8mm Mauser and 200 gr NPs


January 3, 2014, 07:29 PM
I'm deciding on a do-all load for my 8x57 mauser hunting rifle.

I've decided that I want to hunt Black-tail, White-tail, Black Bear, Elk, and Moose within 200 yards using iron sights.

Would the 200 gr Nosler Partition provide the best general purpose cartridge to take all these game in a humane manner at the designated distances?

I will handload to European specifications.

I'm wonder if for smaller deer, this cartridge may destroy too much meat, or simply pass through without causing enough damage. Any thoughts on this?

If the NP isn't the right choice (especially in terms of cost), what would be the next recommended 200 gr bullet? I was also looking at the Nosler Accubond with polymer tip.

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January 4, 2014, 07:59 PM
if your only concern is it not opening, then just use a tipped tsx. It's what I use in my 8mm. However, if you aren't that concerned about it not opening just go ahead and use it. It will most likely work fine. Load it hot and if it shoots well take it to the field and hunt with it. Before I reloaded, I used to use large european rounds (Sellier and Bellot SPCE I think it was) and they wouldn't open. Deer still died. I switched to a tipped bullet because it opens every time (supposedly), and the deer die just as dead. The crazy thing is that I often get a runner and the distance is the same. I think you should try not to over think it and go hunting.

January 4, 2014, 08:36 PM
Nosler Partitions are designed with a very soft tip that expands at even low velocities. I wouldn't worry about it not opening even on smallish deer.

As for meat damage, I figure it will depend on the range and velocity of your round. Back when I hunted elk, I used 180 gr. partitions in my 30-06 for PA whitetails. I think those bullets damaged more meat than any other bullet that I've used in my -06.

Based on the game you desire to hunt, I think the partition is an excellent choice. Just aim behind the shoulder if you don't want to destroy your meat.


January 4, 2014, 08:53 PM
Nosler Partitions are semi-expensive but they are my all-time favorite bullet for every caliber that I reload for (which is a bunch of them).

They put the animal down, even with less than perfect shots on my part. I never thought they were meat destroyers as the rear portion stays intact and usually exits. Nosler Ballistic Tips are my least-favorite bullet because of the amount of meat destroyed when used at short range when they blow up..

Smokey Joe
January 7, 2014, 03:40 PM
Dakota--I wanted a do-all hunting load for my 8mm, for deer and hogs. After experimenting a bit, I settled on the 200 grain Nosler Accubond in front of a charge of Varget. The Accubond is a great combination of the accuracy of the Ballistic Tip plus the mushrooming characteristics of the Partition, IMHO. The 200 grain 8mm is a bit of overkill on deer, I admit, but I wanted just one load for both those and the hogs.

I really like the Accubond! Use it in .30 cal and 6.5 mm, as well as 8mm, for hunting. Have kilt deer with each of these; no particularly bad meat damage, but then, one tries to shoot deer in the vitals, not in the meat. And of course, the n in my statistical sample is ridiculously small.

Accubonds are slightly more accurate than Partitions, at least in my rifle. Plus, the lead tip on Partitions is easily damaged (as is any exposed lead pointed tip) whereas the AB's have the much sturdier polymer tip.

Had to experiment a bit to find the correct powder charge for my rifles, but that's pretty normal with any bullet.

I'm shooting the 8 mm out of a sporterized M-48 that I also use for "Vintage Military Rifle" competition, in the Modified class. There I use 200 grain SMK's; the results are very satisfying.

IMHO, for your stated game animals, you would have to look long & hard to find a better bullet for a do-all 8 mm load, than the 200 grain Accubond. Good luck and please keep us posted on results!

January 9, 2014, 07:01 AM
The 180 gr Ballistic Tip is a great bullet in the 8x57. We took one, with open sights, to Africa and dropped all manner of game. IMO, the 200 gr slug is more than the little 8 should throw.

January 9, 2014, 10:15 AM
The 200NP is by far the BEST all around bullet i've ever found for the 8x57...

I taken everything from moose and bear, down to coyotes and javolina with that bullet, it was worked VERY well on all of them.


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