Handloads: An Easy-Recoiling 8 mm Mauser

posted on April 5, 2022
8 mm Mauser

Most Americans identify it simply as the 8 mm Mauser, but it has also been referred to as 7.92x57 mm Mauser, 8x57 mm Mauser, 8x57 mm JS and 8x57 mm S. To further complicate matters, the 8 mm Mauser and .30-’06 Sprg. were both originally military cartridges similar enough in appearance to cause a mix-up. At least one box of old Winchester Super Speed 8x57 mm Mauser cartridges contained a warning: “8 mm cartridges should not under any circumstances be used in rifles chambered for .30 Govt. ’06 or .30 Govt. ’03 cartridges.” Confusion aside, 8 mm Mauser is one of the most influential cartridges in history—its case is the basis for many cartridges, including 7x57 mm Mauser.

8 mm Mauser specsAmerican factory cartridges are loaded with 170-grain bullets at low pressure to safeguard against the 0.323" bullets being fired in a pre-1905 bore measuring 0.318". Remington Express 170-grain Core-Lokt SP bullets have a stated velocity of 2,360 f.p.s., but the loads registered 1,839 f.p.s. from the 19.75" barrel of a unique 8 mm Mauser-chambered Mannlicher-Schoenauer Model 1908. (The Model 1908 was supposed to have been chambered in only 7x57 mm Mauser and 8x56 mm Mannlicher-Schoenauer.)

Handloads can increase that speed considerably. The Model 1908 fired Hornady 195-grain InterLock SP bullets at 2,448 f.p.s. loaded with 47.0 grains of Varget and 2,514 f.p.s. using 48.0 grains of W748. I settled on the Hornady bullet at 2,271 f.p.s. using 46.0 grains of N150. The slightly slower speed eases recoil from the Model 1908, which weighs slightly more than 6 lbs., and does not make a difference in striking power given the rifle’s aperture rear sight and my aged eyes.


Luger questions and answers column american rifleman gun pistol handgun left side view details inset within image
Luger questions and answers column american rifleman gun pistol handgun left side view details inset within image

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