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A look inside: Golden Tiger 7.62x39mm FMJB

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Zeliard
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A look inside: Golden Tiger 7.62x39mm FMJB

#1 Post by Zeliard » Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:35 pm

Originally posted by carteach0.

A look inside: Golden Tiger 7.62x39 124 grain FMJBT

Once again, we delve into the bowels of a particular cartridge.
This time, it’s an inside look at Golden Tiger’s 7.62x39mm
with a 124 grain full metal jacket boat tail bullet.

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I should preface this article by disclosing my own preference for this ammunition. I own
one rifle in this caliber, a Chinese SKS. It shoots better with this ammunition than
any other I have tried. Why is this so? After taking some apart and examining it, I have
an inkling why. While it has both weak and strong points, they somehow add up to
ammunition my Vietnam era rifle shoots nicely.

This Russian commercial 7.62x39 has a steel case that’s been covered with a poly
type coating. It fires a bullet that’s full metal jacket, with a boat tail and a lead core.
The jacket is soft steel plated in copper.

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The primer and bullet are both sealed with colorful purple sealer.
While the bullets are not crimped into the case, they are instead glued in place.
They were so well glued that pulling them was quite difficult. Most required at least
two attempts to get the bullet out of the case.

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External measurements were made with the usual battery of tools. Weights were taken
with the trusty old RCBS 10-10 scale. Dimensional measurements were taken with the
likewise trusty Mitutoyo micrometers. A Central vernior caliper was also employed, as
was a comparator gauge block.

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Lets take a look at what was found...........

The over all cartridge length varied from 2.180” to 2.195”, a difference of .015”. The
comparator shows a story that echoed the over all length, with a difference of .020”.
The cartridge cases themselves measured from 1.5140” to 1.5178”, a difference of
.0038”. Since the over all length difference was far greater than case length difference,
bullet seating must be the culprit in the variation.

Base diameters were very consistent, ranging from .4430” to .4437”. Neck diameters,
on the other hand, varied from .3331” to .3357”, a difference of .0026”. This was all
in the neck material, as the bullet diameters were right on the money.

On the subject of the necks, the sample showed a slight taper to the necks of about .001”.
The case mouths were not crimped to the bullets, instead having a slight bell to the
case mouth. This was probably left over from the manufacturing process.

Case weights had large variations, from 102.0 to 106.2 grains. I find that steel cases
often show such variations, while brass is usually more consistent. Does this make a
big difference in how the ammunition shoots? It does to the bench rest shooters, but how
about us regular people? In day to day shooting for pleasure, I don’t really think so.
Match shooting? That’s a different story, and when accuracy is really on the line
case capacity does matter a lot.

There is a poly coating on the case. I have no idea if it’s dipped or sprayed on,
but it does have runs. That said, it should certainly keep the case in excellent
condition and does feel slick to the touch. Perhaps this is part of the reason this
ammunition has a reputation for reliability of function.

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Now we move on to what’s inside the case.....

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The powder charges weighed in across the sample at 25.0 grains. Variations were less
than .1 grains. The powder itself is a small grain extruded type. It looks a bit like
Accurate Arms 2015BR, but smaller grained still. The charge weight control is excellent.

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The bullets, as stated, are full metal jacketed with lead cores. The jacket is mild steel
that’s copper plated. There is no cannelure, but there is a very nice boat tail that
should prove quite aerodynamic. They weighed in with significant variations, ranging
from 122.0 grains to 124.5 grains. That’s a 2% difference, and quite large.
Their diameters varied from .3101” to .3107”, not bad with only a .0006” difference.

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The sealer is very hard, but can be cleaned of with a bit of solvent. The bullet itself
is quite attractive once cleaned up a bit.

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I have to wonder.... what happens to all that sealer when the cartridge is fired?

Conclusions.........

This ammunition has some problems, accuracy wise. Mostly centered around the case
and the bullet seating, these issues could add up to larger group sizes.

But... do they add up to real problems? No, not in the big picture. This ammunition is
made to function reliably, and well. While it’s been obviously been assembled with
manufacturing costs in mind, the end result is a good product that functions decently.

For pleasure shooting, informal target shooting, practice, or even battle I suppose
the Golden Tiger ammo appears to be a good value.

Oh, of course we must have the colorful graphs!

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Proud alumni of Transylvanian Polygnostic University. "Know enough to be afraid."

"Vertroue in God en die Mauser".-Faith in God and the Mauser.

"Send lawyers, guns and money." -Warren Zevon

Hippycrowe
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Re: A look inside: Golden Tiger 7.62x39mm FMJB

#2 Post by Hippycrowe » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:10 pm

I really like this ammo I shot 1000 rounds in 5.45 and 1500 rounds in 7.62x39 and it is pretty accurate in an AK better than Tula I have had Tula splinter when ejected and cut me.

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