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Hornady 7.7x58


Topic author: kb0uxv
Subject: Hornady 7.7x58
Posted on: 12/05/2006 7:42:04 PM

Has anyone here shot the Hornady ammo I see for sale online at Cabelas and Sportsman's guide in a type 99 LMG? I was thinking about asking Santa for some, but I want to be sure they will function.

Thanks Nate in MN


Reply author: Gregg
Replied on: 12/06/2006 7:57:13 PM
The T99 has an adjustable gas port, the stuff will shoot just fine once you get the gas setting right.
Still you need to be a rich man to shoot store bought ammo in a T99.
Roll your own!

Reply author: kb0uxv
Replied on: 12/08/2006 01:59:47 AM
Thats the plan, but I only have 20 Norma rounds now so I am thinking I will shoot some store stuff for a while to get my brass numbers up, then start reloading. Thanks for your reply!

Reply author: Gregg
Replied on: 12/08/2006 11:38:20 PM
Buy a couple hundred Graf cases or form them out of 8x57 brass.
Buy a couple tins of cheap 7.62x54r, pull the bullets and reuse the powder.
You can load 7.7x58 for under 10 cents a round that way.

Reply author: szeigler
Replied on: 12/13/2006 1:31:03 PM

Have you worked any loads using the 50's era Hungarian Yellow tip bullets and powder? I am still developing my loads. I've had good luck with the Czech Silver tip powder and bullets, but with the Hungarian powder I got a couple of noticeable muzzle flashes. I am not sure what to make of it. Any ideas?

Thanks, Shannon

Reply author: Gregg
Replied on: 12/13/2006 6:43:46 PM
I bought 10 cases (20 tins) of the 50's vintage yellow tipped Hungarian from AIM about two years ago.
The bullets weight out to 182 grains.
I reuse the extruded stick powder, but I do reduce the powder charge some.
I use the old Lee Red #205 powder dipper when loading my 7.7x58 for use in my T99 LMG's.
Just for a reference point, that #205 Red dipper throws 46 grains of IMR 4895.

Reply author: kb0uxv
Replied on: 12/16/2006 4:52:25 PM
Gregg, I have no idea how to reload. I looked at some of the equipment at Cabelas the other day and am not sure what is the best model for my needs? Since you know what your doing, could you recommend what equipment I need to buy so I can load my own 7.7 at .10/round?

Reply author: mike radford
Replied on: 12/16/2006 5:04:24 PM
Dillon has great stuff. I would get a progressive reloader from them, warranty forever, nice folks and great products. You will need a progressive for a full auto. Do you homework, learn exactly what to do and be careful. Take it seriously and you can make ammo better than a factory. You will save much money. Good luck.

Reply author: Gregg
Replied on: 12/16/2006 10:04:46 PM
Mike, I totally disagree.
I do own a Dillon 650, and it is a great machine to be used when you want to crank out a lot of pistol ammo, and maybe mounds of 30 Carbine, 7.62x39 or even 223.
But, it is not the thing to use when reloading large rifle cartridges, unless you are using only new, virgin brass.
My recomendation for a beginner is a Lee anniversary kit.
You can but the kit along with the 7.7x58 dies and a reloading manual for about $100.
Midway is a decent place to but your reloading tools from.
To reload correctly when using fired rifle cases, you also need a case trimmer and a set of calipers.
A good case trimmer and a set of calipers will set you back about another $100.
To get started reloading you will need a supply of empty brass.
You can buy new empty 7.7x58 brass from only two sources, that is Norma (expensive) or from Graf's (made by Prvi Partizan). Graf's brass will run about $36 per 100.
You can also make 7.7x58 brass from 8x57 Mauser brass (easy) or from 30-06 brass (much more work).
Once you have the brass, all you then need is a supply of large rifle primers and a supply of cheap 7.62x54r ammo.
Cost breaks down like this, for me anyway:
Brass: free (I have lots of 7.7x58 brass).
Primers: Winchester for about $20 per 1000, or 2 cents each.
Bullets and powder: A tin of 440 rounds of 50's vintage Hungarian heavy ball 7.762x54r, about $45 delivered to your door (the stuff gets cheaper the more you buy at one time), that works out to about 10 cents per bullet with free powder.
Thus you can reload 7.7x58 Japanese for about 12 cents a round.
I only paid about 7 cents per round delivered, for the 8,800 rounds of the above that I bought a few years ago.
Thus, I'm reloading 7.7x58 for about 9 cents a round, or about $1.80 per box of 20.
You can not beat that with a stick :>))

