7.62x54mm Rimmed Russian vs 7.62x53mm Rimmed? Same thing, or different?

Tango down

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Hi guys
I recently started to reload 7.62x54r for my Mosin-Nagant. So far, I have used PPU and Sellier & Bellot brass but do not have that many of them.
I ordered 100 Lapua brass from Midway, wanted to give it a try; does someone know why it says "7.62x54mm rimmed russian (7.62x53mm rimmed)?
On one of the customer's review, the person says " It is a little shorter than other 7.62X54R brass but I have used it in my Russian guns with good results".
Does someone has experience with this brass and does it somewhat affect loads or accuracy, or I should be GTG and resume with my regular loads?
Thanks and good shooting.
Ombre noire
 

M1Amen

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The 7.62x53r has a .309 bullet, whereas the 7.62x54r has a .312 bullet.

If you do shoot the 53r from a 54r gun, I would expect accuracy to suffer as the bullet is not large enough to seal completely in the barrel. Of course, this will also depend on the bullet construction. The Russians are famous for using the hollow base bullet in the 54r chambering. They did this because the manufacturing tolerances for barrels had a wide bell curve - some were tight and close to spec, others not so much. By having a hollow base bullet, the base of the bullet would expand under the pressure of firing, and fill out the grooves of the barrel. If the 53r has a similar bullet, I would think you are good to go. If it has a regular old boat tail or a flat base, I would expect the accuracy to suffer a bit.

Before you make a decision about your rifle, I would recommend slugging your barrel. You can find info online about how to do this, but the process is simple.

Force a buckshot pellet through the barrel, starting at the muzzle using a wooden dowel from the hardware store. Then use some calipers to measure the finished product. This will let you know what size bullet you wanna buy.

If you are wanting to reload, the Lapua brass will work just fine. The sizing die neck expander is going to pull the neck out to the proper size, and the 1mm length difference between 53r and 54r is inconsequential.

Just for the hell of it, I would use a caliper to measure the ID of the case neck before and after though.

M1Amen
 
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Tango down

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The 7.62x53r has a .309 bullet, whereas the 7.62x54r has a .312 bullet.

If you do shoot the 53r from a 54r gun, I would expect accuracy to suffer as the bullet is not large enough to seal completely in the barrel. Of course, this will also depend on the bullet construction. The Russians are famous for using the hollow base bullet in the 54r chambering. They did this because the manufacturing tolerances for barrels had a wide bell curve - some were tight and close to spec, others not so much. By having a hollow base bullet, the base of the bullet would expand under the pressure of firing, and fill out the grooves of the barrel. If the 53r has a similar bullet, I would think you are good to go. If it has a regular old boat tail or a flat base, I would expect the accuracy to suffer a bit.

Before you make a decision about your rifle, I would recommend slugging your barrel. You can find info online about how to do this, but the process is simple.

Force a buckshot pellet through the barrel, starting at the muzzle using a wooden dowel from the hardware store. Then use some calipers to measure the finished product. This will let you know what size bullet you wanna buy.

If you are wanting to reload, the Lapua brass will work just fine. The sizing die neck expander is going to pull the neck out to the proper size, and the 1mm length difference between 53r and 54r is inconsequential.

Just for the hell of it, I would use a caliper to measure the ID of the case neck before and after though.

M1Amen

I am only talking about reloading, I ordered 100 Lapua brass from Midway and wanted to know if the difference between the PPU and Sellier & Bellot brass (both are 7.62x54mm Rimmed Russian) and the Lapua brass (7.62x53mm Rimmed, as it says on MidwayUSA website) was going to affect my reloads and/or accuracy.
I already slugged my barrel (.313) and my first few shots with the SMK 174gr, 303, .311 diameter and the Hornady Match, 174gr, 303, .312 diameter were right on. Coal was at 3.000, 43.5gr and 44.6gr Varget, Fed. primers, PPU and S&B brass.
Basically, I am just inquiring about the difference in the case's length, from 54mm to 53mm, as it sounds like it is 1mm shorter. I do not think it would affect anything but it does not hurt to ask.
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M1Amen

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No, this 1 mm difference in case length is inconsequential and will not at all affect your ability to reload for the rifle.
 

