TulAmmo: Yea or nay?

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tulammo-7_62x39_1I’ve received a few questions lately about TulAmmo — inexpensive, Berdan-primed, non-corrosive rounds made in the Russian arsenal city of Tula.

Someone must be having a pretty good sale.

I’ve only shot a half-case or so of 7.62x39mm TulAmmo through my AKs. There were no malfunctions, but that’s hardly enough for a test, much less an endorsement.

Truth be known, for AKs I prefer Wolf Military Classic, which is still manufactured to Red Army standards. With our humidity, a little bit of lacquer around the primer is not a bad thing.

The only problem I’ve heard about TulAmmo involves the polymer that is sprayed on to the steel cases. Sometimes, if the rounds sit too long, they’ll begin to corrode and the polymer will flake off, resulting in FTEs.

What experience have you had with TulAmmo?

Please let me know, especially if you’ve tried their handgun rounds.

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About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

93 Comments

  1. Pingback: TulAmmo: Yea or nay? | pistolponies

  2. NAY.
    Steel case. Berdan primed. NOT RELOADABLE.
    I have tried the .223 and 7.62X54R. Accuracy sucked.
    I handload all my ammo now. Have not bought commercial anything in 2 years.

    • Have to give the Tula 7.62 x 39 HP and FMJ a definite Yea.

      I’ve fired 400 to 500 hundred rounds through two Yugos and had 3 failures to feed. It was a magazine issue. A bit of work on the magazine and have had no other failures. The round hits hard and is more accurate/consistent than I ever expected for the price.

      Reloaders will not like the steel case, of course. And I’ve heard several complain that 5.56 ARs don’t like steel. But, I like the 7.62 through the AK platform.

    • Reloaded a few by hand with a very old friend the other day. I’m not a reloader myself but after asking him if it was true that you couldn’t he laughed and said people rely more on the machines than the art these days. I didn’t count them, but we did almost a full 30 round mag so I would guess somewhere between 22 and 25. We stopped because he was hand making the primers and got tired. All worked fine with no failures in my colt. we reloaded the .223s.

  3. During the M855 debate I was forced to buy some Tula .223 as well as some other cheap .223 ammo. I’ve shot several hundred rounds of both and the Tula has had zero issues which has suprised me. Accuracy/consistency was good enough to zero a rifle at 200 yds. Irons and optics

    Still not my first choice but the purchase has served well.

    • I have been through about 1500 of them and had one ftf but was using an old (and I mean old) gi mag. Went back to the pmag after that and no problems since. I have a nice pile of m855 but tula has been so good to me I have no need to break into the “stash”. I have a colt, a DD, and a palmetto all chambered in 556 and have never had the problems people say they have from tula and am really happy considering the prices it can be found for in bulk.

      • And also for what it is worth for anyone my G17, G26, and 9mm XDs happily eat tula as well but I have never had any of those fail to be happy with any type of ammo. My advice with tula is to try it if you are curious. If it doesn’t work well in your firearm then try something else. Don’t be scared because of reviews because it runs flawlessly for most.

  4. My buddy and I tried out 223/556 Tula ammo in his AR-15. First round, FTE, and every round after that. We fired less than a dozen rounds before we gave up and never fired the stuff again.

  5. I have a Remington LE 7615, that will handle both NATO 5.56 and .223 Remington. Since it is a pump action, can’t experience a FTE. Accuracy with Tula .223 has been fair. It is mainly ammo that I would use for plinking, or something if there is a true SHTF situation. Cheap, and you get what you pay for.

  6. I’ve tried 45acp and 9mm from Tula.

    45acp would not feed into my Sig p220. It was oversized for the magazine.
    So NAY there.

    But 9mm ran fine in my Browning and my HK. I can not vouch for accuracy but seemed good enough for range/recoil practice.
    So YEA there.

    Summary – if it fits it goes bang.

