Reloading the 7.62x54R?


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Old 04-10-2011, 08:31 PM   #1
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Default Reloading the 7.62x54R?

Hello,

I'm about to embark on my first rifle reloading endeavor. I have been reloading and casting for pistols for years now.

The round is 7.62x54r. I chose it simply because the most accurate rifle I currently own (besides rimfire) is my accurized Mosin-Nagant 91/30. It will hold 0.8MOA with open sights at 80 yards with good surplus, and with bad surplus, I can keep it at 1.5MOA out to 100 yards.

It hits point-of-aim as I have one of my modified sights on it.

So, here's what I have:

45 pieces of Winchester brass

100 .308" Hornady BTSP 150grn (I know, and I have .310" on the way, but this is what was on hand and what the data sheet calls for, besides)

100 Federal large rifle primers

a pound of Varget (chosen because it's listed by Hodgdon for all bullet weights)

a Hodgdon loading chart

Now, here's where things get tricky. I guess I'm supposed to lube the cases. I do sometimes on pistol cases if they seem sticky; I use Fluid Film, which is lanolin-based. I can't even tell they are entering the die after applying just a bit. Can I assume this stuff will work with a tapered rifle case, as well?

How do I use these dies? Is it possible to just neck-size them after firing them in my rifle?

On the Hodgdon loading sheet, the max loads have a "c" after them. What does this mean? I don't believe I'll go much beyond the minimum charge; there's only a 3.5grn difference and I have almost too much spin for a 150grn bullet, so I want to keep things fairly slow, but still flat.

None of the cases need trimmed; they're all in spec. I think that when they do need trimmed, I'll use one of my files. I'm better with them than I am with most automated stuff and I don't mind the work.

What all do I need to know? I'm used to dealing with 20kPSI or less; now I'm looking at around double that. The Mosin-Nagant is a tough rifle and could probably take an over-charge, but not a double, so I am going to load one round at a time after priming them, and I plan to weigh each charge individually anyway, just so I know it's 100% on with the others.

Any and all advice will be appreciated. I'm not fond of the thought of a bolt through my left eye!

Thanks,

Josh



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Old 04-10-2011, 11:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Now, here's where things get tricky. I guess I'm supposed to lube the cases. I do sometimes on pistol cases if they seem sticky; I use Fluid Film, which is lanolin-based. I can't even tell they are entering the die after applying just a bit. Can I assume this stuff will work with a tapered rifle case, as well?
Quote:
How do I use these dies? Is it possible to just neck-size them after firing them in my rifle?
I am assuming that you know how to adjust your dies. Just screw the dies down till they touch the press ram with shell holder in place. Then back off 1/8 to 1/4 turn. Your set to resize the cases. I would not neck size on these as you never know how good teh chamber is.

Careful on the lube if you get to much you will collapse the shoulders. I would if using fluid film get a cookie sheet lay them out spray a quick spray on them them roll them around to distribute the lube.

Quote:
On the Hodgdon loading sheet, the max loads have a "c" after them. What does this mean? I don't believe I'll go much beyond the minimum charge; there's only a 3.5grn difference and I have almost too much spin for a 150grn bullet, so I want to keep things fairly slow, but still flat.
The loads with a C behind them mean compressed charge and you need to approach them with caution. I personally try to avoid compressed charges.

Quote:
None of the cases need trimmed; they're all in spec. I think that when they do need trimmed, I'll use one of my files. I'm better with them than I am with most automated stuff and I don't mind the work.
To trim you should use some form of a case trimmer. Like the Lyman, RCBS or many others. I am trying to get a WFT Worlds Finist Trimmer. World's Finest Trimmer - The Texas Predator Posse

Quote:
What all do I need to know? I'm used to dealing with 20kPSI or less; now I'm looking at around double that. The Mosin-Nagant is a tough rifle and could probably take an over-charge, but not a double, so I am going to load one round at a time after priming them, and I plan to weigh each charge individually anyway, just so I know it's 100% on with the others.
Sounds to me like your ready to go. Take your time and go slowly. It is not a race.


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Old 04-10-2011, 11:49 PM   #3
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I know you already have the bullets, But have you slugged the barrel?

Mosin Nagant Rifle Bore Slugging Tutorial

I did and I am able to use Sierra 303cal .311 174gr HPBT match bullets.
Here is a thread I had on the 7.62x54R net site about how to go about slugging and choosing the right sized bullets.

Slugged the barrel.

I went through about 4 cases getting the dies just right.
Best of luck

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Old 04-11-2011, 02:09 AM   #4
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Thanks folks.

Compressed charges... wow. No, I don't think I'll be doing that! Wouldn't be in the manual if they were unsafe, but it just sounds like a bad idea to me.

I did slug the bore, and I was surprised that it came back a few thousandths tighter than I would have expected. Looks like it should shoot .308" OK.

Regardless, I have 700 150grn .310" on the way for a ridiculously low price.

Thanks!

Josh

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Old 04-11-2011, 05:33 AM   #5
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Default Slugged the Bore Again

Hi Gents,

I had slugged the bore in the past.

I didn't quite believe what I got, so I slugged it three more times tonight.

They all match: I have .299" lands and .310" grooves. I have a tight spot at the muzzle and halfway down the barrel.

I thought these measurements were a bit off, so I made sure of the calibration of the calipers using a known wire thickness I had on hand, then verified it with another set.

So.... dunno. I reckon it'll shoot .308" and .310" OK, don't you?

Thanks,

Josh

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Old 04-12-2011, 02:35 AM   #6
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First batch of reloads:



Not bad, I don't think. I'm approaching my limit with iron sights. The three I marked as POA I is how I started off, then switched to COM.

Load is Hornady 150grn BTSP backed by 45grns of Varget. Bullets are .308". Minimum load is 47grns, so I'm below minimum.

It's shooting in circles; that is being rectified right now.

Josh

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Old 04-12-2011, 12:57 PM   #7
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I don't think I'd go below published minimums. Sometimes that can create high pressures too. Powder is a funny thing and so are pressure curves.



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