Wolf Pistol Ammo Evaluation

Len-2A Training

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Feb 26, 2005
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I have successfully shot a couple of thousand rounds of Wolf .223 with no junk build-up or other problems in 4 different CAR/AR15s (2 are owned by "Tweak" over on the AR15 & WA Shooters eList/forums) over the years (all with the lacquer) . . . these are all military chambered guns (loose chambers) and that is significant. Tight chambered AR15s (target quality) always posed problems for those that tried Wolf (according to reports by others).

So, I now have tried Wolf 9mm and .45 in handguns and want to report a VERY DIFFERENT experience! [Note: The types of powder used in rifle and pistol cartridges are very different, so my results can NOT be correlated to rifle ammo.]

.45 in my S&W 1911.
- I ran 100 rds thru it. This was the "new" stuff without the lacquer.
- Feeding the mags was problematic, as the steel cases rubbing across steel cases offered a lot more resistance than I ever encountered with brass cased ammo. I didn't like it!
- I have new Cobramags (8 rd), Wilson Combat (8 rd, came with gun) and 3 Wilson Combat 10 rd extended mags (bought used).
- I had one FTF on the 10 rd mag, no other problems with the other mags.
- The dirt and filth I found (after 100 rds) when I broke down the gun far exceed anything I've ever seen even with 300-400 rds of PMC! There was a stubborn (bathtub ring) of black crud in the chamber that was no fun trying to remove.
- I sold off the rest of this 500 rd case to another shooter who likes Wolf .45 while I was at the range! :p
- I'll never buy their .45 ammo again.

- I have 2 cases (2K) of the lacquer coated stuff!
- I first tried it (100 rds)in my old 2nd gen (?) 39-2 and found that it basically wouldn't feed! Great for practicing malfunction drills, but not for shooting.
- I spoke with Wolf and they sent me 2 boxes of the new stuff (non-lacquered) to try and offered to replace all my ammo or refund my money if it didn't work. Good folks to do business with. Not sure if I'd have to pay return shipping . . . still to be investigated.
- I tried the "new" Wolf ammo in the 39-2, still wouldn't feed reliably.
- I spoke with S&W and confirmed that their older 9mm guns had very narrow feed ramps and won't reliably feed steel cased ammo! OK.
- I ran a few mags of the "old" Wolf thru my Walther P7M8 and a Taurus PT-111. Mostly fed OK. I had 1 or 2 FTFs in the PT-111 IIRC (it was a few weeks ago, so fuzzy memory). It fed fine in the P7M8.
- The guns also exhibited the "bathtub ring" Of crud in the chambers! Not good and not easy to remove.
- The mags were absolutely filthy! I've run thousands of rds of PMC (and other domestic) ammo thru handguns and none of their mags looked this bad after 50 rds or so of Wolf.

Net Result:
- Anyone want to buy ~1900 rds of Wolf 9mm FTF?
- I'll never use Wolf pistol ammo again!
- I will continue to use Wolf .223 until/unless I start experiencing the same sort of issues.
Tony, since I had good luck with .223 as plinking ammo and the prices were damn cheap, I figured I'd give it a try.

I haven't had time to setup for reloading and won't before this weekend's class (3 days with Randy Cain from TN), so I was tempted to try it out (.45). No dice!
Len - All I've shot is .223. It was the only thing the local store had so I bought 200 rounds of it. I have about 140 left that will never be shot by me.

American Eagle and "white box" is just as cheap and the brass is reloadable. Good luck with your class.

All you've shot of which brand? Wolf? Fiocchi?

Thanks, I'm going to have fun in this class and learn a lot too!

Hope it is a bit cooler, I don't do well in 90F outdoors unless I can jump in the ocean/pool!
Sorry, Len, I should have clarified, I know you have two threads going on. .223 is the only Wolf I've shot. As to your other thread, I've not shot Fiochi. I've had great success using the cheapest of the "main" brands, AE, white box, etc. for relaible and functioning training ammo. Though probably not as accurate as others, in defensive pistol practice, inherent ammo accuracy is the least of my concern (unless you're doing 50 yard slow fire bullseye strings).
Tony, thanks.

Yup, will be using PMC and Wini White Box .45 from Wal-Mart at $20/100. WallyWorld's Wini White Box is what most everyone uses for the defensive courses.
I've shot thousands of rounds of their 7.62x39, but anything will feed through an AK, so that's not conclusive.

I did buy a few hundred rounds of Wolf .223 recently. I took it, and my Colt SP-1 to the range. I had the new Wolf without the laquer coating. My friend was shooting his AR with a RRA M4 upper and the older Wolf.

After shooting a few mags full, he got a case stuck in the chamber. All I though was that he had a tight chamber. Then, a few mags later, I got one stuck. Now remember, this is BOTH types of Wolf ammo in two completely different AR's! When we got home, we had to drive cleaning rods down the barrels to get the cases out. I don't mean a tap or anything, I mean really beating on them. We inspected the cases and found that the extractor had ripped a piece off the rim of both the cartridges.

I'm glad all I have is a few boxes of the stuff left. If anyone wants it, it will be at the bottom of the CT river.

I've shot only a few boxes of their .45acp and 9mm, but after this, I won't shoot it even if it's given to me for free. All I can say is I'm glad I reload and cast my own bullets. That way, Wolf seems expensive to me!
This may be the wrong time to mention it, but...

