The Vintage Of These 7×57 mm Mauser Cartridges?

Major Khan

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Dear Forum Members ,
While replenishing our stock of 12 Bore AAA shot gun cartridges yesterday ( we actually use this shot size , quite a lot ) at our local fire arms store .... Fellow forum member @Kawshik Rahman and I came across 2 boxes of 7x57 mm Mauser cartridges manufactured by the brand , Winchester . They are traditional 175 grain cup & core soft point cartridges .
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Since Kawshik owns a beautiful BRNO ZKK 600 bolt rifle chambered in 7x57 mm Mauser calibre ... we immediately purchased both of the boxes .
2 months back , I had come across another box of Winchester Super X 7×57 mm Mauser 175 grain soft point cartridges just like these ... which I got for old Kawshik . They certainly work well . Kawshik successfully took a cheetal deer with a single heart shot by using 1 of these cartridges in February.
However , upon chronographing 5 of these cartridges ... we both noticed that the velocity is significantly lower than the old RWS brand German 7×57 mm Mauser 175 grain soft point cartridges which many of my former continental clients used to bring to India for shikar during the 1960s .
I would greatly appreciate if any of you gentle men could tell me what the vintage of these cartridges may be , so that we may be able to guess when these cartridges were brought in to Bangladesh. I am speculating that the ammunition is at least around 30 years old , because Winchester currently only lists a 145 grain power point cartridge for their 7 × 57 mm Mauser calibre offerings .
The cartridges were certainly not manufactured during the 1960s ... otherwise , I am quite certain that at least some of my clients would have brought them to India and I would have seen them.
I am aware of the fact that American companies ( since the early 1980s) tend to reduce the powder charge of their factory loaded 7x57 mm Mauser cartridges , compared to European companies ( such as Norma ) as an added precaution against damaging any of the countless vintage 7x57 mm Mauser calibre rifles still being used by their passionate owners across the world ...many of which still use relatively weak(er) actions than their modern counter parts.

Once again , this is nothing serious . So please do not go out of the way to bother with this ... if it may cause any of you , gentle men any inconvenience.

Yours sincerely,
Major Poton Khan ( Retired )
 
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Mort Hill

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Not for certain, but on the right track. I have several boxes of the same vintage that were given to me around 1986 in .270 caliber even though I did not have a .270 at the time. I forgot about them until I was rummaging through an old ammo box looking for some .284 winchester brass I had. I would put them in the late 70’s to mid 80’s range IMO.
 

Major Khan

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Not for certain, but on the right track. I have several boxes of the same vintage that were given to me around 1986 in .270 caliber even though I did not have a .270 at the time. I forgot about them until I was rummaging through an old ammo box looking for some .284 winchester brass I had. I would put them in the late 70’s to mid 80’s range IMO.
Thank you so much for taking the trouble to aid me in this matter , Mort Hill . Your assessment sounds extremely feasible. This type of cup & core style soft point ammunition ( with a 175 grain bullet weight ) could certainly have been manufactured during the late 1970s or mid 1980s.
 

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I had some of that brand and era Winchester 7x57 cartridges that I used in my Brno 7x57 rifle some time in the last year or two. I think your guess of 30 years old is probably correct. I did not chronograph them, but found they performed very similar to the current Federal ( USA) 175 gr. load that is advertised as achieving 2390 FPS but actually achieves approximately 2200 fps from my rifle. The USA manufactured loads for "7mm Mauser" are very low pressure, low speed as you observed. Compared to similar loads from old stock, similar era 7x57 / 175 gr. Norma and RWS ammunition the difference is quite obvious. I used the Winchester ammunition for practise shooting, but would expect it would be serviceable for hunting medium sized deer at rather close range. When hunting larger animals like our Canadian Moose or Elk, I use the European ammunition.
 

