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History of 8mm Mauser Ammunition
The 8mm Mauser, also known as the 7.92x57mm Mauser, was developed by the Gewehr Prufungs Kommission in 1905. The goal of this cartridge was to improve upon and replace the Patrone 88 or M88 cartridge in use at the time. The cartridge has over 100 years of military service and it remains in service to this day with many countries in a reserve status.
Used in World War I the 8mm Mauser cartridge would gain the attention of other militaries. The accuracy and power of the cartridge were well respected and many compared the performance to the American .30-06 cartridge. By the start of World War II, the British were using the 8mm in vehicle mounted machine guns. The German military produced several variants of the cartridge including: incendiary, tracer, steel core and sniper rounds. The sniper ammunition was manufactured to a high level of quality and is comparable to today's match ammunition.
In the United States the 8mm Mauser is most commonly found in surplus Gewehr 98 and and the shorter Karabiner 98k rifles. It is well liked among hunters for its effectiveness on medium sized game. The effective range with the proper ammo is easily in excess of 400 yards. European hunters continue to use the 8mm Mauser for hunting deer, boar and bear. Several companies, such as: Blaser, Steyr, Mauser and Zastava continue to build hunting rifles in this caliber. Prvi Partizan, RWS, Sako and Sellier and Bellot continue to make 8 mm Mauser ammunition, it is most commonly found with a 196 grain bullet, but lighter loads are available.
Today's shooter needs to be aware of the different cartridges that can carry the 8mm Mauser or 7.92x57mm name. The M88 cartridge is also sold as the 8x57J, this will not work in most military surplus Mausers and civilian rifles as the bore is designed for a .318 inch bullet. There are also rimmed variants of the 8x57J and the 8mm Mauser that the buyer needs to be aware of before committing to an ammo purchase.
The 8mm Mauser has been around for a long time, and its excellent service record and respect among the hunting community will no doubt keep this great cartridge in use for a long time to come.
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