A lot of people are converting their rifles to be able to shoot Russian ammo due to its price and availability. Check out more about some of the ammunition available from this video posted by Sic Semper Gumpy that reviews a handful of commercial and surplus 5.45×39, 7.62×39 and 7.62x54R. The video transcription is below.
Hey guys, so I thought I would just show you some current surplus and commercial offerings for soviet caliber rifles at this time.
First, we have a 5.45×39 53 grain; a Russian surplus. As you can see, the case is lacquer coated and the primer is also sealed. It uses a berdan primer and a feature sealant on the neck and on the primer. In my experience this stuff has been pretty good. It is reliable as heck and as well it is fairly accurate. I’ve got no doubt that out of a bolt gun or something this could probably do a lot better than out of an AK.
Next up, is the Wolf WPA military classic 5.45×39. It is a 60 grain full metal jacket as you can see the metal is in the bare, it features no sealant. This is also berdan primed, obviously not re-loadable because it is steel. This stuff is pretty good, it is affordable and as reliable as the surplus and it is good range ammo.
Next up, is some Bulgarian 7.62×39 I think the bullet is 124 grain but I’m not sure. This stuff was produced in the 1970s-1990s. Features green sealant on the berdan primer and on the neck. The casing is made of steel and is copper plated. This stuff is very very dirty it loses a lot of residue but it’s also very consistent so you can get pretty good accuracy with this ammo if you can find it. It comes in tins that are from Bulgaria and they are marked with Hebrew but everything in the packaging is actually written in English, which I think is pretty interesting.
Next up, is the classic Yugo M67 7.62×39 this features 124 grain full metal jacket bullet. It has green sealant on the primer, the berdan primer, but not on the neck. It’s also corrosive and it’s also brass cased so you can reload this. If you want to reload a M67, you have to bore out the anvil on the primer so that you can fit a traditional rifle primer on there instead of a berdan primer. It comes in cases of 1260 and if you can find it grab it up. When it does come on market it is very available, but when it’s not you might not see it for years at a time.
This is PPU 7.62×39 soft point round nose, 123 grain. This is ideally hunting ammo, I don’t know how well it performs so I would definitely test it against a watermelon, or against some ballistic gel before actually taking it out and hunting with it. As well, this ammo is probably not ideal for semi-automatics as that soft point can get hung up. If it does get hung up and tore up, not only are your ballistics and accuracy gone, but it may jam the weapon. It features a brass case with a standard rifle primer and it’s pretty pricey but if you can find it grab it.
This is the WPA classic 7.62×39, 124 grain hollow point. This is the ammo I choose to shoot out of my CZ-527 because it is very consistent for the price. It features a steel case, no sealant on the primer or on the neck. As far as fragmentation goes, I’m not quite sure I haven’t retrieved any rounds, so I don’t know if it is suitable for hunting or not. It is also very affordable so if you can grab it get it, it performs very well.
This is some 7.62×39 TulAmmo which is very similar, if not identical, to the WPA except that this is the full metal jacket and it is only 122 grain bullets. This stuff tends to be fairly cheap, you see that tag on there I grabbed that during the craze where you couldn’t find any ammo. Right now you could probably find it for between $5-$7 a box for 20.
These are surplus offerings of 7.62x54R. The one on the left is 147 grain Russian silver tip. It features a steel core with a copper jacket and it is 147 grains. The one on the right is 1950s Russian heavy ball 182 grain ammo and it is a lead core. As you can see the older Russian stuff, the primer nor the neck are sealed, but on the newer 70s production silver tip it is actually sealed on both the primer and on the neck. Both of these perform very well PSLs cannot shoot the heavy ball because you will damage your rear trunnion so beware if you do find it. The stuff on your left comes in your traditional steel cans and the stuff on the right actually comes in steel cans that are sautered shut and they are a little bit different from the more modern military cans.
Most Russian calibers are easy to stock pile and are great for training. With new innovative products on the market that prevent corrosion, there is less fear of shooting this kind of ammo in your own rifle. For more on Russian ammo, read our Benefits of Shooting 4.45×39 Bullets in Your AR15 article.