Curio and Relic reloading


November 17, 2007, 04:25 PM
I am new to reloading, but fortunately am being mentored by a friend who has been reloading rifle and handgun ammo for 30+ years. Right now I'm just loading 38 special but eventually I'd like to buy a nice shooting, interesting, C&R eligible rifle, that would also be suitable for a newbie reloader. Any suggestions to steer me in the right direction would be appreciated. I've already applied for the 03 FFL.

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November 17, 2007, 04:35 PM
Just get something in a caliber you can get new boxer primed ammo, brass & bullets for.

Most foreign mil-sup ammo is berdan primed, steel case, or other stuff you can't reload.

Other then that, reloading for a C&L is exactly the same as reloading for anything else.

November 17, 2007, 05:05 PM
some good choices are 8mm Mauser ( pick any of the 1000+ models),Enfield 2A,which is 7.62x51 (.308) can use regular ole commercial brass,bullets and boxer primers. jwr

November 17, 2007, 05:06 PM
Other then that, reloading for a C&L is exactly the same as reloading for anything else.
I'd be careful with certain guns. M1 Garands are very specific about what you should feed them.

November 17, 2007, 05:25 PM
We have to assume the guy is going to follow established load data for whatever kind of mil-sup he ends up getting.

November 17, 2007, 05:32 PM
Indeed, but not all load books mention the M1 issue. Either way, I'm not a huge fan of very hot loads. :)

November 17, 2007, 07:16 PM
Get an SKS - the 7.62x39 brass is not abundant, but it can be found and bought. The 8mm Mauser is a good choice too, and I have an easier time finding places selling new unprimed 8mm Mauser brass than the 7.62x39.

I also have and reload for a Mosin-Nagant M44 (7.62x54R), now that one is hard to find brass for. I bought 100 loaded rounds of boxer-primed Prvi Partizan and am reloading those after I shoot them. I found less expensive .311" FMJ bullets (125 and 150 grain) that I use in both my 7.62x39 and x54R loads, and I've also had success in using BL-C(2) powder for both of these. So I can reload for those two russian cartridges with pretty much the same components. There are BL-C(2) loads for 8mm Mauser but you need magnum primers for those, couldn't get BL-C(2) to ignite reliably with standard LR primers. For 8mm Mauser I've had good luck with IMR4064. Not perfect but I can load for at least 3 rifles with these two powders and two sets of bullets.

It still costs me at least as much or more to make my own, compared to the cheapest east bloc milsurp ammo out there. But, mine's not corrosive, and as long as I don't lose too many of the brass casings from my SKS and AK (they get thrown quite a ways outside) I can't run out.

November 17, 2007, 09:19 PM
I also load 7.62x39 and 54R. My SKS is grouping nicely with some loads I worked up, a lot better than the Winchester factory loads which i ended up firing to empty the brass.

November 17, 2007, 09:34 PM
6.5x55 is a great round and there are still lots of great Swede mausers available -like on gunbroker. There are also lots of us manuf brass choices and bullets - a wonderful choice.

8mm Mauser and .303 Brit both also have us manuf. commercial brass and bullets available at good prices and both are really easy to load.

November 18, 2007, 08:01 AM
Thanks guys. This is very helpful. Any comments on the Swiss K31?

November 18, 2007, 09:27 AM
I have heard the K-31 is one of the most accurate milsurps out there. Never tried one. I loaded for my Mosins, (sold, but Graf's brass ain't bad), SKS, (can't tell if it makes a differance, but I do it anyway, for fun), and my No4Mk1* Enfield .303. That makes a differance - factory ammo ain't cheap, surplus BLOWS, and I can get MOA with one handload from the bench. :)
Besides, handloading is fun. But if you reload milsurp in a weird/obsolete caliber, buy LOTS of brass now.

Dave P
November 18, 2007, 09:31 AM
I was going to recommend the K31. Loads a lot like a 308 - same powder, primers, bullets.

Very accurate - will give you a lot of feedback on the performance of your reloads . More than the other rifle mentioned, I think.

Uncle Don
November 18, 2007, 12:00 PM
I bought a K31 about a year and half ago and the store only had one left. They haven't gotten any since. The more I check, the more I hear that they are drying up. What used to be bought for $85.00 is now about $200.00 and yet, they are still hard to find.

I vouch for the fact that it's a very accurate rifle. Brass isn't cheap (don't buy k31 brass as it's not boxer). I make the brass last by using Lee's collet dies which means I don't have to resize the body and trimming is almost a thing of the past. I cast my own and regularly get targets I'm thrilled with at both 100 and 200 yards using open sights. They guy who wins all the military matches around here uses a K31 and hasn't done anything to it.

February 10, 2008, 02:23 AM
+1 on the K-31s. Easy to reload, super trigger, reasonable factory sights, with great aperture sights that work well (, no-gunsmithing scope mounts available (, normally no need to rebarrel/tune the trigger/fix the stock.

A great caliber/gun to begin with.

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