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Old 04-16-2012, 12:54   #1
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7.62 x 54 dies ?

Anybody know where I can get a set of dies for a 7.62 x 54 mosin nagant?
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Old 04-16-2012, 14:49   #2
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Originally Posted by cowboy62 View Post
Anybody know where I can get a set of dies for a 7.62 x 54 mosin nagant?
This works well. Lee Loader 7.62 X 54 R - Lee Precision

Last edited by theboonedockssaint; 04-17-2012 at 11:37.
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Old 04-16-2012, 14:49   #3
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All the usual suspects (Lee, Hornady, RCBS, etc.) make 7.62x54R dies. Nobody includes both .308 and .312" expander buttons in their die set; each company includes their "standard" size and makes you buy the other.
The Lee Pacesetter dies have done well for me, but they do come with a .308 expander button, and most 91/30s have bores that slug out to .312" or greater. RCBS comes with .312".
With the Lee dies, I just use the .312 expander from my .303 Brit dies, but you can order a .312 expander from Lee (about $3), or use Lee's universal neck expander or a long Lyman "M" die. The latter is almost mandatory if you want to load cast bullets.

If your 91/30 has a really oversize bore, Lee also makes dies for the 8x56R Hungarian Mannlicher with a .329 expander. Get the .329 expander, chuck it in your drill press and spin it against a file to bring it to size, polish it, and viola! a custom expander for your specific rifle.
Personally, I'd get the Lee Pacesetter dies, and add both the .303 Brit (.312") and 8x56R Hungarian (.329") expanders to the order.

You probably aren't blessed with an accurate enough 91/30 to make collet neck sizing worthwhile, but there are some 91/30s out there with a grossly oversized chamber, similar to many of the .303 SMLEs. Repeatedly full-length sizing the brass out of one of these rifles will overwork it and cause early failure. You can avoid that by neck-sizing only, but you end up with a bunch of fire-formed brass that only fits that rifle.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:39   #4
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IF you dont get a set direct from LEE... check GRAF and SONS... Chances are they will have a set in stock and only charge 4 bucks shipping. You might get out a couple dollars cheaper.

If your 91/30 has a really oversize bore, Lee also makes dies for the 8x56R Hungarian Mannlicher with a .329 expander. Get the .329 expander, chuck it in your drill press and spin it against a file to bring it to size, polish it, and viola! a custom expander for your specific rifle.
That seems counter intuitive to me... If your BORE is oversized... and you EXPAND the neck of the case to match... when you stick in a .311 bullet, its going to DROP into the X54R case as you expanded the neck WIDER than the bullet... So how do you keep a .311 bullet from dropping LOOSELY into the case when you neck size bigger than .311??? Unless you plan to shoot WIDER bullets... and in that case I am not so sure for the cost of a mosin nagant that I would want to screw around to THAT point if it was THAT far out of spec... Not that it cant handle it... just for 150 bucks, you could probably buy a completely different rifle with a MUCH better bore!!! but hey... to each their own...
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:54   #5
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Lightbulb Great idea PB

Originally Posted by Indyarms View Post
That seems counter intuitive to me... If your BORE is oversized... and you EXPAND the neck of the case to match... when you stick in a .311 bullet, its going to DROP into the X54R case as you expanded the neck WIDER than the bullet... So how do you keep a .311 bullet from dropping LOOSELY into the case when you neck size bigger than .311??? Unless you plan to shoot WIDER bullets...
Originally Posted by PigBat View Post
All the usual suspects (Lee, Hornady, RCBS, etc.) make 7.62x54R dies. Nobody includes both .308 and .312" expander buttons in their die set; each company includes their "standard" size and makes you buy the other.
The Lee Pacesetter dies have done well for me, but they do come with a .308 expander button, and most 91/30s have bores that slug out to .312" or greater. RCBS comes with .312".
With the Lee dies, I just use the .312 expander from my .303 Brit dies, but you can order a .312 expander from Lee (about $3), or use Lee's universal neck expander or a long Lyman "M" die. The latter is almost mandatory if you want to load cast bullets.

