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Discussion Starter #1
A while ago, the subject of .308 surplus ammo came up. Someone asked about Indian surplus. I replied and said that Indian ammo is nfg.

I am not the only one who feels this way. Just read this:


http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=6&f=7&t=184838

I will never understand some folks. Why shoot cheap, crummy ammo through a valuable rifle? I suppose there are some folks who would fuel a Ferrari with kerosene.

Mad
 

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i'm glad i saw that post!! I bought 800 rds of surplus ammo for the mosin i got...i am going to have to start checking them before i pack them to go shoot...what are some signs of wear and tear i should pay attention for taht would cause an accident like that?

-Brian Shields
 

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Good post, Mad! I had (unfortunately :() to use some surplus ammo, and it should be used with utmost care.
One example is our 7.62x54R army rounds with so-called "D-bullet" (D stands for heavier bullet). Many of my army buddies claimed it to have better wind resistance than standard rounds. The problem is that last stocks of those rounds were produced more than 40 years ago. And I had seen lots of problems with that ammo, including bullet stuck and "slowshot" (when powder burns, but bullet stays in the chamber), and at least 3 SVDs damaged due to use of old ammo.
Cheap stuff remains cheap, whichever it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It is easy to produce bad ammo. The Indians are not the only ones. Years ago there was a lot of French .45 ACP ammo that lacked powder!!

There's good surplus ammo and bad surplus ammo. Here's how to tell the difference. Look at the cases. Are they bright and shiny? If you see any evidence of corrosion, avoid the ammo. Inspect the primers. Are they seated flush? Inspect the cases. Are any of the cases split?

Then you might disassemble a few rounds at random. Use an intertial bullet puller. (Caution: Never use an intertial bullet puller for rimfire ammo!) Examine the powder grains from the different rounds. Do they look the same? And weigh the powder charges. Are they the same or similar in weight?

Measure the length of loaded rounds using dial calipers. Are the rounds loaded to the same or similar overall length? If you have access to a digital scale, weigh some loaded rounds. Are the loaded rounds identical or similar in weight?

If the rounds are not uniform, avoid the ammo.

When you pull a few bullets, check to see what kind of sealant was used. Tar sealants are bad news in roller locked delayed blowback weapons.

Finally, ask yourself who made the ammo. Check the headstamp using a copy of Jane's Infantry Weapons of the World. There is a chapter there on headstamps. If the ammo was loaded in a country where you would only drink bottled water, you might consider avoiding the ammo.

There are certain headstamps that you can trust immediately. You can always trust Norma, Lapua and any of the Scandinavian ammo makers. Years ago, I had some Swedish military ammo made by Norma and it was lovely stuff. Belgian FN ammo is also excellent.

Another way to find good ammo is to look at the price. If it is really cheap, you don't want it.

And if you find really bad ammo, you can still use it by pulling all the bullets. The bullets can be loaded into new cases together with fresh powder. Years ago, I had a bunch of old British .303 ammo. I pulled all the bullets and used them in my 7.65mm Mauser handloads. Those British rounds were miserable stuff, but I put those poor bullets out of their misery.

You may want to avoid steel cases also. Use a magnet to find them.

Steel cases tend to be tough on extractors. And certain surplus rounds are corrosive. To clean a rifle after corrosive ammo, just pour a kettle of boiling water down the bore. Stick a funnel in the chamber and hold the rifle over the bath tub. The boiling water dissolves all the corrosive clinton and the hot barrel will dry quickly. Then you just oil everything down lightly. No rust, no problem.



Mad.
 

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Good God, Kamatz, THAT is a crap! I've seen a lot of bad ammo, but that stuff beats all of them!

Mad, you nailed it - rusty case and tiny charge are most dangerous.
 

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madgunsmith said:
Use an intertial bullet puller. (Caution: Never use an intertial bullet puller for rimfire ammo!) Examine the powder grains from the different rounds. Do they look the same? And weigh the powder charges. Are they the same or similar in weight?

Measure the length of loaded rounds using dial calipers. Are the rounds loaded to the same or similar overall length? If you have access to a digital scale, weigh some loaded rounds. Are the loaded rounds identical or similar in weight?
Curious George goes to the gun show! :twisted:

Scatch Maroo
 
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