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Posted: 6/19/2003 2:28:36 PM EDT




This stuff any good ?
Full-auto has it advertised on their home page.


What say the experts ?
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 2:37:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 2:45:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/19/2003 2:45:43 PM EDT by M4_Aiming_at_U]
I have shot it and it runs a lot like the wolf. The Zinc plating instead of the laquaer case gives me peace of mind.
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 3:50:12 PM EDT
Barnaul (Barnaul makes Silver Bear)is hands down higher in quality than any Wolf. This is a way of keeping the case from rusting with out the laquer. I have shot it in .223, 7.62 X 39, and .30-06. It all worked fine.
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 4:50:45 PM EDT
Hello I like legs too. They have a way of leading to the holy land. I just received 2000 rnds of zinc ammo and regret ordering it. This ammo is not accurate in my new Bushy 1-9" 20" barrel. On the plus side. I now have a good reason to order a SAR 3 rifle to burn up ammo that does not shoot to my standards(under 2" @ 100 yards).
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 8:13:26 PM EDT
I only tried 60 rounds of it but liked it. I have a 1:7 twist M4 Bushmaster and it shot better than any thing else so far. I pulled several bullets to check powder charge weights and they were within 2/10s of a grain difference. So I just ordered 500 rounds today. Plan on building a 20" 1:9 twist AR next week so I will try it in both. Got a scope on the way and will see how it does at 100 and 150 yards also.
Link Posted: 6/22/2003 7:22:41 PM EDT
I'm another happy customer. FInally got a chance to put a bunch through my RRA today, and not a single malfunction. There's quite a bit of sealant around the case mouth, but it did not appear to build up in the chamber. I can't comment on accuracy, since I was blasting into a creek and its adjoining bank, but I would consider this pure plinking ammo anyway. Bought it from CTD when I was in Ft. Wort a week ago. Several people have claimed that SIlver Bear is loaded "light", but there have been a couple of posts in the last month where people have chrono'd Silver Bear, and the velocity out of a 16" barrel was about 2950fps. That's pretty darn close to M855 velocity. I did not feel any difference between the Silver Bear 62gr HP's and Q3131A I shot. Maybe next time I'll load up some alternating M193 and Silver Bear. Then again, I really don't care that much. In summary: It works, it's just slightly more expensive than WOlf, and it doesn't have lacquer coating to worry about. The only drawback is that it's not as widely available.
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 6:46:38 AM EDT
Sounds like some great plinking ammo! Are there any issues with the Zinc shavings getting into things like the firing group in the lower? How dirty is it compared to Wolf?
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 6:53:18 PM EDT
I will say the same thing I always say about Russian ammo. I have never had any trouble with Wolf, Barnaul or Uly (I prefer the latter two).......as long as it's used in Russian guns. Put it in AR's or other guns though and all bets are off. Any of the Russian stuff works in AK's or SKS's, but some may be a bit more accurate and less dirty than others. Wolf products tend to be the cheapest of all the Russian ammo. I have heard mixed reports about this Silver Bear ammo. But many people have had all sorts of problems with it in their AR rifles. Many hate it and a few seem to like it. Many of the reports I have read (both here and elsewhere) seem to center on this type of ammo as their guns run ok when they switch to something else. Much is made about the zinc plating, but to me this is akin to wrapping a turd in a piece of aluminum foil! Sure it's shiny, but it's still $hit! While I apologize for the rather graphic comedy, this sorta sums up the ammo. For American made guns such as the AR, you will be better off sticking to quality, brass cased ammo. It isn't that much more expensive and tends to perform much better. If you want it for an AK, that's a different matter entirely. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 10:42:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2003 12:48:54 PM EDT by zhukov]
Originally Posted By Charging_Handle: I have heard mixed reports about this Silver Bear ammo. But many people have had all sorts of problems with it in their AR rifles. Many hate it and a few seem to like it. Many of the reports I have read (both here and elsewhere) seem to center on this type of ammo as their guns run ok when they switch to something else. -Charging Handle
