wolf ammo?

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wolf ammo?

Post by shinerjohn » January 30th, 2010, 7:41 pm

One box of 50 Wolf cartridges convinced me not to use it further. I had changed out the hammer spring on my FEG PA-63 and had a few light strikes. I believe Wolf has harder primers than Brown and Silver Bear. I've used 1,000+ rounds of Brown Bear FMJ and Silver Bear FMJ and JHP in my P-64's, PA-63's, CZ82, and 4 Makarovs with ZERO problems. Back when I actually bought ammo, Wolf was even a bit more expensive than the Bears.

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wolf ammo?

Post by 95south » February 3rd, 2010, 2:08 pm

The Wolf ammo is very dirty IMO. Having said that, when ammo is hard to find and the only option is Wolf, I'm OK with it. I'll do what it takes to get to the range. More so now with the ammo situation. Haven't had any guns damaged by Wolf ammo. Just more cleaning after the range.

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wolf ammo?

Post by boreal1 » February 6th, 2010, 9:22 pm

I have shot polymer coated Wolf in my AR (62 gr. FMJ), Makarov (100gr. FMJ Truncated) without issue. I probably won't shot more Wolf in my AR but will continue to do so in my Makarov. In a Glock 22 that I used to own, Wolf 180gr. FMJ was a great range round 100% reliable. The older 109gr. Truncated FMJ loading with the lacquer work 100% in my Baikal makarov but as said before it did stink when the lacquer burned.

I have also shot the newer Bi-Metal cased stuff (95gr. FMJ) in my Makarov without issue.

As a general rule I will shoot Wolf ammo out of Eastern Bloc guns without hesitation. Out of my 9mm Colt and Browning HP I will probably never try their 9x19 loadings. I will try the Wolf 9x18 (among other ammo types) in my P-64 when I get out from under all of the snow I just got and get to the range.

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wolf ammo?

Post by boomer » February 7th, 2010, 12:36 pm


I share your feelings about Wolf Ammo and I have seen the damage from punctured primers, such as firing pins and blown off extractors.

I have two questions for you sir.

1. The gouging I see on the hammer ramp in the slide on my pistol, made in 1973, I can only assume came from steel cased ammo used by the previous owner and user.

2. Is Sliver Bear and Brown Bear ammo as bad in your opinion. I agree with you that brass cased ammo would be better for the pistol but it is real hard to come by except for S&B and at three times the price.


Mike in Tenn.

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wolf ammo?

Post by obvinityel » February 9th, 2010, 12:03 am

I have shot thousands of Wolf cartridges in East Bloc shoulder arms (i.e. Kalashnikov “AK”, Simonov “SKS”, Dragunov “SVD” and Mosin-Nagants) with few problems. Some snobs sneer “friends don’t let friends shoot Wolf,” but such condescension is unfounded. I have found Wolf rifle ammo to be trustworthy rifle and shotgun ammunition. It might not be the best or best-smelling, but it is good, and good enough for me. I do not reload, so I seek good quality ammunition at good prices, and Wolf fits the bill. I should mention that "Wolf" is just the trade name of the importer firm. The different Wolf cartridge lines are made by different manufacturers in Russia, but also Serbia and Germany.

The most common (and cheapest) Wolf ammunition is the black-box "Wolf Performance" (a.k.a. “Polyformance”) ammunition for rifles, shotguns and handguns. This is made by Russia’s historic Tula Cartridge Works and uses polymer-coated steel cases with a silver finish. It is reliable non-corrosive ammunition, but does use dirtier powders. It typically has slightly lower velocities than other cartridges in Wolf’s product line, so it is easier on your rifle if you are a large-volume shooter. The slight additional cleaning effort is well worth the low price, as far as I am concerned.

All Wolf ammunition, whatever the line, is non-corrosive, but only the premium "Wolf Gold" brass-cased cartridges are reloadable. The steel-cased Wolf Performance and Military Classic lines are not reloadable, but their Berdan primers are stable and reliable across a wide range of climactic conditions and temperatures, from the Kazakh desert to the sub-sub-zero temperatures of Siberia and the Arctic. That is why the Russian army has stuck with this design. Russian service ammunition leads a tough life of rough handling, extreme climates, and harsh storage conditions. They demand it go ‘bangski!” every time, and the Berdan primer + coated-steel-cased cartridge configuration has earned the Russians’ confidence. It is also very stable for long-term storage, especially in the sealed metal "Spam cans" larger quantities are commonly sold in. If you like to keep a few hundred rounds socked away in the event of an emergency, Russian ammunition makes a lot of sense.

The "Wolf Performance" .22 LR is made in Germany by a Dynamit Nobel-owned factory. It is high quality, 40 grain round-nose lead bullet target ammunition. Velocities are not high, but it functions flawlessly in my Ruger 10/22 semi-auto rifle and Ruger Mark II semi-auto pistol. This is good plinking ammunition, and worth its low price. Again, it has lower velocities and burns a little dirtier than comparable American-made .22 LR ammunition.

