Russian Ammo

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Themarinedoc, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. Themarinedoc

    Themarinedoc

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    I've read and heard for years about how most Russian Ammo, while pretty cheap, will ruin your gun. Ruin is interpreted a number of ways, from the metal used in the shell damaging the feed ramp and barrel of the pistol to the lacquer or sealant used around the primer gumming up the gun so badly that's it's almost impossible to clean. I had a case of Brown Bear 9mm that I was hesitant to shoot for the above reasons. Finally, this week, went out to the range to see for myself. Took two boxes of 115 gr "mixed metal" rounds and my pretty new STI DVC-C for a reality check. No misfires, good accuracy for Range ammo and cheap. No worry about saving brass for reloading because it's non-reloadable. Took the gun home for disassembly and cleaning, expecting to see a complete mess; metal remains in the barrel, grimy, black residue inside all the working parts and a slide almost ready to jam. Of course, none of the above. No dirtier than when using Winchester White box and barrel no dirtier than usual. If there was any damage, it was mico damage and not visible or obvious from a functional standpoint. In my mind, the end of a myth.
     
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  2. ScotchWhisky

    ScotchWhisky HEMIs, guns, and booze

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    Thousands of rounds of Tula ammo through my AK platform rifles, zero problems. Pretty much all I shoot in my M-70. You just want to stay away from the corrosive stuff. Used to see a bunch of that crap at gun shows for cheap.
     
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  3. paul45

    paul45

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    Well, I'm glad you figured it out for yourself, but that myth has been debunked for a long, long time.
     
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  4. FullClip

    FullClip NRA Benefactor CLM

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    Just gotta' clean the bore and chamber with vodka and all's good comrade,
     
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  5. reniram

    reniram

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    It's all I would like to use for my AKs and Maks. Many ranges don't allow steel core ammo though.
     
  6. ranger1968

    ranger1968

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    A lot of people suffer from the misinformation of the Internet and various and sundry range and gun snobs;

    You were one of those poor souls until you did what everyone should do, which is do a little research and find out for yourself....

    Kudos to you, sir, for doing what most people will not.

    On a side note, we run a lot of high round count classes, and we see a lot of people using the cheaper Russian ammo , and it goes bang every time; conversely, the (factory) ammunition we see the most problems with is Winchester white box.....
     
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  7. pblanc

    pblanc

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    I think you need to make a distinction between modern steel-case ammunition with non-corrosive primers that are currently produced in Russia, and cheap Russian surplus ammunition, the supply of which is dwindling. You might also need to base the decision on the firearm you are using the ammunition in.

    Military surplus Russian ammunition typically used primers that contained corrosive compounds like potassium chlorate and sodium petroclhorate. When ignited, these compounds left corrosive salts such as potassium chloride and sodium chloride on the bolt face and in the chamber. These salts, when combined with any moisture, accelerated oxidation of the steel surfaces unless the gun was cleaned soon after firing.

    Steel does not have the ductility and malleability of brass. A steel cartridge case often does not expand quite as well and uniformly as brass which can result in a little more carbon blow back. So in some firearms, steel case ammo can be a bit dirtier.

    Any steel case ammo needs to have the cases coated with either a lacquer or a polymer to prevent rusting. As for the issue of lacquer cooking off and leaving deposits in the chamber, I have heard some experienced rifle shooters claim they have seen clear evidence of this and others who state that it is BS. I have not noticed any obvious lacquer deposits in the chambers of the rifles and pistols I have shot steel case ammo from, so I don't know which faction to believe.

    The Russian ammunition generally uses bi-metalic projectile jackets containing a good deal of steel. These are potentially more likely to cause accelerated wear of the barrel bore. Lucky Gunner did do an exhaustive test of steel versus brass case ammunition in ARs and reported the results. The steel case ammo did cause more barrel wear, but the difference only became apparent after many thousands of rounds, and the cost savings from shooting many thousands of steel cases rounds as opposed to more expensive brass cased rounds would have paid for several new barrels.

    http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/brass-vs-steel-cased-ammo/

    Many indoor ranges do not want you to shoot the bi-metalic jacketed projectiles as they can cause more damage to bullet traps, create sparks, etc. so will ban them. They check for steel in the jackets with a magnet, so any steel case ammo, regardless of projectile jacket gets rejected. Some outdoor ranges don't want you to shoot the bi-metalic jackets at their steel targets for similar reasons.
     
