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Old July 26, 2011, 05:19 PM   #1
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Ammo by brand... What to avoid?

I am shopping online to source some cheap range ammo (9mm).

So far I have come across a couple of brands that are unfamiliar to me... Thoughts on quality & value for the following brands?:

Brown Bear

Last edited by blincoln; July 26, 2011 at 05:20 PM. Reason: Added Brand
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Old July 26, 2011, 05:37 PM   #2
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cheap ammo

I dont know maybe its just me, but I ve bad problems with u.m.c yellow box wal-mart. It just did not work at all in a brand new ruger p-95 or a brand new cz-75.The others you mentioned I believe are steel cased and some people say dont run these through your gun they MAY do internal damage or premature wear.I have not had a problem with the others. federal,sellior-belliot,mag-tech of course remm,winchester. didnt even have a prob with cci aluminum case
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Old July 26, 2011, 05:45 PM   #3
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Wolf sucks
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Old July 26, 2011, 06:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by blincoln
So far I have come across a couple of brands that are unfamiliar to me... Thoughts on quality & value for the following brands?:

Brown Bear
Brown bear is Russian, steel cased. I haven't tried it. Seems to not generate a lot of negative reports.

Aguila is Mexican, and generally rather good.

Traditionally, Wolf has been Russian-made, steel cased. But Wolf is not a manufacturer, they are an importer. They have recently introduced a line of brass-cased ammo, I believe made for them by Prvi Partisan, that is supposed to be decent stuff.

The one you really REALLY want to avoid is American (the brand name) ammo (head stamp AMERC).
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Old July 26, 2011, 06:39 PM   #5
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am shopping online to source some cheap range ammo (9mm).

So far I have come across a couple of brands that are unfamiliar to me... Thoughts on quality & value for the following brands?:

Brown Bear
Wolf and Brown Bear are Russian. Never heard anything bad about them. I'd rather spend a bit more for cartridges with reloadable cases.

Ammo by brand... What to avoid?
The only ammo brand I've never heard anything good about is American. Headstamp "AMERC" -- even the brass is reputed to be something you want to avoid.
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Old July 26, 2011, 06:59 PM   #6
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I usually stay away from Romanian surplus ammo.
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Old July 26, 2011, 07:06 PM   #7
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I like blazer brass. i think its a good plinker/paper round at a good price.

Now straight up, blazer, the aluminum cased stuff, made me really angry and disappointed. left behind a nasty residue, and the rounds had NOTICEABLY different charges.

thats the only thing i have to contribute. the cheapest i go on pistol ammo is either blazer brass or WWB. tried the aluminum once and hated it.
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Old July 26, 2011, 08:04 PM   #8
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Most of the imported stuff (bargain priced) is pretty bad. PMC is South Korean and the brass is good and affordable. I reload and have used their brass with no troubles. Russian and Chinese surplus, no thanks. Remington UMC is the worst American name around. Don't waste your money on it. I have used Blazer non reloadable aluminum in only one caliber and it was fine. Their brass is also pretty good. Have used mostly Federal and Winchester for reloading and some of that is twenty years old now and seems like it's going to outlive me. I have some Winchester Match brass manufactured in 1953 and it is very good stuff. I have no idea how many times it's been reloaded but not one has ever split and the primer pockets are still tight. If you don't reload you NEED to start. You won't save a lot of money but you'll get to shoot more rounds and it will be better than any factory stuff. Any factory ammo that seems to be cheap is junk.

Last edited by drail; July 26, 2011 at 08:12 PM.
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Old July 26, 2011, 08:12 PM   #9
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Wolf sucks
Well, that depends, I guess. Using Wolf ammo over the course of one Summer, I made the rank of Master in Combat Pistol. Almost 1000 rounds fired, zero hiccups, and accurate.
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Old July 26, 2011, 10:00 PM   #10
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Wolf seems to have a dirty powder. It means you will probably need to do a bit more cleaning after shooting it. Aguila seems to work fairly well. Wolf has worked for me too. I haven't used Brown Bear so I can't say if it is good or not. I also use CCI Blazer in any flavor, S&B, Federal Champion (Wal-Mart) and a few other brands. If you are collecting brass to reload then you will not want some of those rounds. Not all brass can be reloaded. If you don't reload then any of the above should be fine. Blazer Aluminum does have some pretty hard primers. Pistols with reduced hammer springs will probably not like them. I have used the ammo mentioned in 9mm with my Beretta, Sigs , CZs and CZ clones. RWS also works well.
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Old July 27, 2011, 12:30 AM   #11
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I like Aguila, a Mexican brand. Have used in several calibers and several different guns, no problems.

Wolf and Brown Bear are Russian, steel-cased. I tend to use Russian in guns that I feel were designed for it, i.e. Makarov calibers or AK/SKS. The few times I have tried in other pistols it hasn't caused problems, although it is dirty. I just am always concerned about the extra wear from the steel cases, I suppose from all I've read about how Wolf damages ARs.

Wolf Gold is brass cased, I think mostly by Prvi Partizan from the former Yugoslavia. It's good, but not as cheap as regular Wolf.

I will never again buy the Herters ammo from Cabelas after I got a .380 squib load that I didn't notice in my LCP. Fortunately it lodged close enough to the chamber to keep the gun from going into battery and blowing up. Also VERY harsh recoil. The Herters brand is sourced from different factories for different calibers, but my VERY bad, dangerous experience causes me to avoid it altogether.

