About to Embark on Nagant 7.62X38R.


Tolkachi Robotnik
April 16, 2013, 08:09 PM
Disclaimer necessary, as any loading data given herein is not a product of The High Road, any corporation or other institution, nor any individual. Whether this works is an artifact and cannot be interpolated into results for any future Nagant Revolver. In other words you are on your own. That said, I have read everything in four or five manuals about this project, and would appreciate any feedback other than the snidely.

New dies and 32-20 cases sized through Lee. They fit in revolver and rotate round and round, fall out easy. Dies did not come with any load data. Revolver is an awesome specimen, I would hate to mess it up. Brass is .3 inches short of making the gas seal.

From what I've read I have questions. Bullet is technically given as .306, and that matches from U. S. and Russian sources. Most anecdotal sources say use lead and .308 is okay. I tried a .308 jacketed bullet from the muzzle and did not believe that is what I'll try first. It would be THE ACID TEST.

Shellholder came with dies is #6 for 32-20. I guess I will have to get one of those for the primer operation, a Lee handheld. I also am trying to make some brass from .223 Remington, and would like any information on how to get the center out of the full length resizing dies, as it was only half down when it came up short to the end.

What do you Nagant Revolver loaders use to trim cases? Does a 30 Carbine Lee hand device work? My hack sawing is not perfectly square and I need to square up the .223 brass I'm working on.

I could not find small pistol normal primers, they were all out. I have a thousand CCI 550 and would maybe start with 3 grains of one of the following I have from shotshell usage:

Green Dot

or four or five grains of one of these:

Blue Dot

This would be on order of .32 S&W Long amounts. I would expect the magnum primers to peak a pressure over that, but the loose fireforming brass, jump in cylinder, and large case capacity should make that work. Only real data seen is 3.8 grains of Bullseye (which I do not own), giving 900 fps.

Any experiences here? Any comments of something similar tried and a cautionary tale or two? Feel free to PM if you don't want your namesake on anything. I may tie this pristine on the far side of a tree for first round fired.

Thank you,

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Tolkachi Robotnik
April 17, 2013, 10:00 PM
It looks like to me 3 grains of SR 4756 would give less pressure than the shotgun powders listed above.

Anyone tried this powder in a Nagant?

Jesse Heywood
April 17, 2013, 10:31 PM
My only note with experience comes from loading 32-20. Walls are thin and distort easily. Lube must be a very thin layer to avoid bubbles in the walls. Sizing needs to be done with a slow and consistent stroke.

Looking at my notes I have loaded 32-20 with Trail Boss 2.2 gr powder puff to 2.7 gr moderate. TB would be my first choice, it's made for low pressure.
Green Dot 3.5 gr moderate
Unique 3.5 gr mild to 5.5 gr heavy
700-X 3.0 gr moderate
800-X I haven't tried in 32-20, metering is horrible. If you have a scoop it's a different story.

All of these with small rifle primers in either a Colt Army Special or SAA clone.

April 18, 2013, 12:56 AM
http://www.surplusfirearm.com/2011/06/04/reloading-the-7-62-nagant-revolver/ There is a lot of good info here on reloading for Nagant.

Tolkachi Robotnik
April 18, 2013, 10:31 PM
I swaged the bullets I'll try, to make them more uniform and a little smaller diameter. The barrel now shows grooves wider than they are now. Like the links, JohnXDM, most useful. I made up some cartridges and they look okay. There is a lot of empty space in them. They cost about same amount as surplus the first time, but after than if I ignore the brass, 20 cents a round.

April 19, 2013, 05:46 PM
Couldn't tell you. I use imr4227

Tolkachi Robotnik
April 19, 2013, 09:30 PM
I had one too long and it did not work in wheel. It is 1.503 inches long. I will have to seat the bullet deeper and it will work.

I used 2.9 grains of SR 4756 and 2.9 grains of Unique, with CCI 550 primers. They seemed slightly anemic but hit the target. Maybe the Unique rounds were a little spunkier but not by much.

