July 25, 2006, 01:21 PM
i was told that you could reload these but what is the caliber conversion for this round? i am looking into makeing some good soft tip lead hunting bullets i jsut got a new job at a tire company and i now have all the lead i could ever want so i thought that i might as well use some of it right?

If you enjoyed reading about "7.62x54r" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
July 25, 2006, 02:20 PM
First, do you know how to cast bullets and size them? You might want to slug your bore and size to match. Just about any standard .308 bullet mold will do the job.

Recognize that most military brass is going to be unuseable.

July 25, 2006, 09:21 PM
The metric conversion is something like: metric value/25.1 Thus the 7.62/25.1 = .303. Its something like that anyway - Im sure someone will know it to letter. So as noted, the 7.62 x 54R is nominally rated at .308". However, you will likely find that your barrel in a Mosin or other such arm goes as high as .311-.313.
They DO vary, sometimes a lot.

An "oldschool" trick I learned about how to make good hunting bullets from self-cast pills, is to anneal the tips. This is stuff they did in the olden days. Here's how you do it.

Current Serbian 7.62x54R commercial ammo (Wolf Brand) is loaded to an average of about 2750 fps for 150 gr bullets. So first, cast your bullets from hard lead, like bird shot or wheel weights with 5% antimony or tin added. Use molds that turn out round nose bullets with a long ogive. Once cast, take this bullet and stand it up in a water filled pan, so that about 1/3-1/2" is exposed above the water.

Then take a torch and heat each tip until it just turns color. You can see it visibly change without it changing shape. Then allow them to cool in the pan.

Now you have a bullet that is hard lead on the bottom half but soft on the tip!

I haven't tried it, but have known that others have to good effect and have read about it from old books. Keep the loading down to moderate velocities around .30-60 specs and this should work pretty good.

lee n. field
July 25, 2006, 11:03 PM
Recognize that most military brass is going to be unuseable.

And that reloadable brass in not that easy to come by.

Definatly he will want to slug the barrel. Mine came out to .314.

July 26, 2006, 01:58 AM
Just gota brag, I have 400 7.62x54R cases.:neener:

OK, now being serious. As others have said, slug the bore. The bores can very alot. Some are as tight as .308 and some are larger than .311.

July 26, 2006, 12:51 PM
well i am lookin for and exteremly soft bullet i jsut got a job at a tire shop and i now have all the lead i could ever use but these will only be for hunting and plinking

July 26, 2006, 05:41 PM
The barrel on my M44 slugs .314" as well. I have not yet found a mold (that I can borrow from firends) that casts a bullet that shoots well in my gun. I use .311" jacketed soft points (150 gr. Speer) over Varget with good results. Another interesting load is with 85 gr JHP pistol bullets pushed at about 1700 fps with Green Dot. Low noise, no recoil, no more racoon problems!:)

I could only find Lapua brass (acutally 7.62x53)-very expensive, but it lasts well.

Good luck!


July 26, 2006, 08:50 PM
I've bought Winchester 7.62x54R brass for about the same price as the more common calibers. I can't remember where I got it, but try Cabelas, MidwayUSA, Graf and Sons, etc., to see who carries it. Or, you can buy Sellier and Bellot (spelling?) or Winchester ammo fairly cheaply, and save the brass.

The "normal" diameter is in the .310-.311" range, but, as noted by a bunch of folks, that's approximate at best for Mosin Nagants. I've heard of folks using .308" bullets successfully in their Mosins.

lee n. field
July 26, 2006, 10:53 PM
Lyman's manual shows .308 as the nominal bullet diameter.

Did I mention that mine patterns like a short barrel shotgun? I'm considering foisting it off to finance another.

July 27, 2006, 03:00 AM
Lyman's manual shows .308 as the nominal bullet diameter.
"Officialy" it is .310, but quality control was not the best and you get some that are all over the place.

July 27, 2006, 09:16 AM
Typically you'l want at least a nominal .311 lead bullet. Some people DO shot .308s but I've never seen anyone get good results. But all of the major mold companies make molds for .311 rifle bullets, most w/ gas checks.

While I haven't tried lead bullets in a Mosin, my buddy and I did in a 8mm Mauser...purchased "hard cast" bullets(w/ gas checks)...Used some load data (supposed for lead) that pushed them to 2000-2100 fps....DISMAL FAILURE. At 25 yards we had trouble hitting the 24" square backer board. My shotgun actually patterns better. We figured they were too soft to engage the rifling, and got "stripped". So, you''ll wanna keep velocity low, or make sure they are really hard.

July 27, 2006, 09:26 AM
I use a mix of 9 lb's wheel weight to 1 lb of linotype for my alloy.the lee 185 gr .312 mould works great.with the added linotype the bullets drop at .313-.314.I use hornady gas checks and run them through a lee .314 sizer.
AA5744 has turned the tightest groups for me so far.

