Newbie to reloading

jeffdmjeffdm Member Posts: 11 ✭✭
Please forgive me if my questions seem stupid but I'm a little new at this. I have several ?

1. I have a knights stoner match in 7.62 x 51. I understand the differance between 3.08 and 7.62. They reccomend 168 gr match in federal, Remington, or Winchester.

1a. what is the 168 designation for. I see a lot of nato rounds in 7.62 x 51 but have differant gr numbers. Can you please explain this. What will the differances due to my rifle.

2. Can I shoot any type of nato 7.62 x51 in this rifle? What is the best. I also have a GAlil in 7.62 x 51 I am assuming ammo can be interchanged between the guns.

3. Looking for advice any learning to reload, what tools to purchase and books or information to assist with this currently I have various guns in the following calibers 9mm luger, sw .40, 7.62x39, 7.62 x 51, .223, nato .556.

Thanks for your help. I'm trying to learn as much as possible to be safe.


  • jeffdmjeffdm Member Posts: 11 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Is it possible to reload the nickle plated casings that winchester uses on its ballistic silvertip ammo?
  • CubsloverCubslover Member Posts: 18,601
    edited November -1
    Any ammo designated to the same caliber can be shot in any gun chambered in that caliber.

    The 7.62x51 is essentially the same as a 308 Winchester caliber. It is the military designation for that caliber.

    The 168 you see is the weight of the bullet/projectile itself, measured in grains. Obviously the more, the heavier, and usually, longer the bullet. Deciding which weight bullet will perform best depends ultimately on the twist rate of the barrel of your specific gun. Two identical guns could shoot differently as well. Each and every gun has that specific round/load that is shoots the best with. I'd imagine your twist rate in the Stoner and Galil are different. The 168gr bullet will shoot just fine out of either, but ultimate accuracy won't be achieved until you tune your round to your gun.

    No offense, but it sounds like you have a lot of learning to do before you dive into reloading.

    www.chuckhawks.com is a very informative site. Just google your questions, you'll have plenty of reading material pop up.
    Half of the lives they tell about me aren't true.
  • Tailgunner1954Tailgunner1954 Member Posts: 7,815
    edited November -1
    168 is the bullet weight in grains. Most 7.62x51 ball ammo is 147gr bullet weight.

    While the ball ammo will work, your rifle will get it's best accuracy with the 168gr match ammo

    Pick up a copy of "The ABC's of Reloading", and spend some time studying. This book is designed for those who are just starting out.
    Than pick up a copy of the Sierra (mainly because that's who's bullet you will probably be using in your 7.62x51 match rifle) manual, and study the "how to" and technical sections of that one also.
    Between the 2 of them you will have a great idea of what tools you need and how they are used. The Sierra manual will also give you a good idea of which powders and primers to start out with.

    I always recogmend starting out with a single stage press (the thread is a standard, so your dies and press don't have to be the same make), and add a progressive later if your handgun volume requires it.
    You will find that the 9mm, 7.62x39 and 5.56 NATO to be the hardest to break even on, due to the low cost of bulk and surplus ammo out there.
  • jeffdmjeffdm Member Posts: 11 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    No offense taken I realize that I have a lot to learn unfortunately when I was younger I had no guidance I hope to change that with my childern. I'm sucking up all the information and learning I possibly can. Thanks for all the help keep it coming. Any suggestions on personal training sometimes its a lot easier hands on with an expert.

    Why does everybody say the 7.62x51 is the same as a .308 when everything I read tells me otherwise the differance is in the head room and from my understanding shooting a .308 in a 7.62 may work but is not the best thing to do for your gun.
  • JustCJustC Member, Moderator Posts: 16,035 ******
    edited November -1
    1a. 168gr is the weight of the bullet.

    2. yes,..factory ammo can be used in both

    3. buy a few loading manuals,..such as Nosler and sierra, and they can walk you through a fair amount.

    let an experienced loader walk you through the process a few times,..this pays off in spades.

    equipment,...I suggest RCBS rockchucker press, lee hand priming tool, redding dies, and if you can swing it,..a good digital powder dispenser/scale setup from PACT or RCBS. A set of calipers is necessary and if you want to get right down to it,..a sinclair OAL tool and a stoney point headspace guage set-up will get you right into the right spot.

    There are multitudes of options in every peice of gear,..just ask us when you need a good comparison or opinion.

    welcome to the boards[;)]
  • Tailgunner1954Tailgunner1954 Member Posts: 7,815
    edited November -1
    The primary difference is in the throat area of the chamber (pressure reduction). Military chambers also tend to be fairly sloppy (esp on MG's), so as to better handle dirt/mud/sand with out jamming. If you put a caliper on the 2 cartridges, what you'll find is that the measured difference is quite small (remember that Winchester developed the -51 for the military, and baised the 308 on that development work).

    Looking over my dimentional data (collected from actual rounds, not chamber prints) for the 7.62x51 (4 rounds) and 308Win (2 rounds), I find a .006 spread in case length, .005 in shoulder diameter, .003 in mouth diameter, .017 difference in base to shoulder length (and both of those are 7.62x51 rounds) and .016 in the base to neck dimention (308Win's are both 1.730, the 7.62's run from 1.714 to 1.727).

    I'm not telling you what to do here, simply giving you some data to consider. Measuring factory & Military cartridges and noting the tolerances used can be quite a eye opener (esp to someone starting out and trying to get everything exactly the same).
  • sandwarriorsandwarrior Member Posts: 5,599
    edited November -1

    Welcome to the forums. No forgiveness needed. This IS the place to ask questions like you just asked and WE are here to help. BECAUSE by helping you we get one more shooter on our team. And since you are training the 'young-uns' they will need some good guidance down the road to becoming good safe shooters also.

    I think the 7.62x51 vs. the .308 issue has been covered.

    I will ++1 on what JustC says in that if you can get a reloader in your area to show you what to do and make sense of what you are reading it makes life a lot easier. The NRA has a list of qualified reloading instructors in your area to help you. Usually you will find them at a local sporting goods store, or in association with, giving a class on it once or twice a year. I wish it were more but they have to get out and do their own shooting too!

    As far as equipment to buy I would suggest going with a single stage press. I like the Rockchucker kit as it has everything you are going to need to do each task with each time or sometime, when you reload. If you feel that it isn't going to be your thing you can sell the kit for about half of what you bought it for. The loss of tooling to me is much more unbearable than a loss on my dollar though. So, I suggest getting a good kit to start with. The better the kit the better the dollar retention in it. A Dillon will go for a lot closer to original price than anything else I think. As noted you can later buy a progressive to handle the numerous pistols you will be reloading for. -Good luck
  • GUNFUNCOGUNFUNCO Member Posts: 2,920 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    What I would add to the above is that bullets and powder are weighed in grains and there are 7000 grains to a pound so 1 grain equals one-seventhousandth of a pound. This may help to clear some things up for you.
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