The rims on the 32-20 brass are thicker than the surplus 7.62X38R Russian rounds. It requires attention to moving the cartridges forward in the cylinder so it works, this action also makes the powder go up toward the bullet and away from the primer. The revolver is a lot dirtier than when shooting the jacketed surplus bullets.

All the cases came out about as freely as before shooting. Pressures cannot be high. I may inch things up a bit and use 3 grains 700X next time, maybe it will burn more complete. There was quite a bit of flakes around the cone/front of cylinder. It will work out to twenty cents per round for purchased bullet 98 grains at 16 cents, a penny worth of powder, and 2.8 cents a primer. Hope brass lasts awhile, it cannot be worked very hard.

Jesse Heywood
April 19, 2013, 10:12 PM
Unique will clean up with higher pressure. If you have any red dot, use the bullseye starting load and work up.

On trimming cases square, if you have a drill press chuck your case base up and lower it to a file or sanding block.

Tolkachi Robotnik
April 27, 2013, 07:58 PM
With 3.5 grains of 800X, swaged to .311 98 grain lead cast, CCI 550 primer, a tight load with perhaps more power than I would like to consider, shot to point of impact of surplus.

Green Dot at 3 grains a little stouter yet, shot to point of impact of surplus.

700X at 3 grains not recommended, and what is with the white smoke? When lead burns what color is the smoke? These maybe did not pattern with the rest and made fliers. Also recoil at an unwelcome high level, about like 9mm.

All came out of the cylinder loose and no apparent pressure from a rifle case inspection standard, but I would not recommend these at all. I looked it over close and everything seems okay.

Maybe these would be better with standard small pistol primers.

I will shoot the rest of them on a cold day, or pull them. To shoot them I will have to seat the bullets a little deeper because there is still a problem with some being too long. These impinge on the forcing cone/gas seal area and prevent the wheel from rotating. Micrometer sample of eight that included some that did not cycle: 1.442, 1.428, 1.445, 1.440, 1.443, 1.444, 1.452, 1.443. I would suggest overall length below 1.4 now. It may also have something to do with the over thick rims. What sort of 'in time' this revolver is in makes a big difference in what it will eat. I would warn they probably are all different in wear and fit.

This would not be a good tool to shoot raccoons out of a tree directly overhead. The 32-20 brass try to fall out backwards. The surplus gas seal ammo does not do this. They do not actually fall out but then might cause trouble in the wheel movement.

I found regular small pistol primers so will quit on the CCI 550 except for bottom feeding with SR 4756 and Unique. Those two seemed not to fully burn even with the magnum primer, and I wonder if the primer alone is extending the bullet out of chamber, causing lack of 'wad pressure', so to speak. Maybe I'll have to get a .357 Magnum to use up these 2.8 cent a piece magnum primers.

Tolkachi Robotnik
May 4, 2013, 06:23 PM
For third time wheel not turning all the time. Overall length not a problem, depth of seating not a problem. It has to be wheel has insufficient clearance for the thick rims of 32-20 to come up to battery.

I would guess it only happens on one hole in the cylinder. I'll run some used brass through it until I figure out where. It might need only a thousandth off the ratchet before it would work.

May 5, 2013, 12:12 AM
Would it be to costly to have the cylinder reamed out to fit a 32 S&W Long?

May 5, 2013, 01:21 AM
Its late and I'm kinda brain dead right now but, I do know what you are talking about. The 32-20 rims are a bit thicker. There are you-tube vids that show how to shave them down but I went a different route. There is a part behind the trigger that pushes the cylinder forward to make the gas seal, I can't remember the name of it but that's the part that hits the case rim. I went on-line and ordered a couple of those parts and ground off just enough to make clearance. I ordered the new parts so I could put the guns back to original unmodified condition if I wanted too.