Reply author: kb0uxv
Replied on: 12/17/2006 4:37:00 PM
Gregg, thank you for your reply! Do you have a recommendation for a good caliper and case trimmer? Where do you get your 7.762x54r from? Last question, on new brass shooting in the 99 LMG, how many times can you reload the brass until its unsafe?

Reply author: Gregg
Replied on: 12/17/2006 6:54:58 PM
I like and use Forster Case Trimmers, have three of them; one standard, one for the big bore cases, and a custom one for use with British 577 base size cases.
The standard Forster case trimmer will set you back around $60 to $70, depending on where you buy it.
You can get a decent dial caliper from Harbor Freight for $20 or less.
I bought my 7.62x54r from AIM, but it is the same stuff where ever you get it.
About 10 years ago, I bought 10,000 rounds of junk componant only (duds, rusted steel case, crushed and dented cartridges) 7.62x54r from Paragon for about 3 cents a round delivered. I used bullets and powder from that junk for many years.
I like using heavy ball ammo's bullets, as they come closer to the original Japanese military loading, than does the light ball.
BUT, either will work just fine, the heavy ball is just a personal preference.
I have never fired "New" brass in any of my Japanese MG's, at best the brass was once fired before it was converted.
About 85 to 90% of my 7.7x58 MG brass was formed from 8x57.
The balance was formed from 30-06, and some of those cases I formed well over 30 years ago, and they must have at least a dozen reloads on them by now.
I quit reforming 30-06 brass into 7.7x58 at least 20 years ago.
How long brass lasts is mostly an issue of how good your head space is, and how hot your loads are.
I keep my head space tight, so there is a minimum of brass working during full length resizing (very important for full auto reloads!).
I also keep my reloads in the middle of the road, as there is no reason on Earth to hot rod reloads for a full auto that has an adjustable gas port.
The only brass that I have gotten what I consider short case life out of, was a 500 piece lot of once fired S&B 8x57, that I bought off a Gun Boards member about 6 or 7 years ago.
Some of the brass only lasted three or so reloads before starting to show signs of case seperations, others in the lot must have 6 or more reloads on them by now.
It is very important to carefully inspect every case before it is reloaded, the old paper clip trick, is a good way to find cases that have thinned out just above the case head.
Discard any cases that look funny!

Reply author: mike radford
Replied on: 12/17/2006 7:02:08 PM
Gregg, You may be right about the Dillon for rifle, I have used mine only for pistol loads. I did have a problem with my 9mm die and I called them and they sent me another. I asked do you want this one back? No. A friend loaded thousands of 45 for bulleye competition. He wore out his die. He called and said I have worn out my die how much for another? They said who are you and looked him up on their computer. They said you will have one in the mail today. He said--you do not understand, it did not break I wore it out. They said no problem. He got a new one for free.

I have one of the Lee anniversy kits. I have loaded quite a few rifle rounds with it. It is OK but the cast press is a little iffy. I have seen posts by some who claim it will flex and produce a less than match round even with match diligence. It is a great buy. I bought a RCBS Rockcrusher for resizing and the final loading and use the Lee for depriming. I think all reloading equiptment these days is pretty good, so hard to go wrong. The care of the loading person plus using good componets, is important. I just think a progessive loader, of maker of your choice, is vital if you are loading for a hungry full auto.

