remaking surplus into "semi-match" ammo


May 30, 2006, 12:43 AM
In my efforts improve my skill with a rifle, I have been firing a scoped k31 at ranges of up to 600 yds. I plan to use my m91/30 for some open sight practice soon also.
I own a lee loader, and a bullet puller, as well as a rcbs scale (no press or dies yet). But Ive come up with the idea of pulling this surplus ammo down to its components (mainly the 7.62x54r, the swiss stuff is great) and reloading it using resized casings, re measured surplus powder (and perhaps a different charge), and the same bullets with whatever seating depth seems to enhance accuracy. I have no illusion of getting match ammo from this, but think that I may get improved performance with just the investment of my time.
If anyone has any experience with this, or any tips to share, please let me know. Thanks.

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May 30, 2006, 01:32 AM
I know a couple guys who pull the bullets on x54R ammo to 'down'load the charge in the ammo to make it more comfortable to shoot. Don't know how it affects accuracy.

May 30, 2006, 01:41 AM
I plan to use the surplus case (usually steel), and then toss them. I may spring for some wolf ammo so I can reload its brass. I have heard that there are large variances in the dimensions of surplus ammo, so the resizing throretically should help. Im just trying to make this ammo more consistant than it came so when I take it out shooting, I can attribute my results more to my shooting than poor ammo.

May 30, 2006, 04:06 AM
I suspect bullet quality is the biggest accuraccy limitation with surplus ammo and powder dispensing inconsistencies running a distant 2nd place. If you worked on ammo from just one lot, then you could redo the powder charging for more consistency and sort the bullets based upon weight. That's about the best you can do with surplus ammo and not replace any of the components.

If you do anything with the powder, make sure it is all from just 1 lot. The factory may have changed powder lots between ammo lots and worked up a new load with it. You don't want to be mixing powder from different lots; it just might not be exactly the same burn rate.

An old US match load was the FMJ bullet pulled and replaced with a match bullet.

Jim Watson
May 30, 2006, 08:21 AM
As User says, there has been a lot of "Mexican Match" shot over the years.
Pull the FMJ bullet from a service round and seat a MatchKing or similar of about the same weight as the hardball. I have done this in .223, replacing a 55 gr FMJ with a 52 gr SMK and shot sub-MOA from a good rifle. I did not equalize powder charges or resize, just deburred the case neck and seated the good bullet.

loose cannon
May 30, 2006, 09:30 AM
i dont think id run any steel case into a sizing die or lee loader unless i wanted to render it unusable.

if you gotta do it you may want to find a really good lube.

might want to wait for that wolf brass.

June 1, 2006, 01:47 PM
I have ran steel and copper 7.62x39 cases into a sizing die before. I ran them slow and without lube because I was afraid of contaminating the primers (they were berdan primed). I didn't have any problems and since the casings were already "sized) from being loaded once all I really did was straighten out the case necks.
I used them to load some reduced loads for a recoil sensitive friend to fire from an SKS (I used pulled 86 grain .311 bullets from a 7.62x25) and the loads worked fine.
As was stated, be very careful about reusing powder.

Matt Dillon
June 1, 2006, 02:09 PM
Grafs in Mexico, Missouri has 7.62x54 brass at VERY reasonable prices. I think I'd use that over steel cases any day.

Dave R
June 1, 2006, 04:25 PM
I agree. You'll get much better results using new components, than you will by reloading milsurp components.

Does the Moisin use .308 bullets, or .311 bullets? Either way, you've got some good quality options to choose from.

June 1, 2006, 09:08 PM
Mine uses .311 bullets. I realize I can get good match loads with new components, but this rifle was bought to be an inexpensive shooter, and the price goes up considerably with new components. I plan to work up match loads sometime also but for now it sounds like sorting bullets by weight, working up a consistant charge, (neck) resizing, and altering the seating depth should yield some improvements from this dirt cheap ammo.

June 1, 2006, 11:09 PM
when i started reloading, i took 308 nato ball ammo and pulled the bullets.
i kept the powder charge and replaced the 147gr bullets with 150gr soft points and it was pretty accurate. i killed lots of deer using this ammo. the rifle was a 17" bbl rem. model 7. if i remember right it shot about 2" groups at100 yds. not bad for a 17 incher!
i hope this helps a bit.

Joe in KY
June 1, 2006, 11:51 PM
I have pulled the bullets from Chinese 7.62x54 and loaded the powder and bullet in brass 7.62x 54 cases, the accuracy was very good. My idea was to save the steel berdan cases to make hunting ammo so I wouldn't be tempted to chase the brass around in the leaves instead of making a follow up shot if I needed one. Joe

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