8mm mauser

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Zack Young, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. Zack Young

    Zack Young AH Member

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    Hey guys I recently purchased an 8mm Kar98 Mauser with a sporting stock and scope. And I was wondering if anyone out there had any information on which African plains and dangerous game it is suitable for.
     

  2. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    I would say all the plains game but none of the dangerous game. It will also be too small of a caliber for dangerous game.
     

  3. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Very good caliber. I agree with JimP.
    Witold
     

  4. Mr. 16 gauge

    Mr. 16 gauge AH Fanatic

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    Dangerous game? None............most places have a bore restriction of .375 or higher (or ft/lbs, etc). The 8x57 just doesn't make it in either category.

    Plains game? Depends............are you using American made factory ammunition, or European factory ammunition, or handloads? If the latter two, I would imagine that you could use it for just about any of the plains game species. I think you might have some difficulty finding premium bullets for this caliber, but I could be mistaken. I was originally looking into getting a 8mm Remington magnum at one point, and the lack of premium bullets was one of the factors that made me reconsider.
    American made factory ammunition for this round is anemic and good only for smaller species (impala, blesbok, etc......think white tail deer). The reason for this is A.) there are (or were) a lot of Gewher 88 commission rifles imported into this country with smaller (.318) bores as opposed to the later standard for the M98 (.323), and with the ammo companies being afraid of lawsuits and people blowing themselves up from firing bigger bullets through smaller bores, they purposely underpowered the round. The other reason B.) is that there was a lot of "table top" gunsmithing done on these rifles when they were brought home as war trophies, and again, due to safety concerns, the round is powered down.
    If you handload, and take your loads in increments like your suppose to, you can probably safely get .30-06 performance out of the rifle/caliber; a lot depends on the condition of the bore.
    Not a bad caliber, just that there are other issues that one needs to take into account...........(y)

    Wouldn't mind seeing a photo or two if you get the chance.................;)
     
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  5. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    There are premium bullets out there for the 8mm Mauser both Nosler AccuBond and the Barnes TTSX bullets are available and I am sure that there are others.
    One problem with hand loading for the 98 Mauser is that they may be different bore sizes in the 8mm. Some came in .318 while others came in .323 bore diameters. If the barrel is marked 8x57 I or J they will take the .318 caliber. Those marked with 8x57 IS, JS, 8mm S or simply S then it is the .323 caliber bullets.

    For the older rifles I am sure that just about every 4 legged animal on the African Continent have been killed with a 8x57 Mauser and even the older ones are comparable to a .30-06 in performance but a little slower. The first thing that really needs to be done with a rifle that has been sporterized like this one is to take it to a competent gunsmith and have him check it out to make sure that everything is still in proper working order.

    A good article on the 8x57 an be found here on this link.
     
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  6. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    You are right Jimp.
    Witold
     

  7. Zack Young

    Zack Young AH Member

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    this is the mauser

    mauser.jpg
     
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  8. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Cool rifle Mauser.
     

  9. Mr. 16 gauge

    Mr. 16 gauge AH Fanatic

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    Not a bad looking rifle!(y) I look forward to hearing how it shoots...............
     

  10. Zack Young

    Zack Young AH Member

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    it shoots great. nice and smooth good recoil. however I am unable to locate the markings on the barrel.
     

  11. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    Factory ammo will be fine. If you plan on reloading for it I would have the barrel slugged so that you will know its true diameter for the properly fitting bullets. Either the .318 or the .323 bullets will fire through it but one will be more accurate and if the bore is closer to the .318 then you will also get higher pressures with the .323 bullet.
     

  12. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hi Zack Young,

    Welcome to the best forum.
    I like that rifle.
    It shows that a proper hunting rifle does not have to cost 2 or 3 thousand US dollars.

    The 8x57 was an African classic in its day.
    In the excellent book, "African Rifles and Cartridges" by John "Pondoro" Taylor, there is a list in the back pages of which famous hunters of the time (about 1900 though 1940-someting ?) used what cartridges.
    I recall that many preferred the 8x57, AKA the .318 Mauser (not to be confused with the .318 Westley Richards cartridge, actually a .330 bore).

    If your rifle is from about WW-II era, it is likely an S-Bore but not guaranteed.
    The fact that it is a "Kar98" is another indicator that you very likely have an S-Bore rifle, but again not guaranteed.
    As JimP said, you should have it "slugged" to be safe and know for sure.
    Any competent Gunsmith can do this inexpensively (especially inexpensive compared to a damaged rifle or personal injury from severe pressure spikes).
    While you are at it, have them check your rifle for headspace, also very inexpensive, sometimes free.

