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Old May 24, 2012, 09:25 AM   #1
Capybara
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Cheap 7.62x54 ammo? For how long?

Just bought my first Mosin and I saw an interesting review of the VEPR Dragunov that Atlantic sells in 7.62x54.

Does anyone have any indication from any of the ammo wholesalers and suppliers of how long the supply of cheap 7.62x54 ammo will hold? I plan on buying a few thousand rounds but since it is not reloadable, how long the supply holds for is of concern if I was to buy an expensive rifle like the VEPR.

I know, who knows? They have obviously made a lot of ammo, but I am curious of any of you think it will dry up in the next few years? Perhaps buying the more expensive rifle in 7.62x39 or 5.45x39 might be smarter if I want something with a cheap ammo supply for the next decade or so?

Last edited by Capybara; May 24, 2012 at 01:10 PM.
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Old May 24, 2012, 09:44 AM   #2
fext
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I'm somehow biased against Soviet / Russian stuff, but some thought:
AFAIK the 7,62x54R is still an issued ammo for russian machine guns and rifles. They do keep this round for longer than 100 years, they did used it in Tzar era and use it until now. So I'd guess that there will be some milsurp 7.62x54R ammo available in the future, too. Also it is not true that you can't reload it, indeed you can but you can't reuse the milsurp cases. But you can buy some other ammo and you will have reloadable brass.
The 7.62x39 ammo, i.e. the AK47 round is not being used any more and it was replaced by 5.45x39 (AK74). But it looks like there is a lot of 7.62x39 ammo available in storages and they do sell it on the civilian market. So it is the 7.62x39 ammo (AK47) which was discontinued, not the more powerfull 7.62x54R round (SVD).
This said, I'd prefer to buy some Marlin XL in .308Win and not the Mosin - if I wanted an cheap rifle which is a fun to shoot. The .308 Win milsurp ammo shoots ways better than any milsurp 7.62x54R round.
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Old May 24, 2012, 10:07 AM   #3
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Thanks for the heads up about the current calibers. It is interesting, I had no idea that the 7.62x39 had been replaced by the 5.45x39 round. I also didn't know that the 7.62x54 round was still currently produced, that is great, that means that there will undoubtedly be availability for quite a while to come.

Yes, I know you can buy reloadable brass, but it is much closer to .30-06 prices and I don't reload yet, although I keep promising my son that we will get into that as soon as I have the time, space and money. There is a lot of appeal of 880 rounds for $140.00 when I am paying $350.00 for 1k of 5.56 for my ARs.

Unfortunately, where I live in SoCal, almost all of the ranges ban magnetic ammo so I can't shoot the Mosin anywhere except two private gun clubs or out in the desert about 3 hours from here. PITA but worth it.
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Old May 24, 2012, 12:06 PM   #4
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Novosibirsk still produces the ammo, as stated it is used in weapons currently in the field.

Here is some new production, non-corrosive, ammo:

http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.as...Box&groupid=40
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Old May 25, 2012, 11:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
I'm somehow biased against Soviet / Russian stuff, but some thought:
AFAIK the 7,62x54R is still an issued ammo for russian machine guns and rifles. They do keep this round for longer than 100 years, they did used it in Tzar era and use it until now. So I'd guess that there will be some milsurp 7.62x54R ammo available in the future, too. Also it is not true that you can't reload it, indeed you can but you can't reuse the milsurp cases. But you can buy some other ammo and you will have reloadable brass.
The 7.62x39 ammo, i.e. the AK47 round is not being used any more and it was replaced by 5.45x39 (AK74). But it looks like there is a lot of 7.62x39 ammo available in storages and they do sell it on the civilian market. So it is the 7.62x39 ammo (AK47) which was discontinued, not the more powerfull 7.62x54R round (SVD).
Maybe you wouldn't have a bias against Soviet/Russian stuff if you knew more about it. 7.62x39 is still in use, is still in production, and not by any stretch of the imagination discontinued, it remains cheaply and widely available and will remain so indefinitely, short of something like an import ban being imposed.

