Handloading/Reloading 7.62x54R ammo


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LibertarianTeen1994
February 16, 2011, 02:01 PM
Hey, I'm a 16, almost 17 year old teen, who is a big Mosin Nagant fan, though I currently only own one M91-30, unfortunately, anyway I am interested in reloading/handloading my ammo for my M91-30, and was curious, as to what primer would you recommend? Also this will be my first experience reloading, so are there any books/websites you'd recommend I read before I begin doing so? Thanks and have a great day.

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rcmodel
February 16, 2011, 02:06 PM
You can't reload Russian surplus or Wolf steel case ammo.
It uses Berdan primers, which you can't buy in the U.S.A.
And de-priming them is not very easy to do as the multiple flash holes are off set and not centered like with Boxer primed brass cases.

If you plan to eventually start reloading, buy only brass case American or European ammo with Boxer primers and start saving the brass.

The caliber uses Standard Large Rifle primers.
Any brand will do, however I would suggest starting with CCI, Winchester, or Remington brand.

There is a great Sticky thread at the top of this forum that will get you started.
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=238214

Two books I would recommend are.
The ABC's of Reloading.
Lyman #49 Reloading Manual.

rc

Old Scratch
February 16, 2011, 02:48 PM
RC is right about the nonreloadability of the Berdan style cases. Reloadable 7.62x54 brass cases can be very expensive. On the other hand, factory Berdan ammo is relatively cheap. One thing you might do is pull the bullets and powder from Brown Bear or one of the other non-corrosive steel-cased brands and use the primed cases to make your own one-time "reloads." That way, you can experiment with your own combinations, like Sierra .311 diameter match-grade bullets and the powder of your choice. I've done it and it works well. Good luck!

LibertarianTeen1994
February 16, 2011, 03:43 PM
Okay thanks for the help.

Seedtick
February 16, 2011, 03:48 PM
Hey, I'm a 16, almost 17 year old teen, who is a big Mosin Nagant fan, though I currently only own one M91-30, unfortunately, anyway I am interested in reloading/handloading my ammo for my M91-30, and was curious, as to what primer would you recommend? Also this will be my first experience reloading, so are there any books/websites you'd recommend I read before I begin doing so? Thanks and have a great day.

Welcome to The High Road.

Read Read Read. Don't get ahead of yourself, take your time and learn it right. Reloading is a rewarding hobby that you can enjoy throughout you entire lifetime.

So do it right. Do you have anyone who can mentor you? That would also be a big plus.

Check out Ultimate Reloader (http://ultimatereloader.com/). It's a very helpful and informative website dealing with much of the tools you'll be useing.

One more thing.... one o'clock in the afternoon in the middle of the week....

:scrutiny: WHY AIN'T YOU IN SCHOOL?? :scrutiny: :D

Seedtick

:)

rfwobbly
February 16, 2011, 11:34 PM
Mr 1994 -
Welcome to reloading!

If you'll look inside your present fired brass with a strong lamp you'll see the primer holes on the inside. What you probably have is Berdan, which is useless. Like RC said, you need to find some "Boxer" primed brass. You'll pay more, but you can reload it so it ends up being cheaper.

http://7.62x54r.net/MosinID/BoxerBerdan2.JPG

Also, you might want to read about "slugging your bore". The bore is 7.62mm (.308) in name only. Most of the Russian stuff is .310 to .313 diameter and might shoot better for you with a larger bullet, like the ones used in British 303.

A very cheap way to get started is to use 7.62 plastic training bullets and seat them over Trail Boss powder. 1000 bullets is only ~$35 and Trail Boss is not that powerful, but you MUST leave an air space inside the case.

Fill out your location in your profile and someone here can possibly help you out.

;)

Caliper_RWVA
February 17, 2011, 10:05 PM
Also this will be my first experience reloading, so are there any books/websites you'd recommend I read before I begin doing so? Thanks and have a great day.

I'm just starting towards handloading as well. I picked up a copy of the Lyman reloading handbook and have been happy reading it. They give a walk-through of how to load, what tools you need, and so forth. Plus loadings for a LOT of cartridges. Including 7.62x54R.

