A project that I started about two years ago has finally come to fruition, although not in the form that I envisioned originally. At that time I was shooting monthly reduced-course HP matches at 200 yds with cast bullets. I just used a couple of guns that I had which were throwbacks to an era when milsurps were commonly seen on the firing line at HP matches, namely a 1903 Springfield and a 1917 Enfield, both sporterized and with target sights. I had an idea that a match rifle chambered for a reduced capacity cartridge ought to be a lot more competitive so I took a .222 Remington Mod. 722 to my gunsmith/competitor/friend Ken Breda with instructions to turn it into a 7.62 X 39 chambered match rifle. A barrel was ordered and “Lapua chambered", also a new bolt and the action milled for clip feeding. But there the project stalled, as Ken couldn't get the gun to feed reliably. We considered trying to modify the gun to use magazines such as those in the Ruger Mini-14 but Ken was pretty busy building his gunsmithing practice and as time passed and my joints became more and more arthritic I started leaning more toward shooting the monthly silhouette match--same range, but at 200 meters. Ken sent the barrel of my gun off to be turned down to a sporter profile (he really wanted it out of his shop by now) and I ordered an H & N Anshutz-style stock and a Timney trigger. I robbed another 722 that I acquired some months ago of its 10X Weaver from the El Paso era. I'm about to finally shoot it and loaded up some Lapua brass with Eagan 175g bullets--unsized but lubed with LLA and stoked by 18g SR4759. Ed Harris, if you're reading this I know you have some good loads for the 7.62 X 39--I'd really appreciate hearing about them, or anyone else for that matter.
Loading for accuracy in the 7.62 X 39
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My best results were with Hoch nose-pour version of Lee C.312-155-2R with .155 diameter meplat cast 1 part linotype to 1 part wheelweights, using 21 grs. of RL7 and Federal 210M primers in IMI brass, lubed with 1 part Castrol synthetic Dexron ATF to 3 parts pure yellow beeswax. Twist was 14".
73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia
.45ACPete- There's an old HANDLOADER article with extensive cast bullet loads worked up in a Ruger bolt-action 7.62x39. Bullet weights ranged from around 160 to over 200 grains.
A good bullet I've used in my Ruger bolt-action was cast from an NEI mould (.311-155GC). It was designed by C.E. Harris. Lee Precision allegedly has a similar design that I've had no experience with. I use water-dropped wheelweight alloy, but I'd at least try straight ww alloy if I were to load this bullet again. It worked well for me using 20 grains 1680, 20 grains IMR4198, and 24 grains 2230. The 4198 & 2230 loads chronographed at around 1830 fps; didn't chronograph the 1680 load.
The Lyman #311291 .30-30 bullet (about 185 grains) and the RCBS 30-180-SP (about 190 grains) both shot very well with 24 grains 2230 with velocities around 1,800 fps. Loads may be around max. with these heavy bullets but were accurate in my rifle.
As I recall, with the Ruger, I could tell little accuracy difference between .311” &.312” bullets. Some guns may do better with other diameters.
Loading a 7.52x39 for fun with the Harris bullet ( if memory serves me ,the name of the bullet is"little fat F.....". A case full of an Italian Ball Powder PEFL ( PIROTECNICO ESERCITO FONTANA LIRI) .
Nice cast bullet speed and flawlwss functioning. In a good bore chinese SKS I kept them all in a Minute of steel plate at 60 yards from offhand standing .
From an old 6 cavity mold made by Walt Melander's NEI.
Now having modified the bullets to plain base because I become tired with the chore of enlarging the gas checks with hammer and punch, I shoot them at subsonic speed , opening the bolt by hand , making less noise and ringing the gongs regularily.
You can stop the enlarging of 30 cal. gas checks for 7.62X39 cast bullets if you get the correct size. 7.62X39 is not 30 caliber, it is 31 caliber. Try the 31 caliber gas checks made for .303 Brit. Here are the ones I use now:
Can Sage Outdoors export to Italy???
