New rifle reloader!!! HELP!!!


April 29, 2003, 09:50 AM
Hello everyone,

I am going to getting into rifle reloading very soon and I need some help. I haev reloaded for straight wall pistol cartridges for about 6 years now and I have that pretty much down, but am totally clueless when it comes to rifle reloading. I know that I will need to luse the cases and pay more attention to the trim length of the cases, but as to setting the resizing die such that the shoulder gets properly resized is a big unknow to me. Please help a new rifle reloader get started. And what is the best way to properly lube the cases without getting too much lube on them?

By the way, I will be reloading for a WWII 7.7 Jap Arisaka that I am picking up from my parent's house this weekend. Don't worry, I am going to have a smith check it all out first to make sure that it is usable shape. I have an 8-week old son at home that needs his daddy so I am going to do things right!!


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April 29, 2003, 11:16 AM
I use a full-length resize die for my rifle reloads because I'm reloading for a semi-auto, so this may be different than you, but setup for that die is the same as for pistol resizing dies: crank it down until it hits the raised floorplate and back it off a quarter turn. The only other method that I can imagine is that you would crank the die down, pull out the case and measure the neck, if it is still to wide, crank the die down a little more and start again.

I use Dillon's spray lube. I'll stand the cases up and spray down on them at a 45 degree angle from the front and back. You don't need to use a lot. Just get them wet.

Reloading for rifle is TEDIOUS. I'm glad I can still buy .308 surplus.

April 29, 2003, 09:03 PM
I use RCBS neck sizer to load for my 7.7 jap it cut down the reloading time ,the brass last longer (Norma stuff cost 75 cents a piece!!) neck sizing will not force the brass down so you don't need to trim them . If I have to lube the case (for other caliber) I use Lee lube which is like a tooth paste ,take longer than spary lube but it give me opportunity to closely inspect my case. All my friends hate the Lee lube because it is messy and very very slow .Dillion spray is the best. Do you know what factory your dad's Arisaka came from ? did it still has all the monopod, bolt cover, AA sight ? What kind of brass you plan to use?

April 30, 2003, 09:36 AM

I do not know what factory it came from, but it does have the AA sights, intact mum, monopod, cleaning rod and original bayonet. The bayonet has been packed in grease for the past 60 years and the blade is not rusted at all. The gun probably has the dust cover also, but I can't remember right now.

I am having a local smith check out the gun to make sure it is usable and will be getting at least one box of the Norma Ammo. I will also get some norma brass to use with full power loads, but I am also thinking of trying some of the 30-06 reformed brass to use with plinking loads. I am thinking about trying to load up some 32-20 bullets and cast 7.62 cast bullets at about 1400 to 1600 fps for plinking fun. That is what I am thinking right now.

Can you describe what the process is to neck-size brass? Total newbie to rifle reloading.



April 30, 2003, 02:58 PM
Boo 586 Your dad's rifle with the mum intact is quite valuable because only way that the mum can stay intact is battlefield pick up (that what folks told me) .I assumed you will left it intact ,there are less and less intact Arisaka nowaday because back in the 50's Sporterized was only a way to go .You can order bolt cover from Sarco it cost about $14 it is not very useful accessory thougt, but it make the Arisaka look very different than other rifle. I talked to an old seabees at the range once when I shoot my Type 99 and he recognized the profile of the rifle and he told me he had two of them strash in his attic but one was already been sporterized. You will soon gone broke if you keep shooting the factory Norma stuff .Midway,Widener, Huntington ,and Graft and son have virgin Norma 7.7 for around $75 per 100 . Good news is Hornady will soon making 7.7 brass at a much lower cost but I can not remember when it will be aviable it will be exclusively offer by Graft and son. You can converted the 7.7using 30-06 but it require annealing the case , trim to lenght -lot of tedious boring work and time consuming but Buffalo Arms have converted Lake city 30-06 brass in 7.7 for $26 per 100 if I remember correctly.One causion about 30-06 is that the case head and the base is smaller than the 7.7 so it will swell at first firing and some look quite scarely because it bulge on the side .A guy on the Japanese forum tell me the trick that he use to make the swell equal on all side , he wrap the base with scotch tape to control the swelling. I use start up load (from Lee data) so my load is light and hit low at 100 yards but I don't want to push my Arisaka to the maximum (eventhough ,it rated second strongest military bolt action in the world- the first is Arisaka 38 in 6.5) .you can use 8 mm Mauser as well but Midway people told me that the base is not bigger than the 30-06 so the base will swell too. At the same Japanese rifle forum I also learn that Israelli 8 mm Mauser brass has larger base almost close enough to the 7.7 but it is now hard to find so if you came across one at the gunshow you might want to grab them. The neck sizing I am refering to is the one that RCBS made. when you run the case in to the neck sizing it will only squeez the neck portion of the case back to original spec but it will not touch the case body .you can do that with full length size by backing the sizing die off so that it only hit the case shoulder I never figuring how to do that yet most of the time I end up full lenght size the entire case .RCBS 7.7 die is special order so it cost me $50 alone!! but I use it so much now it pay for itself. Lee also can make you collet die with different method but it do the same it will squeez the neck to normal without touching the case body.But you have to adjust the Lee collet so it will hold the bullet for next reload -some reloader like that option that they can adjust the neck tension so that the case can barely hold the bullet and enchance the accuratcy .Lee die is also a custom order and you must sent them the brass and bullet of choice so they can custom made the die . If you neck size only then the ammo you load will only work with your rifle not with other rifle. I only neck size the case because I only shoot one Arisaka and it save time .I just read an article in the new Hogdon reloading manual that full length sizing is not cause the wear and tear on the brass as it believed to be ,in fact, the flash hole and primer pocket will wear out before the case. I try hard cast bullet on my Japanese rifle but I can not hit anything with it much .I read article in Shooting time couple months ago Mike Venturino wrote about cast bullet on WW 2 rifle and he concluded that 8mm Mauser , 7.7 Japanes Arisaka don't shoot well with cast bullet , while Springfield and Enfield will . I can confirm that because I can hit far better with Enfield shootig cast bullet than with Arisaka with cast bullet. But for plinking it alway fun. You can try the .309 bullet that Wildner have for sale it is only about 125 grain but it seem to work well enough for me. I hope you enjoy the Type 99 as much as I do and remember very time you pull a trigger to fire you own reload you save yourself about $1.50 off from that Norma stuff.

April 30, 2003, 07:54 PM
In the 40's when I bought my first 7.7 jap. There was no brass available. 30- 0 6 brass was available. Most of it GI. I've had no problems with loading it all these years. Never have I had one blow out due to excess size of chamber. GI brass is supposed to be thicker than civilian. I have some Norma now, but I cannot tell the difference. Never kept a record of loadings but at least 5 or 6 reloads were normal. The Norma seems to be softer and easier dented.

Enjoy that 99 Arisaka. I hope it has a chrome bore. This makes the cleaning a breeze. Practice with the safety and make sure it is full on when you engage it.

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