  7. I only shoot Tula 223 55 grain in my Delton AR. I have probably fired 2,000 rounds and have never had a FTF or FTE! As a SWAT TEMS Medic, we are not provided ammo but can shoot our own ARs during training to maintain proficiency. I out shoot officers on the team who are shooting remington and winchester 5.56 out to 300 yards with Tula. I have never had a cartridge stick in the barrell because I thoroughly clean with a military bore brush after each trip to the range. I am glad not very many people buy the Tula 223 at all of the Wallmarts in my area. That gives me all the cheap ammo I want.

  8. I finally broke down and tried tula because a friend of mine gave me a box. My son loaded up 10 rounds in a stag 16 in and there was one failure. The third round had a primer strike but the round did not fire. I tried the other 10 in a bcm 20 in and there were no malfunctions. However I did notice that the rifle felt sluggish when cycling. Another shooter that was withhad tula also and had been firing brass all day. When he shot the tula, the first round fired, cycling the rifle. The second round did not fire and the livd round was stuck in the chamber. I tried to mortar the round out but the extractor kept slipping of the case. My buddy who gave me the ammo shot it through his dsa 16 home build without any issues. He did say that he noticed it was underpowered compared to privi he was also shooting. For me I will keep to the federal stuff.

    • Infantry Man on

      My stag shoots brass ammo all day but when I put Tulammo in it jams every time I have to stick a rod down the barrel to push the casing out.

  9. Jason Allard on

    Just got back from the range. Took a box of Tulammo and a box of Perfecta, both in 9mm.

    4 in 5 Tulammo rounds failed either to feed or eject (or both).

    Still, it ran better than the Perfecta, which failed EVERY time.

  10. Big yay. 1k mixed hp and fmj w/ zero issues through my c39. Accuracy can’t really tell. Shooting steel. Works fine and 29 cents a shot in Hawaii county.

  11. This is the absolute worst ammo ive ever used. Round after round getting stuck in the chamber. Failure to fire cuz of the shitty berdan primers. Worst shit on the market hands down! Commie russian shit! Save yourself some money and dont buy it

    • My wife recently purchased a box of .380 95 grain FMJ and about 30% do not fire. The firing pin dent the primers very deeply and all other ammunition works just fine in her gun.

  12. I shoot 7.62×39 through my SKS every time i take it out. never had an issue. I just picked some 9mm up for my s&w shield for cheap recoil practice but have not used it yet. I hope it cycles and will not buy more until i try. but for a gun with high tolerances like an sks it works fine. would not put through any ar style platforms though.

  13. ok i went to wal-mart and bought some tulammo for my ruger mini-14 the person told me that by shooting the tulammo it would void my warranty because ruger performs a test and the tulammo leaves some sort of clue in the barrel and if some gun companies find this trace it voids your warranty has anyone else ever heard of this or were they just trying to get me to buy the more pricey ammo.please send me some comments on this please. thank you

    • Oland Whitecotton on

      Actually, there are many firearms manufacturers who now state on their websites and in their written warranties that using steel-cased ammunition in their firearms will void the warranty. This policy of voiding the warranty also includes reloads/hand-loads, many brands of non-domestically produced ammunition, lacquer-coated ammunition (steel or otherwise), and many types of military surplus ammo (domestic and non-domestic). And yes, if the firearm is sent to the manufacturer for repair, they can usually determine if steel-cased ammunition has been run through the chamber. If there is a serious malfunction, they could request the owner send in the expended casings or sign a legally-binding affidavit that only warranty-authorized ammunition has been used in the firearm.

    • I also have a Mini-14 and offhand I don’t recall seeing any such warning in Ruger’s literature. The only warranty issue is not to use reloads.
      BTW, I have shot bunches of TulAmmo .223 through my Mini-14 without any problems.

    • Never heard of this about their warranty. I was curious and tried the .223 ammo in my mini 14 and fired flawlessly , and with great accuracy…..better than some brand name brass. I only tried a box of 20 but will definitely buy again!

