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Thread: Tell me about the 9x57 and 9.3x57 Mauser

  1. #1
    Boolit Master am44mag's Avatar
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    Tell me about the 9x57 and 9.3x57 Mauser

    The small ring Mauser build thread has got me thinking that I want a classic bolt action hunting rifle. My original plan was to buy a barreled Spanish Mauser action and dress it up, make it look nice, and possible have the barrel rebored to 35-300 Savage if possible. That was before I found out from RustyReel that I could buy a classic 9x57 or 9.3x57 rifle for much cheaper than I could build a gun off one of those actions.

    So tell me about these rounds. They sound like they would be great for whitetail, and I've been wanting to start casting for .35 cal.
    ______________________________________________
    Aaron

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I have two 9 X 57's, one in a Sauer & Sohn Mauser and the other the 9 X 57R in a Franz Jaeger drilling and a Husqvarna in 9.3 X 57. They are quite similar other than the 9.3 gives you the choice of a heavier bullet if only .011 larger in diameter. The 9.3 was evidently very popular for some time in Scandinavia for what we call moose and I can't imagine it would not be effective on that size game. For that matter I believe the 9 X 57 would be as well.

    The velocities are not barn burners with either cartridge with jacketed bullets but.....frankly high velocity isn't needed, IMO. With gas checked, cast loads I want to remember all 3 of mine are running between 1700 and 1800 fps. which I consider more than adequate. I don't remember how available components are. I made my 9 X 57R brass from a surfeit of 7 X 57R brass I had on hand and the 9 X 57 rimless from -06 cases. The 9.3 X 57 brass was also made from -06 cases. If the 9.3 you're looking at is a Husqvarna, very underrated rifles in my opinion, bear in mind they usually have a fairly tight throat and a slightly loose bore which makes shooting cast bullets an interesting proposition. I ended up thinning the necks to just about the minimum in mine so I could shoot cast bullet....but it excels with them after having done so......and I hope I didn't get that backwards. Oh...I just remembered my 9 X 57 Sauer has a pretty washy bore in front of the chamber for a few inches and it won't shoot cast worth spit. My 9 X 57R looks as if it was made a couple years ago and shoots cast excellently. There is not an abundance of data available for either cartridge but there's certainly more than enough to come up with a good load. I've had good luck with Unique, IMR or H 4895 and I think SR-4759...if you have some around. No doubt there's other powders that would work well. Several mold makers offer molds of varying weights and designs. In my 9 X 57 I'm shooting the RCBS, 35-200FN sized accordingly. In the 9.3 I went with an Accurate mold of around 270 grs. Both have a meplat commensurate with bullet diameter.

    I'm a fickle sort and can never pick a favorite. At this particular moment in time I'd lean toward the 9.3 but that might change by the time I get to town for Saturday morning breakfast with the guys.....lol My thought is if you find a rifle you like in either cartridge don't be afraid to get it. Either makes a fine medium game cartridge with cast or jacketed loads and, as with the -06 case, the X57 case is never wrong. I think you'd probably like either one.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

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  3. #3
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    The Winchester 53 was available in 9x57 occasionally called "9mm rifle" in old loading books. I understand the Model 70 was also chambered in this round but it may have been with leftover barrels from the 53 as it is a very rare chambering to find. The knock on them was the thin barrels due to barrel blanks used at the time. Heating issues caused POA movement and loss of accuracy. The fact is they were never meant to be range guns, just game killers. Lack of quality 35 bore bullets did them in, IMO.
    While I would love to have one, IMP a 358 or 35 Whelen gives one easier brass access, better ballistics, [unless you go with a custom gun] and a prayer of finding factory ammo if the airline looses yours.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  4. #4
    Boolit Master am44mag's Avatar
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    I've always been a sucker for oddball calibers. One look in my safe would tell you that. I'm not too concerned with the ballistics. If I want to reach out and touch something, I doubt there very many animals in North America that could take a 6.5 creedmoor to the boiler room and keep on moving. I want a classic bolt action. Express sights, or maybe a Lyman peep sight, and I want it to be a "brush" gun. Within the limits that I hunt, 9.3x57 seems great. I already looked into brass, and converting 30-06 seems like my best option. Lord know I have enough of that laying around.

