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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have buying whatever 7.62 x39 is cheapest and available. I have decided now that is unsatisfactory and I need to standardize ammo that I buy for SHTF scenarios. My question: Is there any real difference between 122, 123, and 124 grain 7.62 x 39? Have any of you notice differences in POI using different grains? Accuracy? What are your thoughts and recommendations?

I have decided that I want to focus on FMJ as it offers the best compromise for a SHTF scenario.
 

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The loads are not consistent enough for that small of a weight variance to matter. The rifles generally are not accurate enough for it to matter either. I think that the overall quality of the ammo and storage conditions are more important for SHTF scenarios.
 

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Stay with FMJ bullets. Many hollow points and soft points are loaded shorter than standard and can have feeding problems. The Tulammo and Wolf seem to be some of the least desirable. The Barnaul, "- Bear" brands seem better and Golden Tiger seems to be better that the Bear brands. There is some Romanian-made ammo available and some Bulgarian. I've given up on Tulammo. Brown Bear with lacquer coating is is better than the polymer coated version. Golden Bear seems slightly better than Silver Bear. Golden Tiger seems better than the other Russian brands and better than Golden Bear. The names can get confusing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Allesennogwat,

Let me get this straight since I am a slow kid. Are you saying to stay away from hollow points made by the various brands you mentioned or are you saying to stay completely away from Tulammo and Wolf no matter what ammo they are selling. If I understand correctly you are ranking them as this:

1. Golden Tiger
2. Golden Bear
3. Silver Bear
4. Brown Bear
5. Romanian/Bulgarian

Stay away from Wolf and Tulammo
 

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I have fired many of the available brands in FMJ and some hollow/soft points, I have not any trouble with any in my rifles and the grain difference will not be noticed. Reliability confidence though would be higher with FMJ since the weapons were built for that ammo and the modern bullets they are now mostly loaded with have a void in the point creating a rearward weight center that causes tumbling in soft tissue like military 5,45 is noted to supposedly do, the old M43 ammo was said to punch straight through leaving a clean wound. Look up the specs and reports on the Yugoslavian M-67 ammo and this is an example of the modern 7.62x39 projectile.
 

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I have shot thousands of rounds of Tula in my Yugo M70 & AES-10B. I can't recall any issues. It's not as consistent or accurate as GT, but it works.
That ranking is a good one I think, other than the complete avoidance of all Tula & Wolf. Btw, Wolf imports from Branaul (spelling) now, so Wolf is essentially Brown Bear.
I have ~2400 rnds of 8m3 ammo and two 1260 rnd Yugo m67 that are my SHTF stash. Good luck with either of those though.
 

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I've shot tons of Tula, (Herter's is repackaged Tulammo), and never had an issue with any of it. Romanian Lancaster, Yugo M-70's, Arsenal Bulgarian, Polish 1960 Milled. They all ate it without a hiccup.
 

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I have shot thousands of rounds of Tula in my Yugo M70 & AES-10B. I can't recall any issues. It's not as consistent or accurate as GT, but it works.
That ranking is a good one I think, other than the complete avoidance of all Tula & Wolf. Btw, Wolf imports from Branaul (spelling) now, so Wolf is essentially Brown Bear.
I have ~2400 rnds of 8m3 ammo and two 1260 rnd Yugo m67 that are my SHTF stash. Good luck with either of those though.
I still kind of regret shooting a couple of cases of Yugo M67 in training classes... I don't have any left. I knew that Barnaul made the WPA .223 and a few other flavors of Wolf but they do 7.62x39 too now? I thought it was still Tula/Uly stuff. I'll have to look into it and buy some if they switched to Barnaul but it will still be poly coated.

To the OP, just pick a grain and zero your rifle with it. My own ranking is Barnaul, Golden Tiger, Yugo M67, and Wolf(old). Yugo M67 gets the boot to third because of how fast rust sets in here. I keep the lacquer coated sealed primer/bullet stuff in storage while I shoot whatever is cheapest which is typically some flavor of 124/123gr polymer coated Tula.
 

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The last time I bought wolf military classic it was poly coated with a barnaul headstamp. I haven't seen any Uly in over a year. Herters used to be Uly now I'm told its Tula. All the wolf black box I've seen recently has been made in Ukraine. Didn't buy any though, so I don't know what the head stamp was. I believe wpa is Barnaul as well but I haven't seen it myself. I personally like tiger and I'm going to try some brown bear lacquered next weekend.
 

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I bought some wpa a couple months ago and it had the stylized 603 headstamp of Barnaul. Poly coated, no sealer on neck or primer.
 

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Got a bunch of the white box Uly, and tons of Wolf black box and Military Classic and have not had an issue with any of it. Shoots in all of my rifles. I do agree to stick with FMJ. It is all I will buy.
 

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Herter's is basically Cabela's house brand. They get it from whoever they can contract it from the cheapest. Now it just happens to be Tula. Most all of this steel cased Russian ammo is the same as far as quality and performance. Some AK's will prefer one over the other. But I've never had any of it cause issues.
 

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Hate to confuse the situation more, but while trying to get my M70 zeroed in a touch better, I brought some of my fairly recently purchased boxes of Ukrainian made Wolf HP, what I believe is Barnaul factory made Wolf MC FMJ, and Golden Tiger FMJ, and I noticed that the both Wolf brands are pretty similar in point of impact, but the Golden Tiger was a good bit lower and to the left. It had been a while since I had my hands on Golden Tiger before, but I'm pretty sure it used to be spot on with the other ones, so what the deal is, I'm not sure. Funny part is the 2 more similar Wolf brand points of impact, are between a 123 grain HP, and a 124 grain FMJ, and yet the Golden Tiger is a 124 grain FMJ as well. I'm headed out there today again, with a box or 2 of each of those, as well as some newly bought Tulaammo 122 grain FMJ (that oddly enough says it was manufactured in the Ulyanovsk plant on the actual box), to see where that one stands now, and to figure out what's happening. The offset of my Golden Tiger is a little frustrating, since it's noticeable even at 25 yards, and at 100 if I shoot at the right bullseye it hits far left and down on the on the left target. And here's the kicker. It may have been some of my old batch of GT that I was trying to run through first, but I remember shooting some Golden Tiger when I got the new order in, through my SKS, and it shoot where I aimed at 100 yards.

All I can tell you with certainty, is if you have a few boxes of different ones, check them out, see where they shoot, and if you really like one batch, keep them. And don't expect a later batch of the same brand to shoot as well, since that's what seems to be going on between my M70 and the Golden Tiger. Also, like a half a year back when ammo was in short supply, there was some ammo sold as "re-manufactured Russian" that was still fairly cheap. I would not waste any more money on that. It's good just for plinking, but even shooting at 25 yards from sitting and bench rest, that stuff was all over the target. At 50 yards almost half if not more of it wasn't even on paper. Not a good shtf round. I still got too much of it sitting around. Trying to slowly leak it down, taking a few rounds on most shooting trips, just so I don't end up having to count on it for who knows what. Though I guess it's still better than an empty mag in shtf (not by much though).
 

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Went out earlier, and aside from the Tula and Golden Tiger, I just shot from standing, so can't say much about consistency but again, aside from the Golden Tiger being somewhat low and to the left, it all 3 other kinds seemed close between one another. The Tula was a smidge low, but windage wise spot on with the Military Classic and Ukrainian Wolf. They all seem like good choices, especially if you rely on just one batch of one brand, and zero it specifically to that, but personally of the regularly available stuff, I've had the best luck with Barnaul made stuff like Brown Bear, and this current batch of Military Classic.
 
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