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8mm/308 Norma Magnum?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by planetmobius, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. planetmobius

    planetmobius Well-Known Member

    A good friend just gave me a Mauser rifle chambered in a caliber he calls the 8mm/308 Norma magnum. As you might guess, its a 308 Norma magnum necked up to 8mm. The rifle is a beautiful conversion based on a GEW 98 receiver. It has a beautifully figured walnut stock, jeweled bolt, custom bolt handle and comes with custom made reloading dies and a few hundred rounds of ammo. It is obvious that someone put a lot of time and effort into this gun.

    The rounds I have are loaded with 150 gr speer pointed soft points in front of 75 grains of 4831.

    My question is, can you really put that much juice into a GEW 98 receiver. I have this horrible visions of a Mauser bolt coming back to take a core sample of my brain.

    Are my concerns legitimate or should I just go an enjoy this rifle?
  2. tahoe2

    tahoe2 Well-Known Member

    how much has your friend shot this rifle? and you could always load it down some.I see that it came with reloading dies, since I have never heard of that particular chambering.
    I looked in my Speer #11 load book, and it shows your load falling between the 8mm-06 and 8mm Remington mag. As far as handling the load in that Gew 98 action, I would think yes if it
    was heat treated during the conversion and rebarrel. With the attention to detail you describe I imagine it was. Depending on the barrel twist it might prefer heavier bullets, say 180 Nosler bt's or 200grn Accubonds (just a thought). I have several 8mm mausers and they all prefer the heavier bullets, groups average 1-1/4" to 4" @ 100 yds depending on load and gun ( they are all 60+ years old). It sounds like a beauty ! any pics ?
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  3. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    Interesting wildcat, but I don't understand why not just build an 8mm rem, sounds like the performance would be very similar.
  4. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Well-Known Member

    Arnt there 98s chambered for some of the bigger magnums? I kinda like the idea easy to get cases.....it would be kinda need to have a full collection of old school short magnums :D

    The full size 8mm remington would likely have almost 20 grains more water capacity then the 8-.308 norma
  5. planetmobius

    planetmobius Well-Known Member

    Unknown on the heat treating. The rifle has been shot and I have several of the test targets shot by the original owner. My friend was once a guide in South Africa and spent many years over there. The gun was put together by one of his friends in Africa for plains game. Why he chose this particular wildcat I do not know. But, it is what it is and I now have it. The friend I received the gun from does not think that pressure is an issue in this case and seems to have a lot of faith in this Mauser action. I just wanted a second opinion.
  6. tahoe2

    tahoe2 Well-Known Member

    hunted in africa, awesome, that sounds like it is up to snuff. congrats on a fine piece!
  7. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    The 308 Norma Mag was designed to work through standard length actions, and many 1917 Enfields and '03 Springfields were converted.
    Not surprising that Mausers were converted to the 8mm-308 Norma, as pressures are still within design limits of good quality Mausers.
    It's likely it's performance approaches that of the 338 Win mag, and should be a good heavy game round.
    I'm guessing that your load data came with the rifle, and IMO, appears to be a stout load. You probably can use start loads for the 308 Norma Mag, based on equal bullet weights, and work from there.
    I say enjoy your custom Mauser.


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