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To All You Experienced Folks,

I'm relatively new to reloading (although I've used classic Lee Loaders for years.) I'm about to purchase a Lee Anniversary Kit to get me going. I want to load for my mosin nagant.... something a bit lighter and more accurate then the military surplus ammo I've been using.

I'm hoping to use Beartooth 135 or 140 grain .311 bullets. I believe these are gas checked. I have three questions.

1) Anyone have suggestions on a reasonably light/accurate load recipe for those bullets?

2) I read somewhere about using pistol powders like Unique and Bullseye for light rifle loads. I have plenty of Bullseye on hand (which I use to load 9mm.) Thoughts and suggestions?

3) Most 7.62 x 54 recipes are for .308 150-180 grain bullets. What is the rule of thumb when you use a lighter bullet (135 grain rather then 150-180), or when you use a slightly larger bullet (like .311 instead of .308). Also, what about when you use cast bullets, rather then jacketed.

Of course I'm concerned about safety first. Also I'm mostly a target shooter.

All Thoughts and Suggestions Welcome.... Happy shooting!:)
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Well, I own a couple of them and by slugging the bores, find one to measure .312" and the other at .314". Talking things over with the board owner, Marshall Stanton, we agreed to go with the .313" SPCG 135 gr bullet for light loads. I'm using 13.2 gr. or Alliant RL-7 with a dacron filler and a Rem 9 1/2 primer.

Your accuracy results may vary.
 

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Kdub,

I read a lengthy description of taking a certain sized egg sinker and short sections of dowel rod to drive it down the bore, from the muzzle to the magazine well. Is that how you determined the bore size on yours? I know mine is pretty accurate with mil-surp ammo, but terrible with any of the .308 loads I've worked up.

Related question: Is it "always" safe to use .311 bullets in a Mosin-Nagant 7.62x54R, or are some of them actually too small for those to be safe?
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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I've used the jacketed Sierra .311 bullets made for the Brit .303 and and the Jap 7.7mm with the M/N's with a fair degree of accuracy. Nothing to write home about, but would be acceptable for 200 yd or less deer hunting.

Yes, I use Marshall's suggested lead sinker method to determine actual bore size. The trick is to grease the bore and sinker heavily. Takes a little effort to hammer the sinker into the bore if you get one oversize (only type to use). I use a plastice headed mallet to get it started. A lead ring will form at the muzzle as it cuts off as the sinker enters the bore. Then use a nylon or brass punch to get it started to engrave with the lands. Once engraved, it's pretty easy to go ahead with a cleaning rod tipped with a blunt brass jag to drive the slug on down to the chamber and out. Need to take several diameter readings to assure you get the highest dial reading which will indicate true bore size.

Usually, as the slug is driven down the bore, you will notice some restriction and then some easily traversed sections of the bore. Sorta tells you where the worn sections are. Not all bores are equal!
 

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M-38 Carbine.
Is it common to have about an inch and a half at the end of the bore that, larger than the rest?

I've tried this a couple of times and seems that i'm getting different reading, each time
From .308 to .313, so it would appear that the bore is ovel? or am I just getting different reading from land to land, from groove to groove, from land to groove?

Actually shoots good with the surplus ammo...................
 

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>M-38 Carbine.
Is it common to have about an inch and a half at the end of the bore that, larger than the rest

Yep. During refurbishment, many were counterbored to remove muzzle damage from decades of poor cleaning technique with steel cleaning rods. Some turn their noses up at counterbored guns, but I am glad to see it if the gun is otherwise in good shape. They are often more accurate than guns that have never had the treatment.
 

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I do wish I had waited to get all my dimensions correct before ordering my dies. Most of the off the shelf dies will be for .308 . They can be adjusted by you if you are a machinist or you can request correct stuff the first time. Expander has to be right, sizing has to be right, crimp if used has to be right, even seating die may be an issue.
 

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Lee makes molds and dies.
consider getting a universal expander die too.....
I would cast hard and use a paper patch on the bullet.
The old Lyman manuals list pistol powder loads for cast bullets. Be careful with bullseye and other fast pistol powders. Unique is probably a better powder to start with or use one of the new cowboy powders.
I use dacron filler, kapoc will work too. WalMart or a craft shop will have a large bag for about a buck that will last for a thousand reloads or so.

consider getting a wad cuter. This will allow you to put a wad over he powder charge giving you a much more consistant and accurate result.

Be sure to put a crimp on the assembled cartridge and observe OAL...this will contribute to accuracy too.

For this cartridge I would sort cases by weight and rim thickness.

Then clean the old guy up and smooth the action. Check the stock for high points in the forearm and remove them carefully. When you make one of these old guys shoot accurately it always draws attention. Enjoy
 

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I have not loaded any cast bullets for my Mosin yet, but did stumble across an accurate hunting load. A friend wanted to trade a few hundred once fired brass cases for a box of hunting loads. I usually don't load for other people but could not pass up the deal. So I bought a box of Remington 180 gr. cor-lok .311 RNSP and loaded them over 45 grains of Varget. Took 10 of them to the range and was surprised how well my rifle shot them. As soon as I get some more 30 cal. bullets cast I am going to try and find a load for Mosin will shoot.
 

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Can anyone say, definitively, that a .311 bullet will be dangerous, in SOME of the Mosin-Nagant rifles? My .308 handloads show terrible accuracy, but the military surplus stuff isn't bad.

If my reloading dies are meant for .308 bullets, will I be crushing the necks if I try to seat .311 bullets?
 

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you can neck size and change the button for a custom one in the size of your choice. The specifications call for a bullet diameter of 7.92 mm or (.311). That is the right size. To use a smaller diameter bullet (.308) would probably lead to spotty performance.

Recent examples of 7.62 x 54R sniper ammunition are loaded with a 151 grain bullet and extruded powder.

Russian target shooters shoot a variant of this cartridge the 6.5 x 54R. They headspace on the shoulder and are very accurate.
 

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From Accurate Arms
Start Load Max Load
Powder gr vel Powder gr vel PSI OAL
125 (L)FN 5744 25.0 2062 5744 30.0 2354 29,900 2.665"


CD
 
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