Nagant Reloading


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These are just a few quick notes on 7.62 Nagant reloading using 32-20 "Winchester" as well as the 7.62x38R "Fiocchi" reloadable brass.

  1. Ammo:

- Fiocchi ammo
I had a chance to buy a few boxes when they were still in $22-$25 dollar range, probably will not buy it again even if the price drops. Horrible crimp causes brass to split in 1-2 out of every 10 rounds. Overworked brass that survived the first firing does not last long for the reloading purposes. Accuracy is poor.

- Russian sport ammo (yellow boxes of 40 rounds)
While much weaker comparing to the "Fiocchi", this ammo provided better accuracy, but pricey and is not reloadable.

  1. Brass:

- "Lee" 32-20 modified for 7.62x38R dies work just fine for both - 32-20 and the 7.62x38R brass. However, you'll need a different shell holder for the 7.62x38R - "RCBS" makes them. You may also need a bullet sizing die or two.

Do not full resize the 7.62x38R brass - 1/2 or 3/4 length of a case is sufficient.

  1. Bullet:

- So far I have tried several types of bullets - "Meister" hard cast 100gr .312 DEWC, "Hornady" 90gr .314 HBWC, and "Hornady" 90gr .314 SWC.
It appears to me that .314 WC bullets work better in 32-20 brass, while 7.62x38R does better with WC sized to .311. HBWC is a better performer over DEWC by a very small margin.

  1. Seating and crimping:

- Original cartridge had bullet seated below the case mouth, however the "Lee" bullet seating die does not provide an option for that. There are several ways to overcome this obstacle:

    1) Seat a bullet until it is flash with the case mouth and then place a spacer (small bolt nut) of a smaller diameter than the bullet and of a desired thickness on top of the bullet and run through the seating die again;
    2) Lathe the top half portion of the seating stem to .308. Reverse the stem in the die and seat the bullet with it;
    3) Use the push rod from the .308 "Lee" bullet sizing die to replace the seating die stem.

I prefer to seat the bullet to a point when it almost touches the powder, otherwise I have experienced lots of unburned powder.

Do not crimp the 7.62x38R brass with the bullet seating die - you will end up with the ugly "Fiocchi" style crimp. Just run the loaded cartridge through the sizing die again about 1/3 of the length to taper it just so the case mouse can fit the barrel chamber easily.

  1. Shooting results (25 yards):

While these loads will need more work but first results are promissing.

- First load is using 7.62x38R "Fiocchi" brass charged with 2.7 grains of "Unique" powder and a 90 grains "Hornady" HBWC seated .410 below the case mouse.

- Second load is using reformed 32-20 "Starline" brass charged with 3.0 grains of "Unique" powder (11% increase since no gas seal) and a 90 grains "Hornady" HBWC seated .190 below the case mouse.