Get the .329 expander, chuck it in your drill press and spin it against a file to bring it to size, polish it, and viola! a custom expander for your specific rifle.
Personally, I'd get the Lee Pacesetter dies, and add both the .303 Brit (.312") and 8x56R Hungarian (.329") expanders to the order.

You can avoid that by neck-sizing only, but you end up with a bunch of fire-formed brass that only fits that rifle.
PigBat is probably explaining great. We are not reading it right. He wants you to check your bore and tailor the ammo to that rifle for optimum performance. If you have a .312-or larger then he wants you to make an expander that is a tad bigger than the OE .312 one, by turning down the .329 to .314 or? whatever. I just fire form and then neck size so, if I have reloads they are then more rifle specific. We are after all talking about $100 guns that shoot surplus ammo that can be had for $160 per 1000 rounds so getting to nutty reloading is not that necessary, also the guns are older than us, so is the ammo...lol That is why I suggested the easy to use and cost effective in the field usable lee loader.
Anything for reloading fun ....right?
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Old 04-17-2012, 13:26   #6
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Wow, Thanks for the help, I did not relize this was so popular of a caliber. I will check Midway USA for a Lee Pacesetter die set.
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Old 04-17-2012, 13:43   #7
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Sorry, guys, I didn't mean to cause confusion.
Boondockssaint summed it up more succinctly than I did: match your bullet to bore diameter for best accuracy and easier cleaning.

The issue of matching bullet diameter to rifle is even more important when shooting cast bullets, which you should definitely do.
A milsurp bolt gun and a couple hundred rounds of light cast bullet loads makes for the most enjoyable afternoon you can have with your clothes on.
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:52   #8
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I've been reloading the 7.62 x 54r for about 5 years now I use the RCBS two die set and also have the Lee 54r FCD die as well. I prefer the FCD for crimping of cannelure and non cannelure bullets and use the built in roll crimp for my cast bullet loads.

The bore on my M44 slugged out at .312 it prefers any of the 150 gr. .311 dia. flat base bullets for best accuracy. For cast I shoot a .314 dia. gas check bullet which is .002 over groove to groove dia. of the bore and also the largest dia. bullet that will chamber with the Prvi or Winchester brass I use. I hardly ever shoot jacketed bullet out of this rifle anymore although I have loads worked up if needed.

5 shot cast bullet test load.

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Old 07-04-2012, 07:36   #9
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I have a post war 1948 M44, M39 with a 1897 receiver and a 1943 91/30. My M39 and M44 shoot .308 dia. bullets very well. So when first starting to load for a Mosin Nagant try .308 bullets and .310 SKS bullets. Try 165-167 gr .308 bullets with 44gr of IMR 4064 or 123gr .310 bullets with 50gr of IMR 4064. If your Mosin will shoot smaller dia. it shoot these loads. A lot of Nagants with fat bores .314 or bigger have small throats .312 and need to be reamed and will still shoot cast bullets very well.

If you buy lee dies and need a larger expander call Lee and they will ship you one for few dollars. They ship fast and you have it in a few days.

I have four Lee Loaders my 54r loader is not very good the smallest dia. bullet i can load with it is .312 and get good neck tension. I still like it for load development i prep my cases at home and work up loads at the range with it.
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Old 07-11-2012, 15:17   #10
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i to reload 54r for a m44 and use hornady 123 grain spire points up to 3100 fps, this load shrinks my groups from 5 inches with surplus to 1.5 inches at 50 yards, i have found that most factory loads use 308 to 309 bullets so i never got good accuracy, as i have a 311 to 312 bore. next i want to get some 32 cal hornady xtp pistol bullets and make some reduced loads, i think a xtp going 1500 fps would be fun to shoot. has anyone tried xtp's in a nagant?
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:28   #11
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Cowboy:

All good advice above. These old rifles have barrels in all kinds of different conditions. Best thing to do first is slug the barrel with some soft lead (like a fishing sinker) and mic out the slug. You can google this and find the "how tos". This will give you a starting point for buying (or casting) the correct diameter bullet.

-AimHigh
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