Reloading for 7.5 Swiss


Lucky Jim
September 18, 2003, 08:27 AM
I have just gathered everything up to reload for my K31 SR in 7.5 x55 and am planning on using 170 grain Laser Cast gas checked bullets. I have always read that you are not supposed to seat the gas check past the case neck. On the 7.5 Swiss I have to seat the bullet so deep that the gas check is way past the case neck. What kind of problem, if any, will seating the gas check past the case neck cause?

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Dave P
September 18, 2003, 11:17 AM
Are cast bullets cheaper than the 308 surplus rounds? I wonder why you are using them ...

Dave R
September 18, 2003, 10:54 PM
Dave, are you talking about surplus .308 _bullets_ or rounds?

Cast bullets are probably significantly cheaper than commercial .308 bullets for reloading. I hear the .308 bullets work real well in 7.5 Swiss. But if you don't need premium bullets, I see no reason why cast wouldn't work. Other than you might get significant leading if you're driving those cast bullets at normal speeds. Are the laser cast bullets jacketed?

Jim, are you using 7.5 brass, or are you forming it from another case?

September 21, 2003, 03:11 PM
Really depends on what type of gas checks are on the bullets. Hornady style gas checks actually crimp onto the base of the bullet - so they can't fall off and give any problems. Lyman style gas checks just slip onto the base of the bullet - so it is possible for them to fall off inside the case and create problems when you fire the ammo - up to potentially causing the rifle to "blow-up" when you fire the following round (they can get stuck in the bore if they fall off the bullet base). If you can easily slip the gas check off of the bullet, don't use them. If you can't pull the gas checks off by hand - then there shouldn't be any problem using them.

September 21, 2003, 03:44 PM
I have loaded cast bullets in 7.5 Swiss. I used RCBS #30-180-FN
82014 bullet, sized .309 in a Lee sizer and a Hornady gas check. I used a powder charge of 13.0 grains of Red Dot. The bullets were cast with lead shot, dropped into water and lubed with liquid alox.
I didn't do any serious accuracy testing. I shot them all a steel plate at 200 yards. Accuracy on those targets was good once I figured the sight dope. I believe I was using the 600 meter sight setting. I didn't get any leading with this load.
I didn't pay any attention to whether or not the gas check was below the case neck. Never heard any mention of it until now.
This bullet mould was purchased for use in the .30-30, but since it was the only .30 rifle bullet mould I owned, I used it.

Johnny Guest
September 21, 2003, 05:01 PM
About what weight does the 30-180-FN bullet turn out, with gas check in place? Actually 180?

Have you chronographed that load?


September 21, 2003, 06:33 PM
The bullets weight approx. 193 grains lubed, with the gas check.

Yes, I did chrono them but I don't remember what it was now.

I have used that load in several different calibers (7.62x54R, .30-06, .30-30, 6.5 Sweede, 8mm). I got the load from an article entitled "Quick Cast Bullet Loading for Military Bolt Guns" in the Laser Cast Shooter's Journal which is a newsletter put out by Laser Cast.
Here are a couple quotes from the article; "Assembling cast bullet loads for military rifles is relatively easy-you only need one powder and one powder charge, which works fine in cartridges like .30-06, .308 Win, .303 British, 7.62x54R, 7.5 MAS, 7.5 Schmidt Rubin, 8mm Mauser and 7.7 Arisaka. The cartridge should have the powder capacity of a 300 Savage and the bullet needs to be in the normal weight range for that cartridge. "

September 22, 2003, 05:43 PM
I would like to help if I may. My specialty is 7.5 Swiss.Maybe I can ask a few questions first, no?
Are your bullets hardcast? How did you decide your seat depth? Are you using Norma, INDEP, RUAG or .284 brass? And you must have a reason for using cast instead of .308 bullets, no?


Matt Dillon
September 22, 2003, 10:42 PM
Do you have recommendations for components (brass, powders, etc.) for the Swiss 7.5 round? I have been seriously thinking about buying a K-31, but heard that ammo was rather scarce, and good reloadable brass was hard to come by.
Can any .308 bullet be used for this round? I'd like to use this for hunting, as well as target practice; do you have recommendations for bullets to use with this round?
What do you all suggest as far as dies for this round? Do you know if Lee makes a die for this round? I like Lee dies, and use them for several other calibers. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated, thanks, Matt

September 22, 2003, 11:04 PM
Hi, Matthew. I have to go to bed now, but I'll come back tomorrow and type everything you need to know. If you go to Dad's forum its all there too. Just ask for Pierre.
Go to and click on the forums link on the left side of the first page. Or I can talk to you tomorrow. I know most of it and I just ask Dad about the things I might not know.


