After several years of not being interested, I pulled the Mosin-Nagant out of the safe a few months ago. I am interested in shooting at OKCGC Military Bolt-gun matches. Not that I have any delusions of being top-dog, I just want to go shoot. It's a 1930 91/30 Hex Tula, and I got it in 2012. I cleaned to cosmoline off, and it's sat since. Dark bore, some pitting, good rifling. HORRIBLE trigger - long, gritty, heavy. A plain-jane arsenal refurb, nothing special. I wanted to try it, so I got some brass together (including some I got from a forum member -thanks Darren!). I loaded up The Load - 13gr Red Dot (Promo in my case), and fired some rounds. 150gr Hornady .312 jacketed something or other. 1607 fps, spread 44 fps, StdDev 16.3 fps. Actually a good load on paper, very efficient, as seen by the numbers. Didn't shoot all that well, but it could be me - the trigger on this pig is terrible. I spent some time on the trigger, smoothed it up with 400 and 600 grit sandpaper. It's MUCH better now. Still long, but not gritty, good break. I wanted to try some other loads. I have 2 cases of surplus ammo I purchased back in 2012, sitting in the shed. I figured I'd sell 'em, use the money to purchase material for the handloading this pig. I listed the case here, no interest. I don't want to waste this ammo, but I also don't want to get hammered with 2950fps loads at the bench. I decided to try another way. I pulled down 10 rounds of the 1951 Russian light ball (149gr steel-jacket lead core), weighed the powder. Avg charge was 49.5gr of some stick powder that looks remarkably like IMR4895. I dropped the charge 15%, to 42gr, and reassembled the ten rounds. 2345 fps, Spread 32 fps, StdDev 15.8 fps. Another very efficient round. It shot like carp. 6"+ patterns at 25 yds. However, it didn't beat on me. I went back, pulled down another 20 rounds, dropped the powder charge to 40gr (down ~20% from original). Fired 2 ten round strings String 1 - 2 errors, so 8 rounds recorded - 2250 fps, Spread 151 fps, StdDev 45.6 fps String 2 - 10 rounds recorded 2327 fps, Spread 136 fps, StdDev 46.7 The efficiency of the load is dropping - the numbers are getting worse. The deviation is triple what it was, and the spread is 5 times what the heavier load was. And it shot like a dream, at least at 25 yds. I wasn't trying for accuracy, just getting numbers. I walked to the target after the first string - 2.5" group. I tried more on the second string - 1.5" with a flyer that brought it to 1.75". Top "group" is the 42gr load.5 shots. Bottom 2 are marked, with the 40gr load. 10 shots each. I'm getting some soot around the neck of the fired cases. Go figure, the steel case isn't sealing well with a reduced charge. I won't go any lighter on the powder charge. Methinks it's time to move back to 50 yds to practice more. I've got another 120 loaded.