Mauser Gewehr 98 & Karabiner 98k - 8mm Mauser or 7.92mm Mauser?


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threeseven
November 10, 2003, 11:49 PM
An opportunity to acquire what I believe to be a Karabiner 98k has recently arisen for me. The guy isn't 100% sure whether he has a Gewehr 98 or a Karabiner 98k but from his description of 'about the same length as an SMLE, maybe a tad shorter' I'm going to assume for the moment that it is a Kar. I plan to take a look at it sometime in the next couple of weeks and verify, but I figured I may aswell look around and try to determine the availability and cost of ammo for this weapon - see if I have a shooter or not.

At this point I ran into a complication. Some sources (such as Jane's Gun Recognition Guide) state the G98 and K98 both take the 7.92mm Mauser, however some other sources (including threads on this very board) would suggest that they actually take the 8mm Mauser. Furthermore, I've also read information that seems to imply that 7.92mm and 8mm Mauser are actually the same cartridge... though that seems absolutely ridiculous. Though I have found a website that will sell me 100 round tins of 8mm for $39.95 and 1400 round cases for $460, I've located no readily available sources of 7.92mm.

What am I dealing with here? Do they take 7.92mm or 8mm? Are they (were they) produced in both calibres? Are they, somehow, the same cartridge? Have certain weapons been rechambered to take 8mm, explaining the obscure '7.92mm = 8mm' information I've found? How viable is reloading of this particular cartridge? Any help would be very much appreciated!

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James Bondrock
November 11, 2003, 12:06 AM
"Furthermore, I've also read information that seems to imply that 7.92mm and 8mm Mauser are actually the same cartridge."


They are. 8mm is simply 7.92 mm rounded off. ;) There are, however, two different bullet diameters used in the 8mm Mauser: .313" and .323". The smaller bullet was used in an earlier model and should not apply to your Model 98, in either version. It is unlikely that you will ever encounter it.

threeseven
November 11, 2003, 12:25 AM
James Bondrock said:They are. 8mm is simply 7.92 mm rounded off. There are, however, two different bullet diameters used in the 8mm Mauser: .313" and .323". The smaller bullet was used in an earlier model and should not apply to your Model 98, in either version. It is unlikely that you will ever encounter it.

Thank you very much! I was wondering why the hell certain websites were describing it as a 7.92mm (8mm). So basically, provided it isn't that whacky rare diameter, there is absolutely no reason why Turkish 8mm Mauser won't work in my Kar/Gewehr?

bukijin
November 11, 2003, 12:27 AM
Yep - they are different names for the same thing. Do a quick google search for more confirmation...
Turkish surplus is available here http://www.lawranceordnance.com/new/ammo.html
though I'm sure I saw it advertised in several shops in the latest 'Australian Shooter' at the same price. (For our brethren in the USA we should perhaps state that the prices are in Australian dollars otherwise known as the South Pacific Peso).
I'm pretty tempted to get a (new) M48 and 1400 rounds. That's a lot of shooting for under $1000 - pretty good value for Australia.

Mike Irwin
November 11, 2003, 01:11 AM
8mm Mauser
7.92 Mauser
8x57 (Mauser)
7.92x57 (Mauser)

All the same cartridge.

James Bondrock
November 11, 2003, 02:17 AM
"8mm Mauser
7.92 Mauser
8x57 (Mauser)
7.92x57 (Mauser)

All the same cartridge."





3-7, the 57 is the length of the case in millimeters.


:)

threeseven
November 11, 2003, 06:22 AM
Thanks for the info, guys. I'm glad that's cleared up! I have a friend who was trying to tell me that the ammo would be so rare there was no way we were going to be able to do much shooting with it but it doesn't seem like it will be a problem if it takes this 8mm stuff. Doesn't seem that rare at all really. I suppose with 11.5 million rifles manufactured, there would have to be some ammo for them somewhere.

bukijin said:
Turkish surplus is available here http://www.lawranceordnance.com/new/ammo.html, though I'm sure I saw it advertised in several shops in the latest 'Australian Shooter' at the same price. (For our brethren in the USA we should perhaps state that the prices are in Australian dollars otherwise known as the South Pacific Peso).
Yeah, that was actually the site I found the prices I stated. Considering I'm basically getting the rifle for free (just a few minor repairs, as I understand it) $460 for 1400 rounds sounds most reasonable. Lawrance Ordnance doesn't have the surplus .303 British though (I'm picking up about four or so Lee Enfields from the same guy), any good sources for that you know of? I had a look at the PMC stuff but a $1/per round for the Bronze line stuff it's a bit exhorbitant for target-shooting and a bit of hunting here and there.

Damnathius
November 11, 2003, 09:40 AM
Just a word or two about the Turkish ammo...

It's "inexpensive" for a reason, and one of the reasons is that it's not necessarily reliable by any stretch of the imagination. The batch of 1440 rounds I bought two years ago to fire in my Kar 98 was sold off after I got about 30 rounds through my rifle. Significant pressure problems as well as blown-by primers. To be fair though, others claim they have no problems with the Turkish ammo.

