7.62x54r reloading questions
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    7.62x54r reloading questions

    So I've reloaded 7.62x39 for a little bit, but I want to start reloading 7.62x54r as well. I have a seating die for it, but its difficult to find .311 bullets.

    I've heard lots of people use .308 bullets, and I'm wondering if that would require me to adjust my die set. Would the stock expander ball need to be swapped to a 308 sized one, or will the default one work? I do have a 308 expander ball which was included in the 7.62x39 die, but the 7.62x54r die set didn't come with one so I'm not sure if it would still work on it or if it is strictly necessary. The die brand is RCBS if that helps. Would the difference between a .308 ball and .311 neck cause issues?

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    If you're going to try going with the .308, I'd recommend making sure you have the .308 expander ball. .311 aren't too hard to find online though and unless you're shooting a Finn m28/30 or m28-76, you'll get better groupings using the .311. Many online places have a good selection of them, Grafs, Powder Valley etc. If you have a Cabelas or Bass Pro locally, they usually have at least some Sierra's or Hornady.

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    .311 bullets are readily available on line like Lotema says.
    I did a search and pulled up two places with at least 10 variations in bullets
    I live in DFW area so I can buy them readily any weekend at a gun show or at several gun shops and larger outlets like Cabelas and Bass Pro.
    I would not shoot .308 bullets in a rifle chambered for 7.62x54R or .303 Brit, or 7.65 Argentine Mauser if you want to get any decent accuracy.
    Winchester used to have and may still have 7.62x39 loads loaded with .308 bullets. People would by the and complain about shit accuracy out of AKs or SKSs. Not the gun, the wrong bullet was the problem.
    Fiorentino likes this.

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    Slug the barrel to determine the correct bullet to use, other wise you are throwing money/accuracy away. Videos are are line explaining how to slug the barrel.
    God Bless our troops, especially our Snipers!

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    I have the RCBS 7.62 x 54r die set an mine came with both the 308" and .311" expander ball which should have been standard, give RCBS a call and they will send you one for free on there dime, proper neck tension on the bullet would be an issue using the .31" expander with .311" dia. bullets. Correct bullet dia. be it jacketed or cast lead is important to accuracy, undersized dia. bullets can cause gas blow by which leads to lower velocity and poor accuracy while oversized bullet can cause chambering and pressure issues depending on the firearm in question, cast lead bullet have a whole other set of issues with under or over sized bullets. Finnish Mosins have tighter bores than the Russian rifles and can shoot .308" dia. bullet accurately an can handle the .311" dia. bullets as well as most will have a tapered bore or squeeze bore. You can slug your bore using this tutorial Mosin Nagant Rifle Bore Slugging Tutorial

    Mosin shoot well with a variety of bullet weights but in general the 170 to 180 gr. varieties do best as the rifles like long heavy bullets but the 150 gr. weights are a good compromise an will shoot very well. I shot a few jacketed bullets when I got my Mosin rifles but soon switched over to cast lead once I got my hands on some molds as I shoot cast lead in all my other rifles. For the ranges I shoot at usually 100 yds. or less but not limited to that range, cast lead will do anything a jacketed bullet will do using the proper bullet design and alloy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VietIraqVet View Post
    Slug the barrel to determine the correct bullet to use, other wise you are throwing money/accuracy away. Videos are are line explaining how to slug the barrel.
    This is what I did, for my PSL. I used 168gn .308 bullets. Winchester brass. At 100yrds, I had .5Moa on a 5 shot group on one set of loads. Work up your own loads for your rifle. Dropped a Buffalo at 310 yards with one shot.

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    Ok. So would these be the kind of bullets I'd be looking at getting?

    https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog...productId/6287

    https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog...productId/6288

    They're .303/7.7mm. Not labled for 7.62x54, but they are said to be .312

    This is for a Mosin Nagant btw.

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    Based on my experience reloading 7.62x54R, I'd go with a 0.310" or 0.311" diameter bullet.
    https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog...roductId/29107

    Are you using brass that's once fired in that particular rifle?
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    I reload my target rifles (yes, 54r) with 174gr Sierra Match Kings and Varget most of the time. I noticed that Grafs had a couple of Sierra offerings but I stick with the SMKs- https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog...roductId/17645

    My barrels are new though and properly sized. As others have mentioned you really need to slug the bore of an original MN barrel, they vary wildly. The original barrel I pulled off my second target rifle build slugged at .314" in the tight area before the slug fell the rest of the way through.

