Sunday, October 12, 2008

8x57mm Match ammo..... sort of

Two hours later... 110 rounds of match ammunition loaded and ready for next weekends military rifle shoot.

Lets see now.....
  • 1938 Turkish Mauser.... Check
  • 1940's Military cases.... Check
  • 1950's Yugoslavian pulled bullets and powder.... Check
  • Hours of painstaking effort.... Check
I guess if the weather is decent Sunday, I'm good to go!

Sometimes one must 'make do'. Missing the neck sizing die? Do partial full length sizing instead. Out of IMR 4350? Use salvaged plate powder from 1950's Yugoslavian surplus ammo. Out of Sierra Match King bullets? Use the same salvaged Yugoslavian stuff, just tumble them clean first.

I used a powder charge exactly in the middle of the variations from the surplus ammo... 45 grains. But, where the old military stuff varied up to a grain from median, I vary less than a tenth of that in charge weight.

The bullets are seated out farther to get them right to the start of the rifling, and each case is collet crimped to ensure even ignition and charge burn.

I switched from my usual BR-2 bench rest primer to a large rifle magnum primer to make sure ignition is consistent.

Bet my scores don't show one whit of difference for using the substitute components.


Somerled said...

You're green. You're recycling. You've probably earned a tax credit and don't even know it.

One can have the most-expensive components out there and wind up with 10 MOA groups from the bench. You're being consistent with every step, which is key.

Brigid said...

A little birdy told me there's a package of reloading stuff heading this way. . . .

JAFO said...

Very nice work- I was going to ask why you seat your bullets with the crimp groove so far out, but you explained.

Of course, you've alrady chrono'd the surplus powder and there won't be any issues with it, or you know what sort of powder it is and are using the relevant loading data, I assume?

Any news on the plastic tumble media? I buy mine at Grainger in quantity of about 25 pounds for $20, but reusable is always better.

Carteach0 said...


I haven't chrono'ed the powder, or even used it before. What I've done is shoot a LOT of it in it's original military loading, and also pull down 3-400 of those cartridges for their components. When I did so, I closely examined how they were put together, along with weighing a large sample of powder charges.

Loading these cartridges for the shoot, I simply duplicated the military load along with a few factors that should reduce pressure a little. The worst that will happen is ammunition not as accurate as I'd like. I've already experimented with every factor except this particular powder, and I'm using a factory specified charge of it.

The plastic pellets for polishing media.... so far I have only used them for one batch of cases (these). For that it worked excellently. I will polish a few more batches in the coming weeks, then see if it can be cleaned easily.

JAFO said...

Ah, now I understand:

you rip apart 10 rounds of the military ball, weigh the powder in toto, divide by 10. This is more accurate than weighing any one charge at a time. Good thinking.

Then you seat the bullet with a longer OAL, reducing the pressures at ignition. I am learning a lot here!

My last post was misleading. I get my crushed walnut at Grainger, not plastic media.

I am interested in the crud-cutting power of the plastic media. Is it asking too much for you to throw a test piece of brass in your next batch- ie: a cruddy, been-laying-in-the-mud-for-years piece of blackened brass so those of us that pick up the filthiest range brass and then inspect after it's clean will know if it's suitable for our use or not.

Appreciate your taking the time. Thanks again!

Carteach0 said...

Pretty close Jafo, Actually I weighed each individual charge out of 15 samples. Found the range of variation, and planted my load charge smack in the middle, only more carefully measured.

The 8x57mm cases shown in this post were polished in the plastic beads with just a tough of Ballistol on them. Next to the cases of the same group previously polished in corn cob or walnut, these are clearly cleaner and shinier. Held side by side the difference is glaring. (Pun intended).

I'll try and photo the two next to each other, and also run through some grungy cases to see how it does. Think I have 10-20 pounds of range picks to polish anyway.... (g)