The ammo I usually use in my '98 is available from Samco Global. It is well made FNM Portugese, clean and relatively new 70-80s surplus. 800 rounds available for $239 on nice steel stripper clips in 80 round boxes. Now, that's only $478 for 1600 rounds, which pretty much negates any useful savings with the Turkish crap.

Take care of your new Kar 98, and feed it decent, clean, reliable ammo. :)

Samco Global (http://www.samcoglobal.com/ammo.html)

Dave

Bill Hook
November 11, 2003, 02:23 PM
Except it isn't feasible for Samco to ship to Australia.

Try to see if you can find PMP ammo Down Under from S. Africa for the Enfields as it's rated fairly highly. Unfortunately for me, Century ran out in this hemisphere while trying to find my FFL and I had to buy Sellier & Bellot elsewhere for more money.

Jim K
November 11, 2003, 11:37 PM
To further confuse the nomenclature issue, the cartridge was always known in the German service as the 7.9.

8x57 is the commercial name and is usually followed by letters as follows:

8x57J - Model 1888 round, with .318" bullet
8x57JS - Later round with .323" bullet
8x57JR - Rimmed version of 8x57J used in single shot and break open rifles and combination rifle shotgun
8x57JRS - Rimmed version of 8x57JS, used in single shot and break open rifles and combination rifle-shotgun

Contrary to written statements and common belief, the many Model 1888 rifles converted from the old round to the new (marked "S" on the receiver ring) were neither rebarrelled nor rebored. The bore size was .311" inch and was never changed, nor was the groove diameter. New barrels, however, had a larger groove diameter, .323" vs .318", so the bullets were sized accordingly.

In other words, the change was to deepen the grooves to allow for longer use of worn barrels. But the only change made in the conversion was the reaming of the chamber throat to allow case neck expansion with the larger neck diameter. If a case neck cannot expand to release the bullet, very high pressure develops and this can be dangerous.

As to firing .323 bullets through a .311 bore and .318 groove diameter barrel, there seems to have been no problem, and the new ammunition was issued with the old rifles. The warning about firing the new ammo in the old rifles applies to those rifles that were not rethroated as mentioned above.

Jim

Mk VII
November 12, 2003, 03:52 AM
if cases are unobtainable it's possible to make them out of .30-06 ones. Whilst it is desirable to have a caseforming die for this you can do it with the resizing die if you must and shorten the necks (either before or after) with a file or, preferably, a lathe.

LostCajun
November 13, 2003, 11:14 AM
RE the Turk ammo...
I've put one full bando of this stuff (mfg 1946) through my Yugo 98 so far. Some split necks, sticky extraction, and a bruised shoulder, but no real problems that Damnathius cites. I usually get at least one split neck per mag-full, but haven't seen a primer backed out. It's HOT, but it hasn't been a problem for me (yet). I've only got one bandolier left, and won't get any more when its gone. Not so much because of the load, but because the bullets are steel-jacketed. It does a nice job of turning a big concrete block into pebbles and dust, though. By the time I've put the rest of the Turks through the bore, it should be nice and smooth, ready to shoot cast handloads.
I've got a case (900 rds) of Romanian 8mm that isn't loaded as hot as the Turkish, and would prefer to use that. The 100 or so rounds of Romanian I've shot so far were very good as well, but not nearly as abusive to the shoulder. I've been wanting to chrono both loads, but have been forgetting the Chrony whenever I go to the range. :banghead:
So, I'd also suggest you avoid the Turkish if possible, but it probably wouldn't hurt to try out a few clips' worth. Might even do a good job of removing the machining marks if the barrel is 'new' enough to still have them.
Enjoy your Mauser... mine's a blast to shoot.
LostCajun

threeseven
November 13, 2003, 11:57 AM
Useful information. LostCajun and Damnathius - the Turkish stuff doesn't sound too promising, after all. I'll probably still pick up a tin of 100 for $40 just to try it, because at the moment I've yet to locate another source here in Australia.

spacemanspiff
November 13, 2003, 03:22 PM
i picked up 700 rounds of turkish for something like $120? i forget...
but you should inspect the rounds very carefully. i've found a LOT of split cases, loose crimps, and out of the 700 will probably have 500 shootable. i'm very picky about what i put through my m98, and since my yugo m48 looks so clean, i may not shoot any milsurp through it.
the real pain has been pulling the bullets off the cases that are in my 'unshootable pile'.

Damnathius
November 13, 2003, 07:34 PM
Some split necks, sticky extraction, and a bruised shoulder, but no real problems that Damnathius cites. I usually get at least one split neck per mag-full, but haven't seen a primer backed out.

Anytime your brass fractures, it is a problem. Could be due to poor annealing of the brass, a worn or oversize chamber throat, etc. Remember, that brass is what keeps the explosion sealed in the barrel and out of your face. I'd stop using it, even with 70 rounds left. But that's just me.

Take care,

Dave

Mike Irwin
November 13, 2003, 10:26 PM
Split necks in old military surplus ammo is almost always a sign of poorly annealed brass.

I've fired probably a couple hundred rounds over the years that have split at the neck out of a variety of military surplus rifles with no problems at all.

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