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i want to start reloading and i am on a tight budget what i want to reload are 7.62X39 SKS/AK47 and 7.62X54r Mosin Nagant is for hunting deer in northern Arkansas area i want to get information before i go start buying stuff i don't need i don't mind if i have to put the work into using hand press and tool money is 90% of the concern i plan to read as much as i can on this forum but direct information well be very helpfull and i will be thank full
 

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Thsi topic is often discussed. I use Lee Precision. All brands work but Lee is the best value especially if you start with a kit. Get a reloading manual - everyone recommends Lymans but I would get Modern Reloading by Richard Lee if you are going to use his equipment. I would also recommend reading the customer reviews on the Midway USA site for any equipment you consider - you will learn much even if you buy from another sourece. Specifically I would get either the single stage Breech Lock kit or a four hole Turret Press Kit.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Reloading is a very rewarding hobby. Use the handy search function on the top banner. This topic is heavily discussed with lots of good info. As Jmortimer says, Lee offers some of the best starter kits available.
 

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welcome...i too am a noob and have learned a lot in my short time of being here. i have a mosin nagant as well and was hoping to reload my 7.62x54, but read on here that because of the berdan primers, they are more trouble than they are worth to reload. I'm not sure exactly why this is the case, maybe somebody else will throw in their .02.
 

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Reloading

Norma offers loaded ammunition for the 7.62X54R put i suspect it will be pricy. To my knowledge, this should be boxer primed (boxer priming refers to how most of American rounds are made).
Go to the Norma website for specific info on what's available.

For the occasional rifle shooter, a quality single stage press is more practical than a multi-stage press like the Dillon. I own both and do all my rifle ammo loading on an RCBS Rockchucker.I've learned that a case tumbler is a must as very clean cases are sized more easily and do not scratch the sizing die. A scratched die transfers the scratch to subsequent cases. Also important is a case-length gauge. Cases stretch during firing and reloading and they must be trimmed back on occasion, otherwise they may not chamber.

Regarding the 7.62X54R, Norma advises plugging the bore to ascertain the bore diameter. Apparently, there's considerable variation and using the wrong bullets will affect accuracy.
 

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jmortimer is correct on all points except the fine but extra cost turret hint. A bench press is MUCH better than a hand press and costs little more in practice.

I do 90% of my loading on a Rock Chucker; get the Lee kit. It will let you do anything my more expensive press will do (excepth reform cases but no newbie does that) and do it just as well. And will last virtually as long if you take care of it and use it properly.

Not only is it difficult to deprime Berdan primers it's very difficult to even buy new ones in this country. So, IF you do have boxer primed brass, use it. If you don't, spend what ever it takes to obtain as much boxer primed cases as you think you need.

I'm not entirely sure of all the Lee kit includes but they used to include the Lee manual. Most kits don't include a needed loading block (to hold the cases as you work), a powder funnel or dies. Lee's dies make ammo as well as any others without getting into some ridiculous price ranges for serious competion shooter stuff. That's NOT needed for hunting at all, especially with surplus military service rifles of any type.

An inexpensive (Chinese made) 6" stainless steel dial caliper can be helpful at times but even it isn't a neccessity. Harbor Feight Tools gets them from the same place as the more expensive reloading company versions and they often have them on sale for as little as $12-13, half or less of the others!

You DON'T need a "lube pad", put a spot of case lube on your finger tips and transfer it to each case as you pick it up to resize. That's BETTER than a pad!

I and my generation loaded for many years without tumblers and, guess what? Our ammo went boom every time and our groups were just as good as any since we got costly tumblers, so that's not needed. If your cases get dropped in the dirt, wipe them off before you reload them and all will be well for you too!

I prefer the Lyman manual for newbies but only by a small margin. Lee's is also excellant and, as usual, the price is right, especially if it's part of the kit. Lee describes all of the basic operations of reloading very well and has a LOT of load data as well.
 

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I have only been loading for a couple of years so I'm a relative newcomer compared to most of these guys. I started out with the Lee anniversary kit which has just about everything you need but dies and componants. I am looking at adding another press or two, but believe I will be using that original Lee press from now on. I suggest at least two manuals. One of the most confusing part for a beginner, at least it was for me, was what appeared to be conflicting data in the manuals. You will see data in one manual that appears to list a max load where another manual lists as near minimum. One thing you will read a whole bunch in these forums is "start low and work your way up until you find a load that works in your gun." THAT'S GOOD ADVICE. Good luck. You are about to embark on a great hobby, but beware, it can consume you. Have fun.
 

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Since you want to load the two common Russian rounds I can help with suggestions that will save some headaches. My standard operating proceedure for these two rounds is to buy the steel case loaded ammo. You get a fully loaded round--case, powder, primer and bullet. I next pull the full metal jacket bullets, dump each powder charge and weigh the charge recording this weight. Next buy some .303 caliber bullets that are offered by several manufacturers (there .311 dia) in the same bullet weight i.e. 123 grains for the 7.62x39 and 150 grains for 7.62x54R. Average the powder charges and set you powder measure to drop this charge. Recharge the cases with powder and seat the new bullets. You now have good quality soft point ammo for hunting. By doing this simple proceedure you can shrink you groups by 50% and ammo costs are at a bare minimum. When hunting just eject the empties on the ground not worrying about the steel berdan case.