BTW: SOME Bulgarian surplus is in boxer primed brass, if you can find it. I found some and picked up what they had, headstamp was back from '55 so it's not the most common.

winchester1886
February 18, 2011, 12:27 AM
I have a M 38 in 7.62x54 I shoot reloads in it. I bought Winchester metric 180 gr then shot them up to use the brass. I use a Sierra .311 Gameking bullet with 46.3 gr.of IMR 4895 and a Winchester Large Rifle Primer. It will shoot a 2" group at 75 yards.

soloban
February 18, 2011, 12:28 AM
Have your parent buy you a couple boxes of Privi Partisan 7.62x54R ammo and then reload the brass.

I used to reload 7.62x54R when I still had my 91/30. I used a set of Lee Dies. If you buy Lee Dies to reload this cartridge, for some reason the Decapping/Resizing die has a .308" stem. Assuming your 91/30 is like most, it needs a larger caliber bullet as was previously mentioned. Order a replacement stem for a .303 British Decapping die from the Lee Website and install it in the 7.62x54R dies. This way you will be resizing the case mouths to .311 and you would then use .311 Caliber Bullets (.303 British).

- You'll need Large Rifle Primers
- .311 Calibers Bullets (180 Gr. Sierras are good)
- I used IMR 4320 powder, but there are plenty of others that would work (Read your manual)

Just be forewarned that MN's are hard on the brass, specifically, they have "generous" chamber dimensions and you'll get quite a bit of stretching of the brass and you'll need to trim every time and it will wear your brass out fast.

Not sure what's in your gun safe, but if it were me, I would learn to reload rife on something like a .223, .243, .270, .30-06, .308 since their components are a lot more plentiful. I usually had to order .311 Bullets from Midway, they aren't something most local stores will carry.

LibertarianTeen1994
February 23, 2011, 11:34 PM
Okay thanks for all the help...and as for what the one guy said about why wasn't I in school....well....school was canceled that day due to some "teacher in service" day,

Seedtick
February 24, 2011, 12:06 AM
Okay thanks for all the help...and as for what the one guy said about why wasn't I in school....well....school was canceled that day due to some "teacher in service" day,

Good answer.........

....Was just yanking your chain a little. :p

Seedtick

:)

35 Whelen
February 24, 2011, 12:55 AM
What soloban said...buy Prvi Partizan 7.62x54r (http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.aspx?item=AP76254FMJ182&name=Prvi+Partizan+PPU+7.62x54R+182gn+FMJ+20rd+Box&groupid=40) for $13.50 per 20. Shoot'em and you have brass! Or buy Prvi 7.62x54r unprimed brass (http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/12651) for $50 per 100.
I personally prefer buying loaded ammunition because after I fire it, it's been fired in my rifle and the cases fit my chamber.
I've been reloading since I was about your age....maybe a year or two younger. You need to be careful and understand what's going on, but it's not voodoo like so many keyboard reloaders would have you believe. I will tell you this without hesitation: Regardless of WHAT you read, or how MUCH you read, find someone in your area that handloads and watch them. that's the best way to understand what's going on.
35W

Cosmoline
February 24, 2011, 01:35 AM
I've reloaded a *lot* of 54R. You will find that the primer pockets on most brass are pretty shallow, and that standard large rifle primers are often "proud" (meaning they stick up a little bit out of the pocket). The best primers for this round are the CCI 7.62 military primers, No. 34. They go in easier, fit well into the pocket which is what you want with 54R, and are more reliable. I also believe they are harder than normal primers, which is what you want with that Mosin firing pin.

Figuring out what combination of bullet and powder work best for a particular M-N is a lot more complicated. I start by shooting an array of factory and surplus rounds, then seeing what shoots best from the batch. Sometimes the Mosin likes heavy ball, sometimes light ball, and sometimes a particular factory load. Once I find that out, I can adjust handloads to expand the sweet spot. Sometimes that means loading up to .312" bullets, sometimes going with a .308" bullet.

EMC45
February 24, 2011, 12:26 PM
You will maximize the full potential of your rifle with handloading. I have an M91, M38, and an M44. Handload for all of them. Welcome, and be safe!

winchester1886
February 25, 2011, 11:43 PM
I use Lee dies to reload my 7.62x54,but I use a lyman M die for the 303 It will expand the neck to .311 dia.I use the Sierra 150gr GameKing .311 dia.

Doc Rizzi
February 26, 2011, 12:16 AM
I reload for mine all the time. Check out Midwayusa.com for the 7.62x54 brass. You can use large rifle primers without any problem. The thing is that you need to slug the barrel to see what size bullet you need. It could be anywhere from .308 to .312. I use a 170 grain bullet over 45grains of IMR4895 with an OAL of 2.825. They cycle and shoot very accurately. You can define your bullet and load depending on if you are target shooting or hunting. It is a fun good shooting cartridge. Have Fun!

sonier
February 26, 2011, 11:52 AM
you need a mentor to help you out, someone who can walk you through all of it safely.

