A legality question


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1911JMB
March 21, 2007, 12:44 PM
I have a bunch of surplus 7.62x54 ammo that I would like to take apart and use the powder and bullets to put into .308 casings, BUT, its steel cored and I believe .308 steel cored ammo is illegal. At least I know its illegal to import or manufacture. Does the law cover reloading like this or could I do it?:confused:

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ReloaderFred
March 21, 2007, 01:01 PM
I think you'll find that the bullet jackets are mild steel, and not the core, in your 7.62x54. There are many bullets in 7.62x51 (.308 Military) that are also mild steel jacketed. Cut one open and see. If they are steel core armor piercing, then 7.62x51 can't be loaded with them, but other calibers can.


Hope this helps.

Fred

ATAShooter
March 21, 2007, 01:06 PM
I had a crapload of the corrosive Garand ammo. They were copper-washed steel jacket ( Korean, I think ). I pulled them all and reloaded them into .308 rounds. They are not considered Armor - piercing.

mek42
March 21, 2007, 01:06 PM
If I recall correctly, most 7.62 X 54R ammunition uses a .303 bullet which is actually .311 diameter rather than the .308 diameter for most 30 caliber rifles. I recently purchased my first mil suplus rifle (chambered for 7.62 X 54R) and was disappointed to find out that I will not be able to share bullets with my .308.

Good luck!

1911JMB
March 21, 2007, 02:00 PM
Hmmmmm. The jacket appears to be copper, but what do I know? I'll have to hacksaw one of the bullets. (I'm rather new to reloading, so all I knew to do was a magnet test.)

Does anybody else know of the diameter being bigger on the x54 rounds? If thats the case I won't do it even if its legal. DSA barrels are too expensive to shoot out.:uhoh:

fatelk
March 21, 2007, 02:05 PM
The 7.62x54R bullet will be .310 or .311, but you can use it if you buy a Lee bullet sizer (Midway has them, probably less than$15) in .308. Put a little lube on them and run them through. Wash the lube off and you have a nice cheap .308 bullet. The cannelure will be in the wrong place; don't know how that will work.
As far as the gunpowder; the two rounds use different charges. A big warning you will see in all loading manuals is Never use an unknown powder!
That being said, if one were to decrease the charge and very carefully work up a load, I would think you would be fine. Don't take this as advice to do anything unsafe, though. Being a larger cartridge, the full charge from a 7.62x54R cartridge would do very bad things to a 7.62x51 (308) rifle.

I know this is not an answer to your question regarding the legality of steel core bullets in 308, and I apologize if you are already aware about the differences in bullet diameter and powder charge.
I read somewhere that steel core 30-06 and 223 are OK but 308 and 7.62x39 are not. Obviously 7.62x54 is OK too, and I was told at a gunshow (by someone selling steel core 7.62x39 for an insane price) that the prohibition doesn't cover private ownership or sale, only liscensed dealers. True? I don't know. The ATF website doesn't help a lot for your particular question either.

Are you manufacturing by pulling bullets and reloading in a different caliber? That could be argued. I really don't know. Sorry I can't be of more help.

I bought some cheap 7.62x54R, Romanian I think. It is definitely lead core with a copper wash steel jacket. There would be no legality issues with that for sure.

Mikee Loxxer
March 21, 2007, 02:06 PM
Yes 7.62x54R uses a bullet bigger than .308". It should be .311" but I think they vary depending on who manufactured them (I recently pulled some Olympic 7.62 X 54R and found them to loaded with .309" bullets). Do not use these bigger bullets to load 7.62x51.

Steve C
March 21, 2007, 03:15 PM
As far as I know, armor piercing bullets are illegal in handgun ammo only. In rifle ammo AP isn't illegal. You can legally buy SS109 surplus .223 AP ammo. The law was to prohibit the so called "cop killer" bullets. Since just about any rifle will defeat soft body armor the armor piercing bullet in rifle ammo is a non issue.

1911JMB
March 21, 2007, 03:18 PM
The thing is, at the time the legislation was written, there was a .308 handgun in mass production (Thompson Center maybe?) and the politicians took note of it. Its confuzing as hell and a huge pita, but I really don't want to break any laws.

cracked butt
March 21, 2007, 04:51 PM
Not 100% sure (I am also not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV) but I think .223 and .308 ammunition has been since exempted from the law.

TEDDY
March 22, 2007, 10:15 PM
if your pulling 7.62x54 be carefull some is tracer I have some and it is g*d awful stuff did not finish the projectile back ends not closed plus the nice pink tracer compound it probable was ww2 rushed to the front.

byf43
March 22, 2007, 10:35 PM
The thing is, at the time the legislation was written, there was a .308 handgun in mass production (Thompson Center maybe?) and the politicians took note of it. Its confuzing as hell and a huge pita, but I really don't want to break any laws.


I thought it was Remington XP 100 (based on the Remington 600 action) and the Wichita bolt action?

Sunray
March 22, 2007, 11:08 PM
7.62NATO AP is, for some odd reason, considered evil by the ATF. .30 AP isn't. In any case, most ranges won't let you shoot steel cored ammo.
Do not re-use the powder. You have no idea what it is. That'd be no different than using the powder out of somebody else's reloads. Plus the bullet will be .311" diameter. No good for .308. You likely won't be able to swage a steel cored or steel jacketed bullet either.

fatelk
March 23, 2007, 01:32 AM
You likely won't be able to swage a steel cored or steel jacketed bullet either.

I have swaged many steel jacketed bullets just fine, can't say for sure about steel core but I would be surprised if they wouldn't swage down a couple thousandths.

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