My favorite weapons are my Mosin Nagants. I've owned around 70 of them and currently keep around 30-40 at any one time:
One of the best things about the Mosin is that it shoots the 7.62x54r round. This round is not only the longest serving military round in history (in service since 1891)
but is a fantastic value in military surplus form. I've purchased hundreds of pounds of this ammo and shoot it several times per month. Why keep my stash in two piles? Because
my ceiling is only 8" tall:
Inside the crates of ammo you will find two spam cans. To get to them you have to cut the strap and open the top:
This particular crate holds ammo from 1946 and smelled like vinegar when I opened the tins:
Each spam can holds 22 packages of 20 rounds each:
A quick comparison of a 7.62x54r round and a 7.62x39 round (what an AK-47 shoots):
Even though the military surplus rounds are very cheap (less than $0.25 each) there are a few drawbacks. 1) The rounds do not have fantastic accuracy. 2) The rounds use Berdan primers.
Berdan primers are larger than standard Large Rifle primers and have two flash holes with an anvil in the center so they cannot be decapped by standard reloading equipment.
The Berdan primers are also corrosive due to the potassium chlorate or sodium petrochlorate which, when burned, decompose into potassium chloride or sodium chloride.
These salts are very hygroscopic (meaning that they attract water). The damp salt will rust out the rifle's barrel and will form an acid when exposed to air.
My first modification to the rounds will be to increase the accuracy. I started with 95 rounds of Silver Tip:
I selected 5 rounds at random and used a kinetic impact hammer to pull the bullets. Once that was done I weighed the amount of powder in each bullet. I found that there was a
different amount in each round ranging from 47.8 grains to 48.9 grains:
Once I knew how the average powder in each round I used the hammer to pull the bullets from the remaining rounds. This takes about 30 minutes per 100 rounds:
After the bullets were pulled I weighed them on a digital scale. I wanted to separate the light and the heavy bullets from average bullets and it was aparent after
weighing the first few that more than half were in the range of 147.85 grains to 148.5 grains (9.58 grams to 9.62 grams). The breakdown was:
29 rounds below 9.58 grains
50 rounds at 9.58 to 9.62 grains
16 rounds above 9.62 grains