8x57 for Elk class game?

Discussion in 'Big Game' started by jkvirginia, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. jkvirginia

    jkvirginia Active Member

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    As seen in another thread, I'm planning to semi-sporterize a surplus 8mm Mauser as a rough-country beater deer rifle. My question is this; Do you think that this round has the Oomph to step up and do the job on elk-sized game if I get the chance to hunt them down the line? My understanding is that the round is ballistically similar to a 30-06 with a dab more frontal diameter, which in my book is rarely a bad thing.
     
  2. grimel

    grimel Well-Known Member

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    190-200gr bullet at 2700fps. Works for me.
     

  3. jkvirginia

    jkvirginia Active Member

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    Grimel,

    What load did you find that rates those kinds of ballistics?

    Most of the loadings I've found are 170-grains in the 2300-2400 range.

    Or is this what one can fairly safely construct in handloads?
     
  4. grimel

    grimel Well-Known Member

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    The Speer Reloading Manual No. 13 lists loads up to 50,000 psi for strong 8x57JS rifles.

    The Speer 170 grain semi-spitzer (BC .354, SD .232) can be driven to a MV of 2509 fps by 45.0 grains of IMR 4064 powder, or to a MV of 2,723 fps with a maximum load of 49.0 grains of the same powder.

    Got in a hurry and put 190 vs 170.

    Check the various reloading manuals and NORMA factory ammo.
     
  5. jkvirginia

    jkvirginia Active Member

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    Grimel,

    after a little research, I found a Sellier & Bellot load that sounds a bit closer to what you mentioned-- their 8x57JS load pushes a 196-grain softpoint out at near 2600fps, for about 2900ft-lbsof thump.

    http://www.sb-usa.com/rifle_pages/sba85703_spec.htm
    Sounds like it might be elk medicine to me, if you keep the range on the sane side
     
  6. wudjalike2no

    wudjalike2no Well-Known Member

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    8x57js=8x57 mauser or 7.92 mauser?
     
  7. jkvirginia

    jkvirginia Active Member

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    The 8x57JS is a .323 diameter bullet, the 8x57JR is .318
     
  8. luv2safari

    luv2safari Moderator

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    jkva,

    The 8mm Mauser is an excellent all around big game round. I have used the 8X57jr and 8x57jrs on animals up to and including Eland...1,500 to 1,800 pounds!

    I reload with 195 Hornady PSP and IMR 4064. I have also used the S&B factory ammo with good success. I like to keep the ranges for this loading to about 250 yards+. That is plenty far if you are a real hunter, not a "pot-shotter".

    The 8mm is a grossly overlooked bore here in the US. I hope the 325 WSM takes off, by the way. That 8mm Mauser will do anything you want it to do on everything but the biggest bears, and it has killed plenty of them, too.
     
  9. jkvirginia

    jkvirginia Active Member

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    Luv2,

    I'm well aware of my limitations as a rifleman--With open sights I limit myself to 75 yards or so, maybe 100 on a good still day with little wind. With a scope and a good solid place to brace I'm good to hit a pie plate out to 200 yards or so, assuming decent mechanical accuracy from the arm I'm shooting.

    Beyond that, I'll pass on the shot.
     
  10. luv2safari

    luv2safari Moderator

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    jkva,

    I wish more hunters had your ethics! :D :D
     
  11. slugmensch

    slugmensch Active Member

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    The "8mm Mauser" (7.92 x 57JS) is a great cartridge...that will do anything the .30/06 will do (with the proper loads). Only Sellier & Bellot and Norma make commercial "full-power" versions of this cartridge (at least, that I know of). All of the US ammo makers download this round....to stay at or below 37,000 CUP. This is due to fears of someone shooting the .323 dia. bullets through an older, .318 bore....and in case someone uses an old, heavily-pitted (and therefore weakened) action/ barrel. There are a few types of the earlier model Mausers (the 91, 93, 95, 96 for instance) which were made by various nations at various times, that are not safe with full loads (50,000 CUP). The Mauser 98 action (and it's various copies) will handle 50,000 CUP loads just fine - IF it is in good condition. Usually the only malady suffered by these rifles, with full loads, is the "sticky-bolt" problem (the bolt is hard to open after firing). This is, in and of itself, a sign of too much chamber pressure - for THAT particular rifle. Since most of the Mauser 98- type actions in use are many decades old....they can be a bit finicky about ammunition.

    For instance, I shoot a sporterized Yugoslav M48. This particular rifle will do 1.5" groups (with iron sights) with no problem - as long as the load is somewhat mild. This rifle has very tight headspace...and doesn't really like full-power loads.
    My favorite load (for this rifle) is 41.5 grains of IMR-4895, under a Remington (185 grain) Corelokt bullet. This gives roughly 2450 fps....and plenty of muzzle energy (for my needs). It's NOT an Elk round, though. A full-power version of this round would be 46.0 grains (IMR-4895)...with the same bullet. That load gives about 2680 fps...with plenty of energy (even for Elk). My rifle, as it happens, does not like this load.

    The moral of the story is : when using an old Mauser 98-type action, it's best to tailor the load specifically for the rifle....because they CAN be finicky. If that is done, one can get the best out of the particular rifle, while maintaining full reliability and trouble-free operation. It's not always easy to get full-power performance out of them - but it can be done.

    One last thing - for hunting, it's best to use bullets of 170 grains, minimum (180 - 185 - 190 - even 200 are better). This is because the .323 diameter bullet gives up quite a bit of sectional density (as compared to a .30 calibre bullet of the same weight). So, lighter 8mm bullets (150 grain, for example) do not have the ballistic coefficient - and most often, do not penetrate as well - as a 150 grain .30 calibre bullet. I prefer the 185's myself, but 180's, 190's, etc. are fine.
     
  12. slugmensch

    slugmensch Active Member

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    wudjalike2no....
    The designations of the 7.92 x 57 rounds are a bit confusing. As someone mentioned, the 7.92 x 57JS use a .323" bullet....the earlier 7.92 x 57J(R) uses a .318" bullet. The "7.92" dimension is measured across the LANDS...not including the grooves. The .323" bullets are actually 8.20 mm in diameter....the .318" bullets are 8.08 mm. The 7.92 mm dimension (across the lands) is .312". The confusion usually starts when the round is referred to as the "8mm Mauser". This is a commercial designation....simply used for convenience. The proper designation is "7.92 x 57JS"....or "7.92 x 57J(R)". The "S" stands for "spitzer" (pointed bullet)...the J(R) stands for the earlier .318" bullet (round-nosed).

    I hope this will clear up the confusion.