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About to Embark on Nagant 7.62X38R.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Tolkachi Robotnik, Apr 16, 2013.

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  1. Tolkachi Robotnik

    Tolkachi Robotnik Member

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    Disclaimer necessary, as any loading data given herein is not a product of The High Road, any corporation or other institution, nor any individual. Whether this works is an artifact and cannot be interpolated into results for any future Nagant Revolver. In other words you are on your own. That said, I have read everything in four or five manuals about this project, and would appreciate any feedback other than the snidely.

    New dies and 32-20 cases sized through Lee. They fit in revolver and rotate round and round, fall out easy. Dies did not come with any load data. Revolver is an awesome specimen, I would hate to mess it up. Brass is .3 inches short of making the gas seal.

    From what I've read I have questions. Bullet is technically given as .306, and that matches from U. S. and Russian sources. Most anecdotal sources say use lead and .308 is okay. I tried a .308 jacketed bullet from the muzzle and did not believe that is what I'll try first. It would be THE ACID TEST.

    Shellholder came with dies is #6 for 32-20. I guess I will have to get one of those for the primer operation, a Lee handheld. I also am trying to make some brass from .223 Remington, and would like any information on how to get the center out of the full length resizing dies, as it was only half down when it came up short to the end.

    What do you Nagant Revolver loaders use to trim cases? Does a 30 Carbine Lee hand device work? My hack sawing is not perfectly square and I need to square up the .223 brass I'm working on.

    I could not find small pistol normal primers, they were all out. I have a thousand CCI 550 and would maybe start with 3 grains of one of the following I have from shotshell usage:

    Unique
    700X
    800X
    Green Dot

    or four or five grains of one of these:

    Blue Dot
    HS7

    This would be on order of .32 S&W Long amounts. I would expect the magnum primers to peak a pressure over that, but the loose fireforming brass, jump in cylinder, and large case capacity should make that work. Only real data seen is 3.8 grains of Bullseye (which I do not own), giving 900 fps.

    Any experiences here? Any comments of something similar tried and a cautionary tale or two? Feel free to PM if you don't want your namesake on anything. I may tie this pristine on the far side of a tree for first round fired.

    Thank you,
     
  2. Tolkachi Robotnik

    Tolkachi Robotnik Member

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    Now thinking SR 4756

    It looks like to me 3 grains of SR 4756 would give less pressure than the shotgun powders listed above.

    Anyone tried this powder in a Nagant?
     
  3. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    My only note with experience comes from loading 32-20. Walls are thin and distort easily. Lube must be a very thin layer to avoid bubbles in the walls. Sizing needs to be done with a slow and consistent stroke.

    Looking at my notes I have loaded 32-20 with Trail Boss 2.2 gr powder puff to 2.7 gr moderate. TB would be my first choice, it's made for low pressure.
    Green Dot 3.5 gr moderate
    Unique 3.5 gr mild to 5.5 gr heavy
    700-X 3.0 gr moderate
    800-X I haven't tried in 32-20, metering is horrible. If you have a scoop it's a different story.

    All of these with small rifle primers in either a Colt Army Special or SAA clone.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  4. JohnsXDM

    JohnsXDM Member

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  5. Tolkachi Robotnik

    Tolkachi Robotnik Member

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    Thanks. Good information.

    I swaged the bullets I'll try, to make them more uniform and a little smaller diameter. The barrel now shows grooves wider than they are now. Like the links, JohnXDM, most useful. I made up some cartridges and they look okay. There is a lot of empty space in them. They cost about same amount as surplus the first time, but after than if I ignore the brass, 20 cents a round.
     
  6. kingcheese

    kingcheese Member

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    Couldn't tell you. I use imr4227
     
  7. Tolkachi Robotnik

    Tolkachi Robotnik Member

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    First twenty worked.

    I had one too long and it did not work in wheel. It is 1.503 inches long. I will have to seat the bullet deeper and it will work.

    I used 2.9 grains of SR 4756 and 2.9 grains of Unique, with CCI 550 primers. They seemed slightly anemic but hit the target. Maybe the Unique rounds were a little spunkier but not by much.

