In search of full-power 8mm Mauser loads

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by coloradokevin, May 8, 2010.

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  1. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

    Mar 22, 2008
    I handload, and I'm seeking documented data that will provide me with some full-power load choices for an 8mm Mauser. Does anyone have a good source for this information?

    For those of you who are familiar with the 8mm Mauser, you are also probably aware of the fact that this great cartridge has been largely neutered in the United States, thanks primarily to the ol' .318 vs .323 bore diameter deal from 100 years ago (the "J" vs "JS" subject).

    I'm aware that (when properly loaded) the 8mm Mauser will easily stand toe-to-toe with the .30-06. Unfortunately it seems like we've brought it down to .30-30 territory in this country.

    I've also noticed that Sellier and Bellot seems to make some full-power loaded ammo, and that surplus ammo runs at full-power. However, I want to build some qualifty elk hunting ammo for my Mauser, and handloading seems like the best choice. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much full-power data available.

    Here's what I know at this point:

    1) The only handloads I've run through my Mauser so far were loaded with 175 grain SP Sierra Spitzer bullets. Some of these loads performed very well in my old relic of a gun, though I'm still in the load development stage, and haven't chrono'd any of the loads.

    Sierra's data tops out at 2600 fps in this powder choice (H380). All in all, I don't think that's a terrible performance from this cartridge, and it appears better than some of the other listed data I've found. Still, S&B's factory loads produce that velocity with a 196gr bullet, so I'm thinking that Sierra is still using a fairly conservative load... I'm guessing it doesn't account for a huge difference in the real world, and the Sierra bullets are a leading choice for me at the moment, based on my initial loads.

    2) Barnes bullets provides full-power data for this cartridge, but I tried loading some of their listed loads, and found that they were heavily compressed even by the time I reached middle loads. As such, I'm not sure how well Barnes bullets will work out with their listed choice of H380 powder (NOTE: Barnes showed a listed velocity in maximum loads of 2730fps with a 180grain TSX BT bullet). Hodgdon doesn't list that powder choice in their data, but doesn't seem to provide full-power load data (in the powders that I stock, their information tops out at 2570fps with Varget powder).

    NOTE: As a point of reference from the world of factory ammo, S&B loads their 8mm Mauser ammo with 196 grain bullets, and lists a velocity that is just shy of 2600fps. On the other hand, Remington only loads a 170 grain bullet to 2360fps.

    I'm certainly not determined to hunt only with maximum loads, and I realize that the best accuracy may come from a load that is below the maximum. But, I certainly want to make sure that I don't give up too much speed by loading from data that doesn't maximize the potential of this cartridge. However, beyond the choices I've already named, I haven't found much good data for the 8x57 JS. I'm obviously not the reloading expert on this forum, so any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Last edited: May 8, 2010
  2. dakotasin

    dakotasin Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    hornady lists 54.4 of 748 to reach 2700 f/s w/ their 170 grain bullet.

    i run h-380 and sierra 175's at 2650 f/s thru my 17" shilen-barrelled 8x57.

    i found s&b brass to not be that great, but is serviceable and many times it is the cheapest and easiest to get. however, i use rp brass in my handloads.
  3. Afy

    Afy Member

    Dec 31, 2006
    I use a Privi 196 grain FMJ over 47 grains of Tubal 5000 in my Vz-24
  4. Kentucky_Rifleman

    Kentucky_Rifleman Member

    Feb 2, 2010
    Lexington, KY
    Hornady Vol 2 (1973) and Speer #10 (1979) both have loads listed that trail only 100 fps behind 8mm-06 in the same bullet weights.

    ALWAYS consider carefully the quality and strength of your rifle before using older loading data.

    If you PM me with specific bullet weights and powder of choice, I'll email you the load data.

  5. ForneyRider

    ForneyRider Member

    Jul 26, 2007
    Forney, TX
    I use Varget to do the following. But R15, IMR 4064 and H4895 will work as well.

    Hornady 125gr JHP/JSP - ~3100fps (53gr MAX), these bullets are discontinued. Norma makes 123gr FMJ.

