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  1. #1
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    Default 7.62x25mm Bulgarian reminder

    I see on the net that prices have climbed so much that substantial quantities of Bulgarian Tok ammo has resurfaced. I just want to remind folks that some of this ammo may be the same that blew the slide off my (and many others) CZ52 pistols. Typically in paper packets of 16 headstamped with a star. I haven't heard of any problems in a Tok but I encourage you to use discretion before use in a CZ52 . CZs arn't cheap anymore and we don't need any more firearms related bad press. I encourage readers to google "BAD BULGARIAN AMMO" and decide for themselves

  2. #2
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    If I remember right the paper they are wrapped in is pink in color.

  3. #3
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    I would love to get some bulgarian for my ar15.

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    NRA Life Member since 1978

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuna View Post
    If I remember right the paper they are wrapped in is pink in color.
    Stuff i had (kept a package) was light tan brown. Did see some pink ones but they may have used whatever color paper that was avail. Never forget seeing slide.barrel at 45 degrees to frame and frame shattered. IF barrel slide hadn't stuck would have been a high speed face plant. Importer bought it and all the ammo back in a heartbeat. Seen too many other "instant part sets" on net in past.

  5. #5
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    The packet color of Bulgarian Tokarev ammo has no significance. I have about a dozen different variations in my collection and it is all ball ammo. If there was any actual problem with some Bulgarian x25 ammo, it was more than likely due to a factory error that was not caught, poor storage of the ammo at some point, or a flaw in the affected pistols. The ammo in question was not "proof loads" or "hot SMG ammo" as I have seen reported on other occasions.
    Always looking for interesting 7.62x25 Tokarev and 7.63 Mauser cartridges!!!
    Member: International Ammunition Assoc. (IAA), European Cartridge Research Assoc. (ECRA). Ask me about membership!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonny c. View Post
    The packet color of Bulgarian Tokarev ammo has no significance. I have about a dozen different variations in my collection and it is all ball ammo. If there was any actual problem with some Bulgarian x25 ammo, it was more than likely due to a factory error that was not caught, poor storage of the ammo at some point, or a flaw in the affected pistols. The ammo in question was not "proof loads" or "hot SMG ammo" as I have seen reported on other occasions.
    Think you are 100% correct. Ours (and many others) split from chamber, up barrel and fracturing slide. In any case there are way too many incidents to risk the use in CZs. I personally would have nothing to do with it at all and labeled my one remaining packet as "UNSAFE AMMO DO NOT USE" as a reminder. FWIW a certain importer took many thousands of these rounds and deactivated them for use as keychain fobs for show giveaways. Many were later confiscated at the local airport as contraband. The gift that keeps on giving.

  7. #7
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    Back in the early 80's there were warnings out about Bulgarian 7.62x25 ammo that was made in the early 50's. The warnings were also posted in Shotgun news back then and the importer stated not to use it and return it to them. The notice also said the rounds were the ones wrapped in a pink colored paper. I don't remember if the importer was Interarms or Century.

  8. #8
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    Tuna, see my post above.
    Always looking for interesting 7.62x25 Tokarev and 7.63 Mauser cartridges!!!
    Member: International Ammunition Assoc. (IAA), European Cartridge Research Assoc. (ECRA). Ask me about membership!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuna View Post
    Back in the early 80's there were warnings out about Bulgarian 7.62x25 ammo that was made in the early 50's. The warnings were also posted in Shotgun news back then and the importer stated not to use it and return it to them. The notice also said the rounds were the ones wrapped in a pink colored paper. I don't remember if the importer was Interarms or Century.
    I find nothing, not a single mention on Google about a "recall" for this ammo.... Are you thinking of the CBC 7.62NATO ammo that Century imported and then then CBC recalled the ammo after a few rifles blew up?
    "Saigon Tea, 60 P, you no buy you di di DI!"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ammolab View Post
    I find nothing, not a single mention on Google about a "recall" for this ammo....
    I don't think Al Gore had invented the internet yet back then.

  11. #11
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    No major internet recall, no nothing. Even the importers went "code silent" when confronted with multiple reports and pictures. Quietly swept under rug. Most sites and blown pistol pics warning of this have dissapeared. I assume this one will too. Was a no win situation. BAd press for firearms nobody wanted. The bulgy tok ammo was all pulled from market and only reintroduced when shortage emerged. Must be tons and tons out there. Again the issue is its use in CZ52s so market impact is somewhat limited. Some say its fine in CZs but I think it would be somewhat disconcerting to think your next shot may be it.


    LIKE it never even happened.

  12. #12
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    Funny, but CZs were the only pistols that seemed to have had problems with this or any other ammo. TTs seem to digest everything with lottle or no trouble.
    Always looking for interesting 7.62x25 Tokarev and 7.63 Mauser cartridges!!!
    Member: International Ammunition Assoc. (IAA), European Cartridge Research Assoc. (ECRA). Ask me about membership!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonny c. View Post
    Funny, but CZs were the only pistols that seemed to have had problems with this or any other ammo. TTs seem to digest everything with lottle or no trouble.
    You can crack a tokarev slide, ask me how I know.

  14. #14
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    OK, I'll bite.............How can you crack a TT slide? If so, it would be the first I've heard of.
    Always looking for interesting 7.62x25 Tokarev and 7.63 Mauser cartridges!!!
    Member: International Ammunition Assoc. (IAA), European Cartridge Research Assoc. (ECRA). Ask me about membership!

