8x57J Box of RWS Cartridges Gew 88


I just inherited a box of the below of 8x57J cartridges. The cartridges are steel cased and made by RWS.

Does anybody have any idea when these were manufactured and what their potential value may be? Any and all information would be appreciated.



I have the same headstamp on a brass case.Could be possible that these rounds date shortly after WWII?Just because brass was scarce at that time


I would not include the “Gew. 88” in the designation of these rounds, myself. While the bullet shown is round nose, it is a soft-nose and not specifically for rifles of the Model 1888 action. Many German Mauser-action sporting rifles were made with the .318 bore for years after the “S-bore” (.323") appeared on the military rifles. I have often wondered in fact, whether or not it was required by German law that sporting arms use the .318" bore of the pre-1905 military rifles.

I have in my own collection the lacquered-steel cased rounds with the headstamp shown with four different bullet types, and with copper-washed steel case, two more different bullet types. One of the rounds in a lacquered steel case has the steel-cupped primer. I suspect these round were made over the entire span of the WWII years, and perhaps even slightly before. Rheinisch- Westf

John: German gunsmiths for years made rifles for the .318 or .323 bullets on a sort of local option basis (some thought the tight bore more accurate), but with the 1939 proof law the old J-bore was prohibited for new production sporting rifles in 7.9mm. JG

Gill - thanks. God to know. I sold a lot of these German 8mm Sporting rifles over the years, and had encountred so few that had .323" bores that I got the impression maybe the .323" bore was reserved for the military. Good to have the facts straight after all this time. I had a nice J. P. Sauer 8 x 57JR double rifle once, but the only bullets I could get in .318" were Norma 196 grain, and the rifle was obviously not regulated for that. Each barrel grouped very well for an open sight doubt rifle - about 3 inches at 100 yards, but the barrels shot about 8 inches apart (and were NOT crossing) and an inch difference in elevation. I never found a load that would make it come together, so I sold it. That was my only loading experience with the .318" bore. Never had a magazine rifle in the caliber, although have had a number of 8mm Mausers, mostly military (still have a Gewehr 98 and a K98k) with the S-bore.

John: It’s a shame about the Sauer double. As far as the regular 8x57 is concerned, between the differing bore sizes, post-WW.I junk sporters imported from Germany, and the indifference of the American ammunition makers it’s no wonder that the cartridge has never enjoyed much of a reputation among sportsmen in this country. JG

Very interesting discussion.

Does anybody have an estimate of value for the 10 round box?

Thank you.