Bulk Surplus Ammo

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by gunsmoker, Oct 22, 2006.

  1. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    I recently thought about ordering a case of 1,000+ rounds of military surplus .308 (7.62 x 51mm NAT0) rounds. I found some stuff made in the early 1990s in India. It was about 18 cents a round-- not as good as some Portugese stuff that I'd bought several years ago for 10 cents a round, but much less than modern American-made ammo in that caliber.

    Well, I decided to order a small quantity of it first, just for testing purposes. It's a darn good thing I did.

    This stuff is horribly inaccurate-- at 100 yards, shooting from a bench rest with a scope, I was getting 5-shot groups that ranged from 3" to 18". Yes, a foot-and-a-freaking-half!!! And none of those bad hits came from called flyers--the crosshairs were cetainly on or within 1/2" of dead-center when the trigger broke. Most "groups" were in the 6" to 9" size.

    It all fired reliably, however. The trajectory seemed to be similar to other militaryball ammo with 147grain FMJ bullets.

    The 1970s Portuguese ammo that I bought years ago for 10 cents a shot is a lot better than this. That ammo gives me pretty reliable groups in the 2" to 4" range at 100 yards. That's certainly not good enough for sniper work or target shooting, but at least it's accurate enough for self-defense under most conditions, I think. I have several hundred rounds of that in storage in case the SHTF (stuff hits the fan).

    In comparison, on the same day I got my 9" and 18" groups from the 1990s Indian ammo, I shot a 1.5" 3-shot group at 200 yards and a 2" group at 300 yards with good ammo-- Federal Premium Match featuring the 168 gr. Sierra Boat-Tail Hollowpoint bullet. That stuff costs $1.40 per round retail, so I only shot those two 3-shot groups. Based on previous experience, Winchester Silvertip and Remington Core-Lockt hunting ammo, 150 grain soft-point, will perform almost as well, for about 75 cents a round.

    Bottom line, and LESSON TO LEARN: If you have a battle rifle that you might one day have to use for homeland defense purposes, do not stockpile ammo for it until you are sure that that particuarl brand and type of ammo works well in your gun! Don't buy a sealed case of some military surplus ammo from some foreign country and just stick it in your basement, figuring that you'll only open it in an emergency. Some "emergencies" are the kind where you would not want to take a shot at a bad guy from 200 yards and miss him by more than a foot!
    Or, for that matter, some kinds of foreign ammo might not be RELIABLE in your gun. My Remington 700 varmint rifle is pretty accurate with .223 Wolf ammo, but it won't feed those lacquor-covered steel cases into the chamber reliably. Go figure. I still plink with them, but I anticipate problems and come prepared to overcome them.
  2. ICP_Juggalo

    ICP_Juggalo Professional Troll

    I used to use Wolf in my Ruger Mini-14. But that stuffs leaves me scrubbing the barrel for hours. It's nasty. Also after prolonged shooting, the laquer from the steel cases tends to attach itself to inside the chamber and cause the action to jam. It may be cheap but causes too much of a headache for me.

    It your looking for good quality cheap plinking ammo, look no further than Georgia Arms ammo. It's some good stuff.

  3. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    If that is the Gold Medal Match, I used to be able to buy it at Galyan's (bought out by Dick's) for $19.99 for a box of 20.

    Try Midway online.

    Better yet, by an RCBS Rockchucker press and start reloading. Use your previously fired Federal Brass without resizing the case.

    Reload with the same Sierra bullet.
  4. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    No Brass

    I don't save my brass. My semi-auto .308 throws it anywhere from 1 foot to 15 feet away, and I usually shoot either out in the woods where brass is impossible to find, or at a shooting range where my brass rolls under the feet of the dude three stations to my right. It's not worth the hassle to chase it and try to recover it. When I used to do it, looking for 9mm cases when I reloaded that caliber, I'd lose 30% of them every time I went shooting.

    I tried reloading .30-06 and .308 years ago, and I was unable to make my handloads as accurate as cheap soft-point hunting ammo that would normally sell for $10 / box of 20. So I gave up. If I take up reloading again, it would probably be for quantity rather than quality-- to be able to put out .308 ammo for 12 cents a shot, or to crank out 400 rounds an hour from a fully progressive press.