Pete D.
May 5, 2013, 06:43 AM
You can find jacketed DEWCs for the Nagant cartridge at Graf and Sons.
Yes, can use a .30 carbine sizing die.
Making Nagant cases from .223..... You really have to want those cases. Labor intense.
http://i492.photobucket.com/albums/rr287/PeteDoyle/Nagantbrass.jpg (http://s492.photobucket.com/user/PeteDoyle/media/Nagantbrass.jpg.html)
I have done it. For loads like these, I always go to Unique first. Start with two grains and then work up.

May 5, 2013, 09:02 AM
Speaking of Graf & Sons, they have New Prvi Partizan 7.62X38R brass in stock. I'm only mentioning this because you are reporting the brass you are forming is coming up slightly short and not sealing.

Considering current prices of all components their price of $38.99/100 including shipping isn't all that bad. Although, for only $11 more you can buy 100 rounds of loaded ammo, shoot that ammo and have 100 pieces of once fired brass. That might be a better deal, ya think?

May 5, 2013, 10:28 AM
I've a l941 Tula Nagant that has proven quite accurate with 3.5 gr. of BE. BUllet is a Lee 100 gr. hard cast (wheel weights) sized .308.

Dies are Lee's slightly modified to push the projectile to the desired depth inside the casing.....really all you need do is install a plastic insert under the seating plug of the correct length. Adjust your crimp die and you'll wind up with a case that closely resembles the original odd Nagant crimp....

I lube the bullets with stick alox in a Lyman sizer but also top the seated bullet (seated about 1/8 under case mouth) with Lee's liquid alox.

Leading is no issue, even with a lightly pitted bbl.

Got the cases from Graf's several years back............Starline. Also picked up some Bertram brass, but I'd counsel against it as the stuff is so hard it'l split all too easily and I see no point in having to anneal brand new stuff!

You can use .32-20 brass, but you've gotta thin the rim on all the cases I've tried.

Incidentally, the groups I got with mine at ten yards were single ragged hole ones, but that trigger in DA is rough to deal with....SA, is really not bad and I've toyed with the idea of picking up a spare mainspring with that in mind.

One tip I'll pass on is that I experienced a breakage of the tiny 'V' spring that actuates the DA mechanism in the hammer.....I cobbled up a simple coil spring replacement by virtue of drilling a shallow hole in the DA part and installing the coil for a tight fit. Works great & I see no need to ever replace it.

Things are what they are.......certainly no top of the line S&W retro target gun..........still, they work, are reliable and can be doggone accurate if you do your part.

Tolkachi Robotnik
May 5, 2013, 08:02 PM
It is a single cylinder hole that doesn't give clearance. If I do not load that hole it will circle around fine enough for plinking. It would be repaired by a thousandth or two stoned off the cylinder ratchet, as said above. I might get out my micrometer and measure and see if it is longer than the others. The 32-20 brass I am using is not long enough for the gas seal. I suppose I could put a surplus non-reload round in the one low clearance hole.

It has serial number on cylinder so is easy to tell which one doesn't work.

So far the pistol shoots a little left, but I suppose that is to be expected considering where it came.:rolleyes:

The brass will stretch out a little over time. I am not working it a whole lot, as I am not crimping anything in tight since gas seal is non-issue. More or less I want to shoot the revolver without paying 44 cents a round. It will cost only half or a quarter as much if I get many uses out of the brass. One piece discarded already after one firing and an attempt to resize, but it was bad to start.

I'll report more when I have settled on a favorite load or two. I have not shot anything with standard pistol primers yet! With magnum CCI 550 it doesn't do too bad with SR 4756 and Unique at 3 grains. It does not seem to burn it all and it is not horrible recoil or anything worrisome. The Unique is a little hotter than the SR 4756. After brief experimentation I do not recommend CCI 550 primers with 700X, Green Dot, or any faster powder.

