I shoot a lot and try to get the most for my money whenever possible.
The problem is -
Good ammo is expensive.
And let's face it.
We're both interested in Tulammo for only one reason: The Price.
Because unless you're reloading your casings... shooting brass all the time is going to cost you quite a bit.
They're inexpensive, Berdan-primed, non-corrosive steel cased rounds. Widely available across the country.
Made in Russia and used by Russian military and law enforcement for training purposes.
But do you get what you pay for? How's the quality? Can Tulammo ruin your gun?
Today I'm going to clear up some misconceptions surrounding Tulammo.
More specifically, we're going to cover:
- What is Tulammo and Where is it made?
- Will Tulammo ruin your gun?
- Is steel-cased ammo bad for your gun?
- Is Tulammo dirty? What does it mean for you?
- Tulammo Accuracy and Reliability
- Finally - should you buy it or not?
Fasten your seatbelts gentlemen.
What is Tulammo and Where is it Manufactured?
Tulammo is made in Russia.
It is manufactured by Tula Cartridge Works. The factory is located in the Russian arsenal city of Tula, about 100 miles south of Moscow, Russia.
That factory is the largest small-arms ammo supplier in the world, selling across all of the Americas, Australia and Middle East.
They've been making small arms ammunition for over 140 years.
Side note: The factory was founded by a bad-ass Russian Czar Peter the Great. He created the Russia as we know it today.
Tula manufactures 40 types of small arms ammunition. Both commercial and for the Russian military.
Side Note: Tulammo, Wolf Ammo, and Herter's international are all the same thing in a different packaging. They're made by the same factory in Russia, but sold under different brand names.
Not all Tulammo comes from Russia. Brassmax ammo that they have running is made in Italy.
Still, no Tulammo is made in the U.S. - it's all imported.
On to the review...
Is Tulammo Safe?
Let's start with the BIG elephant in the room.
Yes, Tulammo is safe for your gun.
But there are 2 things that I want to clarify here.
First - Tulammo is Steel Cased
Tulammo is steel cased. (polymer coated)
And I know there are people out there thinking that steel-cased ammo is unsafe for their guns.
That steel casings are going to ruin their chambers/barrels.
This is greatly exaggerated.
The steel used in the cases is a soft steel. It is is “annealed” or heated and cooled slowly to soften it. It is not the same steel used in gun barrels or gun actions.
Steel cased ammo is very safe to use in most firearms.
Side Note: Yes, steel cased ammo can put slightly more wear on internal parts of the gun then brass. HOWEVER, if you shoot the thousands and thousands of steel rounds needed to wear on these parts... you will save enough money to buy yourself a whole new rifle.
Next up - bimetal bullets...
Second - Tulammo uses Bimetal Bullets
Tulammo uses bimetal bullets.
Bimetal bullets are made out of mild steel and copper. The metals are layered to form a jacket.
Are they bad?
No. Bimetal bullets are not bad for your gun... but there is increased friction when compared with copper bullets.
The friction increases the heat, which might wear your barrel down faster.
Should you worry about it?
NO. The risk is almost non-existent.
If your gun can't handle bimetal ammo, you should get yourself a new gun.
Now that you know your gun is safe, let's move on to...
Tulammo Performance and Reliability
Tulammo Uses Steel Casings
And I'll say it straight -
Steel-cased ammo is inferior to brass-cased ammo. Steel cased ammo does not expand like brass does.
What happens when you fire brass is that the ammo expands to fill the cylinder.
This blocks debris from blowing back into the weapon.
Steel casings don't expand as much, so the debris from the spent cartridge ends up all over the inside of your weapon.
The bottom line?
If you remember to clean your firearm and don't fire more than 500 rounds in a session... you have nothing to worry about with steel cased ammo.
And of course... steel ammo is cheaper.
There are plenty of guns that can shoot steel ammo without a problem. Just because it doesn't work for someone doesnt' mean that it won't work for you.
And for the geeks of you out there - Luckygunner's 40,000 round test
Important: Don't fire brass after firing steel. If you fire brass ammo after steel cased you run the risk of the brass ammo fusing to the debris and ripping as the extractor attempts to pull it out of the weapon. Clean the weapon between firing different ammunition.
Impossible (Very Hard) To Reload
Steel casings and and Berdan primers mean that Tulammo cases are impossible to reload.
That's the common position at least.
I mean, it's possible... it's just such a pain that you probably won't want to deal with it.
Tulammo is Dirty
There's no denying the fact.
Tulammo is dirty.
Heck, ALL Russian ammo is dirty.
It will leave a lot of lead fouling and powder residue ("ash") behind after firing.
But... so does most shooting.
The bottom line is that I've never had problems with dirty ammo. Unless my gun is jamming up, I don't worry about it being a little dirty inside.
Think about it.
Dirtyness of the ammo doesn't matter if you clean your gun after every session. (and don't shoot more than 500-600 rounds per session)
Most times all you gotta do is wipe the damn gun off and clean the bore with a brush. Maybe clean the hard to get places with a toothbrush. And of course the feed ramp on autos.
Tulammo is just fine for accuracy.
Because remember how much you paid for it? That's right.
You shouldn't expect world-class accuracy performance here.