If you want reloadable boxer primed brass then watch Graft & Son for specials on PriPartzian ammunition in these calibers. Usually it can be obtained with soft point bullets but occassionally full metal jacket loadings are available. Price generally falls around $13.00 per 20 rounds.

Most of my military rifles I obtained the reloadable brass doing the above. Have soft point hunting for the first firing and reloadable brass after firing. Its win win doing it this way. $65 for 100 loaded rounds is very reasonable considering brass would be nearly $30 with another $20 for quality bullets and $3 for primers. Doesn't leave much for powder and labor.

Concerning reloading equipment I pick and choose from all manufacturers there products that I consider the best. Others would probably disagree with my selections and reasoning for there own reasons but it works for me and thats whats improtant. I use some Lee products but not there dies anymore.
 

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I recommend the Lee Breechlock Challenger kit. This differs from the Anniversary kit in that the Challenger comes with a hand primer. I recommend that because I think you're likely to not have trouble with the hand primer. Plus, it's a tad faster than on the press as is with the Anniversary kit. I studied them both thoroughly before I decided on the Challenger kit, but that was more than a year ago now. As you can tell, I'm not quite an old hand at this reloading business, but rather just another new guy. :D

It will not come with a manual (not the Kits we're talking about here), so I agree with the others to get the Lee Modern Reloading manual, and maybe the Lyman or another that you think you'll like.

I can't remember if mine came with dies or not, but it did come with everything else I needed except cartridge components. Of course, there are other things you'll want later, but the Lee kit was complete to get going. If you do have to get dies, I recommend the Deluxe die sets if they have them in your caliber. That set will include a Collet Neck sizer which you'll appreciate once you have it and get going. If no Deluxe sets are available, get the Pacesetter set and order a Collet neck sizer when you can.

All the Lee kits will come with primer pocket cleaner, case length guage for caliber you specify, case trimmer, lockstud and shellholder (for trimming), scale, powder dispenser, and I think a tube of sizing lube.

Both Midway and Kempfgunshop are comparable in price and availability. The Kits will be the same regardless where you buy them. The exception to this is if you buy a Lee Classic Turret press Kit. These Kits are sold by Kempf and Cabelas, and I believe they are pieced together by each vendor, as opposed to being assembled into Kit form by Lee. My preference if I went that route would be Kempf. A call to them would clear up any questions without an undue amount of "corporate jockeying" around you might get at the big companies. At Kempf, you'll be talking directly to the guy (probably Kempf himself) putting your stuff in the box. That makes it easy to say "Oh. I didn;t know that wasn't included. Well, throw one of those in the box. Put two of these in there too". And so on. I'm impressed with that little company, and, generally speaking, when it comes to Lee stuff I look to their website first.

Later, you will want other accessories: tumbler maybe, a digital scale for quickly checking loads, a powder trickler, maybe a bench-type deprimer made for those hard to decap berdan-primed cases, More manuals will follow. I'm a yearling and already I've found the "need" to buy several manuals, maybe several more than I truly need (:)D))

I saved this for last: Maybe the first thing to do is get the "ABC's of Reloading" before buying any equipment. Maybe..... (now that that's out of the way.......)
 

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I started reloading almost 50 years ago. A buddy of mine spent some time teaching me and let me use his equipment. After a year or so, I bought a starter kit from RCBS. It came with a press, scale, and priming tool. Years later, RCBS named that press the Jr. or something to that effect. I still use that press, scale, and priming tool today, and it is just as good as the day I bought it. It is all I have ever needed to load high quality accurate ammunition. I hand weighed charges for a short while, and then I bought an old Belding and Mull drop tube measure, and it is still the powder measure that I use to this day. I also use custom made hand loading dies that have been acquired over the years for various rifle calibers, and that I made for my line of wildcat cartridges. I have a Lee Benchrest Rifle hand die set, and all my other dies are RCBS, and I have two Lee crimp dies. The point I guess that I am trying to make is that this "starter kit" was my first reloading investment, and will most likely be my "only" investment. If you think ahead a bit (for future reloading needs), and buy a quality kit that will work for you now, your "one time investment" should last you a lifetime.
 

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Oh boy! New Mosin loaders. When you guys get to checking and working up loads, let me know. My old M44 does not shoot well but it shoots. I have slugged the barrel and I do use the .311 bullets instead of the .308 but I am still using the Lee die with the .308 neck, The word is they will fix it for .311 or provide it initially if you specify. Fun stuff but a lot of work for the old beater, or boat paddle, if you prefer. I do have a dream of taking a deer with the baot paddle but I never seem to get enough meat in the freezer to allow me to hunt with the rascal. One day.
 
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