The "Wolf Military Classic" rifle ammunition in the desert camouflage boxes is made by "Gosyudarstvo Proizvodstvyenoye 'Ulyanovsk' Zavoda" in Russia. This is current Russian military production ammunition with silver-colored polymer-coated steel cases and red sealant. The "Military Classic" 7.62x39mm caliber 124grain JHP uses the famed Ulyanovsk 8M3 “Effect” bullet, the best Russian jacketed hollowpoint. This is my choice for most defensive or hunting use. You might also encounter Ulyanovsk ammunition marketed under the "Sapsan Hunting Cartridges" trade name in a green box with a rampant wild turkey on the top. Ulyanovsk cartridges are accurate, reliable and use cleaner powder than the black box "Wolf Performance" line, with slightly higher velocities.

Highest in quality and price is the "Wolf Gold" line of pistol and rifle cartridges. These are high-quality, reloadable Boxer-primed brass-cased rounds made by the modern Prvi Partizan plant in Serbia. This ammunition is equal in quality to good American factory ammunition, and the Wolf Gold line offers many loads you can't find anywhere else (for example: are you looking for a good 7.62x25mm defensive round for your Czech CZ52 or Tokarev TT-33 pistol? Wolf Gold has an 85 grain jacketed hollowpoint that makes a screaming 1600 feet per second out of my CZ52, with excellent accuracy ("Cheaper Than Dirt" carries this ammunition; it is product no. 37236).

Want a .357 Magnum 158 grain JHP at 1600 feet per second? Wolf Gold loads it. Particularly if you have an uncommon caliber rifle (e.g. 7.5x55mm Swiss, 7.62x54mmR Russian, .303 Enfield), or shoot a lot of pricy rifle cartridges (e.g. .22-250, 7mm Magnum, 6.5 Grendel), you should check out the Wolf Gold offerings. You can see the entire line of Wolf ammunition by clicking here:

http://www.wolfammo.com/index.php?optio ... Itemid=126

One word about older Wolf cartridges. You might still encounter old Wolf rifle ammunition with the brown lacquered steel cases. Many of the complaints about Wolf ammunition are based on this older lacquered case, which smells bad and is thought to gum up chambers. Wolf abandoned that style of case around 2002 because some .223 caliber AR15 shooters complained the lacquer build-up was hard to clean from their rifle chambers (I never encountered any build-up problems). All Wolf Performance and Military Classic rifle ammunition imported recently has the new polymer-coated (silver colored) steel case - Wolf renamed their low-price black box cartridges “Polyformance” to assure customers brown lacquer-coated steel cases were a thing of the past. If in doubt, open the box and look at the cartridges. The old brown Wolf cases are lacquered and the color of an old penny; the new polymer-coated cases look like matte stainless steel.

Some shooters have speculated that Wolf steel-cased ammunition is tough on extractors, and should be avoided for that reason. I do not know if there is any merit to this. The steel used in the Russian steel cartridge cases is awfully mild, much softer than the hard tempered steel used in firearm extractors and ejectors. It could be an issue with some AR15 rifles or pistols with weaker extractor designs, like old 1911A1 .45 pistols or older Browning Hi-Powers. I have not noticed any accelerated extractor wear on any longarm from a few hundred rounds of steel-cased ammunition. Personally, I only shoot Wolf steel-cased ammunition through Russian-invented firearms designed for steel cartridges, like the Kalashnikov (AK series), Simonov (SKS) and Dragunov (SVD) rifles, and the Makarov 9x18mm pistol. All these firearms were designed to fire steel-cased cartridges (e.g. the highly-reliable Dragunov sniper rifle will sometimes jam with brass-cased 7.62x54mmR rounds it was never intended to fire). I have a Polish P-64 pistol and a Czech CZ83, and I generally shoot Sellier & Bellot brass-cased 9x18mm ball rounds for practice through these pistols (though both have digested Silver Bear with no problems).

Other bargain Russian rifle ammunition:

You might run across Russian-made "Silver Bear" (silver-colored zinc-plated steel case), "Golden Bear" (brass-plated steel case) or "Brown Bear" (lacquer-coated brown steel case) rifle ammunition. This is usually made by Barnaul, but some calibers (or projectiles) are made by Ulyanovsk and Novosibirsk LVE. It is pretty good stuff. You can see the "Bear" cartridge line by clicking here:



In sum, I like Wolf steel-cased (non-lacquered) cartridges as practice ammunition for Soviet-designed rifles like the Kalashnikov (AK series), Simonov (SKS), Mosin-Nagant and Dragunov (SVD) rifles and Kalashnikov “Saiga” shotguns. These longarms were designed to fire Russian steel-cased cartridges, and work well with them. The slight additional cleaning effort is worth it, given Wolf’s bargain prices. For more serious (i.e. self-defense or hunting) roles, I usually use Sellier & Bellot or American ammunition. All my defensive handguns are loaded with expensive American factory-loaded jacketed hollowpoints - for example, I carry the CorBon PowerBall in my 9x18mm pistols, and Speer Gold Dots or Federal HydraShoks in my other pistols and revolvers. Wolf ammunition is fine for practice ammo in Warsaw Pact longarms, but when it comes to Western weapons or serious self-defense purposes, don’t be a fool - buy American. Foreigners may be our equal when it comes to making televisions, cars, or whiskey, but no-one, and I mean no-one, can even approach the excellence of American companies in the field of hunting and self-defense ammunition.

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