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Discussion Starter #1
GP11 has been drying up for over a decade. Its great ammo but its not the answer to keeping your 7.5 Swiss weapons on the firing line. Shooting less due to lack of GP11 is definitely not the solution.

Choke the dog and stop procrastinating: get a set of dies (Hornady minimum quality), RL 17 powder and 175 gr BTHP 308 match bullets and don't look back. Be sure to get a top grade balance beam scale and a single stage press ...compound leverage model and tons of them out there, all of which copy the RCBS Rock Chucker design.

Focus on gaining PRVI brass for the long haul !

Its 2020 and guys, there is no future hanging onto GP11. Solve your ammo availability issues for once and for all.

I am sure Leon will surface and perhaps share the St Marie Load. I have used this load at 1000 yds from a scoped K31 and its more accurate at that range than GP11. Now that said, GP 11 shoots very well indeed at 1000 yds.
 

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Wise words.....Prices for GP11 are only going to go up. I figure on the high side components cost about $0.70 to put together a round of ammo and excellent quality. Most GP11 I see is now going for over $1 per round. Unless the availability of Berdan primers increases most GP11 shooters will be one round and done. Plus, you can experiment with your own load. Agree, the future of 7.5x55 in the USA is reloading.
 

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Good advice. The only criticism I have is about getting the balance beam scale. Old technology.

I started out reloading when oil-damped balance beam scales were the norm and went to a magnetically damped scale when they became available.

I replaced the beam scales as soon as digital scales came on the scene. Much quicker to use.

Then, I bought a powder dispenser five years ago, and have never looked back.

I do still keep a digital scale around for miscellaneous work (weighing bullets, etc), but when it comes to measuring powder, give me the dispenser all day long.

Instead of depending on the consistency of a powder measure, with the dispenser, EVERY charge gets weighed to within pretty tight limits (0.1 grain, or better), and my dispenser does it fast enough that I rarely have to wait for the charge when using a single stage press.
 

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Totally agree on reloading. ...the biggest obstacle to a beginner though is going to be primers. Start buying when you see them. At least large rifle is the one we do see when we see them.

...if you don’t shoot past 300yds, the common and cheap 150 fmj/bt do great.

...and remember, the book COAL is wrong for the K31 typically. Measure for your bullet and rifle.

...and also, some dies are K31 specific (don’t size down as much)...these won’t work with your older Schmidt Rubins. Just something to be conscious off.
 

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I agree on reloading, when I re-joined the K-31 fraternity last year I was advised to forget looking for brass, buy factory ammo and shoot it for the brass. 1, there was no money to be saved buying brass and bullets separately and 2, I got free practice time with the rifle to get reacquainted with it.
I do disagree with electronic scales, I just love old technology as my style of reloading is better adapted to it. And I have a basement full of old reloading tools.

Ken
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Gents,

RCBS ChargeMaster drops with a 2/10 error on high side and 1/10 error on low side. Don't matter if you shoot 300 yds, but at 600 and beyond, you have inaccuracy. Unacceptable accuracy ! Digital scales except those hovering in the $1000 and higher range, are fast but not consistent in weighing. If you have a balance beam scale of high quality...the older Ohaus mfg , current Dillon mfg, you can a weigh accurate ..near precision charges.

It costs as much to make a half great hand load as it does a precise & extremely accurate handload .

I own the Charge Master..its not precise, I own balance beams ...all Ohaus and they are accurate enough and useful and I own the Sartorius Analytical Lab Balance ($1149) and I know what it takes to get precise charges.

So, Ronbo while what you say is Good Enuff for your universe, it won't pass must for charge weight for my long range loads. It will suffice for 300 yd shooting which I suspect is maximum Ronbo is focused at.

We can agree to disagree but if you know shooting, you know charge weight is not a small thing for accuracy.