Tango down

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No, this 1 mm difference in case length is inconsequential and will not at all affect your ability to reload for the rifle.

I measured my PPU and S&B loaded cases and they are at 53. something...so not much difference.
I thought, at the most, it may add a bit of case pressure, the Lapua being 1mm shorter, but as I am reloading within the norms, it was not much of a concern. Nevertheless, always good to know.
The Norma brass is also at 53mm and a bit cheaper than Lapua. Have you used both in 7.62x54r(53r) and is there a difference?
Thanks and good shooting.
Ombre noire
 
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Wannashootit

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The Lapua brass is specifically designed to function properly in either chamber.
Says so, right on the box...and as you can see on their website, they are listed as 53R/54R, interchangeable.
Products - Lapua
 

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Gregg
It is exactly what I was looking for! For whatever reason, I never thought of looking in Wikipedia but the info were rather good.
I still have 9 rounds of each one of my 4 different kind of reloads with the 7.62x54r; I will load the 7.62x53r at the same specs and will run some comparative accuracy tests at 100 yards, to start with.
It may be of some help for the ones (like me) who are still in the dark when it comes to the difference between these two brass.
I will posts the results and I hope by then I will have a better idea on how to post pics but I am better with guns and horses than with a computer.
Thanks for your help and good shooting.
Ombre noire
 

ksthomas

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Quick bit of background here. The Finns were a territory of Imperial Russia thorughout the 19th and very early 20th century. As a result, their military was armed with standard Russian equipment. The Finns modified their Mosin-Nagants with .308" diameter barrels, as opposed to the Russian's original .310"-.311" diameter for improved accuracy. The case itself remains completely identical in both instances, with bullet diameter being the only difference between the two cartridges. The 53R is exactly the same length as the 54R, and the designation results from current CIP regulations that require any dimensional change in a case, cartridge, chamber or barrel to be noted by an entirely different designation to avoid confusion of the two. Same situation exists with the 6mm BR Remington and 6mm BR Norma; same case, but the Remington is set up with a short throat and normally a slower twist for 68-70 grain bullets, while the Norma version has a long throat and faster twist for heavy bullets like the 105s.

There's some interesting history here, relating to Finnish ordnance development after their independence from the Soviet Union. They developed an exceptionally accurate long range boat tail bullet (designated the D46) that concerned the Russians enough that they actually assasinated the designer in Lapua before he'd completed the work. One of their agents killed him with an arsenic dose in trying to prevent the work from being finished. The bullet went ahead and became a very successful design, which is still in the line today. Theres' a good bit of the story described in the Lapua museum, located in the original cartridge production plant in downtown Lapua. Little bit of history lost to most of the rest of the world, and explains why (among other things) the Finns still aren't real chummy with the Russians even today.

These will do you just fine in your Mosin-Nagant, be it a Russian 7.62x54R or a Finnish 7.62x53R. No worries, Ombre.
 
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wilecoyote

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ksthomas;... There's some interesting history here said:
really the best unvoluntary advertising piece ever seen, even without talkin'about olympic results with the D46 : my first input is go to find some D46 box...
 

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Hi guys
Went to range yesterday, to test more reloads, including the ones with 7.62x53r Lapua cases. Rifle 1943 M-N Tula Sniper/PU
Best results were with SMK 174gr, .311 diameter, 44.6 gn Varget, PPU cases; next best groups were same bullet/cases, 43.5 Varget. I was expecting the Hornady Match 174 gr, .312 to be the best choice, as my rifle slugged at .313 but it did not go that way. I will run more test on these two bullets.
Regarding the Lapua cases (x53r), I did not do so well, all groups around 2 moa, 100 yards. It could be the way I reloaded them. I kept the same COAl (3.000) as with the longer PPU cases, therefore the bullets were not seated as deep as in the x54r cases, everything else was the same.
Am I doing it wrong? I have no experience reloading the 53r and very little with the 54r. I did not change the dies set up between the two, in order to keep the same COAL.
There is a pic of best 2 groups (100 yards) with SMK 174, top pic with 43.5 Varget, bottom with 44.6. After the results of my first test target, I was expecting better but it is what it is. All other groups were just a bit bigger than these but not by much.


I am going to do more research on reloading the 53r Lapua cases but if anyone has a suggestion, I will gladly take note.

