Known for its low-cost ammo formerly manufactured in Russia, Wolf's best-selling calibers are steel-cased 7.62x39mm and .223 Remington. Wolf is an importer of ammunition that is manufacturer agnostic, as well as brass and steel agnostic. When you see “Wolf Gold,” all that means is that these are brass cartridges.
Where Is Wolf Ammo Made?
Contrary to popular belief, Wolf Ammunition is not a Russian company. They sell ammunition once manufactured in the famous and historic Tula Cartridge Plant in Russia’s Tula District. This plant is owned by High Precision Systems, which is a part of the Rostec Group of companies, with a majority ownership in the hands of a holding company owned by the Russian Federation. TulAmmo is likewise manufactured at this facility. The plant is not to be confused with the Tula Arms Plant, which is a separate entity owned by the same holding company in the same region of the Russian Federation.
Another place Wolf manufactured ammunition was at Lugansk. However, this factory was destroyed in the fighting between Russia and Ukraine. Some of the steel-cased ammunition is made in Russia these days, but none of it is made in Tula. Wolf also imports brass-cased ammo from Taiwan, such as their Wolf Gold .223, as well as importing ammo from the same factory manufacturing Prvi Partizan.
Rostec, High Precision Systems and the role of Tula in manufacturing ammunition for the United States market and the Soviet war effort has quite a detailed history. Like all ammunition manufactured by Rostec, the emphasis is on the high-performance, tactical ammo capable of reliable use in combat situations.
The American company is affiliated with Sporting Supplies International. Wolf Performance Ammunition was founded in 2005, making it a baby in the world of American ammunition manufacturers. They also partner with SK Jagd und Sportmunitions Gmbh (also known as SK Hunting- and Sporting-Ammunition) to manufacture some of their .22-calibre rimfire ammunition.
Tula vs. Wolf
Wolf is no longer manufactured in Tula, and hasn’t been for some time. In 2009, Wolf brand ammo ended their relationship with Ulyanovsk Machinery Plant and Tula Cartridge Plant due to legal disputes between the parties. Wolf now uses suppliers from the European Union to meet their needs. The Wolf ammo website and TulAmmo both issued emails in 2009 that did little to clarify the situation beyond the fact that TulAmmo is not Wolf and Wolf is not TulAmmo.
Part of the confusion stems from what precisely Wolf and TulAmmo are. Both were manufactured at the same plant and made to the same specifications. Upon importation, they were put into different boxes with different logos and different brands. However, on the inside, they were more or less the same ammunition. While in some cases they might have been exactly the same ammunition, they ceased to be functionally identical when Wolf ended their relationship with the Russian manufacturer. Hence the statements from both organizations as to their difference.
Wolf Ammunition vs. The Taliban
The history of Wolf Performance Ammunition (also known as WPA) is tied very closely to the ammunition shortages of the 2000s. This is particularly true of the 7.62x39mm ammo, which sometimes doubled in price and in other cases, vanished from American shelves entirely. The shortage was a result of the Venezuelan military adopting the AK-103 as its standard issue rifle. They placed a massive order, as did the United States military in an attempt to supply the newly formed Afghan Army with the ammunition it needed to secure the countryside.
Between 2003 and 2005, the Taliban experienced a resurgence in Afghanistan, requiring a response from both United States troops and the Afghan Army they support. The insurgency was easily crushed, however, the large ammunition order stood. What’s more, the United States and Afghan forces were constantly engaged in mop-up operations against the failed Taliban insurgency.
In January 2006, the United States military began sharing its role in Afghanistan with a multinational NATO force. This prompted another Taliban insurgency requiring, once again, more ammunition supplied by Wolf and other ammunition manufacturers. The fight against this insurgency was far less clear cut and one sided, but the NATO forces obtained many tactical victories and was able to deny the Taliban territory.
Later in 2007 and 2008, Wolf’s steel-cased .308 rounds disappeared from shelves across America. 7.62x51mm NATO rounds were likewise disappearing, pushing .308 Winchester rounds to the highest prices they’d ever seen. The Afghan Army order once again played a key role in driving up prices.
2007 was indeed a rough slog for coalition forces in Afghanistan, largely the British Royal Marines. It was estimated that the Taliban was 10,000 fighters strong at this point, with between 2,000 and 3,000 of these being dedicated, full-time insurgents. Again, tactical victories were the order of the day, but the Taliban always seemed to bounce back. 2007 was also the high water mark for foreign insurgents in Afghanistan. The next year was likewise described as “precarious and urgent” by Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown increased the number of troops in the country.
While many stateside have forgotten about the War in Afghanistan, it is directly responsible for a shortage of ammunition and the attendant rise in prices.
Wolf Brand Ammo
Wolf sells centerfire ammunition for rifles in more than a dozen different calibers and in three different lines of product. Popular lines Wolf Polyformance and Military Classic Rifle Ammunition are for sale in the calibers most commonly associated with the military – including Wolf .223 ammo for sale, .308 Winchester, 7.62x39mm, and others. They sell bullets that are bimetal or copper jacketed and configured as full metal jacket, hollow point or soft point. The cases are steel with a polymer coating, and can be found with both Berdan and Boxer primers.
Ammo for the Wolf Gold Centerfire Rifle line is distinct from other lines they sell, as the cartridges have brass casings and Boxer primers. The same style of bullets are sold in this line, but they also include options for match hollow points and multi-purpose tactical bullets.
Wolf also sells centerfire pistol ammo in all of the most common calibers – including Wolf 9mm ammo, .40 S&W, .45 ACP and the increasingly favored .380 Auto. These cartridges come in the steel-case lines of Military Classic and Polyformance, and the calibers can also be found in the Wolf Gold line, .32 Auto, .357 Mag., .44 Mag., and 7.62 Tokarev.
Wolf Ammunition also carries .22 Rimfire ammo. They sell .22 Long Rifle with 40 grain bullets, offering three types of bullets for the .22 LR: round nose bullets, flat nose bullets, and hollow point bullets. The ammunition itself is available in many different types including Standard Plus, Match, Rifle Match, Pistol Match, High Velocity and Subsonic.
Wolf Brand Ammunition and Lacquer Coating
It is a misconception that Wolf Ammunition uses or has used lacquer coating on its rounds, in particular on the cartridge casing. This is not true. Wolf instead uses an acrylic-polymer coating, transitioning from a clear coating to a frosted style coating several years ago. Some people thought this was lacquer and that it melted while firing, despite the fact that it was neither lacquer nor even a substance that would melt when a blowtorch was taken to it. All Wolf Ammunition is in complete compliance with SAAMI standards, meaning that it is completely safe for all purposes – from plinking in the backyard to competition shooting to hunting.
With Wolf's extensive variety of ammunition, they will likely remain a popular choice among shooters looking for low-cost, quality ammo. This is particularly true of people looking for Wolf bulk ammo – a common choice for preppers, plinkers and competition shooters alike.