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8MM vs 30 caliber

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by macadore, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. macadore

    macadore Well-Known Member

    Until the end of WWII Germany used an 8MM round while the U.S., the U.K., and Russia (USSR) used a 30 caliber round. From what I understand the rounds weighed about the same, so was there any difference in the performance of the 8MM and the 30 caliber rounds?

    While there are numerous 30 caliber hunting rounds, I'm not aware of any 8MM hunting rounds other than the 8MM Mauser and the 8MM magnum. Is this just due to tradition or does the 30 caliber offer an advantage?
  2. Savage99

    Savage99 Well-Known Member

    Of course .30 cal and 8mm are similar in size. It's just that .30 cal won the wars and 8mm lost. Thus .30 cal dominates.

    There are various 8mm's also. Some nice rifles are 8mm. We just have to work it out.

    Nothing wrong with 8mm and nothing special either. It's ok.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    It has more to do with the recent, and partial acceptance of the metric system in the U.S. then it does with performance differences.

    After getting shot & killed with German 7mm & 8mm rifles in Cuba, and two world wars in 50 years, there was little tolerance of any thing 'furen' when the surviving vets came back home and started looking for new hunting rifles.

    They knew the .30 caliber rifles had served them & their fathers & grandfathers well.
    Both in war, and the hunting fields.
    So why change to the dark side now!

    It has only been in my fairly recent lifetime that they could sell a new sporting firearm in a metric caliber on a bet in the USA.

    The first really successful and longest lasting one is probably the Remington 7mm Mag starting in 1962.

    A full generation after the last American GI took an 8mm round through the chest.
    And he didn't come back home to tell his baby boy not to buy a metric caliber rifle.

    Further, Much more accuracy development work has been done in the last 100 years in the U.S. with .30 cal (.308") match & sniper rifles, bullets, and loads then any other caliber, until recently.
    As well as military needs in machine guns, etc.

    Bottom line is, the .30 cal is as American as apple pie.
    And the 8mm isn't.

    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  4. improperlyaged

    improperlyaged Well-Known Member

    I personally love the 7.92x57 (aka the 8mm mauser). It is my all time favorite round. The turks loaded that round to extreme pressures, putting 150 grain bullets in the 3200 fps range and it is well known in Europe. It has the ability to take every game in North America including the large bears when loaded with the right bullets at the right speed as well as light skinned animals with lighter bullets. But... so can the 30-06. Unfortunately it didn't offer anything superior to the main caliber it was competing with here in America. And "if its good enough for the army its good enough for me" is pretty much the attitude among most gun people in our country. The 30-06 was pretty well established.
  5. winchester1886

    winchester1886 Well-Known Member

    I heard that returning GI brought there trophy Mauser's home and had them converted to a 8mm 06 and from what I hear it was a good round!
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    It was a good round.
    But no better then the 8mm was to start with.

    The only reason it was done was because there was tons of 30-06 re-loadable Boxer primed brass available.

    And absolutely zero reloadable 8mm brass, or surplus ammo, or commercial ammo for them in the USA at the time.

    There was no other way to shoot them at the time.

  7. LAGS

    LAGS Well-Known Member

    The returning GI's made some of their 8mm's into 8mm-06's because there was no reloadable brass.
    But why didn't they just make the brass out of 30-06 cases to start with.
    I have made my share of 8mm-06's and have formed a ton of 8x57 brass from 30-06 cases.
    The 30 caliber is a much more availabe and 30 cal comes in many different configurations , so it is much more versitle.
    But I still mike the 8x57 but prefer the .308 in the same size rifle.
    But I must say, the 8mm-06 is truely a Poor Mans Magnum, and will hold it's own against a 30-06 for hunting.
  8. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    Even today, 8mm isn't a popular caliber in the US. The 8mm Rem. Mag. was never very popular, and you don't read much about the .325 (8.2mm) Winchester Short Magnum. In fact, they even gave it an inch designation instead of metric.
  9. amd6547

    amd6547 Well-Known Member

    Popularity of the 8mm Mauser is hampered in the US by the pathetic low-powered US made ammo.
  10. carbine85

    carbine85 Well-Known Member

    I think it has more to do with the lack of availability of surplus ammo and the cost.
    I shoot a lot of 30.06 and 8MM. For me the 30.06 is more accurate. It's also difficult to find 8mm bullets for reloading. I can find bullets for the 7mm so I reload for that round. It's also easier on the shoulder.
  11. dvdcrr

    dvdcrr member

  12. Tirod

    Tirod Well-Known Member

    The tide is turning - 5.56, 6.5G, 6.8SPC, etc are creating a new market for metrics. Let's not forget that the German Army stuck to 8mm as a logistical reality when developing the 8mm kurz - the assault rifle round for their Sturmgewehr. They were planning a smaller caliber, and did move post war that direction.

