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Light weight projectiles in C96/38 or Ljungman?

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KneverKnew
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Light weight projectiles in C96/38 or Ljungman?

#1 Post by KneverKnew » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:23 pm

I've been reloading and shooting various weight bullets in my C96/38 for many years. Typically shooting 140 grain bullets, but having good results as light as 120 grain bullets.
Recently I was given a box of Sierra 85 grain hollow point 6.5mm bullets. Has anyone ever tried shooting these or similar from the Swedish Mausers or Ljungmans, or is it even worth the try? I can imagine a significant free bore jump to the rifling with these very short bullets.
I also would think the twist rate is not appropriate for these light weight bullets.

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Re: Light weight projectiles in C96/38 or Ljungman?

#2 Post by Ernest T » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:05 pm

I've shot 85 gr Sierra Varminter bullets out of my Swedish M38 with good results out to 200 yards. Actually got some good tight groups at 100 yards. I think I was using 42-43 gr of H4895, but can't remember for sure. I know this load is in one of my reloading manuals. If you got a box of really old Sierra bullets, then I would proceed with caution, since the older bullets were not designed for the high spin rate and could come apart. I know Sierra upgraded them so the ones you buy today are good to go, but don't know what year the older bullets stopped being produced.

My best load with most of my Swede bolt rifles is still 140 gr Nosler CC bullets with RL 22.

I would shoot these bullets with caution in the Ljungman. If you have modified your Ljungman with an adjustable gas system, then you might be able to find a load that would work to cycle the system, but that system is quirky enough that I don't think I would try it. No problem to shoot them in your bolt guns.

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Re: Light weight projectiles in C96/38 or Ljungman?

#3 Post by KneverKnew » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:24 pm

Do I think these bullets are old? Yes. Yes I do.
Image

So do you think they will work in the c96?
If the bullet comes apart it would just spray down range right? If they work I’d get holes in the paper down range I’d think.

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Re: Light weight projectiles in C96/38 or Ljungman?

#4 Post by KneverKnew » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:52 pm

I will not try and shoot these in the Ljungman.

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Re: Light weight projectiles in C96/38 or Ljungman?

#5 Post by Ernest T » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:30 pm

Well those look exactly like what I have used. I think you will be OK with them. The new box has the exact same warning to use them at medium velocity. I'd start low and work up. According to Sierra, medium velocity is less than 3600 fps. I never chronographed the ones I shot, so don't know what speed I was getting.

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Re: Light weight projectiles in C96/38 or Ljungman?

#6 Post by KneverKnew » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:40 pm

If you give me the recipe you ended up using with these bullets I can work my way up to it and use my new labradar to tell you what the velocity is . My rifle is a Carl Gustav 1903 C96 short rifle

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Re: Light weight projectiles in C96/38 or Ljungman?

#7 Post by KneverKnew » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:13 am

Ernest T wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:05 pm
I think I was using 42-43 gr of H4895, but can't remember for sure. I know this load is in one of my reloading manuals.

—Let me know so I can load some up and test velocity

My best load with most of my Swede bolt rifles is still 140 gr Nosler CC bullets with RL 22.

—Years ago I shot a five shot group with 120’s at 100 yards with my CG 1903 short rifle that measured .65”. My eyes don’t do that anymore. .

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Re: Light weight projectiles in C96/38 or Ljungman?

#8 Post by Ernest T » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:24 pm

I looked up my load data. I used 40 gr of H4895 for 25 rounds and 42 gr for another 25 rounds. I saw no difference in accuracy between the 2 loads at 100 or 200 yards in my M38. Note that this is the short barrel Swede. If you are shooting one of the long M96s I'd go with 40 gr to start. My lee manual shows a range of 40 to 44 gr. for 85 jacketed bullets.

I haven't tried this load, but my Sierra manual shows the most accurate load for the 85 gn bullet to be 41.7 gr of IMR 3031 with a velocity of 3200 fps. If you have some 3031 that might be worth a try.

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Re: Light weight projectiles in C96/38 or Ljungman?

#9 Post by KneverKnew » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:22 pm

I have the C96/38 short rifle as well. I am referencing the Sierra manual also and see the 3031 data. I think I have a little of that left and will try that load. Many years back I worked up hundreds of loads with 100, 120 and 140 grain bullets and usually went a grain or so higher than the max listed in the manuals with no apparent problems. These days, I'd probably keep the loads down a bit just to extend the life of the rifle. It was made in 1903 after all. I will give that accuracy load of 3031 a try, but I don't have H4895. I do have IMR 4895 and will give that a try. They are very similar, although not exact. I should be able to give you a good idea about what your velocity is with your load. It may take me several days or so before I can do the testing. Weather isn't cooperating here. I will post back on here when I have the info, so keep checking back or set up email notifications for new posts here.

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Re: Light weight projectiles in C96/38 or Ljungman?

#10 Post by KneverKnew » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:59 pm

Here are my test results trying the Sierra 85 grain HP in my 1903 C.G. C96/38. Rear micrometer sight set to lowest range of 250 meters. Front sight +1.5.
Range is 100 yards.
63* F
6 o’clock hold on target.

IMR 3031, 41.7 grains.
5@ 3-3/4” ( this was the listed accurate load in the book ) Apparently my rifle doesn’t agree.
Average V= 3170 FPS.
Image

I adjusted front sight to bring POI windage to center.

IMR 4895, 43 grains.
5@ 3-3/4” (close but no cigar)
Average V= 3098 FPS
POI windage looks good, just a tad left.
Image

Varget, 43 grains.
5@ 1-1/2” (Now that’s more like it!)
Average V= 3034 FPS
Image

I may adjust windage just slightly to bring POI back to the right, so it’s dead center. I think adjusting the rear micrometer sight up one notch might put me dead on in the bullseye.

I guess now we know these light weight bullets will work just fine in these old Swedes with the right load. Thanks to all for the help.

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Re: Light weight projectiles in C96/38 or Ljungman?

#11 Post by Ernest T » Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:27 am

Thanks for the data. Speed looks good for all powders. Interesting that Varget gave the best results. I have always heard guys claim that Varget was a heavy bullet powder. Varget is also my most accurate load with 170 gr bullets in my K98.

I'd say that part of the problem with accuracy with these light bullets in the Swedish rifles is the bullet jump, since it is hard to get them near the rifling when seating them.

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Re: Light weight projectiles in C96/38 or Ljungman?

#12 Post by KneverKnew » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:45 pm

Yes, bullet jump would be an issue. I typically don’t seat any less than at least the same as the bullet diameter. So .264 for these bullets. They also don’t like to feed reliably in the Swedes. I kept having to push the bullet down from bumping into the face of the chamber. They kept popping up before being fed far enough in.

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