From the archive, here are the summarized responses:
Many on the board have discussed Silver Bear, I have shot it with okay results. The accuracy isn't all that (1-1/2 to 2" in my very accurate AR), but it seemed like good blasting ammo. I was somewhat happy that it worked in my AR (My AR will not fire wolf ammo, my wife's AR does well with wolf). My wife and I took two boxes of Silver Bear 62gr HP .223 to the last fun shoot in Michigan at the pit. Two boxes is 1,000 rounds. The rounds had the red sealer on both the bullets and primers. My rifle, the one that does not like wolf, had two failure to feed jams. My wife's rifle, however, had 8 failure to feed jams, and one very serious problem. A round of Silver Bear chambered and fired, but became stuck in the chamber with the bolt being unable to extract the case. We had to disasemble the rifle, lever the bolt and carrier back, and rod out the case. The rear of the case and primer was very flat. The case was not over long in a wilson guage. For a total price of $120 per thousand at the fun show this is not worth the cost savings over Q3131A during an internet sale.
1) 55 gr. FMJ 2) J&T Distributing unchromed 16" postban kit 3) 500 rounds Worked perfectly, no failures. Seems very devestating on milkjugs and popcans. I'll keep buying it, and other Russian ammunition - it works perfectly, and the cost savings is fantastic.
62gr HP 223 Barnaul mfg No problems through a 20" 1-7 FN barrel. 2 @100 yds. A couple hundred rounds fired. The 7.62 HP ammo is the most accurate of the Russian surplus in my KTR. 2" are the norm. Plan on buying more. ]=)
1) Ammunition used: 62 grain HP & 62 grain SP 2) Fireare used: DPMS Lo-Pro Classic, 16" non chromed 3) Approximate number of rounds fired: 500. After about 30 rounds I had problems with cases sticking in the chamber. Discovered this was due to the red sealant. Since I have 3000 rounds of the stuff I came up with a way to remove the sealant and now it works fin.
Fired 240 rounds in Armalite with no problems what so ever. This is the only steel cased I will shoot. I rarely shoot this ammo as prefer PMC for low cost and can buy it resonable enough to make steel cased not that big a bargain for blasting ammo. We did have a guy shoot the 69 gr Silver Bear once at a DCM match-200yards reduced. He got like a 390 and usually shoots 370-400.
I have a DPMS A-15. I bought one box of 55gr, JHP just to test it out. I had 2 FTE's out of 20 rounds. The extractor just ripped right through the rim and left the empty in the chamber. Only problems I have had to date are with this ammo and the Spanish SS109 battlepacks. (Doing the same thing.)
I shot 500 round with one FTE (extractor tore the rim off of the case head). It was definitely NOT due to sealant, as the gun was squeaky clean on the 22nd round of the day. Unfortunately, I forgot a cleaning rod. Any which way - it tapped out easily and all the other rounds were fine.
It's got a surprising kick. There's no difference in felt recoil between it and Q3131A. Olympic is noticeably weaker. RussB seems to confirm that Silver Bear is loaded up to pretty good velocities - look up his numbers in my initial post.
I've got a case of Wolf I'll try next. If that works fine, I'll probably buy two flavors of ammo:
1) Wolf or whatever runs about $100/1000 for plinking
2) M193 for all other purposes. Got ~2K stashed away currently, but there's always room for more.
Fired about 50 rounds of this through a 20" BM at a local plate shoot with good results; shot to the apparent POA as wolf 62 gr but definately moved the plates with more gusto. By comparison, the large plates shot with Winchester white box through my 16" RR ET tipped over ever so slowly; through a 20" barrel the SB put them down in a hurry. Just wished they'd get rid of the red stuff. YMMV.
I fired 300 rounds of the 62gr HP the other day in my Frankford Arsenal M-16. Most all was in full auto with only a few failures to feed that was due to a faulty magazine, not the ammo. Took that magazine out of service and no more problems. I would rather run this through my M-16 than Wolf. I haven't tried it in my 3 AR-15's yet.
62 gr HP 20" Bushmaster Ammo is very nice, no FTanything, quite accurate. Cleans up nice.
