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Old 11-05-2013, 03:57 PM
SunzOutGunzOut SunzOutGunzOut is offline
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Default how to reload 7.62x54r??



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is it harder than other calibers? how expensive would the reloading equipment be?? is it cheaper than buying ammo? and what reloading equipment would yall recommend..
Old 11-05-2013, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by MrMosin View Post
is it harder than other calibers? how expensive would the reloading equipment be?? is it cheaper than buying ammo? and what reloading equipment would yall recommend..
-no, i reload .303 brit and 54r with the same bullets
-depends what you want
-cheaper than new manufacture, not cheaper than milsurp
-i have a lee hand load kit that was a gift, its slow and doesnt resize the brass but still serves its purpose
Old 11-05-2013, 04:10 PM
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is it mandatory to resize the casing after fired??
could you recommend a simple reloading kit for me? and Dies.?
Old 11-05-2013, 04:28 PM
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Lee makes the chiepest stuff, but most folks are entirely happy with it. You don't need a long list of stuff and expensive tools to start. Even if you are bitten by the bug as most are, the chieper things you buy first end up still being used. A press, dies, scale, a powder funnel and a loading manual are all you really need to get your feet wet. It probably would be a good idea to buy a manual and read the instructions before you bought anything else.

One thing to consider, Most of the military brass lying around for 7.62x54R is not reloadable. If you look inside the case at the bottom most all of it has two little holes for the spark from the primer. You can't reload it. Brass with English markings will have a single hole. That is reloadable. Acquiring brass from American sources may be expensive and hard to find.
Old 11-05-2013, 04:32 PM
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Grafs and sons has brass, usually.
Old 11-05-2013, 04:35 PM
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It sort of depends on what you are reloading for, as in are you reloading for one rifle or do want to use your reloads in any old M-N. I started reloading with a Lee Classic for 303 British. It was the only rifle I had. If I recall correctly it only neck sized the brass, which is good if you are loading for one rifle only and want your brass to last through more reloads. If you want to load it to shoot in any rifle, you'll need to full length size it (learned that when I bought my second Enfield).
You're biggest issue is going to be brass. The surplus is berdan primed and you'll want boxer. Prvi Partizan brass is good. I buy it loaded, shoot it, then reload it. I've heard people loading with the same bullets as 303 (.312 diameter, if I remember right). I've heard some load with 30 caliber (.308 diameter). I've heard some people slug their barrels to see which their rifle will like best.
I load mine with .308 because that's what most of my stock of bullets were when I started and they seem to work fine for my rifles. Regardless of what you decide to do, start off by buying a reloading manual or three. You'll get some good info on web forums that will work well, but you may get some that will not work well (in a major bad way). The books were written by companies that don't want their name associated with bad info and they'll play it safe on what they say to do. Sometimes to the point you get slightly weaker than factory ammo, but you don't have to worry about risking your rifle either. Lee makes a good manual with loads that seem a little weak but work, Hornady makes a good manual as well, I'm not as impressed with the Lyman manual I have, but sometimes it's best to have lots of reference material.

The two guys above me posted while I was typing. They are on the money 100% in my opinion.
Old 11-05-2013, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMosin View Post
is it mandatory to resize the casing after fired??
could you recommend a simple reloading kit for me? and Dies.?
resizing is not usually mandatory if you use the reloaded cartridge in the same rifle it was originally fired from but Ive had issues with softer brass stretching out enough that the reload wouldnt chamber smoothly

Sorry, cant recommend a reload kit. The lee 54r hand load kit i use is more of a novelty than anything. It works good enough for my uses.

I do use a lee something-or-other setup at a friends place to reload .303. I find it ok but he says lee stuff is on the low end of the scale as far as reloading equipment goes
Old 11-05-2013, 04:37 PM
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I've never done it, but it is possible to reload Berdan cases.

New Berdan primers can be bought over at PV.

If you're interested in reloading, I suggest buying a reloading manual and studying it well before buying anything else.

