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· Silver Bullet member
1,029 Posts
Dead Link?

I get a dead end when I try that link; are you sure that site is still up?

I posted some reminiscences and a graphic from the old forum in here not long ago; would you like me to check my files and re post such as I can find of it?

Although we thought that that lot of explosive Bulgy had been flushed out of the supply stream a couple of years ago, it seems that a contributor here may have recently and unsuspectingly bought some of it .

· Registered
434 Posts
Uncle Jaque, the link worked OK for me.

Did someone from this board recently damage another weapon with this ammo, or did they just come across a batch of it? I had almost been thinking that the explosive nature of this ammo was an old internet myth.

· Platinum Bullet member
20,982 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Maybe you're not trying hard enough. No limpwristing that mouse, and as you Firmly press the left button, be sure to shout "CLICK".

Sure everyone in the house will regard you as odd, but the results will look like this:

· Registered
183 Posts
Internet Legend

Just a myth... Let's keep it alive to misinform others.

Believe it if you will, but it is a load of BS. I have shot this ammo in 5 different 52's with NO ILL EFFECTS to any of them EVER. I believe the the person who blew up their firearms and put this info on the net probably would have blown it up with something else, (maybe even S&B) in time, as they probably had a different issue with the weapon. (Lkie an out of round roller...)

Avoid it if you don't feel comfortable shooting it, but there is nothing wrong with it that isn't wrong with ANY 50's vintage Bulgarian ammo (brittle brass that will split at the neck, I've seen it in 54R as well). And if you've got some you don't want to shoot, I'll gladly take it off of your hands for you, just drop me a PM, and I'll give you the address to ship it to.

Remember, shooting is a dangerous sport that COULD at any time result in injury or death, no matter what ammunition you are using. I have seen Winchester 7.62x25 blow up a 52 barrel, but it would have happened with anything, as one of the rollers was out of round, and that is all it takes.

· Silver Bullet member
1,029 Posts
Bulgarian Warming? Global Milsurp?...

That screen capture thing is pretty nifty!
I've been getting a lot of "Page not found" errors on my browser lately; not sure if it's an internet or browser issue; will have to dabble with it some more.

The conversation we've got going on here is quite reminiscent of what we had going on 2 or 3 years ago on the "old board".

We had people who were firmly convinced that the pink wrapped '52 Bulgy was loaded with dynamite or something; speculations ran from deliberately sabotaged (slave labor will do that, apparently) to "Proof" ammunition, and some places in between too weird to even mention.

IIRC it wasn't only one CZ-52 Shooter who had problems related to this lot of Bulgy. Not a whole lot of them, but enough to suggest at least a possible connection.

No one at the time seemed to have access to a pressure gun, at least not one chambered in 7.62X25mm,

(Edit: Having finally gotten in to the OG website, I see that samples were apparentl tested by Accurate Arms, where they were found to generate pressures up to 55,000 CUP, which is typical for a Magnum rifle cartridge, far in excess of the design limitations of most if not all handguns.)

If it were just one or two problems here and there, it could indeed be attributed to out of round rollers, bad heat treatment, out of spec chambers (that stuff happens) or something else.
But with the reports we had rolling in for a while there, the connection seemed to be a little more than mere coincidence.

Since the old archives were apparently lost, we have no way of checking that out at this point, I don't suppose.

Since I was never directly effected, anything that I post in regards to this issue is second hand, at the closest.

Then, as now, the theory (and that's all it is, lacking empirical data) was embraced as scientific fact (which it never really was) by some corespondents, while being soundly rejected by others as mere myth... as it well may be. I think that I alluded to this conflict in a previous post.

So I'm not contending that '52 Bulgy will blow up your Czech-O-Matic, nor will I maintain that it is safe to shoot.
I really don't know for sure.
If you really feel a need to remind me of that fact, by all means feel free - but you really needn't .

Since our original go-round on this subject, a more widespread but perhaps similar controversy has made the news, and continues to keep people all over the World at loggerheads; "Global Warming".

