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Thread: 8x57?? Anybody shoot it?

  1. #1

    8x57?? Anybody shoot it?

    I think this caliber was danced around in the Reloading forum but I am curious as to whether or not anyone else hunts with it. I have four 8x57 rifles: Two are 8x57"J" factory sporters with .318-ish barrels, and the other two are later 8x57JS models with .323" barrels. I shoot home-made bullets through mine for both target and big game. ~Muir

  2. #2
    8x57 (7.92x57 or 8mm mauser) is not a popular round in the U.K.
    Years ago just before they went out of business Parker Hale were selling "new" sporting rifles in this calibre at bargain prices.
    An aquaintance of mine bought one and swears by it as an excellant all round calibre and ballistically equal to the 30.06. Surplus ammo was and still is cheap and readilly availible, allowing cheap practise, though the rifle needs careful cleaning after use. If a Parker Hale in this calibre were to become available now, at the sort of price that these were selling for I would jump at the oportunity.
    The questions in the reloading section previously were not about this cartridge but about 8x57jrs (or irs), which is a rimmed round based upon this cartridge and very popular in europe in break action guns. The rimmed round is loaded to lower pressures and subsequently about 200fps slower.
    You say you hunt with bullets that you have made yourself, are these jacketed or simply hard cast? The Deer Act in the U.K. requires us to use expanding bullets either soft point or hollow point, therefore we would be unable to use cast bullets which I believe have a following in the U.S.

  3. #3
    Muir, my uncle ret US Col living in Germany has one for reds, roe and boar. My Father also lives in Germany and also has a mauser 8x57, he loads for both. The old stalkers over there still think the 8x57 is the entry level, mainly if one is on the ground against a charging boar.
    Still very very popular. Nothing wrong with it. I've got a quite new german reloading manual, would you like to see the recomended 8x57 loads?

  4. #4
    ejg, if it's not too much trouble I would be interested in what powder loads are shown in your manual for 8x57jrs (rimmed) with 196grn bullets?
    I have both the Nobelsport and Vihtavuori manuals but the loads given in the Vihtavuori manual only list N140 up to 180Grn bullets.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by 8x57
    ejg, if it's not too much trouble I would be interested in what powder loads are shown in your manual for 8x57jrs (rimmed) with 196grn bullets?
    I have both the Nobelsport and Vihtavuori manuals but the loads given in the Vihtavuori manual only list N140 up to 180Grn bullets.
    No problem, it'll be monday though, the book is at work where else
    I'll just take a picture of the tables. They have a variety of powders.
    Couldn't say if they have a example with N140, maybe.

  6. #6
    8x57: I remember that discussion. I shoot a C.G. Haenel 1888 sporter that is a "J" (or "I", if you wish) bore barrels and must also be loaded to lower pressures. At least one reloading manual here specifies loads for the earlier, low pressure rounds, (Accurate Arms Powders) and I must adhere to those loads or shoot commercial American ammunition which is all loaded with .321" bullets and kept to a maximum chamber pressure of 35,000 pounds in deference to these older guns.

    I shoot cast bullets and none too hard. At 35K it doesn't take a hard bullet to get the job done. These wouldn't be considered "expanding" bullets in the UK but in fact, they expand quite well. The latest mold I found is an Ideal 325-471 which makes a 226 grain bullet when lubed and has a copper gascheck is affixed to the base. I am hoping for around 2000 fps. This should handle any deer I run across on my hunt this week. I have another mold that casts 194 grains that I will be working on with my Model 98 "J" bore sporter.

    I too would be interested in seeing that loading data for the 8x57J, "R" or otherwise. ~Muir

  7. #7


    I have just had a look in my speer manual 13. There are two pages of data from 150 - 200 gr. tell me what you want and i will post it.

    a few years ago i was at a local rfd's he had a number of bolivian .30-06 '98 mauser actioned rifles, they were a cavalry carbine design with a really short barrel (most of the barrels were shot through) I had this crazy plan of buying one. i was thinking i would rebarrell it with an american shillen barrell, sit it in an aftermarket stock with a timney trigger and have a one piece weaver type scope mount on it. when i started to look at the costs i might as well go and buy a new remmy 700. but it would have given me a cracking and really original rifle.