Hondo 60
February 26, 2011, 01:15 PM
You guys make me proud to be a member of this forum!
Always with good comments, & always willing to help a new person.

LibertarianTeen1994 - Welcome to The High Road!
99% of the people here are straight shooters (pun intended)
and will lead you to SAFE reloading habits.

I thoroughly agree with getting at least 2 manuals.
Lyman's 49th Edition is a REALLY good one.
It has a great how-to section - very informative & has pictures to help explain.
It also has a LOT of recipes as mentioned above, including 7.62x54.

Stay safe my friends

J_McLeod
March 7, 2011, 11:57 AM
I also have a Mosin that I want to reload for, and found this with the search. How do I slug the bore? Find a local gunsmith?

NCsmitty
March 7, 2011, 03:53 PM
How do I slug the bore?

You can use a sinker large enough, or 00 buckshot pushed through the bore. The grooves in the barrel, will create lands on the lead, which will be the largest dimension measurable, and that will be the size of the jacketed bullet to use. You will need a decent set of Verniers or mics to measure to the thousandth.
Cast bullets need to be .001-.002 larger than the bore.
Most Mosins run .311-.312 if the barrel is in decent condition. Some barrels may have experienced some wear at the muzzle from cleaning.



NCsmitty

markshere2
March 7, 2011, 04:34 PM
Don't know if t\hey have any more, but I bought 100 pieces fo primed brass 7.62 X54 from

The Colorado Brass Company
16748 E Smokey Hill Rd
Unit 9C PMB 176
Centennial CO 80015-2494

I GAVE $55 FOR 100 PIECES AND IT'S WINCHESTER BOXER PRIMED.

The best ( most accurate in MY rifles) load to date I have worked up is 15Grains of Unique pushing a 155 Grain cast boolit with a gas check sized to .308.

The MNs are a LOT of fun!

Be prepared for a LOT of trial and error! There's a LOT of factors in making the MNs shoot good- Barrel support, Bayonet extended or folded ( on the M44s) and the Triggers are problematic for some. Bore size varies wildly, as well.

But it sure is fun to get one dialed in, and handloading is the way to do it.

jcwit
March 7, 2011, 04:36 PM
Graff & Sons also list 7.62 x 54 brass as in stock.

06
March 7, 2011, 04:58 PM
Not giving up on finding some Berdan primers for my old brass. Yrs ago I bought hydraulic deprimers for 39/54s. Had more time than sense-retired now so back in the same boat and itching to scratch an old desire. Privi hopefully will have Berdans. Thanks for the tip on using the 303 die-pretty sharp.

jcwit
March 7, 2011, 05:07 PM
In the not to distant past, The Old West Scrounger carried Berdan primers. Its my understanding it is now owned by Navy Arms, whether they have primers or not, I have no idea.

J_McLeod
March 7, 2011, 07:45 PM
You can use a sinker large enough, or 00 buckshot pushed through the bore. The grooves in the barrel, will create lands on the lead, which will be the largest dimension measurable, and that will be the size of the jacketed bullet to use. You will need a decent set of Verniers or mics to measure to the thousandth.
Cast bullets need to be .001-.002 larger than the bore.
Most Mosins run .311-.312 if the barrel is in decent condition. Some barrels may have experienced some wear at the muzzle from cleaning.



NCsmitty
So all I would need to do is find a fishing line sinker slightly larger than .312, shove it through the barrel with a cleaning rod and measure it with a caliper? Would it damage the rifling any?

35 Whelen
March 7, 2011, 08:35 PM
Slugging the bore is a tad bit more complicated than that. Here's how I do it:

First find a lead ball or sinker of suitable diameter. I use #0 buck but have to slightly flatten it out to increase the diameter. If you have any 12 ga. 00 buck loads, cut one open and you'll have enough to do several rifles.

Next, stand the rifle vertical with the butt solidly resting on the floor. I do this and lightly clamp the forearm/barrel in a vise using wooden jaws.

