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Thread: 8x60 Mauser

  1. #1

    8x60 Mauser

    I am curious if any of you shoot the 8x60 (.318 inch bore), or 8x60S (.323) Mauser?

    I got into on a whim. i bought several rifles to get one I wanted out of a small collection. I traded off an Oberndorf full-stock carbine in 8x60S for newer 7x64mm carbine. Years later, I found super clean old Mauser sporting rifle in 8x60, traded to a Winchester collector on an 1873. He did not know much about them, and everyone was afraid it was a .318 bore. I bought it cheap enough, slugged the bore, shot some .321 bullets into potter's clay and measured them....323! So I started loading it.

    I found a box of Prvi brass, and have been loading that. So far, my best loads have been with IMR 4064 under 195 / 196 / 200 grain bullets. I am starting to get the 170-gr Hornady to shoot well by stepping up the velocity. Many 8mm bullets are just hard to find right now.

    I started this topic in another thread by mentioning that 8x60S brass can be formed from .30-06 brass. German snipers did this. They also used USGI 1903A3 Springfields alongside the 8x60S to get that brass. This 8x60S of mine came with a 1903A3, restocked German, with a Zeiss Marsteller 6x56 scope in claw mounts.

  2. #2
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    Yes. Mine was a Belgian, made in 1960s, with a Tell 'scope and claw mounts and iron sights to its 25" barrel. I loaded Speer and etc 150 grain, 170 grain and some Hornady 200 grain bullets. Would put ALL within 3" at one hundred yards. That is all the three bullet weights.

    The difficulty is that there isn't much to be retained in the case with that 150 grain if you seat to the correct OAL. Which is effectively the same as the OAL used by the Germans in military FMj ball plus that 3mm extra.

    My goal was to use Speer's 200 grain bullet at 2,340fps the same as the WWII German military load. So giving good ballistic co-efficient and yet little meat damage. I don't think that a 150 grain or a 170 grain is the "right" weight for these rifles.

    I sold it at Holt's auctioneers with the cases and dies in the same auction as by that time the new .270 Winchester RWS Evolution load was introduced and if I ever want to shoot wild boar as the optics on this rifle whilst very good were fixed x4 power and I have a Zeiss 1.5-4.5 or a Zeiss 3-9 option on the .270 Winchester and the better suited lower end power of those optics is for me more important.

    Cookie Not Accepted : Holts Auctioneers

    Click on the link and it WILL take you to the listing. And I didn't care for and couldn't be bothered to pay to replace those God awful double set triggers. Some like that sort of thing. Not me!

    Good luck! I think that you are right on with those 195/196/200 grain bullets.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 07-03-2014 at 15:01.

  3. #3
    I found an old ad for RWS 8x60S ammunition.
    154gr 2,972 fps
    196gr 2,585 fps
    227gr 2,392 fps

    This tells you that the lighter bullets need to be spun up in order to stabilize them.

    My most accurate loads so far have been by pulling the bullets from, and using the powder of, full power 8x57mm 196-gr FMJ ammunition. Prvi Partizan 8x60S ammo launches the 196-gr bullets at 2,560 fps.

    I also have 8x57s, from 1888, 1924, 1947, and 1930s sporting rifle.

    I have pretty accurate 8x60S loads which shoot to the sights at about 2,450 fps with 4064 and 4350, and I am inching up, to see if groups continue to tighten. I am seeking accuracy and shooting close to the sights, more than velocity. I think I am going to have to get the 170-gr bullets up above 2,600 fps to tighten the groups. In a slim 6 lb 11 oz staking rifle, it really feels like a big game piece when you shoot anything with it.

  4. #4
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    Oh God yes! To that last. The Mauser that I had had a bespoke, or "custom' stock that was cast off. So not straight back but angled to the right shoulder at the butt. Superb pointing. Like a fine bespoke fitted shot gun. But the recoil didn't know that it still wasn't meant to recoil straight back. So it was like being punched on the cheek by that stock. That and the double triggers meant "bye bye baby"!

  5. #5
    Mine comes up like a 28-gauge SxS and settles right to the express sights. I don't find the recoil bad at this loading... but I will report back if I find its sweet spot is 200 fps faster. It has a smooth blued steel buttplate, which glides across any clothing. My centerfire, with my own money, was a No.5 .303 Jungle Carbine, and then a Remington 700 .30-06 with cheekered aluminum buttplate, which I still have and shoot with the iron sights, at 7.25 lbs. So I am used to this.

    I picked up another sporting Mauser last year, in immaculate condition, for a song. It is an 8x57, built by JP Sauer, Luftwaffe marks on it. It really points, too, and will shoot under an inch with a hot 196-grainer. Single trigger on this one, double set triggers on the 8x60S.

    A 196-gr boattail with a BC of .525, launched at 2,600 fps is a serious long range rifle.

    Another advantage is no one asks to borrow these rifles.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by enfieldspares View Post
    My goal was to use Speer's 200 grain bullet at 2,340fps the same as the WWII German military load. So giving good ballistic co-efficient and yet little meat damage. I don't think that a 150 grain or a 170 grain is the "right" weight for these rifles.
    I'm confused!
    1888
    8x57I 0.318" 226gr RN 2093fps

    1905
    8x57IS 0.323" 154gr pointed 2880fps

    so I'm not sure what the 200gr 2nd WW load might have been?

    I thought that 8x60 invented after the ist War to legalise the then-forbidden 8x57 rifles in German civillian hands - a straightforward extension the chamber and throat. If so, then the nearest standard loads for the 8x60 and 8x60S would presumably be those of the respective 8x57I and 8x57IS.


