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Thread: ╬ 7.62x39 Russian, WC867 Duplex Load That Works! ╬

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Dapaki's Avatar
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    ╬ 7.62x39 Russian, WC867 Duplex Load That Works! ╬

    Safety Warning: Duplex loads done wrong can destroy your gun and even injure or kill you or others. Don't do this at home.

    I purchased a few cases of WC867 from Jeff Bartlett for the sole purpose of duplexing loads in all my rifles, .223, 7.62x39, 7mm-08, 45-70 to name a few. Some may think this is about cost savings or penny pinching and even though these loads will allow me to shoot more, the process is all about duplexing.

    This post is about 7.62x39 running in an AR upper from Bear Creek Arsenal, it has a 16" barrel and a 1:10 twist with a carbine impingement system gas tube and standard block. I would my end result to be good ejection of all brass, strong lock up and have the bold lock open on the last round.

    Accuracy and performance are key issues at this time.

    Today, I finished my workups on the 7.62x39 Russian but not as one would think. I knew that there would be an issue with getting the WC867 to burn well in such a small case and that you really need something to 'kick start' the powder as well as some sort of containment or resistance to allow for the gas to build up before the bullet gets pushed away from the casing mouth.

    I started by doing a LOT of reading, here, other web sites, reloading manuals and face to face discussions with old snorts that have been duplexing BP for decades and almost universally, IMR4198 was suggested for the kicker.

    OK... That's great! Now, how does one get better containment for the powders to burn in such a small case? A friend whom shoots the Quigley just smiled as she held up a bag of 500gr boolits for her 45-70 trap door, for me to see. Being rather slow, I didn't get it right away, she let me off the hook by telling me to, "Use a heavy boolit, heavier than listed for loads." She usually shoots 400gr but the powder she uses is a bit lame until you put a heavy boolit on top of the duplex and the extra inertia you have to overcome increases the pressures allowing for a better burn of the powders.

    Now, I know I have heard that before, probably here somewhere but having a 120lb gurl point it out to me was more memorable to say the least. I went in search of a mold that could get me to the place I needed to be but I could find nothing in stock that would give me the same profile as the standard x39 shape then a LYMAN 311334 single cavity pointed mold came up for sale here and I was fortunate enough to grab it up!

    200gr, pointed with a nose section small enough to kiss the lands without engraving. Saweet! Only one problem, no gas checks! A quick inspection of the financial reserves showed a zero balance and SWMBO told me that I would just have to make due!

    Make due? OK, I'll do that! Chucked the mold up in the four jaw and milled out the silly-little-gas-check-band! THERE! Now I got something!


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    As you can see, the gas check band is gone, the base is flat and makes a pretty nice base, if I do say so my self! Very satisfied with my work so far, I moved on to the powder/s.

    Starting with the analog of WC867 with no booster, I stumbled upon my first problem. Turns out that the case is a bit too small for 25gr of powder and this boolit seats inside the case so far, I had to reduce the powder to 21gr and even then, I had to slightly compress the load.

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    No big surprise that the shot was anemic and the bore was flooded with unburnt powder, the speed was 830FPS and the bolt didn't cycle. I knew that would be the case but it had to be done. With that out of the way, I started on adding the kicker 1gr at a time and reducing the 867 equally so that I had room for the bullet.

    I ended up with 18.5gr WC867 over 4gr IMR4198, Winchester Large Rifle Primers, mixed brass and loaded into a BCA upper with a 16" barrel with a 1:10 twist. All shots fed fine, loaded straight, ejected slightly behind the gun and only a foot or so away. The bolt locked back on an empty magazine and a clean patch showed no unburnt powder in the bore!

    The chronograph recorded 10 shots with a median speed of 1250fps with a 22fps variance. I threw the chrony out on the grass in-between thunder storms so no recorded data this time, no sky screens, cable or tablet.

    The grouping was 3" with one flyer, which was me dropping the grip off the sandbag. I think a 3 MOA AR shooting a 200gr boolit at 1250 fps and 600 ft lbs of energy is OK in my book.

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    THOUGHTS: I liked how the recoil is a push and not a smack! The noise is much less than the 123gr Wolf and with 1/2 the energy at 100yds, that is not much of a surprise but this is a solid candidate for a suppressed round, 175 more energy at 100yds than the 300BLK and a cost amortized at $0.010 a round makes for a lot of fun shooting for very little money.

    I am still working on my other duplex loads and I hope to return to this once more with a 160gr boolit just to see if I can get the speed and energy up a bit. I think I may try Silhouette as the kicker if I do.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Dapaki; 07-01-2020 at 07:57 PM. Reason: Clarity

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    "I think a 3 MOA AR shooting a 500gr boolit at 1250 fps and 600 ft lbs of energy is OK in my book."