May 6, 2013, 12:47 AM
the cylinder doesnt need to be reamed out and will fire 32 s and w long as is

May 27, 2013, 11:20 PM
If you would like to replicate the velocity of the Military Surplus rounds using a cast bullet in a gas seal round, I'd suggest 5.1 gr of Trail Boss.

You can find the details and the data here (http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?201076-7-62x38r-MilSurplus-Replicated-Gas-Seal-Load-with-Cast-Boolit).

I've also found Unique and IMR4227 to be great powders as well. I use them for my 1000+ ft/sec rounds.

I have been working on a gas seal load that would replicate the velocity of a Military Surplus Nagant 7.62x38r round for a couple of months and thought I'd share what I found.

Boolit: Lyman 311008 FN 115GR
Case: PPU 7.62mm Nagant
Powder: Trailboss 5.1gr C
Primer: CCI 550
Dies: Lee M1 Carbine (with custom seating), Lee Universal Decapping, Lee Universal Expander (with custom flare die), custom crimp die.

Data: (taken from 10ft from the muzzel)
Test Round: 113 GR Cast Boolit Gas Seal
Hi Vel: 974
Low Vel: 834
Ave Vel: 907
Ext Spread: 140
Std Dev: 36
+1SD: 944
-1SD: 870

Basline: 108 GR Military Surplus Gas Seal Round
Hi Vel: 937
Low Vel: 846
Ave Vel: 900
Ext Spread: 91
Std Dev: 30
+1SD: 931
-1SD: 870


Let me know if you have any questions, if this is useful for you and if you have any feedback.


May 28, 2013, 06:00 AM
I still think it's a good idea to buy the correct brass since the ones you made are giving you a problem. (even though it was expected) Grafs has Prvi Partizan 7.62X38R ammo and brass in stock like I mentioned in Post#14. Fiocchi is also manufacturing ammo and brass for the 7.62X38R. Sportsman Guide has Fiocchi 7.62 Nagant ammo in stock for $29/50 rounds and IMO Fiocchi brass is much better than Prvi Partizan brass.

Aim Surplus has PPU ammo for even cheaper than Grafs @ only $21.95.
That might be the way to go but I really feel you should use real 7.62X38R brass instead of making your own because the rims are of the correct size on the real thing plus they are long enough to get the seal.

evan price
May 28, 2013, 06:42 AM
32 H&R Mag brass works fine, just load it with data for 32 H&R Mag, and it will work fine in the nagant.

Tolkachi Robotnik
May 28, 2013, 07:09 PM
So far I have found one side of cylinder drags on the 32-20 brass heads.

The bore leaded up a little, probably due to the magnum primers I started with giving too much speed.

I have not seen any ammo except for 1978 surplus, which shoot fine.

I will still work on this, but will not alter the pistol with files or stones.

Thanks for responses.

The Lee 32-20 set is not known for easily forming true gas seal rounds, most that do that also own 30 carbine dies.

May 29, 2013, 08:11 PM
So far I have found one side of cylinder drags on the 32-20 brass heads.

The bore leaded up a little, probably due to the magnum primers I started with giving too much speed.

I have not seen any ammo except for 1978 surplus, which shoot fine.

I will still work on this, but will not alter the pistol with files or stones.

Thanks for responses.

The Lee 32-20 set is not known for easily forming true gas seal rounds, most that do that also own 30 carbine dies.
Thanks you guys for sharing your experiences.

The "forcing cone" in these revolvers is not really a forcing cone at all, but a square cut start to the rifling. I have not attempted to reload for it yet, but it seems to me that if the case mouth does not extend across the cylinder gap and approach the start of the rifling, the bullet will inevitably cant on its way across and leave gawdawful leading at the start of the rifling. Once the bullet is deformed like that, it can only continue to smear lead down the rest of the bore, I would think.