  14. It blew the extractor out of my Walther PPK, (380ACP), and just recently while shooting it out of my Ruger LCP it hurt the top joint on my thumb (left bruise & swelling) leading me to believe that it is overloaded, and perhaps to heavy for small pistols. As far as rugid russian rifles go Mosin Nagant, AK-47’s… its awesome

  15. I’ve shot hundreds of rounds through my AK47, AR15, .45, and 9mm and have never had a problem. I do clean my guns after shooting them so maybe that is why I haven’t had any problems. You can’t beat the price.

  16. I pick up 2 boxes of them I got 10 round mags for my hi point 9 mm it jammed after the 9 shell I fired a use it to his jammed after the 9 shell fired I will never buy them again they suck

          • lmao.. high point…must be smoking that devils lettuce or some wild stuff to but the gun ..when 200 rounds of ammo cost more the. the gun what can you really say about it! the only hi point that gun should see is the top of the hill at the dump…

          • Say what you want about HiPoint, but they do what they’re designed to do. You pull the trigger and it goes bang. It may be ugly and cheap, but if you can’t afford anything else, it’s not a bad choice. I’d rather have a scrappy HiPoint than nothing at all. Give the guy a break.

  17. I’ve used this ammo in .45, .40, 9mm, and never had a problem. It’s a great inexpensive round for filling up the afternoon at the range. However, I recently purchased a few boxes for my new .223 Savage Axis and about every 8 or 9 rounds it would jam, locking my bolt up. One round got crammed up in the chamber so bad I needed pound it out with a cleaning rod. First thing I actually thought was an issue with the firearm itself. I love my Savage bolt action rifles but thought maybe I had a lemon in this one. I took the rifle to a smith and no problems there. After talking to a few people I had deduced it’s simply a manufacturer defect in the casings, something with how the extractor functions to remove the round. I will continue to use tulammo for my pistols but not for any rifles.

  18. Tulammo has been around so long now I imagine most people already have an opinion of it. It tends to work, it tends to be the cheapest, and steel cases being harder on your gun tends to be a rumor. I’ve fired thousands of rounds of it in 9mm, .45, 7.62×39, and 5.56. I can count on one hand how many failures of any sort I’ve had with any ammo.

    There are competitors now though. I’ve found Perfecta branded ammo to be the better deal for plinking generally, at Walmart, and it happens to be brass cased which is nice for reloading. I’ve reloaded the cases a few times now – at least for .357 mag.

    Would I trust my life to Tulammo? Sure, if I had to. I wouldn’t prefer it because it seems to be loaded a little light across the board and of course its just ball, but that has nothing to do with its reliability or lack thereof. Since we aren’t actually crawling around in mud at war and can choose what kind of ammo I’d prefer to trust my life to, this wouldn’t be it. But if I didn’t have a choice this ammo would be extremely low on my concern totem pole.

    • Fired 100 rounds of .223 out of my ar-15 bushmaster not 1 issue going to shoot another 100 tomarrow great if your just out for some lead therapy

  19. I have a new S&W 9mm Shield and used Tulammo. A spent casing expanded and wouldn’t eject. Once I got it out and field stripped, I tested by putting the casing back in the barrel and it was tight. The price seems good but I will only use brass in the future.

  20. richard johnson on

    I have a Glock 23 .40 cal. I’ve shot around 1200 to 1300 rounds through it in the yr I’ve it. I’m willing to bet 1000 rounds were all TulAmmo. I haven’t had one problem with them. Its what I call ” dirt ammo” but I clean my gun after I leave the range. I just recently purchased a Del_Ton DT Sport 223/5.56 Ar 15 and I’ve shot couple hundred rounds of the TulAmmo in it as well with no problems what so ever.Its a good price for range practice.

  21. Received a Custom built AR-15 with Stainless Barrel 4 weeks ago. 1,749 Rounds of .223, 55 grain TulAmmo thru it so far. Zero (0) FTF, FTE, or any other problem so far. Rifle has NOT been cleaned except for after the 1st 20 Rounds. No visible dirt in Receiver, Barrel looks fine. I can hit a Pop Can at 100 Yards with no trouble. Professional young man that built it puts 5 Rounds in 1/2″ at 100 Yds. with my Bushnell Red Dot Sight.
    I bought Dies, Brass, Bullets for reloading but believe I will save them all for Hard Times !! YAY !!!!

