Getting Started - Reloading 7.62x25

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Hi,

I just started shooting a couple of years ago. One of my favorite guns is my 7.62x25 M57, surplus was nice and cheap when I started shooting. Now it's a little hard to find, I would like to get into reloading so I can continue to shoot my M57.

I want to reload as cheaply (per round) as I can, and am looking at getting a Turret Press. I have a couple of questions starting out.

The first is, where can I get a good supply of .308 pistol bullets? I'm thinking of using hard cast to save money. I realize that this has a drawback as I have to watch for leading to occur in my pistol.

The second question is, just what should I be looking for in a press? I would like to get something that is faster than a single stage, and I'm not against spending extra to get a quality press as it's a one time cost.

Thanks...
 

EddieCoyle

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there are many much more pleasant pistols to shoot than m57 or tt33 and many more easier and cheaper calibers to reload than 7.62x25.
i weighed my options on reloading it and decided against it.
BTW brass that came from surplus ammo is berdan not boxer - another roadblock.
 
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When I started noticing the price going up on surplus I bought 500 rounds of Prvi Partisan, so that I would have good brass cases to use. I still have most of a tin of surplus ammo, which I'm saving for a (figuratively) rainy day. It feels quite a bit hotter than the PPU ammo I've been running through it lately.

So if a turret isn't quicker than a single stage, what advantages does it have? I would also like the option of being able to reload 9mm Makarov, 9mm Luger, 7.62x39, and 7.62x54R. Would it make more sense to get a die set for 9mm Makarov or 9mm Luger and learn to reload one of those before attempting to load 7.62x25?
 
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reloading rifle ammo costs more money than reloading pistol ammo simply because rifle round takes 2 to 4 times as much powder than pistol round. however cost of the powder is the same for both pistols and rifles.

also for rifles you can not get away using lead projectiles so cost of bullets also higher. especially .311 bullets.

unless you are talking some really rare/exotic, hard to come by ammo then it's rarely worth it.
it is definitely not worth it for 7.62 russian rifle calibers. when you can get ammo (either surplus or commercial steel) for 18-25 c/r it's a no-go deal for reloads
you'll spend more money buying projectiles and powder alone trying to reload these. unless you wanna tinker with some specific goals or some unusual loads it's not worth it monetarily.

prices are still somewhat on retarded side, but they have been coming down over the course of last three weeks. i've been keeping really close eye on those specific calibers. even now you can find it at normal pre-Sandyhook prices especially x54r. not so much x39 but we are getting there.

it's not like Big Sis is going to swoop-in and buy all that russian ammo out as well ;-)
 
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EddieCoyle

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So if a turret isn't quicker than a single stage, what advantages does it have?
Not much any more. It used to be that with a turret press, you could install and preset a whole set (or two) of dies, and all you had to do to switch dies was to rotate the turret.

With the introduction of quick-change die bushings like the Hornady L-N-L (for which you can get an adapter to fit most single stage presses) and Lee Breech Lock, it's just as easy to swap in an already-set die into a single stage as it is to rotate a turret.
 
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Haven't tried myself, since I'm not out of surplus 7.62x25 yet, but I've read in multiple places that 223 brass can be converted.

Example: .223 to 7.62×25 Cartridge Conversion | Welcome to SurplusFirearm.com

I don't think I like the cartridge enough to go through all that, actually.
completely agree. as i said earlier there are much more pleasant pistols and calibers to shoot and reload.
tt33/m57 good as a novelty/fun gun. not really THAT suitable for SD or CC - too heavy, low-cap, somewhat clunky and not very accurate. (if NY SAFE doesn't get re-pealed these might start attracting attention of NY residence being compliant low-cap semi-autos that are fairly inexpensive)
one day i might to buy a conversion kit to 9mm if i can find one again. these has gotten very scarce lately.
for all we know 7.62x25 can become available again at surplus cost. or not.
 

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I will chime in.......I love my hornady single stage vs the Lyman turret press I had......it could have been my new to reloading errors BUT I seemed to make mistakes with the turret press?
There are plenty of guys shooting cast boolits out of their Russian cals.
I tossed back and fourth reloading 762x25. I love my x25 lead slingers but enjoy shooting less expensive more acccurate ammo/guns.
I have also put off the 9mm mak reloading also....I just don't shoot often enough I'm x25 and 9 mak to justify...yet.

I also cant see the point of reloading x39 for Ak, sks, and the likes of other weapons. I don't see the gain? If you have a CZ bolt gun or Remington mini Mauser in x39 maybe?
I reload x54r for my mosins as they are more accurate enough to make it much more fun than the surplus...

I load cast boolits for 54r 30-06 and 8mm Mauser. If you cast the proper size they are accurate and minimal leading.
 
