7.62x39mm load question


March 9, 2008, 01:16 AM
My Dad passed away last year and I am still in the process of going through his reloading stuff.

Today I came upon a bag containing about 200 loaded 7.62x39mm cartridges. On the bag he wrote "26gr - 4198" he didn't note the bullet weight, but I am guessing that they are most likely 125gr bullets. Being that Dad was a benchrest shooter, he moly-coated every thing that stood still for more than 5 minutes and these bullets are no exception. ;) (note: I am going to pull the bullet from one and have it checked by a friend at my local gun shop to confirm the weight. I'd weigh it myself, but my scales only go to 100gr.)

The load information that I have been able to find for 4198 powder is giving me a max load that varies between 24 and 26.5 grains. Dad would have been shooting these out of a Mini-30, but I am wondering if they are too heavy of a load for an AK. It would be a real shame to have to let 200 rounds of ammo go, but obviously I don't want to deal with a blown up gun either.

So having said all of that, my question is do you guys think that a 125gr molly coated bullet over 26gr of IMR 4198 powder would be to heavy for an AK-47?

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March 9, 2008, 07:22 AM
Well load data usually isn't firearm specific in most reloading manuals, so it would seem to me that since the load is .5 grains under the maximum, you should be ok with shooting them.

Load customization is usually adapted to a particular firearm to maximize the accuracy. Again as 26.0 grains is in the load data range, about the only thing that can go wrong with shooting them is that they won't be tuned to the AK for accuracy.

Mike 3-4
March 9, 2008, 09:03 AM
I wouldn't be so sure your DAD used IMR 4198 in those loads. The Hodgdon Annual Manual shows 24.0 grn. of IMR 4198 for 42,500cup (max) He may have used H4198 which ranges from 24.5 to 26.5grn for 40,400cup (max) I think I would at least take one apart and look at the color of the powder which may give some indication what Dad used. FYI I load that round with 25.5grn H4198 and it chronographs at 2323fps out of my Mini 30.

March 9, 2008, 09:57 AM
If they're anything like the loads I made up for my SKS, they should be sweet, even more so if he was a benchrest shooter.

March 9, 2008, 03:04 PM
Thanks guys. I'm still pretty new to reloading. I have been reloading .45acp and .38/.357 for about a year and a half now, but rifle loads are uncharted territory for me. My Dad was a awesome reloader but as for myself, I'm just a dabbler in a couple of areas of interest.

My biggest concern was that since the Mini 30 is built a bit heavier, a heavy load that that would work fine in it may not be safe in a lighter actioned AK. I guess I was being a little over cautious, but at this stage in my knowledge and development, that's the name of the game right? :)

Thank-you once again. The great input and the knowledge that the folks here share is why this forum is my "go-to" spot for my reloading questions.

Mike 3-4
March 9, 2008, 05:48 PM
Katana8869, My concern is that I don't think? your Dad would have loaded a full 2grn. of IMR 4198 beyond safe load data? The make of the carbine isn't the issue it's the pressure of the load.

Steve C
March 9, 2008, 06:13 PM
IMO an AK is a lot tougher than a Mini 30.

March 9, 2008, 06:15 PM
I agree with you Mike 3-4. Your point that the powder used may be H4198 was a very good one as well. Dad was not one to "hotrod" loads. I think most of my misgivings were more from concerns about the gun than the load, if that makes sense. Sort of like not shooting +P .38's in a older gun that is not rated for them. However, after thinking about this more, and as you pointed out, it makes perfect sense that if the load is within standard specs, it should be fine in any gun chambered for that cartridge.

Sometimes when some folks are in unfamiliar territory, it takes a good dose of logic and a reminder of things that we already know to be true to set us back on track again. :) Thanks to you and everybody else for getting my thought process back in line!

March 9, 2008, 06:18 PM
IMO an AK is a lot tougher than a Mini 30.

This would be a fun debate to watch! Lol Caliber wars get boring after awhile. :D

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