Dave P
September 23, 2003, 10:44 AM
Matt, I load them like 308 rounds, using same bullets and powders, etc. Easy to do, and accurate. I use Lee dies for this one, with 284W brass.

Dave R
September 23, 2003, 02:33 PM
Matt, I think 1911sr is going to tell you you can just buy .284 brass and run it through the 7.5 Swiss sizer die, and then load it up.

Is it really that easy?

September 23, 2003, 05:04 PM
Hi! Nothing's hard if you understand it.
Yes, you can just run a ball expander through .284, TTL and then reload it! Make sure the brass is not brittle in the neck first, no? If it is, then you should anneal it first.
Dave, the 7.5 Swiss does not like all of the powders used in .308. Ball powders don't give anywhere near the accuracy of extruded powders like 4064, 4320, A4350, N160 and some IMRs like 3031.
Dad has spent over 40 years developing loads just for Swiss rifles. He has reams and reams of load data. The simple truth is that the original GP11 bullet of 175gr performs best in the 1911sr, k11sr, k31, zfk3155 and the PE57.
If you stop and think about it, the GP11 was developed by the Swiss just for those rifles.
Here are a few loads that will shoot moa or very close in any k31.

Sierra 168gr
46.8gr of H4350
Seat the bullet at 2.890

Berger VLD 168gr
47.4gr of IMR4320
Seat at 3.0425

I have lots more with the 175 bullets, but do notice that the seat depths are very important for these rifles. The VLD has a very long nose and the OGIVE is right near the case mouth, that's why the seat depth is what it is.

This is going to be fun!


September 23, 2003, 05:16 PM
Maybe it will help if you go here for load data.

and here for reloading the 7.5 brass

Dad wrote those and he'll answer anything you'd like to know. If I can't answer I can ask or maybe get him to post the answer here for me, no?
His name is Pierre St.Marie


Matt Dillon
September 25, 2003, 08:46 AM
Is there any die manufacturer that is better than others when it comes to loading/sizing 7.5 Swiss? I use Lee dies for my other calibers, and am perfectly happy with them, but was considering purchasing a set of RCBS. Does anyone else use Lee dies, and what is your recommendation? TIA, Matt.

September 25, 2003, 01:34 PM
Matt, we have maybe 10 or more dies sets for the 7.5 Swiss, and I know that Dad has argued with others on the board, but the RCBS have never failed for us. The Lee dies have had problems once in a while, but you'd have to go there and talk to him about it. I only know that most all Lee dies have no problem at all with any calibers except with the 7.5 Swiss once in a while.


Matt Dillon
September 25, 2003, 07:56 PM
Well guys, I decided to bite the bullet and buy the 7.5 Swiss Lee dies. They were less than half the prices of the RCBS dies. I hope that I don't have problems with it. Does anyone here use the 7.5 Swiss Lee dies, and if so, do you have to do anything special to make them work in this caliber?

September 25, 2003, 10:08 PM
Matt, I wish you had bitten it deeper and bought the RCBS, or at least talked to someone experienced first.


Matt Dillon
September 26, 2003, 06:47 AM
Thanks, 1911SR, but I will try these and see how things go. I'm sure that others have used the Lee dies satisfactorily, and I just couldn't justify spending more than double for the RCBS dies. Anyway, if they won't work out, I'll sell them on eBay and then purchase the RCBS dies.
While on, I did purchase some of those 168 grain match king bullets. These are pretty good for this load, aren't they?
Who has the best deal on brass for this caliber? I hope to go to a gun show next weekend and pick up a box of G11, but was wondering to whom I should look for some good brass? Also, do you have any load recipes using IMR 4350? I have a little bit of this powder, as I also use this powder to load for my .303 British Enfield. Thanks!

September 26, 2003, 07:01 AM
The only place i know of that has reasonably priced brass for 7.5 swiss is Graf & Sons Its reported to be new manufactured brass (not reformed .284) and it is a hell of a lot cheaper than norma ($28/100). Their site is kinda tricky but just do a search for "swiss" and it should turn up. I should tell ya i have ZERO experience with this stuff. Im just passing on what ive heard from others.

September 26, 2003, 07:35 AM
These two recent threads about the 7.5x55 reminded me to call Graf & Sons and ask them about the brass. They said they are a couple weeks out yet. They said that last year they manufactured the same brass and didn't have near enough of it to fill the orders they recieved, so make sure you have your order in before it is gone. I am glad I called because I have been waiting so long that my credit card has expired, so I made a new order for 500 brass and 500 Sierra 168 gr. Matchkings.
That should last me a lifetime. If they have the brass, and I have the money, I will wait a couple weeks after getting this order and order 500 7.62x54 cases also.