73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia
What are the actual size difference between the 30 and 31 checks? Are they using a thicker metal? My moulds that I have for 7.62x54 all still use the same 0.284” gas check shank. So does the 155gr Lee mould I have but it is a tapered shank.
I talked to a friend about this as he makes check for a bunch of places. We talked about using the 0.284” shank but using a 0.0016"+ litho plate to help with the 39 and 54R Russians. He makes his own tooling so this could be done easy. The gas check makers sell the tooling made for the use of 0.0014” litho or smaller. If you use a thicker metal it would swage the metal and make a taller and thinner check.
Thank you , I ignored (what a shame) the existence of this aluminium gas check provider. That says he is shipping worlwide.
I am in contact with CBA members that are studying a new group buy for gang aluminum molds of the original fat(314) LFF bullet.
It will be a good thing to make a gas check shank compatible with these aluminum gas checks .
I used to have some 32 Hornady gas checks , but i vaguely remember they were too large for my particular bullets .
At one time Remington (or was it Federal?) offered the 7.62 x 39 with a small primer pocket. I used those in an MOA single shot falling block handgun for silhouettes and the guy I bought it from gave me the small primer cases.
However, the Lapua 220 Russian (small primer) could be used to form 7.62 x 39 cases. Lapua offers a 7.62 x 39 case with the large primer pocket.
Sages is a dad and son company and members of this forum. They work hard to please customers and will give you any info you need on check materials thickness and shank sizes. I have done some testing for them and they are wonderful people. They also do special size runs.
Never had a problem with .30 cal. gas checks on the NEI-cast bullet. Seems they also worked fine on bullets cast from an LBT 7.62x39 mould. I believe that one makes a .315” bullet as cast. Both these moulds are more than twenty years old; guess they cut them for .30 caliber gas checks then. Perhaps that changed.
Tom, You're correct, Remington 7.62 x 39mm brass did indeed have small primer pockets, whereas, Federal, Lapua, and Winchester used LR primers. Also, like rockquarry, I had a C. E. Harris designed LBT 7.62 x 39 bullet mold, which dropped a .315” bullet, which I then sized to .314” for my Type 56 SKS (spike bayonet): Never had a problem using Hornady .30cal. gas checks with that bullet.
A bit off-subject, but regarding the small primer pocket Remingtion brass vs. the large primer pocket Winchester cases... I have both, the Remington from about twenty+ years ago when I began handloading the 7.62x39. I seldom shoot this cartridge anymore, but a couple of years ago I made up some identical loads using both cases. They were chronographed and checked for accuracy and point-of-impact variance in my Ruger bolt-action. Surprisingly, the different brass could be used interchangeably. Velocities, accuracy, and point-of-impact were virtually the same.
Gary--my Eagan MX3-30X is pretty much a dead ringer for your Ranchdog 165 Don't have any 2230 but I do have RL-7 and 4198. Thanks to all of you who responded so promptly. Guess I should have asked if any of you, especially our guru Ed, recommends a barrel break-in with jacketed bullets? This is only the second time, I think, that I've been the guy who fires the first rounds through a barrel
I get jacketed bullets no where near any of my rifles. Consider polishing your bore with the method I developed recommend for cast bullet shooting:
It is a one time thing that works for me and others report good results doing this also.
P.S. a case-full of H4895 does it well for me in the X39 also. H322 will give the highest velocity, but the AA2230 does it all for me.
For those that don't know it, NOE currently has a group buy on a Ranch Dog bullet designed for the lil' Russian.. NOE TLC313-150-RF (7.62x39) http://noebulletmolds.com/smf/index.php/topic,587.0.html There is a 15% discount on price if you get in on this buy..
Probably should have mentioned in my original post that my gun has a .308 barrel--thus all my .30 cal. molds are good to go.
My samples from Sage arrived. My measurements show the .30 chek and .303 chek have the same ID, different OD due to apparent thicker material on .303 check.
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