The Lyman 49 Manual has given me the most detailed information. The Speer and Hornady manuals I have are very good too.

Good Luck
Old 11-05-2013, 04:56 PM
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Default Possible To Handload The 7.62x54R, But Difficult And Why

Excellent answers already given and thank you. Most 7.62x54R cases are steel and Berdan primed. They can be reloaded, but you have to work at it. We did this in high school over 50 years ago. Lots of sites on the net that explain how and why. Just getting the correct primers may be difficult. Steel cases do not handload well. Brass better. Steel cases may not survive more than just a few reloads.

We found that you can just neck size/crimp if the reloads are going either into bolt guns or just one semi auto. I necked sized only reloading for my Garand. No problem, but it might not work for the Mosin. That platform is known for general dimensions in the chamber and bore. You might have to cast/slug your chamber and barrel to see what you have. Different rifles will have different dimensions. HB of CJ (old coot)
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:01 PM
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I'll add that I never reload the steel cased stuff. Only new manufacture, boxer primed brass stuff. But as others have stated, reloading steel, berdan primed is not impossible but at current prices for 54r milsurp, whats the point other then just to have fun?
Old 11-06-2013, 09:00 AM
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One of the main reasons for reloading some calibers is to get more affordable hunting ammo. Most 7.62X54R is full metal jacket. I reload it hollow point.
I've found that for lead tipped or hollow point ammo, reloading is the way to get it more affordably per round. There is a fairly significant single time cost for equipment if you go above the very minimum equipment needed, but if you shoot a lot or have several calibers that are hard to find, reloading can be a huge benefit. Not to mention if you get comfortable with it, you can tailor your loads to your specific rifle and improve the performance a lot over mass produced ammo.
I also reload 7.62x25 in hollow point. How much does that sell for, if you can find it?
How about 9mm Luger? I reload it in hollow point for about the price of FMJ. Last time I looked factory loaded HP 9mm was a lot more expensive than the FMJ that I target practice with to get the brass to reload.

Plus, yeah... its fun.
Old 11-06-2013, 09:32 AM
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I load 7.62x54 with either WIN or S&B brass and use .308 bullets up to 190 grain SMK

I find no issues with reloading the 7.62x54 and I've found it accurate to 600 12" target and 1000 yards on 4' target. (PU sniper is better)

The limiting factor on the 7.62x54 is the rifle and not the round. Surplus 91/30s trigger suck, the v-notch sight sucks for 600+ yard distance (front post covers too much of target), sights are graduated for meters and surplus ammo, and finally when the sight is raised to a point to be on target at 600+ meters it requires your cheek to be slightly off the stock to get a good line of sight.

Great rifle for the money, but reloading it is more a labor of love vs. necessary as the current cost of surplus spam cans makes it not as cost effective.

The cheapest way to load the 7.62x54 is to get a Lee Loader ($28.00ish) and bang out 20-40 rounds at a time. Great for the casual reloader and or 1 rifle prepper who want the option to customize a load for their rifle.

-jm2c
Old 11-06-2013, 10:32 AM
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I bought a couple of cases of military for plinking. I only buy reloadable brass now. I always full length size my brass. I have more than one nagant so I full length resize. Nagant is easy to reload. Cast projectiles shoot well in some rifles. Cast projectiles are cheep to shoot, easy to mould and have much less recoil as you should load them to a lower velocity.
Old 11-06-2013, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
is it harder than other calibers? how expensive would the reloading equipment be?? is it cheaper than buying ammo? and what reloading equipment would yall recommend..
There is nothing different about reloading the 7.62 x 54r compared to any other rifle cartridge.

As far as equipment goes the Lee loader is fine if your only going to load the one cartridge if you plan to reload other calibers later on go with a decent reloading kit that contains all the basic equipment you need to get started.

RCBS,Lyman,Foster and Hornady etc. all make nice starter kits they cost more than the Lee starter kits but will last a lifetime. I like the Lee presses,dies,priming system and small tools but after helping a few friend get set up to reload using there Lee scales and powder measurer I'll take my RCBS powder measures and Lyman scales any day,I've had mine almost 30 years. But I understand if your on a tight budget you have to buy and use what you can afford.



