Confession!

In the spirit of transparency and honesty I must submit another confession.

I am jealous.  Actually, envious.  In my own defense, I’m envious in a good way.  I seek to merit such a position by my own hard work and application.  Not that I want to cheat someone else out of theirs.

I envy Amos Van Hoesen in the cartoon strip “9 Chickweed Lane” by Brooke McEldowney.  If you do not understand this, you don’t read the strip.  Or you lack a soul.  Whatever.

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Gun Show: Personal Report

The weekend of  17th & 18th March 2018 featured the Hastings (Nebraska) Spring Gun Show.  It is produced by the Four Rivers Sportsmen Club – of which I am a member – and is the largest gun show in the state of Nebraska.

Your correspondent rented a table for selling and trading various items of interest to the shooting fraternity, including grips and holsters for handguns and a few firearms.

The show seemed to be a success.  The vendors attending – and paying for tables – seemed to be at least satisfied (some were jubilant), the attending people purchased a goodly number of various firearms and accessories.   We (the club, as show producers) don’t keep track of sales of ‘stuff’ or purchasers.  No one seemed down or sad about the conduct or substance of the show, save that – as always – there were folks whose desires exceeded their budget.  Your humble servant included.

Your humble servant had a good show. Rid one’s self of most the ‘stuff’ desired to move.  Not sales so much, but – in my eyes – very good trades for things I wanted.

Of note, I acquired three rifles.  These were all sporting rifles of classic design.  All three were non-commercial assembled rifles based on the 1903 Springfield action.  This action was based on the 1898 Mauser action, considered the wellspring of bolt action design.  All three were restocked nicely with real wood and classic designs.  Two of the three had been rebarreled, the third probably so.  The metal parts were all three nicely finished and reblued.

One rifle is in caliber .30-06 Springfield, of course.

One rifle is in caliber .45-70 Springfield.

One is in caliber .458 Winchester Magnum.

So far, I haven’t done any reloading work or shooting.  Range time is still ‘iffy’ due to weather.  For that matter, I don’t have loading dies for either .45 caliber, but they are on order.  The .30-06 rifle lacks an appropriate rear sight.  All mere details, you understand.  Progress and results to follow, of course.

 

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Two Books for Riflemen and Hunters.

I have recently read two books on rifles. Interestingly, both are written on the subject of hunting large animals. They were written some sixty-three years apart and they seem to agree about many things. Time has indeed changed some of the technical differences, but they are remarkably in harmony regarding much.

The first (earliest) book is Keith’s Rifles for Large Game, by none other than the late Elmer Keith; published first in A. D. 1946.  The second (later) book is Dangerous Game Rifles (Second Edition) by Terry Weiland; 2009.

Elmer Keith is a legend in shooting history.  He was an experimenter in the development of cartridges and firearms design (he didn’t design them, just told designers what was needed and wanted).  He wrote a great deal about what he learned the hard way,  Like slogging through snow and actually killing large animals; some who would eat him if he failed.  His biography isn’t hard to find and should be explored by those who fancy themselves knowledgable of firearms.

Terry Wieland is not as well known (to me, anyway) but has a goodly amount of shooting and hunting experience.  He has hunted and killed all manner of large game such as North American large critters and a couple of Cape Buffalo and Elephant in Africa.  He has experimented with large game bullets and discussed shortcomings with makers and designers of such bullets.  He is a skilled observer and a good writer.  Look him up as well.

Keith’s book is somewhat dated.  Published – this edition – in 1946 – the book does not address developments following.  F’rinstance, the .308 Winchester is not mentioned.  A number of currently made bullets are absent and some of the bullets (for reloading) he mentions are no longer made.  Still the idea of what is needed for various types of hunting is discussed and the concepts are still quite valid.  A rifle for heavy brush and timbered areas must be fast to shoulder and fire.  A rifle to be carried all day should be light (relatively).  Nothing shocking when one considers the ideas, but some ideas possibly not considered previously.  Some views contrary to views assumed.