  8. Lt. Donn

    Lt. Donn PSO Survivor. currently in NW Georgia

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    During the last hoarding crisis...many cases of Steel cased ammo were purchased and stored, "just in case"...never had an issue with the stuff I have put thru my Glocks...had one issue, many years ago with Blaser...but even it and the newer Fed Aluminum seems to work OK for range practice
     
  9. Themarinedoc

    Themarinedoc

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    What brought this all about was my seeing a lot of Tul, Brown Bear and some cases unmarked left on the ground at the range I go to. Also noting when I was buying ammo that a lot of the Russian ammo was sold out and you could back order. That many people couldn't be all that wrong. So figured I would try myself. I know that when I taught at the Police academy they bought the cheapest ammo you could find, non reloadable and fired in the Glock 17's we used. Those guns lasted forever and the ammo always went bang. If there was damage to the guns after many thousands of rounds, the cheap ammo more than paid for not just new barrels but new guns. The Glock Rep came out and only problem he found was that the cadets were over oiling the guns, which they did after every range session, and as anyone familiar with Glocks knows, they don't require a lot of gun oil.
     
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  10. unit1069

    unit1069

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    I've read more than a few times that steel cased ammo can damage extractors. I've never shot any except when I owned a Russian SKS, which is designed to run on it.
     
  11. gh1138

    gh1138

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    Never tried it in handguns, but thousands of rounds of Russian steel-cased ammo through AK's. Hundreds/thousands of rounds of corrosive steel-case ammo through surplus bolt-action rifles. Many friends with thousands of rounds of steel-cased through AR's with no obvious problems.

    The only problem I've experienced was running lacquered steel-case through a Mini-30. Just didn't like it for some reason. Didn't see any build-up though.

    I don't fear corrosive ammo in bolt actions. As long as you clean it thoroughly after shooting, you should be good to go. I'm afraid to use corrosive ammo in semi-autos due to all the nooks and crannies, but I have friends that run it through their AK's and SKS's with no problems, but they also clean thoroughly after shooting.
     
  12. shadowgunner9

    shadowgunner9 Free Actor

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    I had ONE round of either Wolf or Tula 5.56 which did not go BANG a couple weeks ago.
    First time ever with 5.56 or 7.62 in many thousands of rounds.
    Primer strike looked OK, but who knows. I have a LOT of steel ammo stacked deep.
     
  13. The Father

    The Father

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    Russian ammo has to be pretty damn old to be corrosive. Cheap Russian steel ammo these days is just fine. Have 1000’s rds through AR’s AK’s Glocks....no problems

    Have a few tins of 5.45 7n6 corrosive ammo for the special future occasions. Use this in the Adams Arms 5.45 AR’s. Use the extra long tipped firing pins for this stuff.
     
  14. evlbruce

    evlbruce

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    I have nothing good to say about Tula; it's incredibly dirty and inconsistent. But I'll shoot Barnaul any day of the week.
     
  15. michael_b

    michael_b Elementary, my dear Watson.

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    AKs were built with steel case in mind.
     
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  16. ga4boats917

    ga4boats917

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    I have never shot the Russian ammo (any of the above-noted brands or others), because my range does not allow it. I have shot five or six boxes of the Winchester Forged Steel Case 9mm ammo, as they allow it to be shot. The Winchester is dirty and I have seen videos and heard people here say it will not run acceptably through certain guns. I will never buy that stuff again.
     
  17. collim1

    collim1 5ft of fury. The champ is back!

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    Nope.

    I have thousands of rounds of cheap Com-bloc steel cased ammo through AK47 and SKS rifles over the years.

    Had a few duds and had some that were a little smokey, but nothing has ever hurt my rifle.

    The accuracy is even pretty good. My AK shoots 5 moa from 100 yards with iron sights prone on the ground shooting off my elbow.
     
  18. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    It’s somewhat related to this thread but I asked a local indoors range why they ban steel and aluminum casing ammo.

    Their reply was “safety reasons “. They claimed that falling steel or aluminum casings can cause spark when impacting the concrete floor and ignite the unburnt powder.
     
  19. shadowgunner9

    shadowgunner9 Free Actor

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    Sounds a bit far fetched to me- like the sticker on the gas pump telling you to turn off all electronic devices, to prevent explosions. Myth Busters busted that one years ago.
     
  20. jimcorbin

    jimcorbin

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    The only issue I have ever had with russian ammo was the primers needed to be hit a little harder. I have a Delton AR that has ran + 5k rounds of Wolf, Tula, Brown Bear ammo. When I had a few light primer strikes in a mag of new ammo, I changed out the hammer spring. BANG! Every single time now.