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Thread: Source For Cast Bullets For 8mm Mauser

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Source For Cast Bullets For 8mm Mauser

    Have been trying to work up a good load for the 8mm Mauser with poor results. Have tried several powders with different loads, tested these loads in three rifles, and in all cases was lucky to get five rounds on an 8.5 x 11 inch target sheet at 50 yds. I think I have narrowed the problem down to the bullet.

    I have been casting the Lee 175 gr. bullet. The cast diameter is .324 and I sized them to .323. Have slugged the barrel of my Turk M-48 with one of my cast bullets and found the .323 is just a little undersize. Before I go to the further expense for a larger bullet (mold, sizer die, top punch, etc.) I would like to try some .325 or .326 bullets. Problem is I have not been able to find a source that sells cast bullets for the 8mm Mauser. I would appreciate any information (website, address and/or phone number) of any sources that produce a suitable cast bullet.

    I've had excellent results using cast bullets in .30-06, 7.62x54R, 7.5x55 Swiss, and several handguns. With your help, I hope to solve the problem with the 8mm Mauser.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Kuato's Avatar
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    I slug my bore with small fishing weights to get the the bore diameter. Get a good measurement first. Then see what mold/sizer your gonna need fore your particular bore size. Your mold can be beagled (search the forum) if you just need a .001".

    I'm sure others will chime in with more advice..
    SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM

  3. #3
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    ................wa4aqw, I'd be happy to send you some boolits to try for the cost of postage, so long as I know what it is you need. If .323" is too small, try an unsized 'as cast' slug to see if you get a good reading. If not (or even before trying an as cast slug) cut about half the nose off and then squeeze the shortened slug in a vise to make it even larger. Make a couple.

    Drop one in and just drive it in a bit to check the throat. Then use the other to get a good barrel impression. With that knowledge we'll know what you need without sending some that won't work.

    ..............Buckshot
    Father Grand Caster watches over you my brother. Go now and pour yourself a hot one. May the Sacred Silver Stream be with you always

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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I find that the Lee mold casts about .325 as dropped, which is perfect as my Lyman sizing die is .325. Works great in my Yugo M48, VG in my Turk 93, and so-so in my 98k. Also VG in my Gew 88 but I usually use a heavier bullet in that.

    You go much over .325 you are gonna need a different expander and seater setup. Hopefully the .325 will do the job.

    What powder charges have you tried? My personal favorite is 17.5 gr of SR 4759 surplus; I'm told that new production is a tad slower so might want to try in the 20 gr range if you haven't done that powder yet.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Ricochet's Avatar
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    Smile

    I've got to hone my Lee sizer out to .325" for the same reason.
    "A cheerful heart is good medicine."

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    I've got a few dozen left-over 205-grainers that you're welcome to. These are fairly hard (bhn 20) Lee 329-205-1Rs sized to .325 and lubed with Jake's Ceresin Purple. Were originally cast for a sporterized VZ-24 that I no longer own and I haven't gotten around to recycling the alloy.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

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  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraschenbirn View Post
    I've got a few dozen left-over 205-grainers that you're welcome to. These are fairly hard (bhn 20) Lee 329-205-1Rs sized to .325 and lubed with Jake's Ceresin Purple. Were originally cast for a sporterized VZ-24 that I no longer own and I haven't gotten around to recycling the alloy.

    Bill
    How did that work in a 8x57? Did they chamber with that nose?

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    You said, I believe, that your mold drops bullets at .324". If that is so, then it should be nearly perfect for your rifle - depending on the dimensions of your barrel (bore size SHOULD be .312"/ groove size SHOULD be .323"). Of course, many original military barrels do not meet those specs. So, do slug your barrel, to be sure.

    The Lee 175 grainer is one of the best performing bullets for the 8 x 57, so I would think that with the right size (and the right load), you have a good chance of success.