Don't tell me you were going to take this to a shooting competition.
Tulammo gets the job done.
And don't take my word for it! Check out the Guntweaks Tulammo accuracy test.
Tulammo Quality (Weight Variance/Tolerance)
Weight variance between the rounds is important.
It is a sign of quality.
If the weight variance is great, the ammo won't group well. That's bad for precision, and a sign of bad quality.
Low weight variance, on the other hand, is a sign of high quality precision ammo.
According to weapon-blog.com's test conducted on .40 S&W Tulammo Rounds, Tulammo weight variances are very good.
Quoting the study:
Average Weight – 248.085 grains
Lowest Weight – 245.60 grains
Highest Weight – 250.80 grains
Max Variance – 5.2 grains
Avg Variance – 2.485 grains
That's a maximum 2% variance.
Showing low tolerance and excellent quality.
According to weapon-blog.com... Tulammo's numbers are better than Winchester, Blazer and PMC.
Could you have guessed that?
I'll be honest with you, I was surprised as well.
Tulammo Reviews - By Type
Check the videos below for the specific types of Tulammo. As you'll see some people love them, some people don't.
Highly dependent on the gun that you have.
Tulammo 9mm Review
The 9mm is literally made for Glock 17. They took the Glock and shaped the casing after it.
So if you have a Glock 17, Tulammo should be the perfect ammo for it.
Tulammo 9mm Brass Maxx Review
Tulammo also has a brass ammo line. These are made in Italy, if I remember correctly.
Tulammo 7.62 x39 Review (AK)
If you've got an AK - you'll love Tulammo. Russian guns were designed to run steel.
AKs have run steel case forever and will continue to run steel.
Tulammo 40 S&W Review
The 40 S&W ammunition is loaded with 180 grain FMJ to a velocity of 990 fps.
Tulammo 5.56 Review
AR-15 and M4 don't generally work well with steel-cased ammunition. They were designed to run on brass.
It won't ruin the barrel, but it can damage the twist over time.
I wouldn't recommend getting Tulammo for those.
Might be fine, might not work either.
(Note: he mistakenly says Wolf instead of Tulammo in the video, but he's using Tulammo)
Tulammo 223 Review
And Tulammo 223 silver bullet
Tulammo 308 Review
Tulammo 45 Acp Review
Tulammo 30 Carbine Review
Tulammo 357 Review
Tulammo primers review
I haven't tried reloading steel ammo.
But people who do haven't reported any issues with Tulammo's Berdan primers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Tulammo Corrosive?
No, Tulammo is not corrosive.
It even says so on the box.
In fact, it is a rule of thumb that all modern ammunition is non-corrosive. You only need to worry about milsurp stuff about corrosiveness.
Does Tulammo Damage Your Gun?
Tulammo won't damage your gun.
Tulammo makes steel ammunition. Using steel ammunition (as opposed to brass) "may" wear your gun out "slightly" faster.
But by the time that happens, you'll have saved yourself enough money for a new gun just from using the cheaper steel ammunition.
Your gun is made to be used. It's made to shoot. Go ahead and use Tulammo.
(Unless you spend more time cleaning/polishing your gun than actually using it)
How Do You Pronounce Tulammo?
Honestly - however you feel like. It's an American brand.
Tula - the city that this ammo is named after - is pronounced:
Russian: Тула, IPA: [ˈtulə]
Does Tulammo Have Steel Core?
No, Tulammo has a lead core.
As a matter of fact, it's prohibited to import steel-core ammunition.
Since the fed treats steel core as armor-piercing, you'll have a hard time finding it.
How to Open a Tulammo Spam Can?
It's easy. Click play to see how you open one.
Who Owns Tulammo?
TulAmmo USA is a private company headquartered in Round Rock, Texas.
It sells small-arms ammunition manufactured by the Tula Cartridge Works in Tula, Russia, about 120 miles outside of Moscow.
Storing Tulammo - or any polymer-coated steel ammo - is easy:
- Keep the ammo in its original boxes
- Throw a freshly dried pack of dessicant on top (toast one in the oven)
- Close the lid
Or just keep the ammo in an air-conditioned room.
Best Place To Buy Tulammo Cheap
Tulammo is available just about everywhere ammo is sold, online, in Cabelas, Walmarts and most gun stores.
Keep an eye out for sales and try to buy in bulk whenever possible.
The Final Word
Tulammo is a great range/blasting ammo.
It's cheap ammo, it isn't going to hurt your gun, and for the range it's fine.
It's widely used by people. Some have complaints, others don't. In the end, it depends on your gun.
And surprisingly you do get some bang for your buck.
Tulammo is accurate and reliable, especially for the price that you pay.
Surprisingly, Tulammo scored extremely well on the tolerance test. All of Tulammo's bullets are roughly the same weight, meaning that they group together well. This is an indicator of quality.
I wouldn't use it for self-defense.
But target practice? Hell yeah.
One last thing -
Make sure that your range allows steel-cased ammo. If you're planning to shoot Tulammo, make sure that your range allows steel ammo
Side Note: Some ranges don't allow steel ammo. Why? They recycle brass casings and don't want to spend time sorting steel from brass.