338 Federal vs 8x57 mauser


January 1, 2012, 04:23 PM
thinking of building a light weight Elk rifle out of a 98 Mauser action
8mm mauser or 338 Fed; any 338 Fed owners out there??
your thoughts & opinions

If you enjoyed reading about "338 Federal vs 8x57 mauser" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
January 1, 2012, 04:45 PM
Did I mention the 350 Remington Magnum? Maybe not a great choice on a light weight rifle. Just thinking out loud.

Float Pilot
January 1, 2012, 04:47 PM
The 7.92 x 57mm Mauser can do anything that the 338 Federal (8.5 x 51mm) can do.
It just depends on what the voices in your head tell you....

US made 7.92x57mm Hunting ammo is very underpowered.
So to really get the most from a 7.92x57mm you need to use European ammo or Hand-Load.

January 1, 2012, 04:55 PM
Yes this is a good thread!

The .338 Federal is great for a short action but it seems in a strong action the 8x57 would be its equal or better?

Sorry to generalise and assume but it would appear the 8x57 might even be a better round. Though maybe there is a broader range of .338 bullets available.

January 1, 2012, 04:56 PM
If its a Mauser action there might be little sense in using a short action .308-based case like the .338 Fed anyway.

January 1, 2012, 05:48 PM
This is a match made in heaven for a .338-06.

January 1, 2012, 06:57 PM
You have an action made for the 8X57. Build the rifle for 8X57 and save yourself a lot of trouble and headaches with feeding issues. The rifle will be much more reliable and a pleasure to own and shoot without the potential problems of a cartridge conversion.

Then load the 8X57 to its full potential. The 8X57 is a good cartridge when loaded properly.

303 hunter
January 1, 2012, 08:08 PM
use s&b, or ppu 180 gr. 8mm factory loads. they are much hotter than u.s. loads. I have used them for hog hunting. real heavy hitters!

January 1, 2012, 08:33 PM
Build the rifle for 8X57 and save yourself a lot of trouble and headaches with feeding issues. While I agree with you about staying with the 8x57,a .338 fed,.338/06 or even 8mm/06 with feed from the mauser magazine just fine without modification.

January 1, 2012, 08:41 PM
I already handload the 8x57

170 Sierra Pro Hunters @ 2650-2700 fps
180 Nosler Ballistic Tips @ 2500 fps
200 Speer spitzers @ 2400 fps all of these have been accurate in my rifles to date



I was just wondering if the 338 Fed offered anything different than the 8mm

January 1, 2012, 09:24 PM
I was just wondering if the 338 Fed offered anything different than the 8mm

Doesn't seem like it would if you're going to be building it on a '98 Mauser. It might be easier to find bullets with which to reload, but that's all I can think of. The 8x57 is only slightly less powerful than the .338 Fed (think ~200 ft lbs) which really isn't much difference when you're talking about the "weaker" cartridge having 3000 ft lbs energy.

Go 8x57! :D

January 1, 2012, 09:32 PM
8x57 all the way. I handload 150gr over 51gr H4895 at about 2900FPS for deer size game and get MOA accuracy. You can select from 150, 175, 200, 220g bullets to cover a wide range of game species. If you don't/can't handload the Wolf Gold and S&B were both pretty good factory loads.

January 1, 2012, 09:33 PM
The long action gives you the flexibility of some great rounds: 8mm, .338-06 (.338 okh), and of course the .35 whelen. IMHO if you have a long action, look to full length rounds! :)

January 1, 2012, 09:38 PM
I used to think of loading a 200 grain Nosler Partition into my 8X57 (a 1938 Czech vz-24) but I got married and don't take the time to handload anymore. Plus, where I live you can't hunt with a rifle without going a bit north. Come to think of it, since starting my own business, I haven't had a hunting license either......

john wall
January 1, 2012, 11:06 PM

I own a 1948 Husqvarna M640 Sporting Rifle in 8X57S. It is a 100% original factory rifle built on a commercial FN action, and is made for the 8X57S. WOW!

If you are wanting an Elk Rifle and reload, the 8X57S and the 200 gr Nosler Partition are a match made in heaven.

Domestic 8X57 brass may not be suitable for 60,000 PSI loads. PRVI brass has been very consistent and performs well in my Husky, and is made for modern loads in a modern rifle.

European ammo makers load the 8X57S at 61,400 PSI. It is a little more powerful than the 30/06. If you don't reload, the Norma 196 gr Oryx load will do what you want.

European game rounds throw a fairly heavy bullet at a moderate velocity. This philosophy works.

January 2, 2012, 03:10 AM
Hey John, that's a beauty! simple yet elegant, everything you need and nothing you don't !

tactikel, I was thinking intermediate action ( a Yugo ) hence the short .308 based case wouldn't be a problem,
however I do love my 8mm's

I was just thinking if the bullets are of equal weight, the 8mm has a better bc (ballistic coefficient) ? yes ?

