Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Misinformation about Wolf Ammo

Wolf .223 Ammo
One of the most maligned products I've seen in the firearms community is Wolf ammunition.  Wolf ammunition is made in Russia and is sold under the Wolf Performance brand name here in the United States.

Much of the misinformation surrounding Wolf ammo comes from the fact it uses steel cases.  From this fact several myths have arose over the years and have been spread across the internet via the various discussion boards.

Here are a few of the myths.
  1. Steel cases damage your chamber
  2. Steel cases damage your extractor
  3. Ammo is lacquer coated and it causes malfunctions
I address some of these myths on my YouTube Channel with a recent video.  Here's the video:

The myths become out of control when you have bloggers like TacticalYellowVisor giving outright bad advice.  I stumbled across their blog this morning and was amazed at how bad the advice it offered was.

They instruct the reader to modify their rifle for the sake of improving reliability when in fact they will make the rifle less reliable with Wolf if they follow TacticalYellowVisors advice.  Here's a quote from their blog:
-make sure you have a 5.56 chamber. if you can't be sure of the chamber then have it reamed to be sure.
Wolf .223 is, well, .223 and not 5.56mm NATO.  Looking at the image above, you can clearly see that the box is marked ".223".  What this blogger is telling people to do will potentially make the rifle LESS reliable.

Wolf ammo can cause problems because of carbon build up in the chamber caused by the steel case not sealing completely against the chamber walls.  By reaming a .223 barrel to 5.56mm NATO you will increase the leade (throat) which in turn will allow even more carbon past the steel case allowing it to deposit in the chamber.  By following this bloggers advice, you will increase the likely hood of causing malfunctions, not reduce them.

Extractor mark on Wolf case.
The best advice someone can give you about running Wolf ammo is to do the following.  Buy a couple of boxes, take it to the range and shoot it.  Look for tell-tale signs of problems like the image to the right shows.  If you see damage like this on the spent cases, your rifle is out of time and will not be reliable.  If you don't see extractor marks such as this on your rifle, you're good to go and Wolf should run fine in your gun.

You may have problems with your rifle not cycling Wolf .223 as it's typically loaded to lower pressures than standard NATO 5.56mm and even much of the commercial .223 currently produced.  If you have an adjustable gas rifle like a Bushmaster ACR, FN SCAR, or even one of the gas piston AR conversions, simply add a little more gas until it cycles.  Generally speaking this shouldn't be necessary for most people using Wolf ammo.   I run Wolf in an assortment of 5.56mm and .223 rifles every week without issue.

In my experience Wolf ammo runs just fine in most modern rifles.  You will need to clean your rifle to maintain reliability, but firing 500-1000 rounds between cleanings isn't unheard of.  Wolf doesn't damage your rifle any more than brass cased ammunition does, so don't worry about firing it if everything checks out.

1 comment:

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