Reloading

Dies:

            At the price of this ammo, it pays to reload. Both RCBS and C&H make dies, though the RCBS ones are much more expensive. They cost US$125 or so, and the C&H ones are usually about half that (I got my 8mm dies on sale from MidwayUSA for US$106; with shipping, GST and exchange they came to around C$150).  I tried to order the dies locally here in Calgary, but the dealer said it would take forever and cost an arm and a leg. Surprisingly, though, they had 10 #25 shell holders in stock...and they ONLY fit 8mm Nambu! The other two calibres I got from Buffalo Arms (see link below).

            The RCBS shell holders for these cartridges are as follows:

7mm Nambu: RCBS shell holder #17 (same as .32 ACP and .30 M-1 Carbine)

8mm Nambu: RCBS shell holder #25 (only for 8mm Nambu). Dies are Series H

9mm Japanese revolver (called 9mm Nambu by RCBS): RCBS shell holder #6 (same as .38 Special, but it is recommended to slip a special washer over the brass when priming to keep from tearing off the very thin rim). Dies are Series H.

            You can get these dies from Huntingtons or Buffalo Arms. There are links to both of these sources below.

 

            Here is a photo of the little washers/spacers for reloading 9mm Japanese revolver cartridges. My husband made these for me from leaded (soft) steel.

 

This shot shows one part way on (left) and all the way down to the bottom (right).

Brass and Bullets:

            The brass for the Old Western Scrounger ammo shown above comes from HDS, Huntington Die Specialties. They also make a special 107 grain TMJ bullet for the 8mm Nambu. They cost US$46.95 per 500, which seems very reasonable to me. Their website is:

http://www.huntingtons.com

            In Canada you can supposedly get these bullets through Ellwood Epps (see link above under gAmmunitionh). I ordered and paid for 1,000 on June 5, 2003, but was told that since they were a special order, I probably wouldnft see them before the end of July, 2003. They cost me C$150 plus C$25 shipping to Calgary plus C$26.75 GST (tax), or a total of C$199.25 per 1,000 (I know these numbers donft add up, but thatfs what the invoice says). This is about C$0.20 each. That would bring reloads down to about 25 Canadian cents each, which becomes reasonable. On August 5, 2003 I learned that Old Western Scrounger no longer exports directly, but rather through a broker, so the delivery of my bullets would be delayed until probably the end of November. In November I was told the stuff on order had been further delayed to the end of December or maybe January, 2004. I finally received them on January 13, 2004. Here is my precious box of 1,000 8mm Nambu full metal plated bullets, probably a lifetime supply.

 

            Here is a close-up. The contour is not as rounded as the original Japanese bullets, but it is the same as the ones used in the OWS ammo, which has worked fine in the one Type 14 I have shot (my 15.11 date). I will have a report as soon as I get a chance to do some reloading. I am also going to try to cut one of the bullets open to see how they are made.

 

            Here is another comparison shot, this one showing the 8mm Nambu bullet from Huntingtons next to a standard cast 158 grain round nose .38 bullet for .38 Special or .357 Magnum.

 

            Midway has moulds for a 110 grain round nose gas check bullet for 8mm Nambu and brass from Bertrams of Australia. MidwayUSA is at:

http://www.midwayusa.com (type in 8mm Nambu in search box).

            Another source of components is Buffalo Arms. Herefs a link to their website: Buffalo Arms Co. - Search. They  sell brass in 7mm, 8mm, and 9mm, as well as 85- and 100-grain 8mm bullets and 60-grain 7mm bullets. Being in Canada I canft buy any of the ammo, but when I called them on December 15, 2003 they said they could ship dies and brass (but not bullets) across the border, so I ordered dies in 7mm Nambu, 9mm Japanese revolver, 200 rounds of 7mm brass, 300 rounds of 9mm brass, and a pack of five snap caps. My order was held up because they were out of stock on the 9mm Japanese revolver dies by C&H, so on January 19, 2004 I asked them to substitute the more expensive RCBS dies and they said they would ship the next day. I got them on February 5, 2004. Thatfs pretty good by the standards of cross-border shipments, which have to clear Customs when they reach Canada.

 

            Here is a picture of the 7mm Nambu and 9mm Japanese revolver brass I got from Buffalo Arms. I have not loaded any ammo with it yet, but I compared the measurements to original rounds and to the specs in The Handloaderfs Manual of Cartridge Conversions (see below) and they seemed pretty close. The empty brass also chambered fine in my guns. It looks very well done.

 

The 7mm Nambu brass is reformed from new Remington-Peters M-1 Carbine brass, as you can see from this shot of the head stamp.

 

The 9mm revolver brass is reformed from new Remington-Peters .38 Special brass, as evidenced by this head stamp.

           

I eventually managed to get some of the Buffalo Arms bullets. They come in bags of 100 like this.

 

            Here is one shown with the eraser on the head of a pencil for scale. They seem to be well cast but might need sizing, as they seem to be about .282h at the base rather than .280h. Still, I was happy to get them as  7mm/.280 is a very unusual size for a pistol bullet.

 

           The Handloaderfs Manual of Cartridge Conversions by John J. Donnelly (Stoeger Publishing, South Hackensack, NJ, 1987) describes how to make 7mm Nambu cases from .30 M-1 carbine brass on page 801. It hardly seems worthwhile to make 8mm Nambu  when you can buy loaded ammo or brass, but this book also shows how to make these cases on page 860 and how to make 9mm revolver on page 902. The 9mm revolver conversion looks reasonably simple but for the 7mm and 8mm I think one is better off to buy the brass freshly made or reformed unless you really enjoy that kind of thing.

 

Reloading Data:

****************************** I havenft checked out these loads myself, so beware!******************************************

            I found some reloading data online at:

http://pub125.ezboard.com/fcollectorguns35625frm4.showMessage?topicID=123.topic

            A more complete article on reloading 8mm Nambu can be found at:

Guns Magazine: Delightful diversion -- loading the 8mm Nambu.

            There is also a very good article on reloading the 8mm Nambu and 9mm Japanese revolver cartridges in the February, 2004 edition of Banzai, pages 47-50.

            I have not seen any reloading data for 7mm Nambu other than that on page 801 of the Handloaderfs Manual of Cartridge Conversion.

 

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Last updated: May 14, 2004. All contents are copyright Teri unless otherwise specified and may not be used elsewhere in any form without prior permission.