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7.62x53 Rimmed Russian reloading

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mookiie, Nov 25, 2010.

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  1. mookiie

    mookiie Member

    Sep 16, 2010
    I am thinking of starting to reload my 7.62x53 rimmed russian M91/30. I was just looking for some tips. I know that people say the barrels can be .308 or .311 so you should slug it first. Now this may be a stupid question but to slug a barrel do I just put a slug in it and tap it through with a metal rod to see how tight it is? Does anyone else have some general information that could help me?

  2. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    OK to slug a barrel you have the basic idea correct. First you need a soft lead slug of some sort that is known to be larger than the bore is. then using something softer than the barrel ( brass rod or dowel) gently tap it completely through. When retrieved the slug is measured and proper bullet size is selected from what is available or custom cast for the firearm. My Mosin likes .311 bullets the best.

    Should have added that you measure from outside to outside and the bullet selected is usually .001-.002 larger than that measurement to produce a good gas seal.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010
  3. keebo52

    keebo52 Member

    May 30, 2009
    South Mississippi
    Don't forget to lube the "slug" before you tap it through the bore.
  4. Old Scratch

    Old Scratch Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    Slugging is always a good idea, but having done so on a number of Russian/Soviet MNs I haven't seen much variation; they seem to run right at .310. I have had good success with Sierra .311 diameter bullets. 91 and 91/30 length barrels seem to favor IMR 4320 and H380. Long MNs can be sensitive to barrel temperature...points of impact will be seen to move as they heat up. Norma brass and RCBS dies have worked very well.

    Good luck!
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    The only .308" or .309" bore Mossys were the early Finnish ones made by SAKO or Valmet.

    If you have a Russian M91/30, it has a .310" or larger bore.

    That is not to say you have to use .310", .311", or .312" bullets in it.
    Some of them will shoot pretty well with .308" bullets too.

    The other thing is, some die sets come with both .308" and .311" expander plugs.
    Some do not.

    Should you end up with an .308" expander plug and .311" bullets you might want to change it.

    Should you end up with a .311" expander plug and use .308" bullets, you will have to change it.

  6. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    Los Anchorage
    RC has it.

    Just to clarify, 7.62x54R is the standard Mosin round. The Finns have the same thing using shorter brass and a narrower bullet called the 7.62x53R, but the distinction is irrelevant on all but some prewar Finnish Mosins and probably on some custom Scandinavian match rifles.

    There is actually a way to load .311" bullets with the .308" expander. It requires some special steps and a hand press though. You chamfer the mouth, then take the added step of belling it like a revolver round. You use another 54R shell bullet-first, then dreidel it around in there until the mouth bells slightly. You then ease the oversized round in through the bell using a hand press to feel your way gently. I do this on my Woodleighs because their very odd shape makes them fit too loose in the .311" expanded mouths.
  7. _N4Z_

    _N4Z_ Member

    Jun 6, 2005
    Michigander lost in... The Yonders, Oklahoma
    Significant bore variations are possible, with the typical Russian makes being on the large side.

    Slug it so you know your rifle.

    I have 3 Finns each with a unique bore dimension.

    Sako M28/30 1940 .311 over .301
    Sako M39 1942 .312 over .303
    B M39 1942 .311 over .299

    Both M39's shoot very well, though the larger bored Sako favors Hornady .312 slugs.
    The B barrel shoots Sierra's very well, both .308 and .311 flavor.
    The 28/30 is new to me and I've not got it figured out yet.
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