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Old January 6, 2013, 11:57 AM   #1
lordhedgwich
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1888 commission mauser

a few weeks ago in a pawn shop i saw an 1888 commission mauser in 8mm for 150 bucks. I didnt really look at much as it was not what i was looking for at the time but now im curious. Is that a good deal? do they shoot well? do then handle modern 8mm loads fine?
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Old January 6, 2013, 01:16 PM   #2
MikeG
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I believe that the G88 is considered as not strong enough to handle modern 8mm loads. The action lacks the safety lug that the Mausers had in later models. Also the bore is tighter, which would raise pressures higher. The G88 and early mausers with tight bores are why SAAMI spec 8mm is weaker and has a slightly smaller diameter bullet.

I have one which was rebarreled by the Turks to later bore specs, but I still am careful with it.
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Old January 6, 2013, 01:33 PM   #3
jimbob86
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Original condidtion 88's had a .318" bore and a 36K CUP limit.

Many, including mine, were "Turked" (Germany gave huge numbers of various guns to Turkey, and that nation modified many of them.) Mine has a .323 bore, the reciever ring has a small notch in it and the rear of the reciever (back where the "bridge" is on more modern designs) has notches milled in it so issue 8mm ammo w/ spitzer bullets in 5 round stripper clips could be used.... Turkey just did not care about the safety of it's troops very much, apparently..... when I got it, it had headspace issues, and Bubba had given it his attention .... the stock refinished, barrel shroud removed and the barrel chopped to 19" ..... I spent too much money to get it shootable, and now I basicly have an oddball caliber 30/30 bolt gun with a long (though butter smooth) trigger and glacial lock time ..... It IS kinda cool shooting a gun that was made when Benjamin Harrison was President!
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Old January 6, 2013, 01:40 PM   #4
PetahW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordhedgwich
do then handle modern 8mm loads fine?
Lemme see, 120+ years-old metal that may have been subjected to who knows what stress since it was made, of metal nowhere near as strong as a modern steel, with an action that has virtually none of the Mauser's safety features as regards gas handling, etc ....................................

If you make it your gun - your health, your choice.

FWIW, all 8mm's weren't created equal, and neither were all 8x57's.


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Old January 6, 2013, 02:07 PM   #5
lordhedgwich
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So if i dont load is there any ammo i can buy for it? if not then is 150 a good price for these types of rifles?
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Old January 6, 2013, 02:24 PM   #6
jimbob86
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If it is in unaltered condition, $150 is a great price as far as collectors are concerned.

As a shooter, you'd be better served with a $150 Mosin.

Quote:
FWIW, all 8mm's weren't created equal, and neither were all 8x57's.
This is so.

American commercial 8x57 ammo is pretty anemic, in deference to all the weaker guns chambered for it out there.

Milsurp amd European 8x57 is loaded much hotter..... would be bad ju-ju for an Gew88.

Here is some reading for those interested:

http://parallaxscurioandrelicfirearm....com/forums/92

This used to be a separate site, IIRC ...... now run by yuku
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Old January 6, 2013, 04:22 PM   #7
lordhedgwich
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i already have a mosin haha maybe i will just save a bit more and get another 8mm maybe a yugo m48 would prolly be a better shooter anyway
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Old January 7, 2013, 01:41 PM   #8
mapsjanhere
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And as as reminder, Mauser had nothing to do with that abomination that was the Gewehr 1888. Mauser designed the 1871 and 1893 etc, but the 1888 was done by committee, as a rapid response to the introduction of the French 1886 Lebel.
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Old January 7, 2013, 05:08 PM   #9
tater134
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If the bolt has the bolt head, ejector, and extractor its a very good buy at $150. These guns have incredibly smooth actions and all the ones I have owned have been excellent shooters. Before I reloaded my own ammo I used Remington 8x57 in my 88 since it is loaded pretty light.
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Old January 9, 2013, 02:44 PM   #10
James K
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An awful lot has been written about the Commission rifle, mostly wrong.

First, it is not a Mauser. But it certainly shows the ancestry of the M 71, which was a Mauser. It was also influenced by the Mannlicher system and used a five round en-bloc clip which entered the action and dropped out the bottom when empty (unlike the top ejection of the M1 (Garand) rifle's clip).

Then there is the much discussed matter of barrel inside diameter. The orignal dimensions were a .311' (7.9 mm) bore and a .318" (8.08 mm) groove diameter. But the Germans found that such low lands wore out quickly in use due to the combination of corrosive primers, hot smokeless powder and steel jacketed bullets. So, in 1905, shortly after a new rifle (the Model 98) was adopted, they adopted a new cartridge with a larger diameter bullet and deepened the grooves to .323". Bore diameter remained .311", giving the new rifling a depth of .006", deep enough to prevent the problems with the earlier shallow rifling. (Groove depth of a U.S. .30 rifle is .004, giving a groove diameter and bullet diameter of .308")

Model 98 rifles were recalled and rebarrelled. But that was not done with the millions of Model 88's still in reserve service. The Germans found that firing the new bullets through the old barrels did not create a severe pressure problem, but the fact that the new case neck had nowhere to expand did.

So the Germans (not the Turks) modified millions of Model 88's to use the new "stripper" clips, ran a new reamer into the chamber to expand the chamber neck, stamped S on the receiver to show that the rifle could be used with the new "S" bullet, and re-issued the rifles to the reserves.

The rifles were not rebarrelled, the barrels were not rebored or re-rifled.

Ammunition confusion was not an issue; the converted rifles could not use the old ammo, which was in en-bloc clips, and the unconverted rifles could not use the new ammo, which was in stripper clips.

So, can a converted Model 88 be safely fired with standard WWII 7.9 ammunition or equivalent? A qualified yes, but those rifles, after all, are at least 114 years old and have been used, abused, worked over, and worked on by several generations of armorers, gunsmiths, wannabe gunsmiths, hobbyists, and bubbas. So, I have to advise caution.

Jim
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Old January 10, 2013, 02:12 PM   #11
lordhedgwich
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ok james so i have 50/50 telling me yes and no lol if i did get this rifle at some point would it be better to shoot winchester or remington 170 gr than like ppu that is normally 196gr
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Old January 10, 2013, 02:19 PM   #12
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European 8x57 is loaded much hotter than Remington's 8x57. I wouldn't.
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Old January 10, 2013, 08:49 PM   #13
James K
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I have fired regular WWII 7.9 German ball through mine with no sign of excess pressure; the groove diameter slugs about .319". A .323" bullet is .005" oversize for a .318" groove diameter, not a big deal. The effect of an oversize bullet in raising pressure has been greatly exaggerated. At 40-50k psi, a bullet acts a bit like silly putty, pretty well shaping itself to whatever surrounds it.

There was some variation in those rifles and evidence that they gradually deepened the grooves over the years even before going to the new bullet, apparently trying to minimize wear even at the expense of accuracy or power. One report says that when converting those rifles they picked the ones with somewhat larger groove diameter, which makes sense.

The chamber neck diameter is more critical, which is why they ran a reamer into the chamber. If they had loaded the new round, with its larger bullet (and of course larger case neck) into the original chamber, the neck would not have had room to expand and the result would have been high pressure.

Jim
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