Reply author: Gregg
Replied on: 12/18/2006 6:49:37 PM
The only thing I have ever broken on one of those Lee cast aluminum O frame presses is the zinc dicast part that holds the handle, and that was only after about ten years hard use.
Lee sent me new parts, with no hassel after a phone call to them.
No, Lee does not make the most rugged reloading equipment on Earth, but for what you get from Lee for the money, Lee is unbeatable.

Reply author: kb0uxv
Replied on: 12/19/2006 3:32:09 PM
On the Sportsmans guide website they say the Hungarian 7.62x54r is corrosive:

Will that damage anything? Also, with the round being 7.62 instead of 7.7 will that wear the barrel more? I would hate to injure my baby :)

Reply author: Gregg
Replied on: 12/19/2006 6:54:19 PM
Only the primer is corrosive, and you will not be using the primer, only the powder and the bullet.
The 7.62x54r normally uses a bullet that is .310 to .312 in diameter.
The 7.7x58 Japanese, 303 British and the 7.65 Argentine all uses bullets of that same diameter range.
You can even use 308 diameter bullets in the 7.7x58, but expect lower accuracy if you do.
I own three Japanese MG's (two T99's and a T92) chambered for 7.7x58, and each of my boys own T99's. Between the five guns, I bet we have fired over 50,000 rounds though them, during the last 35 plus years. Nothing has been hurt yet :>)) Except our pockets.

Reply author: Josh man
Replied on: 12/21/2006 8:09:31 PM
I use the Hornady ammo when ever I shoot my Japanese rifles, it is very good.

Anybody know if you can reload this stuff?

Reply author: Gregg
Replied on: 12/22/2006 10:29:19 PM
Sure, the brass is boxer primed.

Reply author: rcb
Replied on: 12/22/2006 11:30:59 PM
Don't reload a lot but have been loading for almost 50 years - Very good information you posted Gregg. rcb.

Reply author: davef
Replied on: 12/23/2006 08:33:19 AM
I just started reloading for the arisaka's this year...I did all the research I could and settled on a Lee anniversery press for my decapper, a Heaver Lee Classic for my loading ( I converted it to a hornady lock-n-load configuration)..I really like my RCBS scale,I opted for the 10-10 for the micrometer adjustment with my 5-10 as a spare, went with the Lee case trimmer and guides (had to add a couple guides tho) can set up a nice bench for under $400 buck,tho a good starter kit is probaly under $200 with all you'd need...I cranked out 100rds of 6.5 the last couple days actual cost with buying new brass: 100 rds brass $38,primers $2,powder 1 lb @ 18.95,bullets $21, it only uses less than 1/2 the powder (7000gr to the lb)so cost on powder is actually $9 =$70/.70rd first time thru,second time thru cost will drop to .32 cents a round ($6.40 a box of 20) as no additional brass will be needed .Its time consuming,but a awful lot of fun on a stormy night.I full lenth size every piece of brass, then trim for uniform lenth,prep the flash hole,chamfer the throat,polish,and then cap..move to my scale and measure the 31.5 grs of 3031 for each round,pour it in,seat the bullet,check my overall lenth loaded with my caliper and with my caliper and olgive(sp)set,then back to load the next round...on my target loads Im using my run out gauges on the brass and scaling all the bullets for uniformity as well..not a practical system for a MG ,but its gonna make for a nice pile of precision handloads by spring in 6.5 arisaka,6.5x257 and 7.7 arisaka....(hmmm My OCD is showing again....)

Reply author: Nickathome
Replied on: 12/24/2006 6:16:06 PM
For a new person to reloading, I would recommend Lee Precision. Lee has gotten a bad rep over the years from serious reloaders, and I think that is due to the mindset that you don't get quality unless you shell out loads of cash. Not true at all! Lee puts out a fine product at a reasonable working man's price, and is the perfect choice for a person just getting into reloading.