Major Khan

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I had some of that brand and era Winchester 7x57 cartridges that I used in my Brno 7x57 rifle some time in the last year or two. I think your guess of 30 years old is probably correct. I did not chronograph them, but found they performed very similar to the current Federal ( USA) 175 gr. load that is advertised as achieving 2390 FPS but actually achieves approximately 2200 fps from my rifle. The USA manufactured loads for "7mm Mauser" are very low pressure, low speed as you observed. Compared to similar loads from old stock, similar era 7x57 / 175 gr. Norma and RWS ammunition the difference is quite obvious. I used the Winchester ammunition for practise shooting, but would expect it would be serviceable for hunting medium sized deer at rather close range. When hunting larger animals like our Canadian Moose or Elk, I use the European ammunition.
Why , Long Walker ... your observations mirror exactly my own . The velocity of these cartridges was indeed 2228 feet per second when old Kawshik and I chronographed them today . In Kawshik's hands ... these cartridges certainly are devastatingly effective on cheetal deer .
I would , however prefer the powder charge to be somewhat higher if the operator intended to use them on our large sambhur deer .
In my old ( and admittedly antiquated) view , the very best factory loaded cartridges for the 7x57 mm Mauser calibre were the original German RWS brand 175 grain soft point and solid metal covered cartridges. They had a fairly higher velocity and out clients routinely even used them against 200 pound forest panthers and 500 pound male royal Bengal tigers with utter impunity ( and critical shot placement , of course ) .
1990s seems like an extremely sensible assumption for the vintage of these cartridges.
 

Major Khan

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I have a box of 30-30 that looks to be the same vintage, I was told they made in the early 90s. Of course I could be wrong.
It would appear that all of our speculations are going in the same direction , Master Smith. Indeed , great minds do think alike. By the way , I never knew that you owned a Winchester Model 1894 lever rifle . Sweet rifles for hunting wild boar , they are .
 

Wyatt Smith

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It would appear that all of our speculations are going in the same direction , Master Smith. Indeed , great minds do think alike. By the way , I never knew that you owned a Winchester Model 1894 lever rifle . Sweet rifles for hunting wild boar , they are .
I don’t own a 94 yet, Major. I am in search of one though. My father owns a Marlin 336 in 30-30, it’s a nice rifle, but you know me, I’m a Winchester man.
 

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I don’t own a 94 yet, Major. I am in search of one though. My father owns a Marlin 336 in 30-30, it’s a nice rifle, but you know me, I’m a Winchester man.
Wyatt Smith
As am I. I exclusively use Winchester shotgun cartridges in my 12 Bore William Wellington Greener Wildfowl Gun .
5DB5B1C7-0ED7-4454-8B68-BD78F18D56F1.jpeg

For quails and snipe
94C1F18A-9C5D-43A5-A7C4-46D668129881.jpeg

For greylag geese and Kakar Deer ( during beats )

Judging from Major Sir’s photograph, he shall commence using Winchester AAA cartridges very soon , as well . Probably for greylag geese and Kakar Deer , as well if I know him as well as I think I do.
 

Major Khan

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Wyatt Smith
As am I. I exclusively use Winchester shotgun cartridges in my 12 Bore William Wellington Greener Wildfowl Gun .
View attachment 342596
For quails and snipe
View attachment 342597
For greylag geese and Kakar Deer ( during beats )

Judging from Major Sir’s photograph, he shall commence using Winchester AAA cartridges very soon , as well . Probably for greylag geese and Kakar Deer , as well if I know him as well as I think I do.
You traitor ! You should be ashamed of yourself ! Stock piling Winchester Australia’s 12 Bore AAA cartridges for years , without ONCE telling me that they even exist ! Up until yesterday ... I did not have even the slightest clue that Winchester ever actually manufactured Australian AAA shot size cartridges . It is most fortunate that I finally came across those 2 boxes yesterday and purchased them both . Otherwise , you might have later swung by at the store and nabbed them , from right under my nose .
 
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Ray B

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The Orange and Red stripe primarily white boxes followed the yellow boxes around the late 1970s through 1990s. the cases in the early production were headstamped Super-X. This was later changed to WW-Super, and then to Winchester. So the combination of Orange/Red stripe and WW-Super would put them in production in the mid to late 1980s.
 

