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7.62x54R Ammunition Differences

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Phantom 778
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7.62x54R Ammunition Differences

#1 Post by Phantom 778 » Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:49 pm

Came into some surplus 7.62x54R recently. I usually just buy the Monarch stuff from Academy so I am not very familiar with the surplus ammunition. What is the difference between the pile of bullets on the left with the silver tips and the other pile on the right? I feel like the silver tip ammunition is much more accurate in my 1943 91/30 Monsin Nagant. Is that just me is there a reason behind this? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Re: 7.62x54R Ammunition Differences

#2 Post by ammolab » Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:44 pm

What are the headstamp dates? Older LPS ball (steel core 148gr ball) had the silver paint...more recent production was unpainted as they no longer made and issued heavy ball. So painting the LPS tips was un needed.

Different factories, different lots, different nations production of the same cartridge will give variations in accuracy, and what shoots good in your rifle is no guarantee of success in other rifles.

Most likely there is no difference in the two lots of ammo pictured other than your rifle favors the silver tipped ammo.

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Re: 7.62x54R Ammunition Differences

#3 Post by RWS » Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:46 am

Some Czech 7.62x54 ammo is silver-tipped. I bought a couple of spam cans of this Czech ammo back in the '90's and it is the most accurate 7.62x54 ammo I have shot in my Finn M39's. Don't know if this is what you have or not but it kinda sounds like it might be Czech.

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Re: 7.62x54R Ammunition Differences

#4 Post by Rapidrob » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:39 am

I run NM MILSURPS and we shoot exclusively,long range. Ammolab is a members and is one of the best shots in the club. We shoots hundreds of 7.62x54 rounds a year at our targets as far out as 800 yards with Open sights. From what I have seen over the last 20 years of surplus ammunition being fired is that the Silver Tipped,STEEL core ammo is the most accurate. This of course would make sense as the bullet jacket is swagged around the steel core with little chance of deforming the core as it can happen with the lead core bullet of the same design.
Yellow tipped 'Heavy Ball" does well in bucking the wind,but once again it depends on the core type and who made it/year.
It would be easy to get into a dog fight as to which country and lot number is/are the most accurate, but most folks shoot at 100 yards. We start at 200 meters and go out to 1,000 yards. We find out real quick what ammo is crap and what ammo to use in my matches.
Of the ammo over the decades that has been imported the lead core Albanian light ball as well as the Chinese black lacquered case light ball shot the best out of my bolt and semi-auto rifles at any range. Now that that ammo has dried up, it can be a crap shoot as to who's ammo shoots the best with today's surplus ammo.
We have seen some ammo that is amazing,and other ammo where the bullet diameter is so small the bullets rattle down the rifles bore.
Over the years I have bought many a 91/30 Mosin rifle sold to me because it was a POS. Almost all of them were being fired with poor quality ammo and turned out to be great shooters when a properly fitting bullet was fired out of them.
When you buy ammo, try to buy as much as you can afford,and of the same lot/year. Take a caliper with you ( so cheap from Harbor Freight there is no reason not to have one) and measure the bullet. Buy the largest diameter bullet loaded ammo being offered.
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Re: 7.62x54R Ammunition Differences

#5 Post by Phantom 778 » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:08 pm

Here are two pictures of markings on the ammunition's primer side. The picture showing two bullets in the silver tip ammunition. The picture with only one bullet is the ammunition with a plain tip.

ammolab wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:44 pm
What are the headstamp dates? Older LPS ball (steel core 148gr ball) had the silver paint...more recent production was unpainted as they no longer made and issued heavy ball. So painting the LPS tips was un needed.

Different factories, different lots, different nations production of the same cartridge will give variations in accuracy, and what shoots good in your rifle is no guarantee of success in other rifles.

Most likely there is no difference in the two lots of ammo pictured other than your rifle favors the silver tipped ammo.
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Re: 7.62x54R Ammunition Differences

#6 Post by ammolab » Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:25 pm

Your silver tip is LPS (148gr steel core ball) made by Soviet factory 188 in 1974. LPS was still silver tip painted in 1974

The plain tip ammo is also LPS ball made by Russian (post Soviet era) factory 60 in 1989. This is well after the tips of the bullets were no longer painted Silver.

You are not the first shooter to favor factory 188 in Russian mfg 7.62x54R ammo. I have seen reports from a good number of shooters who prefer that factory production. Factory 188 also made target and Sniper ammunition in 7.62x54R.

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Re: 7.62x54R Ammunition Differences

#7 Post by Phantom 778 » Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:22 pm

Thank you very much for these very informative replies. One last question. Is this stuff considered corrosive? I have been treating it like it is, making sure to deep clean my rifle after every range trip.
ammolab wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:25 pm
Your silver tip is LPS (148gr steel core ball) made by Soviet factory 188 in 1974. LPS was still silver tip painted in 1974

The plain tip ammo is also LPS ball made by Russian (post Soviet era) factory 60 in 1989. This is well after the tips of the bullets were no longer painted Silver.

You are not the first shooter to favor factory 188 in Russian mfg 7.62x54R ammo. I have seen reports from a good number of shooters who prefer that factory production. Factory 188 also made target and Sniper ammunition in 7.62x54R.

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Re: 7.62x54R Ammunition Differences

#8 Post by ammolab » Tue Dec 24, 2019 6:47 pm

Phantom 778 wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:22 pm
Thank you very much for these very informative replies. One last question. Is this stuff considered corrosive? I have been treating it like it is, making sure to deep clean my rifle after every range trip.
ammolab wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:25 pm
Your silver tip is LPS (148gr steel core ball) made by Soviet factory 188 in 1974. LPS was still silver tip painted in 1974

The plain tip ammo is also LPS ball made by Russian (post Soviet era) factory 60 in 1989. This is well after the tips of the bullets were no longer painted Silver.

You are not the first shooter to favor factory 188 in Russian mfg 7.62x54R ammo. I have seen reports from a good number of shooters who prefer that factory production. Factory 188 also made target and Sniper ammunition in 7.62x54R.
Absolutely corrosive primed. No “magic” cleaners need..nothing “neutralizes” salts. Wash the bore with hot soapy water then clean with modern bore solvents. It’s not rocket science, but science?.....yes (chemistry!)

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