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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not trying to start a heated debate, just trying to weed through all of the available Russian made ammo. From what I've gathered Barnaul SEEMS to be the least troublesome. Am I correct in assuming this? The "three bears" (Wolf, Silver & Brown Bear) seem to work in some but not so well in others. I've heard that the two bears are also mfg. in the Wolf plant, but who really knows?
In this hee-haw hell city of 105.000 (Longview, TX) the only gun shop selling 9 X 18 gets almost $18.00/box so I'm at the mercy of internet vendors. Just trying to be as well informed as possible and I truly appreciate the feedback. THANKS!
 

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Guy, I had problems with Wolf and the Bears feeding. I have had hard primer problems with the S&B.
For the past six months I had been nuturing the last of my LVE 95gr FMJ. Now that that source has dried up, I have gone back to the Barnaul JHP. It has always worked well in my Makarovs, although it is sooty. The only problem I ever had with the Barnaul JHP was feeding in a PA-63, and I do not shoot that sucker much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks man. I've got some Barnaul ordered and will hopefully see how that does this weekend. It seems some Maks shoot the Bear ammo okay, some shoot the Wolf okay, others don't. Guess I'll just have to see, but with the inability to get 9 x 18 locally I hate this kind of approach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Steven. Got some Barnaul round nosed FMJ's, whatever that may be as opposed to regular FMJ's which Makarov.com was out of, ordered and will hopefully get to test them this weekend. Guess the best thing to do will be to buy small lots of this and that and see what my pistol will/won't function well with.
 

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I also have a Bulgie Circle 10 Mak. Mine is of late 70's vintage, but she either was never issued or spent her entire life inside of somebody's holster and never worn or shot. She was virtually brand new when I got her a few months ago.

I've tried just about every brand of 9x18 ammo out there, except for the Federal American Eagle (too damn expensive, at $18+ per box), or the S&B (not stocked locally).

ALL, and I mean ALL, of the steel cased stuff (Barnaul, Wolf, Brown & Silver Bear, etc) stovepipe jammed my Bulgie. She just HATES steel cased ammo. Besides, I dislike filthy ammo (gets all over my hands, and clothes), and this stuff is DIRTY. Yes, it's cheap - but I'd rather have it function 100% than save a couple of bucks. And I don't have a lot of extra money to spare, either.

I have had excellent results with: LVE brass cased(too bad it isn't available anymore), MFS brass cased from Hungary (also not currently available, but I've seen shipments come in once in a while. This stuff is VERY GOOD when available, and inexpensive), PS Grand from Slovakia (my current practice load. I pay $9 per box at my local shop). I've also used the Hornady XTP load without problems. It shoots accurately, is a very pleasant round to fire in the Mak (even with the red star grips and a stock recoil spring), but it's pricey - and the XTP bullet isn't a very reliable expander compared to the others out there. My current defence load for the Mak is from Georgia Arms - their "Shear Power Plus" load. They use Gold Dot bullets, Starline Brass (new), CCI Primers. It is very accurate, consistent, recoil is downright pleasant for a hot load, and the Gold Dot is my favourite bullet design. A very reliable expander. Best of all - the GA stuff is CHEAP for defence ammo: $11.95 per 50, shipped.

For more info on the Georgia Arms Gold Dot ammo:

http://www.georgia-arms.com/shear.htm

They also have decent prices on other ammo - .45 Auto, 9mm, etc. Both new and reloaded stuff is available.

I have also asked Georgia Arms to offer a brass-cased US-Made alternative for range/practice use, in place of the sometimes-available PS Grand & MFS. I specified a standard FMJ ball bullet, brass case - I left the rest up to them, except the price: $9 per box, or less. It would be a LOT cheaper if they could get used brass, but they'll have to use new as used 9x18 isn't that available as 9mm and .45 is. They are seriously working on it as we speak. It seems that price is the major hurdle; how to realistically keep the price at or under $9 per 50 so they can compete with the others, and yet make enough profit to make it worth their while to offer it.

So, I ask all of you to keep your eyes on Georgia Arms' website. If the 9x18 FMJ is ever offered, please order as much as you can afford, so that they'll keep making it. It's bound to be the best Mak ammo you'll ever find. I personally plan to order at least two cases as soon as it shows up (if it shows up), and a case or two every six months after that. That way, if it does go away, at least I'll have a somewhat decent supply of ammo for my Mak for a little while!

Good luck with yours. You have an incredible bargain of a pistol in your hands.
 

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Never had a problem with S&B. Currently that's all I have and all I'm shooting. I am going to keep an eye on Georgia Arms, though. That all sounds good.
 

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Alternatives

I like the Brown Bear 115gr HP ammo since it gets better expansion and penetration in my wetpack tests. Some have trouble in their Maks but it fires fine in my Bulgarian Mak. Trouble is I can't find anymore of it. My dealer is searching and hasn't found any yet. Could only find one internet site that sells it retail but they were out of stock and said they would not be getting any more. One other site is a distributor and sell to dealers only. I'm trying to get my dealer to get some from him. We'll see.

I like the look of that Georgia Arms that multismith suggested. If I can't get Brown Bear, I'll try that. Another good one I've tried is Hornady's ammo, good expansion, fair penetration. Didn't care for the Barnaul, fires fine but the jacket separates from lead for me in my tests. Maybe just got a bad lot.

FWIW, just my opinions is all.
og
 

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Some 9x18 velocities from my pistol

I recently aquired a Bulg. Mak from Aim. I have tried several differant kinds of ammo, it loves them all, bangbangbang til the mag is empty.

here are some vel from my oehler proof crono 10 ft. from the muzzle

Silver Bear 92 grain FMJ 1070 fps

Hornady 95 XTP 1020 fps

Wolf 109 grain FMJ 970 FPS

Silver Bear 115 JHP 1020 FPS

Silver Bear 120 JHP 950 FPS

ALL of these ctg. fired and fed flawlessly, the Silver Bear 115 JHP was my carry load for the first few weeks, until I got 2 boxes of the Hornady. These vel. are a quick and dirty average for 3-5 rounds fired across the crono for each ctg.
 

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Ive shot alot of Mak ammo, all JHP's and shot alot of the same brands in other calibers.........given whats happened in that time............I only shoot.

BARNAUL.............period.

Shoot well.
 
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