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Thread: Best Velocities Short Barrel Mausers.

  1. #1
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    Best Velocities Short Barrel Mausers.

    For anyone interested in powders that deliver the combination of best velocity and accuracy in short barrel Mausers, after years of testing, I can offer the following:

    In the Persian M94 (Iranian made version of Brno M29), basically a K98 with 18” barrel:

    47.1 grs Varget. Hornady 196 grs SP. S&B brass. WLR primer. 2405 FPS at 5,100 ft altitude and 59F temp. Hodgdon lists Max velocity from 24” test barrel at 2511 FPS with 47.5 grs Varget. In my rifle, Varget delivers 50 - 60 FPS more than any other powder suitable for 8x57 except H4350, which is 12 -15 FPS faster than Varget but not as accurate. YMMV.

    In the 1894 Swedish Mauser, 18.5” with barrel extension.

    45 Grs IMR 4350. 140 grs Speer Hot-Cor Soft Point. Norma brass. WLR primer. 2568 FPS at 5,100 ft altitude and 59F temp.

    Hodgdon lists 2677 FPS for 45 grs IMR4350 in a 24” test barrel.


    IMR4350 is not a clear cut winner. Both IMR4831 and RL22 were 25-50 FPS faster at max published loads but not as accurate in my rifle. So both those powders are well worth investigating.

    This is by no means definitive but intended to help folks trying to find the load for their rifle. I began the process imagining that faster powders were going to be best in these short barrels. While Varget, a faster powder, turned out best in my Persian, H4350 is slightly faster but not as accurate. It remains worth investigating. For the 1894 Swede, slower powders delivered substantially higher velocities but neither RL22 nor IMR 4831 were as accurate, in my rifle. Recoil with IMR 4831 was remarkably sharp for the 6.5x55. RL22 definitely merits further investigation.

    I tested roughly 5 - 8 powders with these common for caliber bullet weights and more with less common bullet weights. The objective was to find what combination offered the greatest effective reach for these short barreled Mausers and for the Persian that’s a Max Point Blank Range of -5” at 250 yards on a 200 yard zero whereas with the same 200 yard zero, the Swede goes out to 264 yards for the -5” drop.

    I did a lot of internet searching for best loads for shorties in these two calibers and other than the good advice, that I chose not to believe that slower powders would probably still deliver best velocities in these shorties, there was nothing out there. Hopefully, this helps somebody in search of same.

    For cast, my go to in all Military rifles is IMR4227 and I encourage anyone trying to find best Loads for cast boolits in their milsurp to read Ed Harris’ article on cast loads for military rifles.
    Last edited by RPRNY; 03-17-2018 at 10:45 PM.

  2. #2
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    nagantguy's Avatar
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    Very well done and informative write up. Thank you for posting it. I've also found varget to be a top accuracy producer in several mil surp rifles. And have also found that max top end velocity doesn't always spell best results.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    Great info, thanks.

    I measured 2000 fps with 194 gr paper patched boolits from a 14.6 inch barreled 303 Brit using 44 grs H4350. It would be interesting to see what Varget would deliver at similar pressures.

    I too have found Varget to be an accurate powder but I haven't done any definitive testing.
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  4. #4
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    You may have found the worst muzzle blast excepting the use of ball powders.
    EDG

  5. #5
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    How big is the fireball with the 14" barrel? I bet it would look like a naval gun going off

  6. #6
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    Unless barrels are handgun-short, the best powders for velocity in a long barrelled rifle are the same as for a short barrel.

    As EDG and Mgvande point out, muzzle blast becomes an issue. I like performance, I like short, handy fast-handling Mausers for hunting, but I won't go any slower than 4350 in a short barrel. Really the 4895 burn rate is my go-to for hunting, due to sound pressure issues. I try to get them at or below 9K PSI at the muzzle, using QL to calculate the muzzle pressure. Anything 9K PSI or above is painful and most likely, permanently damaging.
    Last edited by HangFireW8; 03-18-2018 at 05:30 PM.
    I give loading advice based on my actual results in factory rifles with standard chambers, twist rates and basic accurizing.
    My goals for using cast boolits are lots of good, cheap, and reasonably accurate shooting, while avoiding overly tedious loading processes.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    My 16-1/2" 8x57 liked IMR 3031 but H335 was the biggest fireball I've witnessed.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    Funny how big of variation these old rifles can give. I tried R22 as it showed was faster in a 7mm mauser at the old pressure. But 4831 was way better. I found the lowest velocity loss with fast powders in a short barrel Mosin. 29in down to 17in lost alot. R7 and 4198 worked the best.

    The other issues is the long throats in alot of these old rifles, push a bullet out for better accuracy and lose velocity.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDG View Post
    You may have found the worst muzzle blast excepting the use of ball powders.
    None at all. Over barrel suppressor. You gotta love my country!

    The suppressor adds about two inches to the length. I did try it without the suppressor and muzzle blast was OK but then I wasn't using that load. I was still using H4227 under heavier boolits with wheat bran filler. That combo always reduced muzzle blast by raising pressure and burning faster. Turkeys were impressed.




    But you are right about ball powders. My 'semi-suppressed' two-groove with H4350 gives almost no recoil and mild muzzle report but with BL-C(2), the thing kicked me in the eye (scope) and had a substantial muzzle blast! Shot like poo too. I suspect there was secondary burn inside the semi-suppressor chamber. But that same powder gave good results in my unsuppressed five groove - like 1.4 MOA with cartridges having visible runout. But I digress - those are long barreled rifles. Off topic.
    Last edited by 303Guy; 03-20-2018 at 02:06 AM.
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  10. #10
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    IMR 4198 always worked great in my Persian Mauser. I used a light load, don't remember the exact weight of the charge but something over 30 grains, behind a 160 grain J-word bullet. Tamed muzzle blast and recoil and gave uncommonly good accuracy. IIRC best ten shot group at 100 yards was 1 5/8".

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check