Rifle reloading prospects


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AJBarney
September 26, 2012, 09:05 AM
Stoopid question time:

I'm starting to reload and also want to pick up another rifle for the collection. I have several 8mm Mausers that I like to shoot, but am unsure of the reloading prospects thereof, so I was thinking about getting a .308 or
.30-06 as more of an 'everyday' rifle. I don't hunt - this is just for general shooting.

1. Are there enough reloading options/supplies/etc available to just stick with the Mauser?

2. If not, is there any availability/cost/reloading difference b/w the .308 and .30-06 to care about? AFAIK, the performance difference is negligible for my purposes (unless yall know something I dont!)


All advice welcome. I have had a bad tendency to develop "Caliber Creep" (too many different calibers) and I'd like to streamline my calibers for reloading purposes and settle on one general-purpose rifle caliber. Should it be the 8mm Mauser I already have, .308, or .30-06? Or something else? I would like to stick to military calibers if possible.

Thanks for any input! :)

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jim243
September 26, 2012, 09:39 AM
AJ

Unless there is a spicific reason you want to go 308/30-06 it would be cheaper to go with a 223 for an additional center fire rifle. The cheapest would be a 22 LR but I get the feeling that that is not a option for you. I load for 223, 243, 7.62x39, 270, 30-06 and 35 Remington.

Your major cost will be for bullets and brass. And the cost will be the same for both 308 and 30-06. Both will be ralatlviitly expensive compared to loading for the 223 (about 30 cents a round) bullet cost being the major factor.

While the 223 is not a major hunting caliber, where the 308 and 30-06 are, it is a very good plinking caliber that will let you shoot more rounds per range visit.

If it is for a multi purpose rifle (shooting & hunting) then I would suggest the 308 as your choice since cheap suplus ammo is available for it. If for hunting then the 30-06 since it is available almost any where you would go.

The price of brass has gone through the roof so I would suggest which ever caliber you chose to get 500 cases and just recycle them. I usually start with 200 cases and work my way up to 500.

Good luck and good shooting.
Jim

AJBarney
September 26, 2012, 12:30 PM
Thanks for the info. I have both a .223 and a 762x39 rifle, so I was looking to complement with a full-power cartridge above that.

I see 30-06 milsurp sometimes, typically (a bit) cheaper than milsurp 308. But I know the 30-06 will dry up at some point whereas I guess the 308 will continue indefinitely...

Ive toyed with the idea of a Garand and reloading for it. Alternative would be a M1A or equivalent in 308. Ive looked at the AR-10 and it seems to be a fine rifle but I dont want another AR-style rifle in the closet.

egg250
September 26, 2012, 12:37 PM
Things being equal, it is cheaper to reload for .308.
- Negligible difference in ballistics
- Similar cost for bullets/brass
- .308 uses less powder per load = more rounds from a pound of powder

cfullgraf
September 26, 2012, 12:46 PM
All advice welcome. I have had a bad tendency to develop "Caliber Creep" (too many different calibers) and I'd like to streamline my calibers for reloading purposes and settle on one general-purpose rifle caliber.

Ah, that is not cartridge creep. I am up to reloading for at least 27 cartridges.

But, I enjoy reloading and enjoy learning about new cartridges even if the equipment does not get used but once every few years--or decades (I do not think I have reloaded any 7.62x39 in 25 years, or shot any either for that matter:) )

There is a greater variety of .308 bullets out there than those designed for the 8mm rounds. Brass for 308 Winchester and 30-06 is probably more common than 8mm as well. If you lay in a good supply, shortages of components, particularly cases, would not limit your shooting.

M1's and M1A's are fun to shoot.

Haxby
September 26, 2012, 01:09 PM
Are there enough reloading options/supplies/etc available to just stick with the Mauser?
Yes.

8X57 uses the same powders and primers that you'd use in the 308 or 30/06. Brass and reloadable factory ammo is available. Plenty of bullets available from 125 to 200 grains.

If you want to stick with the 8mm, there is no reason not to. You could load up lots of ammo for what another rifle would cost.

jim243
September 26, 2012, 02:54 PM
I am kind of at a loss at this point in the suggestion stage. It will come down to the rifle that you find that you like the best. There are a lot of good rifles out there in both the calibers you have mentioned. Depending on your budget, I like the M1A, M-14 idea but it is a heavy (for me) rifle. For an intermediate caliber I have a 270 Winchester which has lots of reloading supplies out there, but that was my choice. If as you said it is not for hunting, then the 308 seems to make more sense. For a 308 you could look at the FNH FNAR, not really a AR but a semi-auto rifle with a large removeable mag (20 rounds), just a suggestion.

http://www.fnhusa.com/l/products/commercial/autoloading-rifles/fnar-heavy/

Good luck.
Jim

tightgroup tiger
September 26, 2012, 06:15 PM
I never felt there was any problem getting components to do anything I wanted to do with my 8mm mauser.

I load 150 gr Hornady spire points, just run of the mill bullets and they work really well.

If your hedging on buying another rifle, the 308 and 30-06 is in the same class as the 8mm as far as what can be done with the mauser action. Maybe look at the WSSM or something like that if you want something different.

I have all three of the caliber rifles you mentioned and I prefer the 8mm over the the other two.

gojuice101
September 26, 2012, 08:19 PM
I load for the 8mm Mauser, and I haven't had much trouble with supplies. The biggest problem I had was finding brass around here. I can order brass online, but I usually just resize 30-06 brass because it is in abundance around here, and is easy to do.

I see no reason not to reload for the Mauser.

AJBarney
September 27, 2012, 08:56 AM
OK, great info. I was under some misapprehensions, clearly.

I'll try reloading some 8mm M before I throw down for a new rifle, then. I'm not familiar with resizing brass but I have some 30-06 lying about...I'll research it and give it a go.

thanks!

j1
September 27, 2012, 09:00 AM
You can never be wrong with the 30 06.:)

AJBarney
September 27, 2012, 09:02 AM
LOL, can't argue. My son has a 30-06 and I love shooting Garands.

I will never have all the money I need to buy all the rifles I want. :(

cfullgraf
September 27, 2012, 09:17 AM
I'm not familiar with resizing brass but I have some 30-06 lying about...I'll research it and give it a go.

thanks!

Some case forming exercises can be quite intense but I believe forming 8mm Mauser from 30-06 is simple and easy.

I have the capability to form cases for 5 cartridges that have limited or no availability. Generally, when I need some cases, I spend an evening or two making up am inventory that usually lasts me a long time.

Once the cases are formed, they can be reloaded numerous times.

While, i would not want a steady diet of case forming, it does add to my enjoyment of reloading.

gojuice101
September 28, 2012, 09:25 PM
I'm not familiar with resizing brass but I have some 30-06 lying about...I'll research it and give it a go.

Resizing 30-06 to 8x57 is simple. Push it into the sizing die and trim it to length. The only problem I had was that the chamber in my Mauser is picky and they were tight after resizing. I had to shave down my shell holder a little bit to get it to size for a perfect fit. After that they cycle smoothly. I'm on I think the third reloading of these shells, although I don't full length size on subsequent loads.

Just remember to mark them if anyone else has access to your stuff. Don't want someone putting them in the wrong gun.

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