Fun at the range

The alternate title could be “I almost had a bad day” at the range. I took my new (to me) Taurus .45 ACP snubbie and a box of Wolf steel cased .45. Since I hadn’t shot it yet, I just wanted to make sure it went bang, and to make sure that the star-clips didn’t interfere with the cylinder movement (which they sometimes do).

I was banging away, happy as a clam, until at about the 5th cylinder full of ammo. I fired my five, but when I went to eject the rounds, they absolutely refused to come out. Prior to that, ejection had been stiff, but positive. For this clip (man, I don’t get to say that often enough), the rounds just would not come out. We finally had to carefully bang the extractor onto the table to get enough force to drive the empties out of the cylinder, at which point I was able to diagnose “the problem”.

What you see before you is a classic split casing; which as most of you know is a Bad Thing. I am really glad that I was shooting a revolver, and not a semi-auto when this happened, because otherwise the possibility strongly exists that I would have had a Very Bad Day at the range.

I normally like Wolf ammo, because it costs about five bucks a box less than most brass cased ammo, even in .45 ACP. I don’t like having to whack my revolvers on the side of a table to punch out empties, and I even less like worrying that the same steel cased ammo (albeit in 9mm) is going to blow up my handguns.

Ultimately, since I was running a .45 ACP wheelgun, there isn’t any damage. The cylinder contained any possible damage, so I didn’t have a bad day. I can say that I probably won’t be buying any more Wolf .45 ACP ammo; even for 12 bucks a box it’s not worth having to beat up my guns just to get empties out. Honestly, though – there is a price I’d be willing to shoot Wolf for. If it was eight or nine dollars for a box of .45 ACP, I’d shoot a lot of Wolf in my revolvers.

As for now, I’ll stick to reloads for casual shooting, and buy good stuff for serious work.


  1. I have Wolf ammo only for the SKS. I’ve read that you should stick to American manufacture of ammo and I can see why with your experience. My Sig might have survived but I wouldn’t bet my life, literally, on it.

    I’m with you. Pay the extra $2-3 for cheap practice ammo like Magtech, Independence, etc or stick to known reloads.

    Luck was with you that day.

  2. As with any ammo, I guess you get what you pay for… I personally use Wolf in my SKS as well for plinking. Never had a malfunction, and I’m going on about 100 rounds now. It even shoots kinda straight.

  3. Why do you spell it as “Wolff” in the post? Is it counterfeit like my “Nikke” brand sneakers?

  4. How was the accuracy on the snubbie? I have a Taurus snubbie in 44 Special that I really like, but I wouldn’t want to try shooting anything at long range.

  5. I didn’t shoot out further than 25 feet, and for that it was more than acceptable for what I need the gun for.

  6. I have no experience with Wolf’s centerfire ammo. I have it on good authority that the .22 LR ammo sold under their banner is actually S&K.

    That is Good Stuff but isn’t inexpensive. Wolf Match Target will generally run over 30.00 a brick. Compared to even CCI Mini Mags it is expensive.

    The “bargain” ammo I trust are factory reloads from either Hunting Shack Montana (HSM) or from Miwall (Available in 50, 500 or 1000 round from Outdoor Marksman and some gun shows).

    I tried Ultramax but found it to be really, really dirty and smoky.

  7. Outside of 7.62×39, the only Wolf I’ve fired has been .30 Carbine. I’ve probably put close to a thousand rounds of it through my M1 with never a problem, and good accuracy. I like it for the outdoors range I shoot rifles at because it doesn’t matter if I lose the cases.

    It does leave more fouling behind than others I’ve tried. And seems to be somewhat individual, know of others whose M1 hates the stuff. others it’s just fine.

  8. You might check Walmart for Blazer Brass ammo. The .45 runs about $12/box and the 9 mm is less than $8/box.

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