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Old January 4, 2011, 08:02 AM   #1
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The best milsurp 8mm Mauser ammo?

I have an old Argentine 8mm Mauser and I am looking for reliable milsurp ammo for it. There will be a local gun show in a couple of weeks and I want to avoid the problems I had with the last batch. About 50% of that failed to fire. It is steel cased, has a red ring on the bullet at the neck of the cartridge that I assume is a waterproofing agent, and has a "22" on one side of the base and "73" on the other

So, the question is, does anyone know which of the former manufacturers have reliable ammo? I don't care if it is Berdan primed or not, I just want shootable 8mm. Is there a thread indicating which former Soviet block has good ammo?

Thanks and happy shooting.
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Old January 4, 2011, 09:32 AM   #2
F. Guffey
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Do not have a clue, if I was looking for cheap/reliable ammo I would Goggle 8mm ammo.

For me the price of 8mm57 is never an issue, I purchase 30/06 cases for from ..01 cent each to as much as .08 cents each, then form to 8mm57 etc..

As to the failure to fire, you need to look at the firing pin strike on the primers, a good strike will crater the primer, if the round does not fire the primer stays that way, if it fires the pressure inside the primer will wrap it around the firing pin, if the firing pin spring is weak the pressure inside the primer will punch a hole in the primer.

Not confusing but most Argentine Mausers are 7.65mm53, many of those were chambered to 30/06 (a stretch), it could be possible to chamber an 8mm57 in an Argentine rifle that has been chambered to 30/06. With that combination and with a loose extractor (or what ever problem it could have) the round is not head spacing on the shoulder and or extractor, then we go back to the beginning, the light primer strike.

It is possible to render your rifle scrap if 8mm57 ammo is fired a 30/06 chamber,

Back to the Argentine in 7.65mm53, an 8mm57 is too long to chamber and the bullet will jam in the the throat, the bolt will not close,,,even if the loader is persistent and real good at closing the bolt.

I have purchased 8mm57 Turkish ammo, 70 rounds for $4.70, I have been told those days are gone, too many of the cases split through the body. no complaint with 2,900 fps +. I pulled the bullets and saved the powder, then I loaded formed cases with boxer primers to get away from the Berdan primers, I reduced the powder charge as much as 5 grains.

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Old January 4, 2011, 09:38 AM   #3
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I have an old Argentine 8mm Mauser and I am looking for reliable milsurp ammo for it. There will be a local gun show in a couple of weeks and I want to avoid the problems I had with the last batch. About 50% of that failed to fire. It is steel cased, has a red ring on the bullet at the neck of the cartridge that I assume is a waterproofing agent, and has a "22" on one side of the base and "73" on the other
The best lots I used, which were Portuguese, are long gone.

Surplus ammunition comes in and is gone like the tide.

Surplus military ammunition is on the market for two reasons: No one uses it anymore and it is so old they want to get the stuff out of their bunkers before it starts fires.

Ammunition has a shelf life. The US Army scraps single based at 45 years, double based at 20 years. If the ammunition was stored in hot/wet conditions it deteriorates even faster.

When buying the stuff look for the latest production and no corrosion on the outside of the case. Outside of that, look for forum postings about complaints.
If I'm not shooting, I'm reloading.
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Old January 4, 2011, 12:16 PM   #4
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F. Guffy,

I will double check the barrel to see but I am confident it is 8mm Mauser, however, one can never be too careful. This rifle came from my brother and is payback for a debt, more or less. He knows nothing about firearms but I will verify what it is and repost.

Your comments about forming 8mm Mauser from 30.06 sounds interesting. I shoot the M1 Garand and have plenty of brass. I will have to Google that since I know nothing about it. Thank you for the input. In addition, I will take a look at the bolt assembly and the firing pin impressions on the rounds.

I was doing some online reading and there are questionable lots of 8mm as well as some that seem to be more dependable. Of course, I could always start reloading for that round too. Only recently mastered the 30.06 for my Garand. Another winter project? I wasn't looking for the cheapest, since that is usually the oldest. I was just looking for something reliable and maybe milsurp and reliable shouldn't be in the same sentence?

Thank you both for your help.
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Old January 4, 2011, 12:32 PM   #5
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I like the Yugo. I think they were producing it right up to when the nation split up, and perhaps afterward in Serbia. It comes in little cardboard boxes with white labels I can't read, and shoots well. Some of the later stuff may be noncorrosive, but I always clean as if it is.

Or you could pick up some new-production Prvi, which is essentially the same thing in commercial packaging, and is certainly noncorrosive.

