Russian ammo and rifling

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677
Location
USA
Does Russian ammo such as Tulammo, Wolf, Herters (Made by Wolf, who makes Tulammo) wear down rifling in a barrel quicker than most other ammo? I heard the copper jacketing is VERY thin and the steel underneath will make contact with the barrel, wearing it down much quicker. Is this true? I just ordered 1800 rounds of Tulammo in spam cans.
 
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13,073
Location
North Carolina
I have russian surplus ammo in 7.62x 54r and its also steel core. I have no idea about barrel wear. Iwould think if you wear through the lead and the jacket the ballistics would be terrible. Indoor gun ranges don't like steel core ammo because it penetrates more and if the the steel core is exposed on contact with concrete , it could spark.
 
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2,500
Location
Dallas, Texas
False. Mild steel which is unhardened won't wear out a barrel (much) faster. The barrel steel is much much harder and made of better material. Steel is cheaper and easier to find than lead. Although a copper jacketed lead swaged bullet will more easily engraved, it is much like reloading Barnes bullets compared to traditional cup in core designs. The pressure curve is different. For things that are low pressure like the 7.62x39 it really doesnt matter. In 5.56 and 7.62 calibers... perhaps it matters more. How many thousands of rounds do you fire a year?
 
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2,439
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Frankfort, Kentucky
Last I checked Tula is non-corrosive. Last bullets I pulled from the dirt showed no holes in the copper. Highly doubt the rifling will be rough enough to get through the jacket.
 
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3,202
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Far North East Texas
Back when the SKS rifles first became popular and the 7.62x39 ammo was steel cored & *cheap*(mostly Chinese I think), I saw quite a few of those steel cores after they had been separated from their jackets by firing through steel plate or pipe. Diameter looked about .22 caliber. I've no idea of steel-core diameter on currently sold Russian ammo, but if about the same as that old Chinese ammo it won't be a problem at all. If the current Russian ammo's copper jacket isn't much more than a plating, then the bore will wear somewhat faster, but as stated above, not as much as you might think.
 
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260
Location
indiana, usa
Luckygunner.com did a test which you can find with a quick search, including pics and graphs. They sell all brands of ammo including russian, so they had nothing to gain by skewing the results (I have no affiliation). The tests they did were conducted in 5.56 pitting ruskie ammo against US sourced ammo, and in that particular caliber at least, which is both high velocity and high pressure, there was indeed some loss in barrel life-as much as two thirds worst case scenario, IIRC. The small bore/high speed barrels don't have the greatest lifespan to begin with though, and I'd have less concern about it in a pistol, love the silver bear 380. I keep Tula and Wolf as part of my stash, but with Uncle Sam supplying most of my practice ammo, it's for SHTF only.
 
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5,653
Location
Central IA
Originally Posted By: kwooten31
Just make sure to clean your firearm thoroughly after use, they are very corrosive and dirty...
Only if it is surplus. While most of the western world went away from corrosive primers decades ago, the Warsaw Pact nations continued to use it for a long time because it tends to store longer. While most non corrosive ammo starts to have "unacceptable" failure rates around 25 to 30 years after manufacture, the corrosive stuff is still relatively reliable 100 years later if stored correctly. I am still shooting 8mm Mauser surplus from ww2. I have shot tens of thousands of various new production Ruskie ammo and never had any sign of corrosion in my bore.
 

lawman1909

Thread starter
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677
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USA
Generally only about 500-1000 a year. But i shoot shotgun/rifle more often. I got caught with my pants down in early 2013 and had 100 rounds of 9mm left. So i bought the 2 spam cans incase we have another shortage.
 
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6,638
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South Florida
Originally Posted By: lawman1909
Does Russian ammo such as Tulammo, Wolf, Herters (Made by Wolf, who makes Tulammo)
Wolf is an American company. They don't MAKE anything. They are simply an importer of ammo. Similar to Herters, who also doesn't make anything and just imports ammo.
 
