Converting 30-06 Brass to 8mm Mauser?


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jjohnson
July 18, 2009, 11:21 AM
Hi, Gents!

I've found myself with a nice M98 Mauser, no brass, and a pile of .30-06 brass... so I should convert some of the '06 brass to 8mm Mauser, right?

I've found bits and pieces of posted threads that cover some of this process, but not enough to patch it all together. Could you guys be so kind as to tell me a good way as far as process is concerned, and the simple list of "must have" hardware (other than standard 8mm dies) that I need to get this going? I'm not looking for "match" level quality or accuracy, so let's just keep it simple.

One dude at the range is using military 30-06 blanks as his "starter brass" since the blank's case mouth has to be trimmed off anyway.. that sounded cool.

Your help, please? All advice is appreciated!

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SaxonPig
July 18, 2009, 11:40 AM
MTTIW

8x57 brass is not rare, particularly hard to find or expensive when you do. IMO the effort isn't justified. Also, you will have a dangerous situation setting on the shelf with ammo head stamped 30 caliber but loaded with .323 bullets. If you err or someone else grabs the wrong box it may lead to a damaged rifle.

I suggest just snagging some proper cases. Many mail order outfits offer them, they turn up all the time on Gunbroker, or a local dealer may have some.

243winxb
July 18, 2009, 11:49 AM
8mm here> http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=422660

jjohnson
July 18, 2009, 12:11 PM
Hey, Saxonpig, I understand that handloaders must execute caution with their own products :what: but, loading upwards of 40 calibers, I'm living with it already. I color code my primers with a colored Sharpie when things start to look too much alike. :scrutiny:

Being laid off for six months,:fire: I have more time than I have money - and a big pile of 30-06 brass that's way more than what I need. Otherwise, I would just buy PRZI 8mm ammo and reload from there. Thanks for the cautionary note.:banghead:

mallc
July 18, 2009, 12:47 PM
According to George Nolte, Home Guide to Cartridge Conversion - 1967, its pretty simple. Nolte recommends using new or annealed brass for reforming. In any case, make sure the brass and sizing dies are clean and use a good lube like Imperial.

I don't believe I have ever done this. But if one was to doing this, one would want to make sure one was sizing for the right bullet diameter. Most 98s are .323" but there are a few variants.

One would probably only need a fairly stout press and the proper sizing die.

One would probably stretch the neck ID by 0.15" so one might consider polishing the taper on the expander plug and positioning it so it would open the neck gradually. One would want to check for cracks during the re-forming operation and expect some amount of failure.

The cartridges are very similar but one would probably proceed cautiously. Maybe something like: Gently resize the 30-06 case in a standard a 8x57 size die. Lube a little including a touch to the inside of the neck - but not a lot. Push a little - back off - turn 1/4 turn and push again. Repeat until sized. Trim to 2.237 to 2.24.

One would clean the case and check it in a case gage of proper caliber and adjust sizing die if necessary. Then one would probably check an EMPTY cartridge in the action to make sure it extracts and ejects.

One would thoroughly clean the reformed cases inside and out before loading. One would definitely stick with a light to moderate charge and one would keep a close eye on the neck and shoulder if one should consider reloading the reformed cartridge.

I have been told that reloading is very dangerous and converting brass cartridges from one caliber to another - although, a very common practice in the 50s and 60s - exponentially increases the danger and should never be considered a safe practice. That is why I don't believe that I have ever done this.

One would probably simply want to get in line at Grafs for some new Privi at $39.95/100.

I hope this discourages you from attempting this dangerous idea. :rolleyes:

Scott

depoloni
July 18, 2009, 02:31 PM
Wow...

I've converted Hornady, Winchester, Remington, Federal, and Norma 30-06 brass (most cases once fired) into 8x57mm with no problems.

Use imperial sizing wax for starters - others work but it's the hands-down best. Anneal the cases before you reshape them, a simple process really.

I personally trim the 06 cases down to just over (~.010) standard 8x57 length, which removes most of the neck, then I lube the hell out of them and size them straight into my RCBS FL 8mm die. Then I turn the necks to rid myself of the slight thickening that happens where the 06 shoulder ends up below the midpoint of the reformed 8x57 neck.

They shoot fine - in most instances as good or better than "new" factory brass I bought in 8x57. Neck thickness varies and I let the brand be the brand - federals after turning end up near .0145 or so and remingtons and winchesters a little closer to .0130 or thereabouts.

