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BENCH TOPICS: RELOADING THE 7.5 x 55 SWISS - Part I: Tools, Tips & Tricks For The Swiss K-31 Mil-Surp rifle  by Mark Trope  

On the 7.5 X 55 bullet front, it’s all good news.  The 7.5 X 55 Swiss round uses a “standard size” (standard size for the US and 7.62 NATO rounds) .308 (.30 caliber) diameter bullets.   Readily available jacketed; or cast bullets from standard molds are the ticket for this cartridge.  Now let’s look at commercial brass and ammunition.    More

Bench Topics: LEE CLASSIC TURRET PRESS: Putting Lee’s Newest Reloading Press (and associated Lee tools) To The Test  by Mark Trope  

In this article we are going to look at Lee’s latest offering, the Lee Classic Turret Press.   The Lee Classic Cast Press (single stage, O frame design) has been so successful; that Lee took the next step; and used that press design as a basis for a heavy-duty, compound leverage turret press.   Does the Lee Classic Turret Press qualify as a “best quality”?  Will it load ammunition fast, and accurately?  Let’s check it out.       More

Bench Topics: New Reloading Die Prep. by Mark Trope  

Redding’s dies come coated with the usual petroleum based shipping preservative (Note.1).  The shipping preservative must be removed prior to using new dies. Removing shipping preservative and properly preparing dies for loading operations is a simple task and only takes a short amount of time.        More

BREAKING IT DOWN! RIFLE AMMUNITION Disassembling factory loads or handloads swiftly and safely so the components can be reused. by Mark Trope  


Hornady Manufacturing Company makes a tool called the Cam-Lock Bullet Puller.  The Cam-Lock Bullet Puller is a press-mounted tool.   Instead of using kinetic energy to separate a bullet from the brass case, this tool is installed in the die station of a standard reloading press.  The leverage of the press handle supplies the energy to disassemble the loaded round.   There are no disadvantages to this tool and lots of reasons to recommend it.   Let’s take a closer look at the Hornady Cam-Lock Bullet Puller.      More

The Other Carcano by Bob Shell

A fact not well known to everyone is that some Carcanos were made in the 8 X 57 Mauser chambering for the African campaign. The logic I suppose was to simplify ammo supplies with the Germans. I am not sure exactly how many were made but they are not real common today as is the other two chamberings. I heard that about 50,000 of those rifles were manufactured. More

Chronograph: A Reliable and Inexpensive Velocity Measurement and Diagnostic Tool for the Mil-Surp Shooter.  by Mark Trope  

A chronograph is simply a device used to measure bullet velocity.  As a bullet passes the first screen a timer is started.  As the bullet passes the second screen the timer is stopped.  The microprocessor translated this raw data to a direct read out in feet per second (FPS).   Owning one today is as simple as selecting the model you wish, and ordering it from any on-line or catalog dealer.  It wasn’t always so!  At one time, the prospect of acquiring a digital chronograph with light sensitive sky screens, that gave a direct read out in FPS was as expensive and daunting as acquiring one of the first VCR’s!  In 1976, such a model chronograph would set a fellow back at least $300.00 dollars + shipping!    More

UPDATE 3: .308 Winchester vs. 7.62 NATO - The third installment in our discussion of these two very different cartridges, and their use in Mil-surp rifles.  by Mark Trope  

The Remington .308 Winchester Managed-Recoil load is advertised as reduced in pressure from the industry standard pressure of 52,000 cup for the .308 Winchester.  The way to reduce pressure in a load is to use less powder of a type (proper burning rate) appropriate for that cartridge, a lighter bullet, or both.   Remington’s new load utilizes a 125-grain Core-Lokt PSP bullet.  This bullet’s jacket is specifically designed to give proper expansion at lower velocity on deer and medium sized game.  The Remington Managed- Recoil load contains 32.5 grains of a long, stick-type powder.  The individual powder sticks are of a rather small diameter.  It appears Remington has elected to use both techniques to produce a load that produces less recoil and less pressure then regular .308 Winchester ammunition.       More