    If it turns out to be a J-Bore, then use Woodleigh brand .318 Diameter bullets.
    I think they make them all the way up to 250 gr in that diameter.
    If it is the more likely S-bore, several companies make projectiles for hand loading it.
    Hand-loaded or when using Euro brands of 8x57S ammunition, such as Norma of Sweden and others, this caliber is very similar to the .30-06 in effectiveness.
    Swift used to make a very fine looking 200 grain A-Frame bullet in .323 / S-Bore and I presume they still do.

    If it is legal in any country to use it on leopard, I suspect it would do very well.
    As others have mentioned, it is not legal in many if any countries for DG, including leopard.

    Here in the US (perhaps Canada as well?) your 8mm is legal for DG (cougar and bear) but, black bear is one animal and grizzly is yet another.
    If I was planning for grizzly, I'd want a bit more gun.

    Cheers,
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015

  13. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I love the 8mm Mauser. My dad had one and I shot my very first whitetail with it. In my experience African game is just tougher than you think they are. Even smaller plains game species. If you are in a special situation hunting from a blind or something similar where you get fairly close shots then some cailber's like this will work. Often times plains game hunting can require long shots. I have seen many wounded animals shot with our Texas deer guns due to just not enough power to sure enough put down African animals. From my experience I would not go with less that .300 Winchester for Africa period.
    Regards,
    Philip
     

  14. benchracer

    benchracer AH Member

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    You don't need premium bullets in an 8x57. Any of the old mauser cartridges can and should be considered handloader's cartridges. Even loaded to its potential, the 8x57 operates in a velocity range that favors standard cup and core bullets. In practice, the 8x57 will behave like a 30-06 equivalent with a bit less reach. Load it with 195/196 grain soft points or 200 grain Nosler partitions and go hunting. Powders like H4350, RL-15, and RL-17 will bring out the best in this old war horse.
     

  15. ZG47

    ZG47 AH Enthusiast

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    JimP

    There is, with all due respect, one little problem with that piece of advice, i.e. slugging the barrel will not tell you everything you need to know. The German Army changed the rifling depth in July 1896, not 1902 or 1904, as falsely reported by far too many English speaking gunwriters.

    The 1896 change to 'Z' rifling, was made because the bullet jackets for the 8x57 I ammunition were too thin, resulting in excessive obturation, rapid barrel wear, occasional jacket separation and barrel failures. The increase in rifling depth from 1.0mm to 1.5mm was a compromise to mitigate the problem whilst a heavier bullet jacket was developed.

    By the time a new bullet was developed to production status the Army had decided to go for a lighter (but fatter) pointed bullet, the 9.8g (151gr) bullet with concave base, the new round being officially adopted by Prussia on 3 April 1903. Rifles with barrels originally rifled to the newer 'Z' spec were rechambered in 1904-5 and stamped with an 'S' in two places.

    Issues are far more likely to arise with an 88 rifle than a Mauser 98 but it is worth knowing the full story rather than a dangerous bar room legend.

    Zack
    I liked the photo, by the way. It looks like a good solid hunting rifle and ... given the backsight I can see, it is highly unlikely that you have an undersized barrel (or chamber) but better safe than sorry, as per JimP's suggestion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015

  16. Mr. 16 gauge

    Mr. 16 gauge AH Fanatic

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    Also, nice toes!!!:ROFLMAO:
     
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  17. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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    phillip i dont know what your texas deer guns are, but i would say it was bad shot placement and not the calibres.......you are saying that the 8mm mauser, .270,.275, 30-06, 7x64 etc are no use on plains game unless you are sitting in a blind and get a very close shot? well i will say that is :S Horse Shit: :). as for the shot distance that will depend on the country you are hunting in, but most shots will be under 200yds and most likely 100 or less.:D Beers:
     
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  18. Zack Young

    Zack Young AH Member

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    Mr. 16 gauge thanks I'm very proud of my leathery feet. Anyone got any websites for 8mm ammunition I got the stuff I have at a gun show.
     

  19. Zack Young

    Zack Young AH Member

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    Also in case you guys haven't figured it out yet I have not hunted in Africa yet I've only been there as part of a deployment and have read a lot of Capstick and Patterson and Selous. I'm planning an elk hunt in Idaho later this year but any advice on hunting in Africa is welcome and appreciated as the material by the above is a little shall we say dated.
     

  20. benchracer

    benchracer AH Member

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    These guys have some good ammo in stock right now: http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/category/categoryId/251?

    The Hornady 195 grain SP and the Sellier & Bellot 196 SPCE are both full power loads:

    http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/24311

    http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/28850

    Another full power load can be found here: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/63...tition-spitzer-box-of-20?cm_vc=ProductFinding

    Prvi Partizan 8x57 ammo is downloaded, like most 8x57 ammo you will find in the U.S. However, it is inexpensive, pleasant to shoot, and will leave you with good brass for reloading:

    http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/12593


    That said, do yourself a favor and reload for your 8x57. It's not expensive to get started. Then you will unlock the true potential of your rifle.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015

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