It IS EASIER AND GUARANTEED NO PROBLEMS to BUY 8x57 BRASS no doubt, it's not uncommon. But a guy like me with hundreds and hundreds of 30-06 brass from a range hookup... might as well. I only use so many in my 30-06.

Incidentally, it is worth noting that you should be careful with "incorrectly" headstamped, converted brass. But anyone lax enough to stick an 8 mauser in a 30-06 without realizing it should seriously reconsider reloading to begin with. They don't much look alike!

Jimfern
July 19, 2009, 04:45 PM
I just converted about 20 pieces of R-P 270 brass to 8mm Mauser last month. I bought a set of CH 8mm dies on ebay and they came with an 8mm Lee case trimmer and drill attachment.

All I did was lube them with the same RCBS lube I use for regular resizing and ran them through the CH decapping/sizer die. Then I used the Lee case trimmer with a 120 volt drill (the 14 volt cordless wasn't so good for this) and I had my brass.

They shot just as well through a Yugo Mauser I recently bought as the brand new R-P 8mm Mauser brass I also had (only 20 rounds though). I was using the iron sights and at 50 yards I got 5 shots in one big hole with both types of brass. I've only shot them once, but I didn't have any signs of spliting on the neck.

I keep them in a box labeled "270 brass converted to 8mm Mauser", but they are much shorter than 270 brass and I don't have a 270 rifle anyway.

Good luck.

R.W.Dale
July 19, 2009, 06:27 PM
I've gone even farther and resized 06 to 7.65x53mm Mauser.

Lube
Size
trim the pee out of the case
fireform
and repeat

Just used my good ol Pacific or Lee die set

jcwit
July 19, 2009, 06:37 PM
jjohnson I see your point about 30/06 to 8mm being as you're laid off and everything.

But to me the problem lies with what about the guy that gets this stuff down the road if and when something happens to you. Not something I'd like to be responsible for, even after the fact.

Archie
July 19, 2009, 06:41 PM
1. Trim 63mm long .30-06 case to 57mm.
2. Load with LR primer, about 10-15 grains of 2400 or similar powder and seat a paper wad with a wax seal.
3. Fireform in 8x57 Mauser chamber.
4. Check for cracked necks and reload as if it were regular ammo. (I've expanded .308 cases up to .45 in this manner without cracking.)

This will save you from fighting the neck around an 8mm expander ball, anyway.

Just for the record, a 20 grain charge of 2400 in a .30-06 case with a wax wad makes a heck of a salute round. (Sounds like a regular round and delivers about four to six feet of orange flame.)

ranger335v
July 19, 2009, 07:35 PM
All that you must have is an 8mm FL die and a trimmer.

It will help them last longer, and be easier to form, if you anneal the 06 necks first but don't over do the heating. Goggle how case neck annealing should be done.

Case reforming is easy and safe enough though there are many who fear doing it. Paying attention to the fearful makes no more sense than listening to those who fear guns saying to stay away from guns. Yeah, it makes sense for them but not for me!

Case reforming was quite common back in the early days of reloading and a good number of us still do it. No "wildcats" and precious few factory cartridges would exist if we did no reforming. To name a few commercial rounds that started as reformed wildcats; .17 Rem, .219 Zipper, .221 Rem, .22-250 Rem, .220 Swift, .243 Win, 6mm Rem, .257 Roberts, .260 Rem, 7x30 Waters, 7-08 Rem, 7mm Rem, 7 STW, .35 Whelen, ....

mallc
July 19, 2009, 09:12 PM
I must have had a Sotomyor moment. I was actually trying to be humorous. I just recently started doing major cartridge conversions and its actually a hoot!

Scott

Sport45
July 19, 2009, 10:02 PM
Also, you will have a dangerous situation setting on the shelf with ammo head stamped 30 caliber but loaded with .323 bullets. If you err or someone else grabs the wrong box it may lead to a damaged rifle.

Will a 8mm Mauser cartridge chamber in a .30-06? Doesn't seem like there'd be enough room in the neck area of the chamber.

jim in Anchorage
July 19, 2009, 10:31 PM
P.0. Ackley did a number of tests in which he rechambered rifles such as the 30-06 to .35 Whelen and left the original .308 bore size,and .358 bullets were fired with no ill effect. For anyone at this level of reloading,I highly recommend his handbook for shooters and reloaders, volume I and II. Wealth of information,and great reading.

jjohnson
July 19, 2009, 11:26 PM
But to me the problem lies with what about the guy that gets this stuff down the road if and when something happens to you. Not something I'd like to be responsible for, even after the fact.

