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View Full Version : Russian Brown Bear ammo ?


rebs
September 22, 2012, 07:47 AM
I seen this advertized for 129.00 for 500 rounds, although I reload my own 223, I was interested in this ammo because it is so cheap for just plinking etc.
Is anyone using it, is it fairly good ammo or junk ?

kraigwy
September 22, 2012, 08:44 AM
If I remember right, the Brown Bear ammo has steel jacketed bullet.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

There is a big push to eliminate or ban steel jacketed bullets on many public ranges, do to the fire hazard.

With all the hype this last summer regarding shooters starting fires on public lands I have to agree with the ban on steel jackets.

Brass and Lead doesn't spark. Steel does, if you lived in a fire prone area you would do any thing possible to eliminate any chances of fires.

I was one of the guys pushing to prevent steel jackets from being used on our range.

Anti gunners don't care for facts, if we keep starting fires, ALL shooting on public land will be eliminated.

We need to police ourselves before bans are pushed on us. If you use steel jacketed ammo, be very careful.

I've never been a fan of steel bullets or cases. I think too much of my rifles for that, but I am getting concerned that improper use of steel jacket bullets is going to cost all of us the ability to shoot on public, BLM or NF Lands.

End of Saturday Morning Rant.

plouffedaddy
September 22, 2012, 08:56 AM
I run brown bear and silver bear all the time; in fact probably 90-95% of the rounds I shoot are one of the two. No issues what so ever.

Here's the chrono data from my 16'' SLR 106:

62gr Brown Bear Soft Point: 2864fps, 1128 ft/lbs of energy

It's certainly got enough power to make most rifles run reliably. Just make sure you don't shoot brass cased ammo after steel (like any other steel ammo) and you'll likely not have any problems.

wnycollector
September 23, 2012, 06:21 PM
I'm with plouffedaddy on this. I shoot lots of BB .223 and I think it's excellent ammo for the price.

pturner67
September 23, 2012, 10:23 PM
I've shot just about every brand steel cased out of my AR...it works perfectly and has been surprisingly accurate

Peptobismol9
September 23, 2012, 10:32 PM
I have shot the 7.62x39. It's kind of hit and miss if I remember correctly.

plouffedaddy
September 23, 2012, 10:35 PM
If anyone's interested in soft point BB, I used it for one of my reviews and it fragmented nicely fired into my zero target. Around the 9:15 mark in the video below you can see the recovered fragments.

Review Link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aViS8uXN48Q)

pturner67
September 23, 2012, 11:01 PM
nice review plouffedaddy

plouffedaddy
September 24, 2012, 07:07 AM
Thanks.

Sturm from the Military Arms Channel did a really good review focused solely on Wolf ammo. I'd like to see him do the same for the Bear stuff.

zukiphile
September 24, 2012, 09:24 AM
There is a big push to eliminate or ban steel jacketed bullets on many public ranges, do to the fire hazard.

I am missing something about this issue.

Who shoots into a combustable backstop?

plouffedaddy
September 24, 2012, 09:34 AM
I really think it's due to brush fires; not a per-se combustable backstop. Perhaps they're worried about steel core ammo striking a rock, sending off a spark, which starts dry brush on fire...? Just guessing here...

zukiphile
September 24, 2012, 11:31 AM
The brushfire reasoning makes sense, but that wouldn't apply on a range. Maybe it's just my part of the country, but I've never seen brush on a range.

I've used Wolf steel in my rifle without incident.

I've used Brown Bear 9mm with was great stiff especially for the price.

I did get a batch of Silver Bear .45 a few years ago that were a bit rough on the case surface and were locking up my Ruger.


All of this was used with sand or earth traps or backstops, so sparking wasn't a problem.

Mr Budha
September 24, 2012, 03:12 PM
I've shot a couple hundred rounds and haven't had any issues. Going this week to the range and will shoot a couple of boxes of it through my AK.

Mosinka
September 26, 2012, 08:31 AM
The 3 Bears are manufactured in Russia by Barnaul. I use the Barnaul ammo quite regularly. In fact, the ONLY Russian ammo that will shoot consistently in my Ruger Mini-30 are the Silver Bear and Golden Bear. These are steel cased, but have a coating (of zinc in the case of the Silver Bear). The Brown Bear is either polymer or lacquer coated. I forget which. The Golden Bear is the most costly of the three. Has a brass wash of sorts over steel casing. The Brown Bear didn't cycle as well as the other two in my very fussy Mini-30, but the Silver and Golden Bear ammo have functioned flawlessly for me. And I like the price. I use this ammo in virtually every rifle I have at some time or other, I suppose. I have encountered no issues except for the fact that my Mini-30 will not load the lacquer or polymer coated steel as consistently from the magazine as it will the zinc or brass plated, and the fact that Tula ammo seems to have a slightly recessed primer, which causes failures to fire at about a 30% rate in my Ruger Mini-30 ONLY. I've used Tula in pistols and rifles alike with no apparent ill effects so far.

Sturmgewehre
September 26, 2012, 02:01 PM
Sturm from the Military Arms Channel did a really good review focused solely on Wolf ammo. I'd like to see him do the same for the Bear stuff.

Thanks, plouffedaddy.

Here's a link to my latest video regarding Wolf ammo. I've shot two videos in the last 2 years where I attempt to dispel some of the myths about Wolf ammo and other steel ammo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qpo9rknFDkU

In short, I shoot a bunch of Wolf though a wide variety of firearms and never have problems.

Sturmgewehre
September 26, 2012, 02:06 PM
The bi-metal bullet can be cause for concern either outdoors or indoors.

