Tulammo .223 – Don’t Bother

I shoot a fair amount of steel cased .223, mainly because I am cheap and lazy, and it’s pretty easy to find at a low price.

My experiences with Tula, however, have not been great.

Rifles that will cycle any other type of ammunition – Brown Bear, Wolf, Monarch, Prvi Partizan, Black Hills, Federal, etc, etc – have had major problems with Tula. Why? Because it’s really weak.

Now, I’m aware that some people say Tula and Wolf are one and the same – my rifles, and the high speed video camera, feel differently. The rifle in this video cycles Wolf with an H3 buffer – but wouldn’t cycle Tula with a carbine buffer and a standard carbine action spring. I had to drop down to a Wolff reduced power action spring, and even then, it was iffy at times.

You can see in this video just how weak it is – and inconsistent to boot.

If this rifle’s gas port was larger, it would be able to cycle Tula without using nonstandard springs – but then functionality with all other ammo types would suffer.



Filed under Firearms

15 responses to “Tulammo .223 – Don’t Bother

  1. Chris

    I’ve gone through around 1,500 rounds of the stuff this summer.
    $4 a box at Cabela’s.

    I didn’t have any problems with it.
    14.5″ DD CHF M4 barrel
    BCM “H” buffer
    BCM carbine buffer spring

    My buddy has a similar set up and his would fail to lock back on empty with the Tula stuff.
    14.5″ LMT upper
    “H” buffer
    Carbine buffer spring

    I’m convinced that my DD barrel is over gassed.
    Which is disappointing given what I paid GTS for it.

    • I have recent experience with a DD upper that wouldn’t cycle Tula, even with a carbine buffer. That was with a 16″ carbine gas barrel, .068″ gas port. Like the rifle in the video, I had to step down to a Wolff reduced power spring.

  2. Bill

    I’ve been looking at picking some of this up but…
    I usually shoot Wolf MC out of a 16″ DPMS with a ST-T2 buffer, no problems.

    I just bought a case of Brown Bear and had some short stroking with it not locking the bolt back. I did just install a BAD lever too but didn’t happen with the Wolf MC.

    Guess I’ll stay away from Tula.

    • Unless you see a monumental deal on Tula, I think it’s pretty comparable price-wise to Brown Bear, Wolf, etc.

      • Bill

        Yeah, I got the Brown Bear for $198. Shot through 500 rounds so far, the 50 yard accuracy isn’t horrible for iron sights but at a hundred yards it’s minute of man stuff. I will say that I fired a few hundred of those rounds through my brothers DMPS with a Carbine buffer and it didn’t short stroke.

  3. MarkM

    Point being, AR 15’s don’t have the compensating gas valves of a semi auto shotgun. Those have to cycle both bird shot and hot magnum goose loads without fail, or the public trashes them.

    A single aperature port semi auto gun tuned for full power military ammo is going to choke on low powered fodder. It’s a given – it cannot be tuned to do both reliably without all the extra geek orings and valving every other firearm in the world uses for ammo with widely divergent gas loads.

    It’s no wonder the makers overgas for light junk ammo, the public always thinks it is right, and we keep buying combat milspec guns and feeding it light plinker ammo. How can they be wrong giving us what we demand?

    If it’s REALLY a duty SHTF TEOTWAWKI Home Defense EDC trunk gun, don’t shoot crap ammo in it or tune it that way. Shoot full power military loads only. A milspec gun is set up to shoot milspec ammo, not cheap third world fodder dumped on the market to make a profit from obviously shorting the powder in it.

    If your not training with milsurp ammo from Lake City, just put a .22 upper on it. I would suggest they would be equally reliable, cheap, and just as effective. A progressive reloader would be another choice.

    Shotgunners have lived with the situation for decades, they know you either run the proper load for the gas action – or pay for a gas action that will run them. There’s no other choice.

  4. Phil

    I bought 500 rounds of Herter’s from Cabelas and that shit was terrible. I used it for an Appleseed event and about half way through the morning I just could NOT keep my rifle cycling, no matter how much CLP I used. Short strokes were pervasive. The Wolf 62gr. stuff that I bought for another event functioned for more than twice as long before needing a little lube. The two are NOT the same.

  5. John Jackson

    Thanks for the analysis and advice

  6. Leethar

    Was this the white box that’s sold at Cabela’s or the black box at wal mart? I have put about 200 rounds of the white box through a midlength with an H2 buffer without incident. I wasn’t recording my bolt with a high speed camera though. Maybe there’s a difference in the two “Brands?”

    • Black box was used for the video, but all of my previous experience came from the white box stuff. I would not be surprised at all to find significant performance differences between lots of Tula ammunition.

  7. ragedracer1977

    Definitely underpowered. I ran about 200rds of it through a Spikes 16″ upper with their ST-T2 buffer. Didn’t have any malfunctions to speak of, but I could “feel” the difference even between Brown Bear.

  8. We had a customer send back an upper to be tuned on Tula, it required a .006 larger gas port to cycle. Tula is horrible..

  9. John

    I’ve shot about 500 rounds of Tula (black box) through my midlength/full-auto BCG/H2/Sprinco blue spring rifle, and have only had one problem, and that was with a stuck casing. My S&W carbine shoots this stuff without any problem at all.

    When SHTF, it would be nice to have a rifle that CAN shoot this steel ammo, even if you don’t normally do it.

  10. Jack

    From what I’ve heard, the Tula Black box is supposedly the same as Wolf, while the white box is made in a different factory.

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