I have fired over 2500 rounds of the 62grhps.I have 2 colts. A 20" pre ban HBAR and a 16"LTW and have had no problems.I use a number of different mags, all the 30 have the black followers.I sand bagged both and a 100yards Group are from the size of a 1" to 3". I never had any problems with Wolf, but I have only used around 500 rds. The groups are larger out of my guns with the Wolf. I will keep using the Silver Bear for blasting steel plates.
Dear AR15.com members: I have been refraining for a while about commenting one way or another about this Russian ammo with the thought that some may feel that I am trying to bend their views of Russian ammunition and skew opinions to one side or the other. That I will not do. However, for the last three years I have been working with a company to help import Silver Bear and Brown Bear ammunition from the various Russian plants that we have been working with. We do pay attention to what is said on the boards and we do take the ‘constructive criticism’ and try to genuinely improve on the quality and workmanship of the Silver Bear and Brown Bear ammunition. I really appreciate the poll taken Zhukov. What I think that it shows is that the ammunition is not bad but definitely could be improved upon. I communicate daily with the plants in Russia that produce the .223 Silver Bear and .223 Brown Bear ammunition and pass these as well as with the importer to help improve the quality of the product. I was in Russia about 12 days ago and we discussed in detail most of the issues that you all have discussed her. I have copied your posts into a document and again will forward it again as further proof of the importance of addressing these issues. I can tell you that the main issue for them, the Russian manufacturers, is test weapons. There are two factories manufacturing Silver Bear and Brown Bear ammunition... one of the factories used an HK SL8 while the other factory has ancient M-16 with curious three prong flash hiders... I can only guess where they came from. Also, allot of the testing is done with the assistance of Viyatskie Polyarni “Molot” plant that makes the ‘Vepr’ rifles. If any of you have questions about this ammunition or any other Russian ammunition... I will be happy to try to address it. However, I will say this here that I will not get into any mudslinging with or about Wolf ammunition. I hope to be able to engage in ‘constructive’ conversations with all regarding Russian ammunition. Sincerely, Yasenovo
yasenovo, I think everyone here would appreciate your participation, developing a better product at a reasonable price benefits everyone. I do have a couple of questions. Is the jacket on the 55 grn fmj, in the 580 rd metal cans, a bi-metal or a copper jacket? Also, has the manufacturer considered different packaging? I know they probably have mountains of the cans available so they use them. The South African ammunition that was available was not only popular because of the price but the packaging, a 300 rd PVC package with a handle made it very convenient to carry and store. There might be a chance that a 200-300 rd PVC pack similar to what South African and now Santa Barbara use would prove to be very popular at the normal retail and gun show prices that Silver Bear is selling at. mm
It’s Bi-Metal...not copper. Not yet anyway. We’re working to get them to switch to copper... at least in the .223 and .308. Other calibers will come later. The commodity market is interesting to say the least. While the worldwide cost of copper may be $1.06 per lb, in Russia there is a captured market and it can be...and often is higher. So, the factories stick to using what they have at their disposal...bi-metal alloys. About packaging: Russians do things by habit. We have spoken to them about the heavy bags that the South Africans, Spanish and Portuguese have used and are currently using. However, they, only a few short years ago started to commercially package their ammunition. It took a while of explaining to get them to package the cases in boxes that would be acceptable for UPS shipping here in the US. Also, it took a while to get bar codes put on the cases and the individual boxes. The Russian military is only interested in packaging in the metal cans and have no interest whatsoever to package in the heavy bags at this time nor any time in the future. Putting the ammo in heavy bags would be a cool idea...but as far as shipping the ammo, we also felt that it would add an extra expense to the seller...one they would be reluctant to incur at the current price point of the product. So, for the foreseeable future the packaging will not change dramatically... Thank you for your questions. YBH
Myself and a circle of friends compete monthly in action rifle shoot and almost all of us use the 62gr HP Silver Bear. Between us I would guess we have consumed about 10K rounds and in fact I am expecting a group buy to be delievered tomorrow with 12K more. In other words, it is good stuff for shooting fast. I wouldn't call it ideal for tack driving. I have found that spraying the chamber with Break Free before the match keeps everything running smoothly and prevents any rounds that have a little nickle coating from getting hung up in the chamber. The targets we shoot for the matches are IPSC cardboard and steel plates varying in size from 8" pie plates to 18" squares at ranges from point blank to 200 meters. Bottom line, it is good stuff if used for what bulk, right priced, ammo is intended.
500 rounds of 62SP through a Bushmaster carbine. Two cases stuck in chamber.