September 26, 2003, 07:46 AM
Ok, Mathew. Its sorta fun here. You'd be surprised how many guys won't even respond to a post from a girl.
Anyway, this is a link to Dad's reloading data. You will find loads with that powder in there.

There are other links in there for Dad's accurizing and reloadiing methods. He doesn't post anywhere else on the net now cuz he's really busy, but he is the chief moderato there and he'll take time to talk to you I'm sure.

I'm going to ask him if I can tell you about the Lee die thing. He doesn't like me to talk about it cuz it's such a touchy subject for a lot of the guys.


Matt Dillon
September 26, 2003, 08:04 AM
Please do tell me about the Lee dies - and I don't mind taking advice from a girl who is as knowledgeable as you are about this caliber. I'm glad that you and your father have such a great relationship that you can share an avocation of his with such enthusiasm. Any and all advice is more than welcome, thanks!

September 26, 2003, 08:09 AM
I'm afraid I won't explain it right, so I asked Dad if he would come in here and tell you about it. He'll be home from the studio after 3 mountain time. I'll have him post under my name cuz he's not a member here.


Matt Dillon
September 26, 2003, 08:11 AM
1911 SR, thanks, I'll look forward to hearing from him. By the way, I did cancel my order at Midway USA (the Lee dies) after having read your dad's article on loading for the 7.5 Swiss.
With that much experience, I'm going to listen to what he says works! So, I was wondering which RCBS die set he recommends. They have several available at Midway USA, and I was wondering if he had a specific recommendation. Also, while at it, does he have a specific recommendation on a specific year that would be most desirable for the purchase of a Swiss K-31? I'm leaning toward a walnut stock, but I was thinking that perhaps a 1958 model might be best, as it would have the least chance of being fired much. Thanks again for all your helpk 1911SR, and I'll look forward to hearing from you all!

September 26, 2003, 05:50 PM
Good afternoon, Matthew.
This is a touchy subject in some circles, so I'll do my best to avoid any coloration of the history.

I've been working with Swiss rifles since the late 50s. I've been developing load data since 1963 as the manuals then extant were erroneous in their representaion of both pressures and strength of the receivers. For whatever reason, the manual publishers were basing all of their load data on the Schmidt Rubin model 1889. The GP11 cartridge was the issue cartridge for the Schmidt Rubin beginning with the 1911sr. This is the same cartridge issued today for the PE57 autoloader and the predecessors, 1911, k11, k31 and the Sniper zfk3155.

Does it not then stand to reason that the 1911 and k31, being designed to fire the same cartridge as the PE57, would have receivers of a strength equal to the modern autoloader? Would it surprise you to know that the factory in Bern offered the k31 in 7.5 Swiss, .308, 30/06 and 300 Winchester Magnum? It still is. You can buy one today from the Hammerli facility. But I digress.

Early reloading manuals assumed that the bolts on the 1911s, k11s and k31s were identical to the 1889. Not so at all. The 1889 could NOT stand the pressures developed by the GP11 and therefore the publishers relegated all data and warnings to all of the Schmidt Rubins! Gross error! I dioscoverd this error very early on, called Bern, spoke to an armourer, explained my theory, he agreed and I began a lifelong search for the elusive MOA loads for the SRs. BTW......... I found it. In fact a number of them.

The locking lugs on the earlier SRs were at the back of the bolt itself. This meant that the case head of the cartridge was largely unsupported, but with the advent of the 1911 the lugs were moved midway up the bolt proper and provided more than enough support for the case head. The 1911 receiver was also substantially stroner than the 1889, in fact strong enough to allow importers in the late 70s/early 80s to convert a large number of imported 1911s to .308. CUP for the 7.5 is around 42,000. The .308 is 50,000+, so that should also tell you that the 1911 receiver/bolt combo is plenty strong.

The k31 amd the zfk3155 have the strongest of the bolt/receiver combinations. The locking lugs were moved forward right to the head of the bolt. The 30-06 and 300 winmag are no problem for this rifle. Enough preface.

The dies. I was asked to develop a forum for these rifles about 4 years ago. I spent a tremendous amount of time educating new SR owners who had not a clue as to proper load data or accurizing. (I won't get into the accurizing thing at this point) Having been supplied with load data, a number of these folks began reloading the caliber. Wihin one month I had 3 incidents of "gas blow-by" from those usnig Lee 7.5 Swiss dies. The bolt of the SR provides a channel directly to the rear, allowing blow-by gasses to "kiss" the face of the shooter! Three more incidents followed with another 4 months. FAR too many for coincidence.

