mosin nagant 91-30

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by zkovach, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

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    I have been reading a lot about the varying diameter of the barrel. I keep seeing the advice about slugging the barrel with soft lead. This may be a stupid question but i am a man of no tools and wondering can you buy this soft lead or do you have to make a soft lead slug of some sort. Have i missed this in the stores. Please advise.

    On a second note i did measure a true .308 and a surplus cartridge for the mosin and the did differ about .003 (.311)

    Thanks guys.
  2. res45

    res45 New Member

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  3. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

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    Thanks for the links i now have a projects for tomorrow!!!!
  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I have several nagants and the bores run from .311 to .317, the .311 is on a 1929 Tula that is in pristine condition and will shoot an inch on a good day with handloads. the .317 is my loaner rifle and the only one I use the corrosive mil-surp in (probably what got it to .317 specs in the first place) but even it will shoot acceptable at 100 yds (5 or 6 inch group) Have a 1939 Tula that mikes .313 at the muzzle and it absolutely loves Hornady 174 gr RN interlocks. It will shoot just as well as my 1929 on the same good day..
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    zkovach:

    7.62 x 54R bores are NOT 308. They are misnamed. Commercial ammo is 0.311. The only readily available rifle bullet components that come close to the correct size for 7.62 x 54R reloads are 303 British (also misnamed!). They are 0.312 inches and much closer to the size require for this M-N rifle.

    You can shoot smaller bullets in any gun but the results will be very disappointing. By mistake I shot some 25-06 cartridges in a 270 gun. The bullets got to the target but not every time. The difference is much greater in my example but the result is the same... poor accuracy.

    Slugging you barrel is important as who knows where this M-N has been, who has done what to it, and what barrel it wears today? Shooting a .312 bullet in .308 bore is not good as the tight fit slows the initial bullet movement allowing the pressure to skyrocket, perhaps bursting a case and blowing hot high pressure gases into your face and eyes. Be safe...SLUG the bore so you know before you hurt you and/or the gun.

    LDBennett
  6. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

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    Thanks for all the input!! i read the instructions and was happy i finally had a reason to use an egg style fishing weight! The results are a little confusing.
    I got a shiny look around the weight however the rifling marks are barely there although the rifeling in the barrell looks fairly strong to me. Anyways it measured between .312 and .313. So with what i have read in the lyman book and your expert advise i should be reloading a .303 british (3.12)

    Small question here i havent bought my equipment yet and i am still reading books and do Not know the process. i will be reloading a .303 bullet with a 7.62 x 54r die is that correct or do you have to substitute something. again sorry i am a begginer.

    Thanks!!!
  7. res45

    res45 New Member

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    Here are the various bullets I shoot in my M44 which is the carbine version of the 91/30 my bore slugged out to .313 The Surplus Bulgarian bullets mic. out at 310.5 the shoot a lot more accurately when I download them by about 1 full grain of powder to 47.0 grs factory powder which is the common sniper rifle rds. powder charge in about every commie country that used the 54r.

    The factory bore dia. on the Russian 91/30 is .311 but it may vary due to the fact that the Russian often didn't keep close tolerance on the mfg process and the use of corrosive ammo and bore ware are also a factor. Now if you happen to lay your hands on one of the Finnish 91/30 rebuilds you can expect to find a bore diameter of .309.5 if it's in mint condition and the M28/30 similar in style to the Russian 91/30 has a bore diameter of .308.5 but there pretty rare. As stated you can shoot 308 bullets in the rifle but accuracy will most likely suffer,I have seen a few reported cases where the 308 bullets shot great never hurts to try.

    My M44 and my brothers 91/30 PU Sniper both shoot .311 and .312 dia. bullets with excellent results.

    [​IMG]
  8. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

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    so res 45 can this gun be an accurate 100yrd. deer rifle?? of course i will be reloading these bullets to the barrel. and i appreciate the post by the way!!
  9. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    very much so, you'll know after a trip to the range for certain.
  10. res45

    res45 New Member

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  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Most 7.62X54R dies come with a .308 expander plug, all you have to do is order the expander plug for a .303 brit die set and switch em. I already load for the .303 brit so i just switch back and forth between the two die sets. I recommend the Hornady bullets, both their.312" 150 gr FBSP and their 174 gr RNSP are from their interlock line and make fine deer bullets out to 200 yds. The sierra 180 gr prohunter (.311) should shoot well too...
  12. zkovach

    zkovach Active Member

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    ok i am again new to reloading and i did buy rcbs die sets for 7.62 x 54r, but just so i am sure i have to get an expander plug for the .303. i guess i am wondering at this point in my expertise (none) how do you switch them out?? Thanks again all!!!
  13. Popgunner

    Popgunner New Member

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    Mosin barrels were all .308" till 1930 when the Russian rifles were brought in & re-barreled with .310" barrels. The lighter ball bullets remained .308" dia for a few years but had hollow bases to obturate into the new .310" bores. I have some cartridges with the 150 grain hollow base bullets & they shoot pretty well in a slightly larger barrel. The heavy bullet ball ammo in 1930 went to .310" & was called "d" type ammo. I do have a Finn M-39 that slugs out at .3085".
    Barrels on Mosins vary quite a bit. most Russian rifles slug .310-.316 & even larger due to wear & poor tooling at the factories. Milsurp bullets usually run .309-.310". .310" bullets were available till the recent component shortage.
    Lyman warns that although a barrel may slug a certain size it may not be safe to load any bullet larger than .310" due to the possibilty that the chamber can be tighter than the bore. Once a bullet gets moving down the barrel a little it doesnt seem to matter if it's a few thousandths too large-it tends to swage down fine & not raise pressures much. The problem is in the chamber where a bullet that's oversize to the chamber can be pinched inside the case by the chamber & on ignition pressure can spike & cases can rupture. "Bullet release" in the chamber is critical.
    I guage what bullet size is safe in my Mosins by firing a brass cased cartridge that has expanded inside the chamber & then shrunk back down slightly. In that case I try to insert bullets & if a bulet will fit into a fired case I figure there's enough room in that chamber to open up at ignition & release that bullet in that chamber. I have a couple of Mosins that really only shoot Cast lead bullets accurately since they obturate enough to fill the bore.
  14. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    on the full length sizer die there is a small pin the protrudes from the bottom of the die. That pin is the decapper and the expander is further up the rod inside the die (dont worry its all one piece). unscrew the small nut at the top of the die and drop the rod out the bottom of the die. put the .303 rod in the die and re tighten the nut (essentially all you are doing is putting a decapper rod with a bigger expander in the die). Once you have the decapper/expander rod out of the die you will see the bulge in it where it expands the neck to proper dimensions as its being pulled from the die. pretty simple tool once you get it apart and figure out how it works;)
  15. res45

    res45 New Member

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    JLA I believe he is using RCBS dies,the RCBS FL sizing die comes with two expander balls instead of rods like the LEE dies,you just have to remove the expander rod from the RCBS die.screw the expander ball off the end,put the decapping pin in the expander ball you want to use screw it on tight with your fingers and put the expander rod back into the die and readjust it to just pop the primer out.

    Generally RCBS will install the .308 expander ball in the FL die by default but it good to check with a set of calipers to make sure you have the correct one to match the bullet your using.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
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