People seem to be pretty polarized on that deal;
Some hold it to be scientifically established fact that if we don't all park our cars and trucks and go back to donkey carts and such, not only will the polar bears all drown, we all will! Egads!

Others, who seem to be at least equally intelligent and informed as the legions of the convinced, dismiss it as all hooey; political hogwash.

Even the so-called "Scientists" and "Experts" can't seem to agree on what's really causing it, what can be done about it (if anything) and what's going to develop in the future.

So we probably never get to the bottom of the '52 Bulgy controversy, and whenever the subject comes up, the flames will fly.

Although we don't see much about this any more, which is probably a good thing, every now and then it seems to pop up as it did here recently, where a new contributor posted a picture of his new CZ-52 along with some packs of Bulgarian surplus ammo.

Another alert Member thought it looked like the suspect lot and when the buyer checked the head stamps, sure enough it was.

I think that what we want the newbie to know is that SOME PEOPLE have apparently had issues with this ammo, believing for whatever reason that it has "destroyed" several pistols, while OTHER SHOOTERS who have fired hundreds if not thousands of rounds of it without incident dismiss their anxiety out of hand... and obviously still do.

The advice provided by a fellow Member in a previous posting that the Chap who has the suspect ammo might consider doing some research and come to his own conclusions as to whether he feels safe in shooting it, is as good as any that I might come up with.

Would I run any '52 or '53 pink wrapped Bulgy through either one of MY COMs?

On the basis of what I've seen and read, probably not; best to err, ofttimes, on the side of caution methinks.
I'd be more likely to pull it down for components... probably just the bullets.


I wonder how much gunsmoke contributes to global warming???



· Silver Bullet member
1,029 Posts
Another "Theory"...

In SOME pistols with a short leade or tight chamber, OAL could be an important issue. It has been found that chamber and bore dimensions vary significantly in these pistols.

How many of you remember the old "Perry Spin Test"?

I re-posted it HERE:

"Perry Spin Test Revisited"

Remember; the .30 TOK pistols are among the very few where "Head Space" is an issue since it is a "bottlenecked" cartridge and headspaces on the shoulder like a high power rifle instead of the front of the casing, as most automatic pistols do.
And as with a rifle, head space is a critical factor.

· Registered
183 Posts
I would guess bad metallurgy...

On the reports of "bad Bulgarian". Not the metallurgy of the firearm, but of the brass. The '50's vintage Bulgarian brass seems to be very brittle, and will split at the neck (and sometimes quite a ways down the case as well...) upon firing. This is the case with just about every round of Bulg x25 (at least in the lot we are talking about, most of the '53 and '55 also split, but not as many as the '52) I have fired, the one that doesn't split is usually the odd man out. I have also seen Bulg 54R do the same thing, and have seen the reports of that confirmed on these boards by other members as well. As a matter of fact, you don't even need to fire it to get it to split, as I have slpit some of the brass by simply using an impact puller to pull the bullets! Others have reported having loose bullets and powder in their 54R cans when they open them, which implies the very smae thing, neck splits in the brass in the sealed can. I HAVE NOT however ever seen one split all the way to the case head, nor blow out primers. And the 52 being the tank that it is, if everything is in very good operating condition, you should have no problems.

The other determining factor here I believe is the primers. When I first heard of this, I was already well into my first can of "bad Bulgarian", and since then, I have shot at least one full case of this ammo through my most used 52 with no ill effect. But, I did decide to do a few tests of my own to decide whether I should pull it all down for projectiles, or fire it. This is how I found out (to my satisfaction) about the brittle brass. Also during those tests, I found that the primers are VERY inconsistant, some go off like a magnum, and some go off like a regular SP primer. This was determined by firing the empty brass in a darkened room and measuring the flame and audible pop of several pulled down cases. I think that this also contributes to the brittle brass problem by changing the burn rate, and possibly changing the pressure as well. The charge weights and bullet diameters seem to be about as consistant as Com-Bloc military surplus from the '50's is, so it is not a powder/bullet issue.