For a person who is unfamiliar with reloading, a progressive press is definitely not the right advice. A newbie needs to start out slowly and simply. And IMO the best choice here is a decent single stage unit. Add a scale, caliper, case trimmer, primer pocket reamer, and a set of dippers you're off to a good start. Lee makes all these products at a reasonable price. They also sell complete reloading kits for less than what many of the big name reloading tool manufacturers charge for just the press.

I have no affiliation with Lee whatsover, just trying to help a new reloader to start off on the right foot. If after a while the person feels the need, they can upgrade to a turret press or a progressive unit. For the beginning however, I say go with a single stage press if you're loading rifle ammo.

Reply author: Nickathome
Replied on: 12/24/2006 6:20:05 PM
BTW- I own the Lee Classic Cast Iron press. The thing is very sturdy and I doubt I will ever wear it out. Midway has them for something like $64.00.

Reply author: kb0uxv
Replied on: 12/26/2006 9:15:23 PM
Sounds like Lee is the way to go. The only thing I am concerned about with the Lee press is the time involved to load the ammo for a hungry gun, but on the other hand I got the gun more for the collection than to be shooting it so I think it will be alright. Some other reloaders I spoke to in person felt strongly about a progressive reloader, but since I dont plan to shoot it alot I dont think I can justify the extra expense for the progressive equipment. Thanks again everyone for your valuable insight.

Reply author: Gregg
Replied on: 12/27/2006 09:16:25 AM
A progressive press like a Dillon is fine for cranking out tons of pistol ammo.
But it is not the thing to use when loading rifle ammo, unless you only load new virgin brass all the time.
You need to check the case lengths after full length resizing (that is needed for full auto guns), and trim them to a uniform length.
This is a pain to do with a progressive press.
I load all my rifle ammo in a single stage press.

First resize, deprime and inspect all your brass.
Toss out any brass that looks funny, if you are an experienced reloader you will know that I mean about looking funny.
If you are new to reloading, that is where a good reloading manual comes into play.
Next, clean the primer pockets out, check case length and trim as required, then deburr the case mouth.
Then reprime the cases.
Finally load them up.

I normally do 500 to 1000 rounds over one weekend.
Except for the loading, all of the above can be done while watching TV.
That is a good time to get caught up watching all those DVD's. :>))


Reply author: Nickathome
Replied on: 12/27/2006 10:21:22 AM

quote: Originally posted by kb0uxv

Sounds like Lee is the way to go. The only thing I am concerned about with the Lee press is the time involved to load the ammo for a hungry gun, but on the other hand I got the gun more for the collection than to be shooting it so I think it will be alright. Some other reloaders I spoke to in person felt strongly about a progressive reloader, but since I dont plan to shoot it alot I dont think I can justify the extra expense for the progressive equipment. Thanks again everyone for your valuable insight.

Trust me, you will not be disappointed with the Lee Cast Iron single stage press. You can get a complete kit at a good price. Its a great way to start reloading. For the money, you will not find a nicer press. If you are like me and plan to only use it occasionaly, or for one or two calibers, its perfect. Once you're setup and running, you will be surprised how many rounds you can load in a short amount of time.

Now in my case, I weigh each and every powder charge, so it takes me a while to load vs someone who uses an automatic powder measure. However by weighing each charge, I get much more consistant accuracy. It usually takes me about two hours to load a couple boxes and thats fine with me, as I load more than I shoot, so I always have a surplus of rounds when I'm done shooting. Just spend a few sessions at the loader before going shooting and you'll always have plenty of ammo.

I would suggest if you buy a loader, to set aside a space on your work bench, or do as i did and build a separate work bench dedicated solely to the loader. This way there is no interference, which is something you don't want. I built my own bench using cheap pine shelf board and 2X3's. I have the loader mounted to one side of it, and the rest is for all my loading accoutrements. Thats all this table is used for and it works fine.

A single stage press may seem tedious but is the best way to go for a beginning reloader.