  22. So normally I do not write a lot of reviews however with the Tula ammo had to make an exception.I decided to try out two boxes of Tula two to three and two boxes of perfecta 223. Out of my current ar-15 that I was using today I have fired more than a thousand rounds out of it already with no problems and feeds for no fires.As with anyone at the range just shooting targets for fun wanted to see if I could save a little and still have a reliable ammunition.Started out shooting 30 round magazine of the perfecto had no problems whatsoever. That I switched over to the 20223 same type of 30 round magazine same day right after the other rifles little warmed up about every third round did not go off even though the striker hit the primer and left an indent. After one magazines I went back to the perfecta and fired another 30 rounds without fault from there.And then I fired off my final Magazine of Tula ammo and again about 1 out of every 3 to 4 roundS Didn’t fire. I guess from reading other reviews that other people didn’t suffer the same malfunctions however for me to no brainer. Hope you have better luck than I did.

  23. I have a new mini 30 and was using the 7.62 x 39 in the 20 round box. So far I have had 2 duds per box through 2 boxes. I started a 3rd box and half way through, I have had 1 dud. If this is the norm, it sucks pretty bad. I also have Wolf and so far no duds.

  24. Picked up about 10 boxes of .223 to run in my wife’s Savage Axis. She fired 3 rounds, and every single one of them swelled the case neck so much that it was all I could do to eject them from the rifle. We decided to save it since I’m planning on getting an AR soon anyway, but we won’t be running anymore steel case ammo through the Savage.

  25. I recently purchased a Ruger American Predator .223. It’s a bolt action rifle and seemed to cycle Federal, Federal American Eagle, Hornady abd Fiocchi brass cased ammo flawlessly, more or less (did have 2 fail to fires in a 100 value pack of Federal – primers were clearly hit but no discharge).

    However, I had real problems with Tulammo .223 steel cased bimetal rounds. After loading my 5 round magazine, the first round would not allow my bolt to close – street after 3-4 attempts and reloads. The second round cycled. The third round also wouldn’t fully seat as well as the fourth round. After firing the fifth round, I have up and will be giving the rest to my friends to cycle through his AR.

  26. Fired 6 rounds of Tula .45 Auto through my 1911. Sixth round went “click” – slide was jammed a couple millimeters out of battery. Took it to a gunsmith to clear. The primer was indented and had fallen out of the casing.

  27. Bought a box of S&W .40. I pulled the trigger on the first round and click. Ejected the round and saw the primer was dented. Pulled the trigger on the second round, same result. Unloaded my Smithfield XDM and put them away. I shoot every month and clean my weapon after each trip to the range. I have fired brass and steel cased ammo previously with no issues.

    • Christopher klauck on

      Had a similar issue with .223. I had 200 rounds, loaded the magazine on my noveske ar 15 and click good dent but still no fire. I had this happen with 1 out of 5 rounds. After 2 magazines of this switched to American Eagle. Dumped 4 magazines without any issues. Then tried 2 30 round magazines of perfecta .223 again not one issue. Tried another magazine of the tula and 2nd , 3rd and 5th rounds all failed to fire. Struggled through the rest of the magazine and 1 out of 3 didn’t go bang. Gave the rest to a friend with a .223 bolt and he had 1 out of 5 failures. It’s cheap crap ammo and I wouldn’t trust it. Also with 1 to 2 failures in 5 it starts to get pretty pricey at that rate.

      • Fired 20 through mp shield 9mm. It Jamed so bad couldn’t clear it. Brought it to Gun smith. Told me he never seen anything jam that bad. Took two to free jam lucky it do fire could have been a dangerous situation.
        You know I will never use their Ammo again.
        Had a friend wanted to try uses steel in his glock no problem. With this Ammo every other what he called a light hit. And when did fire didn’t clear. Had to clear it.
        There you go make your own decision

  28. Shot over 1000 rounds through my AK (7.62×39), without a problem. Well over 500 through my Glock (9mm) without a problem.

