bushwacker51

Yugo m-49 VS romanian 8mm ?

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I have a Browning 1917a1 configured in 8mm. I have run lots of 70s romanian ammo through it without a problem . I need to buy some ammo and  I see the yugo is cheaper. Which is the best ammo?. I hate to buy the yugo and have lots of duds thanks Glenn O.

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Glenn, From everything that I have read, the Romanian has a better reputation in belt-feds. I do believe it will matter what type of barrel you are running in your 1917. Back when the Yugo was 10 cents a round delivered and the Semi 1919a4 rush was on, people over on the 1919a4 forum were bending top covers frequently while running Yugo and Turk ammo. There was an ongoing discussion as to the cause of the Kabooms. Mind you that all the 8mm barrels were after market manufactured. Some said that it was the barrels that were incorrectly chambered or head spaced. Some said the ammo was too hot. Some were incorrectly setting the headspace. I do remember someone thinking that the reamers they were chambering barrels with were Sami spec. The Yugo ammo is loaded with 200gr slugs with nice fat ogives. I believe that you need to have a barrel that is throated fairly deep to safely run this ammo. I have some of the Yugo ammo and I shoot it through my M48 Yugo mauser with 100% reliability. It is lead cored,copper jacketed and seems a bit spicy.  I resisted the urge to jump into the 8mm pool as long as I could due to the fact that people were blowing up their guns. I have an un-fired chrome lined John Maguire 1919a4 barrel for my semi 1919a4. I never fired it. When I bought the barrel he warned me to only run Romanian ammo as it was sami spec chamber. Shortly after I purchased the barrel the cheap ammo dried up. The Romanian ammo is loaded 150 gr slug with a sleek ogive. I do not remember anyone blowing up a gun with Romy ammo. As you know it is steel cored and steel case. If it was me running a FA 1917, I would stick with what I have had good luck with. I am sure you know how much money you would save after you have blown a 1917 top cover.O.oMaybe someone else with more 8mm experience will chime in. James.:D

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James,

          I do remember the 1950 s yugo had a bad reputation in full autos and I have avoided that  ammo. The yugo I am refering to is the 70s ammo thety are selling now. I guess ill just get romanian and stick with that. Thanks for your help. Glenn O

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james, I was a bit hesitant to respond to this, I made the first caliber conversions for the brownings and sold a few starting in the late 60's. I can tell you for a fact that all the blown guns I or  associates examined were due to faulty barrels and so called experts giving wrong headspace directions. this worked out to my advantage as the big boys like J+G in Prescott az  and others stopped selling the turk and other  lots of 8mm. in turn I purchased just short of 1 mill rnds for less than .04 AND THIS WAS IN THE LATE 90'S.

I still shoot the turk 8mm / 50's Yugo in ALL my brngs. I have never blown a case, but HAVE lost some primers to be honest. no way to track it but a lot of the Yugo 8mm was made for the brngs. see they had all of our guns that the germans captured early in the African campaign along with MANY OTHERS.  on a buying trip I managed to include a large quantity still in links dating 48/49 again never a problem. the older Yugo ammo will have VERY hard primers which limits were it can be used and adding to the bad reputation.  another issue that surfaced at the same time as blown top covers, was covers coming open while running which meant a broken extractor PLUS.  this was due to improper builds,IE the topcover latch clearance.  NO I WOULD NOT SUGGEST YOU RUN OUT AND BUY TURK 8MM, save it for me. but I would not hesitate to run ANY Yugo 8mm in your brng.   the way to play that is choose a vendor, get a small amount, test it the respond accordingly. it should be less than 1/2 the price of the new stuff and well worth it. the sad part of this is we have had no control over its storage since imported exposure will be a big issue. I keep ALL my ammo in climate controlled storage and have done so the last 45 years. I still have a large quant of WWII brass german I use in my 34/42 .  last summer I noticed we were shooting 1918 dated FA 30/06 in a couple belts???  as long as the headspace is right with a proper chamber , the worse thing you can expect , is a mis fire or no cycle

