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Reloading The 7.62x39 Russian Rifle

(Note: These are maximum loads, you should use 10% less to start.)
(See note on Powders below or read all about various Powders.)
Bullet is .311" diameter. (This is same dia. as British .303)

This is the round shot in the AK-47, the SKS and several other good autos on the used military rifle scene. Some of the thousands of rounds of military ammo are STEEL cases and not suitable for reloading. To verify which is which, carry a small magnet and check whether the cases are brass or steel. If you buy steel, plan to discard them after use.

Almost all military ammo uses the 123 grain FMJ bullet. There are loads for a 150 grain bullet, but this will not work in many of the autos. This would be best suited in something like the Ruger Bolt Action for this cartridge.

122-125 grain Speer SP or FMJ
    Reloader 7   25.5 gr.   2,330 FPS
    H4895        29.0 gr.   2,249
    H4198        26.5 gr.   2,378
    2400         15.3 gr.   1,915
    A1680        25.5 gr.   2,368
    A2230        29.5 gr.   2,176
    IMR 4895     29.0 gr.   2,198 compressed
    Viht. N120   23.2 gr.   2,258 (123 grain Hornady FMJ)
    Viht. N120   24.0 gr.   2,350 (123 grain Hornady FMJ)
150 grain Speer Spire SP 
    H4895        28.0 gr.   2,154 FPS
    H4198        24.5 gr.   2,122
    2400         14.8 gr.   1,800
    Reloader7    24.8 gr.   2,145
    A1680        22.5 gr.   2,055
    A2230        27.0 gr.   1,976
Discussion: There are plenty of these rifles and rounds of ammo on the market today, but it may be drying up in the future. It would be wise to buy reloadable rounds in large quantities while available and prices are not too high.

#2400, Reloader 7, 11, 12, and 15 are products of Alliant (formerly Hercules) Powders.
H380, H414, H450, H4350 and H4895 are products of Hodgdon Powders.
IMR 3031 and IMR 4895 are products of IMR (formerly DuPont) Powder Company.
A2230, A2495, A2700, A3100, A2015 and A2460 are products of Accurate Arms Company
WMR, WSF, WSL, 760, 748, 680, 231 and 540 are products of Winchester, Components Div.
Viht N120, N130 and N140 are products of VihtaVuori Oy Company, Ammunition Unit

References: Accurate Arms Co. 1996 Reloading booklet - - Alliant Powder Co. Reloaders' Guide (1995) - - Hodgdon's Basic Reloaders Manual (1996) - - Speer Reloading Manual, #12 - - Winchester Reloading Components Manual, 14th edition - - Lyman Piston & Revolver Reloading Handbook, 2nd edition. - - VihtaVuori Oy Company,reloading booklet (1995) - - Numerous magazine articles on reloading special calibers and personal loads where noted.

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This page created 7/29/96 by M.D. Smith and last modified on August 1, 1997 ©