    Wasn't the 500 gr boolit for the Quigly and a 200 gr plus mods for your 7.62 x 39?
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    Boolit Buddy Dapaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Yanda View Post
    "I think a 3 MOA AR shooting a 500gr boolit at 1250 fps and 600 ft lbs of energy is OK in my book."

    Wasn't the 500 gr boolit for the Quigly and a 200 gr plus mods for your 7.62 x 39?
    Thanks brother for catching that, I am going back to correct that mistake.

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    Boolit Master
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    Dapaki

    There are many here who know more than I ever will about duplex loading. I have lost an eye (construction accident) and I am concerned about your safety. Losing an eye isn’t fun; and neither is having a cartridge case let go in a rifle.
    The one grain increments in your “kicker” charge are too great an increase for the small volume case and using mixed brass without weighing them to assure consistent case volume will cause serious pressure problems. Ask me how I know.
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    Boolit Buddy Dapaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmitty View Post
    Dapaki

    There are many here who know more than I ever will about duplex loading. I have lost an eye (construction accident) and I am concerned about your safety. Losing an eye isn’t fun; and neither is having a cartridge case let go in a rifle.
    The one grain increments in your “kicker” charge are too great an increase for the small volume case and using mixed brass without weighing them to assure consistent case volume will cause serious pressure problems. Ask me how I know.
    Wmitty, thank you for your concern but I have plenty of experience with powders and duplexing. This is not my first duplex nor is it my last, there have been many others before me that have already tried and proven the powders I am using and I am well aware of the risks which you should have read as it was the very first line at the top of my post.

    WC867 will not create excessive pressures in any case commonly reloaded and even with a 'kicker', it is still a very slow burning powder. 4198 is extruded so it will not migrate into the 867, the load is compressed, also keeping migration at bay.

    4gr of 4198 was worked up to and not arbitrarily added to the case and is a stable kicked load that I use in the 350 Legend, .223 and now the 7.62x39, all with good results.

  6. #6
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    Ok... I have been reloading 30+ years at this point. I have only tried duplexing super slow smokeless with slow smokeless one time... I will not do it again. No, nothing blew up and nothing bad happened. I was kickstarting something like H1000 in my 6mm/284 and it worked great until the rounds traveled from Illinois to South Dakota, when I got there the rounds would not work with any consistency and the only thing I could figure was my kicker migrated. For me, it is a much easier and better plan to just use the right powder the first time.

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    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    Question

    Why not use just IMR 4198 with that CB in the 7.62 x 39mm? Btw, I've used 14gr. Alliant 2400 with Ly. #314299 in my 1st SKS and got surprisingly good accuracy (CB was gas checked). When you get tired of the inconvenience of duplexing, and when funds allow, you may want to try IMR 7383 with that cartridge. I use 22.7gr. + WLR magnum primers + a 160gr. [C.E. Harris designed] CB and get ~1,650 fps, fairly gentle ejection, and no pressure signs.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy Dapaki's Avatar
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    Thank you for your reply but these workups are for duplexing loads, not finding powders to make successful loads.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maven View Post
    Why not use just IMR 4198 with that CB in the 7.62 x 39mm? Btw, I've used 14gr. Alliant 2400 with Ly. #314299 in my 1st SKS and got surprisingly good accuracy (CB was gas checked). When you get tired of the inconvenience of duplexing, and when funds allow, you may want to try IMR 7383 with that cartridge. I use 22.7gr. + WLR magnum primers + a 160gr. [C.E. Harris designed] CB and get ~1,650 fps, fairly gentle ejection, and no pressure signs.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Dapaki
    I now see that you are aware/ knowledgeable regarding duplexing and I ask that you forgive my intrusion. I’d rather have someone offended with me than see them injured because I didn’t say anything.
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    Boolit Buddy dimaprok's Avatar
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    The question is why? Are you not able to get a hold of proper bullets and powders? 4198 should work alone, I know because I have slightly smaller capacity case 7.62x40WT and it works great with NOE 153gr SP bullet around 2000-2100 fps. I also have this one: https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1010267198?pid=305808, it performed OK with H110 in 300 blackout. There is also 4227, Accurate 1680 and Hodgdon CFE BLK and Shooter's World Blackout and Heavy pistol worked for me, the later one surprised me, I achieved sub-moa accuracy with cheap 120gr copper plated bullets. 1680 is my go to, works great with cast bullets, My favorite mold is NOE HTC 130gr mold, powder coat and gas checked but they also make version without gas check. I also picked up Lachmiller 130gr flat base mold and see how it would do without gas check, I found that it didn't like being pushed as hard as gas checked NOE but at reduced velocity of 2200fps I got 1" group @ 50 yds. Lyman makes almost exact profile bullet. Looking at Hodgdon website it also lists BL-C(2), H335, H4895, H322. I haven't tried these powders in this cartridge, just picked up 16 of WC 846, which is like BL-C(2), maybe it will work for me too but I have plenty of 1680 though. I should mention though that all but RCBS molds I listed are not .312 I'll be listing the RCBS for sale soon.