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No disrespect here, but I absolutely loathe these reports of "I've heard such-and-such". It's the same thing that comes up with the Wolf ammo all the time. I've followed the Silver Bear discussions here for about 2 months before buying some, and there's only been 1 person I've read of which had claimed a bad experience with Silver Bear. If *I* had a failure with a particular kind of ammo, that's one thing. It's up to me to decide if the way the ammo failed, and the failure rate associated with it is acceptable to me. If a couple of rounds out of 1000 don't ignite due to primer failure, then that's acceptable to *me*. If I see split cases, I will throw away the ammo never to buy it again. Ultimately, someone did a poll on Wolf, which is still pretty recent on the ammo pages. Approximately 83% had no problems with Wolf at all, while another 9% had problems directly related to the green coating. Silver Bear is made by Barnaul, which is generally rated higher than Wolf. It doesn't have lacquer coating on the cases. I think it is right to assume that at least 92% of us wouldn't have problems with it in our AR's. Another point - you're quite correct in pointing out that quality, US made ammo runs better in AR's. Fine. But why SHOULDN'T I use Silver Bear if it runs fine in MY AR and it's a lot cheaper ? Your post almost seems to imply that this is irrelevant. I, for one, will gladly buy Silver Bear to go plinking, while still maintaining an adequate cache of XM193/Q3131A for other purposes. It would make sense for anyone looking to buy cheap ammo to get some small quantities of the ammo they're interested in and trying it out in their rifle before making a decision. The only hard exclusion to this rule would be ammo which tends to unilaterally cause grief and might even be hazardous to your rifle. The Olympic stuff comes to mind, and there's probably some others.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 12:29:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2003 12:35:13 PM EDT by Collin]
Originally Posted By zhukov: No disrespect here, but I absolutely loathe these reports of "I've heard such-and-such". It's the same thing that comes up with the Wolf ammo all the time. I've followed the Silver Bear discussions here for about 2 months before buying some, and there's only been 1 person I've read of which had claimed a bad experience with Silver Bear. Ultimately, someone did a poll on Wolf, which is still pretty recent on the ammo pages. Approximately 83% had no problems with Wolf at all, while another 9% had problems directly related to the green coating. Silver Bear is made by Barnaul, which is generally rated higher than Wolf. It doesn't have lacquer coating on the cases. I think it is right to assume that at least 92% of us wouldn't have problems with it in our AR's.
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Well said, the Wolf poll was done by me, based on DaPhotoGuy's idea. I plan on doing a Silver Bear poll soon. Basically, Russian ammo is inexpensive plinking ammo. I will not hesitate to use it. Even if there were to be accelerated wear on the bolt, extractor, etc., one will be financially ahead in the end. I see no reason to boycott the ammo. In fact, it makes political sense to do so, as the money will help a financially strapped Russia in its inevitable march to Democracy. BTW, American companies make a TON of money off Russian ammo, so it helps our economy too.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 5:53:08 PM EDT
What kills me is that someone can ask for an opinion on an ammo type, and if someone's answer isn't what another poster wants to hear, they start getting all defensive about it! Feel free to use anything you wish in your rifles as it's 100% your choice. But for me, when I go out and buy a $800-$1000 rifle, I'm not gonna feed it the cheapest, dirtiest, harshest ammo I can find. But that is my choice and my opinion. I'm entitled to my opinion just like you are. Personally, my dislike for Russian ammo in AR's has nothing to do with the laquered cases (although I'm not fond of the primer sealant getting all inside my rifle). It has more to do with the steel cases. While I don't believe steel cases are as harsh on chambers as some say, I have seen enough evidence to suggest it is much harder on extractors than brass cased ammo. On top of that, it is loaded much weaker than M193, even weaker than much of the commercial .223 SAAMI spec ammo. I keep and use an AR as a trunk gun and a home defense weapon. I use the M193 because it has the ability to fragment and offer good terminal results. The cheap Russian ammo doesn't fragment and from what I have seen, even their HP's perform poorly. And because it is loaded so weak, it doesn't even make a decent practice round to simulate the M193's blast, recoil and POI. And on top of this, it isn't as accurate as other ammo types and it's dirty. So for me, I have no use for a round that can't do anything as well as relatively cheap and abundant M193 ammo. But again, that's