Silver Bear 55gn FMJ
Rifle 1: Armalite M15A4 20"
Rifle 2: RR lower with entry length ACE stock and a Model 1 16" upper (non-chrome).
560 rounds with no failures of any kind.
No groups on paper, but was able to keep all rounds on a 16" steel plate out to 400 yards with both rifles.
Great plinking ammo!
My RRA shorty has chewed through about 120 rounds without a hiccup at all. My buddies model1sales kit had a few issues with about 100 rounds. Not sure if it was his gun or the ammo. His gun has also had problems with other ammo that mine had none with
My RRA shorty has chewed through about 120 rounds without a hiccup at all. My buddies model1sales kit had a few issues with about 100 rounds. Not sure if it was his gun or the ammo. His gun has also had problems with other ammo that mine had none with.
Have shot off 500 rnds in both BM and Colt carbines. Didn't have any problems with the red sealant and I even made sure to get the chamber hot and then let it cool with a round in the chamber. Still, for plinking ammo, it would be nice to get rid of the sealant around the case neck, just to be on the safe side.
The only problem I did have was with the tip of the hollow points hanging up on the receiver, right below the feed ramps on the BM. Didn't have this problem with the Colt since it has extended feed ramps, however, I did notice copper marks on the extended ramps. My range mags have been used quite a bit, so this problem may just be due to weak mag springs.
As for other issues, I don't have a problem with it being packaged in cans, actually think it is a pretty good thing for long term storage. The way the rounds are packaged in the boxes is sort of annoying since you have to rip through the inside paper packing and creates wasted space in the box. This makes the box bigger than it needs to be, requiring a larger storage container to hold the same number of rounds of ammo. It would be better if the rounds were packed in the box like Q3131A, Spanish SB, or even South African. That all said, it's really not that big of an issue and wouldn't keep me from buying this ammo.
The bi-metal jacket doesn't bother me since both my rifles have a chrome lined bores, and I would not pay more for full copper jacketed bullets.
Really, the only things I would change, is to get rid of the sealant around the case necks, load the ammo hot (as hot as mil-spec), and crimp the primers.
I was about 300 rounds into a case of SB when the corner of one of the cartridges sheared off and resulted in a live round jammed up behind the unextracted cartridge in a HOT gun. Bummer. I'll shoot the rest of it and report back.
Yea, you're getting extraction problems probably caused by the red sealant around the neck. To verify. Use a chamber brush and acetone to clean out your chamber. Finish up cleaning as normal. Try to fire some more silver bear. More than likely, the first 30 or so rounds will be fine but as the sealant flakes off in the neck area of the chamber the rounds will start sticking and your problem will come back. My solution was to clean off all the sealant from the rounds (hey, I had the rounds already).
Yeah, you were right PhotoGuy. I gave her a good cleaning, shot about 200 rounds of PMC without issue, then tried a mag of SB. Got thru about 20 rounds and had an identical problem -- when I took a look at the cartridge, the rim was torn off just like the other one I posted earlier.
Gave the remaning 4 boxes to the range guy; this was the last SB I'll be buying.
I have found some silver bear at a gun show.I shot 500 rounds no problems.The price aint bad either good ammo... Also I feed my guns the high dollar stuff winchester white box...And a few other high dollar ammo companies.. I have ran about 90% of all ammo companies thru my guns..Plural 2 pre bans 1 post ban and 2 no bans.. I haven't had any problems...Its ok for me...
Since the original post is now archived, I figured I'd add the pictures from last year directly to this thread for the benefit of those who haven't seen them. The first pic is a bisected 62gr HP:
The next picture is a comparison of the 62gr HP with a M193 bullet (LC '82):
I performed fragmentation experiments on two occasions. The first time was with some milk jugs lined up. The round fragmented, but there were some questions as to the validity of using milk jugs. The second time around I used a plastic trashcan filled full of water and shot straight down into the water. The round fragmented again, as did the trashcan. And yes, my wife was mad.
Here are the pictures from that experiment:
As you can see, the casing clearly fragmented, as the tip is still intact.
This one is from my second shot:
Today at the Range I shot 580 Rounds of silver Bear ammo
Light Rain 36f
16 inch barrel 1/7 twist (new Barrel)
Ammo: .223 Rem 55gr FMJ Silver Bear
I had 1 FTF and one stuck Case out of 580 rounds had to use a cleaning rod to remove case with force. My personal opinion is I think they should get rid of the steel case & zinc coating and go with a brass case.