    The rims on the 32-20 brass are thicker than the surplus 7.62X38R Russian rounds. It requires attention to moving the cartridges forward in the cylinder so it works, this action also makes the powder go up toward the bullet and away from the primer. The revolver is a lot dirtier than when shooting the jacketed surplus bullets.

    All the cases came out about as freely as before shooting. Pressures cannot be high. I may inch things up a bit and use 3 grains 700X next time, maybe it will burn more complete. There was quite a bit of flakes around the cone/front of cylinder. It will work out to twenty cents per round for purchased bullet 98 grains at 16 cents, a penny worth of powder, and 2.8 cents a primer. Hope brass lasts awhile, it cannot be worked very hard.
     
  8. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    Unique will clean up with higher pressure. If you have any red dot, use the bullseye starting load and work up.

    On trimming cases square, if you have a drill press chuck your case base up and lower it to a file or sanding block.
     
  9. Tolkachi Robotnik

    Tolkachi Robotnik Member

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    Three more tried, denied.

    With 3.5 grains of 800X, swaged to .311 98 grain lead cast, CCI 550 primer, a tight load with perhaps more power than I would like to consider, shot to point of impact of surplus.

    Green Dot at 3 grains a little stouter yet, shot to point of impact of surplus.

    700X at 3 grains not recommended, and what is with the white smoke? When lead burns what color is the smoke? These maybe did not pattern with the rest and made fliers. Also recoil at an unwelcome high level, about like 9mm.

    All came out of the cylinder loose and no apparent pressure from a rifle case inspection standard, but I would not recommend these at all. I looked it over close and everything seems okay.

    Maybe these would be better with standard small pistol primers.

    I will shoot the rest of them on a cold day, or pull them. To shoot them I will have to seat the bullets a little deeper because there is still a problem with some being too long. These impinge on the forcing cone/gas seal area and prevent the wheel from rotating. Micrometer sample of eight that included some that did not cycle: 1.442, 1.428, 1.445, 1.440, 1.443, 1.444, 1.452, 1.443. I would suggest overall length below 1.4 now. It may also have something to do with the over thick rims. What sort of 'in time' this revolver is in makes a big difference in what it will eat. I would warn they probably are all different in wear and fit.

    This would not be a good tool to shoot raccoons out of a tree directly overhead. The 32-20 brass try to fall out backwards. The surplus gas seal ammo does not do this. They do not actually fall out but then might cause trouble in the wheel movement.

    I found regular small pistol primers so will quit on the CCI 550 except for bottom feeding with SR 4756 and Unique. Those two seemed not to fully burn even with the magnum primer, and I wonder if the primer alone is extending the bullet out of chamber, causing lack of 'wad pressure', so to speak. Maybe I'll have to get a .357 Magnum to use up these 2.8 cent a piece magnum primers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  10. Tolkachi Robotnik

    Tolkachi Robotnik Member

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    Now it has to be rim clearance.

    For third time wheel not turning all the time. Overall length not a problem, depth of seating not a problem. It has to be wheel has insufficient clearance for the thick rims of 32-20 to come up to battery.

    I would guess it only happens on one hole in the cylinder. I'll run some used brass through it until I figure out where. It might need only a thousandth off the ratchet before it would work.
     
  11. winchester1886

    winchester1886 Member

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    Would it be to costly to have the cylinder reamed out to fit a 32 S&W Long?
     
  12. JohnsXDM

    JohnsXDM Member

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    Its late and I'm kinda brain dead right now but, I do know what you are talking about. The 32-20 rims are a bit thicker. There are you-tube vids that show how to shave them down but I went a different route. There is a part behind the trigger that pushes the cylinder forward to make the gas seal, I can't remember the name of it but that's the part that hits the case rim. I went on-line and ordered a couple of those parts and ground off just enough to make clearance. I ordered the new parts so I could put the guns back to original unmodified condition if I wanted too.
     
