Originally Posted by Vlad 11
I dont think the number of Mosins in the US is low. They have been selling out by the crate load for 20 years now. And they were $49 only a short time ago.
There's been a huge up-swing in their popularity, though. Remember why those Mosins were selling for $49 a short time ago--Mauser 98's were still cheap and plentiful, as was the milsurp ammo. Furthermore, being "German guns", they were (incorrectly) viewed as "better" rifles than Mosins, plus in a pinch you could make 7mm and 8mm Mauser rounds from plentiful (for many years) milsurp .30-06 cases. That's going to help reloading a lot. The 7.62x54R doesn't have a Mauser-based case head, so you can't form 'em from any other case (thank God we copied the Germans so slavishly back in the 1900's--it's been paying off for us since). Basically, a Mosin was a harder "sell" than a Mauser, hence the $49 price for so long. Yes, Remington made 7.62x54R for a while, but it wasn't in every corner hardware store like .30-06 was/is.
Nowadays people are learning better. Now that the inexpensive German Mausers have risen in price--just like SKS's have--Mosins are now the "affordable" milsurp rifle, and cheap milsurp ammo remains available for now. Prvi Partizan is now producing affordable Boxer/brass 7.62x54R for sale over here, and it's actually good stuff. That means we're now seeing increased brass availability. That means more potential reloading for this cartridge, which is a good thing.
I predict that subsequent reloading manuals will reflect these recent developments and will gradually start including more 7.62x54R data in them. They really ought to, because it is a fine, grand old round...and certain loadings of it will indeed match .30-06 ballistics. I'd love to see some Hodgdon Superformance data for it, given how they tout that powder for .30-06.