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1,183 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, this was discussed several times here an otherwhere,
but I want to share my work with the experienced forum members and give some advice for
newcommers too.

First, we need to talk about the raw materials to use in reloading
for the old russian revolver cartridge.
Basically there were two loads, the service load with a about 100grn
FMJTC bullet at a speed of around 270m/s and the target load with a
100grn HBWC lead bullet at 190...200m/s.
The FMJTC bullet was around .308" in diameter, some even smaller.
I have no measurements for the HBWC, but I suspect it to be at .309"
or so.
I did not want to use FMJ bullets in those guns, so I looked for a lead
bullet and came to the Haendler&Natermann CUHS Copper+Plastic coated bullets.
The are made by swadging and are then plated with a thin layer of copper
and than with some kind of plastic.
They are available as RN and HBWC bullet in a diameter of .314" for laoding
the .32long WC cartrigde used for centerfire competition shooting.
I used a Lee Sizer to bring them to a diameter of .311" as this showed to be
the maximum diamter, that can be used without sizing down the loaded cartridge.
For sizing the bullets they are lubed with a resizing lube for cases, that
can be washed away with soapy water.

For cases I use new Fiocchi or the berdan primed cases of the russian target
ammo. For depriming the berdan cases I use a modified old berdan tool.
They were made for different calibers here, most of them for the 8,15x46R
or other rimmed hunting cartridges. I rebored one for the 5,6mm Vierling.
One can also make a bushing for a bigger tool, like I did for 9,1x40R.

Now, what kind of dies to use????????
I think, there is no readily available die set, that allows to copy a russian
cartridge. So one has to adapt one.
I mixed up and modified two sets of Lee dies, the one for 7,62x38R and the one
for .30Carbine. But first one will need a good fitting shell holder!
The #6 shell holder coming with the 7,62Nagent set form Lee does not fit,
it was made for using 32-20 cases,it is too narrow, so one has to open it up
by slinghtly grinding with a diamont grinder in the dremel tool. One thing more:
the russian cases are about 0,1mm thicker above the rim than the Fiocchi cases!
Also the slot is too high, the cases wobble too much, a glued in spacer made from a
thin washer(0,5mm) solves that problem for good.

I wanted to load the 7,62x38R on a Lee Classic Turret press, so 4 dies can be used.
To rezize the case the .30Carbine carbide die is the best way to go, no lubing needed.
For expanding/powder dropping the die form the Lee Nagant set is used, the expander tube
needs to be polished to work good.

Next step is to seat the bullet, BUT it need to be seated WAY into tha case.
The seating die of the Lee set does not allow that, but can be modified.
The seating stem must be reduced in outer diameter. I did that on both ends,
one end for seating RN bullets the other for WC bullets. A spacer is used to give
the extra lenght.

Now for the final step, putting on the typical taper, but not too much to overstress
the cases like in Fiocchi factory ammo.
I turned a taper insert for the powder through expanding die of the .30carbine set,
that replaces the expander tube. The insert is turned from steel and polished inside.

Now it is quite easy to make good ammo for those old russian revolvers.

I do use Vihtavuori powders for most of my relaoding, so for the service load 4,4grn of 3N37 did the
trick, the 100grn .311" CHUS RN bullet ist seated 3mm deep into the case, giving 270....280m/s
from the M95.
For the target load I use N320(2,8grn) or N330(3,2grn) with the CUHS HBWC bullet seated 5mm
into the case. It is faster than the russian target laod, delivering around 240m/s, but it is
very accurate.

For ammo testing I use a TOZ36 target revolver witha LER scope installed to a modified 11mm to weaver rail.

Have to built a rest to eliminate my shaking, but so far the test show good potential:


43 Posts
Thats great ! Very informative and explained. Thanks . I use only the carbine dies presently but will spring for the Nagant dies shortly, made a bullet seater from a quarter inch dia bolt to seat the Hornady .30cal 100 GR. SJ bullet to the proper depth, use CCI small pistol primers in fired and resized Privi brass and load with 3.5 grs. IMR Trail Boss gunpowder. The shoot good, are accurate, likely better than factory ammo and extract generally by falling out freely from the cylinder .

281 Posts
Excellent post, great pics. Very good group, AND you noted the distance, 25m.
Thanks for the helpful idea about the shell holder spacer. I will try that.
I can get those kinds of groups at 10 m w/ my 1935 service Nagant. LRN, .309 dia. and 3.5 Red Dot in PPU cases, gas seal of course.

How is the trigger on that TOZ36?

1,183 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My 1944 Ishevsk M95 doeas about the same with the wadcutterload, but there is no scope on it.

The TOZ36 has a single action trigger, that breaks like glas at 1200g :)

Have some days off and will built a revolver rest and than show some more and hopefully better targets.


1,183 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nice if you find ithe information usefull :)

Here is another picture, showing two old Berdan depriming tools used here befor WW1. Left one I rebored to use with 7,62x54R, right one is rebored for 7,62x38R. And there are adapters made from 7,62x54R steel cases to make the 7,62x38R fit into the left tool and into 7,62x54R shellholders. This prevends the very small rim of the Nagant cartridge from shearing off.

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