    I had a similar problem in finding a suitable bullet for my M48. I finally settled on a 170 grain flat-point RCBS design, made for the old .32-40 Win......but available in .324" dia. from my supplier. I do not cast my own bullets, so I have had to find a source for cheap cast ones, too. The bullet I use is a plain-base. What I do is buy the bullets at .322" or .324" dia., then re-size them down to .314".....and paper-patch them to a final diameter of about .3236". This works great in my M48. I shoot these over 28.0 grains of IMR-4064, with cotton wool filler in the case, to keep the powder in place. This load generates just a bit less than 2000 fps in my rifle - and terrific accuracy. In case you are interested, I get my bullets from an outfit called Hunters Supply, in Regina, NM. Do a web search - you'll find them. Another good source for bullets for the 8 x 57 is Montana Bullet Works. They have a good variety of designs and weights, including the Lee 175.

    I think that you should first try the bullet that you have - the Lee 175 - unsized (leave them at .324"). I assume that you are using these with gas checks ? If not, then you will never be able to get much velocity without leading. As for powders, I have tried Unique and 2400 - and never had much luck with them (regardless of the bullet used). With IMR-3031, I started to get good results. So, while the fast (pistol/ shotshell) powders often work well with cast bullets in many rifles, this is not always the case. So, you might try SR-4759, IMR-3031 or Reloder 7, with a gas-checked Lee 175. For the 3031 or Reloder 7, I would start at about 22 grains and work up from there.

    Keep experimenting - I think that you'll eventually find a load that works. I was discouraged about cast bullets for a long time....and hated the idea of returning to jacketed ones (because of the outrageous cost of them). But, I stuck with it - and finally found success (over which I am very happy).

  9. #9
    Boolit Mold
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    First, thanks to everyone that responded to my original post. Good ideas and suggestions, and they are very much appreciated.

    I thought I should add some additional information and explanation of what I have done so far to try and find a decent cast bullet load for 8mm Mauser. In all different load combinations listed below I have used the Lee 175 gr. bullet, which drops from the mould at about .324. I sized them to .323 with gas checks and lubed with Lee Liquid Alox. All cases were Winchester, sized full length with RCBS dies, and the primer used was Winchester WLR. The bullet, cases and primers remained the same for all loads.

    The powders used were 2400 from 16 to 22 grains in one grain increments, IMP 4227 from 18 to 24 grains in one grain increments, and IMR 3031 from 18 to 24 grains in one grain increments. I loaded 25 rounds for each powder load (yes, over the last six weeks I’ve loaded a lot of 8mm rounds). They were fired on a 50 yard range in strings of five rounds from three rifles, Yugo M-48, Yugo 24/47 and Turk Mauser. My son and I both fired these loads. In summary, accuracy from all loads, all rifles, and all shooters could be considered worse than bad…we were lucky to get five shots on an 8.5 x 11 target sheet, and sometimes not that good. No one load seemed to be any better than the next…they were all about the same.

    At this point I have tried to eliminate as many variables as possible with different loads, different rifles, and different shooters. The only factor that has remained the same is the bullet, and I think that might be the problem.

    I again slugged the barrel of my M-48 with three separate slugs measuring .313 x .323. This might be the right size for a jacketed bullet, but from all I have read and heard, a cast bullet should be a little larger diameter. That is the reason I am interested in trying some cast bullets sized to .324 or .325.

    I have to admit that the lack of accuracy with my 8mm cast bullet loads has me mystified. I have been casting bullets for 38 years and have had very good success using them in my M-N 91/30, Finn M-39, Swiss K-31, Columbian Mauser in .30-06, and even my M-1 Garrand. I also shoot cast bullets in several handguns; 9mm Luger, .38/357, 44 mag, and .45 auto with no problems. Sooner or later I’m going to find the right combination for the 8mm Mauser. Again, many thanks for the helpful comments and suggestions contained in this thread.

  10. #10
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    "..........Lee 175 gr. bullet, which drops from the mould at about .324. I sized them to .323 with gas checks and lubed with Lee Liquid Alox."