just me and that's my reasons why I dislike it. If others feel it's performance is adequate, can tolerate the steel cases and sealant, don't mind dirty ammo, can handle less accuracy and terminal performance and only concern themselves with price, then I say buy Russian ammo. It's your choice. But for me I will stick with M193 because it is my opinion it is much better ammo and I like practicing with what I will use in a serious situation. Wolf, Barnaul and Silver Bear is not adequate for this purpose. So in closing, if you only need ammo for shooting at paper targets, soda cans, and other informal plinking, the Russian ammo is probably good enough. But it may cause increased wear on your rifle. But if you think you might ever need to use your rifle as a weapon, I would suggest at a minimum that the user choose M193. -Charging Handle PS....I have seen plenty of credible posts here and elsewhere of people having terrible problems with Russian ammo in AR rifles and carbines. This includes broken extractors, failures to extract (various types including short stroking and stuck cartridge cases), among other things. Many of these problems go away when the user switches to a better quality brass cased ammo such as SA surplus, M193, etc. So what does that say? But I rest my case and to each his own.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 7:32:04 PM EDT
On top of that, it is loaded much weaker than M193, even weaker than much of the commercial .223 SAAMI spec ammo.
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YOU have proof of this?
The cheap Russian ammo doesn't fragment and from what I have seen, even their HP's perform poorly.
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And YOU have tested the Silver Bear fragmentation qualities?
And on top of this, it isn't as accurate as other ammo types and it's dirty.
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So YOU have used Silver Bear and know for a fact that it is less accurate and dirty?
PS....I have seen plenty of credible posts here and elsewhere of people having terrible problems with Russian ammo in AR rifles and carbines.
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But not SILVER BEAR. There is crappy US made ammo also, you can't judge everything by one or two brands.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 10:00:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2003 10:16:58 PM EDT by Charging_Handle]
Originally Posted By DaPhotoGuy:
On top of that, it is loaded much weaker than M193, even weaker than much of the commercial .223 SAAMI spec ammo
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YOU have proof of this?
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What's to prove? It is fairly common knowledge that the Russian ammo is loaded much slower than mil-spec ammo such as Federal XM193. Generally speaking, expect it to be anywhere from 200-300 fps slower. That's a significant difference. Do a simple search and look around at some chrono data. It's posted all over every shooting board I have been on (and in the ammo FAQ here along with terminal performance results) . It's here too somewhere in past threads in this forum. But to save you some trouble I can give you some general numbers. Expect M193 55 gr ammo to run about 3250 fps from a 20" barrel, give or take a few fps. Expect the various Russian 55 gr .223 to run around 2900 fps, give or take a few fps from the same barrel. Most quality M855 mil-spec 62 gr such as Winchester or IMI will get you 3100 fps or so from a 20' barrel, whereas the Russian 62 gr stuff would be down around 2800 fps give or take a few FPS. Again, these aren't exact numbers but I am recalling approximate velocities from what I have seen in the past. Regardless, expect the mil-spec to run at least 200 fps faster than the Russian stuff.
The cheap Russian ammo doesn't fragment and from what I have seen, even their HP's perform poorly.
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And YOU have tested the Silver Bear fragmentation qualities?
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I didn't have to test it because Brouhaha and Tatjana have already tested Rusky ammo in the past. While the load they tested was Wolf, it uses the same bullet construction as Barnaul or Silver Bear. The bullets have a thick jacket and no cannelure. Added to that they are fired at a slower velocity. On the other hand, M193 has a thin jacket, a cannelure and is launched about 200 fps or more faster from the muzzle. Therefore when it strikes a soft target such as flesh, it yaws 90 degrees and the force exerted on the weak constructed bullet forces it to break at the cannelure and the resulting fragmentation follows. That's why M193 fragments and the Russian stuff doesn't. It isn't constructed the same, nor does it have the same velocity. This is an old topic and has been beat to death here time and time again.