January 2, 2012, 05:38 AM
I can't speak for the .338, but I have a gew 88 I've been feeding ppu 196gr loads. It's a pretty flat shooter with a good punch to it. My new favorite round by far. The Mauser was built in that round for a reason, and many Russians could testify to it's potential if they had the chance. Stick with the 8mm. You won't be sorry

January 2, 2012, 06:27 AM
NOTHING wrong with the 8mm round handloaded. Good game getter. I still have some M98's in 8mm. However, I have rebarreled M98 actions to .35 Whelen. Love that!

Sounds like you don't have any BAD choices on your list. Get what you want.

January 2, 2012, 07:01 AM
8 mm: Another advantage is that mil surplus 8x57 is available for target shooting and these are full loads. They are usually corrosive and so you must clean your barrel afterwards.
Typical pricing for 1950's yugo ammo:
$235- 900 Rounds.

35 Whelen
January 2, 2012, 09:26 AM
I'm with the 338-06 guys. My Dad has a few rifles chambered for it and its ballistics are outstanding falling only slightly short of the 338 WM.

But, you did ask about the 338 Fed and the 8x57. Handloaded, the 8mm should be the more powderful round by virtue of the fact that it has a larger case. The only down side I see to the 8mm is that it hasn't anywhere near the bullet selection of the 338. Too, the 338 Fed. has available some factory ammo loaded with super good bullets.
Good luck with your decision.


January 2, 2012, 09:28 AM
I've been loading 200NP's in my 8x57jrs for more than 25 years, EXCELLENT all around bullet! I've harvested everything from moose and blk. bear on down to coyotes and javolina with it and LOT'S of deer, includeing this one a few weeks ago,


My 8x57 is a hunting rifle, and 200NP's are all i feed it.


January 2, 2012, 10:03 AM
I think you answered an important question. You already have and load for the 8x57. You are "wanting" something different/more. The .338Fed isn't that different than the 8x57. However, the .338/06 is a bit more, and different.

I've got both a .338/06 and a .338MarlinExpress. I've also shot the 8x57 a bit too.

It's going to boil down to what you are looking for. I really like the .338's, and built my .338/06 with the possibility of spending some time in Alaska working/loafing around and the 5+1 capacity of the .338/06 in a MkX mauser was alluring. However, since stumbling on a used Ruger M77MkII "Hawkeye-African" in .375Ruger at a ridiculous low price, it has negated all thoughts on the .338/06 and .338ME. Funny on how things happen.....

If you are debating leaving the gun "as is", I would. But, if you are intent on changing it, you could do little bettter than the .338/06, and certainly could do worse. But, realistically, the 8x57 loaded to potential with a 200gr Nosler Partition will do anything you could ask of it in N.America. Most Grizzly/Browns are less than 1,000lbs. A well placed shot with the 8x57 (or .30/06, ect, ect) will drop them in their tracks. The "need" for something MORE lies with the guides that need something to stop a previously "wounded" bear that didn't get the "well placed shot" to prevent a client getting bitten/eaten resulting a lawsuit/insurance claim that costs $$$$$$.

January 2, 2012, 11:05 PM
Ummmmmm DM -- that ain't a Mauser..... :)

That's cool that several of you have tried the 200 gr Nosler Partition in an 8X57. Maybe someday I'll have the time and opportunity to hunt more and I'll do it too. As it is, I can't imagine sporterizing mine -- I love shooting it with ladder sights and all. I'd actually like to find somewhere I can shoot it longer range to tryout those sights set up.

January 3, 2012, 12:42 AM
+1 for the .338-06.

Ot if you really want to be different a .338-.280, or a .338-280IMP, or a .338 Hawk, or...

Jim Watson
January 3, 2012, 12:47 AM
Not in the OP choice but how about a nice 9x57? Or 9.3x57? Or 9.5x57 (.375 Nitro Rimless 2 1/4")? Or 9.3x62.

January 3, 2012, 09:35 AM
Ummmmmm DM -- that ain't a Mauser..... :)

True story! BUT, it IS German and it's older than some of the rifles talked about in this thread, so close enough! lol


January 3, 2012, 12:46 PM
The 9X57 would be nice. Especially if it could be bumped up a few thousands to a .35 caliber. This would allow the use of a more readily available .35 caliber barrel and bullets. It would be a .35X57. The name .357 would be nice, but thats already taken.

January 5, 2012, 01:19 AM
that 48 Husky is nice, but then so is that Drilling, the 9.3x62 has always peaked my interest
as well, so many choices so little time ! thanks for all the input. I will have to think about this some more before I leap.

If you enjoyed reading about "338 Federal vs 8x57 mauser" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!