Now, lightly oil the lead ball or sinker you intend to use with something like Break Free CLP. Just a light coating is all it takes. Set the lead ball on the muzzle and begin tapping it in the muzzle with something like a brass-faced hammer or mallet. If you're really careful, you can use a steel headed hammer, but don't whack the muzzle of your rifle!
Now the lead ball should be started in the muzzle. At this point I use a 6" piece of 1/4" oak dowel and a 2 lb. sledge to tap the lead ball down in the muzzle as far as the dowel will allow. Some people don't like to use wood, but I've never had a single problem. If it bothers you, use a piece of 1/4" brass rod....but NO STEEL.

By now, the lead ball should be pretty well formed to the inside of the barrel. At this point, 90% of the time, I can push the ball the remainder of the way through the barrel with a 36" piece of 1/4" oak dowel. Sometimes I have to tap it if there's a tight spot in the barrel. Again, if you're not comfortable using a wooden dowel, a piece of 1/4" brass rod will work perfectly.

However you choose to do so, push the ball through the barrel until if falls out of the chamber and onto the bolt face. Carefully take it out and measure it preferably with a micrometer.

Two things that are important:
#1- Do NOT use a little piss-ant light weight hammer to try to knock the ball through. You'll wear yourself out and if you use a wooden dowel, you stand a much greater chance of splintering it whacking it repeatedly with a lightweight hammer than you do using a few heavy blows with a nice heavy one.
#2- If you're only going to shoot jacketed bullets, it's not near as critical that you slug your bore. No harm in it, but every Mosin I've slugged was .310" to .312" and required a jacketed bullet in that range. If you ever decide to shoot cast (which is about all I shoot in my milsurps), then it's nice to know the groove diameter of you rifles bore so you can size the bullets .001" or so over groove diameter.

Good luck!
35W

J_McLeod
March 7, 2011, 09:39 PM
Slugging the bore is a tad bit more complicated than that. Here's how I do it:

First find a lead ball or sinker of suitable diameter. I use #0 buck but have to slightly flatten it out to increase the diameter. If you have any 12 ga. 00 buck loads, cut one open and you'll have enough to do several rifles.

Next, stand the rifle vertical with the butt solidly resting on the floor. I do this and lightly clamp the forearm/barrel in a vise using wooden jaws.

Now, lightly oil the lead ball or sinker you intend to use with something like Break Free CLP. Just a light coating is all it takes. Set the lead ball on the muzzle and begin tapping it in the muzzle with something like a brass-faced hammer or mallet. If you're really careful, you can use a steel headed hammer, but don't whack the muzzle of your rifle!
Now the lead ball should be started in the muzzle. At this point I use a 6" piece of 1/4" oak dowel and a 2 lb. sledge to tap the lead ball down in the muzzle as far as the dowel will allow. Some people don't like to use wood, but I've never had a single problem. If it bothers you, use a piece of 1/4" brass rod....but NO STEEL.

By now, the lead ball should be pretty well formed to the inside of the barrel. At this point, 90% of the time, I can push the ball the remainder of the way through the barrel with a 36" piece of 1/4" oak dowel. Sometimes I have to tap it if there's a tight spot in the barrel. Again, if you're not comfortable using a wooden dowel, a piece of 1/4" brass rod will work perfectly.

However you choose to do so, push the ball through the barrel until if falls out of the chamber and onto the bolt face. Carefully take it out and measure it preferably with a micrometer.

Two things that are important:
#1- Do NOT use a little piss-ant light weight hammer to try to knock the ball through. You'll wear yourself out and if you use a wooden dowel, you stand a much greater chance of splintering it whacking it repeatedly with a lightweight hammer than you do using a few heavy blows with a nice heavy one.
#2- If you're only going to shoot jacketed bullets, it's not near as critical that you slug your bore. No harm in it, but every Mosin I've slugged was .310" to .312" and required a jacketed bullet in that range. If you ever decide to shoot cast (which is about all I shoot in my milsurps), then it's nice to know the groove diameter of you rifles bore so you can size the bullets .001" or so over groove diameter.

Good luck!
35W
Very helpful. What would you do differently to slug a pistol barrel?

So far I've only loaded jacketed bullets. But the cost saving from cast bullets are attractive and I'm considering cast bullets as well.

35 Whelen
March 7, 2011, 10:20 PM
Very helpful. What would you do differently to slug a pistol barrel?

So far I've only loaded jacketed bullets. But the cost saving from cast bullets are attractive and I'm considering cast bullets as well.

With a pistol I would clamp the whole thing in a vise if it were a revolver. If an automatic, I'd remove the barrel and clamp it in a vise. Other than that, same principle.