    Wars are a come as you are event, the lessons learned after turned into hardware are usually viewed negatively. The survivors did well with the old equipment, but it doesn't mean it's capable in the next conflict. Things keep changing, advantages are overturned, and the science of making things work better doesn't stop.

    We may have stuck to our guns over .30 cal, but that age is passing, and we've been using an intermediate caliber for over 45 years now, with over 20 million prior service personnel trained to use it . It's NOT our current veterans and families who are demanding .30 cal. and that is why we are seeing such a rapid changeover.

    .30 was considered a small caliber in the timeline of it's predecessors, and is now past it's prime on the battlefield as a soldier's issue caliber, left behind in crew served weapons sparsely scattered in the light intensity conflict of today's world.
  13. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Well-Known Member

    Yeah but 5.56 and 6.8 are just metric names for calibers which have been popular in the US for 90 years
  14. Nom de Forum

    Nom de Forum Well-Known Member

    Cultural pride is often strong enough for people to claim what they use as superior to something foreign, even when they know it is not.

    This thread reminds me of a saying that has been around for many years: In WWI the Germans had the best hunting rifle, the Americans the best target rifle, and the British the best Battle Rifle. I think the same can be said about the cartridges. Much as I like the versatility of the .30-06, the 8mm could probably match it if developed as much. You may not be shooting as light of bullets in an 8mm as can be in the .30-06, but you could shoot heavier bullets than a .30-06. There is probably more realistic opportunities in hunting for the heaviest bullets possible in the 8mm than the lightest bullets in the .30-06. I am sure this may somewhat conflict with what I have written in the past about the versatility of using the .30-06, but these two cartridges are so close in capability.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  15. Tinpig

    Tinpig Well-Known Member

    When I was new to 8mm (CZ vz.24) I bought a box of S&B 8x57mm JRS at my LGS. When I got home and saw the rimmed cartridges I quickly learned what the R in JRS stands for.:)

    I took it back and traded it for a box of 8x57mm JS. The guy behind the counter admitted he hadn't known the difference, either.

    Live and learn.

  16. dak0ta

    dak0ta Well-Known Member

    Technically they should stop using the JS designation. It's actually IS for Infanterie Spitzgeschoss. The J was derived from people misinterpreting the cursive 'I' for a 'J'.

    Anybody have a ballistic gel image of US M1 30-06 vs Wehrmacht 8x57 200 gr FMJ service loads to see the difference? I'm wondering if a heavier, slower 200 gr bullet in the 8mm would cause more cavitation compared to a 150 gr faster .30 cal projectile.
  17. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Nothing wrong with the 8x57, but it won't do anything more for a hunter than an '06 will do. And when the Mauser bring-backs were common, there were already gazillions of '06s and ammo by the ton.
  18. LAGS

    LAGS Well-Known Member

    People often compare these two calibers the 8x57 and the 30-06 because they faced each other in the field of battle.
    And to the hunter , the rifles also were comperable being the Mauser 98 and the 1903 Springfield.
    The same comparrison would not be later made between the 30-06 and the 7.62x54R even though they faced each other in the Korean War.
    Mostly because the Nagant Rifle was no comparrison to the Garand.
    But Ballisticly in a comperable rifle the 7.62x54 in the military load was comperable to the 30-06 with lighter bullets.

    But the 8mm and the '06 are about the same in the military loadings, but you can get so much more out of the '06 in hunting loadings.
  19. stiab

    stiab Well-Known Member

    Historically there have been many .32 caliber (8mm) loadings used for hunting in North America, and they have worked very well on many game animals. They were not referred to as "8mm", but were very popular.
  20. itsa pain

    itsa pain member

    Gee that is funny we copied the 8mm round from Germany for the 30-06 and copied the mauser for our American as apple pie springfield 03 so much so as to pay paul mauser copyright fees

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