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View Full Version : What's the Scoop on AK47 Ammo?


sstephenson
07-20-2012, 3:07 PM
Hey guys. I bought my first AK-47 this morning, and I figure that its high time that I figure out what all the talk is about 7.62 x 39 ammo. Clean vs dirty. Corrosive vs non-corrosive. Brass vs steel. Berdan vs boxer. Laquer coated vs non-laquer coated. Magnetic vs non-magnetic.

I'm looking for inexpensive ammo that I can shoot a few hundred rounds a day without gumming up the works too badly. Something non-corrosive that shoots reasonably clean. While the ability to reload would be nice, non-reloadable is fine if its more cost effective that way. I know that there are a zillion threads stating that ammo "x" is dirty, ammo "y" is steel cased, etc., but I don't see any good comparisons between brands "x" and "y". Based on my criteria of shooting cheap and keeping my rifle corrosion free and relatively clean, what are my best choices in ammo brands and what do you like about it? Thanks!

By the way, I don't think the range where I shoot cares if the ammo is magnetic or not.

XDRoX
07-20-2012, 3:14 PM
I like the cheap Wolf stuff. Non corrosive but not really reloadable.

Dark Mod
07-20-2012, 3:48 PM
Are there ranges or BLM land in your area where you can shoot magnetic ammo? If so, go to town with the cheapest stuff you can find.

If not you will need to buy expensive brass cased ammo and probably want to think about reloading it.

Heres the deal:

Corrosive ammo isnt that big of a deal, just clean your rifle regularly and your good to go. Mostly older surplus thats corrosive.

Magnetic: if its magnetic it probably means it has a steel core. Its great ammo, but outlawed at most ranges since it makes a spark when it hits.

Wolf, Tula, Brown bear, Golden Dragon etc... are all modern production steel core stuff. Its super cheap, Great quality, and probably a little dirtier than your used to. If you can get away with it i would shoot this stuff all day.

Surplus ammo is better in my opinion. Sometimes even cheaper, but often corrosive. This is probably superior quality to alot of the stuff you will be shooting regularly. Dont let the corrosive label bother you too much, its not that big of a deal.

The steel cases arent reloadable for the most part, but if your shooting it, it means you dont have to reload it. I wouldnt reload this cartridge if i could shoot the cheap stuff.

Brass cased ammo is really expensive, reloading definatley brings the cost down.

I wouldnt worry about the quality of ammo you shoot. Lube your AK with some sand and superglue, find the cheapest ammo you can, and go to town. It can get extremely dirty and you still wont notice an impact in function. Similarly, you can feed it the cheapest crap ammo you can find and it will still work great.

Wolf even works great in my AR, and they are notoriously more finicky rifles. I do notice that this stuff is Dirty, but who cares, gotta clean the rifle anyway.

sstephenson
07-20-2012, 3:53 PM
Thanks guys! Great info.

CSACANNONEER
07-20-2012, 3:55 PM
It's an AK. It'll shoot whatever you feed it. As far as corrosive ammo goes, it depends on where you live. I've shot some trough a few of my AKs and haven't cleaned them for a couple years. They show no signs of corrosion.

ejhc11
07-20-2012, 3:55 PM
AKs were designed to eat anything especially Eastern-bloc country berdan corrosive dirty ammo.

On the other hand my AR15s are fed a diet of non-corrosive brass cased ammo. I like feeding them my handloads for the extra special treatment. Ultra-accurate compared to an AK.

Cowboy T
07-20-2012, 6:55 PM
Tulammo, Golden Tiger, Brown/Silver Bear, Wolf/WPA, etc. It's all pretty cheap, though not readily reloadable. Also, any milsurp corrosive 7.62x39, which is also pretty cheap. Apparently some folks don't clean their guns after firing corrosive ammo, but I always do.

sstephenson
07-20-2012, 6:57 PM
How do I know the difference between corrosive and non-corrosive? I plan to clean my rifle after each outing, but I'd like to know anyway.

big ron
07-20-2012, 7:02 PM
surplus ammo is corrosive.