    If they're suspected of being undersized, why size them down?

    "All cases were Winchester, sized full length with RCBS dies,.............."

    Dedicate cases to one rifle. Your brass will last longer neck sized only, and you'll be doing less case trimming. Also, dies are made with the idea you'll be shooting jacketed bullets, and NOT cast lead. I think you'll find your F/L sized case neck ID will measure from .318" to .320" after sizing. As a conseqence you may be loosing another thousandth when seating.

    Also, are you using a Lyman 'M' die to expand and flare the casemouth, or merely putting a flare on the casemouth without expanding the neck's ID?


    "The powders used were 2400 from 16 to 22 grains in one grain increments, IMP 4227 from 18 to 24 grains in one grain increments, and IMR 3031 from 18 to 24 grains in one grain increments."

    Nothing wrong there.

    "They were fired on a 50 yard range in strings of five rounds from three rifles, Yugo M-48, Yugo 24/47 and Turk Mauser."

    And you're suspecting all 3 want a fatter boolit. Not saying they might not, as the Turk and the M24/47 both have a much longer history then the newer M48. What do the barrels look like? When cleaned after firing is there any leading? If so is it merely tiny sparkelies in the crud on the first patch, or is it slivers and bits?

    "In summary, accuracy from all loads, all rifles, and all shooters could be considered worse than bad…we were lucky to get five shots on an 8.5 x 11 target sheet,................"

    Yup, sounds like you have some issues

    "I again slugged the barrel of my M-48 with three separate slugs measuring .313 x .323. This might be the right size for a jacketed bullet, but from all I have read and heard, a cast bullet should be a little larger diameter. That is the reason I am interested in trying some cast bullets sized to .324 or .325."

    That's about what I'd figure for the M48. I have a few Turks and 2 of them have exceedingly tight throats and barrels. It serves no purpose to try and load a cast slug @ .324" as they get scraped up in the throat, and both have lands and grooves of .315"x.323".

    Are you seating the boolit out to engrave, or just to the crimp groove? Does the boolit's nose ride the lands or is it waving in the breeze? I'll assume the alloy is the same as that used in your other rifles?


    " I have been casting bullets for 38 years and have had very good success using them in my M-N 91/30, Finn M-39, Swiss K-31, Columbian Mauser in .30-06, and even my M-1 Garrand. Sooner or later I’m going to find the right combination for the 8mm Mauser. "

    I sure don't see any problem with your powder selection or charges. Your experience and results with the other rifles makes problems with all 3 of these 8x57's a mystery, unless you're trying to treat them all the same, and that's a mistake. While the Lee design is a fine one, and good enough to have spawned a Group Buy version in Lee's 6 cavity blocks, it sure doesn't work in a couple of my 8mm's.

    ....................Buckshot
    Father Grand Caster watches over you my brother. Go now and pour yourself a hot one. May the Sacred Silver Stream be with you always

    Proud former Shooters.Com Cast Bullet alumnus and plank owner.

    "The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president."

    Shrink the State End the Fed Balance the budget Make a profit Leave an inheritance

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


    Kraschenbirn's Avatar
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    Re: 329-205-1Rs

    Quote Originally Posted by pbbutz View Post
    How did that work in a 8x57? Did they chamber with that nose?
    No problem at all in that particular VZ-24. Bore slugged at .314x.3235. and nose dia. of my Lee mould runs .318-.319. Boolits seated to 2.880 OAL fed from magazine without contacting rifling.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffet
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I have an old Ideal single cavity 323470, Loverin design, and size them .325 because that is the only .32 die I had. They shoot great in my old $37 Turk. Never slugged the barrel, checked the throat, or anything else, but with 10 grains of Unique I can lay down out in the pasture and put 20 holes in the black of a MR31 target at 100 yds. That's all the longer I can lay there on the ground before my 71 yr old bones dictate a move. I make my brass from .30-06 blanks I get from the Legion post. Lyman still makes the 323470, according to my Lyman Cast Bullet book.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    13 grains of Unique, not 10.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    I use the same Lyman bullet as hydraulic, works well. Had to mix in some lino with the WW to harden them up to get decent accuracy. I normally use Blue Dot powder.
    Last edited by leadman; 01-22-2011 at 09:51 PM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Man mauser1959's Avatar
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    This is a thread that I have been really wanting to see, as I have been considering reloading for my 8mms. Lots of Mausers that need reloading to shoot, to bad that the brass is so high, though I have been considering buying 500 starlines.
    God bless America

