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Military Surplus Ammo For Sale
When most people think of military surplus, they picture stores where they can conveniently stock up on gas masks and Ka-Bars in the same place. Some of the matériel that militaries sell to the private market isn’t used or second rate, however. High grade milsurp ammo regularly makes its way to shooters who might only use it for target practice.
History of Military Surplus Ammo
Military surplus ammo initially entered the American market during the Reconstruction era. The Civil War was the first time that Americans fought in standard uniforms, which left a lot of soft goods in addition to other equipment sitting around as of 1865. Grays and blues soon found their way on the backs of men who had never set foot on a battlefield. Francis Bannerman IV was especially successful at exploiting the milsurp market. The retailer regularly bought up massive lots of Confederate rifles, and kept tabs on the Army so he could bid first on their obsolete equipment. He purchased nearly every Spanish rifle captured after the Spanish-American War, as well as 250 Gatling guns around the turn of the century. Bannerman ultimately offered such treasures for sale in his catalogue, which reached over 400 pages thick at its height of popularity. Whenever the U.S. Military abandoned a cartridge, like the 45-70 Government or the 30-06, a glut of milsurp ammo hit the private market as the feds tried to recoup their losses. Foreign milsurp ammo became widely available after WWII, as many German guns quickly gained popularity among collectors and shooting enthusiasts. Some 6,600 tons of Japan’s munitions were dumped into the Pacific following their surrender, so 7.7x58mm Arisaka never gathered a great following. The end of the Cold War saw a similar importation cycle. Mosin-Nagant lovers could rejoice as a steady stream of milsurp 7.62x54mmR finally trickled in. AK-47 ammo is now commonly available, although you can never predict what kind of trove will be discovered and subsequently auctioned off overseas.
Advantages of Buying Milsurp AmmoUnlike commercial ammo, surplus ammo is often available in bulk. If you have the money and the space to store tens of thousands of rounds, you can get a great deal on mil-spec ammo. Even purchasing one unit from a retailer’s pallet of foreign milsurp ammo is economical, and those cartridges may come in airtight packaging. Spam cans full of 7.62x39 frequently cross the ocean, which are sealed to meet the needs of even the most cautious preppers. Military surplus ammo is designed to function perfectly in the weapon it is made for. Although milsurp 303 British is increasingly rare, chambering it in a classic Lee-Enfield will let you experience precisely how British troops fired their rifles over one century ago. Furthermore, buying ammunition that originated in a country so exotic as Ethiopia is neat in and of itself.
Cons of Buying Surplus Ammo
It is not always easy to find milsurp ammo. It’s typically imported in single large shipments, and the times in between those shipments can vary. To complicate things even further, many anti-gun politicians look to banning imported milsurp ammo as a means of advancing their agenda. Its availability would cease entirely if certain politicians have their way. Many shooters consider exceptionally old milsurp ammo unsafe to fire. The conditions under which some foreign governments’ ammo was fabricated were not always ideal. Countries at war may expedite production, or engage unqualified workers. Older military surplus ammo may have corrosive Berdan primers. These can bathe a rifle’s bore in harmful mercury during ignition, although correct cleaning immediately after shooting will prevent damage. To a smaller degree, Berdan primers themselves are undesirable because they prohibit (or at least greatly complicate) handloading.
The Takeaway on Military SurplusMilitary surplus ammo can be every bit as good, if not better than, commercial ammunition. It can be worse as well, if it is decades old and was stored in poor conditions. The availability of foreign milsurp ammo depends on too many factors to rely on it with any confidence, but at least domestic producers manufacture mil-spec American cartridges like 50 BMG and 5.56x45 at a steady pace. Its generally consistent quality and bulk pricing make milsurp ammo a good investment to most shooters. If you are happy with Berdan primers and full metal jackets, and even spaghetti-like cordite propellant on occasion, don’t pass up on milsurp!
