What Is This Surplus Ammo Redux or One Of These Things Is Not Like the Other by The Furminator


A “friend” sold me a can of 7.62×51 quite a few years ago. It just didn’t look right and despite his assurances that a mutual acquaintance had shot it and deemed it accurate and serviceable I thought I’d better do my due diligence. I was right to be wary.
One might expect a can to show some age after spending longer on the planet than its new owner, but this still looks pretty funky for what purports to be 300 Rounds, 7.62MM Ball, L2A2, RG 03 15 60. The cartridges are obviously copper-washed and attract a magnet like ants to a picnic.
An Internet search brings up numerous forum posts from way back in the aughts by other new owners of this ammo that was making the rounds at gun shows in those days. Turns out it’s – drumroll please – Chinese knock-off. Ya Think?
The head stamps don’t look right and it turns out even the Mk. 3 chargers have forged MTY 60 stamps. It’s predictably reported to be highly corrosive. Some who have shot it say it’s very dirty, others that it’s no more so than other cheap surplus. Apparently it shoots better than one would expect.
The story seems to be that Norinco forged some US M14s and this ammo was intended to accompany them for delivery to separatist groups in the Philippines and elsewhere. According to a 2015 article in African Hunter magazine it has also turned up in Zimbabwe at the site of a rhino poaching and the author claims to have run a police lab test confirming that the primers are corrosive.
I take good care of my rifles and I have no interest in the kind of stripping and cleaning required after shooting this stuff. Unless the SHTF my heirs are going to find it out in the garage preserved in a heavy coat of sawdust.
Caveat Emptor.

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