C&H tool and die makes a die set for the cartridge which will load the cases exactly as they were, with the bullet jammed down inside, and an appropriate, heavy gage, crimp. When I begin the experimentation, it will be this die set I purchase. Lubing the cases does not frighten me or put me off in the least, especially when I end up with ammo that will have cases which bridge the gap and line up the bullet with the rifling.

That is my $.02 anyways. :)

I'll keep on reading here, as I am learning a whole lot.

May 29, 2013, 10:15 PM
I have about a dozen of these in my collection and they all shoot very good with a the Lee dies and the Starline 32/20 brass. I had one or two of them that stuck a bot, so what I did was take a nail, file and remove a bit off the brawl that moves the cylinder forward, and it fixes that problem.

I shoot lee 90 Gr SWC and Lee 100 gr RN bullets over 4 gr of Unique with very good results. If you seat them so the bullet is flush with the case mouth, it should chrono about 1050 FPS. If you seat them far enough out so the cylinder rotates, you'll drop to 950 FPS.

In either case, the 32/20 brass will hold up a long time. Also, go to Gunboards and look in the nagant revolver forum for more info.

May 30, 2013, 02:27 AM
I've been using 32-20 load data for my Nagant loadings. One thing to keep in mind, Lee dies are designed to use 32-20 brass. I have yet to try and replicate the original ammo.

Somebody must have modified my Nagant as it has zero problems with rim thickness interfering with anything.

I usually load my ammo to appear like 'conventional' ammo and it works great. I've also shot those DEWC plated pills Graf's sells. They shoot nice.

These are Montana Bullet Works 98 grain lead. Here's a couple of pics:



May 30, 2013, 05:24 PM
Many of mine work excellent with the 32/20 brass as is. Like I said, several had to have a small amount of the prawl that rests against the loaded round removed. These are actually a good revolver and are stouter than they are given credit for. One of the guys who is an expert on the Gunboards forums was laying out the specs on them and they can definitely handle 32/20 loads with ease. Hell, there are guys shooting modified cylinders for 7.62x25 in them, but they must not value their hands and eyes!

Tolkachi Robotnik
June 1, 2013, 10:59 PM
I shot the pistol again today. It works well without filling the one hole that doesn't clear. I had thought it due to forcing cone, front of cylinder clearance, but it was always back toward the firing pin on the pawls, ratchet and face plate that pushes the cylinder forward for the gas seal.

As Twmaster from Dallas showed above, I've made some with more of the bullet protruding like a standard revolver load. Although I have not shot these yet, I am fairly proud of them.

Hopefully I can get a photo up... Brass colored case is 1978 surplus Russian round in middle for comparison. I swaged these bullets as well to .311, and 800X at 3.1 grains. It does not always burn it well depending on aspect inside case.

I did order some Fiocchi for boxer primed full length cases as recommended above by others, don't know what I will do with them when they arrive. Will probably shoot a few to see how they do in comparison.

June 2, 2013, 02:14 AM
What shell holder are you guys reloading Fiocchi and and S&B using? These cases do not fit any of my shell holders.

Tolkachi Robotnik
June 2, 2013, 09:16 AM
Shellholders for .223 and 9mm are close, some use those for homemade brass. I also consider it likely a small thin washer over the cases would make the 7.62X38 fit the 32-20 shellholder. As they are the rims are minuscule and one of worst traits of the round.

June 2, 2013, 10:37 AM
Any of you guys been able to do anything about the 50# trigger pull on these revolvers yet? The tiny handle, combined with the horrific trigger pull, make it difficult for me to enjoy the experience of shooting this revolver.

I think I'll get the C&H Tool and Die dies for this cartridge, and report back what I learn.

June 2, 2013, 11:18 AM
Yup, there's a way to reduce the trigger pull. You have to install a small spacer, or nut, in the mainspring. Try going here: http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=56731

If not, google nagant revolver trigger job. This is actually in the original armourer's manual that the Ruskies had. It does work, but don't get the nut too big or you'll have issues with the cylinder advancing.

