Sunday, November 27, 2011

Possible current 8M3 bullet sources

As I talked about in my previous guide, I think 8M3 7.63x39 is the best bulk self defense ammo out there. However, importing of it has been spotty of late. Wolf Ammunition has gone through a major shake up and they aren't using the exact same sources they used to. Due to this, current Wolf Military Classic Hollow Point doesn't seem to consistently use the Ulyanovsk plant Sapsan 8M3 bullet, if at all.

The normal way to a confirm Sapsan 8M3 bullet is by taking a loupe and looking inside the hollow point or a small pin in the cavity to look/feel for the cuts inside the jacket that encourage opening. They should be deeper and more than other 122/124 grain HP bullets cuts which are shallower or even non-existent. Also if you pull the bullets the shape should be different and the 8M3 bullet being shorter and flat based. Of course you can cut the bullets in half to compare construction as well.

This thread over at Glock Talk has some great pictures of pulled bullets with their flatter base, pictures of packaging, the original "Uly" headstamp that was replaced with a WOLF headstamp, and other general history of Wolf Military Classic over the years up to 2010. The problem is that the Wolf ammo company has had big changes over the past year and I heard a couple reports that the cuts are no longer there in the hollow point cavity. (I meant to buy a new box yesterday at the Gun Show but I got distracted with an Olight M20-X Flashlight and AK cleaning mat...)

I wish I could find the thread this was originally in, but these pictures here and here at shows the cuts pretty well.

Right now the absolute best source would be anything confirmed Ulyanovsk production that says 8M3 effect or Sapsan hunting Ammo. This will have the traditional Uly headstamp. The Sapsan boxes are making their way in right now but it has been awhile I've heard about the blue and white box being available.

Note: 8M3 is NOT the Uly 122 grain FMJ bullets in the the black and white boxes, although it will share the Uly headstamp. I've realy like that FMJ load for range ammo, but I haven't pulled one to see if it even has the 8M2 bullet which is similar to the Yugo M67 flat based FMJ. Which as I said in the guide, the best terminal ballistics option if you have to go for FMJ because it will tumble better. But if it has a boattail M43-style it will just go straight through like this video shows on water jugs (I know water jugs aren't a good ballistic medium but it illustrates the basic point and there is still a good chance that 8M2/M67 vcould do that as well).

I've seen a few people reporting that Tulammo 124 grain hollow point load somewhat ironically and confusingly has the 8M3 bullet. This is strange since Tula normally sourced the Wolf Black Box 122 grain Hollow Points. Tulammo as a brand has branched out and has either stopped sourcing ammo to Wolf or at the bare minimum has tried to get some of the importing action themselves instead of depending on Wolf. Lucky Gunner has a great profile of Tulammo and it confirms while it is called TulAmmo, the brand itself uses both Tula and Ulyanovsk plants. It does actually say on the 124 grain Hollow Point boxes that the ammo is made at the Ulyanovsk plant, so this would also seem to be a safe bet for 8M3.

To give you a idea of what these bullets can do, here is the damage these bullets have done on pigs: click here WARNING for the faint of heart they are pretty graphic!


  1. From what I've seen, the current Tulammo 124 grain hp is the 8m3 projectile. The bullet nose bears the same shape as well as the notches in the hollow. I plan to pull a bullet for a better comparison.
    Also, I've noticed considerable resemble between the 122 grain TulAmmo and the 124 gr I have. I plan an internal comparison of the two as well as weighing them.

    1. Any update on the 122grn vs 124grn Tulammo bullets?