And on top of this, it isn't as accurate as other ammo types and it's dirty.
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So YOU have used Silver Bear and know for a fact that it is less accurate and dirty?
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Uhhh, as a matter of fact I have. I have tested several types of ammo @ 100 yds from my AR. In my tests I usually get 2" groups with a quality M193 such as Winchester Q3131A and about 4" groups with all of the Russian ammo, be it Silver Bear, Wolf, or whatever. However, Wolf is generally the worst. And yes, it is very dirty. It also stinks.
PS....I have seen plenty of credible posts here and elsewhere of people having terrible problems with Russian ammo in AR rifles and carbines.
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But not SILVER BEAR. There is crappy US made ammo also, you can't judge everything by one or two brands.
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Yes, this includes Silver Bear as well. I was just participating in a thread a few days ago in the GD forum where a guy was seeking help with a rifle that always choked on Silver Bear ammo. He was having terrible extraction problems and he didn't experience this with other types of ammo. I was making a blanket statement above when I said Russian ammo, as I have heard and seen numerous reports of this same thing happening with all types of it. Generally speaking, it's safe to say that Russian made steel cased ammo is of less quality and is less reliable than a quality M193 spec load in an AR rifle. Is that so hard for you to understand? Again, this is fairly common knowledge that's readily available if you will just take the time to look around. I don't get my info from a poll, I get mine from high speed, low drag folks who know what they are talking about. While not everyone has problems with the various types of Russian ammo, it is no doubt more troublesome than a quality M193 or M855. This doesn't just apply to Russian ammo either. Do a search here and on other gun boards and look for 'Olympic SS109' ammo. There have been tons of problems with this stuff. You get what you pay for. Here's some info from the ammo FAQ regarding Wolf .223 ammo, Again, the bullet jacket on this ammo is the same as the other Russian types. "Q. What about using Wolf in defensive roles? Probably not the best idea. Wolf is generally underpowered for a milspec 5.56mm round and velocity, so critical to wound profile in FMJ rounds, suffers as a result. Additionally, the copper jacket on wolf is thicker and therefore more resistant to fragmentation. In our gel tests fragmentation of 55 grain FMJBT Wolf and wound volume were both lacking and we wouldn't recommend it for defensive purposes, particularly not where at least M193 is available at similar cost." If you would like to see more information (factual information, not crap), go take a look at the rest of the FAQ and the pictures. Most of the issues we have addressed are covered there more in depth than I can here. The FAQ is a great resource, written by people who know what they are talking about and have the proof to back-up what they say. You will see stuff such as velocity info, pro's and con's of M193 and Russian ammo, wound profiles and a host of other matters. The FAQ was created to answer all of these questions and it's sad to see that more people don't take advantage of it. Go have a look, there's lots of great stuff contained within it. [url]www.ammo-oracle.com[/url] Again, the Wolf, Barnaul, Uly and Silver Bear ammo may not be the worst thing in the world. And it works beautifully in AK's and SKS's. But it's cheap and crude when compared to a quality round of M193. It isn't as accurate, it is dirtier, it causes more wear and tear on your rifle and many people find that it isn't as reliable. About the only thing it has going for it is price. And that is why so many people flock to it in droves. It isn't because it's that good, people just like low prices and they are willing to sacrifice quality to get it. But if you don't believe me, check around with other knowledgeable folks here and at other forums. See if people like Brouhaha, Tatjana, Troy, KevinB, Forrest, DevL or Dr. Gary Roberts would recommend any of the cheap Russian ammo for use as a primary or even a training round in an AR rifle. Most likely they will tell you what I am telling you, get some M193 at a minimum. Soe of them would go even farther and tell you to get some Black Hills OTM for serious use. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 6:55:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2003 7:04:59 AM EDT by zhukov]
So in closing, if you only need ammo for shooting at paper targets, soda cans, and other informal plinking, the Russian ammo is probably good enough. But it may cause increased wear on your rifle. But if you think you might ever need to use your rifle as a weapon, I would suggest at a minimum that the user choose M193.
