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Worth it to Reload 7.62x39?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Ohio Rifleman, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. Ohio Rifleman

    Ohio Rifleman Well-Known Member

    I'm considering starting to dabble in reloading. For the time being, the only ammo I'd be reloading would be 7.62x39 to feed my SKS. I don't like Wolf ammo because it is incredibly dirty, and it's painful for a shooter on a budget like myself to pay $9 for 20 rounds of ammo. I don't get out to the range very much, but that might change if I have access to inexpensive ammo. Suggestions? If I do get into reloading, what do I need, and where can I get it? Reloading also sounds like it would be kinda therapeutic too... Any thoughts on that?
  2. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    I got dies, bought some IMI brass, and was reloading my hunting ammo. But, I just shoot surplus. I can get it for about 6 bucks for 20, but I usually order it by the thousand. I have a couple thousand on hand right now, haven't ordered any bulk in a while and it's gone up since I did.

    I can't own a center fire rifle and not have dies for it and work up a load or three, just against my nature. :D If you're going to load plinking ammo, though, you're going to be 1) chasing brass and 2) you're going to find it hard to keep up with an auto's diet using a single stage press.
  3. Ohio Rifleman

    Ohio Rifleman Well-Known Member

    At the range once, I saw someone with an AR-15 with some kind of net or something on the side that catches the brass as it leaves the gun. Can you do that with an SKS?
  4. Starter52

    Starter52 Well-Known Member

    In my opinion it is not worthwhile to reload 7.62x39, 9x19, or .223 ammo.

    However, if I was paying $9 for a box of 7.62x39 ammo I would reconsider.
  5. Ohio Rifleman

    Ohio Rifleman Well-Known Member

    Here's the factory ammo I've bought-

    UMC Remington-20 round box-$9
    American Eagle-20 round box-$10
    Winchester "white box"-40 round box-around $20

    I don't know about other places, but where I am, it seems factory 7.62x39 is not cheap.
  6. noresttill

    noresttill Well-Known Member

    wolf is the only factor that keeps me from reloading 7.62Rus.

  7. Nickodemus

    Nickodemus Well-Known Member

    Your paying about $0.50/round while surplus is available, for shame :p

    I like Bear ammo for my SKS and if you search you can find it pretty cheap. Silver Bear and Brown Bear from Russia are getting harder to find but people generally still have Wolf ammo. Check out deals on cases and battle packs of military surplus ammo.

    I searched and just found this:
    At $0.15/round should make for good plinking fodder.
  8. Ditchtiger

    Ditchtiger Well-Known Member

    With prices going up reloading gets more worthwhile on surplus ammo. I picked up a Yugo with granade launcher for my reloadable ammo. You just switch the gas cut-off to the granade slot and the spent shell stays in the gun instead of flying 30ft. to the side.
  9. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    Not sure, might can get some sort of universal brass catcher. Check at http://www.midwayusa.com . If it's made, they probably have it.

    I think that Wolf I got, couple of boxes of hollow points I picked up the other day, was five and change. I used to get it for a little over 3 bucks a box in a pack of 100, but it went up a tad, now about 4 bucks a box in a pack of 100 ($20 a hundred). That's just at a local gun shop. I can order it by the thousand a lot cheaper.
  10. thmsfraz

    thmsfraz Member

    there is a local gun shop here that has wolf sks ammo for 3.25 a box of 20 i think they have a web site that you can order from bacon creek gun shop
  11. dfaugh

    dfaugh Well-Known Member

    Could be well worth it depending on the gun you have...While i use the "cheapo" (although not so cheap any more) Russian stuff for plinking, I get much better accuracy out of my SKSs with US factory ammo (and though I don't handload for it yet, I would expect simalr, or better accuracy from handloads.
  12. jlmurphy

    jlmurphy Well-Known Member

    You can load better ammo for the SKS with better components, keep in mind that the bullets have to be .311" or .312" and not .308, which limits the availability somewhat. I have a Dillon progressive, which make it even easier. Another problem is that the SKS, like many semi autos, is really hard on brass, and after just a few firings the cases have torn rims and dinged walls. Interestingly, I could never equal the velocity or the accuracy of factory Lapua FMJ ammo.
  13. ilbob

    ilbob Well-Known Member

    Reloading is part of the hobby and I reload for any gun I shoot on a regular basis.

