Mosin Nagant 91/30 - Surplus or Reload Ammo

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  • Mosin Nagant 91/30 - Surplus or Reload Ammo

    I am about to take delivery of a nice refurb 91/30 which I intend to use for Service Match (at a fun level, no trophies for me).

    Ammo choices seem to boil down to two options:

    1. Buy 880 rounds of surplus 7.62 x 54R from Lawrance Ordnance, or

    2. Buy dies and 200 pieces of brass and start pumping 'em out (I am already set up for a number of rifle calibres)

    Costs will work out to something like 61 cents per round for Bulgarian surplus versus maybe 40 cents per round for my own (depending on projectile choice). Unfortunately, the surplus ammo is Berdan primed steel which I wouldn't regard as reloadable. Also, the ongoing supply of surplus ammo is questionable so I may have to end up reloading anyway.

    As for relative accuracy, I have no idea, but I guess I could eventually find a decent node for my own rounds. I have heard the Bulgarian surplus is plenty accurate enough but hardly precision stuff.

    Grateful for thoughts on the better option.

  • #2
    i reload for my nagant, i get good accuracy especially considering the condition of my rifle.

    and while the surplus is tempting i can't be bothered with the corrosive cleaning process.

    7.62x54r is a great caliber to load cause there are quite a few projectile choices and the brass stretches almost nothing unlike .303brit


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      Editing a comment
      I did a comparison test between Bulgarian milsurp and Highland 150gn FMJs, and found that the two were printing the same sized groups and even had the same POI; this was out of a 91/30 off the bench at 50m so it appears that the Highland/PPU load is set to mimic the performance of the military loadings. There are a few different commercial factory loads in 7.62x54r readily available here (Highland/PPU, S&B, etc) so you do have an option other than reloading if you don't want to use corrosive milsurp, or if you want to harvest boxer-primed brass for later reloading.

      Highland also do it with SP projectiles (150gn and I believe 180 grainers as well) so you can use the rifle for hunting too. I've used S&B match ammo in my .223 varmint and found it to be very accurate, so it would be worth trying some of their 7.62x54r if you can get it and then compare it to the Highland/PPU; the S&B (Sellier & Bellot) range of ammo seems to be showing up in decent quantities lately at most larger gunshops (St Mary's range even has it in most of the popular calibers), so it's not as hard to source as it was previously.

      I'll be sighting in a few Mosins I've recently acquired in the coming weeks (they left the arsenal sighted-in with the bayonets attached/extended, so given that I won't be rocking up to the firing line at the range with a 2-foot long pig-sticker hanging off the end of my barrels I'll be adjusting the front sights so that they will hit POA without them) so will pick up a few different boxes of factory ammo, run a comparison test with the milsurp as the benchmark, and then post up my findings & pics here.

  • #3
    I'm not planning on shifting the front sight of my carbines...bayonets are going to be extended if I'm actually wanting to hit paper. Just hope the range is OK with that lol