The M75 sniper ammo is nice, but I bought mine when it was far cheaper than what it seems to go for now. I have only seen a marginal improvement in accuracy over the standard Yugo 8mm with it, but I have only shot milsurps with iron sights. The difference may be more apparent when using other rifles.
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Last edited by B. Lahey; January 4, 2011 at 12:39 PM.
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Old January 4, 2011, 12:40 PM   #6
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I believe the ammo you describe is Romanian surplus from the 70's (the 73 on the headstamp should be the manufacture date). I have not seen any 8x57 milsurp that is newer than the Romanian. It may be out there, but I have not seen it. Aim Surplus has the Romanian priced at $100 for 340 rounds plus shipping. For that price, I think I would reload and avoid the corrosive primers and steel cases. I shoot the 50's Yugo stuff (corrosive but brass cased), but I got it significantly cheaper than 30+ cents a round. I too had trouble with fail-to-fires until I replaced the firing pin spring with a Wolff spring.
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Old January 4, 2011, 01:15 PM   #7
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The best 8mm surplus I ever found was the stuff that came in those big green cans, like 300+ per can, two cans in a wooden crate. The brass was green. I wish I still had a few of those cans left. Supply of it seemed to have dried up about 5 years ago.
The worst was the first case i ever bought, I wound up inspecting each of the 1200 rounds, and over half I wasn't comfortable shooting, due to corroded brass, loose crimps, loose enough to pull the bullet by hand, at the very least you could twist the bullet in the case. Some shells were bent. I pulled the bullets, and had fun burning off the powder.

Look for the stuff in the green cans, green brass. Someone here probably knows exactly where it originated from, I can't remember anymore.
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Old January 4, 2011, 01:52 PM   #8
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I had assumed that the 73 was the manufacture date and it does seem like a firing pin spring is in order. I use Wolff all the time for my semi-auto pistol needs so I am familiar with their products.

To all,
Thank you all for the replies. Good information, especially the 30.06 formed 8mm brass. I like reloading so I may go that route. Still up in the air on that. Thank you for input on ammo and springs.

Last edited by grumpa72; January 4, 2011 at 02:11 PM.
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Old January 4, 2011, 11:46 PM   #9
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I had 8mm 90s yugo, tuned for M76 sniper rifles or whatever, that was fine. It went bang every time on the first go-round.
I had 8mm 50s yugo from 54,55 and it went bang (mostly) with my K98s and Hakim. They all went bang the second time I tapped them.

50s stuff was much cheaper.

I thought that the commercial S&B 8mm was pretty good.
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Old January 5, 2011, 11:03 PM   #10
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If you can find it, the best is the M75 sniper ammo. I also find that the 1970's Yugo with the orange coated primers is great. I also like the 1980's Romanian but it is pretty dirty ammo.
In a bolt gun, I have never had problems with Turk - it has been hot, sure fire ammo for me.
The only 8mm that I have ever had problems with is the 1930-40's Greek and the 1950's Yugo. Both had numerous misfires.
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Old January 9, 2011, 05:11 PM   #11
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I got home today, broke out the Mauser and it has a stamp "cal 7.92" on the left side of the barrel, forward of the receiver. In addition, it isn't Argentine - it is Spanish and states "Fabrica de Arms Las Caruna 1954". I used this website

to break the bolt down and the firing pin channel is clear, no gunk anywhere in the bolt. All of the parts got cleaned, oiled and reassembled. I will be ordering a new spring from Wolff and will install that to see if it improves the firing percentage of this ammo.

Thanks for all of your help.
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Old January 18, 2011, 09:55 PM   #12
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Sure glad you corrected that. I had never heard of an "Argentine 8mm" I have 7 or 8 Argentine Mausers, '91's and '09's rifles and carbines, all are

About 10 years ago I bought some really good 8mm from Aim Surplus, bright brass cases, bright copper lead core bullets, and all consistant fire. It is loong gone now. but boy it is good stuff.
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Old January 19, 2011, 08:02 AM   #13
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well, it had Spanish on it and I no hablar espanol and thought it Argentine. It pays to have the internet to look things up.

Btw to all, I fired my gun show ammo and it is brass and boxer primed. That is a surprise. The headstamp date is 1978. No idea if it is corrosive but I will treat it as such, at least for cleaning the barrel.
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Old January 19, 2011, 03:15 PM   #14
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Yugo M24/47

I got a yugo M24/47 for $80 and 100 rounds of some 1950s Yugo ammo with silver bullets (nickel chrome I think). With the old firing pin spring, the old Yugo ammo would not fire but about one in ten rounds.

A new Wolf spring made that ammo fire about seven in ten, but about thirty rounds are just duds.

I bought some 1970s romanian ammo from aim surplus and it fires 100%.
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