One should understand that Keith grew up in a time and place where one hunted to eat.  Perhaps a trophy might be collected as well, but the primary reason for killing an animal was to supply dinner to self and family.  Not taking game meant eating oatmeal all winter.  Or not eating at all.  Keith’s attitude was when hunting, one had to succeed.  When an animal was only wounded, one needed to follow it and finish the job.  To do otherwise was to fail in one’s endeavor and to allow a game animal to die slowly and or be wasted was inhumane and dishonorable.

Weiland is more contemporaneous.  He most likely does not have to go find an animal in order to eat.  He does have the hunter instinct, which he channels into hunting dangerous animals.  This is the same drive which others channel into  crime, violent crime and other less threatening pursuits like street racing and climbing buildings and statues.  He is also aware the dangerous animals can easily kill him should the opportunity arise.  I presume he is motivated to NOT allow the opportunity.

 

I note there are many similarities.

They both prescribe reliable rifles.  Not exactly the same rifles, as the times and technology is different.  Both writers prefer ‘simple’ mechanisms as the more complicated the clockwork, the more chance of malfunction.   Both seem to suggest matching accuracy to the target involved.  No point to demanding a rifle that shoots one inch groups at three hundred yards if the target is a six inch circle at one hundred, fifty yards.  Especially if that extra accuracy makes the arm or ammunition less reliable.

Both authors like heavy, large caliber rifles for most uses.  Interestingly, both authors show a preference for the same quality by do not mention it by name:  Sectional Density.  Both talk of ‘heavy, long bullets’, but do not mention (directly) the relationship of bullet weight to bullet diameter.  Keith even mentions the 6.5 Mannlicher-Schonauer with ‘heavy’ (one hundred sixty grain) bullet as a serious large game caliber.  Both authors speak of bullet and velocity combinations which penetrate deeply.

Both books cover subjects like types of actions and to some degree, sighting systems.  Both present some ideas counter intuitive, like iron sights are superior to telescopic sights (in some conditions) and ‘faster’ is not always better than ‘slower’ (again depending on conditions).

 

Both are quite readable given the reader is interested in the subject.  The Keith book is perhaps the more difficult as the language is based on American English prior to the Second World War.  Which is not to say Wieland speaks slangy or in ‘rap’ style.  Both are quite detailed when the subject demands.  Both are well worth reading for any rifleman.

 

Both books are available from Amazon at various prices depending on one’s tastes.  I do not think either are still in print although the Wieland book is available new.  Just for transparency, I have no financial interest in the sale of these books, but I do think the information is incalculable.

 

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I didn’t read the memo stating it only works one way.

The Judiciary. For some forty years – give or take – the leftists have been appointing circuit and Supreme Court justices to suit their agenda. These appointees – as one would expect – tend to see the various matters of law and things associated with the ‘liberal, progressive, leftist, anti American’ view point. In some cases, mostly notable, those judges have taken an ‘activist’ stance and made binding decisions of U. S. law without regard to provisions of the U. S. Constitution.

Some egregious decisions and techniques include the infamous ‘Roe vs. Wade’ decision. The Supreme Court, stacked with liberal judges, decided murdering babies was allowed because the potential mother’s privacy was more important than the baby’s life.

More recent decision of lower courts have uniformly blocked President Trump’s authority as President. Oddly, those judges blocking President Trump’s actions were all appointed by the last president, none of the decisions cited any prior case law and all forbade the President to use his authority, while upholding the former president’s use of the same authority.

This has been going in for some time. The left has been stacking courts with judges who uniformly promote the leftist agenda without regard to the Constitution.

Here’s the curious part. During the second Bush Administration and currently, the left is screaming and whining about ‘activist’ judges, appointed properly and with due legal process, upholding the U. S. Constitution. The accusation of course is that of ‘judicial activism’. In plain terms, when the nation begins to follow the Constitution, the leftists protest. When the activism and immoral actions of the leftists is counteracted, the left objects such actions are unfair and improper.