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Charging Handle: That's exactly what I stated. Plinking can be done with cheap ammo, M193 for the rest. Believe me, I'll be squirreling away as much LC as I can (until my wife finds out). [chair] You spent a great deal of time talking about the lack of fragmentation of the russian ammo. One more time to be clear: I'm not talking about using it for defensive purposes. A lot of the examples you gave were specifically related to Wolf, not Silver Bear. I don't doubt that there's a person which had problems with the Silver Bear. I bet there's people whose AR's don't like all brass cased ammo either. One other thing: There have been several users which have chrono'd Silver Bear, and it comes in at a little over 2900fps out of a 16" barrel. That's pretty good, considering M855 runs only ~50fps hotter. I could not tell the difference in after switching from Silver Bear to Q3131A. That's not to talk about the bullet's fragmentation performance, but I seriously doubt the cartridge is way underpowered and would cause short-stroking. As far as cases getting stuck in the chamber - the only way I can see that happening is if a case was not properly sized. That could certainly happen if the quality control was deficient, and I would re-evaluate my standing on this ammo if I run into the problem myself.
PS....I have seen plenty of credible posts here and elsewhere of people having terrible problems with Russian ammo in AR rifles and carbines. This includes broken extractors, failures to extract (various types including short stroking and stuck cartridge cases), among other things. Many of these problems go away when the user switches to a better quality brass cased ammo such as SA surplus, M193, etc. So what does that say? But I rest my case and to each his own.
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Here, on the other hand, you're ignoring the fact that I qualified the use of cheap ammo by sayig that you ought to find out if the ammo works well in your rifle or not. If it short strokes, then don't use it. But that's not a reason not to try it. If my extractor wears out a couple of thousand rounds sooner, then I'm pretty sure I will have saved enough money to more than pay for a new extractor. They're like, what, $15 or so ?
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 2:09:10 PM EDT
Two weeks ago I purchased 1M rounds of the zinc plated .223 Silver Bear 62 gr. HP to test for function and accuracy in my Bushmaster 16" A2 Carbine, the Bushy A2 Carbine with AK brake, and my .223 Saiga conversion. I fired 200 rounds through the Bushmasters, five 20 rounders apiece, and 120 rounds through the Saiga. No failures of any kind. All three weapons chased empty yellow Pennzoil bottles around the 100 yard berm as long as either I or my daughter cared to pull the trigger. As far as accuracy, the 16" A2 Carbine turned in 2.5" groups, the A2/AK fired 2.7" groups, and the Saiga was about 2.8". When I fire Wolf 62 grain in the same weapons, the groups are usually 1" to 1.5" greater. I plan to use the Silver Bear for plinking in the future in place of the 62 grain Wolf HP that I have now. I have XM193 put away for "the good stuff." Noah
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 2:33:32 PM EDT
My brother and I split a case of hollow points when we found it for around .13 a round. Thought we would try it out as cheap plinking ammo. I have not had a problem with it in any of my rifles that I have tried. It may not be quite as accurate as xm193, but it still shoots fine. The hollow points work great on milk jugs full of water too. It seems to be a dirty round though. I try to clean my guns shortly after shooting because I'm not sure if there is anything corrosive in them. Just my .02 worth.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 6:32:07 PM EDT
Noah, 1M rounds of ammo, you must have one hell of an ammo budget. [;)] Charging_Handle, I agree that it is up to each person on what ammo they want to use. That said, the M193 spec ammo will wear your rifle faster than any underpowered Russian ammo will. Plus, I can't believe anyone can honestly say that SA surplus M193 is clean burning, or doesn't stink as bad, or maybe even worse then the Russian stuff.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 9:11:32 PM EDT
