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Old August 18, 2011, 10:37 PM   #1
Josh Smith
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Let's Talk Reloading the 8mm (7.92) Mauser...


I just ordered 20 pieces of brass, 50 200 grain 0.318" soft point bullets, and dies for my new, 119-year-old Gewehr 88.

From what I gather on numerous boards, since mine is "S" marked, it can theoretically take 0.323" bullets, but because it slugs to 0.316" or so, I'm not going to risk it.

Additionally, I've read that the locking lugs and overall steel aren't as strong as the later Mauser, so it needs to be loaded back, 2000fps to 2500fps max.

In looking at the data on Hodgdon's website, it looks like two of my favorite powders, Varget and H4895, are used on both the 8mm Mauser and the 7.62x54R, so one of the two make logistic sense for me to use.

Looks like my shell holder for my .45acp will work just fine on the Mauser round, as well.

So, recipes folks? Or do you just use the starting loads?

I can't wait to take a few shots from this ol' warhorse!

Any advice is appreciated.


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Old August 18, 2011, 10:47 PM   #2
Ideal Tool
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Hello, Josh. If that is the rifle you posted pics looks to be a nice one. However, that is a pretty old one..If it were mine, I would probably stick to cast bullets. That is all I use in my Krags & early 1903..they will equal or even surpass jacketed bullet accuracy if you do your part..and I know they are safe!
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Old August 19, 2011, 03:36 AM   #3
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For that old rifle, I would agree that it would be a good idea to use cast lead bullets, possibly over a bulky powder like TrailBoss. Or, since you already have the .318" bullets coming, use them with Trail Boss.
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Old August 19, 2011, 04:06 PM   #4
Ideal Tool
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Hello again Josh. I went back & re-read your post. You said when you took a .310" dia. lead bullet, it rode lands most of the way then dropped. Are you saying you inserted it in muzzle & pushed towards breech? If so, this was a fairly common problem in the early 1900 military rifles. The powders were usually faster & hotter burning than todays, the pressure reached it's peak about 6-12" in front of chamber..and that is where erosion took it's toll on the bore. I had this same thing on an 1896 Krag. Bore wouldn,t brighten up no matter how I cleaned. The NECO fire-lapping kits were just coming out then, a gunsmith friend gave me one. Following the instructions I fire-lapped that bore & it now is bright and shiny. But more important..that loose spot is really doesn't take much..bore slugged .309 before lapping, .310 after. It will group in 1" at 100yds. with cast bullet loads.
Before I did anything though..I would first try it with cast..since it's .318..perhaps a .32 mould would work..if you sized to .320".
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Old August 20, 2011, 09:40 AM   #5
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The land to land diameter of the later "S" bore .323 Mausers is the same as the earlier .318 bore mausers, the only difference is groove to groove diameter.

The Germans did this so that the new "S" bore rifles could accuracy fire the older 7.91mm bullets. "S" stands for "spitzer" btw.

Shooting a 318 bullet will be safe, but keep the pressures low. Trailboss is a good powder, although some folks swear by 13grains of Red Dot.

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