On a happier note, I have a blast shooting my rifle.

Btw, as there are so many fake Mosin-Nagant Sniper rifles out there, some of them very well made and hard to detect; could someone let me know their thoughts on my rifle. I hope it is the real thing but if it is not, so be it.
There is a close up pic, will take more if necessary; I have the same # on the scope mount (58) and the # on the left side of the chamber is also on the scope (no force matching or electro-pencil). As it came, the trigger was at around 4.7 lbs (now 2.7 lbs and safe, I worked on it a little), which is unusually light for a Mosin-Nagant but I heard that Sniper rifles had often a re-worked trigger. If I am not mistaking, the # on the left side of the chamber were on Izhevsk rifles but a small amount of Tula's received the same treatment, but I could be wrong.


I appreciate your help on this matter.

ksthomas, thanks for your input and history lesson, there is always so much to learn from history. Maybe you have some advise on the 7.62x53r Lapua cases reloads; as of now, I have not been able to determine how far the bullets are from the lands but I hope to be able to do so soon.

Good shooting.
Ombre noire
 
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Greg Langelius *

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I find the lands with dummy rounds, bullets blackened with a marker, seated progressively shorter until the rifling marks disappear. I prefer to jump the bullets, not much, but loaded just short enough to ensure all rounds actually jump.

So far I haven't determined the ideal jump for any of my three 91/30's, and simply load the rounds to a max OAL of 3.035"-3.037", so they will still feed effectively from strippers.

My most effective reloading project has been predicated on using the spamcan ammo as inexpensive reloading components. My ammo is sourced 188/Novosibirsk, and the X54R.net site specifies a published charge weight of 49.1gr using the original included propellant. I also have a can of 60/Frunze loads, and will be trying those components with the below load spec, even though its published numbers differ slightly from the 188 spec. Per the can markings, the propellants are from the same source (http://62x54r.net/MosinID/AP0022.jpg), although that's no assurance of anything.

I unseat the bullet with a collet die, dump the charge, reload it to 49.1gr, and seat the bullet to 3.035". So far, this is the most accurate load in my '43 Izshevsk 91/30 at 50yd with irons.

I also use PPU/Win brass, CCI-200, HDY .312" 150gr Interlock SP's, and 49.0gr of IMR-4064 for a deer load. Good enough for my needs.

One source notes that PRVI/PPU brass (and some say that Win x54R Brass is made by PPU) has about a 5gr larger powder capacity than Lapua.

I plan to play with 110gr HDY V-Max and various 125gr .308 bullets as paper puncher training/practice loads for my Grandkids to use. Their (and my) 91/30's have been modified to use the AIM Sport 2-7x40 LER scopes in Scout mounts optimized for the lowest mount height, with LOP extensions and raised cheek rests. This has been a documented project on this forum at: http://www.snipershide.com/shooting/snipers-hide-vintage-sniper-rifles/116641-7-62x54r-cheap-shooter.html. If my plans and the weather come together right, I should be zeroing the rifles and evaluating their performance sometime around this coming Wednesday.

A rather detailed explanation of M/N 91/30 Sniper Rifles can be found here: Russian 1891/30 PU 7.62x54R Mosin Nagant Sniper Rifle.

Greg
 
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Gregg
Thanks for the info on "finding the land"; I have the Lock'n'load Hornady gauge and I use it for my .308's but could not find the 7.62x54r threaded brass anywhere. A friend of mine mentioned that Hornady would send me one if I was to call them, so this will be my next move. I hope they will but if they don't, I still have a couple of choices, your way being one of them.
Let us know how the zeroing of the Grand kid's rifles went, they should have fun with these, once Grand Pa is done working his magic.
I like your way of reloading for the 7.62x54r, I'll stick with the SMK and Hornady match, for consistency reasons but it sounds like you had good results with what you are doing, may be I will give it a shot one day. I like Varget due to its consistency, I also ordered some RL 15 but i will be a while before I can try it, due to the "ammo and reloading components crisis" going around the country, it should be getting better in a couple of months, hopefully.
I also have to develop a hunting round but did not look into it, yet.
Have fun and good shooting.
Ombre noire
 

Greg Langelius *

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I would use Varget more if it wasn't that everybody else does too. Makes supplies, especially in days such as these, harder to obtain. Thus IMR-4064, H-4350, and H4831SC occupy so many of my powder applications.

