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Decent surplus for 8mm Mauser

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Phaethon, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. Phaethon

    Phaethon Well-Known Member

    So I've got this VZ-24 that I'm running low on ammo for, but am itching to shoot. I was surprised to find that surplus is still pretty widely available for 8mm for impressively low prices, but I find that all of it is a mix of Yugoslavian, Iranian, Turkish, etc.

    I've had bad experiences with Yugo ammo before. I remember chambering a round of it, and every time I pulled the trigger it failed to fire. Not even a hangfire, as I held the gun downrange for a minute and re-cocked the bolt on the same cartridge three times to no avail. I was pretty disappointed; maybe I got a bad batch, or maybe I should just spend a few bucks on a stronger firing pin.

    What about Iranian and Turk surplus? Do they shoot easy? Does anyone else have any issues with Yugoslavian ammo? The ammo that I've been using for a while now is that Romanian lacquered steel-case stuff, and even though it's dirty, I love it.

    And what about those Yugoslavian 'sniper' cartridges? They're pretty pricey, but are still less than what I typically pay in modern factory ammo, on par with most prices for 7.5 Swiss.
  2. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Sorry you got a bad batch. I've had a handful of Yugo rounds in literally hundreds that required a second strike with my 98k, maybe one or two outright duds. I bought a BUNCH of it for plinking fun.

    That 50's era ammo is drying up and it's all corrosive. Ditto for the "Sniper" stuff they are selling (which is the same stuff loaded in the 70s and 80's as far as I can tell.), it's corrosive.

    Most of the Romanian stuff I've seen is 150ish grain rather than 196 grain ammo. I haven't seen any for sale at AIM or CTD in a long while.
  3. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

  4. greenlion

    greenlion Well-Known Member

    The OP is asking about how to find quality surplus ammo, not how to use a search engine. The reliable Romanian ammo that was plentiful 2 years ago has dried up fast. I've heard too many horror stories about the 50's Yugo stuff to buy any. I found a few loose boxes of Romanian at a gun show a month ago, but it wasn't in great shape either.
  5. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Well-Known Member

    In the past year I've gone through about 500 rounds of a mix of Romanian and Yugo surplus. 90% were fine, 9% needed a second strike and 1% were duds. Not going to complain at .15- cents a round.

    A clean bolt and serviceable striker spring helps.
  6. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    You have to realize that with the flood of 8mm surplus rifles, the stock of 8mm surplus ammo continues to be depleted. The quality of the surplus ammo gets more spotty and the prices will continue to climb.
    If you are serious about shooting your 8mm rifles, you either stock up on surplus that you can find, buy commercial 8mm ammo, or you reload. I also reload.

    I have a few hundred rounds of Turk 8mm left from the 2 cases that I bought a few years ago at $60 a case of 1000 rounds, and they are keepers. They are on stripper clips, in cloth bandoleers, and most look like they were made yesterday. Mine are stamped '41, '42 and '43 with a few odd years tossed in. Turk surplus is very potent, and it has a 154gr bullet at around 2900fps.

    If you want to get a new heavier firing pin spring, here's a link to the Wolf spring site. Your stock spring is 20# and I recommend the 22# replacement. The 26# is hard to install and not needed. The normal firing pin projection from the bolt face should measure around .060" or 1/16".

    http://www.gunsprings.com/Rifles & Shotguns/MAUSER/1948 (M48)/cID2/mID40/dID176

  7. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    I got my final 'hoarde' of ammo from a small dealer unloading it at a gun show. I bought 2 ammo cans full of boxed ammunition. He (or his wife) was frankly, sick of hauling it around to shows.

    Keep an eye out at smaller tables, they often will have a box or 3 on display and more under the table.
  8. Phaethon

    Phaethon Well-Known Member

    I might try buying some Turkish surplus. Some of the pictures I've seen of it look encouraging. The thing is that I have a couple of other 8mm Mausers too, and I'm not sure I really want to replace the firing springs on all of them. I guess I'll replace the spring on my VZ-24 and give the Yugo another shot too.

