A PRIMER ON RELOADING:
Making your own cartridges for your Dragunov or PSL is one of the best ways to get better performance from your rifle. If you are scratching your head as to why you can’t shoot better than 3 inch groups at 100 yards, reloading may be just the fix.
Getting started in this activity can not only be confusing, but quite intimidating. This is only confirmed by the wide variety of manuals and videos on the subject, which sometimes give conflicting instructions. I couldn’t begin to explain everything necessary to the new or novice reloader but I'll briefly explain my own experience which you can use as a guide:
I bought the Lee
Anniversary kit and a set of RCBS 7.62x54R dies. This is probably
the cheapest way to
Where to buy: Midway and Graff & Sons are a good start. There are other web sites too, do a search using google or yahoo.com. Keep an eye out for what's on sale (changes monthly and even weekly on these web sites). You'll also need a work area for all this. Most people will use their garage or basement. It needs to be someplace with no exposed flame and good ventilation. Just use your common sense (you are dealing with explosives after all). The reloading press will need to be secured with bolts or screws into a solid table. Some folks who live in apartments have a rolling device, like a TV stand with a cabinet below, and can roll the thing into a closet when not in use.
Bottom line is that reloading is not easy to teach yourself. I learned that the hard way. People talk like it's no big deal and reloading your own guarantees better accuracy. If you have that expectation you will get frustrated quick. I had no tutoring and this was before I was on the internet very much so it took me about a year of trial and error until I "got it". Ultimately you are going to need to determine which brand of brass is best (Norma, Lapua, Sellier & Bellot, etc), which .311 bullet (Sierra, Nosler, Speer, etc), bullet weight (174gr HPBT, 180gr SN, etc), Powder brand (IMR, Hodgdon, Accurate, etc), Powder charge (how much powder to use), bullet seating depth (how far down to mash the bullet into the case, yes this really does matter), and finally which primer to use (CCI, Winchester, etc).
a more realistic look at what will happen:
Here's a helpful tip that is not often in the manuals: The manual assumes you are using BRAND NEW components generally. This
means that if you use once-fired brass fired in your or someone else’s
rifle, you will need to get that case ready for your use in several ways.
First you'll need to buy a dial caliper to measure the length of the case.
Then you'll need to buy a case
trimmer because the cases often stretch when fired. You should never use someone else’s reloads or reload a case that's from someone
else’s rifle unless you're certain the shell casing
has been squeezed back into a shape that will fit your rifle's chamber.
Remember all rifles' chambers are not the same
dimension, even if they are the same caliber. A worst case
scenario of this can cause an out-of-battery detonation and will destroy
your rifle (happened to me) and probably injure you.
Ok, now that I've killed any desire for you to get into reloading let me say this: Once you find that "Pet Load" and have confidence in your reloading technique, shooting satisfaction will increase at least 3 fold for you. Not only will it cost you less money to shoot, but you will ALWAYS shoot more accurately than if you had used commercial or surplus ammo. I now load 5 or 6 calibers and never even think about buying commercial ammo for some of my rifles.
Remember, these are only the basics. You should take advantage of the wealth of knoweldge that can be accessed just by talking to other shooters at the range or online. And when you've gotten your first great grouping at the range, let us know about by posting a report to a discussion forum found on the links page.