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I have a lyman 6 station turret. I use it to have my pistol bell dies all set up and labelled. I load single on a CH press.
 
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I'm not planning on reloading 7.62x39, or 7.62x54R since it is cheap enough to just buy commercial or surplus ammo. I really enjoy my Tokarev and Makarov pistols. There is something I find very cool about shooting these soviet guns. I guess I'm just looking at having the option of reloading as supply (for the tok) seems to be going dry.
 

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I'm not planning on reloading 7.62x39, or 7.62x54R since it is cheap enough to just buy commercial or surplus ammo. I really enjoy my Tokarev and Makarov pistols. There is something I find very cool about shooting these soviet guns. I guess I'm just looking at having the option of reloading as supply (for the tok) seems to be going dry.
Slug your bore, find a mold that'll throw a bullet a couple thousandths over the bore diameter and a bullet sizing die that will make them 0.001" over. Then pick up a copy of the Lyman 49th manual and go to town.
 
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The turret press is much faster than a single stage. You can do all the operations without having to move the case around so much.

That being said, get the dies and a reloading manual. Do one operation at a time and make sure things are adjusted correctly. Start on the low end of the powder charge and work up to something that will operate the pistol reliably. Full power loads will tend to be less accurate.

I have a CZ-52 that I'd like to start reloading for, but it doesn't get shot much. keep your surplus brass, as berdan primers are somewhat available again.
 

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I had today off from work and decided to see if I could make some tokarev loads for the first time using new starline brass, hornady 86 gr soft points, and 7.6 grains of Power Pistol. I'm also using Lee steel dies including the FCD.

I ran into issues with not being able to flare the case mouth to easily rest a bullet inside, no matter how much I adjusted the expanding die. I get a tiny amount of resistance when lowering the cases out of the expanding die as if the cases are sticking to the inside of the die. I've noticed this with 357 magnum too but has never seemed to cause any issues. I'm sure if I lubed the inside of the case mouth they would probably slide out of the expanding die a little easier.

Anyway, I seated them to the cannelure ~1.320" OAL but noticed most of the bullets were just barely off center/crooked in the case. I made 20 rounds and loaded them into a mag and cycled them all through the gun without any hangups. Went into battery easily, all ejected fine etc. I'll upload some pictures of the rounds to show the very slight crookedness with the bullets. Not sure if they're safe to shoot, probably won't shoot all that accurate?

Also I did not run the cases through the sizing die as they all measured to the trim-to-length, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to run them through the sizing die to see if it helps with the bullets seating?
 

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View attachment 119059
It's kind of hard to see (case on the right), it doesn't seem to be very significant? The only reason I noticed it was when I looked at the cannelure after seating and noticed the the cannelure is exposed more depending which way you held the case. Then I realized the bullet is canted to one side just slightly. You can also notice it more when looking where the jacket ends and the soft point lead begins - the edge is canted to the left.

I could just try them at the range and see if they shoot as good as the surplus ammo I have.
 
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your seating die might be resting on the not so uniform SP tip. Would not surprise me if the cannelure is not true around the bullet either.
 
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your searing die might be resting on the not so unformed SP tip. Would not surprise me if the cannelure is not true around the bullet either.
Ohh good point, that seems very possible with the seating die. And I didn't think that the cannelure might not be true all the way around the bullet.

So there's no real way to fix it if it's the bullet tip that's not uniform?
 

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Ohh good point, that seems very possible with the seating die. And I didn't think that the cannelure might not be true all the way around the bullet.

So there's no real way to fix it if it's the bullet tip that's not uniform?
I wonder if you couldnt see the cannelure would you have picked up on a crooked bullet? I tried like hell to not "see" the cannelure. I think it throws you off. As for cannelures not being true....yes possible and they are not always in the same place bullet to bullet
 
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I'm not planning on reloading 7.62x39, or 7.62x54R since it is cheap enough to just buy commercial or surplus ammo. I really enjoy my Tokarev and Makarov pistols. There is something I find very cool about shooting these soviet guns. I guess I'm just looking at having the option of reloading as supply (for the tok) seems to be going dry.
It would still make sense to accumulate boxer-primed brass in 39 and 54R, although you'll rarely pick it up at the range since everyone else is usually shooting steel-cased or surplus fodder.
Just think of the possibilities, even with commonly-available, cheap, surplus calibers: cast bullet reloads for enjoyable, economical shooting, frangibles, sabots and plastic bullets. Not likely to find any of these as low-priced surplus ammo. Even standard jacketed loads that you make and tune to your Mosin Nagant or SKS will likely perform better than surplus ammo. You'll have to find this out for yourself as you progress.
Even in your 7.62x25 reloads, you can use the sabot bullets, but load development isn't really where you want to start reloading.
Ultimately the surplus inventory will dry up, then what?
Good luck...
 