    It is true that ammo for certain common calibers can often be purchased for not more than reloaded ammo costs you to make, but there is something about rolling your own that adds to the hobby somehow.

    Some guns beat the heck out of brass making reloading less attractive, as another poster mentioned.
  14. ocabj

    ocabj Well-Known Member

  15. Smokey Joe

    Smokey Joe Well-Known Member

    Reloading the 7.62x39

    I reload for my SKS. The hardest part of that is when you play "Find All The Brass." IMX, you'd have to have quite a sizeable net to catch the empties. Never seen such a gun for flinging its brass All Over The Place--Straight up, hard right, out-to-the-front-right, straight forwards, even occasionally downwards, and I have actually had it fling brass up and to the left 1 or 2 times! Such enthusiasm!

    I simply plan on a brass recovery rate of 80-90%, and if I get more than that back it's a bonus. But short of completely surrounding the shooter and firearm with mesh, a net is not the solution.
  16. Ohio Rifleman

    Ohio Rifleman Well-Known Member

    Alright, there's a good possibility I'll get into reloading, so I'll ask this, point-blank: What exactly would I need to get started reloading ONLY 7.62x39? I can't afford to spend hundreds of dollars, so keep it cheap.
  17. pkm

    pkm Member

    I definately recommend making handloads for 7.62x39.
    I started it myself last year with a Lee anniversary kit wich was around 150$ and is the cheapest starter kit available here in Finland.
    Brass i bought at first but after the first winter i lost 60% in to the snow.
    Nowadays i use the brass that i find from the range. Its safe when one follows common sense on what to use. Vihtavuori N130 and N135 costs around 57$/kg here and you can make around 550-580 rounds from 1kg (2pds).
    Boxer primers 5-6cents a piece and berdan 7-8cents a piece.
    RCBS has an excellent hand tool for decapping berdan primers around 100$.
    When i load for accuracy and not for action shooting i use
    26,5grains of N130, lapua brass and lapua S405 123grain bullet in .311" diameter.

    With these my friends Sako RK92 (AK variant used here) always shoots 3" or less from 150yards and my bulgarian Arsenal Sar-M1 always under 5" from 150 yards using open sights- we don't believe in optics ;)

    The main reason i totally dropped wolf and other commercial cheap dirt was the time i bought 500rnds of faulty wolf. When you shook a round you could hear something rattling inside the bullet. 1 or 2 out of 5 would hit in the 12" area typical to wolf. Rest would hit 1yard from the aimed point at random.
  18. gandog56

    gandog56 Well-Known Member

    I don't think I would advise any new reloader to start right off with a progressive press. Too many things can go wrong. A single stage or rotary turrent press is what I would advise just so the reloader can get used to the steps and get a better understanding of what each step is actually doing. That said, I find too many surplus deals on that particular round to bother reloading it, even though I have the dies for it from when I had my old SKS. Too much time is spent looking for the empty cases, and an SKS can fling them anywhere and everywhere.
  19. GaryL

    GaryL Well-Known Member

    Wow, you really pay for the privaledge of reloading, don't you?
    At the local gun show Saturday, I picked up a box of 1k rifle primers (WLR) for < $20, including the tax. IMR4895 was < $20/lb at a local mom & pop gun shop, and I paid too much for a box of 50 30cal Nosler BT @ ~$17 (could have picked those up at the show Saturday for < $14).

    I haven't experienced any trouble with the Wolf grade ammo here, but lately the price has about doubled from a couple years ago.
  20. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Well-Known Member

    i reload 7.62x39 on a 650 using Accurate Arms 1680 and 125gr jacketed or cast and for giggles I use sabots to shoo t62 gr 223 bullets BUT I have a Ruger M77 MKII bolt. BTW the ball of fire from the sabot rounds is quite impressive and decently accurate

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