Accidentally firing a 8mm Mauser in a Model 70 .06


PDA






Elbert P . Suggins
March 5, 2009, 03:05 PM
My grandson has been shooting my dads pre-war Model 70 30-06 of 1940 vintage for a couple of years now. But yesterday got a Mauser 8mm chambered and fired by accident because some loose rounds were picked up in a drawer which happened to have a couple of Mauser rounds in their also. An out of the pocket and into the drawer thing. He had been target shooting at a 100 yards with a mounted Leopold scope on a table with lead sled. Now the Winchester is more accurate in the sense that 3 out of 5 rounds almost touch each other whereas before, the grouping was farther apart. What did that 8mm do, clean the barrel out so it is more accurate or what? It didn't seem to damage the barrel. Brings new meaning to case form firing!

If you enjoyed reading about "Accidentally firing a 8mm Mauser in a Model 70 .06" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Atticum
March 5, 2009, 03:08 PM
maybe hes focusing a littler harder since he knew he screwed up :cool:

redneckrepairs
March 5, 2009, 03:12 PM
first off its a testimonial to the old Winchesters that the action held during the overpressure this incident had to create . as far as the accuracy increase you saw with this i would only speculate that no matter the manner you " lapped " the barrel . The accuracy may well be short lived , and in fact you may need a new barrel on it soon due to this " fire lapping " method lol . I never tried it , but honestly did not think that my mod 70 would chamber an 8mm without a jack on the bolt lol .

rbernie
March 5, 2009, 03:14 PM
honestly did not think that my mod 70 would chamber an 8mm without a jack on the bolt That's actually a good point - he may not have actually fired a 7.92x57 round at all. I can see no way for the oversized (.323) bullet to have chambered into the leade of the 30-06 rifle even if the first half inch of the barrel is completely eroded away.

351 WINCHESTER
March 5, 2009, 03:18 PM
Whatever you do don't let your grandson have access to any .35 remington ctgs. when he's firing the .30-06.

redneckrepairs
March 5, 2009, 03:23 PM
rbernie , all i can see is some setback , it would mean a hard bolt close to press the bullet back , but is not undoable imho . the case dont prevent it as far as leinght goes ( i dont have an 8mm and am running off memory from 30 years ago or so ) . but damm i aint gonna " abuse an action like the forces i suspect to chamber a round .

Hey 351 i have an old rem .35 pump ( 141? ) too . fantastic rifle that my grandma took too many elk to count and 2 bear with . I dont keep ammo for it ( other than one box ) simply because its not a " plains rifle " and thusly worth more to me as heritage than utility .

barnetmill
March 5, 2009, 03:23 PM
There is a story that one reason winchester discontinued the model 95 winchester is that people did fire 8 mm rounds in it and the guns were ruined. If a 8 X 57 was fired there would be the deformed case left over that would so indicate what was fire. The report and likely the recoil would have been difference. There also a big difference between some military loads and some american load ammo in that the military ammo is much more powerfull. On the hunting 8mm ammo the bullet may also have a shorter overlength and with the lighter load may not develope so much pressure when fired in a .308 bore. But without the expended case it is difficult to know what happened.

Elbert P . Suggins
March 5, 2009, 03:35 PM
Thanks for the responses. They were off the shelf Federal 8mm Mauser 170 grain soft point that I had used previously and he did say it was hard to pull the bolt down into lock position. He didn't have to beat on it though. Thats how I found out what happened because he told me one round was tough to get chambered. And then I broke into the cold sweat! What does lap the barrel mean? So what Millimeter is a 30-06 anyway? I just called my gunsmith who works on guns in Montana, Washington, and Idaho and he said that is the third time he has heard of a Mauser round being shot out of an 06. He said don't worry about but for Christ's sake don't let the kid shoot a whole box of Mausers thru my dad's 70!

Vern Humphrey
March 5, 2009, 03:54 PM
Holy Chit Man!

