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Old June 13, 2013, 04:59 PM   #1
MEATSAW
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7.62x54r steel case question

I have a whole bunch of surplus 7.62x54r ammo laying around and I just got an idea that I would like to run by you guys. They are the typical copper-washed steel cases with the 147gr FMJ bullet. If I pulled the bullets could I reload with the powder of my choice and re-seat the bullet? Would there be any issues because of the steel case? It should be already properly sized, and I wouldn't mess with the primer. Just remove bullet and powder and put it back together.
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Old June 13, 2013, 08:36 PM   #2
res45
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It can be done but you will need to resize the case neck for proper bullet tension. Don't really see the point in doing so just to replace the powders unless there is an issue with it.

I've done this on occasion many years ago when there was no available reloadable brass but I used the existing powder with some modifications to the powder charges and only replacing the factory FMJ with a equal or less weight SP in same dia. or slightly less to make hunting ammo.
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Old June 14, 2013, 04:38 PM   #3
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I would like to replace the powder so that I can do a load work-up using TAC without using my valuable stash of boxer primed brass. Plus I am sure I could make much more consistent charges than the surplus stuff anyway.
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Old June 14, 2013, 07:04 PM   #4
chiefr
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If you want to deal with Berdan primers and associated issues, go for it.
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Old June 14, 2013, 07:19 PM   #5
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I religiously clean and maintain my firearms after shooting trips, so I am not worried about the primers if they are corrosive. Once I shoot the ammo, they get tossed so it really isn't an issue for me.
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Old June 14, 2013, 08:06 PM   #6
res45
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Quote:
I would like to replace the powder so that I can do a load work-up using TAC without using my valuable stash of boxer primed brass. Plus I am sure I could make much more consistent charges than the surplus stuff anyway.
I understand your point,however you may find that after working up a load with TAC or any other powder in the berdan primed case that it may shoot differently to point of aim when that load is used in a different case and boxer primer.

Nothing wrong with working up a load with the original powder. Just pull and measure a random number of cases in the same lot number and measure the charge weights. I generally start with a load at 2.0 grs. below the smallest charge weight measured and work up an accurate load from there. European ammo is loaded to C.I.P standard which is generally at a slightly higher pressure than SAAMI standards.

I've done this many times with brass case mid 50's Bulgarian 54r ammo and found that doing so gave more consistent and accurate ammo.

Last edited by res45; June 15, 2013 at 05:39 AM.
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Old June 14, 2013, 09:35 PM   #7
Tomas
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I've been reloading over 20 years, and I can see no problem with what you are doing.

Be smart and go for it - I've done similar projects with other calibers.

There are some black and white areas of reloading, but this isn't one of them.
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Old June 15, 2013, 03:37 AM   #8
ChaperallCat
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but isnt the internal volume different with the steel cases?
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Old June 15, 2013, 11:29 AM   #9
MEATSAW
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Interesting point and I do not know.
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Old June 15, 2013, 03:37 PM   #10
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Meatsaw,
I have been a gun nut since I was 5 years old with cap guns in the 1950s.
In 1994 I started reading the gun forum on the old part of the internet, the usenet.
I had always looked for the cheapest gun and the cheapest ammo.
12 years ago I was still shooting surplus 7.62x54 ammo, and using cheap scopes.
Now If I shoot a Mosin Nagant, I use Lapua brass, extreme Hodgdon powder, and Sierra bullets. I put a $1500 scope on it.
I have got to the point now where I do not shoot cheap:
brass
bullets
scopes
barrels
scope rings
bipods
stocks
slings
binoculars
rangefinders
shoes
tires
Tools

The list just goes on and on.
Don't waste your time, like I did, being a cheap skate.
Can't stop being a cheap skate?
Ok, factor in your plans that your time is worth $100/hour.
Now the Lapua brass is dirt cheap.
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Old June 16, 2013, 10:40 AM   #11
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I've seen 7.62x39 steel case that had the bullet pulled and powder dumped. Then the neck was resized, case refilled with the same powder and reloaded with a hornedy SST. With the powder reweighed more evenly and the better bullets were far more accurate. So it works.

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Old June 17, 2013, 12:47 AM   #12
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Well the powder from the now dismantled rounds appears to be very similar to imr4895. The bullets were all .310"-.3105" in diameter. This will be a perfect fit for the bore in my Finn M39. I am going to do a 30-round load work up with TAC and I will use the lee FCD.

I just got another 40 pieces of new brass so if nothing else this will just be a fun venture into tinkering.

I don't really consider myself a cheapskate, I just like messing with things. It's a fun way to pass the time and not be on the dreaded couch.
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Old June 17, 2013, 07:32 AM   #13
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Very cool. Is it Soviet Silvertip, or 148 grain steel core bullets? If it is, would you weigh maybe 10 charges of the powder and post what you got? I'm engaging in a similar experiment, only using RL15.

Thanks.
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Old June 17, 2013, 02:06 PM   #14
MEATSAW
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Its silvertip -- 147 FMJ with boat tail. I did weigh about 15 charges and the average was 49.1 gr. High was 49.3gr and low was 48.5gr. It is a long stick powder, kinda curious what the powder it would be most similar to is.

As a side note, xylene makes for an excellent solvent for the red bullet sealant that they applied at the factory.
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