Sorry Gents, I could not let it stand unchallenged that balance beams are obsolete and digital scales far better: that is not an accurate statement unless you specify the digital scale you use is a Analytical Lab Balance . Lab grade digital scales are that finite and accurate, non lab grade digital scales are all over the map on accuracy, quality balance beam scale will provide accurate charges but not precise charges.
 

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Gents,

RCBS ChargeMaster drops with a 2/10 error on high side and 1/10 error on low side. Don't matter if you shoot 300 yds, but at 600 and beyond, you have inaccuracy. Unacceptable accuracy ! Digital scales except those hovering in the $1000 and higher range, are fast but not consistent in weighing. If you have a balance beam scale of high quality...the older Ohaus mfg , current Dillon mfg, you can a weigh accurate ..near precision charges.

It costs as much to make a half great hand load as it does a precise & extremely accurate handload .

I own the Charge Master..its not precise, I own balance beams ...all Ohaus and they are accurate enough and useful and I own the Sartorius Analytical Lab Balance ($1149) and I know what it takes to get precise charges.

So, Ronbo while what you say is Good Enuff for your universe, it won't pass must for charge weight for my long range loads. It will suffice for 300 yd shooting which I suspect is maximum Ronbo is focused at.

We can agree to disagree but if you know shooting, you know charge weight is not a small thing for accuracy.

Sorry Gents, I could not let it stand unchallenged that balance beams are obsolete and digital scales far better: that is not an accurate statement unless you specify the digital scale you use is a Analytical Lab Balance . Lab grade digital scales are that finite and accurate, non lab grade digital scales are all over the map on accuracy, quality balance beam scale will provide accurate charges but not precise charges.
That’s a great point. While any old triple beam can be fairly inaccurate, it’ll typically still be precise. It’s a bit out of context, but do you find that +/- 0.1 grain accuracy matters for something like 600 yards in Service Rifle, or are we talking about further out?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sir, In my experience with M1, M16A4 Rock River NM and my M1A, a .1 gr deviance is immaterial because in service rifle the rings used on targets are "generous". That said, the guys I know on Va. Rifle Team want 10x ring hits and they weigh charges ..each one exact same weight. Now...they can hold steady enough to make that type ammo hold the 10X ring.

Back to balance beam scales, Lyman sells a weight set which if used to check one's scale, one can be sure his scale accurately weighs charges.

There are some crap balance beam scales out there these days. The old Ohaus 1010 and 510 made in USA are outstanding and many show up on ebay in near new condition. Just know these same models sold / branded also with RCBS and Lyman names on them. Also know , RCBS continued the 1010 line with this model made in Mexico and China...and neither is worth a hoot..
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Forgot to say: I use a Swiss Products scope mount and muzzle brake on my K31. The brake has never shot loose and its NOT the threaded type brake. I like what this brake does for recoil and with it hanging on the muzzle, it improves balance.
 

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No matter what your belief in scale technology you need to have a set of calibration weights. Without that, you are guessing.
 

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Thanks for the great discussion guys.

Milprileb mentioned the super fancy scientific balances. As an aside I use these quite often for my job and while they are theoretically faster than an old triple beam you might have used in high school, they can take a long time to settle down, especially in low humidity environments. They actually make a Zerostat gun that you zap the sample with to get the balance to sit down. Obviously those are banned in energetic materials labs. The nice thing about the high end balances is they rarely need to be calibrated. I was talking to the metrologist who would pop into the lab every once in a while to check them and I asked him how you actually calibrate.....he couldn’t remember off the top of his head because it had been so long.

I don’t know—I suppose I tend to get bogged down in the technical minutia when my time would be better spent dry firing. After all, the Swiss A5/B4 targets are pretty generous and we’re just at 300 meters with 70 year old rifles!
 

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I don’t know—I suppose I tend to get bogged down in the technical minutia when my time would be better spent dry firing. After all, the Swiss A5/B4 targets are pretty generous and we’re just at 300 meters with 70 year old rifles!

How true!
 