I'm not disputing your word, but do you have the fired case? It's hard to believe any rifle would withstand that -- some of the so-called "low number" Springfields were blown up by people shooting 8X57 ammo in them.

ArmedBear
March 5, 2009, 03:55 PM
My wild guess would be that factory 8mm Mauser rounds are loaded to a very low pressure, compared even to factory .30-06 hunting rounds.

A quick look at Federal's site shows a MV at least 500 fps lower than standard .30-06.

I wouldn't do it again, but that could explain why there appear to be no consequences. Guns are proofed at far higher pressures than standard cartridges.

works on guns in Montana, Washington, and Idaho

Does he have a gunsmith bus or something?:)

Vern Humphrey
March 5, 2009, 04:05 PM
I'd love to see a picture of the fired case -- the Model 70 is not supposed to have good gas-handling capabilities, according to the "experts."

bonza
March 5, 2009, 04:07 PM
Elbert asked: So what Millimeter is a 30-06 anyway?
Thirty calibers are generally 7.62mm, for eg. the europeans refer to the .30/06 as the 7.62x63mm (the 63mm being the length of the case). So, as you can see, an 8x57mm could quite possibly chamber in a .30/06, despite the larger bullet diameter, due to its 5mm shorter case.

Elbert P . Suggins
March 5, 2009, 04:16 PM
ArmedBear, my gunsmith works out of Winchester, Idaho and people send him guns to work on from other states. I am sure he doesn't travel. I know the waiting time from past experience is 2-4 months for him to repair something. I usually like to fix things over the phone with him just for that reason. And I am trying work things out so I can post a photo of the empty Mauser round so you might have to wait on that one. But he did reassure me my dad's gun would be fine.

Vern Humphrey
March 5, 2009, 04:24 PM
an 8x57mm could quite possibly chamber in a .30/06, despite the larger bullet diameter, due to its 5mm shorter case.
You are exactly right. In fact, I would be surprised to find a .30-06 that would not chamber an 8X57 Mauser round.

But I would be (and am) surprised to find somone fired that 8X57 without wrecking the rifle.

rcmodel
March 5, 2009, 04:57 PM
I am not surprised at all the Model 70 action held.

American SAAMI spec 8mm Mauser ammo is down-loaded to only 35,000 PSI, which is lower then the 30-30 Winchester at 42,000.

It was done in part because of old Mauser rifles of questionable linage.
And in part because folks just kept shooting them in 30-06 rifles either by mistake or ignorance.

It takes way more then a .323" bullet in a .308" bore at that low pressure level to blow up a Model 70.

I wouldn't be so sure on a 8mm Mauser German mil-spec, or European commercial load though.

rc

barnetmill
March 5, 2009, 04:57 PM
Holy Chit Man!

I'm not disputing your word, but do you have the fired case? It's hard to believe any rifle would withstand that -- some of the so-called "low number" Springfields were blown up by people shooting 8X57 ammo in them

The original low number springfields were known for blowing up with service issue us service ammo prior to WWI at the military firing ranges. At the arsenal the temperature for heat treatment was controled visually according to the operators eyesight and the could vary significantly according to the ambient lighting resulting in some actions being very brittle. Some were alright and others were not depending on the furnance temparture.

I would think that a properly heat treated springfield would hold together and vent a lot gas.

Another studid thing is to fire .35 rem in a 7.7 arisaka. I think that does blow the gun up. .35 to .311 is worse pressure wise than .323 to .308

ArmedBear
March 5, 2009, 04:59 PM
Well, Elbert, I won't ask his name, because you probably don't want to wait even longer for your guns back.:D

SlamFire1
March 5, 2009, 05:04 PM
Lets assume that he did shoot an 8mm down the barrel.

I believe it is possible. It is possible that the bullet swaged down in the throat and went down the barrel without creating pressures that would have blown the case.

A collector of high priced 03's, claimed he shot 8mm in a couple of low number 03's, posted the pictures to show that the rifles did not blow up.