Reply author: kb0uxv
Replied on: 12/27/2006 3:08:55 PM
I got some of that Hornaday today in the mail. Wouldnt you know, they use the Graf brass!

Reply author: Gregg
Replied on: 12/27/2006 10:15:27 PM
Hornady does not load their 7.7x58.
Both Hornady and Graf's get their loaded ammo (Hornady) and brass (Graf's) from the same place, Prvi Partizan in Serbia.
Prvi Partizan has been in the ammo business for a long time, and is a first class outfit.
They started making many different obsolete cartridges about 5 years ago.
Their brass is first rate, and is excellant for reloading.

Reply author: szeigler
Replied on: 12/31/2006 9:18:24 PM

You just motivated me to buy two more tins of Yellow Tip Hungarian from Sportsman's Guide. I am new member armed with a $10 discount, so it was less than AIM. For those thinking about buying ammo, consider SG. I went there looking for 7.62x39mm and was offer free shipping plus two $20 coupons if I paid $29 to join the "club". Hard to say no to that offer.

Anyway if the shooting gods are good to me I will be at the range tomorrow or tuesday. I will chronograph loads using Czech and Hungarian powder and bullets. If so, I will post results here for everyone's use. Oh, Gregg, thanks again for all of you relaoding advice. I think we need a sitcky on this topic.


Reply author: BIG ED
Replied on: 01/01/2007 08:57:08 AM
I have tried the yellow heavy ball for rifle use myself. Mine seemed to be flashing back. The neck of the case showed signs of powder burning like I had a poor seal but again this was out of a rifle. My thought was the .310 diameter bullet was to small. I then used hornady .312 bullets and the problem disappeared. Any thoughts?

Reply author: szeigler
Replied on: 01/01/2007 10:56:58 AM

I don't think the bullets have anything to do with it. You've got to get a strong enough load for the case to "seal" in the chamber. Your loads might be undercharged. What charge weight are you using? Previously I loaded 43 grains of pulled Hungarian Powder with the 182gr Yellow tip and got an eight shot average of 2277 fps with extreme spread of 102 fps. I am going to step it up start w/ 44grs and moving to 45grs and see I can get better consistency.

Happy New Year, Shannon

Reply author: DocAV
Replied on: 01/01/2007 8:48:27 PM
Dillon's NO good for Rifle??? in your qwildest dreams.../I started with a Dillon RL 1050 back in 1997, for making 5,56x45 Long Blanks, 5,45 Short blanks, and a host of oy\thjer blanks which all began by recycling Military cases ( with crimp). The crimp swager feature of the 1050 series presses is a must.
In 2003 I ordered one of the larger capacity Super 1050 presses( takes up to 30/06 length) and even thoughy the Linkage and the priming tools are different ( not of importance, as I prime separately) , this latter press is just approaching 100,000 7,7 Blanks formed from 30/06 (Berdan, yes Berdan )Brass...I made a custom built .217 Berdan Pocket swager for use with all military cases which use this size(.30/06, 7,9mm, 7,62 Nato etc) and it firs in where the standard Dillon .210 Boxer swager ram fits.

Since I am into quantity production ( minimum lot size 1000 rounds, usual is 5-10,000 cartridges, I have found that the steps are simple.

With boxer cases (ex Military Igman (IK).30/06, Boxer, I
(a) lube the cases in a roller drum;
(b) dump them into the case sorter, and feed through the decapper/sizer, and the pocket swager.
(c) the collected cases ( is use a 4 gallon bucket rather than the usual "Blue Bin" supplied) are then solvent washed to remove the Lube.
(d) the cases can then be separately primed( RCBS APS or Auto prime systems), or alternately run through the Dillon as if they were new cases...I prefer separate priming, so that I can keep stocks of primed cases for short-run emergencies or special blank loadings)

(e) the primed cases are then run through a clean Dillon Super with the Powder charges set and checked, crimped, and Finish calibrated( proper finish to seal crimp, FLS die to make sure no distrotion has occured during crimping).
Rate of production is ( finished blank ammo) about 200 rounds an hour through-put, with one person doing the work. With two or three operators, (one decapping etc, one priming, one loading, we can get to 1000 an hour, even 1500.

