Golden Tiger Ammo Review: FMJ Plinking Gold
You’ve seen recommendations for Golden Tiger ammo in gun forums and experts like us. Unfortunately, there aren’t extensive reviews of the ammo here in the States. I’m about to review my personal experience with Golden Tiger ammo. It was easy to find, cheap for buying in bulk, and high-quality.
However, you can still find high-quality and low-cost rifle ammo. Check out our rifle ammo selection HERE, or keep reading to learn why everyone recommends Golden Tiger ammo.
Golden Tiger ammo is more than what you’d expect from Russian ammo. It’s inexpensive, tough as nails, and highly reliable. It’s the kind of full metal jacket ammunition you buy in outdated ammo cans with a steel case that you can drop in mud, chamber, and shoot.
I’ve spent hours at the range with my SKS, shooting hundreds of Golden Tiger’s 124-grain 7.62X39 FMJBT (full metal jacket boat tail), and I can’t recall any misfires or feeding issues.
While my SKS loves this stuff, not all firearms and Golden Tiger ammo get along. Some shooters complain about misfires when using Golden Tiger ammo in their AR-15 and Mini-30 rifles. However, many experts attribute this to these rifles having lighter hammer springs and free-floating firing pins.
Golden Tiger ammo has harder mil-spec primers, which some rifles have trouble with. However, Golden Tiger ammo is still worth a try if you can find it as it is accurate and inexpensive.
The lacquered coating on the steel cases act as both a sealant to ensure your ammo is reliable and a lubricant to ensure proper chambering.
The bi-metal jacket and lead core bullets are perfect for target shooting, plinking, and stockpiling. The Golden Tiger 124-grain 7.62X39 has an approximate muzzle velocity of 2,365 fps (feet per second), with reported 0.5-1.5 MOA levels of accuracy and a 0.3 BC (ballistic coefficient).
One of the best things about Golden Tiger ammo is that you can store it for years. If you’re into stockpiling consistently high-quality and dependable FMJs, the Golden Tiger’s non-corrosive primers, lacquered case, and boat tail bullet design make for an excellent round for any SHTF situation.
I’ve talked a lot about the pros of Russia’s Golden Tiger ammo in the previous section because it really does meet all my requirements for good ammo. Of course, like every other ammo available, it isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. So, what are the pros and cons of Golden Tiger ammo?
- A sealed case for weather-proofing
- Boat tail bullet
- It’s getting more challenging to find
- Indoor firing ranges may not allow you to shoot them
- Not all rifles chambered in 7.62X39 or .223 Rem will cooperate with the ammunition
- The bi-metal lead core bullets can wear out your barrel faster than traditional FMJ's
As you can see, it’s great ammo for some rifles, but it’s hard to find and isn’t as versatile as other ammunition.
Wondering if Golden Tiger ammo is available in the caliber you need? The company only manufactures ammo for small arms. What’s more, the company only manufactures FMJBT cartridges in these calibers:
While that may not seem like a lot, the 7.62X39 and .223 Rem are two of America’s most popular calibers.
Golden Tiger Ammo is owned by Vympel IIRC and manufactured in Eastern Russia. The company began producing ammunition in 1976 and continues supplying shooters with high-quality, low-cost ammunition.
They Vympel ammo plant is most notably the primary producer of the newer 5.45x39mm ammo used by the AK-74. This lighter round has less recoil than the heavier 7.62x39 round, and puts the AK-74 on par with the AR-15 carbine in terms of recoil and muzzle rise.
Russian ammo companies seem to like to naming their brands after furry 4-legged animals. However, it should be noted that Golden Tiger is its own unique brand and is not related to Golden, Silver, and Brown Bear ammo, which are manufactured by Barnaul. Likewise, Tulammo and Wolf brand ammunition is manufactured in Tula, Russia.
Of course, all of these ammo options are similar in that shooters can buy bulk FMJs with a small price tag, but Golden Tiger is a top-shelf choice in my opinion.
Golden Tiger ammo is made in the Vympel ammunition plant outside Amursk, Khabarovsk Krai, Russia.
Yes, importation of Golden Tiger ammo is currently prohibited. Popular small arms ammunition like Wolf, Golden Bear, and Golden Tiger have been affected by the most recent ammunition sanctions on Russia, so it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find.
However, Americans are no strangers to foreign ammunition bans. Chinese Norinco ammo was banned in the US in 1990 (after the company allegedly sold ammo to US gangs), and Russian ammo sanctions have been happening for over a decade.
If you need high-quality FMJ ammo in bulk for a good price, check out what we have in stock HERE.
If you want to start stockpiling today and you’re looking for something along the lines of a 1,000 round case at a discounted cost, you aren’t entirely out of luck. Assuming you have yet to find Golden Tiger 56-grain FMJBT, you can check out other bulk options like Winchester, Hornady, Remington, and Tulammo HERE.
We hope we see Golden Tiger make a comeback in the States, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen anytime soon. In the meantime, you can still get non-corrosive and inexpensive ammo. For example, Wolf’s 122-grain 7.62X39 FMJ is comparable to Golden Tiger at about $0.40/round (at the time of writing).
No. Golden Tiger uses non-corrosive Berdan primers in all of their ammunition.
Bimetal bullets are projectiles comprised of a soft lead core surrounded by a steel jacket that is then enclosed in a 100% copper jacket coating. Bimetal bullets are banned from some indoor ranges due to their ability to penetrate deeper than traditional full metal jacket bullets used by the United States and NATO.
No, Golden Tiger ammo is not good for reloading since it uses steel cases that are Berdan primed. Attempting to resize these cases will likely damage your reloading dies and specialized tools are required for removing and replacing Berdan primers.
No, Golden Tiger ammo uses FMJBT bullets exclusively which are illegal to use for big game hunting in most all states and territories.
If you want a good hunting bullet that’s legal and ethical, check out Hornady’s ELD-X or Winchester’s Deer Season XP. As opposed to a full metal jacket round, hunting bullets have soft points or polymer tips to increase penetration and control expansion.
No. The Vympel Group does not currently manufacture rimfire ammunition.
The answer to this question is subjective. But ultimately, it’s a lead-core projectile traveling between 2,300-2,400 feet per second in the first 100-200 yards. Looking at Golden Tiger FMJs from that aspect, your threat won’t be very threatening anymore.
Although, we should also mention that this is rifle ammo, so it isn’t as practical for EDC (everyday carry) as a 9mm or .45 ACP.
Golden Tiger does not currently manufacture 300 AAC Blackout ammunition. The 300 Blackout cartridge is 7.62X35, and sadly Golden Tiger only offers ammo in 7.62X39, 5.45x39, and .223 Rem. Due to the size difference, you certainly wouldn’t want to try Golden Tiger ammo in your Ruger American .300 AAC Blackout bolt-action rifle or 300 BLK AR-15 carbine.
I'd recommend Golden Tiger 124 grain FMJBT ammo for a Yugo SKS as this ammunition is extremely reliable, accurate, and inexpensive.
Golden Tiger ammo offers highly-coveted cartridges that are accurate, reliable, affordable, and great for stockpiling. Unfortunately, in recent years, its become much more challenging to find on store shelves and online.
As an avid shooter and ammunition connoisseur, it’s also important to note that some newer rifles simply don’t like Golden Tiger. However, you can upgrade parts to make it more efficient. If you enjoy plinking, target practice, and stockpiling, it’s worth the extra expense to upgrade a few components to match the needs of Golden Tiger’s ammunition.