Reloading conundrum


December 2, 2012, 11:16 AM
Over the years, whenever I buy a firearm I also pick up the gear that is necessary for reloading that firearm. I've even gone so far as to (experimentally) reload ten rounds of .22 rimfire, just to prove to myself that I could.

So, this year I dedicated to getting a represetative group of military Mausers. This includes the 6.5 Swedish, 7mm Chilean, 7.65 Argentine, and 7.92 German chamberings.

The problem is, the only two things that these rifles have in common is that they don't like cast rounds and that they are all called Mausers.

If I bought the needed gear to reload all of these new acquisitions it would cost as much as another three or four rifles.

The question is, which of these calibers are worth the time and expense involved in reloading?

Remember, I am not a precision shooter - poor vision pretty much prevents this. I would be reloading for function, not for higher accuracy.

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Magnum Shooter
December 2, 2012, 12:19 PM
It would all depend on how much you plan on shooting each caliber. Surely a set of dies and shell holder (maybe a few other parts) can’t cost that much.

December 2, 2012, 12:51 PM
"There's only one way to eat and elephant, that's one bite at a time". You don't have to buy all the reloading stuff for all the rifles at once, do you? If you already reload, your only added expence would be dies and components (bullets and powder) and I'm sure you can use one powder in more than one rifle. If you don't currently reload, "Lee Loaders", the simple reloading set-up, are available in 6.5X55, and if you search for used ones you may find loaders for your other rifles.

IMO; all modern cartridges (boxer primed) are worth the time and effort to reload...

December 2, 2012, 12:51 PM
Those rifles all shoot cast lead well. For dies and 100 rounds of bullets for each rifle I only see $200 or so expense. They all can pretty much take the same powders and primers.

If you can get 3-4 more rifles for that $200 I'd like in on your source... :D

December 2, 2012, 09:13 PM
I'm already set up to load eleven types of cartridge plus casting for six black powder guns. Yeah, Lee Precision (or rather, Factory Sales) does make it more affordable, but it gripes me to pay $50 for the reloading gear for a $70 rifle - and I don't like Lee Loaders. :barf:

As for cast lead loads, I was going by the (lack of) listings in my load books.

If anyone can point me toward some reliable cast loads, I sure would aprecciate it!

December 2, 2012, 10:55 PM
Just my 2 cents. I wouldn't reload for the 8mm Mauser (7.92). Surplus ammo for that is so cheap. I just purchased 200 rounds at a gun show. $5 for a 25 round box. The price of some dies ($30) would net you 150 rds.

December 2, 2012, 11:17 PM
Waldo, you need to find a copy of the Lyman cast bullet handbook. There are vendors selling reproduction copies of the 1958 and 1973 book.

What I usually do for hard cast in large rifle cases is use what is called 'the load' (Google that)

It's 13 grains of Red-Dot with 150 grain and bigger cast pills. Almost dead nuts on at 100 yards.

Julian.. Beware of that surplus stuff. Some of it from east Europe is nasty from age and either will not fire or hang-fires. It's also corrosive. That last lot I had, I think it was Yugoslavian, had 40% duds.

December 3, 2012, 11:34 AM
Thanks, Twmaster.
I didn't find "the load", but I did find a site that included the old Lyman lead-load data. If I can cast my own bullets, the whole thing is much more attractive to me.

December 3, 2012, 12:21 PM

Try putting "the load" into quotes in google so it's a single search term ... everything you could want comes right up.

Note that the load is theoretically for 30 cal and larger but a little common sense makes the same info of value for slightly smaller calibers.

10 Spot Terminator
December 3, 2012, 02:06 PM

Thanks for listing the fine articles by Ed Harris on Red Dot powder and the pet universal load for .30 cal and above referred to as simply "The Load". Ed has helped me before on some of my cast load load dilemmas in my early days experimenting with casts. Great man with tons of knowledge and a whole lifetime of shooting massive amounts of casts . He is a guru to pay attention to. The subject of "The Load" never came up between us and I am grateful you posted the links. They are now on my favorites list to be printed later and added to my cast bullets refference scrapbook.

Thanks Again,
10 Spot

December 3, 2012, 02:07 PM
I'd suggest loading for the 6.5 Swede. Ammo's expensive and not too plentiful, at least not around here, and it responds well to some handloads. It's a great, flat shooting caliber, my favorite of the Mauser 'family'. YMMV...

Enjoy your new collection!

Romeo 33 Delta
December 3, 2012, 02:20 PM
First, buy Lee dies for these rifles ... the less-expensive and every-bit-as-good option ($20-$33 per set). Second, (I can't resist this one) bite the bullet and buy Privi ammo, 3 boxes (60 rounds) for each caliber. It's great brass and NC/Boxer and about $18/box. You get to shoot first and then have your brass for reloading. Primers is Primers ... all standard large rifle. Powder, I'd opt for H-4895 across the board. My loads for these 4 calibers are mid-30gr, so that's about 200 rounds per pound at 35.0gr per round. Bullets, yes, all different, but if you're not going nuts, buying 100 of each will NOT put you in the poor house ... just shop around. Now, I'm just guessing that you're NOT going to have multiple rifles in any given caliber, just a representative rifle in each caliber. If that's it ... I don't think you going to go broke on this venture ... and I guarantee that you'll have lots of fun.

At 68, my eyes are NOT what they were and I can't shoot with the youngsters anymore ... but I still love reloading ... civilian sporters or military surplus ... it's all a hoot! There are at least 50 different military calibers in my die rack ... yes, it's more than worth it. I don't shoot BE/C ammo by choice. I'd rather reload.

December 4, 2012, 07:51 PM
10 Spot - glad the links were of use...lot of good stuff by Ed around the web.

Prvi is good brass - cartridges at $15 / 20 or $73 / 100 below ...


December 5, 2012, 03:10 AM
You ask which of those to start with? ....The Swede would clearly be my 1st choice. It has a well deserved reputation as a highly regarded caliber.

You may need to buy boxer primed brass new, as you don't see much 6.5 x 55 for sale as used brass, but 6.5mm bullets can sometimes be found cheap at gun shows.

Both the current LEE and LYMAN reloading books have cast lead loading info for the Swede Mauser.

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