8mm Mauser as a hunting rifle


July 5, 2007, 10:13 AM
I have a Turk Muser in 8mm that I picked up a couple of years ago. I was wondering if with minimal alterations if the rifle would serve as a decent hunting tool. The rifle looks to be in good shape, crown is clean, rifling sharp and crisp with no pitting. My only concern is the caliber ad it's availibilty. The most I can or want to do is fix the sights and maybe add a rear peep sight. I'm in a real tight financial budget so I can't go out and buy a new rifle or even a used one. So I thought I ask around and see what wiser heads than mine have to say.

Though I thought about holding off for little while and saving some cash to send it off to have it rebarrelled in 30-06 with a shorter barrel.

So, I'll take the mauser out to the range later this weekend to see how it groups and see if it is worth keeping as is.

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July 5, 2007, 10:17 AM
.323 makes a great hunting round.

July 5, 2007, 10:31 AM
Replace the rear sight with a Mojo sight.http://www.mojosights.com/

July 5, 2007, 10:46 AM
I have found the 8mm Mauser round to be a most effective cartridge when used on Whitetail deer. The only (North American)game I wouldn't deliberately use it on would be the BIG bears. There is plenty of hunting ammo available with bullet weights up to 196gr.

July 5, 2007, 10:46 AM
A buddy of mine has been deer hunting with a Mauser his entire life. It was a WWII bring back that his Dad brought home from Germany. If it shoots where you're aiming, it will drop a deer in its tracks.

July 5, 2007, 11:04 AM
Indeed, the 8mm is a great round. I have a WWII era sporter I made from scraps in my shop and it's dead nuts accurate to 100 yards with open sights. Great truck gun.

Steve in PA
July 5, 2007, 12:00 PM
There is not need to have it rebarreled in anything. The 8mm Mauser is an excellent cartridge in its own right.

I have a German K98 (RC) that I intend to use for hunting deer or black bear.

July 5, 2007, 12:10 PM
You can definitely hunt with a Mauser. And dont bother converting to another caliber. 8mm is plenty to take down nearly anything, and the ammo prices arent much different than .30-06 or .308.

July 5, 2007, 12:20 PM
what the 3006 is to the USA........Why modify, aka bubba custom, the rifle. It will shoot just fine in it's military dress. IF you want a 3006, well, then buy a 3006.....chris3

July 5, 2007, 01:25 PM
Both 8mm and 303 are good for North American game. No need to modify the rifle.

Heavy Metal Hero
July 5, 2007, 01:41 PM
8mm is to the rest of the world...
what the 3006 is to the USA

Actually 8mm is equivilant to .308 and x54R is equal to .30-06, IIRC.

July 5, 2007, 01:48 PM
Not a darned critter in N.America an 8mm is underpowered for, especially with full power hand loads.
8mm mauser is popular in Europe and other places much like our .30-06 and .308 is around here, 7.62x54R is powered right between .30-06 and .308, they are virtually all similiar in regards to hunting potential. You will not be undergunned with an 8mm Mauser rifle for N.American Hunting purposes.

Essex County
July 5, 2007, 01:51 PM
absolutely no flies on the 8X57 They used to be commonplace in the North Country deer woods. I have eight Mausers at the present time, including three Turk's. One is absolutely pristine ( Huh? ) and is a fine candidate for a reciever sight and an aftermarket trigger. I wouldn't go to the expense of mounting a scope or altering the bolt, but I would consider this " Truck Gun Supreme". They deserve to be shot a lot more often. Essex

July 5, 2007, 03:21 PM
Actually 8mm is equivilant to .308 and x54R is equal to .30-06, IIRC.

Muzzle energy according to this chart:


.30-06 -- 3076 ft-lbs
8mm Mauser -- 3031 ft-lbs
54 Russian -- 2910 ft-lbs
7.62 NATO -- 2680 ft-lbs
.50 BMG -- 13,910 ft-lbs :)

July 5, 2007, 03:22 PM
It will serve well as a good deer rifle :D

July 5, 2007, 03:39 PM
Not much I can add that hasn't already been said, other than American ammo has been neutered due to variations in 8mm's produced. But even the watered down 8mm is more than adequate for Bambi's daddy.