Reloading and Shooting the 88 Commission Rifle  by Bob Shell 

The 1888 Commission rifle has a hand guard around the barrel which in theory gave it more accuracy but was difficult to produce and install. It also collected water inducing rust on the barrel. It was a well made product for its time but isn’t as strong as the 98 Mauser which replaced it. We must remember that in 1888 smokeless powder was in its infancy and the gun makers did not fully understand the requirements for heat treating for the higher pressure powder. The workmanship appears to be typical for an early German arm, meaning that it was good with few or no tool marks.        More

Two Reloading Tools And A Process: The Lee Decapping Die, Lee Case Neck Flaring Die And Safely Decapping “Live” Primers  by Mark Trope  

Removing live, corrosive primers is a simple procedure.  First, the bullet and powder must be removed.  Bullets can be removed with either a kinetic, or a press mounted bullet puller.  Mil-Surp ammunition usually has some type of sealer between the bullet and case mouth.  Often, it is a black asphalt mixture; sometimes it is a lacquer seal.  If using a kinetic bullet puller, first you’ll want to seat the bullet a few thousands deeper in the case with the seating die installed in your press prior to attempting removal.  Seating the bullet a few thousands deeper will break the seal between the bullet and case mouth, allowing the kinetic puller to remove the bullet and powder. Next, the reloader must decide if the original powder is to be reused.  If not, it must be properly disposed of.  Disposal is easy.  Flush it down the commode, or, alternately, scatter it in the grass & bushes.  Powder is loaded with nitrates; it’s fine fertilizer!       More

UPDATE: .308 Winchester vs. 7.62 NATO - Finally, light at the end of the tunnel for the non-reloading shooter of 7.62 NATO chambered Mil-Surp rifles.  by Mark Trope  

How did Federal do it? By combining a thinly jacketed 170-grain bullet designed for the 30/30, and a low-pressure powder charge, Federal’s 308LR Power Shock load is designed for hunting medium game. Medium game often shot at relatively close ranges; does not requiring a full power .308 Winchester load. Consider how many deer are harvested every year with a 30/30-lever gun. Federal’s 308LR Power Shock load fairly well duplicates the performance of the 30/30.       More

Reloading for the 8x50R Austrian Straight Pull  by Bob Shell 

The big question for me was whether or not I could shoot my new find. Wall hangers, while nice to look at, really don’t interest me. If I can’t shoot it - then I don’t want it. As with any older gun it’s important to check it out for safety and proper caliber. If you’re not sure then have a gunsmith check it out for you. A few dollars of safety is better then thousands of dollars of misery.           More

Reloading and Shooting the 8x52Rmm Siamese Mauser  by Bob Shell 

For brass I found that the 45-70 cases is the best one to use. The rim has to be cut down and the case sized correctly in order to obtain good cases. Case length is 2.04” while the rim is .560” in diameter. If you are making your cases I suggest an intermediate step by partially necking down in a 33 Winchester die. Then size it until the case chambers in your gun. I have developed and chronographed some loads that are safe in my gun but you may want to approach from below with the full power loads.         More

.308 WINCHESTER VS. 7.62 NATO: The continuing discussion of these two very different cartridges, and their use in Mil-Surp rifles  by Mark Trope  

The differences between the .308 Winchester and the 7.62 NATO continue to be the subject of emails from readers.  Quite frankly, I’m not at all surprised at the volume of email we receive on the subject.  The Mil-Surp bug bites more people every month, guns are acquired, and new readers are constantly adding Surplusrifle.com to their favorites.   The .308 Winchester vs. 7.62 NATO discussion is one of those subjects that just has to get re-clarified every now & then.  So gentle reader, if you recall many of the points brought up in this article from an article you read a few years back; please remember, lots of new brethren have come to the Mil-Surp fold.            More

