload made it a convenient but expensive approach.

    There was also a pin decapping spindle for a sizing die. It had a collet holding two small pins, adjustable to match the distance between the Berdan flash holes. Left loose in its threads, you eased the case into the die and manipulated the decapping spindle to feel the pins into the holes. Then stroke the press to decap and size like a Boxer case.
     
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  16. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    Visalia's a nice town -- I used to drive down there pretty regularly during the mid-90s, when there was a neat downtown store selling militaria and firearms.
     
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  17. vkeith

    vkeith Member

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    IIRC, 70s and earlier Hirtenberger is Berdan primed and 80s and up Hirtenberger is Boxer primed.

    Both are good shooting surplus ammo.

    I ordered some a while back and it was listed as 80s production Boxer primed and that's exactly what it is.
    IMG_20210613_191604423.jpg
     
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  18. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Huh. That ... is very interesting. Does the headstamp on that 80 Hirt bear the NATO mark? Just wondering if it is milsurp or a non-military-specific production.

    I have unsuccessfully looked thru my invoices pile. Last time ordered a case of Hirt was, like, 15-16 years ago. At the time I had a ton (OK, maybe only half a ton :)) of berdan milsurp 7.62x51Nato. The pricing was excellent if it came in boxer brass but not so much if it were berdan (reloader, dontchaknow).

    I recall it was advertised as boxer-primed and, being skeptical of the claim, when it was delivered I immediately pulled a bullet to check. Berdan. :(

    I am pretty sure that the headstamp was early 80s, possibly 80(?).

    Now it sounds to me like the vendor (and I) may have inadvertently gotten caught between product changes. <sigh> Shouganai. :)
     
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  19. Nature Boy
    • Contributing Member

    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    The ones I shot we’re good quality, with good quality brass that was boxer primed. Great for reloading
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
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  20. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    There was. Dude over on the M14 forum documents everything, and some of his data shows some Hirt as boxer primed. I would have to dig through his posts to see if it was NATO, but I don't know if there was anything but.
     
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  21. redfin00

    redfin00 Member

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    Thanks for the replies,was helping an older friend on this,he has trouble with computers and online.Got him an order for some today,will let you know when it arrives and is shot.I am not savy to stripper clips and bandolier as he is but looks pretty cool to me!
     
  22. vkeith

    vkeith Member

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    I ordered it from Aimsurplus back in January.

    Their description of it on the order was:

    A308HIRT

    Austrian Hirtenberger 7.62x51 400rd Can Milsurp on stripper clips and bandoliers

    The page for it said it was 80s production Boxer primed Austrian surplus


    IMG_20210614_223059585.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
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  23. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    FWIW, on a reasonably-priced (price/round) case of ammo, original stripper clips & bandoleers are usually considered to be a plus. :)

    ===============

    redfin00, I must confess to finding myself a bit nonplussed by all of the info being shared regarding Hirt being boxer-primed.

    If I provided you with inaccurate information, I apologize.

    I am beginning to wonder if the case of milsurp ammo about which I was thinking may have actually been either DAG or MEN headstamped. <sigh & smile> It was 15-16 years ago, after all, and I am afflicted with O.L.D. and have gone thru a lot of many different "flavors" of 7.62x51 ammo ... so not beyond the realm of possibility. ;)

    I just returned from my basement where I did a quick & rough inventory of my extant 7.62x51 milsurp ammunition. All that remains (in QTY) is British, Portuguese, S'thAfrican and Venezuelan(IIRC). No sign of Hirt or DAG or MEN.

    I was surprised to find that I currently have less than 10k rounds on-hand which is OK since I have slowed down quite a bit.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
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  24. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    On ammunition that old, pull a couple of bullets and examine the inside of the cases for corrosion, and look at the bottom of the bullets

    aez1i91.jpg

    ammunition showing this level of corrosion is dangerous to shoot. Old gunpowder does not burn nice and evenly, it is called burn rate instability and it has blown up weapons. Take a look at this video.

    RN-50 Blow-Up




    This is an interesting video that clearly shows the dangerous of old ammunition, and everyone who is involved in it, and everyone who has commented on it, none of them have any idea that old gunpowder will blow up weapons.

    And the thing that jumped out to me were the immense fireballs, and finally the gun blew up.

    The guy from Kentucky Ballistics says in the video that the “Slap round was very, very old”

    And there you have it. Old ammunition with old gunpowder inside.

    With ammunition as old as yours, shoot it up. Don't sit on it thinking it is going to get better with age, it won't

    Sometimes, really new ammunition goes bad.

    L8kgoDc.jpg

    tfiWcGc.jpg
     
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  25. Jerry M

    Jerry M Member

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    The guy with the .50 tired something called a 'slap' round. My understanding is that the round was very high pressure, like a proof round. Something you would not normal shoot.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
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