I think the combination of rain & Zinc coating caused my FTF and the stuck case. If you feel the cases they are not really that smooth because of the zinc coating
Just finished off a can totaling 580rds of Silver Bear in a stock BM 14.5" M4A3
Zero malfs of any kind.... other than the smell of ammonia in the air...
Granted, this is a sample size of 1 (well 1x580)
After giving my RRA Entry Tactical a quick clean the night before, I took 300 rounds of Silver Bear 62gr hollow points to the range for a couple of hours of shooting.
It's loaded a bit hotter than Wolf. Group sizes at 100 yards were around 3-4 inches using a rifle rest. Still made the milk jugs fly, though. All 300 rounds performed without failure of any kind - I even rapid fired a few times.
I shoot the 62 gr HP SB ammo. I have fired about 300 rounds of it in various ar builds. I like it so far. I have never had any issues with any kind of SB ammo. It cycles smoothly in my AR, and seems accurate enough for plinking. I will continue to use it in the future.
DPMS Postban with 16" bull barrel
RRA-based Homebulit with 16" Bushmaster chrome barrel.
450 rounds fired thus far.
I've had numerous stuck cases in both of my rifles. One was locked in the chamber so tight I could not break it loose by hand. I needed a hammer and rod. Kinda ruins a nice day at the range. I've had only 1 problem with Wolf so far, and I'll be going back to that for practice ammo.
1 FTFire (Primer looked gooey and had strong FP mark on it)
All in one case of 900rnds. I'll shoot what I have left then I'm done.
Stag lower w/LMT upper, chrome-moly heavy, 16" barrel (new, had it <3 months)
fired ~300 out of 1,000 purchased
I have had 2 FTEx/stuck cases in <300 rounds in two separate shooting sessions. Extractor pulled off the rim in both cases. Both were stuck so tight I had to pound them out with a cleaning rod once I got them home. Each time happend with less than 100 rounds fired in that particular shooting session and the AR was cleaned prior to shooting.
Like Gruntled, I will shoot the remainder and never go back to SB .223 ammo.
Bought a case at a gunshow Saturday, went to the range Sunday and had cases stick in the chamber about 20% of the time (1 of 5). This is shit ammo and will not buy it again!
I tried the 223 Silver Bear in an AK101 built by Chris of AKUSA. Out of the 500 rounds that I purchased to try, I had at least 15 or 20 that jammed in the gun and the bolt would not close so luckily the gun would not fire. I had to use a screwdriver to remove the round. This AK had previously ate Wolf like it was candy. However, all I use now is Barnaul. It is more accurate, runs 100%, and cleaner that all other imported ammo. Now, for my AR's I use my handloads that are accurate and run 100% of the time.
Several years ago I tried to run Silver Bear in my only AR at the time, RRA 16" mid with .223 chamber. Frequent FTE. I learned real fast to always have a rod in the truck and always shoot nice brass.
Anyway, fast forward to today....
A co-worker has a Bushmaster 20" that had run Wolf and Silver Bear previously with no problems. He had me order him some new Silver Bear from AIM. It came in different packaging than previous orders (20 rd. box with plastic divider vs. older 30rd. box with brown stapled paper). He had major problems. FTE every third or fourth round. He gave me 60 rounds to try in my guns. Both my 20" and 16" 5.56 chambered rifles choked every four to five rounds as well. FTE that required some pounding with the rod.
I hop YMMV, but I have yet to find an AR that consistently runs WOLF, BEAR or OLYMPIC. None of my six AR's will do it.
I tried 400 rounds in several different AR's. Each one had cases stick in the chamber about every fifth round. I actually threw the last 120 rounds away. First time I've ever found ammo so worthless I put it in a trashcan. I couldn't even get anybody at the range to take it, after they saw the problems I had.
Definitely wouldn't buy more.
62 gr. hp
Bought 4 20rd boxes of it from the local gunshop/hardware store due to the low price.
fired 30 rounds through Armalite A2 gov. profile barrel and had problems about every fourth round. Numerous FTEs often with the case lodged in the upper. Had to lock the bolt back and shake out the empty case.
fired 20 rounds through a rock river upper and lower w/ BM 1/7 chrome lined barrel. Had 1 stuck case and 3 FTEs. The case came out with a shove from my cleaning rod.