Cast bullets are MUCH cheaper especially if you cast your own. I'm to the point that I shoot cast exclusively out of my handguns....all five of them. And out of my rifles I shoot all cast except jacketed for elk and deer over 100 yds.

35W

J_McLeod
March 7, 2011, 10:30 PM
With a pistol I would clamp the whole thing in a vise if it were a revolver. If an automatic, I'd remove the barrel and clamp it in a vise. Other than that, same principle.

Cast bullets are MUCH cheaper especially if you cast your own. I'm to the point that I shoot cast exclusively out of my handguns....all five of them. And out of my rifles I shoot all cast except jacketed for elk and deer over 100 yds.

35W
Do you have any issues with leading? My primary range gun is an XD9. I'm reading old threads now trying to find out more about shooting cast bullets. Just starting, so it'll be a while before I start casting my own, if I do.

35 Whelen
March 7, 2011, 10:44 PM
No issues with leading at all. A properly sized lead bullet of the correct alloy won't lead.

Go here: Cast Boolit website. (http://www.castboolits.gunloads.com/) TONS of info.
35W

J_McLeod
March 7, 2011, 10:49 PM
Thanks.

jcwit
March 7, 2011, 11:21 PM
No issues with leading at all. A properly sized lead bullet of the correct alloy won't lead.



After years and years of casting and shooting .32 ACP, 40 S&W, 45 ACP, .30 cal. carbine, and 7.62 x 39, I do wish I could find the secret to 9 mm and no leading. Thank goodness its not hard to clean out.

donkee
March 8, 2011, 08:17 AM
Graff & Sons also list 7.62 x 54 brass as in stock.

a dollar a pop is pretty expensive for the Lapua. I wish they would the the Prvi back in.

I have a couple leads on 54R brass. If they check out I'll let you know.

They didn't check out. I have no idea where to get reasonably priced 54R brass.

winchester1886
March 14, 2011, 12:16 AM
I set out to develop a lead bullet load for my 7.62x54 just for the fun of it.I have a Lyman mold that is a 190gr spitzer w/ gas check and sized to .311. I used Winchester brass Winchester LR primer,26.0grs of IMR 4198. It's shoot's a good group at 75 yards I didn't test it any further out than that.

35 Whelen
March 14, 2011, 03:40 AM
I set out to develop a lead bullet load for my 7.62x54 just for the fun of it.I have a Lyman mold that is a 190gr spitzer w/ gas check and sized to .311. I used Winchester brass Winchester LR primer,26.0grs of IMR 4198. It's shoot's a good group at 75 yards I didn't test it any further out than that.

Good jpb! If you have any Red Dot, try 13.0 grs. of it with that Lyman bullet. I'll almost guarantee it'll be accurate.
35W

Wylie1
March 15, 2011, 02:05 AM
If you buy Lee Dies to reload this cartridge, for some reason the Decapping/Resizing die has a .308" stem.I wrote them an email asking why they would sell a .308 sizer with a 7.62 x 54r dies set and they sent me a .311 expander/de-capper free of charge.
I have a 91/30 as well (counter bore cut off and recrowned) and my best loads were 48 grains of Hodgdons 4350, both Sierra Match Kings #2314 and Hornady's #3131 did about 2" groups from 100 yards out.

If you are going to hunt with what you are reloading stick to the Sierras because the Hornadys are FMJs.

I forgot about the primers, they are Federals large rifle primers and Lapua Brass.

FROGO207
March 15, 2011, 11:44 PM
If you are looking for OF brass I have had OK luck finding it on GunBroker in the past. The key to it is put in your max price you are willing to spend and let the proxy bid do it's job. I win some, I loose some. I recently got some for .40 a casing and got 135 of them. You just have to be patient and the brass will show up there for you to bid on. You might also place a WTB add in the trading post here. Another member may have some to sell you at a deal.

4895
March 16, 2011, 04:20 AM
I have reloaded this round with much success. I would suggest that you buy 100 .308 bullets and load those first over IMR 4895 or Varget. .308 bullets are cheaper and much easier to find locally with the weights you want. I used 150 gr Sierra Matchking bullets with great success. You should slug the barrel to 'know' whats going on in there, but it isn't necessary. If you don't have a powder book yet, I would suggest the Sierra book. The loads listed on the 'low' side, are very low yield and the rifle kicks like a .22. Have fun and BE SAFE.

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