50BMG - Almost 14,000ftlbs - WOW!!! :what:

July 5, 2007, 03:42 PM
There's a good selection of hunting ammo for the 8mm, my M48a has served me well with remington soft points

July 5, 2007, 05:55 PM
A cheaper alternative to rebarreling to 30-06 is to simply rechamber the rifle to 8mm-06. This can be done at home or at a lesser cost by a qualified gunsmith. In either case you end up with a restriction on the overall case length. If you stick with lighter bullets in the 150 grain range, you can probably load to the length the magazine will tolerate. Otherwise your stuck with a single shot. Assuming you are a decent shot, 1 shot is all you should need.

July 5, 2007, 06:01 PM
Actually 8mm is equivilant to .308 and x54R is equal to .30-06, IIRC.
The 8x57mmJS is superior to military .30-06 Springfield. 8mm Mauser is superior to anything the .308 can do.

July 5, 2007, 06:05 PM
"The 8x57mmJS is superior to military .30-06 Springfield. 8mm Mauser is superior to anything the .308 can do."

Based on...?

July 5, 2007, 06:25 PM
I wouldn't hesitate to use an 8mm Mauser on elk. Black bear, maybe even moose (though you can go to 220gr with an '06).

196gr @ 2600 fps is definitely enough.

July 5, 2007, 07:37 PM
Well, based on the replies. I guess that rebarrelling is out as long as the rifle is in good shape after I get a gunsmith to look it over. Then I'll take to the range and see if it works worth a darn. This old Turk is kinda big though. Does anyone use sticks, slings or bipods with a mauser like this?

July 5, 2007, 07:46 PM
Most American-made 8mm Mauser is loaded pretty weak. Originally the 8mm Mauser was loaded with a .318" round nose bullet loaded to lower pressures. This round was known was the 8mm Mauser J. They then upped the pressure and started using spitzer bullets for the 8mm Mauser JS.

In Europe, you can buy ammo for either, but in the US, they assume you are an ignorant fool and load all the ammo to 8mm Mauser J specs with the smaller diameter bullet.

Get yourself some Sellier and Bellot and it'll have the larger diameter bullet which should probably give you better accuracy, and it will also have the full-power JS Mauser performance.

July 5, 2007, 09:13 PM
A good friend of mine and his father both hunt with bring back K98's. Both of them have taken multiple deer with those old rifles.

As others have already stated, the 8MM Mauser is a potent round!

July 5, 2007, 11:11 PM
Great choice, just practice a bit with cheap corrosive stuff, clean your gun and zero it with a hunting load.
You can even get a lee loader, and reload the brass cases using surplus components if you get tired of corrosive ammo.

August 27, 2009, 03:57 PM
My scoped, sporterized K98 will shoot within an inch at 100 yards off a bench if I do my part. Handloads with 180 grain NBTs. Used it to take a large doe last year. Hits hard. Too hard in fact, the NBT did extensive damage on a side shot. Lost a shoulder.

Was within 60 yards though, so bullet was moving fast. Haven't chrono'd it, but it's a heavy load of RE 15. Very impressed with the accuracy I got.

Just haven't gotten around to working up another handload. Thinking something like Barnes XXX might cause less damage.

Wouldn't hesitate to use it anywhere I'd use an 06.

August 27, 2009, 04:38 PM
My brother has been hunting elk with his K98 for years. Handloads will surprise you.

August 27, 2009, 06:53 PM
The 8x57 is in the same power class with the 30-'06 and in Europe fills the same niche. Ammo and bullets for reloading are not as plentiful but otherwise there's nothing wrong with hunting the 8x57.

This has been modified beyond the sights but it's still in 8x57 and would do for deer under most conditions.


A friend foolishly swapped me this few years ago and I foolishly swapped it back last December. It's an 8x57 and he regularly hunts with it.


August 28, 2009, 07:57 AM
With low powered american 8mm Mauser ammo, my Turk shot only a couple inches high at 100 yards and was perfectly suitable for deer hunting. I added a scout scope later to use hotter european hunting ammo, and used it to take a buck and doe in 2006.


has scout mount bases for Turks.

Col. Plink
August 28, 2009, 11:15 AM
+1 on the 8mm Mauser and Eldon "get yourself some Sellier and Bellot".

That is, it's a 7.92x57mm Mauser and buy ammo accordingly because American stuff marked '8mmMauser' is noticeably weaker. I shot both on my first outing recently with a nearly pristine VZ-24 from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, and you won't need a chrono to tell the difference. I'm guessing any European loads will be similar; anyone have specs on the Romanian milsurp 150-gr?