    The one I'm looking at is a Husqvarna Model 46. If I do run into the tight throat loose bore issue, you I be able to simply ream it out an enlarge the throat to something that works, or is thinning the necks of my cartridges the only option? I was thinking of using a PB NOE 368-280-FN for it. It looks like it would be a great game getter.

    ______________________________________________
    Aaron

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    am44mag,

    Fwiw, while I have very little experience with the pair of 9/9.3x57mm rounds, I have a TMN classmate who has a pre-WWII Mauser-actioned sporter in 9.3x57mm & he has taken any number of elk, moose & bears with it in Canada & AK.
    Thomas is not a CB lover but he loads a 285 grain JHP (Nosler, I think as is the usual factory bullet for the 9.3x62mm & the 9.3x74R) at near .30-06 velocity.
    He further says that most of the available US loads (in the rare event that they are available here at all, in the USA) are "down-loaded" to about the same level as Remington 8x57mm ammo usually is. He stated that the 9.3x57mm, in a strong action, can be safely loaded to equal the (well-regarded in African game fields) .333 Jeffery's Rimless & is therefore "suitable" for most all African game.

    yours, tex

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    9.3 is a good game round. For brass, I use 8x57 PPU. Imperial lube and full length resize in 9.3x57 resizing die.


    We accumulate our opinions at an age when our understanding is at its weakest. Georg C. Lichtenberg

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I have one Haenel Mannlicher New Model in 9x57Mauser.
    The only cast loads I've played around with are cast pistol bullets and small doses of Bullseye. Fun and accurate at 50m.
    With jacketed bullets it does what most any 35cal rifle round will do in that size. It's been compared many times to the 358Winchester and some even use that rounds loading data as a starting point. I did also. I keep mine very conservative anyway.
    I think the 358Winchester would be a 9x51mm if I'm not mistaken and that's a pretty darn good cartridge.

    The other Haenel New Model WAS a 9.3x57. but as someone rechambered it to 35 Whelen!,,it was a very cheap price!
    Yes it has a 35Whelen chamber and a .366 bore. I tried some handloads w/cast 200gr just for giggles, and that was about what I got.
    The bore is trash or nearly so anyway. My thoughts were to go to a 375-06 or 400 Whelen. But that's another story as it sits in the corner.

    The 9x57 is nice as there are plenty of pistol bullets that'll work in the round if you are in to that sort of light load/gallery load thing.
    The old 158gr RNL works nicely through the action.

    Most Euro guns have smaller groove dia, around .355/.356 than what we generaly bbl up guns for now at .358. So jacketed stuff may cause a little tinkering to be done. But cast boolets of 357 seem to work great in them.

    9x57Mauser loading dies are expensive. Generally $85 and up for a 2 die set. That's one drawback.
    They are not on the mfg'rs A list of calibers.
    9.3x57 and it's bigger bro 9.3x62 are usually easy to find and priced in the $35 range.

    I lucked out w/a set of RCBS 9x57 dies for $10 at a show. Doesn't happen to me often though.
    I make 9x57 from 8x57 with one pass in the FL die.

    So take your pick, they are both quite classic and usefull rounds, even if you're like me and only pursue paper targets now.

    If I were to build a sporter on a SR pre98 again, I'd seriously consider 9x57 one more time.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Jeff Michel,

    Fwiw, I paid 15.oo including free S&H on ebay for my NOS set of 9.3x62 RCBS dies & the same vendor had the 57mm dies for 20 bucks then, too.