    By the way, is all 8mm surplus Berdan-primed? I was interested in reloading some cartridges, but I might just stick to buying PPU cartridges if I'm just going to end up selling the cases as scrap metal.

    I would just hate to dump a lot of money on ammo and have to recock the bolt twice on every round just to get it to fly downrange, so I was just creating this thread to garner people's experiences shooting the surplus from different sources.
  9. Gunnerboy

    Gunnerboy Well-Known Member

    had 1 out of 200 1940s turk 8mm not go bang so im happy with that stuff although it has a funky odor about it once its fired unlike any other surplus ammo :scrutiny:
  10. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Every bit of surplus 8mm I've come across is Berdan primed (so far).
  11. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Well-Known Member

    SAMCO has the Iranian 8mm at a good price, but I was told that it was junk.

    But the creat looked so cool so I got the crate.
  12. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    Sorry Phaethon, I linked to the M48 springs, not the VZ-24 that you mentioned. There is a difference in spring length, so here is the M98 springs.

    http://www.gunsprings.com/Rifles & Shotguns/MAUSER/1898/cID2/mID40/dID175

    It's not likely that you'll find much Turk ammo for sale, so grabbing some Prvi-Partizan ammo for the boxer primed brass is a good plan. There are decent .323 hunting bullets available to reload in the 8mm, and the caliber can mirror 30'06 and 308 performance on game.
    If you have some fired surplus brass, a bucket of old brass can buy some of your reloading supplies. If you have some that would not fire, get a bullet puller and save the bullet for use or for selling.

  13. wnycollector

    wnycollector Well-Known Member

    This pretty much been my experience also.
  14. rojocorsa

    rojocorsa Well-Known Member

    If you can find later Yugo, get it. But good luck...

    Just start investing in modern Prvi Partizan. The brass is good and reloadable.

    I'm pretty bummed out that the Romanian cans are gone. I just remember checking AIM one day, and they were just gone out of the blue. There goes the Mauser idea, lol. (I do buy and love the .303 British Prvi, albeit it is more expensive. It is what it is).
  15. No4Mk1*

    No4Mk1* Well-Known Member

    My '72 Romanian, '42 Yugo (on clips), and '40 Greek have all been flawless. Plan to sell my Turk as it is too hot for my liking.
  16. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Well-Known Member

    I still have a few hundred rounds of Turk ammo and love it. I also have over 20 Turks to shoot it in. :D
  17. thegoodlistener

    thegoodlistener Well-Known Member

    Got a few thousand rounds of WWII German , about a thousand rounds of Turk , and 1800 rounds of 54 yugo to feed my mausers for a while.
  18. ClickClickD'oh

    ClickClickD'oh Well-Known Member

    I know it's not what the OP asked, but I toss this out every chance I get... Buy some of the Sellier & Bellot 196gr SPCE stuff. Most accurate factory ammo I've every put through my VZ-24 and Boxer primed to boot. Puts deer down like a sledge hammer (except for this one time...)
  19. MilsurpShooter

    MilsurpShooter Well-Known Member

    Stay far away from any Ecuadorian ammo you may find. I've got tons of it sitting downstairs (1,100 rounds, $63 dollars about 7 years ago)

    Inaccurate and often requires a double tap to go off. Best and straightest shooting ammo I ever had from my Yugo M48a has been Yugoslavian that came linked in a machine gun belt. My gun loved that stuff. Sadly I'm running down to the last of it :(
  20. 303 hunter

    303 hunter Well-Known Member

    8mm ammo

    I bought an m48 Mauser that was like new. I had problems with some brands of surplus ammo too. A local gunsmith told me I needed a new firing pin spring. When we disassembled the bolt, it was packed full of cosmoline! I learned to pull them apart and check after that.

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