8mm Mauser question


#1

I got a couple random cartridges today and one of them really had me puzzled for a bit, and kinda still does. The head stamp is " SUPER-X 30-G-1906" so I started putting it down in my excel spreadsheet as a .30-06, but then I noticed it was quite a bit shorter than a .30-06. I looked through all my books trying to find a wildcat that fit the measurements…but nothing (Note that I had my micrometer set on Imperial and wasn’t even thinking about the metric side of this.) I looked at it one last time before a put it in my mystery box and realized it was strikingly similar to an 8mm Mauser. Took all the measurements, and sure enough. Went and cycled it through my KAR 98, and it chambered like butter. So, here’s the question, between the wars, was 8mm Mauser rare enough in the U.S. that people made their own brass out of .30-06’s? It would be foolish today to waste your money. I haven’t got into reloading yet, so I’m not up on the history of it. I’ve never heard of this being done, but perhaps it was common back then to make 8mm’s out of '06’s. The embarrassing part of all of this is that I spent a good 20 minutes trying to figure this out…this is a guy who’s had three Mausers in his life and countless cases of ammo, not to mention it’s one of my favorite cartridges to collect…Thanks for any help! Have a good one.


#2

It was quite common to make 8mm Mauser from .30-06 cases right after WWII, when ammunition of all calibers was scarce, but especially metric calibers like 8mm Mauser, while there were thousands of rifles brought back from the War in 8mm caliber.

Further, it is not foolish today to make 8mm Mauser out of .30-06 cases if one has a surplus of the latter and needs the former. Some people simply enjoy all the processes involved with reloading, and do things that are not necessary, but are perhaps a bit more economical than buying new brass. Those of us who reload only to save money, and really don’t enjoy it much, probably wouldn’t bother with such a thing, but there are those that will.

I would not be surprised if .30-06 cases were turned into 8mm after WWI as well, with all the Mausers brought back from that war, although I don’t know how much case forming of that sort was done in those years. The years between world wars spawned a great many wildcat cartridges, so it certainly was done to some degree.

edited for spelling of one word only

John Moss


#3

I agree with John 110%, it was done by me last week. I have a 375 H&H Mag rifle (in case I want to go varmint hunting) and only 10 rounds of brass. I checked my “box” and I have 300 rounds of 416 Rem Mag brass that I have no money in so I changed about 50 of them, I also chucked them in a lathe and turned a slight ring on the headstamp to make me remember and make somebody else say whats going on here? I will probably smash the cases when I’m done and sell them for scrap. This kind of thing probably happens every day with reloaders.


#4

I agree strongly with John that for people of a certain mindset–like me–case forming and other labor-intensive aspects of this hobby can be very satisfying in a number of ways. As far as reforming .30-06 brass to related calibers (7m/m, 8m/m, .250 Savage, and so on) there were, until the late 1920s, few reloading outfits that had the ability to full-length resize or reform brass. Probably the old original Pacific C-press was the real breakthrough for this work. Jack


#5

Even some small custom reloaders did it, as a market existed at one time.


#6

Yea, i was thinking purely from an economical stand-point that it wouldn’t make much sense, seeing as how 8mm is so cheap, but I do believe what you guys are saying. I’ve never reloaded in my life, but my father and I have declared that 2010 is the year we get started. between his .45-70 and 6.5 carcano, and my .30-30, 8mm, .303 and .45, ammo is getting expensive, especially for that carcano (but what a dream to shoot!) Hopefully I catch the bug and enjoy it as much as you guys do. Thanks again for the info, and after all is said and done, i have a pretty cool little cartridge now to put with my 8mm’s.


#7

When you start your loading, get good, professional advice on the reloading of the .303 British, and depending on what action-type your .30-30 is, on it as well. The .303 as fired in British military Lee Enfield rifles has a very short case life if full-length sized, and can experience serious case-head separations. I have heard the same for .30-30s fired in worn, loose lever action rifles and carbines, although the little of it I have fired has not shown the signs of that. But then, my 1942-made Model 94 Winchester is in about new condition. I don’t shoot it much.

We cannot go much farther on that subject here due to restrictions on reloading information, but for your own seek, heed the warning.

John Moss


#8

hawk
Once upon a time, 7.92x57 Mauser ammo was scarce, as was 7,7x58 Arasaka and 7.65 Argi/Belg ammo. On the upside 30-06 brass was plentiful and could be fairly easily converted into the others.

Not all that long ago (1960’s), 7.62x39 ammo was worth more than the firearms that used it, and a number of people were converting other cases to make 7.62x39 ammo.