Tolkachi Robotnik
June 2, 2013, 11:19 AM
The revolvers are doing quite a bit with that trigger pull in double action. The cylinder is lined up and brought forward against a spring. The faceplace pushes forward, and all the things that other revolvers do are also accomplished. I have not been able to shoot mine well in DA. I think for true target work a more expensive model might be a lot better.

You can take the spring out of the middle of the cylinder and clean that area. There could be something hanging up there that would make you specimen even heavier of DA pull. Just turn that indenting piece on front of cylinder until the marks line up in the front and it comes apart. Most will have cosmoline in there (and everywhere). Something lighter for metal protection might make a difference.

In the older videos the people shooting these look more like Alexander Hamilton at a duel. All one hand holds and extended arms etc. The short handle with that specific geometry is harbinger from that era. The pistols don't rock and roll enough to need a very ergonomic handle though. I suppose the grip could have alterations made and extended.

Except for mine having leftist leanings I am surprised at how well it shoots considering age etc.

June 2, 2013, 11:35 AM
This got me looking, and the Ruskies used a bullet that was flattened out while retaining the rounded edges, for this purpose.

June 2, 2013, 11:53 AM
IF you want to modify your Nagant for 32-20 brass, I found it easiest to just buy another recoil plate:


And file down the face a few thousandths to allow for the thicker rims of the brass. My digital reloading calipers measured the difference in rim thickness between surplus ammo and 32-20 brass and I adjusted the new spare recoil plate by that much and a hair more. I saved the OEM part for 'historical value-lol

The modified plate does not affect using surplus or new manufacture (like PRVI) Nagant 7.62x34R ammo.

FWIW I use a load of Win231/HP-38, a Berry plated .312 bullet and an OAL of 1.5".

As to the DA pull.....it is a real charcter builder - LOL - you won't see this beast in any of Miculek's speed shooting videos.

June 3, 2013, 12:57 AM
IF you want to modify your Nagant for 32-20 brass, I found it easiest to just buy another recoil plate:


And file down the face a few thousandths to allow for the thicker rims of the brass. My digital reloading calipers measured the difference in rim thickness between surplus ammo and 32-20 brass and I adjusted the new spare recoil plate by that much and a hair more. I saved the OEM part for 'historical value-lol

The modified plate does not affect using surplus or new manufacture (like PRVI) Nagant 7.62x34R ammo.

FWIW I use a load of Win231/HP-38, a Berry plated .312 bullet and an OAL of 1.5".

As to the DA pull.....it is a real charcter builder - LOL - you won't see this beast in any of Miculek's speed shooting videos.
That's exactly what I did. The replacement part was cheap enough so I did not have to worry about screwing it up.

June 3, 2013, 12:30 PM
I joined two Mosin collector forums for my 91/30 rifle and my Nagant pistol -great info resources but they can get kinda 'snarky' when it comes to modifying these firearms.

I am in the group that believes that if they held some great 'historic' significance they wouldn't be so low cost and readily available. I say it's my gun, I paid for it, and I'll do whatever I want to it. Neither my rifle nor pistol are 'rare' versions, just standard Russian military refurbs.

Romeo 33 Delta
June 3, 2013, 01:04 PM
On my Nagant, I've found that Starline 32/20 brass has a slightly thinner rim than R-P brass ... and works just fine without having to mess with it.

I use both Starline 32/20 and Fiocchi 7.62 Nagant for reloading ... of course with different die sets.

Comrade Mike
June 3, 2013, 01:14 PM
Trail boss

June 3, 2013, 03:45 PM
Did anyone try 327 fed Brass? I would like to try it just askin.

Tolkachi Robotnik
July 6, 2013, 10:48 PM
I used same dies from Lee, really a cross set for 32-20. Shellholder used a 9mm, as the 32-20 shellholder has way too much slop, 9mm an improvement. De-primed with Lee Universal, as it might not line up perfect and would be a pressure on the original resizer for 32-20, rod might not line up as well and break.