Not just currently, but right now: For the past eight years, the left has been weaponizing and politicizing the federal government’s law enforcement authority to protect their agenda. Now the ‘memo’ has been released, demonstrating some of the improper and potential illegal actions taking for partisan political reasons, the left is again crying and moaning how revealing improper conduct is unfair. In plain terms, the left’s cries of ‘politicization’ is actually the Trump Administration’s depoliticization of the Attorney General’s Office and the entire Department of Justice.

Just like when the last president lost the battle to politicize the IRS. Does the name “Lois Lerner” ring a bell?

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Loose Ends…

It is now 21 December AD 2017. The Winter solstice. The first day of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The day (twenty-four hour period) with the shortest day (period of daylight) in the year (in the Northern Hemisphere). At this hour of 5:43 PM – or 1743 if one prefers – the Sun has set. It’s DARK outside. The temperature is below freezing and there’s a layer of ice on the sidewalks and streets. Not sure about the grass, I haven’t been outside.

Going to the range is ‘inconvenient’ at best. The cold attacks my hands and I cannot do anything productive this time of year. Can’t do much recreational, either.

I am at, what used to be called, “…loose ends…” Not much to do. Bored. Humdrum. Bah. I’ve some new brass in the reloading room and need to prepare it for reloading. Check length, de-burr flash holes, verify primer pockets, check for sizing status. Maybe segregate by weight.

Reloading room is in basement. Feet get cold. Don’t feel like much.

Maybe I should clean some guns. I hate cleaning guns.

I’ll be all right. In a couple days I’ll adjust and sort of return to normal. (“Normal” is a large word in my world.) Right now, I’d like to sleep until about half-past May.

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Why the Democrat Continuum is in a panic.

Leftists are very, very afraid as a group. No doubt there are some who simply haven’t grasped the reality yet, but one can observe the panic.

Consider: President Trump and the reluctant Republicans are about to enact the most serious tax alteration in some thirty years. Democrat has no other choice than to continue their lie about ‘only for the rich’. In real world terms, the Democrat considers anyone with a job as ‘rich’. Everyone is rich EXCEPT for those self-pitying, self-proclaimed victims who mindlessly vote for the Democrat.

The tax bill will encourage growth in business and create new jobs. Of course, the Democrat holds actual jobs in contempt. One either has a sinecure or is unemployed and collecting benefits. The Democrat is very afraid the voters who always vote Democrat get a job. That might cause the voter to see the real world and recognize the Democrat is NOT on their side.

Consider: President Trump is an actual leader. Not a whiny, cringing sycophant who crawls before other world leaders. Other nations respect President Trump and this terrifies the Democrat.

Consider: President Trump is pro-Christian. From what he says, the President seems to be a genuine Christian. He is in favor of Christmas as being a time of honoring God in human form. What a stark change from the last President who was a pro-Muslim nothing in terms of permanent loyalty. Perhaps a bit of a socialist. The idea of the United States honoring the contribution of Christianity since the beginning of the United States is simply unthinkable to the Democrat. The Democrat seeks a wishy-washy view of truth with no real meaning. There really are no rules and anything goes.

Consider: President Trump is pro United States. The duty of the President of the United States is to lead and promote the United States. To make sure the United States is industrially, militarily, morally and financially strong. In contrast to the Democrat ideal of the President being one to reduce the United States to third world status and allow the United States to be subject to any and all outside forces.

And the Democrats are panty wetting terrified over this: The number of those in the United States who support President Trump is constantly growing. We are not fooled by the Democrat controlled news services who only interview carefully chosen spokesmen of the left.

They really have reason to be afraid. They are losing.

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Filed under Civilization, honor, Idiot Politicians, Politics, religion

Zbrojpvka BRNO Mauser Commercial rifle 8x60mm

Manufacturer’s marking and location.

Zbrojpvka BRNO Mauser Commercial rifle 8x60mm

Allow me in introduction to say this is one of those rifles that give one a sensuous feeling just picking it up.  That feeling increases when shouldering the rifle.  (The reader should look up ‘sensuous’ if suspecting I am sexually aroused by a rifle.)  This simply feels like a rifle should.