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Hint: get Berger 175 gr VLD Target bullets while you can.
Rel 17 is the right powder. "P" posted load data many years ago, but removed it probably for liability reasons. I've been using Vihta Vuori N160 with excellent results, using load data from the Berger manual. I prefer N160 because it is single base and theoretically causes less throat erosion than double-base Rel 17. But Vihta Vuori powders are now hard to find, so I'll use my stockpile of Rel 17 when I run out of N160.
I weigh every thrown powder charge with my RCBS 510 balance scale. VV N160 throws with remarkable consistency so I'm not losing much time taking this extra step with each load.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Duly note: Leon squeezed Finn powder into the discussion. Anything and everything has to have his Swede or Finn sales pitch. Before he discovered Berger bullets, it had to be Lapua bullets for his hand loads. Its no use trying to convince him American made reloading components can duplicate his Finn stuff, although he has granted a waiver for Berger bullets. Most likely because he can justify Berger could be a Swiss name.
 

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I've been loading for my Swiss rifles for many years and I have tried a number of powders and bullets. I started with Varget and 168gr Sierra Matchkings but like with the 308 the 168's just didn't seem to cut it. I tried lighter bullets but they weren't quite what I wanted either. I tried using the surplus 173gr M1 bullets that the government sold off years ago as they were supposed to be designed based on the GP11 bullet and they did quite well but supplies have disappeared. Sierra came out with the 175gr Matchking and that is what I settled on. I'm sure the Bergers are great but they're more expensive and sometimes a pain to get so I'm sticking with the Sierra's. I don't think you'll go wrong either way.

As someone already noted you should measure your own rifle to get proper seating depth. Some bullets like to be fairly close to touching the lands for best accuracy and some don't seem to care. The Berger Hybrids leave a lot of leeway for seating depth and that can be helpful if you have a lot of rifles to load for. On the other hand I keep a dummy round for each rifle in the die box so I can set the seating die to load for each rifle. I've got a variety with a few K31's, K11's, G11, 96/11s, a G96 and a PE57 that I've loaded for. They all have different seating depths and even rifles of the same model are not the same so measure the rifle and make notes. There are lots of ways to measure. I take a sacrificial case and using a dremel cut off wheel I put a slot in the neck of the case. Clean up the burr inside and out and run the case through the sizer. Seat a bullet long and then chamber it. Carefully remove it and measure your length. I use a kinetic bullet puller to pull the bullet back out a little and then check it again. Do this about 5 times, toss out the high and the low and average the 3 remaining to get your seating depth max. I normally shorten this by about 15 thousandths to keep pressure down. Its worked well so far.

The Varget worked ok and accuracy was good but whenever the socialist talk about taking guns away from us its one of the first powders to disappear. So I tried reloder 17 and haven't looked back. I started at 47 gr and worked up loads. Its a good powder for this round and some have said its what is used in GP11. I have no idea myself. I do know RL17 is made in Switzerland so its possible?

I've used RCBS dies since the beginning many years ago and had no problems loading for every rifle I've got. Some say I'm overworking brass for the K31 or I'm not doing this or that or whatever but many of my cases have been loaded more than 10 times with no splits or cracks so I'm happy. Whatever dies you use you'll probably be fine. The key is to pick something and work with it to get the most out of it. Some guys have tried neck sizing but one near universal comment you'll get from Swiss rifle loaders is that it doesn't work. I'll second the comment. The chambers vary from rifle to rifle and neck sizing only works if the case fits back in the chamber. In addition to that the straight pulls don't have a lot of extra power for pushing a tight case into the chamber or pulling it back out. Full length sizing is the way to go for these rifles.

I'm using Privi Partizan brass and so far it has proven to be an excellent product. Accuracy is more than good and I've got cases I've fired many times in the PE without trouble. The PE has some issues with squishing the shoulder so the cases are annealed more often. I do retire the PE cases earlier and run them in the other rifles for that reason. Still it shows the quality of the brass is high. I would try loading the GP11 cases but primers are non existent and spent primers a pain to remove so I never went that route. I did try some norma brass but it was not very good in my opinion. It seems too soft and yet I had necks cracking after just a couple shots. For the premium price they charge I was very disappointed.