I've had an unopened box for 6 months now and will not be using it again.
I've used Wolf Ammo without problems yet....just so you know I'm not an ammo snob.
First, here's some background - I've been using quality brass ammunition in my AR's mixed with plenty of Wolf (new polymer) and have had absolutely no problems whatsoever.
I then started reading about how silver bear may be more accurate and hotter than wolf, as well as that it sucked, jammed everything, etc. Since Wolf prices have been rising, I decided to give silver bear a try.
200+ rounds out of 3 different ARs (RRA middy chromelined, 2 sabre chromlined middies) with absolutely NO problems. decent accuracy, and is it MUCH hotter than wolf. It feels like M193 in the recoil and noise department, which may be good to simulate real conditions for less money.
I bought mine from AIM and will buy more.
I'm on my second ~400 round order of this stuff now. Fired through a 16" 1:9 Armalite M15A4 I just bought less than two months ago. No problems at all with the ammo. At first I had major problems with a bad magazine, then with a loose carrier key. I, of course, quickly blamed the "junk russian ammo" but after I ditched the cheapo mag and tightened up the allen head bolts and staked them, the stuff runs flawlessly.
ETA: This is an even mix of 62gr HP and 62gr SP
Silver Bear 62gr. HP, Bushy xm15 20" barrel Marine Corps clean after every outing. I have run approximately 5000 rounds of this stuff with a few problems. When the rifle gets hot and I let a round sit in the chamber too long, it will fail to extract. Once a case was stuck beyond my ability to remove it with a rod...No amount of hammering, penetrating oil, freezing, heating, pulling, pushing or swearing would get that case out. An armorer finally did it for me for a price. I still use Silver Bear due to price, but I never let a round sit in a hot chamber...Empty the magazine! After about 90 rds I clean the chamber before shooting some more. DO NOT rely on this stuff for defense. Use it for practice only.
Haven't had experience with the .556 yet since my AR is still in the build stage. I have hower shot a few hundred rounds of 7.63x39 through my Mini-30 and had absolutly no problems. Happens to be the only ammo I shoot in that rifle. For a gun not known for accuracy, the Silver Bear 125gr SP in my Mini groups about 2" at 100 yards. Not bad for a Mini and $2.70 a box.
After about 300 rounds of this stuff, I had a misfire with .223 55gr FMJ Silver Bear in my Bushmaster XM15-E2S 16" M4. The primer was dimpled, a lot more than when chambering a round, but less than a normal dimple. The primer looks different from most other primers in the pack, and it appears to be seated very slightly too low. Nothing else seems unusual.
Model 1 Sales 20" non-chrome
M&A 16" non-chrome
Ruger KAC556 18"
I purchased 500 rds about a year ago.
Constant failures to extract/stuck cases.
Inspected the ammo closely and found the exterior very rough.
Lightly sanded and Remoiled exterior of cases.
Still get constant failures to extract/stuck cases in all three guns.
I have 400+ rounds left that I can see nothing else to do with but throw in the trash can.
20" SS Wilson match HBAR Rock River CMP postban. Wylde chamber.
VERY VERY dirty ammo. Worse than Wolf and Barnaul. Fed well until the chamber began to get dirty.
Then these zinc coated steel cases started to have major FTE problems. Tore the rim edge off a couple, and then had a major case seperation. No other ammo has had this problem in this firearm.
I bought three boxes to test it out. Fired thru a POF 16" 1:8 barrel. It is loaded hot, much hotter than expected. Accuracy wasn't bad. I had one FTEx. I may or may not buy more...
I've run about 120 rounds of the 5.56 62gr sp. In that I had about a dozen FTF (dimpled primers). All fired the second time around. This was shot through a custom AR I built. I will hit the range again and try it through different rifle and see if there is a difference.
In almost every case, I have found that it is a reflection on the rifle if it won't shoot wolf/silver bear/olympic (take your pick). I have seen franken builds that ran fine on american stuff, but not on the other above ammo, but in every quality built rifle i've ever seen or owned the stuff has been pretty much flawless. If I had a rifle that I couldn't get to run with silver bear/olympic/wolf, I'd sell it and get myself a different gun. But that's just me.