    Also, Jessie at JES will do a FINE job on reboring/rechambering your Mauser to any suitable caliber. = His work is reasonable in price, quick turnaround & FAULTLESS.
    (I have a pair of rifles that he reformatted & am planning to send him a third Model 760 to be remodeled to .400BWI. = I've found one, on the cheap, in .270WCF that has a BADLY PITTED barrel.)

    yours, tex

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    am44mag,

    It's now 2100 hours on Sat night. = Check your mail, PLEASE.

    yours, tex

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    am, that's a good looking bullet and I can't imagine any NA game it wouldn't take with aplomb.

    My Husky 9.3 is a Mod. 46 and I can't say enough good about it. It is completely original and in remarkable condition for what I paid for it. If the one you're looking at and possibly acquire suffers from the same throat/bore condition as mine, I can't see any reason opening the throat wouldn't be a more viable solution than thinning the necks. Frankly, opening the throat never occurred to me, good idea. I guess it didn't occur to me because it was so easy to chuck up the brass in my lathe and take off a bit.

    I have a couple Mauser's that had Lyman, I think 48's, installed sometime in their distant past. I sure like 'em!!!! Especially the older my eyes become. On both of mine a taller front sight was needed but neither are Husqvarna. One is a Johann Peterlongo in 9 X 71 Peterlongo, (What a rifle and cartridge. Take a back seat 35 Whelen!), and the other is a Strover Mauser in 8 X 57. Not as finely finished as the Peterlongo but has everything a person could ask for in an immediately post WWI German sporter.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

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  11. #11
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    I too have a Husky 9.3x57 and my throat just barely takes a large enough bullet using the thin neck 8x57 brass to be large enough over groove size to work very well indeed. It's an amazingly accurate rifle. Mine is all original too and very good condition. Some things go mention. The barrel is gawd awful long at 26 inches and the buttstock is gawd awful long too at 15 some inches. Those folks over there that made sure didn't believe in having much forearm wood on them either. The workmanship is top notch. All I can say I wish I had this rifle for deer hunting as I was growing up. Couldn't ask for a better deer slammer.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    My analogy to explain the 9.3x57 to those new to it is that, its to moose what a 30-30 is to deer.

    That was its purpose in its homeland; and its velocities are about the same, with 100 grains more lead and a bit more diameter.
    The first purpose of the Second Amendment is too often overlooked, fostering a liberty of mind and action necessary in the people of a free republic.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    i have a 1928 version built on a pre war FN 98 action. Bore is frosty but lands and grooves look great. Gonna glass bed the front receiver ring and lug then the tang. Then start shooting it. factory velocities are around 2000-2100 feet per second. This with the 286 grain PPU softpoints. Will be using IMR 4895 as that seems to be the powder of choice. not one to push the envelope regarding velcities so shooting for 2000-2100 feet per second.Frank

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Landy88 View Post
    My analogy to explain the 9.3x57 to those new to it is that, its to moose what a 30-30 is to deer.

    That was its purpose in its homeland; and its velocities are about the same, with 100 grains more lead and a bit more diameter.
    For a noob like me that explanation cuts right to the chase. Thanks.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  15. #15
    Boolit Master am44mag's Avatar
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    I think I am pretty well sold on the 9.3x57mm. Probably what I'll do is get the gun and get the basic reloading tools and a box or two of j-words to get started on it. I'll cast the chamber and figure out if I need to invest in the neck turning tools. Thanks fellas for the info and the tips. This is why I love this place!
    ______________________________________________
    Aaron

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    am44mag

    Seems I've created another guy I have to compete with for cool things that pop-up on Simpsons It's a neat place and I check it at least once every time I am on the 'puter. New stuff that is a great buy/unique/etc get grabbed up quickly so if you see something pop up that you might like, call immediately and talk about it with the sales guys. They haven't listed any Husky bolt guns for a while so you can take your time and look over the pics and the descriptions carefully.