  29. I’ve used .380 TulAmmo many times at the target range and have had good results with it. I haven’t kept count, but haven’t had very many failures (no more than one per box, I would guess). I was buying it because it was very reasonably priced. However, I don’t buy it anymore because the shooting ranges I frequent don’t allow it because of the metal content of the slugs.

  30. Over 3000 rounds fired though a Bushmaster AR and a homemade AR. 1 bad round and it seemed to be damaged in shipping. I’ve shot 1500 rounds of 9mm through my Sig and CZ with only the occasional stovepipe. Haven’t tried it with my .380 .357 or .32 cause those guns seem kinda picky even with high quality ammo. Maybe 1 in 200 stovepipes nothing out of the ordinary for cheap ammo. It seems to be pretty dirty for sure, everything needs a good cleaning after shooting. I just placed an order for another 1k rounds. I’ll keep the IMI stuff for a rainy day and shoot this cheap commie stuff for fun.

  31. Don Westcott on

    I’ve been using Tulammo 9mm steel case in my semi-autos for a long time now and only one issue. They won’t cycle through my Sig SP 2022 so I don’t use them for that gun but still use them in my Glock 19 Gen 4, Beretta M9 and Arcus 98DA.

  32. Yay for 762 39 FMJ

    Nay for .223 in AR or bolt action or any over 300 yards

    Work excellent for AK and SKS, wasn’t very happy in my AR. DO NOT USE STEEL CASING IN BOLT ACTIONS!!!

    For $9.99 for 40 rnds in 762 39 is hard to beat. I’ve always been fan of red army or wolf but for shoot Em up in the AK and SKS it hard beat Tul. Cycled fine with no jams in AK on 300 rnds, 5 jams in the SKS but remember, it’s a SKS… I trust this ammo for practice and fun shooting. People complain about the 762 54 ammos accurancy on long range, but if you are wanting be perfect… LOAD YOUR OWN!!!
    My Yankee Hill AR-15 doesn’t like them very much. First few shot great but began getting jams and even round stuck in chamber. Possibly old box of ammo but I just stick with brass in American Eagle Brass in AR. Don’t not use steel in bolt action. The round can swell in the chambering, and with no GAS recoil your only hope is the bolt getting a good grip on it, or hammering a rod through your barrel and take chance on ruining your rifle. Thanks for the read hope I helped.

  33. this ammo sucks. Bought 1 box to try out in our 12 guage and first 2 shells were stuck in the chamber. Nothing I wanna have happen in a life or death situation so a big fat NAY… sticking with remington.

  34. 1400 rounds through my m&p9 with no issues at all. Cleaned after every range trip. Does seem a little dirty but good for range practice.

  35. I run drills with my .40 and .9mm S&W using tulammo and I have never had an issue. I only clean my weapons about every 300 rounds. Other than a dry patch through the bore now and then depending on the weather and conditions shooting in. As far as accuracy better than PMC or Blazer and other cheap ammo I have tried for practice.

  36. Never had an issue with TulAmmo. Ya’ll are crazy. I shoot Smith and Wesson M&P15 5.56/223 and Windham Weaponry 7.62×39. However I’m OCD andclean my firearms after every use.

  37. I ‘ve Shot Tulammo in both my Ruger mini14 with Factory mags and my Ruger AR 556 using Pmags and have never had a ftf or feed issue. I keep using them they work good for me.

  38. I have fired about 1,000 rounds through my M&P15 without any issues. The 55 grain 223 ammo shoots 2-3″ groups at 100 yards in my rifle. Pretty dang good for ammo that costs a quarter per round when you buy in bulk. You have to be crazy to at least not try it at this price.