Berdan Reloading Part 3  by R. Ted Jeo

In this third installment on Berdan reloading, I take a look at the RCBS Berdan Decapping tool. Now, you may say, but why? Well, I also asked that before I used the device for the first time, but I would have to say, this little piece of equipment may become a Berdan reloader’s standard tool. The device comes in the standard RCBS green plastic box and includes a case holder and the decapper proper. Both are made of extremely high grade hard steel.  More

BENCH TOPICS Thinking outside the box: Using a LEE .308 Collet Die to neck size the 7.62X54R  by Mark Trope  

Let’s take a quick look at the The LEE Collet Die. The LEE Collet Die has a center mandrel that serves two functions. It serves as a holder for the decapping pin; however, its main function is to provide a properly sized shaft for the fingers of the collet to close around when a cartridge case is inserted in the “die”. Actually, the “die” body only serves as a holder for the collet & sliding sleeve. A cap threads into the top of the die body and retains the mandrel. A sliding sleeve is in the lower part of the die. The sleeve is pushed up by the press shellholder to engage the collet assembly. The sliding sleeve causes the four “fingers” of the collet to compress. Since each collet die is precisely made to fit a certain cartridge; the fingers of the collet will surround the outside neck of the correct cartridge case. The mandrel will already be inside the case neck. The case neck will be squeezed down to the correct diameter as the collet fingers contract.        More

Review: Handloader’s Digest, 18th Ed  by R. Ted Jeo

This book consists of several articles written by acknowledged and published reloading experts. Of particular interest to the mil surp reloader is an article by Don Horne on Handloading for the 30 Mauser C.96, better known as the Mauser Broomhandle.  I would get this book JUST for this article.  Horne goes into some background on shooting the Broomhandle and then proceeds to use KNOWN and AVAILABLE powder and bullet combinations and tests these loads in his C.96 Mauser, complete with accuracy and functionality notes. More

Review: The ABC’s of Reloading, 7th Edition  by R. Ted Jeo

I have been reloading since 1985 or so. I do not consider myself an expert by any means, but I do feel I am competent to pretty much take on any sort of reloading technique that is out there. I was, at first, thinking that this book would be too “beginnerish” for me, instead, I found “The ABC’s of Reloading” book an excellent reference manual that would be equally valuable for the very beginner to the most advanced reloader.  More

Making A Prudent Choice: Smokeless Powder, Loading Data & the Mil-Surp Medium Bore, Bolt Action Rifle  by Mark Trope  

I decided to do a quick check of 3 current manuals for the number of powders & loads listed for the most common bullet weights used in one popular Mil-Surp cartridge. I was going to check the 30/06. However, since I wanted to make it a quick check, I choose the 8mm Mauser (8X57) instead. There are page, after page, after page of 30/06 loads!         More

Light Loads and the Norwegian Krag Carbine M1912/16  by Jamie Mangrum

Have you ever purchased a collectible firearm in an odd caliber and then it just sits in your safe, never being shot? This is me! Over the years I have purchased all kinds of rifles like this. This article is about one such firearm. I purchased my Norwegian Krag carbine a couple of years ago. The Norwegian Krag is chambered in 6.5x55mm Mauser.    More

Reloading Berdan Primed Brass: Part 2 - 8x56R  by R. Ted Jeo

Having done the major parts, which I think was finding the primer source and making a decapper, I figured that I should put the technique to good use and load up some ammo for a caliber that just BEGS to have it’s Berdan primed brass reloaded.  I chose the 8x56R caliber because mil surp ammo for this caliber does not grow on trees anymore (probably never did or will) and, by reloading the ammo, we could tailor make it so it does not beat the daylights out of you with its nasty recoil. More

