Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

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Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by Domino » Sat May 25, 2013 4:47 pm

Just saw this and it had me thinking. If Colt is rebranding the Barnaul zinc plated ammo maybe people are realizing that this stuff is really pretty decent ammo? I have been using the stuff for years and never had an issue in my Glocks or ARs so I already know its GTG. In all cases it has been reliable, powerful, and fairly accurate. More so than most surplus stuff out there and it has traditionally been cheaper which make it good for plinking and stocking up on. But now if Colt is jumping on the band wagon I guess it means so will a lot of their fan boys. Is this the end of cheap, good quality Russian ammo? :(

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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by Murgatroy » Sat May 25, 2013 6:10 pm

So I guess the Colt branded Chinese knives and tactical gear is good too cause it has the Colt name on it?
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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Sat May 25, 2013 6:18 pm

Murgatroy wrote:So I guess the Colt branded Chinese knives and tactical gear is good too cause it has the Colt name on it?
The difference is that Barnaul has been good to go for years. If Colt branded a Spyderco, it would still likely be a good Spyderco, just more expensive. Colt is just trying to make a buck doing what they've always done, relying on their name to command a premium.
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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by Stercutus » Sat May 25, 2013 8:34 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
Murgatroy wrote:So I guess the Colt branded Chinese knives and tactical gear is good too cause it has the Colt name on it?
The difference is that Barnaul has been good to go for years. If Colt branded a Spyderco, it would still likely be a good Spyderco, just more expensive. Colt is just trying to make a buck doing what they've always done, relying on their name to command a premium.
Well that and spend a lot of time in court. The current legal mess they have going on there is epic though.
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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by Hoppy » Sat May 25, 2013 11:15 pm

Theres a sucker born every minute. many of them buy Colt, Glock, H und K and the cool kid brands. :wink:

Seems its either a trademark infringement or a chances to milk the colt fanboy base
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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by 400 Grains » Sun May 26, 2013 8:17 pm

Hoppy wrote:Theres a sucker born every minute. many of them buy Colt, Glock, H und K and the cool kid brands. :wink:

Seems its either a trademark infringement or a chances to milk the colt fanboy base
Since I see no reference to the ammo on Colt's site, and a quick call to a buddy that is a Colt distributor got the response, "say what?", I'm guessing there's more to the story.

Maybe a licensed product in some other country, that got imported here by a distributor? If it were a full blown patent infringement, I wouldn't think a distributor would be dumb enough to sell it.

I see SG has the .308 version too.

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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by my pies are piff » Mon May 27, 2013 12:34 am

This is funny. I was visiting my dad a few weeks ago and he told me that he sold his last 9 a little while ago and is moving to just 40sw. Then he went into his safe and got this uzi ammo for me.
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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by 400 Grains » Mon May 27, 2013 11:23 am

my pies are piff wrote:This is funny. I was visiting my dad a few weeks ago and he told me that he sold his last 9 a little while ago and is moving to just 40sw. Then he went into his safe and got this uzi ammo for me.
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Actually in that case, the manufacturer of the gun, Israeli Military Industries, was the manufacturer of the ammo.

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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by Bearcat » Mon May 27, 2013 8:39 pm

I thought the general consensus was zinc coated bullets are shit in general. I always read that if they come into contact with say, oil from your hands, a chemical reaction occurs over night which creates a white powder residue on the cases and cause feeding problems. This isn't a problem if you shoot it right away, but what if someone prefers to load their mags the night before a shooting event?
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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Mon May 27, 2013 8:51 pm

Bearcat wrote:I thought the general consensus was zinc coated bullets are shit in general. I always read that if they come into contact with say, oil from your hands, a chemical reaction occurs over night which creates a white powder residue on the cases and cause feeding problems. This isn't a problem if you shoot it right away, but what if someone prefers to load their mags the night before a shooting event?
What if you're one of those guys who wears exam gloves while loading mags ?

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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Mon May 27, 2013 8:56 pm

I had never heard anything about zinc-washed steel reacting with human hands. I have heard horror stories about people loading mags and all their steel cased ammo rusting overnight. Usually from people who swear that steel cased ammo is the devil.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't zinc normally used as a rustproofing because of its resistance to oxidization or other chemical decay?
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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by Browning 35 » Mon May 27, 2013 9:09 pm

Bearcat wrote:I thought the general consensus was zinc coated bullets are shit in general. I always read that if they come into contact with say, oil from your hands, a chemical reaction occurs over night which creates a white powder residue on the cases and cause feeding problems. This isn't a problem if you shoot it right away, but what if someone prefers to load their mags the night before a shooting event?
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I think that much of it has to do with the relative humidity of where you live. Those are zinc plated and zinc will in fact corrode/'rust'.
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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Mon May 27, 2013 9:13 pm

As we speak, I've got a box of Silver Bear 7.62x54r sitting next to me and I've handled each round previously. We're talking at least a year ago being the last time I handled the ammo. I'm not seeing any kind of white powder or any kind of reaction to oils on my hands on the cartridges.

