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Old May 13, 2024, 07:52 PM   #1
mgulino
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SKS

Getting set to load some 7.62x39. Slugged the SKS barrel using an old .440 lead ball from my muzzleloading days. Came out at .311 across the grooves. Have some 123 grain Hornady soft points at .310 to try with H335.
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Old May 13, 2024, 11:19 PM   #2
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Where did you get brass?
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Old May 14, 2024, 12:00 AM   #3
Marco Califo
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Starline makes it and is in stock

https://www.starlinebrass.com/762x39mm-russian
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Old May 14, 2024, 05:30 AM   #4
Shadow9mm
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So, fair warning. I got the lee die set and was using the .310 hornady bullets as well. I had to use the smaller .308 expander ball spindle to get enough neck tension to hold the bullets. I loaded with accurate 1680 ahd both the .310 hornady sst, snd some ppu round nose.
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Old May 14, 2024, 05:36 AM   #5
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I loaded 7.62x39mm for many years, had the best luck with the Hornaday 123 gr Spire points and the NOE 129gr cast lead bullets, sized down to .311. I used the Lee set with the .311 expander, never had any trouble, but that's just my experience. I still have that NOE mold somewhere.
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Old May 14, 2024, 07:42 PM   #6
mgulino
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Brass is range pick up from about a year ago. Guy next to me was blasting away and left it all on the ground. Picked up about 50 pieces.
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Old May 14, 2024, 07:44 PM   #7
mgulino
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I’ll try with both expanders to see which works better. I did notice the location of the cannelure doesn’t leave much of the bullet inside the case.
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Old May 14, 2024, 11:25 PM   #8
Marco Califo
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A lot of 7.62x39mm fired brass is actually steel with a lacquer coating. If it sticks to a magnet then it is not reloadable.
Next, what is stamped on the headstamp?
If it is not a known ammo maker then it may be imported milspec. Look inside the cases: do you see one center hole? Or, 3 little ones? Those are Berdan primers, and readily reliadeable.
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Old May 15, 2024, 01:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Brass is range pick up from about a year ago. Guy next to me was blasting away and left it all on the ground. Picked up about 50 pieces.
Boxer primed??
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Old May 15, 2024, 11:01 AM   #10
tangolima
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My only 7.62x39 is a sks, and I handload for it. A few gripes about the rifle and the round.

The sear engagement is negative. Dangerous. First thing to correct.

The action bedding is not great. Good for battlefield expediency, not so much for accuracy. It can be improved to certain extent.

Over gassing. The brass rim gets torn on regular basis. It also can be improved to a point.

The round doesn't really need large rifle primers. Small primer brass exist but expensive.

Bullet choice is limited.

-TL

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Old May 15, 2024, 06:02 PM   #11
mgulino
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I appreciate all the info. While I’m not an expert handloader with many years of experience, I have been doing this for awhile.
I know the difference between steel and brass cases and boxer/berdan primers. These are all Winchester brass cases. I watched the original shooter take them from the commercial boxes and load his magazine. I have already deprimed and cleaned them, so only one flash hole.
TL - thanks for the info on sear engagement and overgassing. I’ll watch for that. These are LRP and I’m ok there for awhile. Not really concerned with great accuracy. It’s fun to shoot, and if I can hit paper at 100 yards I’m happy.
BTW - I’ve seen commercial Win rounds at Academy. May purchase a few boxes to keep the brass.
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Old May 17, 2024, 09:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Califo View Post
A lot of 7.62x39mm fired brass is actually steel with a lacquer coating. If it sticks to a magnet then it is not reloadable.
Next, what is stamped on the headstamp?
If it is not a known ammo maker then it may be imported milspec. Look inside the cases: do you see one center hole? Or, 3 little ones? Those are Berdan primers, and readily reliadeable.
Can you even get berdan primers anymore? I haven’t seen any over 10 years now granted I havent been looking . When I was going to try to reload some GP11 brass I couldnt find any so I abandoned that project.
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Old May 17, 2024, 03:47 PM   #13
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Compared to Boxer primers, Berdan is not "readily" reloadable. First off, you have to acquire the right Berdan primers (there are several different sizes and types) NONE of which has been common or easily available in the US for generations. Since there is almost no market for them here, very few ever get shipped to the US, and that was before all the Euro nations got on the "arms control" bandwagon.

Second, if you DO somehow get the right primers, decapping requires special tools, either prying out the fired primer, or pushing it out hydraulically. I did see one set up to blow out the fired berdan primer using a boxer primer, but that's hardly economical, even before boxer primers got scarce and expensive.

Berdan primed brass in commonly available calibers is, essentially, scrap brass once fired.

The SKS was designed for Soviet troops, first fielded in the closing months of WWII. It is rugged, reliable with Soviet mil spec ammo, simple enough for poorly trained conscript peasants to use and gives (generally) minute of man out to as much as 300 meters in the hands of a good shot. The round is slightly less powerful than the .30-30, though the generally lighter pointed bullets give it a little bit better trajectory.

It may be described as "over gassed" but the point of that is so it works, under all conditions, including extreme dirt and extreme cold. IT is not particularly "reloader friendly" it was never made to be, but it will run well enough on properly tailored reloads.

Nominal bore size is .311" but individual rifles can vary.
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Old May 17, 2024, 06:08 PM   #14
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I got my 7.62x39 brass from no bull tactical, once fired, good brass. https://www.nobulltactical.com/produ...rocessed-brass

You will need to call them and order over the phone, have ordered from them several times.

Currently for 7.62x39 brass brass

100pcs 24.99
500pcs 119.99
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Old May 19, 2024, 08:00 AM   #15
akinswi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
Compared to Boxer primers, Berdan is not "readily" reloadable. First off, you have to acquire the right Berdan primers (there are several different sizes and types) NONE of which has been common or easily available in the US for generations. Since there is almost no market for them here, very few ever get shipped to the US, and that was before all the Euro nations got on the "arms control" bandwagon.

Second, if you DO somehow get the right primers, decapping requires special tools, either prying out the fired primer, or pushing it out hydraulically. I did see one set up to blow out the fired berdan primer using a boxer primer, but that's hardly economical, even before boxer primers got scarce and expensive.

Berdan primed brass in commonly available calibers is, essentially, scrap brass once fired.

The SKS was designed for Soviet troops, first fielded in the closing months of WWII. It is rugged, reliable with Soviet mil spec ammo, simple enough for poorly trained conscript peasants to use and gives (generally) minute of man out to as much as 300 meters in the hands of a good shot. The round is slightly less powerful than the .30-30, though the generally lighter pointed bullets give it a little bit better trajectory.

It may be described as "over gassed" but the point of that is so it works, under all conditions, including extreme dirt and extreme cold. IT is not particularly "reloader friendly" it was never made to be, but it will run well enough on properly tailored reloads.

Nominal bore size is .311" but individual rifles can vary.
I think I remember reading an article or watching a documentary, That when US first issued the M16 and didn’t advise our guys on how to properly maintain the firearm, that during battles our soldiers would use the sks off the dead vietkong soldiers or may have been the ak47at any rate very reliable firearm.

I used to work with an army medic and he said wounds from the 7.62x39 were nothing to joke at either.
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