(When too many angry people told him that what he did was impossible, he took the pictures down. I was not able to get copies of the pictures, and the guy was so miffed at the responses he got, he ignores emails on this topic, even though he is a frequent poster on things 03 on Jouster.com)

It is entirely possible that nothing bad happened to this rifle. If something bad happened it would be in the ream of the metal exceeding its ultimate. If the receiver/bolt stretched, than that would be bad.

I would recommend that the head space be checked, the lugs examined for evidence of set back, and if possible, an examination of setback for the receiver locking area.

If there is no evident change in headspace, nothing looks as though the metal flowed or was indented, than I would go shoot it.

Vern Humphrey
March 5, 2009, 05:15 PM
It takes way more then a .323" bullet in a .308" bore at that low pressure level to blow up a Model 70.
That's why I'd like to see a picture of the case. If it ruptured, the Model 70 doesn't have the best gas-handling capabilities and the shooter was lucky not to get a face-full of gas.

The original low number springfields were known for blowing up with service issue us service ammo prior to WWI at the military firing ranges.

There were several reasons the low-numbered Springfields blew up, including cases where 8X57 service ammo was fired in them and cases where the tin-plated bullets soldered themselves to the cases.

The Springfield is unique in one respect -- we know other service rifles (Mausers, Lee-Enfields, etc.) blew up in service, but there are no records available on those rifles for study. So it's difficult to say the low-number Springfields were generally more prone to blowups than other countries' rifles.

Art Eatman
March 5, 2009, 05:43 PM
The reason for the Springfield blowups was improper case-hardening of the receiver ring where the bolt lugs engaged. Embrittlement. Once they went to a double-heat treat and made some metallurgical change (nickel, IIRC), the problem ended. You can Google for the arsenals and serial numbers. One arsenal, it was any rifle below 800,000. I disremember the other.

Remington, in testing their then-new Model 721 for advertising purposes, loaded .30-06 rounds with a caseful of 4064 and a 220-grain bullet. They tested a Springfield, a Model 70, a 1917 Enfield and the 721. The Springfield locked up with the first shot.

They then forced a second 220-grain bullet into the barrel ahead of the leade and inserted a round. The style of failure of the Model 70 was that the bolt locked up. I don't recall if the case ruptured or blew out the primer, but the rifle did not suffer "unwanted disassembly".

The Enfield survived three bullets, sorta, and the 721 still would cycle after using four bullets.

Do not try this at home.

Elbert P . Suggins
March 5, 2009, 05:50 PM
ArmedBear, in response to your inquiry on the gunsmith, I sent you a personal email with the information. Elbert

Birdhunter1
March 5, 2009, 05:59 PM
I have read on rimfirecentral.com where a guy fired a .22 LR in a 17 HMR and afterwards the gun was completely different, I think the guy quoted his groups shrunk 50%. Not something I am going to try.

fatelk
March 5, 2009, 06:34 PM
Yes, it is absolutely possible to fire an 8mm in an '06. No, I have never done it, but I have seen the fire-formed brass personally, and have also read about it in old gun magazines.

I sure as heck wouldn't do it on purpose, but I imagine that the round would headspace on the bullet after pushing it back in the case, then fireform the case to the '06 chamber. The lower pressure from the lighter loading and the larger chamber, I would think, would be offset by the higher pressure from the force needed to swage a .015" larger diameter projectile down the bore. Apparantly the pressure is not too great, because this is the fifth or sixth time I've heard about this happening, and I've never heard of a rifle blown up from it.

Now, as others have said, take a full-load military or European 8mm round, especially with a thick FMJ or steel core bullet, and I would expect the results to be quite different.

On a related note, someone once gave me a bunch of brass they had collected. There were a few ".303 Savage" empties mixed in. As any old-timer or cartridge collector knows, the .303 Savage was a lever-action round from way back, very similar to the .30-30 Winchester. These, however, looked very odd, being blown out (fire-formed) and bulged real bad. I went and got a fired .303 British and compared the two- sure enough!