Four Seasons sometimes has sales on cases of CCI Blazer in .45ACP. I'm still working through the case I bought in November, but so far, I've had ONE FTF in my "new" P12... and it seems to have been a magazine issue. One tap on the mag and it popped right in and I haven't had any other problems. My P10 and my P90 like the stuff just fine.

I'd heard so many horror stories about Wolf that I'm afraid to try it. (Did I mention that I'm a cheapskate when it comes to ammo?)

I shoot the .40's even cheaper. I get all the brass from the PD after yearly qualification. So, I have at least 10,000 cases stocked away. Then, I get wheelweights for free from a tire shop, several 5-gallon buckets full per month. I even make my own lube for the cast bullets, so I don't have to pay for that, either. All this just costs me my time, which I have more of than money, considerably more.

So, I just by Unique by the 8lb keg and Winchester primers and load up.

I do want to speed up the lubing/sizing part of it by finding an old Star Luber/Sizer. The Lyman takes about twice as long to do each bullet, but it is still fairly quick.

If I had the conversion for my Dillon SDB, reloading would be a little faster, but my friend has a 550B conversion for .40 that he doesn't use anymore, so he let me use it. The 550B isn't quite as fast as the SDB, but it still pumps the rounds out fairly quickly, and they are all high quality, too.

If you add up the startup costs for all of this, you would have to shoot a lot to justify it. But, it has definately paid for itself several times over for me. I couldn't afford to shoot 1/20th the amount I do, on the low end, if I didn't reload. Instead of affording to shoot 100 or so rounds in a range session, I can shoot 4-500 without hurting my wallet.
I cast either outside or in my garage with the door open. Either way, I always have a fan sitting on a 55 gallon drum blowing the fumes away from me.

That part isn't bad, but I hate melting up the wheelweights into ingots. I need a few more ingot moulds since it heats up too much and it takes too long to cool. And, with the paint, grease, and everything else that gets mixed with them, it smokes a LOT! Obviously, that's never done in the garage.

Even though it takes time, I like casting. I'm getting ready to do another batch of .40's soon.

With the lube, I use paraffin, a little petroleum jelly to soften it up a little, then add in a very little bit of tranny fluid for extra lube. I have skipped the tranny fluid lately, and have seen no difference. The bullets are still just as accurate and fouling is almost non-existant.

As a filler, I've even used old candles. It's funny seeing the people shooting at the indoor range looking around for someone burning a Yankee Candle :) . A lot of people who know a lot more than I do say you can't use anything but commercial lube because you won't get any accuracy and will get a lot of fouling. I just experient a little, and I haven't found any problems, and it sure smells purdy, too!
You lube and size in one process. Most bullet moulds cast a bullet .004-.006 oversize, sometimes more depending on the alloy used.

With the Lyman, you just set the cast bullet on top of the sizing die. You just pull the handle, and the top punch pushes it down into the sizing die, which has holes in it and also puts the lube in the lube groove. There is a tube in the back of the sizing machine which is filled with cold, solid lube and you just have to twist the handle to put tension on the lube every 5-6 bullets. Only about 1/8 of a turn does the trick. Then, you have to lift the handle up, which pushes the bullet back up out of the sizing die and you have to remove the bullet by hand.

If you use a Star Luber/Sizer, you just puch the bullet all the way through the die and out the bottom. You just have to hang an old coffee can on the bench under the machine to catch them. It's at least twice as fast. The only problem is the sizer and dies cost considerably more than the Lymans do. But, you don't have to get a top punch for each individual one. You can just use a flat, undersized (for the smallest dia bullet you use), and push the bullets through upside down. The only drawback is that you cannot use gas checks with the Start. The only caliber I use a gascheck with is a .30-30, so I would still have to keep the Lyman, even if I get a Star.

You can get soft lube to use, but it gets messy. So, you have to use a lube heater plate under the machine. It just plugs in and heats up the base of the machine to get the lube flowing.
Interesting. Sounds like a lot more equipment to buy for the reloading process.

Although we used to shoot lead wadcutters through our service revovlvers, I was under the impression it was not advisable to do so in semi's. Can anyone shed some light on this?
The initial investment in equipment may sound large, but I recouped it in less than a year with the amount of ammo I shoot.

It is not advisable to shoot lead in Glocks, due to their rounded rifling. The bullets just strip down the bore and don't get a good spin. You won't get good accuracy out of them, and you will get a LOT of fouling, which could possibly raise chamber pressures.

I shoot cast bullets only, unless I am given the ammo, in my S&W autos, my father's P85 and my Sig P220, along with all my revolvers. Some auto's, usually 1911's, sometimes won't feed cast bullets. Usually, it's only a feedramp that needs polishing.
Glock calls it "polygonal", I think. Instead of having sharp, cut rifling that grabs the cast bullet and provides a good seal, a cast bullet will slip over them with minimal spin, and strip a lot of lead out in the bore.

I'm not familiar with the HK. They may use a similar rifling process. Supposidly, it gives you more muzzle velocity with jacketed bullets since there is less resistance. I was told that it makes them more accurate, too, but the Glock rep was the one who told me that, so take it for what it's worth.
My friend has a USP45C that he shoots lead out of. The best thing I've found to take any fouling out is Birchwood Casey Bore Scrubber (NOT GUNSCRUBBER!!!). You can buy it cheap at Wal Mart. I really stinks like ammonia, but it works great.
Tony, IIRC the USPs all use the same type rifling as Glock and H&K advises NOT to shoot lead bullets in them.
Tony, I own two of the USPc models and that is what I recall being told and I also think it was in the manuals.
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