Getting a Mosin


April 8, 2010, 01:59 AM
So I've decided to take the plunge and pick myself up a Mosin. I found a great deal on one. I have a few questions about the ammo. I already reload for my pistols and shotguns, however have never reloaded for rifles and this will be my first non-22 rifle. I just wanted to get the details on what brass, primers, and bullets to use?

Any help would be appreciated.

I've already done a search on here and a few other sites and there's so much conflicting information. Hopefully someone can set me straight.

If you enjoyed reading about "Getting a Mosin" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
April 8, 2010, 02:21 AM
What kind of Mosin-Nagant are you getting? What's the handloading going to be for?

In general most of them will use a .311" or .312" bullet well, and can also use a .308" standard though that's pretty loose for most. Finns tend to be tighter than the others. Weight can range up to 200 grains or more, but you'll do best seeing what your rifle likes and fine tuning it from there.

April 8, 2010, 07:18 AM
I went to a gunshow & bought 2 of em , theres plenty of surplus 7.62x54r out there but I was lookin at reloadable ,boxer primed stuff & it`s expensive to say the least !

I`m still scrubbin on mine, I plan on castin boolits for em !

April 8, 2010, 08:30 AM

Friendly advice: You can buy surplus from and other websites for "still" cheap. I have many different surplus and found out Russian shoot well in some and yugo shoot well in other.

Have fun!!!

Thank you

Gadzooks Mike
April 8, 2010, 08:35 AM
Buy a couple of boxes of Winchester or Wolf ammo for it, then reload those after you shoot them. Yes, there's a lot of surplus, most using corrosive primers, and, at least when shot from a carbine, kicks like a mule. But it's about as cheap as you can handload.

April 8, 2010, 09:07 AM
I have a couple M44's and I have a few boxes of Prvi-Partizan 180gr SP that I will reload when they are shot. I also have a few hundred Albanian light ball surplus for backup.
I've shot a lot of rifles over the years including 7mm Remag and my 308 Norma Mag, and I agree with Gadzooks Mike that a standard M44 with a steel butt plate is punishing with surplus ammo. A slip over recoil pad is what I use now.
One of my M44's has an ATI syn stock with pad that I installed, and it works well.


April 8, 2010, 04:04 PM
What diameter bullet would I put in the .308 Winchester brass?

April 8, 2010, 04:36 PM
The Winchester brass would be 7.62x54R, not .308. Diameter would be the .311" or .312" for a standard Soviet Mosin.

Jesse Heywood
April 8, 2010, 04:42 PM
To know the correct bullet diameter you need to slug the barrel. Otherwise, you're guessing and will never reach the accuracy and performance potential of the gun.

April 8, 2010, 06:15 PM
Graffs is out of the Serbian Boxer-primed brass right now, but they've had it the cheapest:

Wolf imports some cartridges made up with this Boxer brass, as well as some steel case stuff, so if you are buying wolf with the intention of reloading, make sure you are buying the stuff in brass cases.

Lapua brass is out there and is excellent, and very expensive Norma.

Groove diameters vary a lot on all but the Finnish made ones, so if you are going to use cast you will need to measure your goove diameter. I typically use a cast Lead rifle bullet about .002" larger than my groove diameter. The design of your bullet must be compatible with the rifling and throat. I like bullets like the 314299 from Lyman. You will have to bell your case mouths a bit to seat fragile Lead bullets.

I like the Sierra 180gr jacketed bullets, and any variety of 4350 powder for jacketed bullet loads.

Before you invest in casting materials, it might be best if you measured your groove diameter and bought some cast bullets of several designs that fit your barrel groove diameter. Decide whether you are shooting for maximum economy, or something that nears jacketed bullet performance, or something in-between.

Most people shooting cast bullets will use fast pistol powders with them. Beware of double charges of powder. I will charge a case with powder and immediately seat a bullet on it, and have never had a problem.

April 8, 2010, 06:18 PM
I'm not planning on casting. I prefer buying FMJ bullets. I was looking on Midway and everything in .311 was for the Japanese 7mm, would those still work?

April 8, 2010, 08:34 PM
I've used them without problem. The .303 bullets should also be fine. Slugging your bore will give you a better idea, but first off you should fire a range of heavy and light factory and ball rounds to see what's doing best. You can handload to fine tune results.

April 8, 2010, 08:42 PM
Thanks for your help Cosmoline.

April 8, 2010, 08:52 PM
I use 180gr .311 Diameter Sierra soft point bullets (.303 British), CCI Large Rifle Primers, and IMR 4320 powder. I want to say the charge is 46.5gr, but double check the data. I have noticed that I have to trim the brass every time I reload it so I'm guessing my Mosin has a generous chamber.

April 8, 2010, 10:05 PM
I bought a couple boxes of Prvi Partisan ammo. You get one shot, and then brass to reload. It seems like the Mosin brass is hard to come that is.

A while back, Wideners was selling pulled .311 surplus. Keep an eye out, you may find some.

April 9, 2010, 02:00 AM
Midway has the metric Winchester ammo right now. That's actually the prvi-partizan brass supplied to Winchester.

I lucked out at the last 2 gunshows locally, one gentleman had bags of 50 of the winchester headstamped brass. I bought 2. I also bought 2 boxes of the winchester stuff, so I ended up with 140 cases. It's good brass, but the primer is privi, so your first shot should be for practice, then load with whatever primers you intend to use.

April 9, 2010, 02:05 AM
I actually ended up ordering some Wolf from JG Sales. They have a great deal on reloadable russian ammo.

April 9, 2010, 10:02 AM

How do you know that the brass & primer is Prvi made? I'm not saying your wrong, just curious where you got the info from.

April 9, 2010, 12:28 PM
The last time I checked, Winchester was using S&B. But they may have gone to cheaper Serbian suppliers due to the increase in the Euro. Wouldn't surprise me a bit.

April 9, 2010, 12:40 PM
Interesting. And where do you "check" Cosmoline? Do you contact Winchester directly? Is the brass out of these boxes of ammo not stamped W-W?

Just curious.

April 9, 2010, 02:28 PM
Azar, this is some "he said" info, from here;

Dude's handle if frankenmauser, here's his post;

However, if anyone is still wondering about boxer primed brass - Prvi is the most common supplier in the U.S.. They stamp the x54 brass for several companies (including Winchester), and it's decent quality. Last time I bought a bag of 100 (Winchester stamped - at a local shop, even), it was only $2 more than a bag of 100 .30-06 cases.

From working with reloads and the original primers (all of the brass I have bought came primed), the Prvi primers seem to be a very thick-cupped magnum-ish type. (They seem to be 'hotter' than CCI and Winchester Standard LR primers; and it's the only brand of primer my firing pin doesn't pierce.)

I have never seen the privi branded factory loads, so I can't confirm it. I did notice the primer has almost no radius on the edges of the cup. I haven't re-loaded any that I fired as-primed so I could look at the fired primer, to compare it to a winchester.

April 9, 2010, 03:58 PM
Okay, thanks snuffy.

The only European brass I have used is from once fired factory ammo. Wolf, Hot Shot (rebranded Igman in this instance) and S&B. The S&B and Wolf were okay, although I never really reloaded them until "end of life". But the POS Igman had undersized flash holes and busted the decapping pin on my die and bent the expander rod. Partly my fault because I used too much force, but it was my first time ever reloading so I didn't know what was a normal amount of resistance.

Ever since that first experience I've avoided most makes of European brass. But if Winchester is just restamped Prvi, maybe I should reconsider. At least in the case of 7.62x54R.

If you enjoyed reading about "Getting a Mosin" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!