Lee makes an excellent die. I've also been told that the circumstances surrounding the SRs don't happen with all Lee 7.5 dies. I don't know. I also have never had an interest in testing these dies. There's no point. I do assume that there is an inherent problem with using the die for this caliber. I can tell you that my daughter is not allowed to use Lee dies for reloading her 7.5 Swiss brass. In the past 5 years not one single incident of blow-by has ever been reported to me on involving RCBS 7.5 dies.
I can't tell you how many thousands of rounds in that caliber I've reloaded in 40 years, but its a bunch. Never one single failure involving the die has ocurred.

For a detailed explanation may I direct you to

I'm loathe to retype the whole thing here as its quite long, but please do read that page before proceeding with reloading for your rifle. It will give you needed insight into the whys and wherefores.

Thank you..... Pierre St.Marie

Matt Dillon
September 26, 2003, 06:11 PM
Dear 1911SR and Pierre St. Marie:
I can't tell you how much I appreciate the time you have taken to inform me regarding these dies. I certainly do respect your knowledge and experience, as I have only been reloading for the last year or so. I have loaded >10,000 rounds for various handgun and rifle calibers, but always have more to learn.
Thank you for your excellent answer to my question regarding the Lee dies. I have cancelled my order for them, and wonder which of the RCBS dies I should look at ordering?
I'm waiting for the 7.5 swiss brass to arrive at Graf and Sons, is this good brass?
Also, I was wondering if you had an opinion regarding a good hunting bullet. I like to standardize on one bullet for both target as well as hunting, and hope to use some IMR 4350 powder that I have used in the past for .303 British loading.
Also, do you have a recommendation for a particular model or year of the K-31? I'm interested in purchasing one in the very near future, and if you have an opinion, I'd appreciate it very much if you shared it with me.

Thanks so much for my incessant questions, and once again, thanks for all your help. I have printed out many pages from your web site and look forward learning more about these great weapons, as well as share my learnings with others on this board. Thanks again for everything!

September 26, 2003, 06:31 PM
Sorry, Matt. He's gone out to the recording studio, but maybe I can answer some of it, no?
It looks like the part number on all of ours is 33501. I hope the newer ones have the same number!
The hunting bullet I like best is the Sierra 180 grain Spitzer Boattail. Anything near the 175 weight will be very accurate with the right powder. Look in Dad's reloading data.
I'm not sure how many k31s there are here in the weapons room, but any one of them will be used for load data cuz they ALL seem to shoot identically. The year shouldn't matter as long as the bore is shiney and the lands and grooves are sharp. I haven't seen one yet that wasn't!


Matt Dillon
September 27, 2003, 06:20 AM
Thanks so much, 1911SR, for all you and your dad's help. If you wouldn't mind, would it be possible for you to run my questions by him as well? I'm going to the MidwayUSA site and order the RCBS dies this morning, and really would like to figure out and decide which year of the K-31 I should be inquiring about. Thanks again for all your help, Matt

September 27, 2003, 08:07 AM
Good morning. Typically I'm up at 4am but I don't know her password so I did have to wait for her to crawl out of bed. heh.............

She's right about the rifles. Virtually all k31s that have come into my possession have been excellent shooters. The Swiss know how to care for and store a rifle. Sharp lands and grooves with a shiney barrel will be the only requisite.

Although 1911sr has taken Mulies and Whitetail with her Sierra's, I would recommend that you use the Nosler 180gr Green Tip Spitzer, particularly if you intend looking for Elk. I hav e used the Sierra 200gr Spitzer for Elk as well.

The RCBS dies here appear to be all of the same part number as she described. I'm actually not aware of any other RCBS 7.5 Swiss dies, but then I've not purchsed a new set in a number of years. With 12 sets aquired over the years there hasn't been a need for new ones. If properly cared for they'll last the average person a reloading lifetime.


Matt Dillon
September 27, 2003, 03:35 PM
Thanks so much, Perre, and 1911SR for all your help and advice. I'm sure I'll have more questions as we acquire this fine weapon and begin loading and accurizing it. I have read most all the pages on your web site and found them most informative. Having just come back from the range (shooting our SKSs and AK), with my old eyes, I'd be lucky to hit a target at 100 yards. I can't wait to get the K-31 and see if I can get on the paper! I'm sure it will do its job if I'll do my job!:rolleyes:

Thanks so much again for all your help, Matt

Matt Dillon
October 1, 2003, 08:43 AM
1911 SR and Pierre:
I have ordered my brass from Grafs, my dies and your recommended bullets from Midway, and was wondering if you might have any tested and proven loads for the bullet you suggested with IMR 4350 powder, or do you have another recommended powder that you like better for that 180 grain bullet?
I have also purchased a Lee trimmer for 7.5 Swiss. Does this work well for this caliber? I use the Lee trimming system for all other handgun and rifle cartridges, and have been pleased with it.
I am kind of lazy, in that I'd like to test one load for target as well as hunting, if at all possible. Thanks so much, and I'll look forward to hearing from you, Matt.

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