"Well, dang, JimBob, these here three-oh-three boolits jist ain't workin' right in my ole three-oh-three. I caint hit nuthin, and they aint workin' right in the clip":D

Vern Humphrey
March 5, 2009, 06:37 PM
The reason for the Springfield blowups was improper case-hardening of the receiver ring where the bolt lugs engaged. Embrittlement. Once they went to a double-heat treat and made some metallurgical change (nickel, IIRC), the problem ended.
Yes there were brittle receivers. But it's not that simple.
"One thing made evident by these tests is the fact that the weakest feature of the modern military actions is the cartridge case itself. In the Springfield rifle the head of the cartridge cases projects out of the rear end of the chamber a distance of from 0.147 to 0.1485; in other words, there is a space of well over an eighth of an inch where the pressure is held in only by the brass." (See Hatcher p 205.)

Some cases were clearly attributable to brittle brass, which allowed gas to escape into the action.

Between 1917 and 1929 there were 68 burst receivers. Of the 68 no serial number were available for 11 receivers, four of those that failed in 1917. Two of the 68 were made at Springfield Armory and had serial numbers in the 950,000 range. Of the remaining 57 receivers 33 were manufactured by Springfield Armory and 24 by Rock Island. Hatcher provided the serial number and the date of failure for all 33 Springfield Armory receivers, and the same data for 22 of the 24 Rock Island receivers (see Hatcher, pp 442-447).

In several known cases, the rifles burst firing ammuniton with tin plated bullets. The tin plating was applied to cut metal fouling, and in storage the bullets cold-soldered themselves to the cases. This ammuntion was know to produce very high pressures and was withdrawn.

There are also know cases of Springfields bursting from 8X57 rounds being fired in them.

Floppy_D
March 5, 2009, 06:46 PM
WOW.

Edit: I know that's a useless post, but I needed to say it. WOW.

Curator
March 5, 2009, 06:53 PM
Commercial American 8X57mm ammo is designed to work at the lower pressures of the M88 Mauser rifle that "may" still have the .318 bore diameter. Not only is that particular model mauser comparatively weak, but standard 8mm bullet diameter is .323. American ammo manufacturers load a very soft/thin jacketed bullet precisely because it might be fired in one of these. While not recommended, firing one commercial American 8mm mauser cartridge in a well made modern .30-06 rifle should not damage the rifle

NCsmitty
March 5, 2009, 07:12 PM
The boy was lucky that he shot the anemic US 8MM factory loads and not some hot German or Turk surplus rounds. The results may have been much different.

NCsmitty

skeet king
March 5, 2009, 07:29 PM
I've accidently chambered and fired a 223 out of my ak, everythings fine

Float Pilot
March 5, 2009, 07:36 PM
He was able to chamber and fire it because while the 323 caliber bullet is larger in daimeter, the 30-06 case and thus the chamber is longer than the 8x57mm by about 5mm.
Basically the bullet had a ways to go through the remaining chamber, ,lead and then into the rifling.
So the bullet was being swadged down en-route.

The big danger here is not blowing up your model 70s, but that escaping gas from the incorrect brass could jet out and ruin an eye.

If for some reason the rifle started shooting better after this incident, it may be time to give it a real good bore cleaning with some JB bore compound.

Vern Humphrey
March 5, 2009, 08:22 PM
I've accidently chambered and fired a 223 out of my ak, everythings fine
It's one thing to fire a smaller bullet down a larger bore, and another thing entirely to do the reverse and try to drive a larger bullet down a smaller bore.

Jeff F
March 5, 2009, 08:27 PM
I know of a .270 that had a .308 round chambered and fired. No damage was done to the gun or shooter. I have also herd of the same thing happening and the gun coming apart. Be very careful not to get ammo mixed up.

TehK1w1
March 5, 2009, 08:38 PM
The boy was lucky that he shot the anemic US 8MM factory loads and not some hot German or Turk surplus rounds. The results may have been much different.

NCsmitty

I agree, if that had been turk surplus the result might very well have been much worse.