This is it. A device of steel and wood with spirit.

This is a bolt action rifle.  The action is made by Zbrojobka Brno in Czechoslovakia.  By the way, “Zbrojobka Brno” are the Czech words meaning ‘firearms manufacturing company’ in Brno, Czechoslovakia.  Brno is the name of a town and is pronounced “Bruno”.  “Zbrjobka” is pronounced “szBro-yo-ka” (the first part of the first syllable is sort of a ‘hiss’) as best as I can type it here.  There is a video on You Tube with audio giving a better model.  The meanings of the words are my understanding of usage shown on the internet.  Here endeth the linguistics lesson.  I speak no Czech, I found the pronunciation on YouTube.

Stock

The stock is of classic style. No cheek piece in the modern sense; intended for use with iron sights, not telescopic sight. Checkering around the grip and a bit on the forend, where gripped by the supporting hand. Rear sling swivel on the bottom of the stock, near the butt. Front swivel on the barrel. Fairly short forend with a ceremonial schnable rather than a noted one. Other than decoration, my observation is the schnable or knob or end cap is to serve as a stop or warning to the support hand of the end of the forearm. A ‘positioner’ if you will, to indicate the forward most position of the support hand. (Of course, I could be all wrong.) On the bottom of the fore end, one finds a metal ‘diamond’ inset into the stock fixed with a slotted screw. Until I remove the action from the stock, I have no idea.

The stock has been used. There are a few ‘dings’ and scars, none serious. The finish is ‘flat’ rather than shiny. The finish and use marks give the rifle character rather than an abused look.

Speaking of the stock, I find forty-seven (47) notches on the bottom side of the butt stock. From one man familiar with the customs and practices of the area, they indicate game (he said ‘moose’) taken with the rifle. It would appear this rifle has been taken hunting in times past.

All those notches represent taken game. Possibly moose.

Metal work suggests more than merely utilitarian intent.  All the metal parts are surface finished.  That is, all parts are smooth and even.  No grinder or machining marks.

Action

As mentioned, this is a bolt action rifle.  The size and general appearance suggests a basic 98 Mauser action.  (Presumably based on the VZ24 action.)  The action is commercial.  There are no charger clip guides and no left side thumb access.  Top of action has integral (milled into action) telescopic sight mounts.  The size of the integral rail is between the milled .22 long rifle rail on a .22 rifle and the outboard ridges of Weaver type mounts.  The space between the rails, the top of the action is handsomely milled in a ‘wave’ pattern.    One thinks this is more of a European design; your correspondent remembers no U. S. commercial or military rifle so equipped.

Hopefully the pictures give a better idea.

The forward top section of receiver showing scope mount rail.

Rear top of receiver showing details of scope rail. Also manual safety not of standard Mauser style.

On the forward portion of the action, the ‘top of the receiver’ where manufacturer, model designation and date of manufacture are found, there is a rather small logo featuring a stylized “CZ” on the grooved matte finish.  The “CZ” mark may indicate this rifle is a bit later than I originally thought, but is still a classic rifle.

One’s overall impression is this is not a reused military action, but manufactured as a commercial rifle action.

Bolt handle is the flat “spoon’ or “dog ear” type.  It is reminiscent of the Mannlicher-Schonauer rifles of the interwar period.  One finds no other features of the Mannlicher-Schonauer designed rifles.  The bolt shape feature draws one’s attention.

Bolt handle – Mannlicher look? – and manual safety.

As normal with ’98 actions, the magazine is fixed and non-detactable; capacity of five rounds. Also as usual, the floor plate of the magazine is openable to reload the magazine without chambering a round. This version has a lever on the floor plate to release the rear of the floor plate. A nice touch.

This lever allows magazine floor plate to be opened without high drama, but seems rather secure.

All metal parts are blued.  (There is wear from use, but nothing to suggest a poor job.)