My spamcan ammo costs about 25 cents a shot, and as reloading components, can make better than surplus quality ammo at no higher a cost. Even using the cases but once, costs rival more high falutin' handloads; and the components are already optimized for the firearms, which can make up some for their arsenal produced quality, which I don't really believe is all that bad to begin with.

Though no longer dirt poor, I like to remain frugal.

Take a look at the "Light Ball" projectile and compare it alongside the Hornady 150gr FMJBT. It's longer and more sleek. I can't help but believe it could make it to 1Kyd supersonic when it leaves the muzzle of the 91/30 somewhere in excess of 2800fps. Moderate accuracy on the right side of supersonic can make up for "better raw accuracy but subsonic" at the target. Every time I take the time to think out the Russians, I'm further in awe of their frugal solutions to broad issues.

Greg
 
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Tango down

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Gregg
They did come up with some "cool remedies" during WWII; a couple of good example are (if I recall properly):
1) As the Luftwaffe was stuck on the ground because of the extreme bad weather (Germans were not able to start their airplane's motors, too cold), Russian planes were up in the air, destroying German airfields and airplanes. Russians figured out that they could use the power of their truck's motors to start their airplane's engine, simple but effective.
2) Also due to extreme bad weather (very cold), the German soldiers were having serious issues with their rifle's actions, as they were frozen. Russians figured out that mixing gasoline with grease (or gun oil, now I cannot remember) allowed them to still use their firearms in extreme conditions, also simple and effective.
I believe that where there is a will, there is a way; this is not just a particularity of the Russian people but rather a human reaction to ultimate threat, mixed with the intense desire of "kicking the enemy's ass", it works great. On another hand, some people will react to ultimate threats in a very different way and will go fetal, end of the story. Wolves and Lambs are still around, they never left and will always be there. Our Forefathers got that one right and kicked ass rather than lay low, good for them (and us), I am not crazy about the British accent ;)
I got a bit carried away but after all, our "Vintage Sniper Rifles" are part of history and I always think about it when I shoot one of them. As I said in a prior post, "I wish they could talk".
Good shooting.
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ksthomas

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Ombre,

Not to wander to far from the original post, but if you're a history buff, look into the Winter War, 1939-40. Very little known piece of WWII history, but a fascinating one. Also one of the very few cases in which there was so clear cut a difference between good guys and bad guys, and one in which despite completely overwhelming odds, the good guys gave a tremendous account of themselves. The Russians crushed the Finns, but they didn't beat them by any means. The Finns lost 25,000 KIA (a huge number in a country of only about 2-3 million), while inflicting astronomical losses on the attacking Soviets. By the most conservative estimates (the claims by the Finns themselves), the Russians lost 250,000 KIA. Kruschev once claimed they'd lost a million men in the Winter War. In any case, the Finns gave a tremendous fight, saved their country (though losing a huge swath of territory to the Russians) and did so virtually alone against the largest army in the world at that time. The lessons that came from that war deeply affected the Soviet military for quite some time afterwards. The ubiquitous PPSh-41 submachinegun that was so widely used during WWII was essentially a close copy of the Finnish Suomi 9mm SMG they used so effecitvely in the fast paced, close-quarters fighting. Being on the receiving end of that particular lesson prompted a crash course for Russians to develop a SMG of their own.

The tactics (especially the so called "Moti tactic") used by the Finns to annihilate much larger Soviet forces, time after time after time, are still taught in military war colleges today. And finally, we're hearing more about the exploits of Simo Hayha, the highest scoring sniper in history, the vast majority of them shot with his trusty Mosin Nagant. Interesting guy, and still quite revered in Finland.
 