Mike 38, what pistol did you run your Wolf in? Any wear issues?
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Old July 27, 2011, 11:12 AM   #12
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I've only used about 400 rounds of wolf and I had a couple of FTFs but who cares if the price is right. I obviously wouldn't use it for SD purposes though. Wolf is dirty also.

I love Silver Bear and Brown Bear. I buy both in bulk online and the ammo is as good as Blazer, Winchester (white box), or any other practice ammo.
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Old July 27, 2011, 11:34 AM   #13
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Wolf Sucks
I have about 1200 rounds saved, and I shot about 400 with 0 problems for my 7.62x39mm. I have a case of HP which I really wanted the FMJ stuff. Oh well.

I would avoid American Eagle for 22lr, doesn't cycle good in my P22. Maybe my spring just needs to be worn in more?
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Old July 27, 2011, 11:49 AM   #14
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The Janitor: Wolf sucks
I've run 5-7,000 rounds of Wolf (.380, 9mm, .40, .45, .223) through my guns with ZERO problems.
If a gun won't run CCI Blazer, Wolf, Tula or Monarch I'll get rid of it.....a gun ought to function with a variety of ammunition.

Maybe it's your gun that sucks.
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Old July 27, 2011, 02:11 PM   #15
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I use S&B. It's always right around as cheap as the russian ammo and works great all the time, for me anyways. I find that Tulammo (never tried Wolf), while very cheap, sometimes isn't worth the trouble.
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Old July 27, 2011, 06:17 PM   #16
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As Aguila Blanca said, AMERC is horrible. It is so bad, it should not be legal to sell. No exaggeration. I would go so far as to describe it as dangerous to your gun and maybe even you.
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Old July 27, 2011, 07:03 PM   #17
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Herter's (from Cabela's) get's bashed a lot. I've never used their pistol ammo, but their 7.62x39 cycles through my Saiga just fine.

Then again, you could probably load my Saiga with a wet shoe and it would cycle it.
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Old July 27, 2011, 07:11 PM   #18
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Have a look into Tula its not half bad. I purchased
a box of .45 ACP my last range trip and it was great.

I've shot Brown Bear 9mm and didn't care for the smell
it tends to generate. It performed fine though.

Blazer gave me a few hiccups.
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Old July 27, 2011, 07:30 PM   #19
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I've shot Wolf, Blazer, UMC, American Eagle and Winchester White Box, all of which I consider cheap range ammo. Other that it being very dirty, I've never had a problem with any of it out of any of my handguns.
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Old July 27, 2011, 10:47 PM   #20
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Maybe I don't shoot enough, because I have never had a problem with any ammo. I bought a bunch of bulk Tula for my XD9 and prior to that it was mostly WWB stuff. No issues.
My Beretta I had choked on anything and everything so it's not fair to judge based on that.
My TCP has run flawlessly with WWB, haven't had it too long so that's all it's had.
My brother has run mainly the yellow boxed bulk UMC through his XDm9 and he has not had any problem.
My cousin buys bulk factory reload stuff that comes loose in an ammo can and he is pretty happy with it.
I guess I really have not seen what I would call garbage ammo first hand. Maybe the further I get into my Tula I will run into problems....?
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Old July 27, 2011, 11:35 PM   #21
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I am avoiding the cheap Remington UMC ammo because I noticed that the bullet setback in this brand is quite bad - try to eject a live round after you FIRED one and compare the OAL. I noticed the same effect in 9mm Luger, .357sig and .40S&W UMC ammo
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Old July 27, 2011, 11:50 PM   #22
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I will never buy UMC in any caliber..ever.

and no winchester white box either, but that's just me.
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Old July 28, 2011, 09:14 AM   #23
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I haven't had any of the horror stories mentioned with UMC pistol ammo. I have used several CASES of it in 9mm in a variety of PISTOLS. However, I will state their .223 Remington rifle ammo is not very good. I was emptying a 30rd magazine of the stuff by pulling the cocking knob on my Sig 556 and one of the bullets was so poorly crimped it actually got pushed back into the case completely. I only noticed it because alot if the powder dumped out of the cartridge onto the carpet and made big mess. Also, it's accuracy isn't too great. Like I said the pistol stuff has been fine for me but the UMC rifle ammo was lousy stuff.

I will second (or 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th), the America Brand ammo is pretty crappy too. I had one box of it in .45acp and it shot so inaccurately that I thought something lay have been wrong with a new 1911. Now, I run cheap TulAmmo through it (and other than being very dirty) it is extremely accurate.

IMHO some of the BEST practice ammo is Blazer Brass. Unfortunately, the don't sell it at my local Wal-Mart anymore and my LGS charges a little too much for it. The aluminum Blazer ammo works fine too. I don't reload. So, I'm not worried about reuse of the cases.
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Old July 29, 2011, 08:55 PM   #24
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I had some 410 hand gun ammo by the brand name Centurion. When I shot them out of my hand gun, the cases expanded so much that the cylinder would jam up and not turn. When I shot them out of a single shot long gun, they blew a pin hole in the primer. Either they use thin metal or are way over loaded.

I shot some metal cased 223 that I bought via Wolf and the case on one expended so much that I couldn't get the bolt open. Thought I was going to have to take it to a gun Smith. Lots of force to get it open.

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Old July 29, 2011, 09:26 PM   #25
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whatever you get try some out before you buy a crap load. ive tried wolf in some of my long guns with no issues but when it came to my .45 it would not feed all the way, seems the steel cases were a little out of spec, never had anything fail to feed in that gun before or after that.
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