Tokarev 7.62x25 cast bullet project

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Oltymer, May 8, 2019.

  1. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    Picked up a M57 Yugoslavian TOK, Lee 3 die set, collet die, and some Starline brass.
    Slugged the barrel at muzzle, groove to groove .313, and land to land (bore) .304. NOTE, that's .304, not .300. At chamber I got the same measurements as at the muzzle.
    Measured some factory ammo, S&B bullet diameter at .3075. and this is the stuff that is supposedly leaving the barrel at around 1,700 fps.
    My objective for this project is to develop a lower pressure economical lead bullet practice load, which if accurate enough could be used for 25 - 50 yard plinking and perhaps target shooting and small game hunting.
    So I am first working with the Lee .32 pistol bullet - .311 2R 100 grain bare based bullet cast from basically wheel weights, water quenched. These run a little softer than the standard Lyman #2 alloy, but are close. I've used this bullet extensively in .303 British reduced loads with great success shot as cast and lubed with liquid Alox, managing 1 hole groups at 50 yards. This is also a good bullet in .308 and 30/30 Winchester reduced loads. These bullets in this alloy weigh in right at 100 grains after lubing.
    My notes on OAL are MIA at the moment, but I am loading the case mouth to the middle of the middle driving band of the bullet.
    The bullets in my first trials were all .310, just to make sure and avoid any constricted neck issues that others have mentioned when using larger diameter bullets. I have not done a chamber cast, but am testing various diameter bullets loaded in dummy rounds for fit in the barrel. I have no problems with .311 diameter bullets loaded in the Starline brass.
    My first powder to work with is Alliant Red Dot, for which there is absolutely no booked reloading data that I can locate for this round. I started at THREE grains and worked up in 1/10th of a grain increments seeking reliable functioning of the M57. At 3.6 grains I was getting 50% case ejection, at 3.7 grains I got full case ejection on every round, but they are coming straight back at me just above my head.
    The testing has all been done at 10 yards starting out, and the groups have been less than stellar and low and left 3" from the center bull, and getting about a 3" group on average. I am firing from a ad hoc table rest for stability. There is very light leading in the barrel after shooting which is easily brushed out during cleaning. I have no crony at the moment, so everything is proceeding slowly and carefully
    My next test loading is using .311 diameter bullets, hand lubed with Hornady Alox in the bottom case enclosed lube groove, and a measured 3.65 grains of Red Dot, dropping back a bit to see if I can get more side ejection as I did on the half that did eject when testing at 3.6 grains of Red Dot, as they tended to just pop out the side of the pistol and not travel far.
    I will report my findings as this testing continues, and would enjoy hearing from anybody on their experiences reloading this cartridge with cast bullets.
  2. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    The ultimate survival tool, wheel weights, casting bullets, reloading gear, a few 8 lb canisters of a good powder, 100 thousand primers, and knowledge. I have always thought in a long run survival situation, number one is going to be medical personal, you will fight to keep them alive and working, second is going to be good defense people, if you can't keep it, it does you no good, and third is support people, farmers, metal workers, woods people, gun smiths, reloading people, etc. If you have the ability to reload cartridges, and the reloading materials, in the long run you are going to be golden, and like medical people, killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, gives you a quick meal, but no more gold, so they will want to keep you alive. Please keep us informed, I always love good gun porn and it is even better if it has a practical side.
  3. Oddcaliber

    Oddcaliber Monkey++

    If you can find an update copy of the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook there should be some useful information in there. Got the Third edition.
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  4. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    Look at load data for .30 Mauser. It's older and lower pressure than the zippy 7.62x25 and might be just about the performance level you seek.

    I've been curious about your project since I saw you mention it elsewhere. I'm working with the same mold and I'm hopeful that it'll serve as a bullet for 7.62x25, 7.62x28R and .30 carbine. I've had good luck with Unique in most cast bullet loads, rifle and pistol, but I haven't seen you mention it yet.

    You might be interested in what this fella has to say about the load. I love his bench. Looks about as organized as mine. :)

    I need to spend a weekend casting bullets. Lots of stuff I'm short on, but mostly free time.
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  5. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Local guys selling coated bullets at a reasonable price.
  6. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    Several range trips since my first post, and have been stepping up in 1/10 grain increments. Still getting some FTF's at 3.8 grains Red Dot, so the next session will be at 3.9 grains. I didn't give the OAL in my earlier post, and at present I am using 1.362 with the Lee 2r 100 cast bullet.
    I have stepped up from .310 diameter sized bullets to .311, which brought about a remarkable tightening of group size. With the .310 bullets I was getting an average of 6" groups at 10 yards, now with the .311 bullets group size average at the same distance is at 2", and pretty well centered on a 1" bull while using a 6 O'clock hold.
    Have checked a .312 diameter dummy bullet in my pistol barrel and it drops right in just as smoothly as a .311. The outside neck diameter on the loaded .311 bullet is .331, and the .312 diameter bullet is at .332. So, some experiments will be conducted with the .312 bullets in the future.
    Using CCI small pistol primers, and have to admit that this is shaping up to be a fun project, and am starting to really like this pistol.
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  7. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I know this isn't a bullet intended for a gas check, but what if it was and you could size it to the desired diameter... even slightly above bullet diameter?

    There's also bullet knurling, by rolling the bullet between two files to slightly increase the diameter. This also adds area to hold lube.

