First attempt at reloading for a Mosin M44


January 26, 2008, 04:49 PM
I picked up a $89 Mosin M44 because it was just too good of deal to pass up. I was really disappointed with my first outing as I could barely hold minute of berm with the thing and "Brown Bear" 185 grain bi-metal "stuff". I pulled one of the bullets and mic'd it and it was .308 at it's widest . . . .slugging my bore revealed about a .311 bore (maybe slightly bigger).

I started thinking on it and realized that I had a mold that I bought for my .303 Enfield (Lyman 314299) and it dropped bullets at about .313 from straight wheel weights. An afternoon at the pot and lubrisizer and I was in business. I loaded up 15 rounds in groups of 3 using 2400 (17,18,19). The first shot was so far down that I burned through about 10 of my rounds finding that I needed the sights set for 600 meters to be near the bullseye at 50 yards.

My last five rounds all went into an 1.22 though so I'm pretty tickled. It was 34 degree's and there was at least a 15 mph wind so I think with a warmer day and better concentration I can shoot some groups with this thing. The front sight seems abnormally high so I have to decide whether to shorten it or not to try and get the groups up into the bull. Here's my shotup target. :)

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January 27, 2008, 08:36 AM
Not too shabby.

I'm about to brew some loads for mine in a few days ( I have 2).

I have a couple hundred pieces of new brass, but I wante to use my 40 pieces of once-fired WWB brass first. I tumbled them yesterday and upon inspection already found one with a split case neck. Going to have to check very closely for cracks and other integrity issues.

This was the WWB 180 gr softpoints. They didn't shoot worth a poop, and I'm sure it was because the bore was on the big side. I'll be slugging it today. and I have a box of .310, a box of .311, and a box of .313, so I'm covered.

I believe the split case neck was due to one or both of the following.

1) The loads felt very hot when I fired them. Much hotter than the Hungarian surplus. Primers were flattened noticeably.

2) Headspace. One rifle fails the no-go test. I can't get my field gauge to work, but I suspect it would fail that too based on how easily the bolt closed on the no-go gauge. Stupid me, I didn't headspace til after I had fired all those rounds. I was fortunate. I'm going to get rid of this rifle and get another that does better on the headspace test. The other one passes go and no-go, so that's the rifle I will work with for now.

January 27, 2008, 09:22 AM
K3, personally, I would anneal the remainder of that WWB brass before I loaded it for use in any Mosin. That should help save the remaining 39 rounds. If you have excessive headspace in that rifle, be sure to check for incipient case head separation in that brass before you load it, too. I use a bent paper clip and run it along the inside case wall. If the tip 'catches,' that piece of brass goes into the recycle bucket.

dmftoy1, before I started filing on my front sight, I'd just paste a different aiming point on that target - get some of the sticky-back orange dots and paste one 12" above the black (or whatever works for you).

It's good to know that most of the affordable commercial 7,62X54R ammo that's available has too-small bullets in it. I bought some Wolf Gold ammo but haven't tried it out yet. Fortunately I stocked up on milsurp ammo before the price went out of sight.

Let us know if you have any issues reloading that Winchester brass; it's made in Croatia by S&B, and I've heard of some problems with the primer pockets being on the small side.

January 27, 2008, 04:07 PM
Yeah, I'm definately planning on some more shooting before I do any bubba-izing to the front sight. :) I would be happy I think if I was at 400 yards or 300 yards but 600 seems pretty excessive for a 50 yard shot. I wonder if the reason is because I'm shooting 207 grain bullets as opposed to the standard load?

I guess I need to get off the computer and load up some more. :)

Have a good one,

January 27, 2008, 05:10 PM
I am lucky that I already reloaded for the .303 brit, and my bore on my Nagant slugged at .313, so I was able to use the same supplies for my .303 on my 7.62x54r. I shoot 51.1 gr. Vargant pushing a Sierra 125 gr SP. Works well. My next plan is to get a bullet mold and load up some black powder loads for it.

January 27, 2008, 05:47 PM
This article might interest you it on how to modify your front post so you can custom make sight post for each of your favorite loads and leave the rear set on your 100 Meter mark.

January 27, 2008, 07:11 PM
Thanks for that! See my problem was that I EXPECTED my Mosin to shoot way high with standard loads and I figured that my cast bullets would only be slightly low . . .seems that even standard mil-spec heavy ball loads were shooting incredibly low. The only thing I can think is that the sights were regulated for light ball and the heavy ball is just that much different trajectory wise at 100 yards?

That is a viable alternative when I get the bubba itch though!

January 27, 2008, 11:34 PM
My M44 actually shoots better with the bayo folded contrary to the popular opinion,that being said the only surplus ammo I have shot in mine is the Bulgarian LB & HB. Personally I have find the LB ammo to have more cracked neck and defective cases the powder and bullets are great though for pull downs,the HB however looks almost like it was made yesterday same packaging and same year of Mfg.

Both the Bulgarian LB & HB ammo are HOT rounds I also have unattributed this to the inaccuracy it show in my M44. Both bullets measure .309 dia that also didn't help much since my bore slugged out to .311 they were all over the place till I started pulling the bullets dropping the powder charge down one an a half grains and reseating the bullets it went from spreads to nice 2" groups just doing that to the surplus stuff see post I don't shoot cast but I do reload new brass and bullets for it.

The most accurate load I have found so far with my limited testing is the Lyman accuracy load 43.5 grs. RL 15 and the Hornady .312 flat base SP. My M44 likes the 150 Gr. range bullets the best the HB ammo is actually Machine Gun HB ammo,I also use the Hornady 174 Gr. .312 flat base RN and no matte how I load it, it shoots about 6 inches low on the same sight setting as the 150's do I have to bump the rear sight up to about 300 Meters to bring it back to center,hence why I'm going to do the sight pin mod I will just make a custom pin for those two bullet I like to shoot.

You might also want o post your question about your case bullets here a good sight with some very smart cast bullet shooters there.

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