  13. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    Nagant

    You can find jacketed DEWCs for the Nagant cartridge at Graf and Sons.
    Yes, can use a .30 carbine sizing die.
    Making Nagant cases from .223..... You really have to want those cases. Labor intense.
    [​IMG]
    I have done it. For loads like these, I always go to Unique first. Start with two grains and then work up.
    Pete
     
  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Speaking of Graf & Sons, they have New Prvi Partizan 7.62X38R brass in stock. I'm only mentioning this because you are reporting the brass you are forming is coming up slightly short and not sealing.
    http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/23713

    Considering current prices of all components their price of $38.99/100 including shipping isn't all that bad. Although, for only $11 more you can buy 100 rounds of loaded ammo, shoot that ammo and have 100 pieces of once fired brass. That might be a better deal, ya think?
    http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/12577
     
  15. dogrunner

    dogrunner Member

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    I've a l941 Tula Nagant that has proven quite accurate with 3.5 gr. of BE. BUllet is a Lee 100 gr. hard cast (wheel weights) sized .308.

    Dies are Lee's slightly modified to push the projectile to the desired depth inside the casing.....really all you need do is install a plastic insert under the seating plug of the correct length. Adjust your crimp die and you'll wind up with a case that closely resembles the original odd Nagant crimp....

    I lube the bullets with stick alox in a Lyman sizer but also top the seated bullet (seated about 1/8 under case mouth) with Lee's liquid alox.

    Leading is no issue, even with a lightly pitted bbl.

    Got the cases from Graf's several years back............Starline. Also picked up some Bertram brass, but I'd counsel against it as the stuff is so hard it'l split all too easily and I see no point in having to anneal brand new stuff!

    You can use .32-20 brass, but you've gotta thin the rim on all the cases I've tried.

    Incidentally, the groups I got with mine at ten yards were single ragged hole ones, but that trigger in DA is rough to deal with....SA, is really not bad and I've toyed with the idea of picking up a spare mainspring with that in mind.


    One tip I'll pass on is that I experienced a breakage of the tiny 'V' spring that actuates the DA mechanism in the hammer.....I cobbled up a simple coil spring replacement by virtue of drilling a shallow hole in the DA part and installing the coil for a tight fit. Works great & I see no need to ever replace it.

    Things are what they are.......certainly no top of the line S&W retro target gun..........still, they work, are reliable and can be doggone accurate if you do your part.
     
  16. Tolkachi Robotnik

    Tolkachi Robotnik Member

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    Thanks everyone for information/responses.

    It is a single cylinder hole that doesn't give clearance. If I do not load that hole it will circle around fine enough for plinking. It would be repaired by a thousandth or two stoned off the cylinder ratchet, as said above. I might get out my micrometer and measure and see if it is longer than the others. The 32-20 brass I am using is not long enough for the gas seal. I suppose I could put a surplus non-reload round in the one low clearance hole.

    It has serial number on cylinder so is easy to tell which one doesn't work.

    So far the pistol shoots a little left, but I suppose that is to be expected considering where it came.:rolleyes:

    The brass will stretch out a little over time. I am not working it a whole lot, as I am not crimping anything in tight since gas seal is non-issue. More or less I want to shoot the revolver without paying 44 cents a round. It will cost only half or a quarter as much if I get many uses out of the brass. One piece discarded already after one firing and an attempt to resize, but it was bad to start.

    I'll report more when I have settled on a favorite load or two. I have not shot anything with standard pistol primers yet! With magnum CCI 550 it doesn't do too bad with SR 4756 and Unique at 3 grains. It does not seem to burn it all and it is not horrible recoil or anything worrisome. The Unique is a little hotter than the SR 4756. After brief experimentation I do not recommend CCI 550 primers with 700X, Green Dot, or any faster powder.
     
  17. thagunman

    thagunman Member

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    the cylinder doesnt need to be reamed out and will fire 32 s and w long as is
     
  18. dmmccarter

    dmmccarter Member

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    If you would like to replicate the velocity of the Military Surplus rounds using a cast bullet in a gas seal round, I'd suggest 5.1 gr of Trail Boss.

    You can find the details and the data here.

    I've also found Unique and IMR4227 to be great powders as well. I use them for my 1000+ ft/sec rounds.