CSACANNONEER
07-20-2012, 7:51 PM
How do I know the difference between corrosive and non-corrosive? I plan to clean my rifle after each outing, but I'd like to know anyway.

AKs aren't ment to be cleaned often. Once or twice before shooting out a barrel should be more than enough.

Cowboy T
07-20-2012, 8:12 PM
AKs aren't ment to be cleaned often. Once or twice before shooting out a barrel should be more than enough.

Sounds like how a lot of Ruger 10/22's are treated. :-D

I know what you're saying, and I understand why, but I've got to disagree. I've seen AK's rust before after shooting corrosive ammo and not having those salts washed out. Even though it's an AK, "you take care of your firearm, it'll take care of you."

zfields
07-20-2012, 8:16 PM
Magnetic: if its magnetic it probably means it has a steel core. Its great ammo, but outlawed at most ranges since it makes a spark when it hits.

Wolf, Tula, Brown bear, Golden Dragon etc... are all modern production steel core stuff. Its super cheap, Great quality, and probably a little dirtier than your used to. If you can get away with it i would shoot this stuff all day
Copper washed steel jacked, still lead core.


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Cowboy T
07-20-2012, 8:19 PM
Copper washed steel jacked, still lead core.


Yep, +1, that modern ammo is lead core. Sadly, that copper-washed steel jacket does spark when it hits concrete or cinder-block at high-speed.

sstephenson
07-20-2012, 8:21 PM
AKs aren't ment to be cleaned often. Once or twice before shooting out a barrel should be more than enough.

:jump:

iano1
07-20-2012, 8:49 PM
I've always bought Golden Tiger-I hear Wolfs pretty similar?

DRAB_81
07-20-2012, 8:53 PM
I agree with everyone else. AK's are HUNGRY animals. You can feed them ANYTHING, they will be happy eating anything you put in front of them. I've had great luck with Brown Bear 123gr FMJ & HP. It's dirty, but who cares? I've been able to shoot 2-3" groups offhand @ 50yds, and 2-3" off a rest with the standard iron sights.

Kinsel83
07-20-2012, 8:55 PM
Go to SGammo.com and pick whatever is the best deal. They are fast shippers and I think they have one of the best prices on ammo. My opinion tho.

stilly
07-20-2012, 9:14 PM
...Magnetic: if its magnetic it probably means it has a steel core. Its great ammo, but outlawed at most ranges since it makes a spark when it hits.

...

???

Like, when it hits a tree the metal throws sparks off of the wood? Or when it hits the weeds it throws sparks? Or when it tunnels into the dirt it throws sparks?

I thought this stuff was outlawed because it was considered armor piercing and would need a good backstop. Now I am :confused: and the fabric of my space-time continuim is unraveling...

If it is a ball enclosed inside of lead and copper how does it manage to get sparks out?

I have not shot at any inner city ranges where they have cinder blocks and concrete floors to shoot at.

I have fed my AK all kinds of stuff though and it loves it all. DESPITE what the gunsmith used to yell at me for using that steel shelled crap...

SKS liked it all too...

As far as corosive ammo goes, if your AK has a chrome lined barrel then you are THAT much more protected. You can prolly go a week or two before clenaing it. Either way you should still clean it out but corosive stuff sometimes needs boiling water poured down the barrel to get the salts out. That is how I cleaned my PPSH-41 from the evil corosive ammo I have put through it. AND if I did not clean it after about 2 days it was rusting up on me... The good thing is that the boiling water heats up the metal and evaps right off when it is out so just let it sit for about 10 minutes and then clean it like normal.

zfields
07-21-2012, 12:41 AM
I've always bought Golden Tiger-I hear Wolfs pretty similar?

Golden tiger IMO is the best quality new production import steel cased ammo. Not only does it have primer and case mouth sealent, it tends to run a little faster/hotter, it seems to be a bit more consistant and cleaner.

Steel jacket is NOT armor piercing.

Also, a gunsmith that doesn't know AKs and SKS rifles are built to run steel ammo doesn't sound like he knows Jack from his own ***.

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