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    Boolit Buddy Dapaki's Avatar
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    Seriously? Have you all nothing better to then bash someone for for not doing something the way you are doing it?

    C'mon guys! Knock it off, I am going to CONTINUE to make duplex rounds because I LIKE DOING IT!

    Next up is the 45-70, Feel free to not comment if you dont have an ON TOPIC respons.

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    Boolit Buddy Dapaki's Avatar
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    I had another 50 of these beauties loaded and shot in the very oppressive heat today (95 F and 73% RH) just to see if I got some pressure signs from the hot sun and ambient heat.

    I picked up about 28 FPS (1288 average) with heat as the cases and gun were hot to the touch when I shot them. I am very encourage with the results, there was no pressure spike and no danger since the high temp didn't cause any detrimental issues.

    We have a cloudy day early next week, I will throw a batch of shells into the freezer and see if I can get them to slow down. I suspect I will get the same pressure drop, under 50 FPS but time will tell.

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    Boolit Master BNE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dapaki View Post
    Seriously? Have you all nothing better to then bash someone for for not doing something the way you are doing it?

    C'mon guys! Knock it off, I am going to CONTINUE to make duplex rounds because I LIKE DOING IT!

    Next up is the 45-70, Feel free to not comment if you dont have an ON TOPIC respons.

    I am intrigued by your work and write up. Making a duplex round is interesting. Other than doing it because you like it, (And yes, this is America, that is your right!) is there a different benefit?
    I'm a Happy Clinger.

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    Boolit Master madsenshooter's Avatar
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    I like to read reports of the duplex results from time to time. I've done some work with 30-40 Krag with the 150gr Hornady FMJBT using either Blue Dot or 10B101 as the kicker, 860 powder. If you work up I don't think it's a danger. In my case, I can't afford regular powder! Next project will be some cast in a 6x45 AR.
    "If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny."

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    Boolit Buddy Dapaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BNE View Post
    I am intrigued by your work and write up. Making a duplex round is interesting. Other than doing it because you like it, (And yes, this is America, that is your right!) is there a different benefit?
    I hope I dont sound condescending, forgive me if I do.

    The single most powerful driver in my life is the quest for knowledge. I have loaded all my handguns and rifles successfully with off the shelf canister powders and have cast several boolits for each, all with success.


    I also have a canon, a 1" bore and I like to fire it with a 2oz shot that looks like a large airgun pellet. I bought 48# of WC867 to use as an analog for the canon but got to thinking about duplexing all my rifles carts just because I wanted to. It will save money as well, allowing me to shoot more since there is N O powder on the shelf locally, no matter the cost.

    I plan on posting for each of my cartridges, share the problems and successes, see if I can find a good load to run the gas guns and a good load for the bolt/single shot guns as well.

    MURICA!
    Last edited by Dapaki; 07-02-2020 at 09:18 PM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master BNE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dapaki View Post
    I hope I dont sound condescending, forgive me if I do.

    The single most powerful driver in my life is the quest for knowledge. I have loaded all my handguns and rifles successfully with off the shelf canister powders and have cast several boolits for each, all with success.


    I also have a canon, a 1" bore and I like to fire it with a 2oz shot that looks like a large airgun pellet. I bought 48# of WC867 to use as an analog for the canon but got to thinking about duplexing all my rifles carts just because I wanted to. It will save money as well, allowing me to shoot more since there is N O powder on the shelf locally, no matter the cost.

    I plan on posting for each of my cartridges, share the problems and successes, see if I can find a good load to run the gas guns and a good load for the bolt/single shot guns as well.

    MURICA!
    OK, that makes sense to me. And I get the "Just because its fun" part. Freedom is a little edgy. After Obama got into office and the shortages that happened after that, I started buying and putting away when I could. I don't have a lifetime supply, but I can weather a few storms.

    Cannon? That sounds fun!

    BNE
    I'm a Happy Clinger.

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    Dapaki keep up the good work, lots of us will keep reading!
    Hell, I was there!

  18. #18
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    Thanks for sharing your research.
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check