    I went to the place to do the deal and he said "i will just find a bolt that will fit it" That gave me cold shivers. maybe i was wrong but really i wanted the bolt for that rifle. I pulled out of the deal. I Still fancy the idea but maybe not on that action.


  8. #8
    never been tempted to try cast bullets in any of my rifles until recently and after reading Richard Lee's slightly differing view on pressure limitations as oposed to velocity limits. I have shot tens of thousands of cast bullets over the years through pistols but have always reserved my rifles for jacketed bullets. Now that cost and availability are an issue, plus the fact that lead bullets are softer on the bore, I may just give them a go. Could be just the answer for cheap practise.
    My daughters are always complaining that they don't know what to buy me for Christmas, perhaps the hint that a 8mm Lee bullet mould would be apreciated could do the trick.
    I must admit to enjoyed reading Lee's 2nd edition loading manual, though I still have reservations about some of the data. I have always been very cautious when reloading and usually compare data from at least two reloading manuals. Lee seems to recommend lower pressure loads using cast bullets rather than loads using small charges of fast "pistol" powders as some have done in the past. I think the man may be on the right track and look forward to giving it a go.

  9. #9
    Lee's data comes from Hornady, mostly. I never worry about conservative loads myself.

    I started shooting cast bullets in a 45 Dutch Beaumont rifle but really got serious shooting them in handguns. Like you, I have fired X thousands of alloy bullets in handguns. For the last 20 years or so, I have been shooting them in rifles with great satisfaction. Lee's views on velocity VS pressure are not his own. Well; to him is might have seemed like an epiphany, but it has been common knowledge in The Cast Bullet Association that cast bullets will hold up quite well when the pressure is matched to the alloy. I have shot 55 grain bullets from a 22-250 at 2800 fps with just slightly over 1.2 MOA accuracy. Not bench rest, but the varmints didn't know the difference. In my other calibers, I have gotten good results. I regularly hunt deer with Brno 308 Winchester using a 188 grain bullet at 2450 fps. It will drop deer like Thor's hammer while delivering sub-MOA groups.

    Lee (through Midway, USA) once offered a limited edition 8mm "Karabiner" mold weighing 200 grains and of a gas check design. I have two of these and would be happy to send you one to use in your 8mm. I would slug the bore of your JR and see what the diameter is. I have a feeling this Karabiner will run around .325" but I've found that "J" bore rifles will accept a .322" bullet in the neck and still allow adequate case-neck expansion on firing. If you order a Lee "push through" sizer die in .322" you'd be set. (But for a stick of lube) If you don't like it, you can mail it to JAYB in Southerland and I'll pick it up next time I'm over. Otherwise, you are free to keep it. I have better than 100 molds as it is, ranging from .20 to .72 caliber.

    There are some tricks to making cast bullets work in rifles. I know 99% of them and would be happy to help you get some Pb slung out of your rifle. There is nothing like shooting a small group with a bullet you made and fit to the rifle yourself. Very satisfying, indeed.** ~Muir

    ** And yes, very economical.

  10. #10
    It's true he does know a lot about cast bullets and making them work. I know this because a few years back he got me started with it.

    I have a 22 mould that I make 47 gr bullets to use in my Hornet, very accurate and very satisfying killing rabbits, crows and foxes with a wheel weight. I shall have to try some in my .222. In my 243 I have a 97 gr bullet that does 2400 fps and is extremely accurate, again good for the rabbits and stuff and provides the cheapest centrefire shooting that I know of. My 6.5X55 is another story though, I have tried three different weights from 140 gr to 172 gr and none with much success. The best I managed was a just under 2" group at 65 yards doing 1750 fps. This round has been used, in America, to take deer out to 125 yards and it really does the job. I don't feel too badly as there have been experienced cast shooters chasing 6.5 perfection for a number of years, it is sort of like the holy grail with them.

    I would really like to hunt with cast bullets, not the 243 though has been proven to be no good on deer, it would have to be a 308 or 30-06. I like the idea of casting my own and then filling the freezer, plus with a cast bullet they do say, "you can eat right up to the hole", no meat damage at all.


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