Trigger is based on a military (Mauser, I presume) two-stage trigger.  Trigger pull  – after take up – is four and one half pounds (4.5 #) and rather clean.  I was rather surprised as this is rather light in relation to the military rifles I normally collect.  Happily surprised.

Sights

Iron sights mounted on the rifle are the traditional style European – including British – sights.  The receiver is drilled and tapped holes for scope mounts, but the stock puts one’s face and eye low for a scope.

Front sight is a standard post with bead – brass or gold faced – mounted on a transverse dovetail.  This is mounted on a ramp.  Front sight is installed by and ‘adjustable’ for windage by drifting at time of sight in.  It must be manually moved (commercial screw device or brass drift and hammer) and is not ‘adjustable’ by means of screw adjustments.

Front sight. Ramp with gold or brass bead. One can see the ‘hood’ groove; the hood is long gone.

Rear sight is an open top flat leaf.  The leaf portion is mounted in a dove tail, which is machined from a boss on the barrel, part of the barrel.  It too is drift adjustable for replacement and adjustment for windage.  It too is not readily adjustable by hand in the field.

Rear sight mounted in dove tail on boss integral with barrel.

Elevation is adjusted by either replacing the front sight with a higher or lower post; or filing down or replacing the rear sight leaf.

One observes this rifle – and sights – was intended for ‘standard’ factory loaded ammunition.  This did not consider various bullet weights nor alternate velocities as U. S. based reloader types might use.  The idea was to use one load of ammunition continuously.

Most military organizations have the same theory, if one considers the matter.

Originally the rear sight leaf had two leaves, one fixed for shorter ranges and one ‘flip up’ for longer ranges.  The ‘flip up’ sight has been lost.  I am searching for a replacement, but I imagine the leaf remaining will serve in nearly all cases, and all of my cases.

Trigger is based on a military (Mauser, I presume) two-stage trigger.  Trigger pull  – after take up – is four and one half pounds (4.5 #) and rather clean.  I was rather surprised as this is rather light in relation to the military rifles I normally collect.  Happily surprised.

Chambering and Ammunition

Caliber designation on barrel over chamber.

The caliber is 8x60mm S.  It is essentially a lengthened 8x57mm round.

8x60mmS loaded round. Believed to be 200 grain round nose soft point (expanding) bullet. Norma headstamp.

 

At the end of WWI, the Treaty of Versailles included a restriction on the Central Powers (the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires and their allies, vassals and such) from owning ‘military’ weapons.  However, ‘sporting’ – hunting – arms and personal defense weapons were allowed to be owned by civilians.  One presumes some local laws required registration of some sort.

As it happened, there were half-a-barn-door’s-full of hunting rifle – owned by civilians of course – in caliber 8x57mm.  That was the German Empire’s infantry rifle caliber.  (Much like the United States found the .30-06 Springfield cartridge to be handy for the same purpose.)

Some resourceful European gunsmiths came up with the idea of chambering the rifle a bit deeper.  This rather inexpensive modification changed the chambering and cartridge used by the rifle.

So, by deepening the chamber of a forbidden rifle in 8x57mm by three millimeters (two in the body and one in the neck) the rifle is now chambered for a ‘sporting’ cartridge, namely 8x60mm S.

Voila!  The rifle is no longer illegal!  I have no idea what rechambering a rifle cost in those days, but I’m willing to bet cheaper than forfeiting one’s rifle and buying another.

Barrels were unchanged, magazines (fixed and internal) were unchanged, bolt faces (the part that holds on to the cartridge) were unchanged, even the fussy bits inside the action funneling the cartridge into the chamber and removing it again – at the proper time, of course – were unchanged.  Sights didn’t have to be altered, and reloading components and equipment were the same.

Makers of sporting – hunting – rifles were manufactured in the ‘new’ caliber.  Well into the 1950s, if not later.

Does this sound familiar and absurd, like most gun control laws?  Nothing new, boys and girls.

By the way, the “S” suffix can mean one of two things, perhaps both.  “S” is a shorthand for Spitzgeschoss, Anglicized to ‘spitzer’ – pointed – bullet.