     
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  19. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I still think it's a good idea to buy the correct brass since the ones you made are giving you a problem. (even though it was expected) Grafs has Prvi Partizan 7.62X38R ammo and brass in stock like I mentioned in Post#14. Fiocchi is also manufacturing ammo and brass for the 7.62X38R. Sportsman Guide has Fiocchi 7.62 Nagant ammo in stock for $29/50 rounds and IMO Fiocchi brass is much better than Prvi Partizan brass.

    Aim Surplus has PPU ammo for even cheaper than Grafs @ only $21.95.
    http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.a...PU+7.62+Nagant+98grn+FPJ+50rd+Box&groupid=124
    That might be the way to go but I really feel you should use real 7.62X38R brass instead of making your own because the rims are of the correct size on the real thing plus they are long enough to get the seal.
     
  20. evan price

    evan price Member

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    32 H&R Mag brass works fine, just load it with data for 32 H&R Mag, and it will work fine in the nagant.
     
  21. Tolkachi Robotnik

    Tolkachi Robotnik Member

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    I have found no real boxer brass as yet.

    So far I have found one side of cylinder drags on the 32-20 brass heads.

    The bore leaded up a little, probably due to the magnum primers I started with giving too much speed.

    I have not seen any ammo except for 1978 surplus, which shoot fine.

    I will still work on this, but will not alter the pistol with files or stones.

    Thanks for responses.

    The Lee 32-20 set is not known for easily forming true gas seal rounds, most that do that also own 30 carbine dies.
     
  22. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    Thanks you guys for sharing your experiences.

    The "forcing cone" in these revolvers is not really a forcing cone at all, but a square cut start to the rifling. I have not attempted to reload for it yet, but it seems to me that if the case mouth does not extend across the cylinder gap and approach the start of the rifling, the bullet will inevitably cant on its way across and leave gawdawful leading at the start of the rifling. Once the bullet is deformed like that, it can only continue to smear lead down the rest of the bore, I would think.

    C&H tool and die makes a die set for the cartridge which will load the cases exactly as they were, with the bullet jammed down inside, and an appropriate, heavy gage, crimp. When I begin the experimentation, it will be this die set I purchase. Lubing the cases does not frighten me or put me off in the least, especially when I end up with ammo that will have cases which bridge the gap and line up the bullet with the rifling.

    That is my $.02 anyways. :)

    I'll keep on reading here, as I am learning a whole lot.
     
  23. Duckdog

    Duckdog Member

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    I have about a dozen of these in my collection and they all shoot very good with a the Lee dies and the Starline 32/20 brass. I had one or two of them that stuck a bot, so what I did was take a nail, file and remove a bit off the brawl that moves the cylinder forward, and it fixes that problem.

    I shoot lee 90 Gr SWC and Lee 100 gr RN bullets over 4 gr of Unique with very good results. If you seat them so the bullet is flush with the case mouth, it should chrono about 1050 FPS. If you seat them far enough out so the cylinder rotates, you'll drop to 950 FPS.

    In either case, the 32/20 brass will hold up a long time. Also, go to Gunboards and look in the nagant revolver forum for more info.
     
  24. Twmaster

    Twmaster Member

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    I've been using 32-20 load data for my Nagant loadings. One thing to keep in mind, Lee dies are designed to use 32-20 brass. I have yet to try and replicate the original ammo.

    Somebody must have modified my Nagant as it has zero problems with rim thickness interfering with anything.

    I usually load my ammo to appear like 'conventional' ammo and it works great. I've also shot those DEWC plated pills Graf's sells. They shoot nice.

    These are Montana Bullet Works 98 grain lead. Here's a couple of pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Duckdog

    Duckdog Member

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    Many of mine work excellent with the 32/20 brass as is. Like I said, several had to have a small amount of the prawl that rests against the loaded round removed. These are actually a good revolver and are stouter than they are given credit for. One of the guys who is an expert on the Gunboards forums was laying out the specs on them and they can definitely handle 32/20 loads with ease. Hell, there are guys shooting modified cylinders for 7.62x25 in them, but they must not value their hands and eyes!
     
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