  15. #15
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    I have a batch of x25 that has * at 12 o'clock, 10 at 3 o'clock, 51 at 6 o'clock and 3 at 9 o'clock on the headstamp. It came in a lead sealed tin of 800 rds in 16 round brown paper wrappers. How do I know if I have a bad lot??
    Last edited by DC Gun Nut; 04-27-2013 at 05:37 PM.

  16. #16
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    I've got a Yugo M57 that loves the Polish, Bulgarian and Yugo surplus rounds that I fire. All of the ammo shoots well, the Yugo is 1986 dated and doesn't split the brass like the Polish and Bulgarian rounds do. The Bulgarian is 'factory 10' and dated 1954, the Polish is 1953 dated, both types shoot 100% of the time with the majority of the cases splitting into the shoulder area, sometimes beyond. The Tokarev (M57) handles all of this ammo without any problems. The split cases were a concern but I wear shooting glasses and have not had any problems with gas escaping. All three types of ammo do the job well, I only wished I had bought more from J&G Sales when they were selling x25 Polish for $80 per sealed brick of 1260 rounds 2 years ago.
    Collecting military surplus, the most fun a man can have with his pants on......

  17. #17
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    I wonder if the PPS 43C has an issue with the ammo in question? If not...then my stock of Polish x25 has a place to go.

  18. #18
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    I have a spare, unfired CZ52 barrel to run the " Perry spin test " on surplus ammo. The Bulgarian is the most eccentric, some of it is completely out of shape ( both too long and too large ).

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC Gun Nut View Post
    I have a batch of x25 that has * at 12 o'clock, 10 at 3 o'clock, 51 at 6 o'clock and 3 at 9 o'clock on the headstamp. It was marketed to me as Polish and came in a lead sealed tin of 800 rds in 16 round brown paper wrappers. How do I know if I have a bad lot??
    IIRC polish came in tins of 1260/70 rounds per box Bulgie was 800/ paper packets of 16. Sounds like you have bulgarian.

  20. #20
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    DC Nut, your "* at 12 o'clock, 10 at 3 o'clock, 51 at 6 o'clock and 3 at 9 o'clock" Tokarev ammo is 100% Bulgarian, but the "suspect ammo" is dated '52. Yours is 1951.
    Always looking for interesting 7.62x25 Tokarev and 7.63 Mauser cartridges!!!
    Member: International Ammunition Assoc. (IAA), European Cartridge Research Assoc. (ECRA). Ask me about membership!

  21. #21
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    my pps43 will eat it with out a problem

  22. #22
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    Thanks Vin & Jonny. I looked back on the sale and it was indeed advertised as Bulgie. At the time it didn't matter to me because I wasn't aware of any issues. I'm still not sure how it got by me. It's good to hear that the 51 is not the problem fodder, however, I have been looking around the web and some guys are saying 51 thru 53 is all bad. Do you have a link to a reputable source on this. I can't seem to find one. Thanks for starting the thread Vin...I would have missed it again without this notice.

  23. #23
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    "I have been looking around the web and some guys are saying 51 thru 53 is all bad."

    Crap, BS, Myth........take your pick.
    Always looking for interesting 7.62x25 Tokarev and 7.63 Mauser cartridges!!!
    Member: International Ammunition Assoc. (IAA), European Cartridge Research Assoc. (ECRA). Ask me about membership!

  24. #24
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  25. #25
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    Posted this as to relatively current date and cz52 failure mode with graphic pics. Pretty much what happened to us with 53-54 dated Bulgie ammo. OP clearly states handload did it but look at fracture pattern and granulated fracture edges. As Tok ammo shortage continues and reloads and bulgie ammo are used think more czs will go bye bye. Note the thin chamber bottom and the theory that "too many subgun round" may have already weakened it. Good news is haven't heard of anyone getting hurt or problems like this associted with any of the Polish Made tok ammo. Sad end to of of the neatest looking pistols ever made. As value rises the loss of one will really hurt.
    Last edited by vintovka; 05-03-2013 at 12:02 PM.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by vintovka View Post
    OP himself stated that he was using Reloads and it blew up on 1st shot. with those that can easily happen to any gun due to a improper powder load etc........

  27. #27
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    Yup, Agreed and OP was clear to accept blame but i thought the suggestion of previous metal fatigue and failure mode aspects were interesting. When CZ-52s first hit market Bulgie was plentiful and offered by main importer. Old POs show that Bulgie ammo that did it in was sold at same time the pistols were sold. After our mishap importer cancelled any more Bulgie orders (still have POs) and substituted with Romanian or polish. . Wonder if bad rounds pre stressed a weak chamber design? Still wondering why Czechs pulled these from service if not due to Soviet pressure. If tok surplus of any flavor continues to head north of .60/round may be a lot of reloading going on. I'm a dirt engineer so what do mechanical guys think?
    Last edited by vintovka; 05-03-2013 at 04:36 PM.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by vintovka View Post
    Yup, Agreed and OP was clear to accept blame but i thought the suggestion of previous metal fatigue and failure mode aspects were interesting. When CZ-52s first hit market Bulgie was plentiful and offered by main importer. Old POs show that Bulgie ammo that did it in was sold at same time the pistols were sold. After our mishap importer cancelled any more Bulgie orders (still have POs) and substituted with Romanian or polish. . Wonder if bad rounds pre stressed a weak chamber design? Still wondering why Czechs pulled these from service if not due to Soviet pressure. If tok surplus of any flavor continues to head north of .60/round may be a lot of reloading going on. I'm a dirt engineer so what do mechanical guys think?
    As a mechanical guy, (machine mechanic) I stick to mostly Romo surplus with a bit of Polish in the mix. I shoot a CZ52, Romo TT33 and PPS43. Haven't rolled my own yet, but it's coming soon.
    If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention!

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