Shooting the Steyr M95 - 8x56r ammo issues


June 7, 2008, 07:24 PM
Brought the M95 out to the range today for the first time, have owned it for a while but had trouble finding ammo for the thing. Finally got a good supply of 1938 vintage German stuff (nazi headstamp) to shoot. Ammo boxes looked to be in good shape and no corrosion or discoloration on the rounds or clips.

Pull the trigger the first time and just get a click, wait a minute and cycle the action to try another round. Click.... well that ain't right. Indentations on the primers seemed perhaps just a tiny bit light so I figure there must be some cosmoline keeping the firing pin from hitting quite hard enough. I squirt a bunch of WD-40 through the firing pin hole let the thing dry off for a bit. Next round still won't fire, finally on the fourth try a round lights off with some very brisk recoil. In all I tried 20 rounds through the thing and only about 10 fired, a couple of them lit off on the second try.

Anybody else have experience with this rifle/ammunition? Mostly I'm curious if other folks have had similar problems with the ammunition. The recoil is pretty significant so I don't see shooting it a lot but it would be nice to have it be a reliable weapon. I heard a rumor that Prvi Partizan will be coming out soon with 8x56r but haven't really seen anything to back it up. Anybody know of other ammo options for the M95?

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Float Pilot
June 7, 2008, 07:41 PM
I have had similar experiences with some WWII era ammo.
I pulled some that seemed just fine on the inside and discovered the powder was deteriorating. It smelt bad and was sticking together in clumps. The rounds that went off were really high pressure.
Nazi stuff was not made to last forever, it was no doubt made by some slave labor guys who who have been more than happy to have it blow up.

June 7, 2008, 09:56 PM
That's true about the nazi ammo, however the OP said it was 1938 so... I'd say it's just simply going bad.

cracked butt
June 7, 2008, 10:11 PM
Take your bolt out, strip it down, and boil the parts in water.
It should be striking the primer with a lot of authority- you most likely have a lot of cosmoline left in the bolt.

Also, Hornady makes 8x56r ammo.

The oldest surplus ammo I've fired has been 1935 turk ammo in a mauser- every round went off jsut fine, but storage conditions for different ammo vary.

June 8, 2008, 07:54 AM
Maybe your ammo was manufactured in Oskar Schindler's plant?

The Nazi headstamp ammo is getting to be collectable. Would much rather collect than shoot.

June 8, 2008, 11:45 AM
I had some issues with deep-set primers in some 1838-dated Nazi ammo. Good ammo, just the primers were in there a little too deeply compared to other rounds in different boxes.

But yeah, you should thoroughly disassemble and decrud your bolt as a basic first step in troubleshooting.

June 8, 2008, 12:54 PM
I've shot a fair amount of that 1938 Nazi stuff since I bought my rifle in 1988. I've never had one round fail to ignite, or give any indication that anything was amiss.

I too would suggest cleaning out the bolt/firing pin channel.

Good luck. They're fun shooters.


June 8, 2008, 04:06 PM
Cleaned out the bolt and there was more cosmo hiding inside.... I did notice that the primers seemed rather deeply set in some of the rounds.

June 8, 2008, 06:33 PM
sometimes it's the ammo's fault, i had a few x54R in my mosin that didn't fire at once..just wait a min and try the same round againg...(in my case it went BANG! EVRYTIME AFTER THE 2ND TRY)

June 9, 2008, 01:07 AM
Never had any difficulty the 1938 ammo with the little Nazi dojigger on the headstamp. Some Hungarian ammo of same vintage shot fairly well but but occassionally would get a click followed by a delayed bang. Not frequent but makes you wonder what's going to happen with each trigger pull.

June 9, 2008, 01:11 AM
After thought here. Was mentioned above that the Nazi headstamp may be becomming collectible. What is that stuff selling for today? Havent bought any for years but it was less that 100 bucks per M when I bought it.

June 9, 2008, 07:07 AM
its about a dollar a round now

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