Quote:
is it mandatory to resize the casing after fired??
could you recommend a simple reloading kit for me? and Dies.?
No really,you can neck size,3/4 size or full length resize you cases. The neck size and 3/4 sized cases should only be used in the same rifle they were originally fired in otherwise you can have chambering issues. Full length resized cases can be fired in any rifle. of said caliber. Nice sized cases will last much longer that FL resized cases because the brass doesn't get repeatedly expanded when fired.

They make special dies that just neck size the case only but you can do the same with a set of FL resizing dies by just adjusting the die body up higher in the press,it also give you the option of FL resizing the cases later if you want to shoot them in another rifle. To neck size,take a marker an draw a line down the side of the case neck an onto the shoulder,back the FL resizing die way off the shell holder and slowly adjust the die body back down into the press and watching the case as it sizes the neck after each adjustment. Depending on the amount of expansion in your rifles chamber you may be able to see it sizing the neck easily but the line made by the marker helps give you a visual aid to size just the neck and bump the edge of the shoulder. You may or may not have to readjust the decapper pin/expander ball or rod depending on your die set down further in the die to deprime the case,most likely you will have to just a little.

As to dies I like RCBS,there a little more expensive than the Lee dies but they come with both the .308" and .311" expander ball where as the Lee dies only come with the .308" expander rod. You can buy the 303B .311" expander rod from Lee for around $3. You will need the .311" expander for loading .311" to .312" dia. jacketed bullets which are the most commonly used commercial bullet diameters in Russian Mosin's If you have a Finnish Mosin .308" dia. Jacketed bullets are more common and shoot well. Either die set is fine as I've used both.

For brass you choices basically come down to either using Lapua or Prvi Partizan new commercial unprimed brass or buying commercial brass case boxer primed ammo shooting it and reloading it later.

Lapua cost about $1 per case but it quality brass and with moderate loads and neck sized case it will last a very long time. Prvi is about 50 cents pre case as is excellent quality brass as well I have around 15 reloading on some of my Prvi brass,other loads I shoot in the 54r I'll probably never throw the brass aways.

Commercially loaded 54r ammo come in several flavors Wolf Gold,Prvi Partisan,Winchester and Selliers and Bellot and less common Lapua.

Wolf Gold is made by Prvi Partizan,Wolf is just and importer Prvi makes there brass case 54r ammo. Wolf is generally a couple bucks higher than the Prvi. Winchester is Selliers and Bellot they make Winchesters metric cartridges like the 54r,7.62 x 25 and 9 x 18 Mak. as above the S & B version of the ammo will be a few bucks cheaper.

The Winchester / S & B brass is said to not be as good and primer pockets tend to be a bit tighter when seating primers but I've had no issues with all the preprimed Win. brass I bought years ago for 20 cent a case. The primers were definitely not American made primers.

As far as cost of reloading it's easy to calculate using one of the online calculators. I don't count the cost of equipment since I've had most of mine over 30 years and it's a fixed asset that will pay for itself in a short time if you shoot alot. Basically all I'm interested in is the cost of powder.primers.brass and bullets if I'm loading jacketed rds. If I'm loading cast lead bullets which I cast myself from free lead the most they will cost me per bullet is 3 cent for a gas check if I choose to use one. If I paper patch the same lead bullet there is zero cost as both the lead and paper are free.

For 100 cast bullet loads like these my cost is around $14 per 100 to reload the first time using new brass that I'll shoot 10 time. After the first reloading and regardless of how many time I reload the cases the cost goes down to just under $9 per 100. For my subsonic plinker loads using a different powder my cost is $9 per hundred with new brass and $3.60 per 100 rds. from that point on.