THE AMMO TO BE WORRIED ABOUT IS ANYTHING FROM SOUTH AMERICA!!!!   can you say BOOBY TRAP?  I witnessed a Canadian bren explosion and picked up a sample from the can. found it to be stuffed full of pistol powder!. an argentine colonel related to me that they indeed planted booby trapped ammo for the insurgents to liberate , that's all it took to convince me.  shooting and contributing to others shooting, was the sole motivation for me to market the caliber conversions. when I became disabled and unable to meet my commitments, I turned the whole operation over to troy at barrel exchange who has done FAR BETTER THAN I to keep these things running. its been fun the only limit to the brong system was links but I did run 38spl/.357, .410, 6.5 dutch,7x47, 7x57, 8x57 30/30 7.62x39, 5.45x39 7.62x54    as time passes options will vanish. with all the ammo I have on hand, I still scrounge small lots at the show's for components and suggest you do the same while you can.  I see 9 round belts in the near future any way so we might be limited to looking at best...  cheers mike                       ps, if you have failure to fire in your 17, relieve the face of the fire pin to increase protrusion. go slow a little at a time to avoid punctures. this has worked well for me with some lots


I only accept postal money orders. contact me DIRECTLY before sending any funds                                           email  myoldiron@outlook.com        

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Mike;

 

Is there any way to identify "good" 8mm barrels?

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Mike, Thanks for chiming in. My point to Bushwacker51 was "If it is working for you, stick with it." Every time I have tried to go cheap, it has cost me more in the long run. It is not like we are playing with cheap toys here. James9_9

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GOOD BARRELS? chambers ,  YES very easy take a virgin round, one that has NEVER been chambered. I keep a box of quality commercial on hand in every caliber I have.               place the round in the chamber (clean) and make sure it inserted well past the "webb"  of the case. IE; the solid portion of the case, below the rim.  when I first started the Russian conversions, I took a new USGI .30 cal brl , inserted a round and measured how much case protruded. this became the model for all future conversions. I don't have one in front of me but its somewhere around  .225-.250.  others chose to market barrels/conversions with out any research and created some real monsters. when blown top covers first surfaced on the 1919 board, I ordered a brl from a vendor in 8x57. the case protruded more than 1/2" due to a shallow chamber and EVERY ROUND would have blown up.  when I questioned them, the response was to ignore normal headspace procedure and to screw the brl in the extension, as tight as possible. of course this still left the case unsupported..  EVERY BARREL IN EVERY caliber I examined had a short chamber!!  in 2015 at the rock island auction, I bought a lot of brng brls  that had 6  , new 8x57 barrels. ALL of which had short chambers.  I cant stress this enough, check every barrel you use before you do, even govt barrels as you don't know what they have been through before you got them. WHILE IM sure there are other's,  the ONLY vendor I would personally trust, IS TROY EDLUND at the barrel exchange. but the bottom line is you are in control and as long as you check will have no problem.    if the weapon is headspaced properly with in spec parts, ammo that was loaded to spec when made , no matter how old is safe. you may loose a primer or split a case. personally I ignore all that in my brownings as parts are easy to get and the design is robust. of course I get choosy when it comes to my 34 and 42. they were a problem for the germans DURING PRODUCTION AND ISSUE.  bushwacker was correct and passed on GOOD info. more importantly he shared his experience in an attempt to help and that's the purpose of this board. SUPPORT FOR LIKE MINDED FOLKS  I NEVER FAULT ANYONE FOR THIER DECISION AND CHOICE!  its all a learning experience and I was lucky enough to be able to participate in the HEYDAY when things were every where and easy to get.  more importantly KEEP EM SHOOTING!  cheers mike


I only accept postal money orders. contact me DIRECTLY before sending any funds                                           email  myoldiron@outlook.com        

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     I don't agree with Mike on the turkish ammo. I have seen and repaired some remarkable blowups in a variety of guns that were not related to the barrel but to the ammo itself. Its a lottery with that stuff. Some guys have fired tens of thousands of rounds and had no issues but many many others have run that ammo to their woe. We ran some chrono tests on it and found velocity varying from 1900 to 3600 fps. I don't believe the ammo is as the bolt action guys claim....Hot. I think its just been stored badly and some is ok while some rounds are really really bad. Same goes for the indian 308. Too many occurences of damage to make it just an oddball thing. One blowup might be the guns fault, 2 might be just the odd bad round 100s of blowups tell me its definitely ammo related. Between all the smiths and MG mechanics we find that there was an inordinate number of guns damaged by the turk stuff so Mike is welcome to all there is out there.  I only bought  a few thousand rounds to start with and it didn't work in my guns. Lots of sticky chambers, failures to eject, extract and such. Customers brought in guns that were damaged though and I dumped all the ammo I had left to the bolt action guys.

