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Old October 3, 2015, 05:05 PM   #1
NotAGunGuy
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Cracked Open a Crate of 1953 Bulgarian Surplus 7.62x25 Tokarev

I already had the video camera out and had an un-opened crate of '53 Bulgarian 7.62x25 Tokarev ammunition staring me in the face, so I thought I'd whip up another video ... an actual "unboxing video" if there ever was one.

Surplus crates and the tins inside tend to not be the easiest things to open. That's especially true if you want to save the crate for a nice "conversation piece". Depending on how my wife's mood is tomorrow, I may try placing this beautiful empty crate made from rare Bulgarian timber in a prominent place in our home. Who knows. Anyway, the video is 15 minutes long so if you want to ride the emotional rollercoaster that is opening up one of these relics from the past, then grab some popcorn or an adult beverage of your choice and hop on in.

The total time to open up the crate and the first tin was closer to 30-45 minutes from start to finish. However, I did some high tech time-elapsed magic to speed you through the less thrilling moments (like trying to coax screws out of timber that was likely harvested during the Truman Administration).

I will be following up in a week or so with a review of the Chrony results I got when comparing the Bulgarian surplus with new production PPU, Red Army Standard, and Sellier & Bellot. (I shot a 20-round string of each ammo through a CZ-52 and a PPS-43C). Spoiler alert: the Bulgarian ammo didn't blow either of the guns up.

I hope you enjoy ... and if you inhale deeply through your nose about midway through the video you may actually catch the faint odor of rusty a*$.

Cracking Open a Crate: 1953 Bulgarian 7.62x25 Tokarev Ammunition

Last edited by NotAGunGuy; October 3, 2015 at 05:15 PM.
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Old October 3, 2015, 07:20 PM   #2
Sequins
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Cool video! I enjoyed the "What else in 1953" opening segment a lot.
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Old October 3, 2015, 07:30 PM   #3
NotAGunGuy
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Hey thanks! Yeah I'm kind of new to making gun/ammo videos but I've definitely watched a ton ... haha. I thought the 1953 opening segment might come across as kind of cheesy. But when I started thinking about how old this ammo was, I thought it would be kind of cool to look up some other things that happened back in the early 50's, just to get a little perspective. Sort of crazy when you think about it I guess.
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Old October 3, 2015, 09:32 PM   #4
9x18_Walther
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Makes you appreciate the metal ammo can eh?
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Old October 3, 2015, 09:32 PM   #5
kilimanjaro
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That's the year Stalin finally kicked off, let's hope the Bulgarian commie rat that made your ammo wasn't so drunk on cheap vodka as a coping mechanism to his deep mourning over the loss of his feared leader that you've got a bunch of hangfires.
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Old October 3, 2015, 10:26 PM   #6
gyvel
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LOL LOL!!

I'm guessing this was your first rodeo. Lots of rookie mistakes.

Opening these crates and cans is definitely an art.

(Note: This is not meant to insult; Just light hearted jibes.)

BTW: If you want more crates for decoration, I have about 50 of them.
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Old October 4, 2015, 09:40 AM   #7
NotAGunGuy
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Quote:
Makes you appreciate the metal ammo can eh?
You can say that again!

Quote:
That's the year Stalin finally kicked off, let's hope the Bulgarian commie rat that made your ammo wasn't so drunk on cheap vodka as a coping mechanism to his deep mourning over the loss of his feared leader that you've got a bunch of hangfires.
I was afraid of the same thing at first, but the first 100 rounds popped off without a hitch in two different firearms so I may be in good shape. Maybe I got lucky and had a Bulgarian dissident who was happy to see Lenin on the way out? haha

Quote:
LOL LOL!!

I'm guessing this was your first rodeo. Lots of rookie mistakes.

Opening these crates and cans is definitely an art.

(Note: This is not meant to insult; Just light hearted jibes.)

BTW: If you want more crates for decoration, I have about 50 of them.
Thanks!

Well, I've opened a few 7.62x54R crates (with the "can opener") and a couple of the Bulgarian 7.62x54R tins from the 50's (with the "pull tab"). This by far gave me the most trouble - not so much from the wooden crate, but more from the solder being on so thick and hard (giggity) on the first tin.

I thought about just editing out the failure on the first tin of the Tokarev ammo, but thought it would be good to show folks what to be careful for when they give it a shot themselves.

Thanks for the comments - and I may take you up on that decorating offer!
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Old October 5, 2015, 03:10 PM   #8
James K
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I am glad we did not have to depend on that guy to open ammo crates in the middle of a war.

Jim
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Old October 5, 2015, 04:29 PM   #9
NotAGunGuy
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Funny you mention that (and point well taken) ...

If it was in my budget right now I'd order up another case of this ammo so I could do a comparison video showing how fast you can get these things open if you don't care about saving the box and tins in good shape.

I'm guessing keeping the box as a conversation piece would be last on my list if someone was shooting at me!
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Old October 5, 2015, 07:28 PM   #10
kilimanjaro
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According to some, the British defeat at Isandhlwana in the Zulu War was caused by the Quartermasters failing to unscrew the tops of the heavy wooden ammo crates to keep the Martini-Henrys firing. Inside the crates were sardine-can pull tabs protecting sealed paper boxes of cartridges. There were too few screwdrivers, too many Zulus, and not enough ammo. About 20,000 Zulus attacked the British lines, which had perhaps 30,000 rounds of ready ammunition in their pouches.

I think the fact that the Zulus turned up a surprise attack in mass on a poorly deployed camp had a lot more to do with the defeat than difficult-to-open ammo crates, but for the remainder of the Zulu wars and later the Mahdi campaigns, the British Army required a certain amount of reserve ammo in crates to be opened and loosely sealed.
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Old October 5, 2015, 08:49 PM   #11
Armed_Chicagoan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotAGunGuy
If it was in my budget right now I'd order up another case of this ammo
Where did you buy it? Every place I see is out of it.
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Old October 5, 2015, 09:53 PM   #12
9x18_Walther
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Where did you buy it? Every place I see is out of it.
J&G Sales has the 800-round cases right now for $229.92 each.

Not a great deal but still available.
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Old October 5, 2015, 11:03 PM   #13
Armed_Chicagoan
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Originally Posted by 9x18_Walther
J&G Sales
~sigh~

Yet another dealer who thinks there's some law saying they can't ship to Chicago/Cook County. It's bad enough here with the laws that exist without having the imaginary laws too...

Oh well, the list of dealers who will ship to Chicago is growing.
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Old October 5, 2015, 11:27 PM   #14
9x18_Walther
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Yet another dealer who thinks there's some law saying they can't ship to Chicago/Cook County.
Whoops. I live an hour away from J&G, so I'm a little bias in favor of them despite the occasional high prices.

Has anyone contacted them? Sometimes I know websites don't get updated.
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Old October 9, 2015, 05:01 PM   #15
NotAGunGuy
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Well, the Romanian 7.62x25 ammo arrived today, so I'll probably throw together a nice short video of peeling the tuna can open. Should be a lot easier than the Bulgarian crate!

Next week I plan on getting data for the Bulgarian ammo, then will do a "practical accuracy" comparison on all five ... hopefully I can get that done next week, time permitting.
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Old October 9, 2015, 07:30 PM   #16
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Great video - I really enjoyed it! Never know what you're going to find inside! Thanks for sharing!
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