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7.62 x 39 questions

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Garage Dog, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Garage Dog

    Garage Dog New Member

    Mar 20, 2010
    I picked up some used 7.62x39 brass yesterday at a local gunshow. 650 to be exact. Also got 200 - 303 Speer 125 gr .311sp in the sealed box they come in, along with the brass. all for $100.00. I figured given mess we're in it couldn't hurt to have them on hand.

    I have reloaded aprox 10,000 rounds of 38 sp and 357 on my Lee Classic turret but that's it, so this is new territory for me. I have a Lymans 49 manual but it does not address a few question I have. It does say the Winchesters are large pistol primers and Remington's are small. This is good news because I don't have any large pistol primers.

    I have been separating the headstamps and also found other headstamps which are small pistol primers.

    Here's my questions:

    Will the same decapping die be used for both small and large primer removal?
    Will the ballistics be much different between the 2 primers?
    I'm guessing the shell holder will be the same for both large and small.

    Also, does anyone have a recipe for the 7.62x39 using Clays? I happen to have some on hand and would like to use it if possible. I have not found any data for Clays for this calaber so maybe it is not a suitable choice.
  2. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Mentor

    Dec 7, 2008
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    The first thing is that some of the brass may be Berdan primed. You should look into the casings with a flashlight and observe if you have a single large flash hole or two smaller ones that are not centered. If you have two flash holes they are Berdan primed and can't be reloaded with a standard set of dies alone. Also most of them have crimped primer pockets that will have to be reamed before you can install another primer. You have to lube the bodies of the brass well but do not get it on the shoulder or outside of the neck or you will get oil dents in the brass. The inside of the neck has to be lubed however. You should also check the cartridge length and trim as needed. There are a few propellants that will work with 7.62X39 but clays is way to fast to use for that. Take a cue from what the component combinations are in the load book and try to follow them as they would be the best choice for a good result. I use X-Treme bullets grain 123 .312 plated RNFP bullets with the appropriate propellant and they work well for plinking. Reloading bottle-necked bullets are a fair bit different than handgun loading so please read up on this before you start to stay safe.:)

    BTW some have had success with .308 bullets but I have not. The X39 was designed for a 123 grain pointed bullet.
    The same resizing die will work for both sized primers.
    The difference if any in the size of primer on the velocity will be negligible from what I have reloaded and shot so far.
    I would recommend Imperial sizing wax for bottle-necked brass and powdered motor mica as a neck lube. Both will last a long time before you use them up.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  3. greenlion

    greenlion Active Member

    Jul 26, 2009
    I don't know if clays would give you enough velocity to get the bullet out of the barrel. Are you trying to develop reduced loads for some reason? Unless you are, you need to look up powders actually used in 7.62x39 in a reloading manual.
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    The 7.62x39 DOES NOT use pistol primers, regardless of whether they are Lg or Sm primers.
    And the Lyman #49 manual makes no mention that it does.
    It says Win cases use Lg Rifle primers, and Rem cases use Sm Rifle primers.

    You might want to read that again.

    Clays IS NOT a usable powder in that caliber with jacketed bullets.

    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  5. dpote

    dpote New Member

    Apr 29, 2005
    South Dakota
    I reload a lot of 7.62X39. Small rifle primer, large rifle primer, and berdan primed as well.
    AA 1680 is a very good powder for this cartridge. I would not use Clays.
    If you get a set of LEE dies, they include load data.

  6. Garage Dog

    Garage Dog New Member

    Mar 20, 2010
    Yes, my mistake, it does say large and small RIFLE primers, not pistol.:banghead:

    Besides the Winchester in the large I have Fiocchi and PMC. The small are Remington and CBC. The CBC has a K stamped on each of them. They are all single hole so no issues there.

    I was planning on getting the Lee dies.

    I think these cased have already been reloaded so the primer pockets should reamed.
  7. Clark

    Clark Senior Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    Where I5 meets the rain forest
    I did reloading on the 7.62x39mm ~ 13 years ago.
    I glass bed, trigger job, cast steel scope mount drilled and tapped, turned off the gas system, careful concentric ammo with expensive bullets, etc. But I could not turn an SKS or an AK into a target gun with those military type barrels.

    I also gave up on FALs (308) and Garands (30-06).

    But in the semi auto mode, I have had accuracy with; AR15s, 10/22s, Ruger 44 carbine, and BARs in belted magnums.

    My guess is that if I started all over with a bolt action 7.62x39mm or put a bull barrel on an SKS or AK, I would do just fine.
  8. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Senior Member

    Jul 15, 2007
    South-Western North Carolina
    all of the fiochhi, winny and remmy, PP and PMC brass case is boxer primed.
    the yugo mil-surp and sako brass cases are berdan primed - however the sako brass is of a high quality and worth saving - the yugo is good also. I pick these up and wash them off in soapy water since yugo is corro-primed though.
    the sako is some really good shooting ammo if you can find it.
  9. kludge

    kludge Senior Member

    Jun 15, 2006
    Lee dies come (mine did anyway) with two expanders. Make sure to use the expander for your .311 bullets.

    +1 for Accurate 1680. Best 7.62x39 powder IMO.
    Reloader 7 also works.

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