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I have a CZ-52 that I'd like to start reloading for, but it doesn't get shot much. keep your surplus brass, as berdan primers are somewhat available again.
Are you finding berdan small pistol primers in the USA?
I know the .217" rifle primers are available, but I've never seen the small rifle, small or large pistol nor 6.5mm extra large rifle primers anywhere except at Muron Apparatus in Russia.
 

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I wonder if you couldnt see the cannelure would you have picked up on a crooked bullet? I tried like hell to not "see" the cannelure. I think it throws you off. As for cannelures not being true....yes possible and they are not always in the same place bullet to bullet
This very well could be the issue.

Update: I screwed in the expanding adjustment screw quite a ways and was able to get a rather large flare. Problem is that the case sticks to the expanding plug (or whatever it's called) inside the die and causes me to jerk the whole press a bit as I lower the ram and pull the case from the expanding die. It's not like expanding other calibers where I simply raise the case into the expanding die and easily remove it without any resistance. Thoughts?
 
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Well this explains the cases sticking when removing from the expander die. Saw this in the Lee die instructions:

Inuse, the expander plug travels approximately 3⁄8” within thedie and comes to an abrupt stop at extraction. This helps to shake the powder through.

Not a fan of this as I use the Hornady powder measure not the lee funnel to be used with the powder through expander die.
 

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you could also go to thecloadmasterzone.com for all things lee.
Are you useing the expander die to auto drop powder? If not a universal expanded maybe a better opption.
like lees uni exspander or Lyman M die? Lee dies sometimes require a bit of polishing on the internals.
 

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you could also go to thecloadmasterzone.com for all things lee.
Are you useing the expander die to auto drop powder? If not a universal expanded maybe a better opption.
like lees uni exspander or Lyman M die? Lee dies sometimes require a bit of polishing on the internals.
Im using the powder through expander but I'm dropping powder in a separate station using the Hornady powder measure. I was just reading on another forum about the Lee universal expander won't give any resistance like the powder through expander and is a better option like you said. Think I'll order one on Amazon now. Funny that I don't have this issue with all the other Lee dies I have for 9mm, 38spl, 30 carbine and 30-06.
 

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Im using the powder through expander but I'm dropping powder in a separate station using the Hornady powder measure. I was just reading on another forum about the Lee universal expander won't give any resistance like the powder through expander and is a better option like you said. Think I'll order one on Amazon now. Funny that I don't have this issue with all the other Lee dies I have for 9mm, 38spl, 30 carbine and 30-06.
That's Lee for you. The best for the money but not always the best. I find so far about 40% of all my lee stuff has needed "diy" improvement.
 

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That's Lee for you. The best for the money but not always the best. I find so far about 40% of all my lee stuff has needed "diy" improvement.
Haha yeah you get what you pay for I suppose. Just ordered the universal flaring die. $14 shipped ain't terrible.
 

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Well tested some loads this afternoon. Made 20 rounds using Hornady 86 gr soft point with 7.7 gr of power pistol and 20 rounds using 110 gr Berrys plated RN with 8.1 gr of power pistol. Both ~1.360" OAL.

The 86 gr loads were stout but accurate at 35 feet. Shot right at POA. The 110 gr loads on the other hand shot WAY high and didn't shoot as tight as the 86 gr rounds. The recoil was pretty stout as well. I had to basically hide the front sight below the rear sight in order to hit my steel plate.

I still have to play around with the lee FCD to make sure I'm not overcrimping. I pulled both bullets and didn't cut through or deform the plated bullet, same with the jacketed soft points.

I think I'm going to stick with the 86 gr bullets as they shot great and POA. Might dial it down to 7.5 gr to reduce the recoil a bit. They were just as hot as the surplus ammo if not a tad hotter. I had 1 FTF out of the 40 I made which was the first or second round I shot if I recall. All in all I'm pleased with the results as this is a tricky round to reload.
 

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One issue is brass recovery. I forgot my brass catcher and tripod which made it tough and time consuming to find my brass. I think I got 34 out of 40 pieces back. Most of the brass was a good 15-20 feet from me in the 3 o'clock to 6 o'clock position.
 

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I found my favorite tokarev load

Hornady 86 gr SP
7.5 gr Power Pistol
1.32" OAL (seated to the cannelure).
Starline brass

It is very accurate. Was pinging my 10" steel plate at 40 feet at a very fast pace. Nice groups. Also the recoil is about the same as surplus ammo I have. I made up 56 rounds this morning and snuck out to the range just before sunset - perfect time to see the muzzle flash of the tokarev!
View attachment 119973View attachment 119974View attachment 119975

The brass catcher worked great as long as I kept the gun directly in front of the catcher at all times. Only missed a few casings.

I had one round fail to feed then notced the bullet was sunk deep into the case with only the soft point showing. Not sure what happened.
 
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