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Thread: A $39 Austrian Steyr 8x56 becomes useful ................... in 30-40 Krag :-)

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    A $39 Austrian Steyr 8x56 becomes useful ................... in 30-40 Krag :-)

    ................I suppose most of us can remember when the M95 Austrian 8x56R straight pulls were plentiful starting out at around $39. In any event I had an 01 FFL at the time and other then a 'Parts Gun' that's about what they cost. Brass was all Berdan primed and corrosive as all heck (just had to look at a few bores, and you KNEW) However they were fun, and some of the better ones were actually accurate enough to fool with. I converted some of the original brass to use shotshell primers, but with most any load, they'd pierce.

    Still, ammo was the problem so my first effort was to find something commonly available that was at least CLOSE enough to use. That turned out to be the 30-40 Krag. Other then the actual gunsmithing to the donor carbine, getting the Krag brass and the Steyr clips to work was fairly simple.



    Step one was to get a gunsmith to screw on a barrel, then chamber it for the 30-40 Krag.



    Once that was done, you could engine turn the bolt for a bit of flair. Also add an improved rear sight.



    Then a forend tip was added, AND I got to try my hand at checkering for the first try. Came out okay, but a bit coarse.



    A front sight base was made up from a piece of scrap low carbon steel, and silver soldered to the barrel.



    Finally the mods required to have the original clips perform with the new cartridge were performed. They were narrowed both at the top to have the rounds present correctly to the chamber. Plus the vertical lips of the clips also had to be bent inward together enough to retain the slimmer Krag round.



    Finally, the bottom inside of each clip had to be bent inward enough to keep the slimmer case bodies from escaping out the bottom. That idiotic PINK (for God's sake) printing says: "The top cartridge is at almost the same feed angle. To keep the smaller OD 30-40 cases from rattling, a small bend upwards and to the inside is made. It's just barely visible here on the outside. The white square is around the inward bent portion.

    ................Buckshot
    Last edited by Buckshot; 11-17-2020 at 12:52 AM.
    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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    "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."

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  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Nice .....for one of these that I want to turn into 475 linebaugh ....good looking rig

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    You took a neat rifle chambered for a klcking rotten beast of a cartridge and turned it into a nicer neat rifle chambered for a wonderful polite cartridge. In my opinion, of course.

    Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Boolit Mold gschwertley's Avatar
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    Very nice looking converted rifle. I do not rue the loss of the fugly original forward stock fittings.

    I've owned the military original versions in three waves in my lifetime. Actually, in the 1950's you could buy these in 8x50R or 8x56R for as low as $15. Long rifles or carbines. My very first one in 1966, I got rooked, paid $20. The ones from Bulgaria in the 90's were, what, $75 rifles? Oh but now things are different. Several months ago, I sold my last two. I was astonished to get $600-something for a Bulgarian rework long rifle, and $350 for a very ordinary Stutzen, both 8x56R.

    The "kicking rotten beast of a cartridge" comment above is surely appropriate. But at the time, the countries involved were making do and the 8x56R was the result. In Hungary, it was "in for a penny, in for a pound" so they stuck with the cartridge when the then-new 35M was introduced. Being a heavier rifle, it wasn't as bad as to recoil, at least not like the short M95. The long rifle, recoil understandably is less. The original 8x50R what with the long, heavy bore-riding bullet is more civilized.

    Before commercial brass for reloading 8x56R became available, I tried the shot shell primer conversion idea but it didn't work out well for me. I've done the Berdan to Boxer primer conversion with success but it's time-consuming. I did all kinds of load development with this over 20 years. The fact is, with equivalent charges, 8x56R is never gonna be an 8mm Mauser. The physics aren't there. I just resigned myself to a 2,000 fps rifle.

    One time, I was able to buy about 900 rounds of 1938 factory military surplus ammo for a very low price. These became fairly tolerable to shoot with the original charge of European flake powder reduced by 10% (about 4.6 gr.). Then I would reseat the pulled bullet, using a Lee factory crimp die. This way I didn't have to resize that very short neck, which I've never liked the design of with respect to adequate tension/pull on a seated bullet. There's a reason the factory bullet was a BT design.

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    Boolit Master
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    Very nice!

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    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    I still have one in nice shape that I bought about 30 years ago for around $50. Also had a case of the 1938 Nazi ammo and that thing kicked like a mule. Sold most of the ammo( at a nice profit) and have the rifle hanging on the wall of our log cabin. Your gun looks great !