The “S” is also thought to be a designation for a .323 inch bullet (and presumed bore diameter) in a German designed 8mm rifle.

In point of fact, the 8×57 cartridge – then the German Empire’s issue rifle cartridge – changed the specifications in 1905.  What had been a 14.5 gram (224 grain), 8mm (.318”) round nosed bullet at about 2100 fps was changed to a 10 gram (154 grain), 8mm (.323”) pointed (spitzer) bullet at nearly 2900 fps.  The change from round nose to pointed bullet (S) happened at the same time the bullet diameter changed from .318” to .323” (S).

Then a longer range round was developed for machine gun use around the end of WWI.  This loading (version) of the round was a 196 or so grain pointed boat-tail bullet – known as the sS (“schweres Spitzgeschoss”) at a velocity around 2500 fps.  This is also identified as the “Ss” type bullet and loading.  To simplify supply chain demands, this loading was made the standard round for infantry rifles as well.  This was the cartridge and loading used in the 98K rifle of WWII.

In research, one finds a number of various specifications and precise history of developments.  They are all reported as Divine Truth.  Be flexible with other people.  One finds more than one explanation of the same phenomenon.

None of this directly applies to the 8x60mm cartridge, except as background to the loading of this ‘new’ cartridge.  Most of the commercial information relating to the 8x60mm suggest a 180 to 200 grain (at least in English translations) bullet, with velocities ranging from around 2500 to about 2700 fps.  (Comments on recoil will be mentioned later.)

The rimmed versions were typically loaded to a somewhat lesser pressure, as the hinged actions were not rated for higher pressure.  This ‘rule’ seems to apply to all such cartridges.

I will restate the rifle under discussion is a bolt action rifle.  The cartridge is the rimless version.  The barrel is the larger – .323” – bore.

The 8x60mm cartridge should be just a bit more powerful than the 8x57mm cartridge.  The case has somewhat more powder area.  I rather imagine the difference is more theoretical than actual.  The ’98 Mauser action tends to maintain a specific pressure limit for rifles; but one finds one gets higher velocities (at the same pressure) with larger powder charges.  However, this requires slower burn rate powders.  Such powders were not available in the past.

5th Edition Ammo Encyclopedia and Cartridges of the World list four variations:  The rimless type, the direct alteration of the 8x57mm round; the same with a rim for single, double and combination guns.  This is then doubled with both .318” and .323” versions.

A full loaded 8×57 round is a full charge rifle cartridge and easily competes with any of the full power rifles of the era up to current times.

The 8×60 S is a full sized, full charge rifle round – very similar to the 8x57mm round – suitable for harvesting any of the major sized animals of Europe or North America.  Personally, I think there are a few of the very large, dangerous bear with which one should be more careful.  In any case it will quite handily harvest anything which can be taken with .30-06 Springfield.

Recoil is based on velocity times bullet weight, divided by rifle weight (including scope, sling and attached good luck charm.  This rifle weights roughly six pounds, ten ounces.  In contrast, the 98K Mauser used in WWII weighed eight pounds, three ounces to nine pounds.

This rifle is ‘light’ and (to my thinking) recoil is restricted to what is suitable for the shooter.  I do NOT care to load this rifle to the absolute upper limit.

This 8x60mm rifle was not designed for casual plinking or an afternoon of groundhog shooting.  This is a ‘stalking’ rifle; carried a lot and shot seldom.

Think of shoulder pain.  Perhaps back pain.

A word of caution.  For those who find a rifle in this caliber, the 8mm caliber is either .318 or .323 inches.  The smaller bore size normally requires the correct sized bullet.  Firing the larger bullets in the smaller bore size is not a good idea.  Most likely, the rifle won’t blow up in a catastrophic failure, but over pressure is not good for the locking lugs and interior of the chamber and bore.  And it just might blow up.