    I have a couple of 9.3x57's and a 9.3x62. The 57's are a small ring military type action and an FN type 98 action. The 98 is original and the SR has been altered for scope. There is not a lot of "published" load data for the 9.3x57. There is a bunch on the Swedish rifle threads on another forum site. It has been consolidated (ie jumbled together) and the discussion wanders on several occasions so you have to read it carefully, but there is some good info there.

    I don't hunt anymore, only shooting for fun. I use cast from the only Lyman mold of that size I am aware of, 366408 that cast about 250 grains. Got it on an auction here and I was the only person interested in it. I opened up a Lee 359 push thru sizer to .368 (yeah, took a while) and PC the boolits. There is a guy on here, I think coyotehunter??? that has a bunch of 286 grain jacketed that he sells on occasion. Unmarked but I'm guessing they are Norma. I used 8x57 R-P brass necked up. I haven't had an issue with it and no worries about putting one in your 8x57. Hornady dies were the only reasonably priced dies I could find.

    Then there is the 9.3x62. Brass, dies and data readily available. Often find it chambered in the same rifles as the 9.3x57 (those rifles go QUICK!). It is a thumper. I think it kicks more than my 375 H&H, but that's just me.

    Have fun and be safe!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I know there are others but for molds my "go to" has become Accurate Molds. Rusty, does Lyman still make that mold? If not, I bet finding that one was fortuitous!!!

    My dies are CH-4D and when I got mine they had them in stock. I don't believe I knew Hornady even made them and I expect they are less costly than CH-4D.

    When it comes to Simpson's Rusty nailed it!! It seems there's someone sitting on their front step waiting for a truck to arrive. If you don't catch some things the day they arrive, they're sold!!! Good outfit but don't hesitate to pull the trigger....

    I think Graf's has some 286 gr. PPU bullets for the 9.3 for a good price. Maybe I should say "had" as I haven't looked in a while. I bought 100 just to have on hand and did load a box of 20. They shot good though I have read of less than desirable performance on game with them. Take that for what you paid for it as I have no personal experience with them on game.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    That only Hornady dies are readily and affordably available is a bonus not a deprivation, that elliptical expander makes necking up from 8 to 9.3 very nearly as easy as is simply fl sizing.

    Because of its lessor capacity than the 62 and 64, the best j bullet for the 57 is the no longer made Speer 250 - I've a small stash, but would love to find some more. Velocity with 286s is a bit low, and you know that the jackets were likely designed for its faster sisters. Cast is likely the best heavy bullet option.
    The first purpose of the Second Amendment is too often overlooked, fostering a liberty of mind and action necessary in the people of a free republic.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Landy88,

    ImVho, for other than ELEPHANT (I'll never take a tusker.) & perhaps GAUR & CAPE BUFFALO, a "heavy for caliber", relatively hard-cast GCCB, at the maximum velocity that will work well in your rifle, is likely suitable for all big game in the 9.3x62mm.
    (My friend Roy, the home missionary that I've mentioned elsewhere here, shot a LARGE/HUNGRY Polar Bear with his 9.3x62mm Husky INSIDE the Christian Life Center at the church, during a bridal shower. Roy said that the bullet entered the neck area of the bear & exited the right side of the bear just in front of the right rear leg. = GYD.)

    Note: Roy notified the ASP & an AK game ranger responded to the report. He said that the shooting was fully justified & that the meat could be distributed to the local hungry folks. = Several hundred pounds was given away to "local eaters".

    yours, tex
    Last edited by texasnative46; 05-15-2018 at 08:35 AM. Reason: addenda/typo

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    9x57, slightly more robust than the .358 Winchester but more rather than less similar. There's a piece on Norma brass in the latest edition of Handloader that discusses the two a bit. The 9.3 x 57 is rather like the amp in "This is Spinal Tap", as in "it goes to 11". Really a question of whether you like .356" bullets or .366" bullets...

    Great cartridges and, as someone above noted, a fantastic moose/elk/bear cartridge as long as distances don't get too long.

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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