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Old October 16, 2012, 11:22 PM   #1
Josh Smith
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7.62x54r Safe Minimum?

Hi All,

As some of you know, I handload for the 7.62x54 rimmed Russian with great success.

Most of my charges come from lots of trial and error, moreso than standard rounds because the data for this round is all over the place! One manual's minimum and is another manual's maximum for the same bullet, for example!

I have some bullets I just can't get to shoot without major stringing. They are 174 grain round nose and have extremely long bearing surfaces. They seem to heat up the barrel much more than the others I use, which are 150 grain soft point and 174 grain SMK. The 150 grain does around 1.5MOA and the SMK, sub-MOA. Yes, from a Mosin, five shot strings.

Anyway, I figure I'll do one more experiment with the round-nose bullets before giving up.

This load will approximate the original 7.62x54R load, which was a 212 grain bullet at around 2050fps. I figure I'll send the 174 grain RN at around 2100 to 2200fps to try to keep the heat down a bit.

Sooo... I'm looking at minimum loads now. As with max loads, the minimum loads are all over.

I'd like to use Varget as I have a bunch of that stuff and save the H4350 for the SMK.

I measured 61.5 grains of Varget as fitting into a 7.62x54r case, up to the neck, with a 70% starting load as being 43 grains.

This agrees with Hodgdon's starting load, but I'd like to seat the bullet the full length of the neck as was done with the original.

If I delete the case neck from the equation, I get a max fill of 54.7 grains with 70% being 38.3 grains.

This is in line with the more conservative manuals.

For the sake of consistency and safety, I'd like to avoid flashover (though I understand this is rare unless very light loads[/i] are considered). Consistent ignition is another issue.

While the Mosin-Nagant action is pretty strong (with one gunsmithing school finding a compressed charge of Bullseye will only stretch the receiver!), I don't want to get near these pressures. I'm used to standard or lower pressures, with most of my precision being found in the 2500fps range for my particular rifle.

Can anyone give me some guidance as to where I want to load this at? I intend to use the lightest load I can, as I stated previously, both for due to consideration for barrel heating and for safety's sake.

Thank you very much!

Josh
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Old October 17, 2012, 02:19 AM   #2
Rangefinder
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Load data on 30'06 is roughly a direct transfer to 7.62x54R. Start at minimum for the bullet and develop the load normally on '06 data and you'll find it within safe measures. Shooting from the hip, 175gr BT starts at 47gr with Varget, and I'd probably drop that to about 42 on a FB bullet as I think you're referring. That should put it in the neighborhood of 2400fps. I'm thinking that's a long bullet that will seat pretty deep to keep off the lands. You'll probably hit max pretty quickly just as a compressed load.
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Last edited by Rangefinder; October 17, 2012 at 02:32 AM.
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Old October 17, 2012, 09:40 AM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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Give me your OAL, bullet (or at least length) and barrel length and I'll run it through QuickLoad.
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Old October 17, 2012, 09:55 AM   #4
Axelwik
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A nice light load that I use in my MN is 16 grains of 2400 behind my cast 185-grain gas checks. They group very well and recoil is like a 22. Very easy on the gun, and very easy on my shoulder. Also very cheap.

Some people seem to have success with 32 caliber cast handgun bullets for light plinking - although I've never tried it.
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Old October 17, 2012, 02:53 PM   #5
Josh Smith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Pfleuger
Give me your OAL, bullet (or at least length) and barrel length and I'll run it through QuickLoad.
I appreciate it!

This is the loaded round:



The bullet length is about 1" itself.

Be interesting to see what QL says.

Thanks,

Josh
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Old October 18, 2012, 07:14 AM   #6
Brian Pfleuger
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With default case capacities, the bullet length set to 1.00 and OAL at 2.76, QL thinks 42.0gr Varget would be 82.4% capacity, produce 36,020psi and 2,415 fps from a 24" barrel.
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Old October 18, 2012, 02:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
With default case capacities, the bullet length set to 1.00 and OAL at 2.76, QL thinks 42.0gr Varget would be 82.4% capacity, produce 36,020psi and 2,415 fps from a 24" barrel.
Hah! Not bad guestimating for "shooting from the hip"...
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Old October 18, 2012, 04:03 PM   #8
Josh Smith
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Thank you Sir. That's much appreciated!

Josh
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