Tried re-sized brass in cylinder, they fit in and cycled.

Primed with Lee handheld tool and again 9mm shellholder. This worked well enough, so far so good.

Three grains 800X after belling case mouth. Did not try cases after belling operation, this was mistake.

Loaded one bullet, a 95 grain semi-wad cutter. It seemed tight and shaved some lead seating with more than normal force necessary. Learned it would not go in cylinder, because bell out was too much at end of cartridge. Brass PPU cases are much thicker than the 32-20 cases I've been using. Cartridges are visibly swelled at the ends. A better centered shellholder might make things slightly better but do not know if they would work even then.

Any comments or suggestions on how to do this right? I suppose best choice is deeper seating and a crimp of the end of cartridge. Most people seem to be using .30 carbine dies to do this. This would increase pressure compared to loads I've been making. The thicker brass has to increase sheer torsion as the bullet starts.

Fairly comfortable now with the 32-20 brass, 3 grains 800X, WSP primer, and either 95 or 98 grain bullets swaged to .311. This is not a load from any manual and not a product of The High Road, any institution, and your results may vary. It is not weaker than surplus or PPU loads by my estimation, shoots to similar area of paper.

July 7, 2013, 12:46 AM
Here's how I do this with proper Nagant brass.


October 18, 2013, 04:54 PM
Here is another old THR thread on reloading this round. I found it by googling, and it reminded me that I haven't signed in here for too long;


It was suggested that turning the neck sizing insert from the Lee dies upside down would sort of crimp the case. It was also suggested using a .221 fireball die to crimp. Well. I tried the upside down trick but the funnel end of the insert was too rough, 'though it did sort-of crimp the case mouth. I then dug out an RCBS .222 sizing die, removed the depriming punch, and crimped with that. It went much easier and made a neat roll crimp. It works, at least in single action mode.

I use PPU cases I got from tradeexcanada.com. (Cases don't travel well across the great undefended border!) I load .30-100 LEE cast bullets. After seating the bullet as far as the die sets it, I use a LEE universal case flaring die with the small pointy cone to push the bullet just below the case mouth, then finally put just enough of a roll crimp with the .222 die.

I see a lot of powder suggestions but I am going to try a few rounds of 4.0 gr. HERCO

Mike 56
October 20, 2013, 01:12 AM
I have been doing alot of reloading for my M95 Nagant. My barrel slugs out at .312. I have been loading Home cast Lee 90gr SWC sized .314. I load Starline 32-20, 7.62x38R as well as 32acp brass (I have a 32acpcylinder). I use Lee M95 Nagant die set I just remove the decapping rod for sizing 7.62x38R brass I sizes them no problem. I use a Lee#21 shell holder for Nagant brass. To seat the bullets I seat them as far as i can with the screw in the seater as per Lee's instructions and finish seating the bullet below the case mouth using a sizing stim from a Lee .309 bullet sizing kit or I guess you could just a longer screw. I use the sizing die without the decapping rod to crimp the finished case. My gas seal ammo is work in progress my starting loads using 2.7gr unquie and 1.7gr of Bullseye both have out performed Flocchi gas seal ammo.

With 32-20 brass using 3.5 Trail Boss worked best Best for when seating the bullets just far enough for the gun to work. When I used other pistol powders my loads warn't consistent and had a lot of unburnt powder. Using a starting load 1.7 of bullseye I seated the bullets in the 32-20 cases like the gas seal ammo below the case mouth it worked really well. Seating the bullets below the case mouth using 32acp starting loads and working up from there is the way to go.

I used the Same 1.7 gr bullseye load for the 32acp cases. Both non gas seal loads out performd the gas seal loads and had plenty of Room to work up.

Tolkachi Robotnik
October 20, 2013, 10:43 AM
Also, the #21 Lee shel lholder does seem to be best for original PPU 7.62X38R brass as I've read somewhere else. I have not found one yet, suppose I would have to order it. It is unlikely to be on a shelf somewhere.