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ksthomas
We are, more or less, still on track with the original topic, it still involves the 54r and 53r ;)
10-4 on the Winter war, you have some very interesting facts, accurate info and great knowledge, it is a pleasure discovering things that I did not know about.
Far from pretending to be an history buff, I became interested in this war through studying the tactics and results of the Finnish Snipers, including Simo Hayha of course. Small teams on nordic skis harassing Russians forces were extremely successful; they were, in smaller scale, also using the "Motti tactic". In addition, I believe Mannerheim served with the Russian Army for 20 years and was well aware of their SOP, it served the Finnish Army well, even if he (Mannerheim) was stuck between a rock and a hard place, as far as what was best for Finland (from his point of vue), between Germans and Russians but he did what he thought was right and Finland survived.
Got to love and respect the details on Hayha, such sucking on ice (breath), packing snow in front of rifle (blast), using iron sights (foggy scope), as well as using the Suomi/PPSh for many of his CQB kills, impressive; he would fit well with our Carlos and Chuck, as well as several others.
One detail that may not be well known by many and told to my wife by her Physic Professor, in Russia (he was a Russian soldier who fought in the Winter War). His comments were, I quote "we were not only scared of the Finns Snipers but we were also very concerned about "the others"..."The others" had small sharp knives, named "Finka" (translated from Russian, the Finnish name is Puukko), Finn Soldiers were very good with these knives, not only fighting with it but also using them as throwing knives. Many Russian Soldiers found out the hard way and contrary to a noisy bullet, the Finka/Puukko was extremely quiet in his delivery".
Talk about "silent death"...This added to Hayha's nickname "The White Death", the Russians Soldiers were facing some serious effects of Psychological Warfare (just like the Germans, later on, in Stalingrad). Shortly after, the Russians started production of their own "Finka", that's how much they got impressed by this little knife.
Going straight back to the 53r Lapua brass topic, I am thinking seating the bullets (SMK 174gr, .303, .311 diameter) 1 mm deeper than my previous reloads with the 53r Lapua brass. Pros would be giving me the same kind of retention that I had with the 54r PPU brass; Cons would be a bullet further away from the lands.
I know it is kind of a tricky question but am I on the correct track, or not?
I will make few reloads that way and hope for the best, if not, will go back to drawing board.
Thanks for all your info and good shooting.
Ombre noire
 
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Tango down

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Ombre, seems the forgotten lube was something comin from russian turnsole's seeds_

I looked into it briefly but did not come up with anything rock solid, there was a mention of large amounts of Sunflower seeds fields in Southern Russia but it did not explain much more. I will look further more into it, I wish I could remember where I saw the details, as it was well explained. Hopefully I will find it again.
Good shooting.
Ombre noire
 

pawprint2

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Yes, there is a difference:
Differences between 7.62×53mmR (Finland) and 7.62×54mmR (Russia)





Comparison of Finnish 7.62x53R and Russian 7.62x54R cartridges:
Round length: 77.00 mm (54R: 77.16)
Case length: 53.50 mm (54R: 53.72)
Rim diameter: 14.40 mm (54R: 14.48)
Bullet diameter: 7.85 mm (54R: 7.92)
------note: bullet diameter is different
 

Tango down

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Yes, there is a difference:
Differences between 7.62×53mmR (Finland) and 7.62×54mmR (Russia)





Comparison of Finnish 7.62x53R and Russian 7.62x54R cartridges:
Round length: 77.00 mm (54R: 77.16)
Case length: 53.50 mm (54R: 53.72)
Rim diameter: 14.40 mm (54R: 14.48)
Bullet diameter: 7.85 mm (54R: 7.92)
------note: bullet diameter is different

Thanks pawprint2
I will keep on trying different bullets and loads, so far the rifle shoots more accurately with the 54r brass but I feel that there must be a way to even the odds between the 54r and 53r, I just have to find it.
Good shooting.
Ombre noire
 

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The bullet diameter is only half of the equation. The other half is the shoulder of the case. I have a M28/76 that has a particularly tight chamber. The bore slugs out at .308 -- you could use the .311 bullets out of it (and many people do) with the potential for accelerated bore wear. However, my rifle will not chamber -any- 7.62x54R rounds. None, nada. It will chamber Norma and Lapua brass rounds (no surprise, as these rounds are built to the Finnish standards.) Any non 7.62x53 rounds have stress marks on the shoulder just where the shoulder and body of the cartridge come together.

Some Finn rifles have .308 bores, some have .311 bores. Some have looser chambers that will take a 7.62x54R round, others do not.

Better explanation here:

M28-76: Practical distinction revealed between 7.62x53R and 7.62x54R.