Reloading 7.62x54R

Any handloading dopers out there reload this? I’ve decided to get into reloading (only done it once before on a batch of x39, and on someone else’s equipment), and I’d like to start brewing my own x54R. Tips?

I don’t reload, personally, but my brother does… I’m gonna send him a link to this thread, in the hopes that he’ll register and answer for you.

What do you want to know? How are you planning on using your reloads? What’s your budget?

I use a single-stage Lee press, various brands of dies, and several different manuals (Lee and RCBS mostly). There are two major schools of thought - speed and accuracy. Single-stage presses are cheaper and good for smaller batches while progressives are more expensive and good for large batches.
I like my single stage because I measure each case, hand deburr the flash hole, turn the neck, and weigh the powder. This really isn’t necessary for hunting or messing around at the range, but I’m an accuracy freak.

Most of the reloading shops around here are staffed by cranky old pricks so I got most of my info online or from books.

Accuracy. And I plan to spend as much as my wife will let me get away with. :slight_smile:

Seriously, I was curious if anyone had any experience using .308 bullets in the x54R. Most of the Mosin Nagant bores are around .311, give or take. However, Hogden has an extensive table using .308 in this cartridge, and I was wondering if anyone knew what effect this might have on my accuracy. I’m also on the lookout for any good recipes. I’m looking at a single stage Lee press from Midway. And possibly using Graf brass.

I just started reloading last year, using a Lee single-stage press and dies. I used the 2nd edition of Modern Reloading for load data and had very good results with the batch of 7.62x39 I turned out. I’ve got a run of 54R in the works right now, using the same book - it’s published by Lee and has a pretty good section on the basics for beginners. Besides the Lee equipment, I’ll also highly recommend Midway. If I hadn’t bought most of my stuff there I would have spent a lot more.

What bullet weight/type are you looking to shoot?

I was thinking 150gr spitzers in .311, unless I think i can get away with using .308s, which would be cheaper and have a much better selection. I need to slug my barrel at some point though and find the actual bore size.

I’ve got a 150gr load I’m going to try too. I bought Hornady SPs, and according to my caliper, they’re in .308 (reminds me - I need to get a digital caliper!). I bought them from Midway, and I was trying to be cost-conscious when I chose them, so if your barrel is .308, they might work well for you too. Modern Reloading, 2nd Edition suggests starting with 46 grains of Hodgdon 4895, which yields 2769 FPS.

Also, [a href=“”]CheaperThanDirt[/a] has a fair selection of loading equipment online, and some of it might be priced better than Midway’s (though not much, I expect - Midway’s pretty good).

I’m almost positive my barrel wont be 308. I’m pretty sure most of them are around 310-312. Ill check out cheaper than dirt, most of the stuff I was looking at was from midway.

What have you got that’s chambered in 7.62x54R?

I’m hoping it’s a Moisin-Nagant M91/30 or M44 of some kind. :wink:

I have an M44 (or as I like to call it, “Comrade’s Little Shoulder Buster”), and hope to pick up a 91/30 at some point this year. I’ve fired a few, and love them.

I have 2 91/30s. Always wanted a Dragunov, but the cost, lack of acceptable accuracy, and the fact that I live in California have prevented me from getting one.

I got my reloading manual in the mail today, and most of the suggested loads use .308 bullets, so I think I will start with a batch of those and see how they fly.

I’ve got a 91/30 myself. It’s the easily the better of my two rifles, the other being a Chinese SKS that’s a little flighty despite my best efforts.

While I don’t reload, you’ll have to let us know how that goes. I’m interested.

Well, seeing as you’ve got M91/30s and M44s, I’d strongly recommend getting a SMLE Mk III* or Lee-Enfield No. 4 rifle. They kick less, hold twice as much ammo, but have a ballistically similar cartridge.

The M44s and 91/30s are a lot of fun to shoot, though!

Haven’t ordered my brass and bullets yet, but I got the rest of the toys in the mail. For kicks, I disassembled some of my surplus ammo to measure the variances in it. Of course there were almost 2% variance in every measurement.

Also slugged my barrel, and found out that my bore is .313. So I suppose I will be using .312 bullets.

What are y’all talking about? Making ammunition from scratch?

Yes indeed. You can purchase tools to do that, as well as all the necessary parts of a bullet.

The theory being, it’s possibly cheaper, and allows you to make a more consistent round for whatever your purposes may be.

You left out the most important part - it’s FUN.

The Chinese made a SVD copy called the NDM-86 that was chambered for .308, unfortunately there aren’t too many (I think about 1200 made into the country before the import ban), but if you can find one they run about $2000. California does have some weird rules about firearms but would private ownership be illegal?

Any copy of the Dragunov would be illegal as it is still a semi-automatic centerfire rifle that has a detachable magazine and a thumbhole stock (detachable mag + folding/telescoping stock or a flash suppressor would also count).

Speaking of the Dragunov, I happened to read this article which turned me off of wanting to reload for any autoloading rifle, especially the Dragunov.