German "DWM K M88H K" 8x51

Something made me measure this round. I was surprised to find that it measured about 8x51mm, not 8x57 I expected. What is it?

Hi vlad,
It’s for a Mauser Sporting rifle. And may be known with a 366L headstamp also. I’m not sure if that would have the DWM hs, or have something to do with Lorenz. WBD may fill us in…There is also a rimmed version.
I have a WESTERN 8M/M headstamp with this case, but I don’t know if it was also loaded by UMC, USCCo or Winchester.


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Dan - are you sure your WESTERN 8M/M case is 51 mm long? Just
wondered, because one day I pulled a Western round so headstamped
out of my 7.9 (8) mm collection, because I noted the case was a little short,
and it turned out to be an 8 mm Mannlicher-Schönauer cartridge.

John Moss

Hi John,
I can see where the 8x56 Mannlicher would be mistook for the 7.9 Mauser, but the 8x51 is a lot shorter. The neck length is about the same, but the shoulder is way lower. Also, it looks like the shoulder diameter is different. Some notes, I checked…+/-…
K DWM K M88H C/L is 50.51mm and shoulder diameter is 11.06mm (.435 inch).
WESTERN 8 M/M C/L is 49.79mm and shoulder is 11.07mm (.435 inch).
K DWM K 528 C/L is 56.15mm and shoulder is 10.79mm (.424 inch).
WESTERN 8M/M MANN-SCHOEN C/L is 56.28mm and shoulder is 10.87mm (.428 inch).
And the 8x56 Mannlicher-Schöenauer bullets are all longer on my examples, than on the two 8x51 cartridges. Also, there is always the possibility the first Western is a reload, but it does not look like it. It maybe listed in the Western catalogs…
See you in Brookings?


to answer your question: M88H, also called M88 kurz, DWM case number 366L, is indeed a well known hunting cartridge which was used in a shorter, lighter version of the Mauser 98 action. Later it was named 8 x 51. I do not know where the H in the name comes from. The 8 x 57 was M88/8 (used for both bullet diameters, as unbelievable as it may sound).
As you correctly identified, your 8 x 51 uses the smaller 8 mm bullet diameter that became so popular for civilian use. No 8 x 51 version for the larger S bullet diameter was made.

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Jochem, The “H” as in “M88H” comes from it’s position in the DWM M88 Series as shown in the picture at the bottom of the following post:

Dan - thanks for the reply. I know that the 8 mm Mannlicher-Schoenauer cartridge has a case 5 mm longer than the 8 x 51 mm Mauser sporting round. I just thought that since my 8 x 56 had the identical headstamp to the cartridge you described, there might have been a error in measuring it. That happens to me when I try to read a dial indicator without my reading glasses. :-(

I am surprised that Western would make such a caliber as the 8 x 51.

John M.

thank you for the information. I should have had a look at the 1904 catalogue.