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Brass is expensive, like everything else these days. However, I get truly excellent life from my cases....in my rifle, with my (cast/ paper-patched) loads. I have many cases right now that are going on 20 loadings - probably 50 to 60 % of my supply at the moment. The point of this is, if you load only to the velocity and pressure that you NEED - rather than automatically loading to the top of the scale - it is very possible to economize on brass, as well as powder.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    8MM brass is easy to make from .30-06. Trim 1/4 inch off the neck with a dremel. Set the empty in a tuna can full of water, hit the neck with a propane torch and tip it over when it starts getting red. Run them through an 8MM sizing die and finish trimming to 2.235".

  18. #18
    Boolit Master GrizzLeeBear's Avatar
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    mauser1959, do you have or know anyone that has a bunch of 30-06 brass they want to get rid of cheap. Its easy to make 8x57 brass out of '06 cases. I use CMP surplus Lake City brass. I like using the LC brass because it does not have "30-06" on the headstamp, so anyone picking one up has to really look at it and NOT automatically think it's a 30-06 case. You can use your 8x57 dies to do it, but I highly recommend the Redding form & trim die (only about $22). I also recommend Imperial Sizing Wax for reforming cases.

    With standard dies:
    1. Lightly lube the outside of the cases and size them in the 8x57 die with the expander stem removed (most 8x57 dies will not let a '06 length case go all the way in with the expander stem in). Leave the die a couple turns off the bottom, you don't need to completely size the case at this point, just moving the shoulder back so you can cut the brass closer to 57mm length.
    2. Trim the cases, leave them a little long. I used a cuttoff wheel in a dremel. You don't need to use a trimmer to get them to exact length, just keep them a little long.
    3. Chamfer & debur to remove the rough edges.
    4. Lube the outside and inside the neck and size them, this time with the expander installed and the die all the way down, touching the shell holder.
    5. Trim to the trim-to length and chamfer & debur.

    With the Redding form & trim die:
    1. Set the form die all the way down, touching the shellholder. Lightly lube the case and run it up into the die. The brass will stick out the top. Using a fine tooth hack saw, cut the brass flush with the top of the die. Don't worry the hack saw will not hurt the top of the die. It is hardened for just this purpose.
    Procede with steps 3 - 5 above.

    Believe me, the form & trim die is the cat's meow for this. It not only makes it much easier & neater for the initial rough trimming, the case form nicer with less wrinkles or lube dents. Also, don't use too much lube, it will form dents in the shoulder when you do the first sizing. If you use surplus military brass don't forget to remove the primer crimp.

  19. #19
    Boolit Man mauser1959's Avatar
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    I knew that there was a reason that I kept all of that range picked up brass for 30/06... beside reloading my one Mauser in that caliber. To bad that .762 NATO hulls could not be processed in the same way. I may just start to look at that 06 ammo in a new way, I know that a guy gave me a box of it during deer season and I figured that it might come in handy some day... just not the way that I thought. At least I have one thing going for me, normally I am not into loading everything to be a Lamborghini. Thanks all for the input , should give me something to work with.
    God bless America

  20. #20
    Here is what I use for the first trimming when making 7x57 ackley from 06 brass.


    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=92878

    Cheap quick neat.


    Like they said, run it through the die first without stem. Cut with pipe cutter, run it
    through the die again with the decapper stem in place then trim to size with brass trimmer
    and chamfer. I also anneal, but after the case prep.

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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