Quote:
The .308 Win milsurp ammo shoots ways better than any milsurp 7.62x54R round.
That statement is literally impossible to prove and almost certainly untrue. 7.62x54R delivers equivalent ballistics and at less than half the price.
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Old May 26, 2012, 12:15 AM   #6
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brass

Affordable x54R ammo seems pretty plentiful, especially corrosive type. What is not out there is affordable brass, for anybody that wants to load for the ctg. Lapua and Norma, big bucks!
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Old May 26, 2012, 12:44 AM   #7
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I tried that Novosibirsk ammo and after the first few shots it was very difficult to extract the cases.
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Old May 26, 2012, 11:51 AM   #8
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What is not out there is affordable brass,
Yup. I usually buy the cheapest Prvi I can find (the SP at $13/box) and either pull the bullets or just shoot them for the brass to reload.

Why their brass is so seldom available, when there is so much demand baffles me.

I shoot long range with my Mosin anyway, so I probably should just bite the bullet on the Lapua brass- I'm sure I can get a year's worth of shooting out of them, and the quality of my loaded ammo will be more consistent.
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Old May 27, 2012, 11:13 AM   #9
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That why i never bought a rifle in that caliber.
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Old May 27, 2012, 11:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Maybe you wouldn't have a bias against Soviet/Russian stuff if you knew more about it.
Raftman, I'm Czech, and I was born and spent my young age in socialistic Czechoslovakia which was then a Soviet colony, so I know enough about Soviet/Russian stuff. I'd like to remind you that Soviet military doctrine was народа хватит, and if you want to know what this means in practice, just look how their commanders handled their soldiers in wars. And their equipment nicely fits in the greater picture.

Quote:
That statement is literally impossible to prove and almost certainly untrue.
Well I have personal experience with 7.62x54R military round including the "sniper" variant, and I also know how surprisingly consistent is the German DM151 round. It's just my personal experience. I agree, it's hard to prove it, but fortunately I do not care.

Quote:
I tried that Novosibirsk ammo and after the first few shots it was very difficult to extract the cases.
If it's the lacquered green case, you need to slightly lubricate the rounds neck if you want to use it in any tighter chamber.

Quote:
What is not out there is affordable brass, for anybody that wants to load for the ctg. Lapua and Norma, big bucks!
Sellier & Bellot makes V332452, 180grs bullet, reloadable case, should be about a $1.50 per round, based on the typical Czech price.
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Old May 27, 2012, 12:40 PM   #11
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The Novosibirsk was bi-metal copper washed surprisingly.
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Old May 28, 2012, 12:28 AM   #12
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Raftman, I'm Czech, and I was born and spent my young age in socialistic Czechoslovakia which was then a Soviet colony, so I know enough about Soviet/Russian stuff.

Apparently not enough to know that 7.62x39 is not discontinued, nor that it's basically impossible for every kind milsurp 7.62 NATO to perform "way better" than any 7.62x54R milsurp as you've asserted.
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Old May 28, 2012, 03:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
7.62x39 is not discontinued
The standard round in Russian army is 5,54x39, 7,62x39 is sometimes used in urban combat, and AFAIK they are using their enormous cold war supplies and they are not making it any more. But, indeed, several manufacturers make this round for commercial use. This is and always be available, but it's not the extremely cheap milsurp ammo which was in the same or better quality but at a half price.

Quote:
it's basically impossible for every kind milsurp 7.62 NATO to perform "way better" than any 7.62x54R milsurp as you've asserted
As already said, this is my opinion and experience and everybody can do whatever s/he likes with this info.
Also, my another personal opinion is, that unless I'm a WW2 reenactor or pro zombie hunter, I'd use Mosins, SKSs, SVTs etc. for decorative purposes and something else for shooting (preferably chambered in .308 Win).
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Old May 28, 2012, 04:19 AM   #14
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More than likely, the Russians have millions, if not hundreds of millions of these surplus rounds stockpiled in warehouses. When the warehouses are emptied, that's when the ammo will dry up.
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Old May 29, 2012, 06:17 AM   #15
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Quote:
More than likely, the Russians have millions, if not hundreds of millions of these surplus rounds stockpiled in warehouses.
What worries me is that this ammo (which I'm using for my vz. 58 carbine) is not as often seen on civilian market as it used to be.
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Old May 29, 2012, 07:40 AM   #16
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It will always be available.

The question is will it be available at the price you are willing to pay?

Eventually the days of really "cheap" surplus 7.62 X 54R ammo will go away as those surplus stocks are depleted.