July 27, 2006, 09:44 AM
123gr 7.62x39mm .311 bullets worked OK in my M-38, but the incredible cheap surplus ammo, plus incredible difficulty I have locating brass, mothballed my Mosin reloading project. I still have about 20 reloads to test, whenever I get around to it.
I suggest some 303 bullets. Dia 3.105 to .312, good stuff.

Matt Dillon
July 27, 2006, 05:20 PM
Folks, Grafs and Sons has 7.62x54 brass for a very reasonable price, don't quote me, but something like $25.00/100 pieces of brass. I find my M44 to be very accurate, (with my old eyes, I recently got 5 rounds in .7" at 50 yards) with a 4x pistol scope on a scout mount. I use the Hornady 3130 bullets (174 grain round nose) as well as Czech silver tip. Can't purchase ammo much cheaper than the Czech, and pretty accurate as well.

July 27, 2006, 09:42 PM
I have been handloading 7.62x54R and the Finn version 7.62x53R.

I have many rifles in this caliber, but my favorite is a 91/30 that I cut the barrel down to 28.25"

I like 49 gr IMR4895, 180 gr Sierra 2310, 3.002" OAL, 2875 fps

Sierra lists the bullet as .311"

I have settled on Lapua brass, that costs $.43/ each.
That is expensive brass, but it takes less preparation and is very good.
I think the Winchester brass is really OEM from S&B brass, which is not very good in this caliber.

This shoots a 1.5" 5 shot group at 50 yards with a 7 power scope.
It will shoot better with a 40X scope, but the 2x7 scope is what I use for elk hunting.

July 28, 2006, 05:30 PM
If you're like me, eventually you'll wish that gun looked more like a rifle than a fence post. I removed the handguard, cut the stock back, and spent an hour or two with a belt sander to slim the stock down. After refinishing the wood and blueing a few shiny spots, it looks like a lot better and is at least a pound lighter. (it was fun, too!)

I figured if I screwed it up badly, I'd only be out $59!


Vern Humphrey
July 28, 2006, 06:41 PM
As others have said, slug the bore. MNs (and British Enfield) bores can vary several thousands from the nominal bore diameter.

Select a mould that is right on bore diameter to about .001 oversize. If youi get one a bit more than that, you can resize it - Lee sells a very cheap but effective sizer for about $12.00. I also like Lee moulds and have quite a few of them - Midwest (www.midwestusa.com) sells them for around $19.00.

For rifles, you want a fairly hard alloy -- or keep the velocity way down. The best thing is to 'ask the rifle' -- cast and load what you've got and see if it shoots well, or leads the barrel. If you get leading, clean the barrel and harden the next batch by adding other metal.

For this rifle, I'd suggest Ed Harris' "The Load" -- 13 grains of Red Dot behind a 180 grain bullet.

Most moulds for rifle bullets are gas-check moulds. A gas-check is a little copper "saucer" that fits on the base of the bullet and protects it. Hornady makes gas-checks you can put on by hand. Other makes are crimped on in the sizing process -- an unnecessary step if you have a bullet that doesn't need sizing.

I like to lube with Liquid Alox (also avaliable from Midway.) You don't need a heater or sizer-lubricator for it, and it works very well. I float the Alox bottle in hot water to liquify it, dump a handfull or two of bullets into a plastic container, squirt in a little Alox, and shake until golden brown. Spread them on a sheet of waxed paper and allow to try for 24 hours before loading.

July 28, 2006, 06:49 PM
Slug your bore to be sure, but here's the basic rundown:

Rebored USSR: .312" and up
USSR: .311" to .313"
Finnish M-39s, M-91/30's, M-91's: .310"
Finnish m-28/30's and a few others, mostly pre-1939: .308"

Basically, unless you've got a pretty darned rare Finnish Mosin made before the Winter War, you're not going to have anything narrower than .310"

July 28, 2006, 07:23 PM
I think they are ugly, but went to the range with 10 rifles, including a pre 64 Win 30-06 and a 7mm mag Ruger #1, and the winner of an elk hunt was the 91/30.

One must look beyond the ugliness:)

July 31, 2006, 11:47 AM
leave the shop if it could not print 1.5 inches at 100 meters. Before hacking up a Mosin Nagant, look to see if it is a Finn rifle. Finn rifles are going for 200 bucks and up now days, and the value is still climbing......My 90 buck flea market special is worth 400 bucks now.......chris3

July 31, 2006, 01:37 PM
FYI current Graf & Sons prices

100 $33.99
500 $161.45
1000 $305.91

August 2, 2006, 01:15 AM
I had terrible accuracy and back blast problems with my Finn M39s when using .308 bullets. It was not until I found that Lapua makes the D166 200 Gr bullet designed specificaly for the Finnish Mosin Nagant rifes. It is a .308 bullet which is wider at the head, and tapers at the rear. They are expensive, but well worth it if one wants to gain the best accuracy these old war horses can muster. I know Midway sells them under the .308 bullet listings.
I also use Graf 7.62x54R brass. It works great for me.


August 2, 2006, 02:25 AM
Ditto on those D166--they're fantastic shooters. I just wish they came in SP.

If you enjoyed reading about "7.62x54r" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!