Ratshooter
March 5, 2009, 08:59 PM
Okay. My granfather was a gunsmith in the 50s-70s. He was friends with P.O. Ackley and bought a lot of barrels from him Including one barrel chambered for 35 Whelen with a 30 caliber bore.

I have a letter writen to my GF by Ackley stating that as long as the case matched the chamber it was OK to fire a 35 caliber bullet down a .308 barrel. My GF screwed the barrel on a 98 Mauser and shot the gun with no harm.

The danger comes from shooting a case that does not fit the chamber. At Alpine shooting range in Ft Worth Tx there is an exploded rifle on the wall. It was blown up with an 8mm Maused fired in a 30-06 chambered gun.

Like some have stated I also sort of doubt he shot an 8mm. If he did he got lucky. You should have left the range right then and bought a powerball ticket. It was your lucky day.

If I knew how to scan in and post it I would post the Ackley and Phil Sharp letters that I inherited from my GFs estate. I knew my grandad was really into guns I just had no idea he was in touch with and seeing those kind of people.

If you remember there was an article in Rifle Magazine a while back about a man with a Jap Arisaka rifle he rechamberd to 30-06 but it still had a 6.5 bore. He fired it several times with no harm. He took it to his GS because it kicked too much. The NRA tested the gun and said the same thing as Ackley about the case fitting the chamber.

jim in Anchorage
March 5, 2009, 09:17 PM
This is all documented in the Ackley series of books.[I can,t find mine,I just moved and can,t find ANYTHING] He did a number of experiments with this over size bullet idea,like rechambering a 30-06 to 35 and leaving the bore alone. No failures.

Ratshooter
March 5, 2009, 09:33 PM
Well Jim I did not know that. Thats the first I have heard of an Ackley book and I have posted this twice before. Thanks for the info.

jim in Anchorage
March 5, 2009, 09:55 PM
Its actually 2 or 3 books. Hand book for shooters,or some thing like that. When I find mine I will post more info. I bought mine 30 years ago from Brownell's,so it may be out of print. Great reading-they had a lot of fun in the Ackley shop circa 1940's.

jim in Anchorage
March 5, 2009, 10:21 PM
OK I found one. Handbook for shooters & reloaders,volume 1,by P.O. Ackley.I don't see the oversize bullet experiments in here,so it must be in V II. Mine was copyrighted in1962,and printed in 1985. Again make the effort to find them,great reading.

bonza
March 5, 2009, 10:31 PM
I know it's a whole different kettle of fish, pressure-wise, but there was/is a company in Australia that was selling .22LR chambered rifles with a .20 caliber bore. The bullets extruded upon firing creating an elongated .20 caliber. They may also have done the same with .17 caliber barrels, too.

SlamFire1
March 6, 2009, 10:59 AM
If you remember there was an article in Rifle Magazine a while back about a man with a Jap Arisaka rifle he rechamberd to 30-06 but it still had a 6.5 bore. He fired it several times with no harm. He took it to his GS because it kicked too much. The NRA tested the gun and said the same thing as Ackley about the case fitting the chamber.

The article about the Japanese rifle was from back in the 50's. A couple of points about that incident.

They guy who reamed the 6.5 chamber out to 30-06, while he reduced the pilot size to fit in the bore, he at least did not mess up the reamer neck dimensions. The 30-06 case neck had room to expand.

The American Rifleman showed before and after pictures of the 30 caliber bullets fired in that rifle. The 174 FMJBT were swaged and extruded down the barrel. Without a doubt that is what happened with the 8mm bullets fired in the 30-06.

If the case neck is pinched, the most likely outcome is pressures so high that the case gets blown.

Another characteristic of the Type 38 rifle was the unusual amount of case head support the Japanese built into that rifle.

As stated before, the case is the weak link. Develop pressures high enough to blow the case, and what happens afterward is very unpredictable.

If you enjoyed reading about "Accidentally firing a 8mm Mauser in a Model 70 .06" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!