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Reloading the 7.62x54R.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by midnattsolen, Jun 20, 2012.

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  1. midnattsolen

    midnattsolen Member

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    Hello all. I have some questions about reloading the 7.62x54R cartridge. The rifle is a Mosin-Nagant 91/30. The bore of the rifle slugs out to .312. Unfortunately the pickings seem very slim as far as .311 or .312 bullets go. So far all the information I have found on the internet for published data is for the .308 bullet. I have been away from the reloading hobby for about 15 years. My experience has been with .223 and .30-06. Right now we have 120 rounds of PPU ammunition with 150gr. soft point bullets. I measured the bullet as close to the case mouth as possible and came up with .310. I have been told that the PPU brass is boxer primed and reloadable. The few people who I have spoken to have said they use bullets meant for the .303 Brit round (.311 or .312) and have used powder reccomendations for the .308.

    My questions are as follows:
    1) Can anyone recommend a current reloading manual that has listed loads with the .311/.312 bullet ? I have looked at the powder manufacturers load data on their websites but they only list make, type and weight of bullet. No diameters are given.
    2) Is it o.k. to use load data for a manufacturer's .308 bullet as long as the .311 bullet is of the same weight and type ? I would start with minimum load and work up from there. I have in the past used load data from one manufacturer for another's bullet of the same weight and type after consulting the information from two separate load manuals (.308 diameter match type bullets - these loads were for an M-1 Garand). I always started with the recommended lowest powder charge and looked for any signs of excess pressure. These loads were very modest due to the operating system of the rifle. The rifle always functioned normally. However I didn't have to substitute a different diameter.

    All answers are appreciated.
     
  2. PSIN

    PSIN Member

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  3. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    IT DEPENDS
    the russians (one of a few makers) have a 311 bore (ish, depends on how worn etc.)
    much like the x39

    but then you have the Finns, they produced a smaller (if 3 thousands is considered smaller) bore (more standard to other nations) of .308

    SO it depends
    and finally, what shoots well in yours, is particular to yours, of all guns, many say a MN will shoot well (within limits of it's condition etc.) as long as you build a load that your gun likes, some like 308, some like 314, some shoot heavy better, some shoot light, you just gotta find what it likes to eat.

    Now, the next problem, since 308 is the standard '30 caliber' round in the US, that's what's often included in die sets, you need to read, the Lee dies sets include ONLY a .308 expander, while other (redding? Lyman?) include both.

    As for bullets, you can get x39 for light, any of the .32's for heavy to heavier and .303 brit for close to service (147-180) weights.
     
  4. Duckdog

    Duckdog Member

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    The Lee universal expanding die kit really does work pretty good for flaring just about any rifle case you can come up with within reason. If you have a Lee 4 turret press, you'll probably have an extra station anyway. I've had pretty good luck with cast bullets and Unique in this caliber. Nothing earth shattering, but in the 1600 fps range.
     
  5. midnattsolen

    midnattsolen Member

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    I'll have to look at the new Lyman book. My Lyman book is probably 20 years old. Lyman is actually in the next town over from me. The rifle is an Ishvesk. I've heard that Lee dies only have the .308 re-sizer ball and that RCBS comes with a .311 re-sizer installed ( may include .308). My guess is that .311 is going to be a better match for the barrel than .308. I wan't to make sure that the .308 powder data will work o.k. for a starting load.

    Thanks for the info.

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
  6. hang fire

    hang fire Member

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    The Finn M38 has a .310" bore so it wouid accept captured Soviet ammo. I think it was only one Finn model that was in .308".
     
  7. docsleepy

    docsleepy Member

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    My rifle slugged somewhere around 312. I have tried both 308 and 310 five in it so far. Surprisingly there wasn't a huge difference. My groups( three shot groups )at 100 yards are about 2 inches with the 308 and an inch and a half with the 310 five. (I should add that this is with a four power scope and a homemade scope mount that is detailed elsewhere. It was really a very rube Goldberg scope mount but works well. steady front rest, and a shoulder for the rear rest, no rear bag. )If you use the 308 dies from Lee, they will do fine with the 310 five bullet. It causes a small amount of additional neck tension, but not enough to really worry about. I got the 308 neck sizer die, and carefully made up some washers to build up a 3 mm space below the die. This keeps the 308
    Sizing just the neck of the 54R case. otherwise it might move into the shoulder, but I'm not certain. I glued the washers with simple contact glue because the pressure actually keeps them together when you use it.