Using standard rifle powders and 150 gr. Hornady SP bullets cost per 100 rd. is around $51 with new brass after that it comes down to around $47 per 100 from that point on. Of course I'm reloading with old stock powder and primers I stocked up on years ago and I shoot about nine cast bullets to ever one jacketed bullet I load so your cost many vary.

Other loading options.

Mexican Matched Bulgarian 50's surplus ammo. I pulled the original FMJ bullet and replaced it with a .311" dia. Speer HotCor Sp bullet to make hunting ammo before boxer primed brass case hunting ammo was available around here.


Paper Patch cast lead bullet,the paper replaces the copper bullet jacket and the lead never touches the bore these load can be fired at or near factory velocity but it takes a bit more work to get good accuracy but it's not hard if you like to tinker.
Old 11-06-2013, 08:13 PM
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I have a question on the topic to you reloaders?

I have never reloaded anything so it may be a stupid question, but would it be possible and more importantly, would it be safe to take milsurp ammo and extract the steel core bullets and seat soft tip ammo in their place?

If so, I would think the tools necessary to convert milsurp to hunting ammo would take less machinery.. but I dunno.
Old 11-06-2013, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudcat Stew View Post
I have a question on the topic to you reloaders?

I have never reloaded anything so it may be a stupid question, but would it be possible and more importantly, would it be safe to take milsurp ammo and extract the steel core bullets and seat soft tip ammo in their place?

If so, I would think the tools necessary to convert milsurp to hunting ammo would take less machinery.. but I dunno.
That is what the poster was talking about when he said that he made Mexican match. You pull the military bullet and load a softpoint of the same weight back into the case, using the same powder .
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudcat Stew View Post
I have a question on the topic to you reloaders?

I have never reloaded anything so it may be a stupid question, but would it be possible and more importantly, would it be safe to take milsurp ammo and extract the steel core bullets and seat soft tip ammo in their place?

If so, I would think the tools necessary to convert milsurp to hunting ammo would take less machinery.. but I dunno.
Mexican Match ammo is nothing new,the technique of pulling and replacing the original bullet was used by our own US Military shooting teams,it wasn't legal to do so in National Trophy or Excellence-In-Competition Matches but any other matches it was fine to do so.

Eventually the Nation Match Ammo which was being altered in the 70's by pulling the original factory bullet and replacing it with a Sierra 168 gr, MatchKing bullet became so popular and accurate the Army started loading there National Match ammo with the new Sierra bullet at the first Nation Match in 1980.

Basically you will use the same equipment as you would to reload the ammo form scratch. The only exception is you want need to install or seat a primer.

The original bullet can be pulled with either the hammer type puller or press mounted puller. I use my 54r bullet seater die seat the original FMJ bullet down farther into the case about 1/16th of an inch or so to break the seal,tension or crimp on the bullet,them pull it. The case will need to have the neck resized to accept the new bullet and since the cases are berdan primed you will need to remove the decapping pin or adjust the decapper up higher into the die body so you don't break it off.

If your using the original powder as I have make sure all your rds. come from the same lot of ammo. Weigh several random charge weight to get and average weight and write it down for future reference. If your pulling a lot of rds. keep the lot of brass and powder segregated for all other lots and mark it as such so you don't mix brass and powder.

When charging case with the surplus powder you can use the original load without removing it form the case if you so choose. I find that taking the random charge weights and average out the powder charge give better overall results. If you so desire you can reduce the average charge weight by two full grains and work the load back up to see if it improves accuracy. In general I've found that about 1 full grain off the averaged charge weight gave me better accuracy that just using the original factory charge weight and replacing the bullet.

For bullets if you use the original factory charge weight as is without averaging it out or reducing it you should use a bullet that is the same dia. and weight or less than the original FMJ.

If your going to use a bullet that is larger in dia. than the original factory loading it should still be the same weight or less and you should drop the charge weight down by two full grains and work back up.

Here are the primers on the original surplus factory loads.


Here are the primer on the reworked Mexican Matched loads using the Speer HorCor .311" bullet and 47.5 grs. of the original surplus factory powder,
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