Monday, November 23, 2009

In a probably never-ending series of "Hey, I can make that now!" moments

I turned on the lathe the other day and made a new neck expander for 7.62 Nagant. Original on the left,just-tried-out on the right. The expander shank is longer, and shaped a bit different at the base. If you're not familiar with this cartridge, the bullet actually sits down inside the case
like this. The original expander is from the Lee die set, which is actually to form and expand 32-20 cases. Which works, but they're much shorter than actual Nagant cases. I covered forming .223 brass to make full-length cases here; the expander works on them, but doesn't go deep enough or quite large enough. So I found a suitable piece of steel and turned this new one.

I just finished loading fifty rounds, and this new expander does make a noticeable difference when seating the bullet, so this was well worth doing. It's not drilled like the original for charging the case, but I never used that feature so it's not a loss.

Note: If you've seen the newer factory loads for this cartridge, you'll notice they have a very severe crimp of the case mouth. Back when I got the pistol I also got a box of Russian target ammo, and it did not have that crimp; it was a simple taper of the case. So that's what I've done, and it's worked well.


Anonymous said...

Please excuse my ignorance.
Is that a pistol cartridge? It's not for the Mosin-Nagant rifle, is it? At least it doesn't look like it.

B Woodman

Firehand said...

Nope, for the 1895 Nagant revolver; info here:

Odd sucker; Belgian design, Russian cartridge. Matter of fact, Nagant designed the rifle and Mosin the magazine that became the Mosin Nagant 1891.

MauserMedic said...

That's a skill (metal-working) that I need to learn. Too many old rifles with hard to find parts. If you ever feel like trying to produce an extractor for a Hakim, let me know!

Firehand said...

I have no idea what one looks like; have any kind of illustration?

Anonymous said...

Lathes is cool. I don't know how I ever got along without one. Milling machines either. Only problem is I'm never gonna live long enough to do all the cool stuff I want to.

On the Nagant Pistol Front. I load my rounds in .32-20 brass. I use Speer swaged .32 hollow base wadcutter bullets seated just far enough to allow the cylinder to turn. When it comes into battery the bullet goes into the breech just far enough to line it up, sorta, kinda. I get acceptable, but not spectacular accuracy. I can hit a pop can five times in seven out to about fifty or so feet. Plinking accuracy. For defense loads I place the bullets hollow base forward. That hollow base makes one nasty hollow point. I hit a little grey squirrel with one shortly after I started loading this cartridge. Blew the little devil all to foam and splatter, it did. Messy.

Anyway, my Nagant has something most don't, a decent trigger. Double action is not good at all but single action is about 4 lbs, clean and crisp. Not bad for a $40.00 gun.

Gerry N.