Remember, the reason it is "cheap" now is that some country, somewhere, decided that the ammo in question was no longer "needed" due to temperature exposure, age, reduction in military capabilities, obsolescence, etc. There maybe millions of these rounds produced and in storage somewhere, but until they are "surplused" by the country in question, they are off the market.

I remember when you could get surplus Portugese .308 ammo for less than $.20 a round and I thought it was steep then.

When the surplus stock is depleted, you will start paying market rate for the materials and labor used to produce the rounds. (Like we do for XM193 & XM855, XM80)

Then the price will be pretty much identical to .308/.30-06 but without the economies of scale of those rounds as produced in the US.

That is assuming there isn't an Executive Order/BATF interpretation that changes import status before then.

That is one of the things to keep in mind about offshore ammo supplies.

Will it happen? Who knows.

Can it happen? It has already with some types of ammo.

If you have a gun and you like the ammo, "buy it cheap and stack it deep", as the saying goes. But don't buy a gun of a specific caliber due to current lower than market prices on the ammo, expecting it to last forever.

It won't.
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Old May 29, 2012, 11:39 PM   #17
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right now the mosin nagant 91/30 is the cheapest bolt action rifle available. the ammo is comparable to 223 in price and the rifle is worth about 125 on average after FFL and shipping. but to add a little perspective, 2 years ago a short lived craze was buying surplus tt33 and cz52(I think that's the correct model) handguns chambered in 7.62x25 tokarev because the guns were only $175 and the ammo was just slightly over 22lr at 10 cents a round but in a matter of 6 months the ammo disappeared and the guns jumped up to $250. the ammo supply eventually came back but at the same price as 7.62x39 at around 20 cents a round. a much closer analogy would be enfield rifles.

the enfield no 1, pattern 14, and no 4/5 were used for the better part of a century by the entire british empire, and all of these models were chambered in 303 brit. the service life and widespread use is very comparable to the 91/30 and production numbers, though lower were still quite high. 10 years ago your average enfield with matching parts and numbers went for less than $100 and ammo was overly abundant and cost about what 22lr currently costs. now a factory correct enfield runs for an average of $400 and the ammo is about on par with 30-06 at 45 cents a round for the cheapest of the cheap.

the guys who claim that mosin nagants are expendable and that ammo will never run out have never taken a look at what the gun market was like just a few years back. I would say that the ammo supply will last for a few years yet but I wouldn't expect the prices to hold where they are... just in the last several months 7.62x54R has seen a marked increase in price and it's only going to go higher as more and more people run and buy that next super cheap plinker just like they did with the tokarev.
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Old May 29, 2012, 11:54 PM   #18
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The only major risk of a shortage of 7.62x54R surplus ammo would be an import ban on ammo.

Import bans certainly can happen, i.e. the current ban on Chinese ammunition. I'm sure China would love to dump cheap surplus ammo on the US market if they were permitted.

The Russians and their former commie cronies have been stockpiling it for decades in anticipation of WWIII.

Unlike the obsolete British .303 or 7.62x25 Tokarev, the 7.62x54R is still being used to fight current wars and is standard issue for their GP machineguns. The Russians never developed a post WWII cartridge ala .308/Nato 7.62 and stuck with the tried and true 7.62x54R.

Last edited by Flakbait; May 30, 2012 at 12:00 AM.
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Old May 31, 2012, 01:42 PM   #19
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I ordered 880 rounds from SGAmmo, looking forward to shooting it and buying more.
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Old June 1, 2012, 01:56 AM   #20
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Why worry? Just stock up while you can. Buy all the spam can ammo you can afford. It has already survived decades. It can survive a few more. For the cost of a CHEAP AR-15, you can have a nice M91/30 and 3,000 rounds.
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Old June 2, 2012, 01:39 AM   #21
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Who cares about what the Soviets are using, X39 is still what the Chinese shoot, right? The Koreans? half of South America, all of Africa, etc. It isnlt going anywhere. As long as corrupt military officials can sell some off to US importers at a heavy discount and pocket some change we will have surplus X39, and 54.
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Old June 2, 2012, 07:45 AM   #22
fext
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Quote:
Who cares about what the Soviets are using
It's rather about who is still manufacturing it for their military in large enough amount.
The Chinese are using their own 5.8x42 round till cca '80 but I don't know if they are still making the old ammo. They might. But indeed they might be willing to sell their much likely enormous supplies of old 7.62x39 ammo so you have a valid point here.
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