I have a Swiss K11 and a set of RCBS dies in 7.5 X 55. I also am expecting UPS to bring me a K31 any day now. In perusing Midway's site and buyer's comments re. 7.5 X 55 dies I have seen several warnings that in loading for the K31 use Redding dies only--all other manufacturer's dies are dimensioned for the earlier K11 rifle and carbine. The cartridge designation is the same but there is a slight difference--in the body taper, I think. Anybody on this site ever hear of this? I hope Wally Enga sees this--I consider him the resident guru on Swiss rifles.
Reloading dies for a K31
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- Last Post 11 May 2020
I use RCBS dies for my K31 but When I F/L resize them I have to bottom out the die or my reloads won't chamber. I bought a set of Lee dies first and that was a waste of money!
Hornady makes K31 specific dies.
My box label says “7.5 Swiss K31" Two dies, full length and seating.
Lee also makes a two die set with the collet die being one of the dies
Lee 7.5X55 Swiss Collet Die Set includes a Collet Die that uses a collet to squeeze a mandrel creating a precisely aligned case neck while reducing run out, Dead Length Bullet Seater Die, Shell Holder, Powder Dipper and Load Data
I have lee, rcbs, and I think a set of bair or old Lyman dies. All size the crap out of brass. I mean they are real hard on it. I did a bit of thinking and ran across a set of new lee custom 30-284 dies. Several told me they would not work. I have used them and not looked back. Have a lot of 100 pieces of the Graf brass that has been worked over 25 times. Jeff
Problem is that the k31 chamber is way bigger than the '11 chamber. Ease of reloading when the rifle is dirty inside out. Noone thought of reloading when they did that.
Here is a pic of a 7,62x51 NATO that has been through a Swiss stgw57
Forgot to mention why it is important to size enough. If there is a slight resistance when a round is chambered it is hard to determine if the bolt is closed properly. When the bolt is closed “almost” the firing pin will use all it's power trying to close the bolt, and the result is light or no primer strikes at all.
I have both a K31 and a 1911. The K31 dates to 1945. I use Lee dies and have no problem with my reloads working in either rifle.
I use lee dies in my K31,with cast loads .
Any neck sizer will do with cast loads,
The Sturmgewehr 57 chews up the brass, and is as heavy as a German Spandau MG.
Beautiful rifle in his ugliness. in the style of the various SMLE.
My RCBS FL die required a lot of force to size cases shot in my K31. The K31 chamber is larger than the older rifle and the RCBS die is made for the older rifle's chamber dimensions and works the brass for a K31 a lot. I bought a lee collet sizing die and it seems to work fine for my K31.
I resized some fired 7.5x55mm casings last week with Lee dies. It took more effort than other calibers. I haven't done a chamber cast, but (as mentioned) the chamber must be large.
Even though I full length resized the casings, five or six rounds would not fire. I had to slam the bolt home with a bit of “aggression” to get the reluctant rounds to fire. I'm guessing I moved the shoulder back just a scouch.
Years ago, I learned the hard way that just because casings would chamber (or at least appear to) they wouldn't necessarily fire. This is the only rifle I have experienced this with.
I received a Lee Collet Die set yesterday, and am looking forward to not having to full length size. I'm just waiting for a Lee Factory Crimp Die, on back order, before loading some more. Kudos to Brownells / Sinclair. Two days from order to my doorstep.
CH4D also makes dies that are K31 specific.
I thought I had a problem with my K31 too when it would not fire. Turned out the factory ammo had the jacketed bullets seated out too far and would not allow action to close all the way. Serial number on bolt sleeve must be all the way to the top position to assure lockup. Once I seated bullets deeper, problem solved. Now when shooting cast I use the last bit of lockup to engrave lands.
Agreed, the problem is that the K31 chamber is way bigger than the tighter K11 chamber, especially at the shoulder. For reloading purposes I re-size the cases differently for the two variants.
My Redding dies produce high-quality ammo for my target-grade, private-purchase, diopter-sighted K31 which, it has to be said, shoots way better than these old eyes can see! However, the same cartridges will not chamber at all in my delightful K11 fun gun.
Bought a set of cheap Lee dies which taper the PPU 7.5x55 Swiss cases to a whopping 0.35mm narrower at the shoulder than the Redding offering - result happiness! Lee-made ammo feeds and chambers fine and the K11 is back in business.
I now use Redding dies for precision target ammo in the K31, Lee dies for plinking ammo in the K11 and keep the cases separate to avoid over-working K31-fired cases through the tighter Lee sizing die.
Never had any problems with the Redding dies I use . I load for K31 and 1911 both .
Grumpy Old Man With A Gun......Do Not Touch .
I don't own a K31 or any other Swiss rifle, but I have loaded for a number of guns that had oversized or very tight chambers. Until Lee came along the only dies I had were RCBS. I have never had any trouble neck sizing with the RCBS full length sizing die. I just mark the case with soot and back the die way out. I slowly screw the die back in checking to see just how much of the neck has been sized, and keep it up until I am satisfied, and then lock the die. Of course I only do this with brass that has been fire-formed to the chamber, and I have been compelled to keep brass separate and marked for a particular weapon.
Can we stop beating this dead horse ?
The RCBS dies are made for the 1911 chamber (call and ask)
The Lee dies are sorta in the middle - skip them
Reddings are for the K31
Hornady makes sets for both, different part numbers.
It's all on the net !
Tried the ALL in several K31s. Hornadys are the best because of bullet alignment..
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