This rifle uses bullet weights of from around 125 grains to 200 grains, easily.  The latest military loading of the 8x57mm round used the heavier bullet and it caught on with most everyone else.  In fact, the heavier bullet is defined in metric terms – grams – as 12.7 grams or 196 (actually 195.990951) grains.  In countries using English measurement, this is typically rounded off at 200 grains.    Loading data seems not to bother with the four grains or so of bullet weight.

Comparison: From right – .223 Annoyance, .308 Winchester, three 8x60mmS rounds.

Three headstamps for 8x60mmS. Norma, DMW, and an as yet unidentified cartridge.

Loaded ammunition is available from Privi Partisan.  Their website shows a 12.7 gram (196 grain) bullet at 780 meters per second (2559 fps) AND a 12 gram (185 grain) bullet at 800 meters per second (2625 fps).  No ‘light’ loads are shown.

Norma (of Sweden) manufactured it at one time, their website does not show such a product currently.  Precision Cartridge Inc. (PCI) sells one loading via Selway Armory.  The PCI ammunition features a 175 grain PSPBT bullet but does not specify the velocity.  Some other European munitions manufacturers once produced this ammunition, but don’t show it currently on their websites.

Privi Partisan sells unloaded brass made for Boxer primers.  Bullets, large rifle primers and powders of the ‘middle’ burn rate rifle use are fairly universal and available.  Regular 8x57mm loading dies work fine, but remember not to resize the cases full length and turn the 8x60mm case into a 8×57 case with a long neck.  8x60mm loading dies are available if you please.

I have settled on experimenting with bullet weights of 150 and 200 grains.  The fixed sights may force me to one bullet weight. I may do some experimentation with 170-175 grain bullets.

Allow me to point out this is not a long range rifle.  The rifle weighs – as noted – less than seven pounds.  Pushing a 200 grain bullet becomes problematic in recoil rather quickly.  The difficulty is not the strength and endurance of the rifle, but the strength and endurance of the shooter.  It kicks like a Missouri mule in a bad mood.  Combine this with iron sights and the aiming process, and one realizes a likely hunting range of 300 yards or meters at the furthest; more likely 200 yards or less.  This, in fact covers the bulk of North American game hunting.

Making ammunition

The easiest and most satisfactory solution of ammunition is to load it myself.

So far, according to the research I’ve done, the WWII 8x57mm round shot a 12.7 gram or 196 gram bullet at near 2400 fps.  The earlier 8x57mm round shot a 10.0 gram or 154 grain bullet at nearly 2900 fps.  The earlier loading was measured in a thirty inch barrel, the WWII loading was from a twenty-four (or so) inch barrel.  Commercial loads are typically low pressure. The existence of older action – particularly the M1888 Commission Rifle – and the uncertainty of .318″ bore diameters tend to make commercial loaders a bit leery to risk their good name and insurance coverage.

Therefore, I should be able – with modern powders – to get a 150 grain bullet to 2700 fps without straining too much and a 200 grain bullet to 2300 fps or better.  My shoulder will probably give up prior to the rifle.  (My fillings could come loose before I hurt the rifle!)

Initial loadings show IMR 4046 pushing the 150 grain bullet around 2800 fps; this load is derived from 8x57mm load information from Lyman #45 manual and is ‘cautious’ in pressure level.  The same powder pushes a 200 grain bullet at just over 2300 fps.  I shot that series of loads from a standing rest.  The recoil still pushed the comb of the stock into my right cheekbone rather briskly.

Reloader 15 (Re15) is in the same – more or less – burning rate as IMR 4064, but seems to be a little slower.  Preliminary experimentation gives me a 200 grain bullet at 2200 fps and still under maximum.

No.  I’m not being specific about loads.  I’m still in the research stage and will reserve specific information pending corroboration and certainty of my own finding.

I know modern rifles and ‘fashion’ (perhaps ‘fad’) tend to suggest rifles must shoot into the next county in order to properly dispatch game, but I disagree.  It will take a mighty big moose to shrug off a proper hit from a 200 grain bullet at 2200 fps.  And mule deer don’t get that big.

Besides, this rifle is cool.

Yeah. Cool.

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