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Starting to reload 7.62x54R and 7.62x39- suggestions?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by xsquidgator, Aug 2, 2007.

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  1. xsquidgator

    xsquidgator Member

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    I've been reloading pistol (9mm, 38/357, 45ACP) for a few months and am comfortable with that process (Lee Classic Turret stuff). I've bought dies to get into reloading rifle, for now 7.62x39 and also 7.62x54R. Think I have a handle on the 7.62x39, will probably buy a pound of AA1680 and some large rifle primers, and 200 unprimed brass are on the way to me. From what I've read here, AA1680 is one of the popular "AK powders" and I have loads for it in my Speer #13 and Lee #2 manuals.

    I also just ordered 100 7.62x54R brass-boxer-reloadable rounds to shoot and get into reloading that, also. But, I'm a little less sure of what would be a good powder to start out with. Any suggestions?

    I'm thinking perhaps v-N135 or H335, since my Lee guide has loads for it in 7.62x54R (as well as 8mm Mauser, which I hope to also start reloading one of these days- I'd like a powder that'll work in both, if possible). Does anyone here have anything you really like, or can tell me what I don't even know I don't know about powder selection (or about rifle reloading while you're at it-I have case length gauges and case trimmer/chamfer tool which I don't bother with for pistol)?
     
  2. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Member

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    I reload 7,62x54r with 180gr and 200gr projectiles, H4350 works like a champ with those weights.
     
  3. Clark

    Clark Member

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    6 years ago, I got some S&B reloadable Boxer primed 7.62x54R ammo.
    The primer pockets had too large a radius in the corner, and would not take large primers.
    I had to use a Lyman pocket uniformer to change the shape.

    The ammo was hot and accurate, but my reloads were not.

    I am now using Lapua 7.62x53R brass and Sierra .311" 180 gr 2310 pro hunter soft point bullets at 2875 fps with a 91/30.

    Watch out for tight chambers in the M39s.
    The .311" bullets may be too big.
     
  4. xsquidgator

    xsquidgator Member

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    Thanks for the info and tips.

    Is there an easy way to tell? I have calipers and have tried measuring the inner diameter of the bore at the muzzle, but I'm not sure if I'm doing it properly, or if a good measurement is possible that way. I've heard the "true" way of getting bore dia is to push a slug of soft lead through and through, and to then measure the outer diameter of the slug once it's been pushed through. I don't have the materials for that though. If it makes any difference, my Mosin M44 shoots the cheap surplus Bulgarian ball ammo fine, I could measure the OD of one of those bullets but I don't know that would be meaningful.

    Been having the same questions about my Mauser K98, how is it again that 7.92mm (or even 8mm=0.315") comes out to a .323" bullet?
     
  5. xsquidgator

    xsquidgator Member

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    Anyone have any experience with the Prvi-Partizan (Serbian) ammo? I bought 100 of these from AIM http://www.aimsurplus.com/acatalog/copy_of_7_62x54R.html and sure hope they work ok. I guess I'll be happy enough if the once-shot brass takes regular LR primers and simply shoots, at this point I'm simply trying to set myself up to be able to shoot my Mosin if I run out of the cheap eastbloc surplus ammo. If I can make it more accurate than that so much the better but that's not my main motivation, at least not yet.

    I'd looked at Lapua brass in one or two places, and some places wanted over $1 each just for the unprimed brass! :what:
     
  6. Clark

    Clark Member

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  7. GunTech

    GunTech Member

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    I don't know about 7.62x54R, but I've been loading 7.62x39mm for a while. I use Winchester brass, which seems to be the best so far. Bullet are available in 308, 310 and 311 size. Some rifles will shoot 308 bullets with decent accuracy, but usually with a loss in velocity. I've been using 310 speers with great success. For bullets around 123gn, Reloader 7 works well, and meters well too.
     
  8. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Member

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    I'm pretty sure you can't shoot .311's out of a Sako barrel, unless you didn't know that, then I think they would work fine.;)
     
  9. nobody_special

    nobody_special member

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    But isn't 7.62x54R normally .311 inch? In which case, wouldn't it be a problem to shoot factory ammo through an M39?
     
  10. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    150gr Hornady SP, .312 dia, Graf brass, 39gr. of H-4895, 2.850 OAL, Lee FCD used, gives pretty good results in my 91/30. Use at own risk, academic purposes only, etc.
     
  11. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Member

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    When you get down to thousandths you really aren't hurting much, some may have a different take on it.

    I strongly recommend slugging the barrel to ALL new Mosin owners, because you never really know what your old warhorse is going to be. Sako rifles is good shape generally run .309-.310, 91/30's can run .311-.314, Mod 44 usually .310-.311ish (Those numbers don't mean nothin till you slug your own barrel).

    These are old rifles who have mostly been beat to $#!#, but they weren't built to be picky. Don't worry about factory ammo, but if you load, load for accuracy with the right size bullet for your gun.
     