I regularly shoot my most used 52 (twice refurbished at the arsenal) with "bad Bulagrian", (I still have about a half a can left...) hot handloads, Czech "subgun" (see below) ammo, (garbage, only good for projectiles and fertilizer) and all other manner of surplus and commercial ammunition without ANY problems, because I keep my pistol in EXCELLENT operating condition by replacing springs and rollers and parts that wear. Taking a note from the Czechs themselves, I have an Armorer's kit, and in it is enough spare parts to keep ten pistols operating. There is only ONE barrel, but there are TEN sets of rollers, and TEN recoil springs. This signifies to me that these are parts that are prone to wear, and are in need of replacement often to maintain safe shooting conditions.


A very good friend of mine who has the tendency to "hotrod" ammunition, did indeed blow up his 52 one day, and I saw the results after the range session. The barrel was cracked at the chamber along one side (not the thin spot at the bottom that is a known weakness) but the slide contained the explosion just as it should, and there were no injuries. I asked him if it was one of the handloads that did the deed, at which point he held up the offending piece of brass and stated "Nope, factory Winchester." I then examined the pieces of the 52 and noted that the roller from the cracked side of the barrel was out of round and told him that was probably the real offender. A new barrel assembly, and he was right back out on the range and ticking along like clockwork, but with a new-found respect for firearm maintenance.

This whole thing goes right along with the "super-explosive-ultra-hot-Czech-subgun-ammo" myth out there, (I have established to MY satisfaction that there is no such thing...) take it with a grain of salt, and decide for yourself. ANY ammunition at ANY time has the potential to "spontaneously disassemble" ANY firearm, just lookup "Glock Kaboom" in a search engine and you will see many results. But that sure doesn't keep folks from buying and shooting Glocks and claiming that they are the greatest firearm in the whole history of the world. Is it the firearm or the ammunition? The firearm manufacturer says it is the ammo, the ammo manufacturer says it is the firearm, and around and around we go!

What it all boils down to is that it is a personal decision, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to speculation and personal preference, and the only right answer is the one you decide is right for you.

· Silver Bullet member
1,029 Posts

I can only validate your hypothesis, CS, to the extent that I'm aware of the history of this issue which, as you no doubt recall, was the subject of considerable debate on the old board.

From my recollection of the past conversation, it seems that indeed the "Czech subgun" myth was indeed that; one contributor who was familiar with the Czech language was able to translate the labels and apparently they say "pistol" or "Pistol and Submachine Gun" suggesting that they were always intended to be interchangable between those weapons.
No one that I know of ever found a pack of X25 that was labeled for SMGs only or exclusively.

Another Member related as to how the Bulgarians, who were slow to get the then new AK-47s from their Soviet overlords and relegated to the obsolete PPSHs, tried to "soup up" the Russian buzzgun as much as they could, and loaded some X25 up to where the brass came out in the form of shrapnel!
Now I don't know where he came up with this "history" or how credible it is, but it was speculated that some of this "experimental" ammo might be what got mixed in with the regular issue stuff and caused problems.

Reported pressure test results from ACCURATE ARMS of 55K+ CUP would certainly suggest that something was amiss with at least the batch that they tested. That kind of pressure would be pushing the envelope on a Mauser, wouldn't it?

Your theory about the primers is a new one on me, but it certainly makes sense. Those primers are known to get unstable over time under unknown storage conditions, and powder can degrade or be reduced in granulation by rough handling.

Another thought that just occurred to me is the "Detonation" phenomenon, which has been shown to be able to destroy even massive pressure guns with only a "squib" powder charge.

Just exactly how it happens, I dont' think anyone really knows for sure.

If there is only a partial ignition of the powder charge in a fully loaded cartridge, the unburned powder may serve as an "inert filler" such as handloaders used to pack into those squib or gallery rifle loads - and occasionally blew rifles up with.

Either a weak primer or degraded powder - or a combination of factors - could lead to erratic or even potentially dangerous pressure spikes, I suppose.


Gotta run; later.

· Registered
833 Posts
Very interesting posts, gentlemen! I still think I'm going to take the ammo back and exchange it. I made a printout of the article AZshooter linked to, and am going to give it to my dealer. Glad I joined this forum! :D Thank you very much!
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