Also I was hoping to find out if someone could tell me if the VZ-24 has front sights like other Mausers or are they unique? They are, hands down, the best open sights I have ever seen. The front sight is shielded on both sides and, when raised, frames the target and shows elevation with a pointed post, kind of like this:


Absolutely brilliant!

Hoping others have sen what I'm talking about, maybe on K98's?

August 28, 2009, 04:53 PM
A Turk Mauser has worked for me...
I'm the one holding the gun.

August 28, 2009, 05:00 PM
Just stay clear of US made 8x57JS. It's been downloaded to .30-30 levels by absurd SAAMI regs. There are a number of European makers who produce excellent SP hunting rounds. Norma, Lapua, S&B, and some outfits in the former Yugoslavia. Obviously the Scandinavian is the best, but it's also the most expensive.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 28, 2009, 06:14 PM
When you "bubba" a rifle, you end up actually spending money to make it LESS valuable. Not wise. Use it in stock form (or with just the mojo sights), or buy a different modern sporter for hunting in caliber of you choice.

August 28, 2009, 10:02 PM
8X57 might work on deer if you can sneak up real close... like 350-450 yards ....:D

August 28, 2009, 10:11 PM
I have a turk 38 that I put a lowered safety, bent bolt and redfield mounts on it. I only have $150 total in the gun with rings on it.

I reload Sierra 150's for it. It will do 1" at hundred yards all day long.

Definitely a deer killer.

Here are some pictures



August 29, 2009, 10:41 AM
That is a cool looking rifle Stolivar, now you got my wheels spinning for an upgrade on my 48A. I would think a set up like yours with a 1X4 shotgun scope would make a great hog gun.

August 29, 2009, 01:54 PM
Unfortunately, many of the modern 8mm loadings that utilize hunting bullets are very underpowered for the 8mm, they are closer to a 30-30 in ballistics. Still useable, but not really utilizing the true capabilities of the cartridge.

August 29, 2009, 02:02 PM
If your going to be shooting an 8mm just be sure to grab some European ammo. It's not that hard to find and still inexpensive. Keep your brass and reload it as hot as you dare. The 8mm has enough ump to get the job done. I find it hard to believe it's even in question. 30-30's been taking deer for a very long time what makes anyone think a more powerful larger bore rifle won't?

August 29, 2009, 05:26 PM
Dear Saxon Pig:
This is my long deceased Uncles first deer gun he brought back from WW2. 8x57 and looks like he used RWS 196 grain SP ammo brought in Bergen NJ.He got his deer in upstate New York with the Obendorf Mauser Factory sporter until 1960 when he got the 1955 Model Mannlicher Schoenauer at the old Abacrombie and Fitch in NYC.Yup the 8x57 is a slugging fool IMHO and at least equal to the 3006 under 300 yards.


Col. Plink
August 31, 2009, 04:04 PM
Anyone know if the open sights on the VZ-24 are unique to that rifle or if they are 'stock' for the 8mm Mauser from elsewhere? Thanks!

August 31, 2009, 04:49 PM
They look the same, but a micrometer might say otherwise.



They make scout mounts the CZ 24, if that is the same and may know the difference.

August 31, 2009, 09:59 PM
That round (and rifle) took millions of 2 legged critters-- and like another poster said, it will take anything in NA except I wouldn't trust it in bears...deer?

You bet!:cool:

September 2, 2009, 09:14 AM
How about Elk?
I've got a sporterized pre-WWII German 8mm Mauser that I'm taking when I go deer hunting next month, but I also got a late elk tag. Should I stick with this gun for both hunts, or should I be looking at something else for the elk?

September 2, 2009, 09:18 AM
This load will handle any elk:


Midway has it in stock.

September 4, 2009, 01:33 AM
8mm Mauser could stop a semi...same for 303 Brit, 30-06, etc. What's the debate about again?

September 4, 2009, 01:45 AM
The 8mm Mauser is an amazingly accurate rifle. I sighted in on a 300yd target with my 1944 german mauser from WWII and repeatedly hit it - that was my first day at the range with it!!! I have tremendous respect for that gun and only wish it was easier to find parts for it. BTW the original iron sights are very accurate as I can tell.

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