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Location: Colorado Springs
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8mm-06

Does anyone have a 8mm-06 and if so, have you used it for big game hunting?  I'm purchasing a mauser and want to improve the action to 8-06.  My Sierra manual suggests it will match the 30-06, but I'd like some first hand info prior to investing.  Thanks,

Tndeerhunter's picture
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8X57

To each their own, but the old 8X57 pretty much matches the venerable '06 now, if you look at loads by manufacturers other than our big three. I own two 8X57s and shoot a Sellier & Bellot load that's a 196gr bullet at 2592 FPS. That equates to over 2900 FPE at the muzzle. The cost? $25/box. There are also 180gr TSX loads (over 2800 FPS & 3150 FPE!) and 200gr TSX (over 2570 FPS & 2900 FPE!) available from Stars & Stripes ammo and other loaders such as Nosler and Conley produce ammo with premium bullets as well. Wisconsin Cartridge Company loads a nice 170gr SP at 2500 FPS for a decent deer load too @ only $20/box.  (This lighter load is slightly hotter than a typical .300 Savage load)

One of my rifles is a sporterized M98, left in 8X57 and the other is a Rem 700 Classic in the fine old cartridge. In my eyes the 8X57 is already the equal of the 30/06 with a slightly larger diameter bullet.  Yes

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Thanks TN, I was hoping to

Thanks TN, I was hoping to hear something like that.  Now I have to find a gunsmith to perform the improvement.  I don't suppose you put an aftermarket stock on one of your rifles?  If so, if you don't mind, could you tell me which one you installed and where you go it?  Internet or private sale?  Thanks,

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8x57

The stock on one of mine is an aftermarket stock, but was installed before I got the rifle. The first thing you'd need to do is figure out what type your Mauser is. There are a couple different versions, but it is important to know, when buying a stock whether they are small or large ring Mauser actions. The other stocks on my M98s are custom made stocks.

Stocks are normally very easy to find, from $69 Ramlines to as high as you'd want to go. Some places to check would be Midway USA and even Cabelas as large retailers. Some decent wood stock manufacturers/retailers would be Boyds and Stockeys. They both make very reasonably priced walnut fully inletted  stocks for Mauser actions, sometimes as low as $80.

A lot of people might tell you to buy an inexpensive new rifle rather than sporterizing an old Mauser, as it's more cost effective. I feel the M98 to be a superior action and if you can find a nice one already done, or nice enough to do some work to it yourself, you'll have a very fine rifle. I found one sporterized nicely and left in 8x57 a few years ago ($375) and another that was very nicely done and rebarreled to .308 ($365) after continually searching for them.

My three M98s are among the favorites in my collection and one full custom M98 is simply the finest rifle I own. Good luck and I hope you're able to find one already done nicely or ready for some work to suit your needs!  Thumbs up

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8mm-06 load data

Hi AFHunter, I have done a fair bit of work with the 8mm-06.  Here are some of the loads (barrel 24"):

Varget / fed 210 / Win case / Sierra 175gr

57gr 2880fps (duplicates velocities in my 8x57)

58gr 2920fps (accurate)

59gr 2980fps (max, accurate)

H4895 / fed 210 / Win case / Sierra 175gr

55gr 2860fps

56gr 2900fps (accurate)

57gr 2980fps (max)

COAL was always 83mm as the Mauser magazine's are 84mm (divide by 25.4 for Imperial) which dictates cartridge length.  The throat on my rifle was long, the chamber was cut with an original reamer from the hey day of the 8mm-06.  If I recall, bullet jump was around 4 or 5mm, pretty similar to the bullet jump in .308 Win in sporting rifles. The loads above are probably considered hot today, I haven't even checked them against any modern manuals.  Back then, I think I used Vernon Speer's No.5 Manual as a referrence which is considered to be pretty 'out there' these days.

Back when the 165gr Norma PPC was available, I had a good hard hitting load using 57gr H4895 for 3020fps, group size was .75MOA. Couldn't ask for a better medium game / woods bullet.

Although the loads above are listed in 1 grain increments, use half grain increments for accuracy testing.

My 8mm-06 was a straight 8x57 M98, sporterised and rechambered to the 8mm-06 which tidied up the throat and was a pleasure to work with.  I had a lot of fun with that rifle, shot a lot of game but no heavy game.

I would suggest, the 8mm-06 is something to build if you have an action and or ex military barrel on hand and want to explore and enjoy the 8mm bore size for no more reason than the fact that you can.   The 8mm-06 does not stack up against the .30-06 as the .30 cal projectiles have much high BC's and a huge range of bullet weights and styles to suit a wide variety of tasks making it much more versatile than the 8mm bore. So again, If you go ahead with the project, it is best enjoyed on its own merits.  Its a great opportunity to own and shoot a bore size with a long history, along with a wildcat case which has is own history and story to tell.