Major Khan

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The Orange and Red stripe primarily white boxes followed the yellow boxes around the late 1970s through 1990s. the cases in the early production were headstamped Super-X. This was later changed to WW-Super, and then to Winchester. So the combination of Orange/Red stripe and WW-Super would put them in production in the mid to late 1980s.
Thank you so much for assisting me with the exact pin point information which I was seeking , sir. I am most grateful. Yes , 1985 to 1989 seems to be most probable .
 

Areaonereal

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I purchased two identical boxes of the 7x57 in 1986. Still have them, shot three of one box, remaining 37. Also bought two boxes of brass..20 to a box...$7.95 a box loaded, $5.95 for the brass per box.
 

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The Orange and Red stripe primarily white boxes followed the yellow boxes around the late 1970s through 1990s. the cases in the early production were headstamped Super-X. This was later changed to WW-Super, and then to Winchester. So the combination of Orange/Red stripe and WW-Super would put them in production in the mid to late 1980s.
Exactly right. It is also anemic ammunition. Winchester loaded the 7x57 to very low pressures due to the huge number of military surplus rifles of questionable condition in the country, and because of the large number of pre-war .318 bore hunting rifles “liberated” by American soldiers during the war and brought back home. To most Americans, who knew nothing about .318 and .323 bores, a 7x57 was a 7x57. Winchester simply made sure the bullets would safely squeeze down a .318 bore.
 

Major Khan

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I purchased two identical boxes of the 7x57 in 1986. Still have them, shot three of one box, remaining 37. Also bought two boxes of brass..20 to a box...$7.95 a box loaded, $5.95 for the brass per box.
Thank you so much for providing me with this information, Areaonereal. I can see that all evidence points to these Winchester Super X cartridges being manufactured in the mid to late 1980s .
 

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Exactly right. It is also anemic ammunition. Winchester loaded the 7x57 to very low pressures due to the huge number of military surplus rifles of questionable condition in the country, and because of the large number of pre-war .318 bore hunting rifles “liberated” by American soldiers during the war and brought back home. To most Americans, who knew nothing about .318 and .323 bores, a 7x57 was a 7x57. Winchester simply made sure the bullets would safely squeeze down a .318 bore.

Yup Joe had you been on some vintage wine ......:D:D Beers:
 

Major Khan

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Exactly right. It is also anemic ammunition. Winchester loaded the 7x57 to very low pressures due to the huge number of military surplus rifles of questionable condition in the country, and because of the large number of pre-war .318 bore hunting rifles “liberated” by American soldiers during the war and brought back home. To most Americans, who knew nothing about .318 and .323 bores, a 7x57 was a 7x57. Winchester simply made sure the bullets would safely squeeze down a .318 bore.
Thank you so much for providing me with this useful information , Sir. Your observations match exactly my own . This 7x57 mm Mauser calibre ammunition was actually displaying some remarkably low velocities when we were chronographing it . It was only achieving a velocity of 228 feet per second , which is far lower than German RWS brand 175 grain 7×57 mm Mauser calibre soft point cartridges of the same vintage .
Kawshik did use one of these cartridges to successfully take a 241 pound cheetal deer in February with a double lung shot at close range.
However , when he used the very same ammunition to shoot a 300 pound Wild Boar... The 175 grain soft point bullet had only managed to penetrate 1 lung. The brute mandated 1 VERY nightmarish tracking job and then had to be finished off with 2 more cartridges to the head ( the 1st 1 was a frontal head shot and the 2nd 1 was a side brain shot ; with Kawshik-s point of aim.being behind the ear . )
 

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I believe that the .318 and .323 bore sizes would be for 7.9x57 which is commonly referred to as 8mm Mauser or 8x57.
Duh! You are absolutely correct. :sleep: It is early here. Both 8mm and 7mm Mauser loads were kept very mild because of the surplus rifles that flooded the market. The 8mm also had the two different bore size issues. I'm going back to bed.
 

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