Reloading Berdan Primed Brass: Part 1  by R. Ted Jeo

I was looking through a big tub of shot brass that I keep all my “non reloadable” brass in and was lamenting on the fact that some of it was just too nice to toss out (CHEAP, cheap cheap cheap cheap…..). Then someone pointed out to me that one CAN get Berdan primers here in the US. One thing led to another and what follows is my experience in reloading Berdan primed brass. More

Squeeze Play II: The Continuing Examination of Solutions For Crimped Primers In Mil-Surp Or Commercial Ammunition  by Mark Trope  

In a previous article, Squeeze Play, we considered how Mil-Surp ammunition almost always has crimped in primers, and if we wish to reload that brass, the crimp will have to be relieved before re-priming can proceed. We looked at two different ways to prep primer pockets to receive new primers. The first method we discussed was reaming. Reaming involves removing the crimp ring with a special cutting tool. In “Squeeze Play” we covered primer pocket reaming. Even though reamers remove very little material, many experienced reloaders prefer not to ream, they feel removal of any brass, no matter how small the amount, will be detrimental.     More

THREADED FASTENERS: Carriage Bolts, Studs, Machine Screws & C Clamps (Selecting The Proper Components To Secure Reloading Equipment To The Bench)   by Mark Trope  

I recently received an interesting email from a gentleman.  He was inquiring about the proper way to secure his new reloading press.  He had questions concerning the use of studs, metal mounting plates and the proper way to layout a drill pattern.  He also wanted to know about drilling & tapping.  Often, a person won’t want all his or her equipment permanently secured to the bench.  These are all excellent subjects. Any number of factors can figure into which are the “best” fasteners to select when equipment & tools are to be secured to a bench. Some of the considerations are: bench size, the number of tools to be mounted, frequency of tool use and weather a tool has holes or slots for fastener attachment.  Before we even discuss threaded fasteners; let’s look at mounting & tool issues in detail.  More

Squeeze Play: Solutions For Crimped Primers In Mil-Surp Ammunition  by Mark Trope  

No doubt about it, acquiring a supply of clean, boxer-primed, Mil-Surp ammunition or brass is a treasure trove for handloaders. Loaded Mil-Surp ammunition is usually priced well below commercial ammunition.  Boxer primed surplus ammunition can be simply fired “as-is”, and the brass used for reloads, or, the bullets can be pulled, powder charge removed and the loader’s own powder & bullets used in the virgin, primed brass.  However, once that boxer primed Mil-Surp ammunition has been fired, it cannot be reloaded until an important job has been done.   More

Handloading for Competition: making the target bigger Book Review by Mark Trope   More

Cleaning Brass with a Liquid Cleaner by Dave Daniels  

There is some benefit to using a liquid cleaner to clean your brass. However, there is quite a bit more to the process than one encounters using a vibratory cleaner with dry media. There is a commercial liquid cleaner that is easy to use made by IOSSO which has been written about elsewhere. I tried this process, but it is critical to stay with the chemicals or they will severely etch, and may weaken, your brass. Since I am prone to jump from one task to another, I could not use this product. So, that said, my current liquid brass cleaning process seems to be much less critical.  More

Making a Chamber Cast: A Technique for Positive Caliber Identification by: Mark Trope

Almost 20 years ago, when Mil-Surp arms first were imported in large quantity, I was at a gun store that had rack after rack of surplus rifles.  They had a rack of South American Mauser’s tagged as all being one caliber.  However, looking them over I discovered several had not been re-bored or re-chambered!  The storeowner said they were all from the same shipment he got from the importer. Apparently, when the crates were filled in Latin America, no one checked to insure all were the same caliber.  At first glance, the rifles all looked the same.  One can only imagine what would happen if a cartridge with a bullet materially larger in diameter then the bore got chambered and fired in one of those odd rifles!         More

MEASURING UP! A Critical Examination Of Adjustable Powder Measures by: Mark Trope