One company (Old Western Scrounger) specialized in converting (where possible) available cases into obsolete ammo for shooting purposes, I have a box of 35slr ammo that’s headstamped 357Mag from them (that conversion involves using a lathe to turn down the rim and cut a extractor groove)


#9

I ruined 200 Norma 6.5 x 54 Mannlicher Schoenauer cases making 7.62 x 39. Really, only two calibers were suitable for really good conversions - 6.5 Mannlicher and 6.5 Carcano. The sad thing was that only weeks after I used the Mannlicher cases, simply because they were on the shelf at the store, Norma stopped making them and for years it was hard to get any brass for that caliber. In the meantime, they continued to make 6.5 Carcano, and I believe they still make it today. I could have just as easily used those cases. Well, who knew? The only truly correct diameter bullets were .303, so I loaded them with 150 grain bullets, the lightest available. They were very, very accurate in the Valmet 62S (Kalashnikov-style), but had a trajectory like a rainbow. The sight setting for 100 yards was the 300 meter notch. Regardless, one of our employees took a cost dear with his Valmet and my loads. those rounds were actually my only experience with case-forming. With the right tools, I found it was not as difficult a procedure as I believed it was, after I learned a couple of little tricks. My first attemps would not even chamber.

I hate to admit this, but as a first attempt and only ever doing the 200 cases, it was kind of fun. Usually, I consider reloading a necessary evil. Were I rich, I would simply buy factory ammunition by the case.

John Moss


#10

Very common to reform .30-06 brass to 7,9x57mm. Around here, especially just before deer hunting season, empty .30-06 brass can be found at every shooting range and gravel pit in the area. Why buy corrosive primed surplus 7,9 when you can easily reform .30-06 brass for free?

AKMS


#11

I should have noted that when I was converting 6.5 Mannlicher to 7.62 x 39 mm, it wasn’t just a choice of not using corrosive primed ammo. There was NO 7.62 x 39 ammunition around except individual rounds brought back from RVN and they were bringing ten bucks apiece at that time, for cartridges that were later ten centsd apiece. That would be like 20 dollars apiece now.

John Moss


#12

wow, well thanks for all the info, i really had no idea that 8mm was at any time rare. I will heed warning about getting to know all the ins and outs of reloading. My .303 might take some special work, but my .30-30 is a Marlin 30A make in the 80’s or 90’s* with a nice solid action, so I hope it will be trouble free. Trust me, my biggest fear with this is either blowing myself up or getting someone else hurt, so it’s very possible my first loads will be so light, it won’t even get the bullet out of the barrel, haha. Thanks again for the info, and have a great day.

*(I’ve never actually looked up the serial #, though I’m sure it’d be easy. I think i once read something about subtracting the last two numbers from 100 and that will give you the year. Is that right? I know the old marlins are much easier, with just a single letter to designate the year, like my 1955 Marlin 39A. I think the code is “M”)


#13

Hawk - never use a load LIGHTER than what a reputable loading manual shows as the mimimum load for bullet/cartridge combination. Underloads are as dangerous as overloads! I can’t get more into this, as it will get dangerously close to prhibited topic for this Forum. If you don’t have one, and start reloading, get at least one loading manual (two or three is better) and follow them. They guys that write those manuals usually know more about what is safe and what isn’t than most of us do. They also have computers we can’t even imagine looking at our own PCs, and othe rcostly testing equipment, as well as years experience in loading ammunition.

Reloading is like driving a car - pretty darn safe if get you good instruction (loading manuals and factory literature on the tools are generally a good start) in doing it, and pay attention to what you are doing at all times. If you don’t, it is like driving your car with a blindfold on along the rim of Grand Canyon - full of hazards. I don’t say that to scare you - it is a safe and pretty easy passtime. I have successfully loaded ammunition for about 50 years now, and technologically speaking, as most on this Forum are aware, I am a moron.

John Moss


#14

no, you didn’t instill any fear in me, just cation. Thanks again for the info and i won’t press the issue any more, as i do not want to get anyone in trouble! I’ll let you know how it goes, should be a blast though.


#15

Hawk
The following websites have forums that can/do discuss reloading, and are good sources of reloading information.
www.reloadbench.com
www.Noslerreloading.com
www.Mausercentral.com
www.accuratereloading.com
www.24hourcampfire.com
www.gunbroker.com
www.glockpost.com
www.perfectunion.com
The first one is strictly a reloading site (just like this is a collectors site), the others are more general firearms/shooting/hunting sites. A couple of them are rather large (AR & 24hour), and can get deep into the technical topic, so learn to skim over the deep discussions until after you have the basics down.