7.62x54R Ammo

The 7.62x54R ammo is a very potent cartridge, in the same class as the 30-06. This round has excellent intrinsic accuracy as well. The bullets used in the military variants have a particularly elongated shape which results in a significantly high ballistic coefficent contributing to very good long range performance and high retained energy, close to a .300 Winchester Magnum round past 500 yards. Data for the 185gr FMJ bullet boat tail fired from a Dragunov sniper rifle shows a retained energy of circa 750 ft·lbs at 1000 yards, roughly the same of a commercial 44 Magnum round fired from a revolver at the muzzle. When used with modern hunting bullets, it is capable of taking large game comfortably. In Russia, the 7.62x54R ammo is commonly used for hunting purposes mostly in sporterized Mosin-Nagant rifles.

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Shooting the 7.62×54R Ammo

Over the years we have seen a steady progression in rifle performance, and the modernization of rifle powder. Black powder rusted the metal almost as soon as it was fired. Modern rifle powder, such as Varget, is very clean. Corrosive primed ammunition isn’t something to be avoided, and the powder burn is often clean. You simply have to follow a few steps to fire and use this affordable ammunition. Ammunition is declared surplus when no longer needed. There are not a lot of nations still using the 7.62x54R rifle, although it is still in use in heavy machineguns. Some simply need a little cash, and we benefit from the decision. Much of this ammunition was intended for military use and manufactured under stringent control. In my experience, match grade accuracy was not as important as ignition reliability.

Shooting the 7.62×54R Ammo

Since the 7.62×54 Russian is also a machinegun round, the cartridges usually feature a tight crimp. In fact, it is difficult to pull a bullet even with a Kinetic bullet puller. The availability of surplus ammunition has made firing and using older rifles less inexpensive and more satisfying.

The primer seal is good, and the cartridges often feature a good case mouth seal—normally sealed with some form of lacquer. In other words, this is the type of ammunition you may wish to put into long-term storage. When sealed in a protective can, the ammunition is all the more secure. Of course, I fire and enjoy my surplus ammunition. I simply follow simple steps in cleaning the rifle afterward.

Often the surplus ammunition may be properly considered as ammunition put up in a time capsule from an era when prices were lower. Lets look at 7.62×54 ball ammunition. You can fire a good batch of this ammunition on a single trip to the range. The rifles are accurate, fun to shoot and trouble free. Recoil is modest for the power involved. However, the heavier ball loads often strike high at the ranges in which we often practice. The 180-gr. ball load is a bit difficult to sight in at 100 yards.

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