The most basic device for metering powder is the scoop type measure. It can’t get out of adjustment. One simply levels it off with the correct amount of powder. No doubt about it, it’s simple and foolproof! Not only that, it also harkens back to the very first men who ventured to fire a rifle. Early shooters used a powder horn to pour powder into a charger. The chargers were usually hollowed out pieces of antler, bone or wood.   More

THE PRIME CONSIDERATION: Issues Surrounding Primers, Safety and Ammunition Quality  by Mark Trope

Often, little consideration is given to the small, innocuous sparkplug that sets off the powder charge in a loaded round. All to often, primers are simply seated and forgotten.    In this article we will examine primers, primer pockets, flash holes, primer seating systems, safety and how all this affects the quality of our handloaded ammunition.   More

Book Review by R. Ted Jeo: Cartridges of the World 10th Edition, Revised and Expanded  More

IOSSO's "Fast" Cartridge Case Cleaner Kit by Jamie Mangrum

I own a media tumbler and sifter that I normally use to clean and polish my cases prior to reloading. It is loud and takes a long time to work and I hate dealing with the walnut or corn cob media. I prefer the corn cob media because unlike the walnut media I don't have to spend an hour punching out little pieces of media out of the primer hole of every single cotton picking case. More

Load From A Disk: Handloading in the Digital Age  by Mark Trope

If you are reading this article, it’s a safe bet you have a computer.  It’s also safe to assume you have a basic working knowledge of software installation and use.    That’s about all it takes to get started with Load From A Disk. (LFAD). More

Surplusrifle.com Adobe PDF Reloading Log sheets:
Surplusrifle.com Standard Reloading Log Sheet
Surplusrifle.com Cast Bullet Reloading Log Sheet

A Casting Dilemma: A Non-Permanent Solution to "As-Cast"  Bullet Sizes by Mark Trope

Often, when one starts thinking about using cast bullets, the first inclination is to use a bullet shape that mirrors a favorite jacketed number. And why not you ask? If a Sierra 168 grain boat tail makes nice tight groups, then a similar cast design should do well to, right? Wrong! The answer lies in bullet hardness. Jacketed bullets are about 100 on the Brinell scale. The hardest cast bullets are about 35 Brinell.   More

Avoiding Those Painful Splits: Incipient Case head Separations, The .303 British and Lee Collet Dies by Mark Trope

The SMLE is in caliber .303 British, a rimmed bottleneck cartridge. I confess a fondness for rimmed cartridges. Headspace is set on the rim, as it provides a positive stop. The cases forward movement into the chamber, once struck by the firing pin is arrested by the forward part of the rim engaging the cut in chamber.  More

Bench Topics: Reloading Bench Safety Issues by Mark Trope and R. Ted Jeo

Safety, safety, safety we hear it everywhere. Have an approved car seat for the baby. Lock the doors in the house and car. Read the instructions first. Wear your seatbelt, helmet, sunscreen, elbow & knee guards, shooting glasses, earmuffs, raincoat etc.     
In a litigation minded society, crafty lawyers write warrantees and disclaimer statements. The disclaimer statement in a lawn mower instruction book gets almost as many pages as the operating and service procedures! What used to be instruction pamphlets are now on-line volumes that go into much more detail then a printed guide. 

Lore Of The Handloader: (The Right Manuals, Right Tools, Right Friends) by Mark Trope
When I first began shooting I bought factory ammo. At the time I was the proud owner of a brand spanking new Ruger Security Six .357 acquired from the US Forces Rod & Gun Club. As a single GI living in the barracks in West Germany, I could get a box of 50 Norma .357’s for $7.00. I figured the price a bit steep (the current list price for Norma .357’s is over $30.00, if I only knew…). But, what the heck, I was having fun! A lot of GI’s went to the local German range on the weekends and shot their guns. I noticed the fellow next to me at the range also had a .357 Magnum. He also had a box of Norma ammo. However, his rounds sure didn’t recoil like mine, and his had lead bullets instead of jacketed SP’s. His Norma box had a little sticker with some numbers and the word “Herco”.