30 CARBINE KOREAN MILITARY SURPLUS 110 GRAIN FMJ (1080 ROUNDS IN AMMO CAN)I have not had any experiences with the 2 cans I purchased like a few other folks. Ammo, clips and bandoliers that were shipped to me are in A+ shape. They all look like brand new production. If I wanted to quibble over anything, one of the ammo cans had an obvious repair to the grab handle. Whoop-de-do! Not going to stop me from ordering more when I need it.(06/27/2020)
30 CARBINE KOREAN MILITARY SURPLUS 110 GRAIN FMJ (1080 ROUNDS IN AMMO CAN)Ammo is as new as when it was made (1985) and put in the .50 cal steel ammo can. Haven't fired any of it yet, but will soon. I'm sure it will shoot as good as it looks. Stripper clips and bandoliers are a bonus with this ammo. I doubt you could reload for the price of this excellent surplus ammo.(05/27/2020)
30 CARBINE KOREAN MILITARY SURPLUS 110 GRAIN FMJ (1080 ROUNDS IN AMMO CAN)Can and ammo, strippers and bando all in good shape.(05/10/2020)
30 CARBINE KOREAN MILITARY SURPLUS 110 GRAIN FMJ (1080 ROUNDS IN AMMO CAN)Ammo is great quality but the box definitely has age. Lots of rust.(05/07/2020)
30 CARBINE KOREAN MILITARY SURPLUS 110 GRAIN FMJ (1080 ROUNDS IN AMMO CAN)No doubt, they have been sitting in Korea since the 80's because when you open the can it smells of mildew...open it outside and remove each clip from the cloth bandolier and throw the mildew cloth away. The rounds are in great shape...a few have some surface tarnish...but so far after 180 rounds in my 43' m1 it worked fine. These rounds are hot, the hottest I have found so far anyway, they really zing. No misfires.(05/06/2020)
30 CARBINE KOREAN MILITARY SURPLUS 110 GRAIN FMJ (1080 ROUNDS IN AMMO CAN)This ammo looked like it was stored in a wet environment. Stripper clips have rust and the cartridge cases and projectiles have slight corrosion(04/24/2020)
308 WIN GERMAN MILITARY SURPLUS 148 GRAIN FMJ (1000 ROUNDS)This ammo is great for the plink shooter looking for a good deal and not expecting to re-load. Your average .308 cycles well and out of the 2,000 I purchased, I found only 14 rounds that showed tarnish and that tarnish was only greening on the brass that was easily removed with a bit of sand cloth. That being said, downsides; Berdan Primers. Unless you are looking for a project, or are an experienced re-loader, don't expect to re-use your brass from this ammo. The M1A was having trouble cycling out a fired case every once and a while. I think the recoil was a little too weak to fully cycle. The M14/M1A field manual states that a 145gr. bullet should be used to avoid damage from hot rounds, this 148gr. round shouldn't be enough extra weight to cause a miss-cycle so I do believe age of powder may be a factor. Especially with the slight signs of tarnish present. AR10 cycled just fine, FAL cycled just fine... To sum up, not a bad buy for the price.(03/26/2020)
7.62X51MM ETHIOPIAN MILITARY SURPLUS 145 GRAIN FMJ IN 30 CAL AMMO CAN (280 ROUNDS)Thanks i appreciate your interest in my review will order from you again(06/16/2019)
7.62x51mm NATO - 146 gr FMJ - Malaysian Surplus - 540 Rounds in 50 Cal Ammo CanThis is full power ammo. works with out fail in my socom 16 battle rifle. Love it. buy some and you will be pleased also.(04/25/2019)
7.62x51mm NATO - 146 gr FMJ - Malaysian Surplus - 540 Rounds in 50 Cal Ammo CanI had issues the first time i tried using this in my brand new semi automatic ar-10 like firearm. It did not want to cycle properly and would function as a single shot, but cycled with 308 rounds, making me think it was the ammo. Once the firearm was lubed and retested with this ammo, there was not a single issue in a string of 50 shots. Highly recommend this ammo.(04/08/2019)