Now the picture....its a switch barrel turnbolt rifle made in Utah called the Desert Tactical SRS. I've had it since about 2010 and it was originally designed around the 338 Lapua mag. The cool thing is the ability to swap barrels and bolts to cover about any cartridge up to and a little past the 338 Lapua mag. The barrel in the picture is for the 33XC which is like a 338 Lapua mag with a case about 3 tenths of an inch longer and no taper. Powder charge is around 125 gr for a 265gr 338 diameter bullet. Velocity of that bullet is about 3200 fps. Its a long range cartridge and we've hit steel out to 2600 yds with it.
My buddies from Switzerland love the rifle and a couple of them bought rifles of their own. It was a painful and time consuming process to get them to CH but they managed it. One of the guys asked if I could make a 7.5X55 barrel so he could shoot cheap ammo he could get at home. I had a look and found it was possible so I built a test barrel. Its 27" and fairly heavy with a 10 inch twist. My chamber reamer was made to duplicate the GP11. I had to open up a 308 bolt to fit the case head but that was pretty easy. When it was all done we did some testing and it easily shoots half inch groups at 100 yds using my handloads. I did some testing with GP11 too but not a whole lot as I don't have GP11 to burn. It shot easily 3/4 inch groups or less too. I've had this rifle out west in South Dakota where we shoot out to 2700 yds and the first year out there I was shooting at 2000 yds and dinging the 18" X 20" silhouette plate with ease. A number of others also hit the plate at that range. Unfortunately my scope ran out of up at that range so I didn't go any further.

This year we got out to 2500 yds. I have a newer scope with more adjustment and it was not too tough to get there. I remembered to bring the GP11 ammo with me this time and compared the factory and handloads at 1000yds finding that the GP11 took just over 3MOA more elevation to hit at that range. For this rifle I'm running a hotter load though not a lot hotter. The action is set up for a 63,000psi 338 Lapua so a 55,000 psi load in the 7.5 is not a problem. For the straight pulls I keep it down at lower pressure as the original round is spec'd at 44,000 psi.

The point of all this is that you can handload for your rifles and by matching the load to the rifle you can improve your accuracy if you want or if just being able to shoot is the important thing you can do that too. Who knows when, if ever, another load of GP11 will come in to the US. With the socialists taking over ammo imports may become a thing of the past.

Frank


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Duly note: Leon squeezed Finn powder into the discussion. Anything and everything has to have his Swede or Finn sales pitch. Before he discovered Berger bullets, it had to be Lapua bullets for his hand loads. Its no use trying to convince him American made reloading components can duplicate his Finn stuff, although he has granted a waiver for Berger bullets. Most likely because he can justify Berger could be a Swiss name.
I use the Lapua D166 for my Finn M39 loads. The Swedes eat either Nosler or Berger bullets, since the costlier Lapua Scenars did not do better than the Noslers. The Swiss are now on a strictly Berger 175 gr VLD Target diet.
 

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I'm nowhere near trying to reload yet, but I'm saving my Privi brass, and would like to start buying primers when I can find them.
Which CCI large rifle primers should I look for? #200 #250 #34 BR-2 ???
Thanks....
 

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I'm nowhere near trying to reload yet, but I'm saving my Privi brass, and would like to start buying primers when I can find them.
Which CCI large rifle primers should I look for? #200 #250 #34 BR-2 ???
Thanks....
I use the CCI 200 without issue with PPU and Winchester brass, R17, IMR4350, Varget. No reason to overkill with the 250, 34, etc though they’d work fine.
 

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Ditto "Stewbaby's" recommendation. I use CCI 200's with Rel 17 or Vihta Vuori N160.
CCI #34's are mil spec and are the equivalent of a magnum primer. OK to use if nothing else is available, but you should reduce your charge about 1 gr.
 
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