Lyman 7.62X39 Full Length Die Set: Made in USA
Mar 24, 2012 (Updated Mar 28, 2012)
by George Chabot
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Lyman quality, Price, Durability, Accuracy, Made in USA
Cons:More people should get involved in reloading
The Bottom Line: The Lyman reloading dies make reliable accurate ammunition as long as you follow directions and check your work often.
Lyman 7.62X39 Full Length Die Set
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This is a reloading die set for American-made 7.62X39 ammunition, with boxer primers. The 7.62X39 chambered rifles are of the SKS, AK-47 or AKM variety and the Ruger Mini 14 are some of the most popular rifles extant today.
The ammunition is very popular but since it is foreign made it has Berdan primers which cannot be reloaded by typical reloading techniques so it is buy ammo, fire it, and discard the cases. Due to demand, ammo has been increasingly produced by American manufacturers Winchester, Remington, and Federal as well as Norma who also produce reloadable cases with boxer primers.
This cartridge is one of the world's most common loadings because of the vast number of countries that adopted the Soviet bloc weapons since shortly after World War II. The cartridge itself was introduced by the Soviets in the SKS. The AK-47 soon followed and it and its descendents are still in use today in all corners of the world. Unfortunately all the foreign made surplus ammo can be fired but cannot be reloaded so you need to get a supply of American boxer primed brass for your reloading.
Save your fired cases and get these dies from Lyman and you can use your usual reloading gear to recharge this brass.
One thing to know about the 7.62X39 is that it is of the Soviet standard which measures the groove diameter as .311 inches rather than the western measurement of .308 inches. This means the bullets must be selected from components that measure .311 rather than the more common .308 size projectiles.
The standard bullet weight is 123 grains in 7.62X39 and soft point bullets are available as well as the military standard full metal jacketed bullets. The soft points are designed for hunting game humanely and will turn the 7.62X39 cartridge into a game getter akin to the tried and true 30-30 Winchester which has probably taken more whitetail deer than most cartridges. Because the bullet is short it will not fly accurately at long ranges like the heavier 30-caliber bullets of 150 – 180 grains so keep the range down within 100 yards and you will have a good hunting rifle.
Bullets are available from Speer, Sierra, Hornady, Winchester and other manufacturers so you have a good selection. I happen to like Winchester bullets for this application as they are well made and fly straight. You should try a variety until you find the bullets that work best for you.
Always check your loads with a good reloading manual. I use the Lyman manual which covers all cartridges and both cast and jacketed bullet loads.
The Lyman dies for this cartridge are a two die set, a sizing and decapping die and a bullet seating die. All loading operations can be performed with these two dies.
Since they are fired in a self loading rifle, the cartridges need to be full length resized to get them back down to factory specifications so they will work through the autoloading action.
The resizing and decapping happen in the first stage, and then you prime the cases, measure the powder and seat the bullets using the seating die.
Full directions are provided with the die set for adjusting the dies for use.
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