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2,440
Location
snowblind in TX
Ditto on the above posts about bore wear with cheap copper plated steel projectiles. Stuff is fine for SHTF........after the SHTF, but I wouldn't use it for practice except to fire a couple of mags to verify the rifle works properly with that ammo. No idea on differences in bore wear between chrome and non chrome barrels with steel projectiles, but chrome chambers make a difference with steel cases as far as extraction is concerned. I should say "can" make a difference depending on chamber finish/smoothness.
 
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Central IA
Originally Posted By: bubbatime
Here is the luckygunner article. They state that barrel wear is practically doubled or tripled shooting steel case ammo in a .223 rifle. They had such bad luck with Tula ammo that they stopped using it mid test. Too many malfunctions. http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/brass-vs-steel-cased-ammo/
There are also a ton of posts about others that have experienced nothing like that test with regular use. The fact is that bi metal bullets have been used in AK's since the 50's and do not excessively wear out barrels. U.S. Military arms used bi metal bullets in ww2 when traditional materials were in short supply and noticed only a slight increase in wear. Germany used it for their 8mm Mausers, MG's, and other arms with no ill effects. If you have a quality barrel, and especially one that is chrome lined, you won't see any noticeable difference unless you use it as a lead...or in this case, a steel hose. The test was done more in the form of an extreme torture test. If you plow through tons of ammo in a day and run a gun hot and abuse it you will burn out the barrel much faster, especially on a higher pressure round like the 223/5.56 where you will erode the throat out faster. My Colt AR has seen thousands of Ruskie rounds with no issue to barrel wear. Same goes for my AK, my SKS's, and my mausers. Maybe I will get a thousand less rounds out of a barrel when it is all said and done. But if there was a problem with this ammo, so many armed forces in so many parts of the world, especially first class ones, like the USA and Germany would not have used them. The US Army was especially very stringent back in the days they used bi metal ammo on their standards.
 
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260
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indiana, usa
Originally Posted By: Robenstein
Originally Posted By: bubbatime
Here is the luckygunner article. They state that barrel wear is practically doubled or tripled shooting steel case ammo in a .223 rifle. They had such bad luck with Tula ammo that they stopped using it mid test. Too many malfunctions. http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/brass-vs-steel-cased-ammo/
There are also a ton of posts about others that have experienced nothing like that test with regular use. The fact is that bi metal bullets have been used in AK's since the 50's and do not excessively wear out barrels. U.S. Military arms used bi metal bullets in ww2 when traditional materials were in short supply and noticed only a slight increase in wear. Germany used it for their 8mm Mausers, MG's, and other arms with no ill effects. If you have a quality barrel, and especially one that is chrome lined, you won't see any noticeable difference unless you use it as a lead...or in this case, a steel hose. The test was done more in the form of an extreme torture test. If you plow through tons of ammo in a day and run a gun hot and abuse it you will burn out the barrel much faster, especially on a higher pressure round like the 223/5.56 where you will erode the throat out faster. My Colt AR has seen thousands of Ruskie rounds with no issue to barrel wear. Same goes for my AK, my SKS's, and my mausers. Maybe I will get a thousand less rounds out of a barrel when it is all said and done. But if there was a problem with this ammo, so many armed forces in so many parts of the world, especially first class ones, like the USA and Germany would not have used them. The US Army was especially very stringent back in the days they used bi metal ammo on their standards.
That is why I stressed the 5.56 in said tests. The 5.56 with its large powder charge to bore diameter ratio makes it hard on rifling with a true copper jacket to begin with. All that high pressure flame being pushed down the tiny pipe to act like a cutting torch doesn't help with barrel life. The AK and pistol rounds are moving a heck of a lot slower than 5.56, hence why I don't have any concern about Ruskie rounds in my pistols (I don't own an AK). As for the AR, if you haven't had any problems, by all means I don't blame you for saving a few bucks on ammo, and the Colt AR is one of the best of the bunch. Just remember that everyone has a different method for calling it quits on a barrel. For some, it's when the rifle no longer cloverleafs at 200 yards, and for others it's when their AR becomes a smoothbore.
 
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