Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

7.62x54R Big Game Load

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Cosmoline, Jan 8, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    Woodleigh 215 grain .312" .303 bullet over 50 grains IMR 4350, deep seated by hand press.

    It took six long months of experimenting, but I finally found a really good load to launch the 215 Grain Woodleigh .312" thwappers out of a Mosin-Nagant. The extreme length of the round and its very high ogive presented problems and made the bullet more sensitive than usual to variations in load types. Most of my test handloads went far afield--by as much as a foot off center and in a pieplate group. But this one has given me a high 1" group dead on center axis out of my Tikka 91/30 and also a good group out of my M-91 PTG. I use 50 grains of IMR 4350 and set the bullet into the powder by hand press with as low an ogive as possible.

    I have not chronographed the round yet, but the charts indicate I should be getting about 2,350 to 2,400 fps out of a long Mosin, which calculates to over 2700 ft. lbs. of impact energy at the muzzle.

    These big RN woodleighs have racked up an awesome kill record on big game worldwide out of the .303 British, but are not well known stateside. They have an exceptionally high sectional density and are specially designed to mushroom at moderate velocities out old military rifles. There is no, repeat *NO* comparison between these bullets and the 200 grain SP Wolf bullets. The Woodleighs are world-class big game bullets designed to do the job and have been getting great reviews. The Wolf bullets are little more than FMJ's with their tips shaved off and there are a number of on-line reports of them exploding on impact. Fine for deer, for sure--but if you're going after bruins, elk or moose the Woodleighs are a better bet.

    I plan on using these as a moose and black bear load, but they would work well for any North American big game inside 200 yards. At close range I'd trust them more than most magnums against brown bear.
     
  2. Catshooter

    Catshooter Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Messages:
    384
    Location:
    south east South Dakota
    Thanks Cosmo, that's good info.


    Cat
     
  3. Clark

    Clark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    4,247
    Location:
    Where I5 meets the rain forest
    CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

    Nagant 7.62x54R, 28.25" recrowned barrel, 8.25 pounds, 3" average
    history, pillar bedded front and rear, glass bedded

    49 gr. IMR4895, 180 gr. Sierra 2310, 3.002":
    measured 2873 fps,
    1.5" 5 shot group @50 yards
    3301 foot pounds

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Catshooter

    Catshooter Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Messages:
    384
    Location:
    south east South Dakota
    Thanks to you too, Clark.

    As allways, your posts are helpful & informative.


    Cat
     
  5. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    What kind of Mosin was that, Clark? You should be able to do better than 3" average with all that bedding. ALso--what diameter bullets were you using? If that's a USSR 91/30 as it appears to be, you may want to increase diameter.
     
  6. Clark

    Clark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    4,247
    Location:
    Where I5 meets the rain forest
  7. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    I see, that's a good improvement.
     
  8. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    I had a chance to chronograph these recently. They're consistently in the 2,400 FPS range out of my Finnish 91/30. That's 2,749 ft lbs.! Velocity is a bit excessive for the bullet at point blank, but will be ideal out to 250 yards or more. And the reports on these rounds from the field is that they hit like a freight train on big game.
     
  9. BillinNH

    BillinNH Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Messages:
    401
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Cosmo, how would that load do in my 20" model 38 carbine? Would you recommend a faster powder for the shorter barrel? I hear nothing but good about those Woodleighs's and I do need a moose/black bear load.

    Thanks.

    Bill
     
  10. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    I've fired them out of my M-44 and they seem to do fine. There's a bit of excess flash but it's not as bad as Albanian. You can cure any of that and excess recoil by backing the load off a few grains. As it is it's just about at the maximum setting for safety. You'll lose a bit of velocity out of the 20" barrel, but that's actually a good thing for close range work. 2,000 to 2,200 is about ideal for those Woodleighs. Even at reduced velocity that load will send a black bear into next week.
     
  11. BillinNH

    BillinNH Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Messages:
    401
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    <I've fired them out of my M-44 and they seem to do fine. There's a bit of excess flash but it's not as bad as Albanian. You can cure any of that and excess recoil by backing the load off a few grains. As it is it's just about at the maximum setting for safety. You'll lose a bit of velocity out of the 20" barrel, but that's actually a good thing for close range work. 2,000 to 2,200 is about ideal for those Woodleighs. Even at reduced velocity that load will send a black bear into next week.>

    That's very encouraging. Thanks much for the input. I will definitely work up a load, slowly. Any tips on a source for the Woodleighs? I'm, uh, frugal. :)

    Bill
     
  12. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    Midway is the only place I know of carrying them. I've written them a few times and they seem to be doing better about keeping a supply in stock. There were some in stock the last time I checked. They're not that cheap, but they're not as expensive as some high-end hunting bullets.
     
  13. Langenator

    Langenator Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    2,689
    Location:
    Ft Belvoir, VA
    Cosmo, what's the OAL for those?
     
  14. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    I've tried several lengths, but lately I've been minimizing it at about 2.8. The problem isn't so much the OAL as the ogive, which is very high on these slugs. Put a bullet in an unprimed case and use it as a tester to see if the ogive is jaming up. You may find you have more or less room to play with. If you have more room, as may be the case with older Russians, using it is a good idea. The further out you can set the bullet the less of the tail end will intrude into the shoulder area and the better accuracy will be. But you don't want it sticking into the lands before it's even fired.
     
  15. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,874
    Location:
    Texas
    I have three stone stock....

    Mosin Nagants that will do less than one inch at 50 meters with surplus ammo..........You guys need to work more on your loads......of course, that is the fun of reloading........and, I have old eyes.....With rifles and ammo that shoots this good, I don't bother to load 7.62x54r........chris3
     
  16. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    Update: I'm loading a new batch of these in some fresh Lapua brass for the spring. I'm backing off from 50 to 48 Grains of 4350. The suggested impact velocity on the Woodleighs is 1800 to 2200 fps, and at close range running 2400 fps that's a bit too fast for my liking. If they fall apart they won't do much good. Also, at 48 grains the bullet isn't compressing the powder very much.
     
  17. Langenator

    Langenator Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    2,689
    Location:
    Ft Belvoir, VA
    Next question: What kind of chamfering, if any, are you using on the various kinds of brass?
     
  18. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    I usually only chamfer when the bullets are soft lead and the fit is tight. When I use the hand press I'm able to use just enough pressure to get it to seat, and have not had problems with stripped off jacket. The Woodleigh's base seems quite durable and it's slightly rounded as well. I am using a .311" expander. If the fit is a bit too tight I will gently flare the mouth with a rn bullet, and then reseal it with the crimp die.
     
  19. Langenator

    Langenator Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    2,689
    Location:
    Ft Belvoir, VA
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page