    I need a couple weekends off so I can work on this load too.
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
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  8. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    hot diggity, hope you find time for some experimentation on this round. I'm not trying to equal factory loads with cast bullets, but just trying to develop a cheap but accurate plinking and small game round suitable for the TOK pistol and this cartridge. So, no gas checks for me, but using plain based bullets which should suffice up to around 1,400 fps depending on what powder is being used, as some powders tend to burn hotter, melting the bullet base and causing leading.
    I function tested the 3.9 grain load of Red Dot yesterday, and got perfect functioning - finally. The ejection is sweetly tossing the empties a few feet behind me, and locating the brass is not a problem as it is with the full power rounds. The accuracy seems off compared to the 3.8 grain loads, but was probably me. Will be doing some more 3.9 loads to confirm full function, and check the accuracy.
    More to follow as this unfolds.
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  9. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    Have you tried Alliant Unique? It's my go-to powder for most pistol loads. It sits at 32 on my burn rate chart, making it a bit slower than Red Dot at 7 on the list from fastest to slowest.
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  10. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    I'll do Unique next, after I finish testing with the Red Dot, and see how it goes with this same bullet. I also want to test Bullseye, and 2400 since I have these powders on hand now.
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  11. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    The 2400 is a lot slower than the Red Dot, and Bullseye is the fastest of the bunch... It just doesn’t take much Bullseye to launch and Projectile from a Short Barrel...
    Bullseye is what I load my 9mm Browning HiPower carts with... Loadings, I can’t recall of the top of my head, but a Pound of it goes a very long way... If you are interested in my loadings it will have to wait till I see if I ever get home...
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  12. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I think.of 2400 as great for getting big things moving smoothly. It's my fixed piston cattle gun powder, and .44 Ruger Carbine load, but I've never tried it in smaller pistol cartridges.

    There's data for .30 Carbine and 7.62x25 so that's encouraging.

    Let the experiments begin! :)

    Thrifty me will be looking at loads per pound for each powder. ;-)
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  13. Speaking of accurate plinker loads. I always wanted to make a little single shot carbine chambered for the 7.62x25. Could never find one that was suitable .
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  14. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    Little single shot? How little?
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  15. I thought a rolling block or a .310 cadet martini.
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  16. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    Making progress! :)
    I cast a batch of 93gr .30 caliber bullets, a batch of .446 bullets for .43 Spanish and a pile of buckshot.

    I should be load testing by next weekend.

    I saved the wrinkled bullets for.the 7.62 Nagant. Nobody will see them once they're loaded. :) KIMG3525.
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  17. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    KIMG3545. KIMG3546. First test with the cast bullets. Couldn't track down my data for Unique, (6.6gr) , so I loaded a Red Dot load I'd used before. (5gr -.7 Lee dipper) In the CZ52 it was very mild, almost feeling as if I could feel the slide travel to the rear...pause...and then feed the next round. I had one stovepipe, which was likely from a split S&B case. Accuracy wasn't acceptable, and on closer inspection, it was clear that the bullets weren't stabilizing, and were breaking the paper sideways at seven yards. There are only ten holes in that target, most are elongated and appear to be two holes. You can make out the flat and round end of the bullet on a couple of the holes.

    Looking back at the original data for this load in the 50th Anniversary Lyman manual, it's for an 85gr cast bullet. I need to put the Lee bullets on the scale and see if they're actually dropping at 93gr. Ideal load would be below the maximum charge, so they'd be safe in the CZ52 and the TT.

    I'll load some with Unique, 2400 and Bullseye this week, and test these loads next weekend. Just need to turn up the heat a bit. ;)
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
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  18. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    IMG_20190616_160156. I had an interesting weekend testing these loads. I drove the wrong car home, and was without my load data for Unique again. I tested only three rounds with a conservative load of 4.6gr and found one big advantage to this load. There was no need to chase the brass... Because it didn't eject. Note that the bullets were going straight through the target and not tumbling.

    Eight rounds loaded with 9.3gr of 2400 performed okay, but isn't as efficient as other powders.

    A third load of 5.5gr Titegroup gave performance almost matching the Red Dot load I tried last week.
    All my testing is with the CZ52, mostly because the TT has a 9mm conversion, but I found the original barrel and bushing, so I may start using it once I have a load I like.

    I'm still looking for a non-chrome lined 9mm barrel to rechamber to 9mm Largo.
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  19. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    IMG_20190630_130952. Tested 6.6gr Unique today. This is just short of a compressed load, and even though I had one stovepipe, I will try it at 6.4gr just because that's what a .7 cc dipper measures.

    All but one shot was with a CZ52. The TT33 shot one round high and slightly right in the 6 ring. It wouldn't go completely into battery on two other rounds. This is more likely a chamber issue, so I just switched to the CZ.

    Group was high and left, with two...maybe three wild shots that I'll blame on the yellow flies.

    Spent brass ejected forward and slightly right, but nothing like the zingers I had loaded before. One piece still got away.

    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
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  20. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    Checked another batch of 3.9 grains of Red Dot and have consistent cycling with very tight groups averaging 1" @ 15 yards from a bench and rest. Went up to a 4.0 grain load at the next session and the group spread to 3".
    So back down to 3.9 to see if the small group size is still holding, and will start playing with the OAL.
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