LOADING AT THE RANGE: On-the-Spot Powder Charge Adjustment for the Mil-Surp by Mark Trope
Shooters of black powder muzzle loading rifles have always had to reload, regardless if they were in the field or on the range. They have no other option. The most traditional primitive shooters will use a powder horn and pour powder into a charger. The chargers are often hollowed out pieces of antler or wood tied on a long thong. The thong is often looped around the shooters neck, or sometimes tied to the shooters shirt or belt. Adjusting the amount of powder the charger holds is a trial & error affair. The less traditional shooters of black powder muzzle loading rifles may use commercially made brass powder flasks and commercially made adjustable brass chargers. Nevertheless, each shot is still handloaded.

A Reloading Primer

I couldn't afford to purchase commercial ammunition over the counter, on a weekly basis. I had helped a friend load ammo years before and it seemed easy enough for me to try. When I saw the used, RCBS, Rock Chucker press at a gun show for $40, I took it as a sign and plunked down the money. Find out if reloading is for you! More!

Home Made: Stuck Case Remover Tool By: Adam Kielcz

Sooner or later you’ll end up with a case stuck inside resizing die. In my particular situation a case rim crumbled in a full sizing die. I called my friend and told him what happened. He said that he’ll bring stuck case remover. He did and it worked. It’s a very simple tool that consists of a metal cylinder, drill and tap and ¼ inch about 1½ -2 inches long bolt. How does it work? More!

Fine Tuning Brass Resizing

The military rifle is also specialized, but in a different way. Military rifles have chambers that crowd the roomy side of tolerance. They must be able to feed and chamber rounds fast, usually from some sort of magazine. The ability to feed and chamber with utter reliability is paramount. On the battlefield, a rifle and ammo may be dusty, muddy etc. A rifle with relaxed tolerances makes sense in this scenario. Ammo is also often rated as “dual purpose”, serving the needs of both the rifleman and light machine-gunner. Once again, a rifle chamber on the large side makes sense; the roomier chamber will help keep pressures down. More!

Cast Bullet Load Data by Mark Trope

Shooting, handloading, bullet casting, it’s a progressive kind of thing. A fellow goes to a gun show or gun shop and acquires a Mil-Surp rifle. Usually, he also purchases ammo at the same time. The ammo may also be surplus or factory fresh commercial ammo.            More

Home Stretch II: The Continuing Examination of Lubes, Tools and Techniques to Minimize Cartridge Case Elongation during the Resizing Process by Mark Trope

GB Wire-Aide, Wire Pulling Lubricant, Part # 79-006 (See Fig. 1) was the clear winner. It’s a wax-based product with superior lubrication properties. When used wet, with the inside of the case neck lubed, it caused cartridge cases to stretch less (cases can be resized after the GB dries also).               More

Home Stretch I: Cartridge Case Sizing, Stretching, Trimming & Lubing by Mark Trope

The brass cartridge case is a wonder of design. A lot gets asked of the one loading component we can take home after a trip to the range. Consider this, it gets subjected to upwards of 50,000 lbs pressure on firing! It must expand, release the bullet, contract, then be dragged out of a hot chamber, (possibly hit the ground!) and still have enough integrity to be reloaded. More!

The Hard Line! Heat Treating Cast Bullets For Better Performance by Mark Trope

Cast bullets give us new freedom when we reload. Moulds are available in an astounding array of weights and styles. If that is not enough, and you have an idea for the next great mould design, then the good folks at Lee Precision would be happy to make the mould for you. All it takes is time and money. Articles here at Surplusrifle.com have covered well the tools, supplies and basic procedures so one can produce clean, filled out bullets. See “Making the Surplus: Reclaiming Wheel Weights”. In that article, Jamie briefly mentioned two methods to heat-treat cast alloy bullets. In this article, we will look in depth at those procedures for improving the strength and hardness of our cast bullets. Cast bullets can be made from various alloys. Linotype, because of its casting and strength properties is the preferred alloy. However, as “hot type” printing disappears, and photo offset printing continues to grow, linotype gets harder, and, increasingly more expensive to come by. We need a cheaper, easily obtainable alloy. There is such an alloy, and it’s no further away then the neighborhood tire store. More!