Oh, GAWD, are you a lawyer? :scrutiny: I'm having my guns and ammo buried with me when I go. Once I'm dead, I won't be worrying about the guy who's got my guns, my ammo, my wife, dog, or horse.:eek:

Seriously - I've been reloading for going on 40 years, and I'm the only one who shoots my stuff. I appreciate the caution, but I'll be d**ned if I'm going to NOT load something just because somebody someday might get what I had and does something stupid with it. I mark my stuff that's converted .270 to .30-06, .308 to 7mm-08, .243 to .308, and so on. This isn't a new concept for me. I'm just looking for info on what all I need for this particular conversion because I haven't needed to radically change the cases other than necks on those I just listed. Sheesh. Don't let the lawyers ruin you life.

fguffey
July 20, 2009, 09:42 AM
JJohnson, to get enough information to make a decision. The price of 100 8x57 cases could be $30.00 + shipping, a trim/form die cost about the same. After you have worn out the 100 cases you start over with another 100 cases, had you purchases a trim-form die, it would be paid for, I have trim/form dies for most of what I load for. 308W, 30/06, 243, 300 Win Mag, 270, 8x57, 6.5x55, 7.65x53 etc., The trim/form die is used as a trim die designed to be used with a file, it is also designed to be used to form cases, it is used to form (example) a 30/06 to 8x57, it works like a sizer die that does most of the work and allows for trimming with a hack saw and file, after the case is formed it must be full length sized.

Choice of brass, or what to use, I have taken every opportunity to purchase brass that most turned down, like over 1,000 cases I found at a flea market in Buck-horn N.C., every case had a 30 cal. bee in it (30 cal bee=dirt dobber) or cases that would not clean up in a week of tumbling, I cleaned those cases in 15 minutes of soaking in vinegar, I purchased the brass with no intentions of using it for 30/06. I do not use commercial brass with head stamps for forming brass, I use military brass with manufacturer stamp + year. Disadvantage to using military brass LC, SL, WE, EW etc., the head of the case is thinner than commercial brass by as much as .070 thousands, most surplus 30/06+ cases are .200 thick, commercial case head thickness .260 +, no thought is given to this difference but when making a mistake and shooting heavy+ loads the case head is compressed, surplus ammo will show a weakness at the 'T''ain't' .060 sooner than commercial ammo, may not seem like much but when case protrusion from a barrel is not a part of the vocabulary of the person putting the rifle together case, thick case head is a good thing.

Advantage to forming die, discerning fact from fiction, the forming die allows the case while being formed to protrude out the top for trimming, when the die is screwed into the press from the top (up side down) the neck portion of the die allows neck of the case to enter the die first, this allows testing brass for condition, brass is brittle? has a tendency to split? Too soft?, I turn the forming over, install it from the top, install a suspect case in the shell holder and raise the ram and crush the case big time, a good case will collapse like an accordion/bellows, suspect cases will fold, split blow out, rupture.

I am a big fan of verifying results, that is sizing a case and being able to determine the length of the case from the head of the case to the shoulder without chambering, chambering will tell me if the case will or will not chamber, chambering does not tell me the effect the sized case has on head space, for a price tools are available, I choose to make the tools, back when the tool I needed was the one I did not have.

Once fired cases are available for .10 cents each, .10 cents plus my time is all an 8x57 will cost me.

F. Guffey

evan price
July 20, 2009, 09:47 AM
I do this with a special form & trim die by RCBS. $40 from MIDWAY. Works great. I now have Lake City 8mm brass & people ask where I got it from. I only do this with military -06 brass that isn't marked caliber on the headstamp = no confusion.
Got real lucky last month and picked up about 150 Mitchell Mauser 8mm brass, 1x fired, somebody just left at the range. Nice to have.

fguffey
July 20, 2009, 02:05 PM
"8x57 brass is not rare, particularly hard to find or expensive when you do. IMO the effort isn't justified. Also, you will have a dangerous situation setting on the shelf with ammo head stamped 30 caliber but loaded with .323 bullets. If you err or someone else grabs the wrong box it may lead to a damaged rifle.

I suggest just snagging some proper cases. Many mail order outfits offer them, they turn up all the time on Gunbroker, or a local dealer may have some"

I go to the range with full length sized cases, no primer, powder no bullet.

