From Steel to Wolf Gold, This Is Where Wolf Ammo Is Sold
Sporting Supplies International was founded in Placentia, California in 1996. Their goal was to supply sporting and recreational goods to the American market, and in 2005 found the best way to do so with WOLF Performance Ammunition.
Why Shoot Wolf Ammo?
WOLF is best known for their steel cased rifle and pistol ammunition. Steel casings are most often associated with Russia, where WOLF does indeed import most of their ammunition from. Russian manufacturers primarily produce steel cased ammunition for two reasons: It is more economical than brass, and it effectively prohibits handloading. (That latter “feature” enables Russia’s government to keep closer tabs on how much ammunition their citizenry has access to.)
Steel’s lower production cost than that of brass is easy to understand when you analyze the mineral composition of the earth’s crust: Five percent of it is iron, while approximately 0.007% is copper. WOLF ammunition’s price tags soundly reflect that disparity, making it popular among budget-minded shooters.
You can not reload steel (at least without specialized equipment) because it lacks the elasticity of brass. Steel accordingly doesn’t resume its original dimensions after it is subjected to the immense pressure of ignition. Steel doesn’t seal the chamber as well as brass, either, causing significantly more carbon fouling as the result. What’s more, steel casings are usually paired with Berdan primers. They are slightly more economical to make than the Boxer variety, and are every bit as reliable, but their two flash hole design and less standardized sizing would make reloading a great chore even in a brass casing.
Another shortcoming steel casings often present is the greater friction they generate as they cycle through a semi-automatic firearm. WOLF addresses this problem with their PolyFormance coating, which enhances steel casings’ lubricity for more reliable feeding and extraction. That same polymer treatment also protects steel from rust during storage, and is formulated not to melt off in extreme heat to gum up a weapon’s action.
WOLF’s cartridges once included a distinctive red sealant around their primers and necks. This was intended to prolong ammunition’s shelf life by keeping out moisture, but produced the unwanted side-effect of increased buildup in the chamber. WOLF discontinued all use of the offending sealant by 2011.
WOLF’s steel cased ammunition is available under their Performance, PolyFormance, and Military Classic labels. They also offer a variety of brass cased ammunition under their Gold label, as well as 22 LR match ammunition (which is manufactured by rimfire specialist ELEY) and shotshells.
WOLF notably suffered from some supply issues during 2005 and 2006, but these were due to factors outside of their control. The U.S. market as a whole experienced a shortage of 7.62×39 ammunition in that time owing to two predominant factors: Venezuela’s recent switch to the AK-103 series of rifles, and the U.S. supply of ammunition to the developing Afghan National Army. (The Afghan Army similarly strained global supplies of 308 Win back then.) Those increases in demand have since been sorted out, and Russian manufacturers are once again able to reliably supply the U.S. with their country’s most popular cartridge.
If you would like to shave a little money off of your shooting budget, and don’t mind thoroughly cleaning your chamber and forgoing handloading, then WOLF’s steel cased ammunition will prove a good friend at the range. A case of WOLF’s steel cased 7.62x39 ammunition consistently costs less than half as much as a case of the traditional brass cased stuff!
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