I have a PSL-54C that I have done about everything to, and on the first batch of Wolf 150 gr FMJ it would shoot sub-MOA everytime I put it in the Lead Sled, but on the second batch 2-3 MOA is normal. In the first box of ammo I pulled ,to reset fire-lappind bullets, the powder charge varied from 46.3-48.3 grs YES TWO FULL GRAINS, no wonder I'm having trouble. I know the PSL is not supposed to shoot heavier than a 150 gr bullet and you need the .310-.311 bullets but what do I do for brass? I had heard that the service rifle ejects really hard and brass will not hold up, but where would you buy steel / coated cases if that is true. Any help would be appreciated I hate to give up on this rifle and dump it. I have shot 400 yards several times at a buddies range that I built him and it would shoot 2 1/2 - 3 inch off the bench at 400 with a 6.5-20 Mildot, it was good cheap fun and comparable to 308 and a rifle that I was not attached to if I had a rough hunt.
First thing to do is to slug the bore to see exactly what diameter bullet you really need. Take a soft lead .315 diameter lead muzzle loader ball and drive it through the bore using short pieces of wooden dowel rod. Measure from high spot to high spot. If it measures between .3085 .3095 use .310 bullets. If it measures .310 to .3105 use .311 bullets. You can use any brass case to reload. You will not be able to find steel cases to reload. I have had good case life with my bolt 54R's with Prvi Partizan cases. The Wolf Gold ammo is also made by Prvi. Lapua makes very good cases but they are expensive and will be called 7.62X53R. They are 7.62X54R only trimmed 1mm shorter because of political problems in their country, not being able to have military calibers or something like that. I don't have a rifle like yours all mine are bolt rifle and the prefer 174 gr and heaver bullets. You should be able to get good accuracy out of medium burning powders like MIR 4064 and Varget with 150 gr bullets. My bolt rifles really shoot with 50 grs AA4350 and 174/180 gr bullets. If your rifle is shooting like you say with Wolf ammo, which is NOT ACCURATE ammo by most standards, you really have a shooter if you properly hand load for it.
I pulled two boxes of the Wolf 148 gr FMJ, the first box was 45.5-48.3 grs with extreme spread of 2.8 grs with an average charge weight of 46.8 grs. The second box was 45.5-51.6 grs with an EXTREME SPREAD of 6.1 grs with an average charge weight of 50.7 grs how could anything shoot with this crap? I guess the first batch was better than this batch. Sierra has some 150 gr .311 SP's if I can find them. When I pulled the bullets I tried to be consistant with my hits on the bullet puller and some came out with 3-4 blows and some took 25-30 hits and thought I was going to bust the puller. So while I'm waiting for the Sierras I am going to re-weigh, re-seat and factory crimp a few of what I've got to see what happens. I am going to re-load 5 with Varget to try. Thanks for the posts so far, LRH is a great resource.
Several buddies that saw it really shoot asked what had been done to it, so here goes, my gunsmith Tig welded the rail to receiver so with the big scope the rail rivets would not let it flex. He put a great Tapco trigger in it along with the Tapco Stainless Steel gas piston.I got a EGW Space Comp because this was a threaded barrel version PSL with the 14mm left hand thread barrel ( some fitting required). The scope mount is a Kalinka BP-02 Low Profile that just barely clears the cover and the rings are Burris Extreme Tactical that have been fully lapped, top and bottom. The scope is a 6.5-20 Illuminated Mildot. I found a Bi-Pod adapter that cleanly mounted in the forend. I put a AK-47 Grenade Launcher kick pad on it to add length of pull. When it shoots it's a heck of a rifle that is on par with .308 and 30-06 and was $569 from Aims.
For starters, just like RT said, forget about the steel cases. They use steel because it's cheaper and more readily available than brass, not because it's stronger. It probably can be reloaded, but it seriously wouldn't be worth the effort it'd require. The US used lacquered steel for several cases during WWII, and I've shot a fair amount of 45 ACP steel cased rounds. Worth mentioning that those cases used an intermediate sized primer, one that I'd never seen before or since. Not a small and not a large, but something in between, so it rendered the whole idea of reloading those cases at all completely moot. I don't know if this extends to other calibers of steel cases.
The 7.62 is an inherently accurate round, and the Russians used it as a standard Match round in Olympic and International 300 meter competitions just about forever. They still use it as their standard sniper cartridge, and ironically, it was used to set the highest number of confirmed kills in history against them when a Finnish sniper racked up an incredible 505 confirmed kills during the Russian invasion of 1939. Not too bad for a war that lasted all of a 105 days.
I'm biased, of course, but I'd recommend the Lapua cases, and yes, we do designate them as 7.62x53R. This was also a standard Finnish service cartridge for quite some time (Finland was a Russian territory prior to 1917, hence armed with Russian equipment), and is still a very popular hunting cartridge for moose there. Take some time with load development, treat it like any other cartridge and you'll be rewarded with an accurate shooter, no doubt in my mind. The fact that you've already seen sub-MOA performance out of it already set the bar. Now all you have to do, is clear it again!
I have 2-cases of Lapua in 7.62x39 that I use to see what a new AK will do, guess I'll get some of their brass to try. One of the best tricks I ever played on a Shooting Buddy was I put some Lapua 7.62x39 in a CHEAP ammo box and out shot his bolt gun at a hundred, the brass catcher hid the new brass where he never saw them.
I pulled, weighed charges and reloaded the Wolf crap, after I fire-lapped the barrel it shot 5-shot groups with the re-weighed Wolf ( case, primer,powder and bullet all Wolf ) and it shot 1-1/8 inch at a 100 yds. I got some Sierra 150 gr .311 dia. bullets to load and try tomorrow. Load data is not easy to find for the powders I have, Varget is my only powder I can find data for, I have alot of IMR 3031,H322, 2520,H4831, IMR 4831,H1000, Retumbo, and some Varget, if anybody knows about data for 150 gr bullets it would be appreciated. I am trying to save the Varget for my 308.