Ammunition Evaluation: Ethiopian 7.62x51mm NATO


Ammunition Evaluation: Ethiopian 7.62x51mm NATO

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Century International Arms has imported a quantity of Ethiopian ammunition, and asked me to do a video on it. So, I have a three-part evaluation here: appearance and packaging, live fire testing (including velocity and consistency), and teardown and bullet weight consistency. This ammunition was produced (as best I can tell) at the Emperor Haile Selassie Ammunition Factory, established with Czech technical aid in the late 1940s in Addis Ababa. This ammunition was produced between 1977 and 1985, for use in Ethiopian BM59 and M14 rifles, as well as machine guns.


I tested velocity using a 7.62x51mm Israeli K98k Mauser rifle (barrel length 23.6 inches). Measurements were take at 10 feet from the muzzle, with a sample size of 15 rounds fired. I found an average velocity of 2637 fps, extreme spread of 143 fps (max 2689, min 2546), and standard deviation of 33.29 fps. At least half of the rounds fired exhibited a very brief hangfire, although every round fired on the first primer strike.


I tested the weight of 10 bullets using a calibrated Lyman electronic scale. I found an average weight of 143.4 grains, extreme spread of 1.7 grains (max 144.4 gr, min 142.7 gr), and standard deviation of 0.52 grains. Bullet construction is boat tail with an open base, lead core, and gilding metal over steel jacket (these bullet do attract a magnet).

Century advertises this ammunition as using corrosive primers, and I took them at their word and did not test for corrosivity.

Raw data:

Velocities (fps): 2641, 2629, 2629, 2646, 2606, 2663, 2616, 2679, 2546, 2637, 2689, 2651, 2630, 2646, 2649

Bullet weights (grains): 143.3, 143.2, 142.7, 143.6, 143.9, 144.4, 142.9, 143.2, 142.9, 143.7

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