Indoors you have unburnt powder residue sitting on the floor. That blackish ash on the floor of your local range isn't dirt, it's powder flakes. Most firearms spew unburnt powder out of the muzzle when they fire leaving small traces of powder on the floor. After thousands of rounds this adds up and can create a fire hazard. Bi-metal bullets have a lead core that's wrapped in mild steel. The steel jacket is then wrapped in copper. When the bullet strikes the steel traps sparks are created at times. These sparks can ignite the unburnt powder on the floor. That's why many indoor ranges ban the use of bi-metal bullets in their ranges.

Outdoors you can have a similar problem expect this time it's not unburnt powder that's the potential problem, it's dry conditions and an abundance of flammable tender. Bullets striking rocks can create sparks and set something on fire, it has happened.

The notion bi-metal bullets harm your barrel is unfounded. The jacket is mild steel, it's very soft. I've fired literally thousands of upon thousands of rounds through my rifles and handguns and seen no signs of excessive wear.

kraigwy
September 27, 2012, 02:39 PM
Who shoots into a combustable backstop?

The brushfire reasoning makes sense, but that wouldn't apply on a range

Back stop maybe, but our range is covered by grass, which is pretty dry.

We don't want to loose our range.

But I'm also talking about public lands, BLM, NF, state, etc. Normally covered by grass and brush.

And we don't want to loose our ability to shoot on public lands.

And steel jackets do case sparks, and sparks do cause fires.

Personally I don't think saving a few penny's is worth the chance of loosing places to shoot.

bigdad1956
September 27, 2012, 02:56 PM
First time posting,hope it works. Bought a dpms Chrome 20 bull barrel several weeks ago. The lower stated 223/5.56 and the gun dude said of course it can shoot 5.56. So I've put around 300 rounds of 5;56 through it and no problems, solid and accurate. Now I find out it is chambered for 223. I have 300 rounds left and I want to use them,please advise.

MrGoodwrench
September 27, 2012, 03:01 PM
Ive used thousands of rounds of brown bear in 7.62x39 in various rifles with good success. My only gripe there is the steel case. As with any steel case stuff, it can be 'rough' on the internals in some rifles. It is what it is, good n cheap.

plouffedaddy
September 27, 2012, 04:06 PM
What has this 'roughness' done to your rifles? Basically, how do you know it's rough on the internals? I've never seen any evidence of this on my rifles.

detrod
September 27, 2012, 05:31 PM
Been using both brands 7.62 and .223 for years, no issues. As far as brush fires, not much of WA state left to burn!

MrGoodwrench
September 27, 2012, 06:43 PM
I mainly see this on an SKS and an old 1911. The SKS shows odd 'wear' on the bolt face. Nothing to worry about really. The marks are minor and thats after thousands of rounds. I have 2 other unfired SKS and one thats been fed nothing but brass and none of the above show the wear the steel case fed rifle shows.

kraigwy
September 27, 2012, 07:22 PM
Barrels including chambers are relatively soft metals.

Steel obviously is harder then brass.

Which is going to cause the more rapid wear on soft steel, brass/copper or steel?

Ammo is cheap, barrels aren't. Or is it that I'm more into target barrels.

plouffedaddy
September 27, 2012, 10:12 PM
Or is it that I'm more into target barrels.

I think that's it. AR and AK barrels run around 150-200 for 4150 steel.

Mr Budha
September 28, 2012, 08:57 AM
Personally I don't think saving a few penny's is worth the chance of loosing places to shoot.

More than a few pennies, when I was looking for 7.62x39 ammo steel cased Russian ammo was about $4-$8 for a box of 20 compared to $15-$20 for a box of brass cased. When you buy at all, and especially in bulk the price difference is rather large.

kraigwy
September 28, 2012, 09:50 AM
More than a few pennies,

What did it cost to fight the fires in Utah that were caused by target shooting?

More then a few pennys.

What good is steel jacketed bullets if we loose the places to shoot them.

Maybe its just me, but I live in a high fire area and can see the dangers of both starting fires and getting areas cut off from shooting.

plouffedaddy
September 28, 2012, 12:31 PM
People certainly have to use sound judgement. If I lived in WY, I'd be more apt to think along the lines you do. I shoot on land that is generally very damp as there are multiple lakes and rivers on my property and SC is a pretty rainy/humid place. That said, during dry times I do check the backstop and adust the area if needed.

Mr Budha
September 28, 2012, 05:34 PM
What did it cost to fight the fires in Utah that were caused by target shooting?

More then a few pennys.

What good is steel jacketed bullets if we loose the places to shoot them.

Maybe its just me, but I live in a high fire area and can see the dangers of both starting fires and getting areas cut off from shooting.

Granted, those people who were target shooting should have been smarter given the conditions. I live in South Florida so it's almost never dry and I have never heard of a condition down here where shooting steel cased ammo has caused an issue.

I'm sure living where you are, i'd feel differently. Especially given your concern about shooting on public land. All it takes is one state to pass legislation and others will follow which is something none of us want.

That being said though, banning steel cased ammo because of a minority of shooters causing fires is like banning guns because of shootings like Aurora.

Baylorattorney
September 28, 2012, 05:42 PM
Love the stuff. Couldn't shoot as much if it weren't for Russia. Thousands of rounds an no failures, brush fires or abnormal barrel wear.

MrGoodwrench
September 28, 2012, 05:47 PM
I definately see your point Kraigwy, but I think by taking certian precautions, any adverse effects caused by steel jackets can be avoided. You cant blame the product for the misuse thereof.

mr.t7024
September 28, 2012, 07:56 PM
When I bought my Ruger Mini 14, I also bought 500 rounds of Tula. Quite a few misfires .I called Ruger about the ammo they said,"the Russian ammo will void any Warranty". I returned the remainder. I now shoot Federal.It was a Christmas gift from the Mrs. and I did not want to screw it up. I just wanted to share this information, thanks .:)Cliff