I will keep using the 3 grain 800X load as it seems consistent and the unburnt powder is just a cleaning annoyance. I am sure it varies depending on case aspect, how much doesn't burn.

Mike 56
October 20, 2013, 09:12 PM
I don't have much unburned powder in Nagant gas seal cases but when i used Unique and Bullseye powder in 32-20 cases with out seating the bullets deep in the cases i had a lot of unburned powder. The reason i like Bullseye powder is it is not position sensitive. I load cast bullets in 54r and x39 cases using 700x, unique, Red Dot, Herco, Bullseye and 2400 with Bullseye and 2400 being my favorites. If 800x is shooting well for you if i was you i agree i would stick with it. This week i am going to bump up my Bullseye charges and i am going to try 70% Trail Boss charge and see what happens.

October 20, 2013, 11:23 PM
And it's spendy. Like almost $22 spendy.


For powder I load using .32-20 pistol data with W231 and have no issue with unburned powder.

I've not had good luck using .308 boolits as they are too loose in my brass. And like others my M1895 has a .312 bore.

Jesse Heywood
October 20, 2013, 11:35 PM
To lessen the unburnt 800-X try some magnum primers. They have helped with other handgun cartridges.

Mike 56
October 21, 2013, 12:02 AM
I bought a #21 6.8 SPC Lee shell holder for my auto prime it works perfect. I had a #19 9mm shell holder for my press i just opened it up a little with my dremel tool. Graff's has the Lee #21 shellholder for 3.59. http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/8339
Are you using Lee M95 Nagant dies? If you are try removing the decapping rod from your sizing die and size without it it might help. A lot of guys that use .308 bullets size their brass with a M1 Carbine sizing die. I have a Lee M1 Carbine FCD it makes a nice crimp with 32-20 brass. I was all so thinking about trying Mag primers. Graff's sells .308 Nagant bullets 12.00 a hundred.

October 21, 2013, 12:54 AM
I shoot a 6.8 so I do have the #21 holder now. The reloading thread I started last summer specifies me using that holder.

I never leave the decapping pin in any of my pistol dies. I decap all cases on a press I have set up with a universal decapping die. This way even the primer pockets get cleaned out.

I am using the Lee Nagant dies. I've had great luck with cast bullets in the Nagant and my .32-20 revolver so I'm just going to continue getting them sized to 312 and load away. I've almost always had issues with 308 pills just sliding into the case. No neck tension. combine that with a 312 bore and I'm just not into 308s. Which sucks because I have like 300 new Hornady 110 grain 30 carbine boolits on hand...

Mike 56
October 21, 2013, 12:35 PM
I read your Nagant reloading how-to nice write up. I like your 22LR case trick. I have been using a sizing stem out of a Lee .309 sizing it fits the seating die like it was made for it. The lands on my Nagant are .301 that should be enough to stabilize a .308 jacketed bullet. I have heard that pulled bullets from 7.62x25 shoot well in the Nagant. Anyway i have some and would like to try them. I want to buy a 30 carbine Lee loader and mod it for a on the go loading setup as well as being able to try .308 bullets.

Has anyone used M dies i have read they are great for expanding case necks for cast bullets. They make one in 30 carbine that just might be the ticket X38R brass. Getting .314 bullets in X38R cases is not a easy job. Right now i have been opening X38R, X54R and X39 cases using some cheap harbor Fright punches http://www.harborfreight.com/8-piece-punch-set-93424.html
I start by pushing the end of the punch that you hit with a hammer into the case mouth by hand. I use the 1/8 punch for this. Then i use the 1/4 punch to flair the case it does a nice tapered flair. lastly i open the case a little more with my Lee universal flaring die. I only need the flaring for X38R cases. Does anyone have a special way they open up X38R case mouths.

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