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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay. I am looking for another higher caliber hunting rifle. It will be either the 8 x 57 mm or the 30-06. Also, I want an older rifle.

No NIB for me. I just prefer the older metal, especially pre-1970-ish.

Anyway I thought I was all set for the 30-06 and then I started seeing some of these 8 x 57 mm Mausers, sporter-ized. Wow.

And I have been studying up on the ballistics.

The thing that I am still unsure of is this difference between the .318 and the .323 bullet diameter of the 8 mm. Some posts I have read say that the modern ammunition uses .318 for the Mauser.

Whatever I get I will most likely also start handloading for it since that seems to be the way these things work out, hahahaha

I like the 30-06 for the flatter shooting but the 8mm seems to be right there in all aspects except the flat shooting at long (200 yards plus) ranges. I will mostly just use this rifle (and caliber) for white tails and making holes in paper (not bench shooting) at under 200 yards.

I recall my father had a mauser that has the slickest action of any of his many rifles and it was his deer rifle... (too bad when he died my uncle took it and I never saw it again and since I was really young I do not recall all the specs because if I did recall I'd have had one by now because it is still one of the finest rifles I ever saw, it was a sporterized 8 mm Mauser from WWII )...

I like the nine pages of ammo at MidwayUSA and the many more bullets you can get for the 30-06.. only one page at Midway USA for the 8mm and not many bullets offered at all.

Oh well decisions decisions.....
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Nope - you got it wrong.

Modern 8x57mm ammo has the .323" bullet. Has been since 1905 when the German military switched from the .318" to the .323" diameter.
 
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Are you

looking for a Mauser to build up or are you looking for one that is all ready done. There is a world of difference in the answer. You may well find a sporterized Mauser with that slick action all ready done in '06 or you can make/have made your own.
 

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in the real world the 8mm doesn't give up much to the '06... at normal hunting ranges it will treat you just fine!
jack is right about the possibility of finding a nicely done mauser in '06... they are out there.
 

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Put both in the same performance category on whitetails at 200 yards, with the right ammo. In other words, don't take any surplus FMJ ammo for the 8mm out after game expecting it to perform like modern factory 30-06 ammo with controlled expansion bullets.

Like kdub indicated, 0.323" bullets - not 0.318" - are what you are after. Make sure of the rifle you buy though. There might be a 0.318" bore out there somewhere.
 

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If you're going to handload, why not have the best of both worlds and find or build an 8mm/06? Take a standard 8x57 Mauser and ream out the chamber to 8x63. Brass will be easy to find and there are plenty of 8mm (.323") bullets out there to handle the shooting requirements you listed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, guys. That is helpful info. First though, whatever I get I'll be buying factory ammo to start. And yes I have seen some sporterized mausers in 30-06 and I have bid on them. I have also bid on some sporterized 8 mm. I hope those will be in the.323 dia.So to answer the other question,-----yes I am looking for rifles already sporterized. Other than auctionarms and gunsamerica anyone know of a good online source or any gunshops in western NY State? I really do like the mauser actions and I will not be bench shooting or shooting much beyond 200 yards in most cases.
 

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If you wind up buying an 8x57, be advised that the ammo commonly sold in this country is loaded to much lower pressures/velocity than what they sell in Europe. To get the best from either cartridge you'll need to reload, but even more so with the 8mm. Why not hand load from the start?
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks again guys. I probably would not reload from the start because: 1) I travel a lot and have many other obligations on my time, 2) I do not have an ideal reloading setup yet. I have to store then unpack the whole setup every time I embark on reloading. It is a royal pain. But until the barn/storage shed gets built I have a limited tiny workshop that is mostly for woodworking/home repairs. And that will not happen until summer. So yes I would be buying factory ammo for at least a while. I reload now for 50/90 and 357 mag but those are the only two I do now and I barely can get to those.

I live in the Finger Lakes area. Yes and thanks for the gunbroker recommendation, some attractive ones there. I think the best situation for me would be to find a Mauser done in 30-06, sporterized.... under $500...... or as I am sure someone will suggest: one of each!!! hahahaha
 

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Absolutely nothing wrong with an 8x57 in my opinion. Great deer gun (e.g., 170 Hornady RNs). That said, you may want it to be a iron-sighted brush gun because some of these military Mauser retrofits are a pain to scope.
 

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Thanks again guys. I probably would not reload from the start because: 1) I travel a lot and have many other obligations on my time, 2) I do not have an ideal reloading setup yet. I have to store then unpack the whole setup every time I embark on reloading. It is a royal pain. But until the barn/storage shed gets built I have a limited tiny workshop that is mostly for woodworking/home repairs. And that will not happen until summer. So yes I would be buying factory ammo for at least a while. I reload now for 50/90 and 357 mag but those are the only two I do now and I barely can get to those.