  12. xsquidgator

    xsquidgator Member

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    Today was "great success!" as Borat would say. I had 20 Winchester white box 7.62x39 rounds that I shot last week, yesterday I went and bought IMR4198 (it's what the Gander Mountain here had, I wanted AA1680 as several have recommended). Today I loaded up the 1x fired brass with 125 grain jacketed soft points and took them out to the range. All fired properly in my SKS and WASR-10, and my rifle actions and my face are still intact!

    I have 200 unprimed 7.62x39 brass on the way, can't wait to do some more now. Also greatly looking forward to shooting the boxer primed brass 7.62x54R I have and reloading that for my Mosin M44. Reloading is cool!

    And, as one of the old timers at the range told me a year ago before I started, I'm not saving $ (not even close, I'm spending more) but I'm shooting a LOT more!
     
  13. Snapping Twig

    Snapping Twig Member

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    Got me to thinking back to the days I had a Mini-30.

    I worked up a load or two for a 150g Ballistic Tip.

    Check this data out. :)

    H4895 27g ~ 28g for est. 2080 ~ 2154 fps.

    H322 27g ~ 28.5g for est. 2084 ~ 2192 fps.

    BLC2 27g ~ 29.5g for est. 1900 ~ 2090 fps.

    My thought was to make the Mini 30 more of a hunting gun or a modern 30-30.

    I hope you can research this data and perhaps use it to you benefit.
     
  14. Clark

    Clark Member

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    I put H110 and a 180 gr .311" bullet jammed into the lands in an SKS and blew the firing pin out of the bolt.

    SKSs are not good guns for overloads.
     
  15. xsquidgator

    xsquidgator Member

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    Clark,
    Are you talking about simply having the reloaded cartridge too long, or something else like an overcharge of powder? I don't think I have any OAL issues but I know there's a lot I don't know yet.
     
  16. xsquidgator

    xsquidgator Member

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    ANother question- do any of you use the .311" bullets for 7.62x39 AND 7.62x54R? I have maybe 200 125gr jacketed soft points (spitzers) on hand and am wondering about putting them in my Mosin-Nagant also once I get the brass.
     
  17. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Member

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    The biggest bullet I would use for x39 is .310", slug your bore, it's easy and cheap.
     
  18. silverlance

    silverlance Member

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    I reload x54R for a sako m39 using .311 150gr bullets.

    haven't had a problem yet.

    i suppose i should slug mjy barrel, though.
    ive been told that all you need to do is CLP up the barrel and then simply shove a 00 buck pellet down the bore. is that true?

    kev
     
  19. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Member

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    Yup, unscientific, yet it works perfectly.
     
  20. xsquidgator

    xsquidgator Member

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    Forgive the ignorant question, but does it matter what you use to push it down the bore? Will a cleaning rod work ok?
     
  21. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Member

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    Go out to a hardware store and buy a 1/4" hardwood dowel. Cleaning rod will gouge your bore.
     
  22. xsquidgator

    xsquidgator Member

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    OK, I slugged the barrels of a couple of my rifles tonight (using the BreakFree and some OO buckshot method described above), but now I'm more confused than before. Can anyone tell me if this makes sense? (and, does it matter if the slug went from breech to muzzle or the other way?)

    On my M44 which is 7.62x54R, the piece of buckshot came through with a min 0.305" and a max diameter of 0.315". This is using a pair of dial calipers to measure, and are consistent with a 1" micrometer I also used.

    On my WASR-10 which is 7.62x39, the slug came through with the diameter (depending on where across the slug I took the reading) from 0.302" to 0.313".

    My Question: Are 0.310" bullets ok to use in my WASR-10 and my M44? It wouldn't appear unsafe to me after reading a tutorial but I'd like to hear some feedback too. http://7.62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinSlug.htm

    I checked and it turns out the AK/SKS bullets I reloaded and shot this weekend were 0.310" after all. I have maybe 180 or so of these 125gr spitzer soft points that I was going to load up with my 7.62x39 brass, that seems to work just fine in both my SKS and WASR-10.

    On 2nd thought, I guess another question is "how do these numbers look to you"? My M44 measurements might indicate a bit of wear? I got my M44 on sale for $59 and don't have any idea of how worn or not worn it is, I thought it superficially looked to be in pretty good shape (and I did pay a 'smith to check it out and verify ok headspace before I shot it).
     
  23. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Member

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    absolutely, you slug to see if you can go above the standard diameter.

    .310's will be fine in both your rifles, for better accuracy you may try a .312 Hornady Interlock (174gr) in your M44, I'd stick with .308-.310 in the WASR (whatever is cheap).
     
  24. xsquidgator

    xsquidgator Member

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    trueblue,
    Thanks for the info! Makes sense but I feel better hearing it from someone who's been there. I didn't quite realize that was the point of slugging but it makes sense when you put it that way.

    A related question: I also slugged my K98 in 8mm Mauser and got a max diameter of 0.326" (standard 8mm Mauser is .323" I think). Is the extra 0.003" enough wear that you'd think about moving up to a slightly larger bullet? I haven't looked yet to see if there's a bullet available in the larger size.
     
  25. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Member

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    No, especially since the next common size up from .323 is .330 or .333, which is a pretty big jump. There is nothing wrong with .003" difference, with a well developed load you should be plenty accurate with a .323
     
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