Slug, Measure, & Match: Using the Right Bullet for the Right Barrel Diameter

How do we find the best size bullet for a barrel? The answer is, Slug, Measure & Match. Best of all, this process is quite simple and inexpensive (of course!). The materials are available from a hardware store, a home center, or even a discount department store and a fishing tackle supplier. More!

Cast Bullets: How Filler Improves the Breed

In the world of military surplus (mil-surp) rifles, shooting and reloading is a learning process.

Too many times, you find yourself lost and unable to fire some new (old) rifle you picked up because of the lack of the correct ammo or, if you are a reloader, the lack of correctly sized bullets. Sure, there are some specifically made bullets for “odd” calibers out there, Hornady’s .268 “6.5mm Carcano” bullet that Grafs sells comes to mind, however, there are lots of other calibers that you cannot find the correctly sized bullet for. Step into the realm of cast bullets. Economical and in some cases, homemade, sounds like just the ticket! Of course, a modest set up charge is in order, but, no more then the cost a few weekends worth of jacketed bullet shooting. Read the two excellent articles on this web site about bullet casting to get the story on setting up a casting operation. Or, there are several cast bullet companies out on the web where you can purchase the right bullet or have them even cast bullets for you. Accuracy with cast bullets and freedom from leading can be two mutually exclusive subjects. Given a well designed cast bullet, the major factors in success are: bore size, bullet sizing and lubing, loading technique, bore condition, powder charges and shooting technique. The good news is; all of these conditions are simple to address, with a minimum of fuss and a little equipment and cash. In other words, QUICK, CHEAP & EASY! (ah yes…our motto) More!

Making the Surplus 4: Making Casting Alloy #2 from Wheel Weights

I have found that finding a good, cheap alloy to cast bullets is a chore and also can be a hobby in of itself.
A very inexpensive and common approach to solving this problem is reclaiming Lead from materials you find in your local area. You can easily make different alloys from wheel weights. No you are not mistaken, wheel weights are the small Lead weights that you find attached to your car or truck tire rims.

Intro to Lead Alloy Bullet Casting for the Mil-Surp Rifle

After long deliberation, I decided the focus of this article would be "how-to outfit an entry-level setup for lead casting of .30 caliber bullets".  Basically the article would cover the equipment and knowledge required to be successful casting bullets 170 grain, .30 caliber bullets, for the least amount of money and effort.  My intention is to make bullet casting accessible to my fellow mil-surp collectors. Accessible to collectors that have not already tried casting and may think it is maybe - too complex, dangerous, or not really worthwhile to attempt. I do believe it is worthwhile and now believe it can be accomplished in a safe manner. Hopefully I can demonstrate this in the following. More!

Measuring Cartridge Over All Length (OAL) in a Mil-Surp Rifle

For years owners of match rifles have used devices such as the Stoney Point Chamber All Gauge to find the exact distance from bolt face to barrel lead for a chosen bullet (as shown in figure 1).  A specially modified cartridge case is threaded to the Chamber All to get this distance, then a caliper takes the final measurement. The Chamber All costs about $30.00, add to that a modified case for about $5.00.  However, the only mil-surp cases made by Stoney Point are the 6.5x55mm, 7x57mm, 8x57mm, .308 Winchester (7.62 NATO), 30/40 Krag, 7.62x39mm, 30-06, and  .303 British.   As you can see, many cases have not made the list!  You can send an empty brass case from their rifle to Stoney Point along with $6.50, and they will modify it to be used with the gauge. The final cost including shipping will run close to $40.00, not to mention the waiting time. Oh, but there just has to be a better way……More!


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