    Sierra 150gr Pro Hunter - ~2900fps (51gr MAX)

    Nosler 200gr Accubond - ~2650fps (48gr MAX), also did the Sierra MK 200gr.
  6. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    Carolina Low Country
    Get The Manuals And Follow Them...

    I do. The secret is tuning your loads to your weapon, and you simply have to have manuals (or the data, from online or wherever) to do so. Last year I loaded up a bunch of loads for my just-glass bedded, very good condition 7.92x57 VZ-24 (by me, in a cutdown military stock) with 150 gr & 175 gr Sierras, using 4064, H335, 4350, and 2520, and a couple others. I put together incremental loads for both bullets with each powder, spent all day at the range, and with my hottest 2520 load and the 175 gr, I shot a repeated and witnessed 1" group at 100 yds and open military sights on sand bags. I say this not to brag, but to point out that you can get some extremely accurate loads if you take your time and work them up as they should be. Glass bedding made a big difference, and I used that old beat up stock as a learning piece. Once you get a handle on it, it goes very quickly, and you can have a tack-driver in no time. My bore is in excellent shape for its age, and that helps, but I have some rifles with pitted bores that shoot like they're new.

    I am loathe to discuss load data for hot rounds because my moderate load might be your blow-up load. I begin with published starting loads because I have learned first-hand that failure to do so can cause you to have to beat the bolt open with a 2x4 and have primers fall out of the case. Ignore the caveats and pay the price... :cool:
  7. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    North Carolina
    With www.hodgdon.com load data showing max loads at 48-49K cup pressure, those pressure limits are actually good stiff loads for most Mauser rifles.
    Granted, most of the US manufacturer's 8x57 loads are quite mild, but several European ammo manufacturer's have good full power loads.

    I load for 8x57 myself, but most of my loads have been cast bullet loads. I've tried a few of Varget with 170gr Speer RN, but got disappointing low velocity compared to book specs. I'll be trying some H4895 in the near future.
    I have a nice sporter 98 that I put together with a swede 8x57 barrel, Bold trigger, old Corelite stock, and a 4X Tasco. All steel parts are parkerized with stainless Duracoat applied.

  8. ForneyRider

    ForneyRider Member

    Jul 26, 2007
    Forney, TX
    Lyman 49th has full power load data for 8x57. Although, they skip over 200gr or 196gr bullets.

    Nosler book covers 180gr Ballistic Tip and their 200gr bullets for 8x57. They went with 47.5gr MAX load of Varget for 200gr Accubond. I ran 48gr of Varget and Mike Venturino of Reloading Magazine went 48gr for his WW2 article with no issues.
    Last edited: May 13, 2010
  9. interlock

    interlock Member

    Oct 17, 2008
    Lincolnshire, England
    if you choose a bullet for your hunting i will do a bit of quickload stuff and find a suitable recipe. PM me with them details.

  10. blackwalnut

    blackwalnut Member

    May 2, 2010
    northeaster ohio
    I use Hornadys 7th Edition for 195 grain Interlocks. I also am going to try the Vihtavouri powders and have ordered a manual. It looks like the Finns have the right powders for the European metric calibers in order to get top performance. Regarding S&B I have used their 7 and 8 mm hunting loads. They work well. I load the 175 Sierra and the 195 Hornady interlock. I use BlC-2 and H380 both with great results. Also the 200 grain Speer is a good accurate no problem bullet. I can only say my experience is on paper.

    My commercial modern 8X57 is a Remington 700 Classic and its a good performer. Speer #14 has some data as well as Hodgdons Annual loading manual.
  11. SCPigpen

    SCPigpen Member

    May 25, 2008
    Wretched Hive of Scum & Villainy
    8mm Mauser
    220gr Honady Spire Point
    49grs H4350
    Win. LR Primer
    RP Brass

    1. 2464
    2. 2454
    3. 2463
    4. 2455
    5. 2466

    ES. 12.0
    SD. 5.47

    This target was @ 50 yards, iron sights.

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