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    So how does one slug a barrel? Do you push a lead ball down the whole thing or can I just use some calipers on the muzzle?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bret View Post
    Based on my experience reloading 7.62x54R, I'd go with a 0.310" or 0.311" diameter bullet.
    https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog...roductId/29107

    Are you using brass that's once fired in that particular rifle?
    I have some virgin brass I bought online. I have only ever fired steel cased ammo out of it because none of the places near me sell anything other than Tula FMJ ammo in 7.62x54r. Which is another reason for reloading since I plan on hunting with this rifle, and the only way I can get soft nosed ammo for it is if I make it myself. I hate CA. Can't buy ammo through the mail, and nobody carries anything but Tula which is only good for the range and can't legally be used to hunt. Unless you can get lucky and sometimes Sportsmans warehouse has some Sellier and Bellot ammo, but its upwards of $1.50 a round.
    Last edited by BobtheButcher; 03-01-2019 at 11:50 PM.

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    I used round lead fishing sinkers bought at Walmart. Then bought a wooden dowel rod slightly smaller than the bore diameter, 1/4 inch will work. I cut the dowel rod into 4 inch long pieces as shown in a You Tube ''How To'' video. Set the lead ball in the muzzle and using the first 4 inch dowel, hammer it in. Then add the next 4 inch dowel and hammer it in. Repeat until lead ball and dowels fall out of the chamber. Take the Vernier Calipers and measure the diameter of the lead ball. That will give you the actual bore diameter of the Mosin.
    God Bless our troops, especially our Snipers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobtheButcher View Post
    I have some virgin brass I bought online. I have only ever fired steel cased ammo out of it because none of the places near me sell anything other than Tula FMJ ammo in 7.62x54r. Which is another reason for reloading since I plan on hunting with this rifle, and the only way I can get soft nosed ammo for it is if I make it myself. I hate CA. Can't buy ammo through the mail, and nobody carries anything but Tula which is only good for the range and can't legally be used to hunt. Unless you can get lucky and sometimes Sportsmans warehouse has some Sellier and Bellot ammo, but its upwards of $1.50 a round.
    I didn't realize that you're caught behind the lines. I was going to suggest firing some factory loaded ammo (Prvi or S&B) to get your brass sized right for your chamber. 7.62x54R chambers can be very loose. This means that brass not only expands linearly (headspace direction), but it also expands a significant amount in the diameter direction. For target shooting, it's best to simply neck size cases that have been fired in your rifle. Since you're going to be hunting, full length sizing is suggested. However, I'd suggest only bumping the shoulder back 0.003" to 0.005". You'll need a tool to measure this so that you can turn your die down the right amount. I'd suggest the Hornady Headspace Comparator. It helps you size you cases the right amount. For example, you'd load your new virgin cases, take a measurement using the tool, fire the ammunition, and take a measurement of the fired cases. Compare the measurement of the fired cases to the unfired measurements. The difference in the measurements tell you how much your cases expanded. Then you'd turn your sizing die down to only reduce the fired headspace by 0.003" to 0.005". By doing this, you cases are not overworked and they only have to expand a minimal amount when fired which in theory leads to better accuracy. Ask more questions if you have them.
    Rights are inherent. They do not come from another's wallet.

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    So I got some 150 grain jacketed soft point bullets, but I'm having difficulty tracking down what powder load I should use. I use IMR-4198 but the reloading guide I have doesn't list any data for this powder and 150 grain bullets. It only shows up for 180+ grain bullets. How many grains of that powder would anybody suggest for 150 grain projectiles?

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    My data for 150gr Sierra Spitzers is 51.5gr of 4895.

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    A quick look through some of my reloading manuals turns up no data for IMR-4198 and 150gr pills. I'd second using IMR-4895 or give Varget a try. Both have given me decent results, but I mostly shoot 174gr MKs in 54R nowadays.

    Here is a nice quick reference for rifle, pistol and shot gun load data,

    https://www.hodgdonreloading.com/


 

 
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