    On the other hand I believe the yugo issues were entirely barrel and chamber throat related. The only guns I ever saw issues with using the Yugo 50s dated 8mm were the brownings which tended to blow topcovers and the maxims which didn't have enough oomph in the firing pin to fire it reliably. Hard primers that were deep seated cause issues with them. I never saw a gun destroyed with this ammo and never really saw any damage beyond the bent topcovers. I've run it in MG42's, MG15's, MG81s, some maxims with strong firing pin springs, 1919's using barrels I made with proper chamber throats. For some this ammo has been tainted by the internet gurus who claim its bad but most of us who actually shoot MG's its good stuff. The 70s dated stuff is prettier and seems to have less issues with the deep seated primers. I like it all. 
 

    Having said all that I'll also state that the romanian 8mm is some of the best surplus that has come in to the US. It is reliable and works with pretty much every gun I've ever fired it in. I have no idea if its got moa accuracy and I don't really care. It runs the guns even with its very light for 8mm 150gr bullets. It is a little sooty but what the hell, its machineguns we're shooting. They need to be cleaned. The bolt gun guys whine about cleaning corrosive ammo residue after shooting as much as 50rds in one sitting. We tend to shoot thousands at one sitting and cleaning is a must. So my opinion is that if you can get your hands on the Romanian buy it. If you can't than buy the Yugo. Don't buy turk even if its given to you. Have them send it to Mike.

Just my thoughts base on the experience I've had with the stuff.
Frank
 

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FRANK, thanx for all the help adding to my inventory! yes the way things are, its probably best most stay within the accepted norm and  don't take any risks. I WAS SIMPLY MAKING A POINT AND RELATING WHAT I EXPERIANCED.   it was an entirely different situation when a new transferable 19 was overpriced at $600. many others from my era (OLD) still seek the turk and use it for components, like I do  all the 40's dated gets pulled and loaded back in reformed 30/06 brass. I use a ponsness waring 5 stage in line press for that and have no trouble with 400+an hour    I get a real kick out of the guys that spend more time at the keyboard and screen  rather than a press or behind a tripod. I don't fault them for that, but do take exception when false information is passed along as fact.  some like BOB NAESS you learn are beyond reproach and follow without question, but even that came by comparing it to personal experience.  I have been told by others I respect that bob discovered Turkish 8mm with primers mixed in the powder charge all dated in the 40's. I have never found anything other than a major velocity variation. I can only attribute that to poor storage as the charge weights were in order. enough on the turk  . 

 lets discuss  the indian .308 a bit. for a while the ammo being sold was simply surplus and sold due to age and the conversion to .556 for main battle rifle, under nato quidlines as they reached the end and the real cleanout commenced  it became much like an early morning below cost sale at macy's with the all the importers trying to beat the other with a find. all of the defective/ out of spec ammo was kept separate for proper disposal at the plants like any other facility. in the end it was sold as scrap and imported to the U.S. for components. upon  its arrival, it was then sent to be packaged for commercial sale by a private contractor. guess what? someone lost rack of the scrap and it went along with the good. of course MOST of the obvious got pulled, like bad projo's dents etc. BUT NOT ALL a lot got packaged with short bullets, bad necks and what have you. need less to say it didn't take long for the problem to show up and the reputable vendors bailed.  still some lots continued to be offered by some of the mail order catalog sources for a while.   again, I managed to purchase a large quantity for less than .08 per rnd.  after pulling several hundred rounds I found the average "good" rnd had a charge of 41 grns of powder. charge weights varied from17 grains to the 41.   I developed a system for pulling and putting it back together. the best I could do was 63 rnds per hundred with a full 41 grn charge. along with timing I was very fortunate in being self employed and had a loading press on my desk.  also I made a deal with a couple other shooters allowing them to keep 2 rnds out of every 6 the produced. again it worked out very well for me and the indian.308 was a winner.               I am a shooter, and do so several days out of the week. I have been fortunate and this has been the case more than 55 years. in the 60's if I was not shooting, I was at some exotic location looking for surplus.  I know the future of the sport depends totally on the drive and needs of those involved. few will justify a $ 15k + item in the safe to look at. consequently I will share anything that may help one shoot more .  when i managed to buy argentine 1919 kits for less than $100, I actually gave several away to young men that had the drive to build a semi auto holding free build party's in my shop. all to boost the cause and increase awareness. if all I do here is make one think a bit different it may be a plus, if not you all can have a good laugh, cheers mike

 .

 


I only accept postal money orders. contact me DIRECTLY before sending any funds                                           email  myoldiron@outlook.com        

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