  39. I’ve fired probably 2-3 thousand rounds of Tul ammo. 9mm, 45acp, & 40 cal. In 9mm I have a beretta 92fs, Springfield XD9. 40 cal I have a Glock 27. 45 I have a Taurus PT1911. All have cycled well. Never no hang ups or jams. The ammo was purdy accurate. I actually did a comparison to Rem & Winchester ammo & couldn’t tell much difference. Only flaw I see with it is that it doesn’t have the power like say a Winchester or Federal does. For plinking or target shooting, it’s ideal bc it’s cheap. But like say for home defense, I’d go with a more quality round. It actually surprised me how accurate it really was though. Although out of thousands of rounds I shot I had only 1 misfire out of the beretta. I ejected & put the dud in the pipe & it did fire. Didn’t sound right, like it barely had enough zap to leave the barrel. Lol. But overall no complaints here. For the money it’s a good plinking ammo. On a accuracy scale of 1-10, I’d give it a 8.

  40. Had a friend bring his sons new savage axis in223 over to me had a steel cased tulammo case stuck in the chamber. The bolt would operate up and down but not eject or extract the case. Had to use a rubber mallet to drive the bolt open. The only way I would use this junk would be to throw it at something like a dumpster.

  41. A friend brought his sons new savage axis over this evening . had a tulammo223 case stuck in chamber. Bolt would move up and down but not eject or eatract the case. The only thing I would use this junk for would be to throw it at a dumpster

  42. That’s bullshit what people say. I use tul ammo and experimented left a magazine loaded with tul ammo outside in my yard for 6 months just to show my friends. No corrosion what so ever. They want you to buy expensive ammo because of profits.

  43. This stuff is for AKs, duh.

    I use 5.56mm from the Lake City plant in my M4, which is the reason I bought an AK so I could use cheap ammo and actually shoot more. Train as you fight, my AR is zeroed for m855, and that’s where it stays.

    But my AK will be my main SHTF weapon. I’m an US Army infantry vet, and I’m telling you right now that the AK platform is probably the best infantry weapon. The first time cleaning it I was stunned that I’d already cleaned and put it back together in less than 4 minutes. Jesus, my M4 took me 15 minutes just to get in that damn star chamber (barrel lug) and all of the other nooks and crannies.

    Bullpups? too heavy.

    .308/7.62 NATO, good if you’re sniping.

    AR? Low recoil, but the 5.56 round gets deflected by the lightest barriers and it’s wounds are like tiny ice pick stabs. Real nasty bullet wounds.

    7.62×39? Perfect balance. This thing will slam through masonry and it’ll shrug off foliage when firing through the bushes. I like it, plus I know it scares the hell out of people when these rounds start zipping by their heads.

    Load up a mix of FMJ and either HP or Soft Point, that’ll take care of any battlefield situation.

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  48. Shot three brands of ammo today. Went and bout some tulammo 9mm 115 grain. shot all ammo on same targets at different ranges. The Tul Ammo by far gave me the best accuracy. This was done with a 9mm American Compact Ruger.

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  50. With the availability of ammo these days, from multiple sources it is possible to get 9mm (if you shoot that) for 16 cents per round (115gr) almost all the time (with free shipping). That is Magtech, Winchester, Aguila, etc. Brass casings. We have a local guy who builds 9mm 115gr +p for 17 cents per round. Russian ammo is “dirty,” but I have shot US manufactured ammo that is equally dirty. Try 50 rounds of whatever..if it doesn’t run through your weapon…move on. Some weapons are more finicky about ammo then others. Personally I want a weapon to shoot everything I feed it, but that might not be possible. Trust, but verify then stock a bunch of it that you know works.

  51. Been shooting for about a year now in 45acp, 9mm and 7.62×39. Borrow a few boxes to friends to get a feedback. They where shot form Glocks, 1911, AK, and different models of Springfield XD. No malfunctions for me or for them. Accuracy it’s been good also, for me as a seasoned shooter and for some newbies in the game. Not a single intention to reload, even if they where brass.

  52. Dave Mathews on

    I brought some .308TulAmmo, 150GR. FMJ and I was using my M1A2 rifle and out of an box of 20 I would say 16 rounds Misfired and with another box the same thing happen, because of that primer. Some rounds fired the second time and other rounds took an third time before firing. Not an good experiences with this brand of ammo.

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