I live in the Finger Lakes area. Yes and thanks for the gunbroker recommendation, some attractive ones there. I think the best situation for me would be to find a Mauser done in 30-06, sporterized.... under $500...... or as I am sure someone will suggest: one of each!!! hahahaha
I settled on a load from Sellier & Bellot for both my 8X57s, which is a 196gr SPCE bullet at 2591 FPS for a muzzle energy of 2922 FPE. This load shoots well in both my guns and is not an expensive one either at about $25/box at Midway USA. There are also hot loads with premium 180gr & 200gr bullets made by Conley Precision Ammo and Stars & Stripes Ammo. How does a 180gr TSX bullet at over 2800 FPS sound? Unless you're looking at game larger than elk or moose, the old 8X57 with modern loads is a fine round for most all of N.A.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Excellent info, thanks!

Okay, after considerable searching I'm enamored with the 17 inch barreled Mausers sometimes called "tank" guns, sometimes called "carbines" or even M48 or M63. (too many terms)

I will take either a 8mm (8x57mm) or a 30-06. I did find one on a major auction website but it still has the military stock, has not been sporterized. Does anyone have any comments on these or do you know where I can get a sporterized version or where I could get the "sporter" stock for one of these short Mauser Carbines?
 

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Need to be aware of what you are buying, especially if it needs a new stock. The 98 pattern is the most common, but there are other action lengths. The M48 is it's own critter, shares the action dimensions with the Yugo 24/47 (not the Czech VZ24). You have large ring and small ring, also. Small rings are usually identified by a number slightly smaller than 98, ie., 93, 95, 96 et al which correspond to the year of introduction (1893, 1895, 1896, and so on). But not all.

So.... be sure and ask... if you find something you think you like. A .30-06 would most likely be found in a large ring 98 pattern, but at one time it was considered fashionable to build lightweight rifles on mexican mausers (small ring) guns.

There are commercial mausers in .30-06, and most likely those will be found marked as Parker-Hale or Interarms. The majority of those would be built on a Yugo receiver (will be marked as such, possibly under the stock line) and stocked in England. Those are generally pretty nice guns.

Tons of garage-gunsmith conversions out there, so beware.
 

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Loaded to adult pressures, the 8x57 gives up nothing to the 30-06, in terms of the most common hunting situations. They are, for practicality's sake, ballistic twins. Hence, it becomes more of a question of which caliber is more your style. The 30-06 is a great American standard, but there are really no flies on the 8x57 Mauser at all. So, do you like the .30 caliber, or do you like metrics?

I like the suggestion posed on a previous post: if you're going to handload anyway, then ream out the chamber to an 8mm-06. I took that route (actually, the AI version) on one of my Mausers, and have been pleased with the results...The 8mm-06 will give you a little more edge over the 30-06, with the availability of heavier bullets.

My $0.02...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I may or may not handload. As stated --- even if I end up reloading I will be buying factory ammo for at least a while... Plus I like having a caliber/round that is common. I guess I have traveled too much myself, been in backwoods tiny towns hunting or looking for ammo, and read too many books on safari hunting or travel hunting where one of the basic rules is --- use common calibers in the event your ammo gets lost or destroyed. 30-06 is readily available anywhere, in any gun shop in any state or even country. 8 x 57mm while not as ubiquitous as 30-06 is still a pretty common round, but rounds like the 8mm-06 not so.

Another driving force for this next gun acquisition is it needs to be a light weight or reasonably light weight hunting rifle. I also like 17 to 21 inch barrels because where I do often hunt it is thick woods, a lot of thorns and tangle, and it is VERY steep, uneven terrain. Combined it drives for compact, lighter weight hunting rifles with low mag light weight scopes.

I really like those M98 Mausers with the 17 inch barrels. But I have only seen military ones and none that have been sporterized. Ideally I'd find one sporterized already because from the posts I've read here and other places it can be very tricky finding the right stock and getting it to fit properly.
 

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I really like those M98 Mausers with the 17 inch barrels. But I have only seen military ones and none that have been sporterized. Ideally I'd find one sporterized already because from the posts I've read here and other places it can be very tricky finding the right stock and getting it to fit properly.
You can buy any multitude of mausers and simply screw on a 17" barrel if thats what you want. Why make it harder than it needs to be looking for an original thats been sporterized? Buy a junker, clean her up, slap a barrel on it and be done with it. It will probably come out as a wash price-wise and theres plenty of resources out there that can walk you through the process if you dont feel comfortable. Its winter, what else is there to do anyhow:p:D?
 

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A resourceful friend of mine once cut off the end of a military barrel with a hack saw. He then chucked up a large, pan-head bolt in a drill motor and used valve lapping compound to create a smooth finish for the crown. A little cold blue made it look nice and it shot less than 2" at 100 yards. Cutting a barrel down is not a big deal, even if you pay someone else to do it, professionally.
 
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