Again folks, I'm not trying to rip on anyone who uses Russian ammo. I am just trying to help ilikelegs in his orginal question. When dealing with the 5.56mm, the M193 is pretty much a universal thing and most everyone has dealt with it. Therefore I use the M193 standards for comparison purposes since he can probably relate to it's performance. Since he didn't specify what purpose he had in mind, I wanted to throw out all the possible problems he may or may not experience with this ammo. I'm not saying that his gun will break, that the primers won't reliably ignite, that he will have stuck cartridge cases or various other things. I am simply pointing out that there have been some problems with this ammo so that he can buy a small amount and test it before getting a large quantity. In other words, my only goal is to help a fellow shooter out so he won't make a decision without knowing all of this stuff and perhaps be disappointed later. By all means, if you have had success with this ammo, then use it again if you wish. It is cheap and that's what makes it so attractive. You can get 1000 rounds of this stuff for about the same price as 500 rounds of new production M193. For plinking, it really doesn't matter if the ammo is super accurate. It doesn't matter if it's super reliable (whether it is or isn't). And if you don't mind a little extra maintenance or perhaps an extractor problem, that doesn't really matter either. Afterall, if you break an extractor while shooting at soda cans, chances are you will survive...hehe. So from that standpoint I fully understand why people who use Wolf, Barnaul or Silver Bear do so. It is a good value and performance is satisfactory for the purpose. But if ilikelegs is looking for ammo to use in competition, for self defense or a purpose that requires a very reliable, accurate and terminally effective load, it would be my strong recommendation to choose something else. Afterall, there are clearly better loads for this purpose and since it is serious business, cost shouldn't be relevant. Get M193 at the minimum for this purpose. Now should you decide that Silver Bear is good enough for your needs, order a few boxes of it and try it out. If it performs satisfactory in your gun and you want more, then order by the thousand if you wish. But with this (or any ammo for that matter) I would try a little before buying a bunch. In regards to the South African ammo, I find it to generally be a decent ammo. It is dirtier and stinks worse than most M193 in my experience. But it is reliable enough for training and I have seen few complaints about it. It does have brass cases and is cheap, which means I will buy it before steel cased ammo based on my own standards. And it is loaded hotter than Wolf which is nice if you use M193 as your standard ammo. But I didn't mean to imply this is perfect ammo either. I wouldn't bet my life on any aged surplus ammunition. Well, it appears that we are all mostly in agreement and I apologize if I came off as arrogant in my above post. That one post that sorta questioned my every statement as if I were some sort of idiot kinda irritated me and that's why I responded in the manner I did. I have nothing against Rusky ammo and use tons of Wolf 122 gr FMJ in a Romanian AK. But I am more cautious about using it in AR's. Whether these concerns are real for you or not, only the user can decide. But for me and my own purposes, I choose M193 as my standard ammo. Have a good day all. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 4:18:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/26/2003 5:51:17 AM EDT by DaPhotoGuy]
It does seem that Charging_Handle has a lot of knowledge about WOLF ammo and very little facts about Silver Bear. They are not even made by the same company so how can he imply they are the same? I've only seen one chrono of Silver Bear 62grn and I think it was 2936 out of a 16" barrel. But, like he says, try a little out for yourself and see if it works for you before buying a lot of it. I'll definitly agree with him that it is not "the best" at anything except perhaps a plinking round but as long as your life doesn't depend on it then what is the harm? Isn't plinking what a LOT of us do with our AR's anyway?
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 6:20:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By VA-gunnut: Noah, 1M rounds of ammo, you must have one hell of an ammo budget. [;)]
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The remainder of the 1M of Silver Bear is a fraction of the 5.56 that's put away. There's about 7800 rounds of XM193 alone, forget about the Q3131A, SA battlepacks and the Wolf. Noah
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 6:25:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/26/2003 6:31:13 AM EDT by zhukov]
Originally Posted By VA-gunnut: Noah, 1M rounds of ammo, you must have one hell of an ammo budget. [;)]
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One man's M is another man's K. Go figure.... Charging Handle: We definitely agree. Good post, brother. [beer]
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