Back "BD" (before Dillon)in 1996, when we supplied "The Thin Red Line" it would take 5 people on Single stage presses and Powder droppers to make barely 3000 rounds in an 8 hour shift. We made over 100,000 rounds for that movie (.30/06 and 7,7 Japanese).

Foir loading Ball ammo, the next advance for Dillon would be a Bullet Tube to feed bullets to the loading station rather than having to feed them manually.

BTW, we already have Dillon's Electri primer Tube filler for keeping up the supply of primer Tubes to both the Autoprime as well as the Dillon primer system itself on the 1050's.

But, where's the joy...we do this commercially, for the bucks... If you want to do it for your own pleasure, get a Lee-Loader...That's how I started reloading back in 1966.( .30/06 of course, and .303 Berdan with the local equivalent "straightline" reloader.

BTW, most T99 LMGs are rather tolerant of case length variations ( 1 mm either way) so If you cut the (.30/06) case to 57-58mm (we use an automatic trimmer--lathe type) it will be fine. The same goes for 7,9x57 Mauser cases we use basically the same OAL setting for trimming (cutting off) .30/06 prior to forming.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

Reply author: szeigler
Replied on: 01/03/2007 3:20:33 PM

Below is the load data obtain from two trips to the range – End of November & yesterday. I could not insert a table, so I had to manipulate the layout. The "." are just for spacing.

Conditions: Sunny, between 45° to 55° (both days).
Equipment: Chrony Gamma Chronograph – chronograph was approximately 10 feet from muzzle.
Components: Surplus 1950’s era Hungarian 7.62 x 54R. Bullet: pulled 182 gr. FMJ boat tail, Powder: pulled original cartridge loaded with approximately 47.8 grains extruded. Cases: miscellaneous reformed 8x57mm and .30-06 with Winchester Large Rifle primer.

Load...........Ave Vel....Extreme.....Std........Remarks
42 grains.......2207.......152............47.......10 shot string
43 grains.......2277.......102............39........8 shot string
44 grains.......2290.......101............33........9 shot string
44.5 grains.....2352.......105............29........10 shot string
45 grains.......2371........96.............27........10 shot string

Notes: Extreme spread from 42 grains to 45 grains = 164 fps. SD appears to improve as charge increases. No noticeable signs of overpressure. Strings less than 10 shots resulted from unregistered shots. Reported Imperial Japanese Average velocity = 175 grain bullet @ 2400 fps.

Enjoy, Shannon

Reply author: kb0uxv
Replied on: 01/03/2007 11:10:02 PM
DocAV, I was impressed to read that you worked to supply the ammo in the Thin Red Line. I am only 25, it was that movie that actually got me into collecting Japanese militaria, I remember watching that movie in the theater and becoming fascinated with the Japanese and the pacific theater. I started out with some flags, then started getting rifles online and at gun shows, and finally got the funds saved up after many years to get the 99 LMG I have been drooling over since seeing that movie. You must have some interesting stories from that experience!

Sounds like you have a very elaborate set up there for reloading. I don’t plan to go crazy shooting the gun so the Lee loader should do me fine...thank you for your advice.

Szeigler, that is good info, thanks for your time for posting it. I wonder what would be the best grain amount for the LMG?

Reply author: szeigler
Replied on: 01/04/2007 11:15:29 AM

I am going to test a few more 10 round strings using the 44.5gr to 45.5gr range. The ojective of this round of tests are to revalidate average velocity and accuracy. For good ole' plinking/blasting out of the T99 LMG, I would be comfortable with any of the above. As Gregg point out, you can take full advantage of your adjustable gas port.

Happy Shooting, Shannon

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