Chambering with resistance, is a bad habit, it is OK to talk about it, it is a bad habit to get into, if a round chambers with resistance the reason must be determined before firing, and again I am a big fan of cutting down on case travel, with the extra effort required to chamber an 8x57 in a 30/06 chamber, the person chambering the round must have a clue there is/was something very wrong, there can be .015 thousands difference between the diameter of the neck of the case between the 30/06 and 8x57 meaning .131 of the neck on the 8x57 round will chamber in a 30/06 chamber with a .015 crush, there is no excuse for this kind of behavior.

F. Guffey

R.W.Dale
July 20, 2009, 02:11 PM
Chambering with resistance, is a bad habit, it is OK to talk about it, it is a bad habit to get into, if a round chambers with resistance the reason must be determined before firing, and again I am a big fan of cutting down on case travel, with the extra effort required to chamber an 8x57 in a 30/06 chamber, the person chambering the round must have a clue there is/was something very wrong, there can be .015 thousands difference between the diameter of the neck of the case between the 30/06 and 8x57 meaning .131 of the neck on the 8x57 round will chamber in a 30/06 chamber with a .015 crush, there is no excuse for this kind of behavior.

F. Guffey

With regards to the case neck thickness on all Mausers I've owned this is a non issue. Mauser chamberings have a absolutely cavernous neck throat. On My commercial 7x57 and my original 1891 in 7.65x53 the neck could literally be .030" too thick and still not cause a thick neck clearance issue.

On cases I've reformed from 30-06 surprisingly the neck is only around .004" thicker than actual Mauser brass

As to the headstamp issue, if I reform GI cases how is the headstamp wrong? very few folks now days know that LC-56 means 30-06. According to you guys how do reloaders cope when they have two rifles that can't fire the same ammo in the same cartridge IE someone with a trapdoor Springfield and a Ruger no1

gandog56
July 20, 2009, 02:31 PM
Ah, but I just did my first batch of 8mm conversions.

Of course, I don't have a 30.06 to mix them up with. And I can find LOTS of 30.06 cases for free at the range. Never any 8mm.

fguffey
July 20, 2009, 03:20 PM
Krocush,


stick an 8mm06 in a 30/06 or an 8x57 in a 30/06 chamber and pull the trigger, that is up to you, disregarding the information is up to you, I believe chambering the 8MM in the 06 chamber 'anything' will be difficult, I choose not to align my face behind the receiver or my hand under the receiver, reason? I take this stuff very seriously, and I do not think everthing I see on Americas Vunnest Video is funny.

And I take a full length size to the range with me, no powder, bullet or primer.

F. Guffey

fguffey
July 20, 2009, 03:22 PM
Americas Funnest Video

Forgive,

F. Guffey

jjohnson
August 9, 2009, 09:55 AM
Krochus asked According to you guys how do reloaders cope when they have two rifles that can't fire the same ammo in the same cartridge IE someone with a trapdoor Springfield and a Ruger no1

Very good question. And of course, it's a prime safety issue. :eek:

I have two situations - one, with bullet diameter being different, such as .270 brass opened to .308 (.270 to .30-06 conversion) and with ammo simply being loaded differently, like lightweight .44 Special for my CA Bulldog versus the heavy duty .44 Special I load for my Winchester 94.

Taking an idea from the plastic nosed Ballistic Tip varmint bullets, where the tip is a color code, I color code my primers. Using a Sharpie on the primers before I load them into the feed tube on my press, I load, for example:

Blue primers - practice/plinking low power load - blue is training ammo for some military ammo.

Green primers - standard weight loads, safe to use in any firearm I have of that caliber.

Red primers - hot loads that I can use in only certain firearms - like the hot .44 Special ammo I load for use in .44 Mag but NOT in CA Bulldog

Black primers - ammo that is NOT what the headstamp says it is - like .308 or .243 converted to 7mm-08

I realize this doesn't cover all possibilities - but it works for me. If there's no primer color code, it's either older ammo I reloaded and I must check the lot number (I track each load by labeling each container) or it's factory ammo. Ammo that fits this category always gets a second look if I have any doubts about what it is.

Since it's just the primers marked in color, and since I don't tumble and reload calibers that can be confused together, I keep pretty close control on what's what.

rcmodel
August 9, 2009, 12:14 PM
1. Trim 63mm long .30-06 case to 57mm.
2. Load with LR primer, about 10-15 grains of 2400 or similar powder and seat a paper wad with a wax seal.
3. Fireform in 8x57 Mauser chamber. Thats all well and good.
Except a 30-06 case won't fit in an 8mm Mauser chamber until after you push the shoulder back 1/8" inch in a sizing die.

rc

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