On the other hand, I did have some Wolf 7.62x39 that had some rust spots develop after about two years of storage on stripper clips in an old ammo can.

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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by Assault Life » Mon May 27, 2013 9:43 pm

I store all my ammo loaded down with dessicant. Rice works too.
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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by AmnJoker333 » Mon May 27, 2013 9:56 pm

Does this mean we will see Kalashnikov-rebranded Winchester White Box? :awesome:
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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by crypto » Mon May 27, 2013 10:30 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:I had never heard anything about zinc-washed steel reacting with human hands. I have heard horror stories about people loading mags and all their steel cased ammo rusting overnight. Usually from people who swear that steel cased ammo is the devil.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't zinc normally used as a rustproofing because of its resistance to oxidization or other chemical decay?
You lie. Youve heard me, personally, bitching about silver bear oxidation problems on many occasions. It does precisely that. it oxidizes into a white flaky stuff that makes chambers tight. I dont like it and no longer crack the box open until Im about ready to shoot it.
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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Mon May 27, 2013 10:40 pm

crypto wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:I had never heard anything about zinc-washed steel reacting with human hands. I have heard horror stories about people loading mags and all their steel cased ammo rusting overnight. Usually from people who swear that steel cased ammo is the devil.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't zinc normally used as a rustproofing because of its resistance to oxidization or other chemical decay?
You lie. Youve heard me, personally, bitching about silver bear oxidation problems on many occasions. It does precisely that. it oxidizes into a white flaky stuff that makes chambers tight. I dont like it and no longer crack the box open until Im about ready to shoot it.
I do not recall this. Maybe another fine specimen of fabulosity. My only experience with the stuff is reading about it on arfcom and running it a couple times, but it was bought and shot in the same week. Laquer/poly coated has always been cheaper, and golden bear is usually close enough if I feel like splurging.

Anyone know what Hornady coats their Steel Match with?
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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by Assault Life » Mon May 27, 2013 11:06 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote: Anyone know what Hornady coats their Steel Match with?
Manatee tears


Seriously though, polymer.
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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by Dasho101 » Tue May 28, 2013 8:15 pm

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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Tue May 28, 2013 8:31 pm

Assault Life wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote: Anyone know what Hornady coats their Steel Match with?
Manatee tears


Seriously though, polymer.
This gives me hope. With luck, poly-coated cases will become a Thing and new tech will be discovered that will make it easier to do, which will result in even cheaper 5.7 ammo!
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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by raptor » Tue May 28, 2013 8:35 pm

Zinc is applied in various methods to prevent rusting. Galvanization is basically a zinc coating that applied either by hot dipping or electrochemically. However zinc when exposed to oxygen (including oxygen in water) will corrode. Zinc plated anything will corrode if exposed to oxygen.

The steel coated ammo will also eventually rust when the zinc coating corrodes off. It may take years but it will rust.

BTW for what it is worth I like silver bear ammo for my firearms that digest steel case ammo.

edited to add:
When I say "The steel coated ammo will also eventually rust when the zinc coating corrodes off." Eventually = anywhere from years to decades to centuries depending upon the purity and quality of the zinc coating.
Last edited by raptor on Tue May 28, 2013 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by Domino » Tue May 28, 2013 9:52 pm

The rust concerns of zinc plated ammo are probably overstated. I have never had a problem with it even when I lived in humid South Carolina and Georgia. Here in Southern Nevada, it is a non-issue. Unless you are leaving your ammo in magazines that are constantly exposed to rain or humidity, it will likely never be a problem.

Besides, based on this guys tests the zinc plated cases rusted less than both lacquer coated and polymer coated ammo with polymer fairing out the worst. Unlike the previous link which the guy just observed fired cases (perhaps this increases oxidation with exposed metal inside?), this guy tested actual loaded ammunition exposed in the environment and then submerged in water. It would appear (contrary to internet lore) that zinc is a good choice for coating steel cased ammo, probably just below nickel and brass coatings and probably just as good or better than lacquer...

Silver Bear in the elements
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Polymer in the elements
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Lacquer in the elements
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All three after being submerged in water for some period of time...
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You decide what is best...

http://www.ar15.com/mobile/topic.html?b ... 747&page=1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Either way, I'll take both Lacquer and zinc coated ammo without thinking twice, but I will avoid poly coated stuff. Brass is better but a whole lot more expensive.