    Quote Originally Posted by Southern View Post
    I started this topic in another thread by mentioning that 8x60S brass can be formed from .30-06 brass. German snipers did this. They also used USGI 1903A3 Springfields alongside the 8x60S to get that brass. This 8x60S of mine came with a 1903A3, restocked German, with a Zeiss Marsteller 6x56 scope in claw mounts.
    Do you know why Wehrmacht snipers used this chambering? It strikes me that it would be a matter of considerable inconvenience to source ammuntion for and use a foreign rifle of foreign military chambering, and then to use the brass from that to hand-load ammunition for a second rifle of domestic civillian chambering when presumably all around were heaps of 8x57IS.

  7. #7
    There is no way to give a short answer to anything about the history of the 8x57 flavors, nor the 8x60. I will give some short answers and can expound on points later.

    The 1888 GeW Commission Rifle, which was not designed by Mauser, fired a 227-gr bullet at about 2,100 fps from a 29.5 inch barrel. Some of the later confusion on velocities comes from the older 1898 WWI Mauser and the shorter barrel K98 of WWII.

    The rapid progress in powders and Paul Mauser's bullets was burning out barrels, so they deepened the grooves, taking the bores from .318 inch to .323 officially, but some were .321. The older GeW88s and Turkish Mausers which were recut had their throats lengthened to reduce peak pressures. From then on, the chamber specs settled down.

    Let's note here that commercial rifles continued to be built in .318 into the 1950s. FN produces bolt action 8x57s in the 1950s which were .318 bore, so be aware!! The same is true of some drillings and combination guns produced from 1905 to 1939.. still. .318 inch bores.

    Now, back to the military 8x57IS.

    The 1905 cartridge could fire a 154-gr bullet at 2,953 fps from the old long ( 29.13 inch ) barrel Mauser.
    But in WWI, the German army found that the 154-gr did no have the reach for long range firing at charging hordes, and the long heavy bullets were wearing out the Maxim barrels. They had developed a 198-gr boat tail bullet ( sS(schweres Spitzgeschos or heavy pointed bullet) which had less bearing surface, and carried better to long range, with a MV of 2,550 fps. For logistics reasons, this became a standard cartridge for the infantry bolt action rifles, as well.

    In WWII, the infantry went to a shorter K98 rifle, which launched the 154-gr flat based bullet at 2,805 fps, and the 197.5 grain boattail at 2,494 fps.

    Ballistic Coefficient
    Bullet Mach II Mach I Sub-sonic
    154gr Flat Base FMJ 0.321 0.337 0.329
    198gr Boat Tail FMJ 0.547 0.584 0.539

    The hottest ammunition were the tungsten core armor piercing and explosive rounds for the ME-109 fighter plane. Barrels burned out in 2,000 rounds.

    AP: 177 grains at 2,840 fps
    API: 156 grains at 2,970 fps
    HEI: 167 grains at 2,805 fps.

    Now, to your question of why the Germans might use the 8x60S and .30-06. I had this same question.

    I am told by an expert on the Mausers and German snipers that there were a significant number of 8x60 sporting rifles with telescopic sights around. They could shoot the 8x57mm ammunition.

    There were .30-06 Springfields captured, and lots of .30-06 ammunition. The 8x60S could be made easily from .30-06 brass. The 8x60S could launch the 177-gr AP boattail at 2,800 fps, as well as the 198-gr bullet at 2,650 fps both shooting about the same trajectories, and within the adjustments of the scopes, to beyond 1,000 yards.

    I am just a shooter who has researched the various 8x57s ( and other Mausers ) he has owned, and has a lot more to learn.

  8. #8
    Goodness! You have stimulated me to read more about the 8x57 variants.

    I wonder whether there are any references re. the Wehrmacht reworking .30-06 to make 8x60S rounds for sniper-rifles of civillian origin? On the face of it, it sounds a lot of messing about, given that they could use 8x57IS in them - but I guess times became tough and materials short, so maybe it was indeed expedient to do that.

  9. #9
    The fellow who first told me about this is a German, who has written several books on Mauser and other rifles used in war. I emailed him about another rifle I own, with just minimal information, and he immediately told me all the rest I knew and more about who made it, for whom ( bespoke ), when, etc.

    Here is another one, with photos, of an 8x60S taken off a German sniper.
    8x60 german mauser sporter - The Firearms Forum - Gun Community

    I need to do some more researching myself.

    One reason this is credible, is that from my own experience, I have found several of these older rifles with the claw mounts to have the bases installed so precisely, that scopes built by one maker would swap with those installed by another gunsmith, years apart. So fitting a new scope would be quite easy.

    If you really want to get into arcane wartime reloading, read about the testing and recipes of the Finnish resistance, reworking Russian rifles, and reloading brass with powder and bullets from USGI .30-06.

  10. #10
    That's a beautiful rifle you had, enfieldspares!
    I had to clip a copy for my collection of vintage 8x60 Mausers.
    That is how I have bought many rifles: I did not care what caliber they were marked, as much as I cared for their handling and looks. i can find a load for anything like that, and a place with which to hunt it

    This topic so invigorated me that yesterday I pulled 70 bullets, 154-gr FMJ, from corrosive Turk ammunition, and salvaged them and the powder to reload to less pressure in 8x57mm cases, for my other Mausers.

    Since the 8x60 is perhaps to rare and arcane to generate much response, i will widen this topic to ask who hunts with a vintage 8x57IS or 8x57ISR? I had he rimmed one, in a combination gun, paired with a 16 gauge barrel.

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