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    I found brass (PPU?) in 8x56R for my carbine, a mold for .318 Westley Richards by NEI, and a .339 push thru sizing die from Lee. I got some nice groups, back about 2001, but I gave the carbine & tools to a friend who had the long rifle already. None of my kids would have known what to do with it all, or would have the patience. I admire the effort and workmanship you put into this conversion.
    "You will wantonly strike a hornet's nest which extends from mountains to ocean, and legions, now quiet, will swarm out and sting us to death. It is unnecessary; it puts us in the wrong; it is fatal." Robert Toombs, Democrat of Georgia, warning of the results of the imminent attack of the Confederacy upon Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, 1861

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    Boolit Master
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    As always, Buckshot, your work is fantastic. Well done, young man!

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    Buckshot as always very nice project gun!




    Edit: and Ric I remember this project from many- many moons ago, still enjoy seeing this fine rifle
    Last edited by swheeler; 11-19-2020 at 12:49 PM.
    Hell, I was there!

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    Boolit Buddy 444ttd's Avatar
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    very nice!!!!!!!!!!!!
    "The religion of KE: proposed by the ignorant, and parroted by the unknowing" - MikeG

    ​“Einstein's relativity work is a magnificent mathematical garb which fascinates, dazzles and makes people blind to the underlying errors. The theory is like a beggar clothed in purple whom ignorant people take for a king... its exponents are brilliant men but they are metaphysicists rather than scientists.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

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    Boolit Master
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    Very nice project and in a classic caliber! You done good.

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    Boolit Master

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    Buckshot, I like your style.

    That’s a great combination of a rifle and cartridge. However, I seem to remember you doing one in 30-30. Is my memory ok or am I just getting old?
    Shoot Safe,
    Mike

    Retired Telephone Man
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    Marion Road Gun Club
    ( www.marionroad.com )

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    Boolit Master

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    Another great rifle and story, thank you sir!
    More "This is what happened when I,,,,," and less "What would happen if I,,,,"

    Last of the original Group Buy Honcho's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Grinch View Post
    Buckshot, I like your style.

    That’s a great combination of a rifle and cartridge. However, I seem to remember you doing one in 30-30. Is my memory ok or am I just getting old?
    You're like me Unc, simply have too much stored away up there
    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

  15. #15
    Boolit Man
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    Where can I get a barrel threaded for my 95 styre, my barrel has been demilled, would like to do a 30 40? I can turn it but don't know how to thread.

    kurt

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    Boolit Buddy
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    Killed a deer with mine (still in 8x56R) a few years back when we had a late, antlerless, high power season, for the lower 2 counties here in Iowa. Sadly this went away so no loner can use it but as a consolation we did get the ability to use straight wall cartage in shotgun season so its a 45-70 now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cub45 View Post
    Where can I get a barrel threaded for my 95 styre, my barrel has been demilled, would like to do a 30 40? I can turn it but don't know how to thread.

    kurt
    ..............Dunno where ya live, so I cannot recommend my gunsmith, but I would recommend one near you. You'd also have to have a chamber reamed also.

    .................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

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy 444ttd's Avatar
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    Buckshot,
    what kind of aperture sight do you use?
    "The religion of KE: proposed by the ignorant, and parroted by the unknowing" - MikeG

    ​“Einstein's relativity work is a magnificent mathematical garb which fascinates, dazzles and makes people blind to the underlying errors. The theory is like a beggar clothed in purple whom ignorant people take for a king... its exponents are brilliant men but they are metaphysicists rather than scientists.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

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    Quote Originally Posted by 444ttd View Post
    Buckshot,
    what kind of aperture sight do you use?
    It was just an old Lyman I had on hand.
    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

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy 444ttd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckshot View Post
    It was just an old Lyman I had on hand.
    i like it!!!!! i have the old lyman(98 mauser) and redfield(1898 spr armory and 91 argentine mauser) apertures and a "newer" williams fp (win m94) and skinner(tc encore) sights. well, i replaced the skinner sights for the 2-7x leopold.

    i was taught, by the US Army, how to use a aperture sight, when i was 18yo. when i first looked at them, i said no way they're better than my old buck horns sights. i was wrong. the aperture sight was and still is the best sighting instrument of all time. then 6 years later, i was out of the Army and the aperture sight was left in dust, waiting for the day that i needed it. 20+ years later, i needed the aperture sight. dang deer and targets were all blurry. no way its my eyes. they're as strong and bright as the day i born!!!!! telling me about to go to eye doctor.....why i oughta....
    "The religion of KE: proposed by the ignorant, and parroted by the unknowing" - MikeG

    ​“Einstein's relativity work is a magnificent mathematical garb which fascinates, dazzles and makes people blind to the underlying errors. The theory is like a beggar clothed in purple whom ignorant people take for a king... its exponents are brilliant men but they are metaphysicists rather than scientists.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

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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