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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by crypto » Tue May 28, 2013 10:12 pm

Domino wrote:The rust concerns of zinc plated ammo are probably overstated. I have never had a problem with it even when I lived in humid South Carolina and Georgia. Here in Southern Nevada, it is a non-issue. Unless you are leaving your ammo in magazines that are constantly exposed to rain or humidity, it will likely never be a problem.
I've got 2 Silver Bear stories:

1. When I first got my CZ-82 as a carry gun about 5 years ago, there was no commercial JHP available for 9x18mm, save for Silver Bear (Hornady Crit Defense was about 8 months backordered). So I loaded up the silver bear in it. After 2 weeks of carrying it, I shucked all the rounds out of the mag to clean the lint out of it, and at that point I noticed it was white wherever my fingers had touched it and felt visibly different. I put some digital calipers on the case and it was now a few thousandths thicker (zinc oxide is less dense than zinc, so it occupies more space). I took the rounds out of the mag and set them aside, and switched back to brass-case FMJ. A week later I shot through the silver bear. Rounds I had never handled functioned fine, those rounds that had been loaded and carried around with me had a 20% FTE rate.

2. I took a carbine class in the summer where I was shooting silver bear because it was cheap, and I was hoping it would smell better than the cat-piss smell that Brown Bear makes (it doesnt, btw). When class was over I left the remaining partially loaded mags in my chest rig for a few months, and then the next time I went to the range I pulled them out and shot through them without looking at them. First round tore the case rim off and resulted in a stuck case. I manually removed the case, and sure as shit, it was all white. I unloaded my partial mags and looked at them: All white and crusty.

So in conclusion, water and humidity may do it, but I'm putting my bet on skin oils and salty acidic sweat being the bigger problem.
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Re: Colt brand .223 Ammo (ie Silver Bear)

Post by Domino » Tue May 28, 2013 10:35 pm

crypto wrote:
Domino wrote:The rust concerns of zinc plated ammo are probably overstated. I have never had a problem with it even when I lived in humid South Carolina and Georgia. Here in Southern Nevada, it is a non-issue. Unless you are leaving your ammo in magazines that are constantly exposed to rain or humidity, it will likely never be a problem.
I've got 2 Silver Bear stories:

1. When I first got my CZ-82 as a carry gun about 5 years ago, there was no commercial JHP available for 9x18mm, save for Silver Bear (Hornady Crit Defense was about 8 months backordered). So I loaded up the silver bear in it. After 2 weeks of carrying it, I shucked all the rounds out of the mag to clean the lint out of it, and at that point I noticed it was white wherever my fingers had touched it and felt visibly different. I put some digital calipers on the case and it was now a few thousandths thicker (zinc oxide is less dense than zinc, so it occupies more space). I took the rounds out of the mag and set them aside, and switched back to brass-case FMJ. A week later I shot through the silver bear. Rounds I had never handled functioned fine, those rounds that had been loaded and carried around with me had a 20% FTE rate.

2. I took a carbine class in the summer where I was shooting silver bear because it was cheap, and I was hoping it would smell better than the cat-piss smell that Brown Bear makes (it doesnt, btw). When class was over I left the remaining partially loaded mags in my chest rig for a few months, and then the next time I went to the range I pulled them out and shot through them without looking at them. First round tore the case rim off and resulted in a stuck case. I manually removed the case, and sure as shit, it was all white. I unloaded my partial mags and looked at them: All white and crusty.

So in conclusion, water and humidity may do it, but I'm putting my bet on skin oils and salty acidic sweat being the bigger problem.
Most likely what you experienced was a result of the acidity of the water and duration of the exposure. The zinc works as a sacrificial coating to prevent the steel from rusting. Based on your experiences I am guessing you sweat a lot?

EDITED TO ADD:

Oh and the reason why Silver Bear and Brown Bear smell the same is because they are all made by the same company (Barnaul) and then marketed by DKG Trading and now Colt...
http://www.dkgtrading.com/bear-co.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.barnaul.co.nz/index.php?page=selection" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.keytometals.com/Article40.htm wrote:The important factors that control the rate at zinc corrodes in atmospheric exposures are:
The duration and frequency of moisture
The rate at which the surface dries
The extent of industrial pollution of the atmosphere.


Corrosion of Zinc in Water. The corrosion of zinc in water is largely controlled by the impurities present in the water. Naturally occurring waters are seldom pure. Even rainwater, which is distilled by nature, contains nitrogen, oxygen, CO2, and other gases, as well as entrained dust and smoke particles. Water that runs over the ground carries with it eroded soil, decaying vegetation, living microorganisms, dissolved salts, and colloidal and suspended matter. Water that seeps through soil contains dissolved CO2 and becomes acidic. Groundwater also contains salts of calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese. Seawater contains many of these salts in addition to its high NaCl content.
Corrosion in dissolved salts, acids and bases.

Zinc is not used in contact with acid and strong alkaline solutions, because it corrodes rapidly in such media.

Very dilute concentrations of acids accelerate corrosion rates beyond the limits of usefulness. Alkaline solutions of moderate strength are much less corrosive than corresponding concentrations of acid, but are still corrosive enough to impair the usefulness of zinc
http://www.keytometals.com/Article40.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I wonder if you would have had a similar experience with lacquer or polymer coated ammo? Either way, all of these coatings are going to be better than just steel. I say use what you trust and what works for you. For CCW and serious defense purposes I use high quality brass cased HP/SP ammo because that is the best I can get.

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