    I've gotten best accuracy with full length sizing followed by next sizing which may improve concentricity but I haven't checked it. I just noticed my groups got a lot better when I did it that way.
     
  8. A Pause for the Coz

    A Pause for the Coz Member

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    You need to find a Lyman mold 314299.
    Your Mosin will love them. And Lyman's 49th lists loads for it.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  9. elwoodm

    elwoodm Member

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    get the rcbs neck sizer p/n 29030 it has the 308 and 311 in it. all my russian 7.62x54R use .311 bullets with bores from .312 to .314. sierra and speer make good bullets in .311 when you can find them from 125gr to 180gr. i like the sierra 174gr hpbt. 308 and .310 data is about the same as .311 just match weight of bullet as for col depending on weight and style of round can go from 2.81 to 2.98 using the 125gr as the shortest to 174gr hpbt as the longest. i use the data from lee second ed and hornady 8th ed. now if we can just get everybody from sucking up all the .311 bullets.
     
  10. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I've been using that data for over a decade now. HOWEVER I do try to cross check with multiple manuals and I add a dose of common sense. I have seen some really wonky loads printed up that I suspect were the product of error due to the limited materials. When it comes to 54R I never trust just one printed source for a load.

    The pre-war Finns tended to have a variety of odd bore sizes and chamber shapes. But those are rare birds.
     
  11. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Member

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    i use the same data for 165 and 180grn .308 bullets and 174grn .311s but i worked it up carefully. my rifles bore is 310ish. It shoots the .308s better then the .311s. Also all are loaded long. my current load is 53grs of h4350
     
  12. Rory McCanuck

    Rory McCanuck Member

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    Hornady makes a .312" 150 gr bullet (#3120) and their 8th edition manual
    has load data for it.
    I've had good luck with H-335. Very accurate and BIG fireballs, if you like that
    kind of thing. I use data from Lee's book, for .308" bullets, but have had no
    problems.
     
  13. midnattsolen

    midnattsolen Member

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    Hey all. Thanks for the info. This sight has been a big help. I wish this rifle was a Fin with the .308 barrel as I have quite a few Sierra bullets in .308. I just figure that the .311 makes much more sense in the .312 barrel. A friend wants to try casting bullets for it. I plan on getting both the Lee and current Lyman manuals. If I remember my old Lyman manual had info on casting bullets. Money has been tight in this "Obamaconomy". Haven't had much steady work. I think I'll go with the RCBS dies. Working on an idea for a quick mount for my reloading press as I'm sharing shop space with a friend.

    Thanks again.

    Mike
     
  14. Rory McCanuck

    Rory McCanuck Member

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    I've been using Lee dies, but I had to take the expander rod from a
    set of .303 Brit dies, to expand for a .310-12 in stead of .308"
    I think every other manufacturer builds them with proper .311"
    expanders.
    A section of 2x8 or plywood with a press bolted to it is easy enough
    to C-clamp to a bench.
     
  15. Bigdog57

    Bigdog57 Member

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    I use the RCBS dies for 7.62X54R, and they come with both expanders. My mosins seem to prefer the heavier loads, soI load 174 grain '.303. bullets from Hornady - sized at .3105 according to the box. Also trying the 174 grain Sierra Match King in .310 size.
    My Finn M39 has a heavily pitted bore and only shoots 'groups' with the 204 grain Russian SP loads. Lighter bullets shoot patterns.....
    I have just scout-scoped two 91/30's - a hex and a round - hope to test them Sunday.
     
  16. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Thats odd both my Lee die sets for the 7.62X39, 54 came with two expander rods. .308 and .310 IIRC. And those were purchased about 10 years ago.
     
  17. wgaynor

    wgaynor Member

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    Mine slugs out to .313. Before slugging it, I reloaded with fmj .308 surplus projectiles that were 147 grain. It had good groups, but realized after slugging it, that it wasn't the idea fit.

    I now cast a .309 caliber projectile with a flat nose (same one I use for my .30-.30) that is 177 grains. Paper patch it to .314, grease it (axle grease), load it, and let her fly.

    I've had good results so far. Plus it's fun being self reliant and making your own jackets.
     
  18. Jeff H

    Jeff H Member

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  19. mookiie

    mookiie Member

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  20. Clark

    Clark Member

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    Sierra 2310 Bullets
    Lapua 7.62x53mm brass
    H4350 or H4895 powder
    Seat the bullet long.
     
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