I used to use my rifle for woods type hunting Red deer and also across valleys, I think the longest shot I took was around 400 yards.  The cartridge never let me down.  I considered it to be a real power house as a woods cartridge, loaded with the 200 grain Speer over 56 grains of Varget for 2760fps, could take any medium sized game end to end, plenty of stopping power, though not so good on light or lean animals. The 165gr PPC was better on lean game.  I felt that woods and clearings was the 8mm's fortay, forgiving with shot placement on fleeting shots, I very much enjoyed it.  Ultimately, the rifle was sold so I could continue research on other cartridges as part of our business, I still miss the 8mm-06 but I would never argue that it was equal to or better than the .30-06 now that there are less projectiles available for the 8mm, while the projectile choice for the .30-06 keeps growing.  I just enjoyed it.

Hope that helps for a start.  Nathan.

P.S- way back, I managed to obtain some of the old Norma 200gr BTHP bullets.  These were as frangible as the A-Max, with a BC of right on .500 if I recall, like a Vintage Berger.

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8mm-06

I have several 8mm-06 rifles, they don't provide anything that the 8x57 doesn't do.

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Thanks for all the info. 

Thanks for all the info.  Excuse my ignorance, but some of you have suggested that the 8x57 as is, matches the 8-06??  My Sierra manual would suggest that a 8-06 exceeds the 8x57 by nearly 200 f.p.s. with a 175 gr. bullet.  Are you suggesting that the 8x57 is capable of big game hunting without improving it to 8-06?  What I'm really trying to do with this rifle is make it a Elk rifle.  As of now, I hunt with a 25-06 and have done so for several years.  When I get my new Mauser, I want to sporterize it and use it for Elk hunting in the southern Colorado mountains.

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8X57 for elk

I've never hunted elk sized game with either of my 8X57s, but with factory loads that are easily available with numbers like a 196gr bullet @ 2592 giving well over 2900 FPE, I don't know how it couldn't be a great elk rifle. There are now (due to the popularity of the .325WSM) some superior 200gr bullets loaded as well, such as a 200gr Accubond, 200gr NP and 200gr TSX.

Conley shows velocities of well over 2600 FPS with all three of these loads. They are not inexpensive, but if you decided to handload you should be able to come close to their numbers. Even if you do not, that Sellier & Bellot 196gr load @ 2592 or a similar one from Prvi Partizan would make for a fine load or at least a great practice one at less than $25/box and then you could amp it up for your actual hunt load with Conley's or Nosler's stuff.   Thumbs up

These loads in the 8X57 show way superior SD to a 180gr '06 load while also giving more energy. Go to Midway USA site and take a look at both the loads available and the reviews for them. Pay particular attention to the Nosler Custom Ammo reviews under both sections. Interesting stuff!

For some reason they (Midway) list their 8X57 under two different names (both the modern .323 size) one is listed as:  8X57mm JS Mauser (.323 diameter)  and the other is: 8X57mm Mauser (8mm Mauser) This is the exact same chambering, simply double listed.  

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The 8mm-06 came about when

The 8mm-06 came about when shooters wanted to shoot their 8x57 mausers but there were not able to find the ammo so they necked up the 30-06 case to 8mm.  So bullet for bullet they are close to being equal.  Now if I wanted to turn that 8x57mm into a elk round I'd load up some Barnes 160 or 180 TSX bullets and go after some elk.    

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The other posters have given

The other posters have given you some good info if you decide to go 8mm-06.  Personally I think the marginal increase in performance wouldn't be worth the conversion, plus having to form the upsized brass from 30-06.  8mm Mauser is a good cartridge especially in the hands of someone willing to work up a good load.  I may be wrong on this but I'm pretty sure that any of the newer .325 bullets should be fine in the older 8x57.

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Well, if all you want is an

Well, if all you want is an Elk rifle and you don't have a particular itch to build or experiment with an 8mm-06, then definitely stay with the 8x57.  I was getting between 100 and 150fps extra with the 06 case.  Whether you need the extra velocity is perhaps a personal decision although range does comes into it.  If you are going to be doing a fair bit of 300 yard work, the 06 case could be the go.

The one aspect of using the parent 57mm case and not wildcatting the cartridge, is that you will have an opportunity to preserve and experience a piece of history.  That alone is worth something.  Resale value of an 8x57 will be higher than an 8mm-06, especially as time goes by and we start running out of replacement VZ barrels.

If you have a look at my notes at the top, I put in brackets that I was getting 2880fps with the 175 grain Sierra from my 8x57. My favorite load for light animals was the 150 grain Hornady at 2980fps.  I should have some data here for the 200 grain Speer as well, that was a good thumper in the 8x57.  The newer Nosler BT and Barnes bullets have higher BC's than the older stuff and offer quite a wide range of performance.  No matter which way you go, I think you will enjoy the experience.   Its nice to meet a hunter in the hills carrying something a liitle different, especially these days.