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7.62x54r Safe Minimum?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Joshua M. Smith, Oct 17, 2012.

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  1. Joshua M. Smith

    Joshua M. Smith Member

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    Hi All,

    As some of you know, I handload for the 7.62x54 rimmed Russian with great success.

    Most of my charges come from lots of trial and error, moreso than standard rounds because the data for this round is all over the place! One manual's minimum and is another manual's maximum for the same bullet, for example!

    I have some bullets I just can't get to shoot without major stringing. They are 174 grain round nose and have extremely long bearing surfaces. They seem to heat up the barrel much more than the others I use, which are 150 grain soft point and 174 grain SMK. The 150 grain does around 1.5MOA and the SMK, sub-MOA. Yes, from a Mosin, five shot strings.

    Anyway, I figure I'll do one more experiment with the round-nose bullets before giving up.

    This load will approximate the original 7.62x54R load, which was a 212 grain bullet at around 2050fps. I figure I'll send the 174 grain RN at around 2100 to 2200fps to try to keep the heat down a bit.

    Sooo... I'm looking at minimum loads now. As with max loads, the minimum loads are all over.

    I'd like to use Varget as I have a bunch of that stuff and save the H4350 for the SMK.

    I measured 61.5 grains of Varget as fitting into a 7.62x54r case, up to the neck, with a 70% starting load as being 43 grains.

    This agrees with Hodgdon's starting load, but I'd like to seat the bullet the full length of the neck as was done with the original.

    If I delete the case neck from the equation, I get a max fill of 54.7 grains with 70% being 38.3 grains.

    This is in line with the more conservative manuals.

    For the sake of consistency and safety, I'd like to avoid flashover (though I understand this is rare unless very light loads[/i] are considered). Consistent ignition is another issue.

    While the Mosin-Nagant action is pretty strong (with one gunsmithing school finding a compressed charge of Bullseye will only stretch the receiver!), I don't want to get near these pressures. I'm used to standard or lower pressures, with most of my precision being found in the 2500fps range for my particular rifle.

    Can anyone give me some guidance as to where I want to load this at? I intend to use the lightest load I can, as I stated previously, both for due to consideration for barrel heating and for safety's sake.

    Thank you very much!

    Josh
     
  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Hodgdon has load data for the 7.62X54R with bullets from 110gr all the way up to 220gr. I trust the powder manufacturer more than any printed manual because the site is always current. http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp
     
  3. morcey2

    morcey2 Member

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    Hodgdon data is based on a 0.308" bullet, not 0.311/312" bullet which would generally be more accurater. (proper english, at least where I live :) ) I use lots of their data and powder, but I don't know if I'd use their 7.62x54R data.

    Matt
     
  4. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    The bullet diameter difference won't change the load data in that caliber in any significant way. Of course don't go right to the max charge, start low and work up as usual. You're also assuming a .311" bullet will be more accurate than a .308" bullet. While that is probably the truth it's not always true. There are many Mosin Nagant rifles out there with tight barrels and almost all those made in Finland are .308". I think so are the ones made by Remington for Russia before the war.
     
  5. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    If you're ever really interested in doing that I've actually done some experiments over the years with the 215 grain Woodleigh .312" slugs and the Mosins. They're posted back some years ago in the reloading forum.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=146286

    After much tinkering, IMR 4350 was giving me the best results. My end load is stout (for bear) but IMR 4350 can be used for your lighter rounds as well.

    FWIW I've never been able to get Varget to work well with 54R. IMR 4350 is my go-to for bullets over 150 grains with that cartridge.
     
  6. docsleepy

    docsleepy Member

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    I use 42 grains Varget with 174 gr fmjbt .3105 and with the RN .311. I have the velocities at home but not here.
     
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