Sunday, July 20, 2008

Results of hand loading

Previously on this blog, find six articles on hand loading 8x57mm ammunition for a Mil-surp Mauser.

Some folks might think “Why Bother?” when reading how much work it is.

I can provide two reasons right off the bat…

1) It’s fun and interesting to do the hand loading, and expands the depth to which we can enjoy our interest in shooting. I can’t document this, it has to be experienced, and I know it’s not for everyone. These articles are aimed at those who wish to take a shot at it. Pun intended.

2) Hand loading precision ammunition can result in spectacular accuracy, even in a cheap old Military surplus rifle. That I CAN document, and will do so now.

In this case the range results are from using the ammunition built while putting together the previous articles. I compared it to plain jane military surplus 1950’s Yugoslavian 8x57mm ammunition. Many people shoot this right now as there was a large amount available recently.

I shot at 50 yards, the distance I can see these targets without my eyes blurring too much. I wanted to make it a test of the ammo, not my aging eyes.

The rifle, to be a fair test, is not the Mauser this ammunition was loaded for. It’s another Turkish model 38 acquired because the price was right and the rifle is in excellent condition.

Here she is off the bench at 50 yards with 50's Yugoslavian surplus. The group is just a bit over 1.5", which is not terrible for a 60 year old Mauser battle rifle with miserable sights shooting 50 year old mil-surp ammunition. I should mention.... the first shot was the ten-X, and my heart jumped. What a good omen!

A group like this is encouraging to me. The rifle wants to shoot; it's just up to me to give it what it needs.

Next up, a group shot immediately after the first, using the ammunition loaded while writing the articles found below:

This group is just over .75".
That’s as good as I can see at 50 yards using the rough old Turkish battle sights. Actually, it's better than I can see and I can't account for that.

At another place I posed this question “How far must a rifle move on the bench to deflect the bullet 1" at 100 yards?” The answer seems to be about .005" movement will change impact 1" at 100 yards. Using that figure, it would translate to only .007" movement of the rifle on the bench could have given me this .75" group. There are other factors in play, but that should indicate how much accurately built ammunition counts!

The only other shooter there while I ran this test was firing a very tricked out Rock River AR platform with hand loaded ammo and a high magnification scope. He was also shooting .75" groups, only at 100 yards.

$125 antique Mauser battle rifle = .75" at 50 yards.

$1250 custom AR target rifle = .75" at 100 yards.

I guess this whole business of loading ammunition with accuracy in mind really pays off.

(Coming up next: A comparison of sizing methods, Neck Vs. Full length)


Weetabix said...

You truly inspire me.

Now I just need to translate that into action. ;-)

Carteach0 said...

Thank you Weetabix, I appreciate it.

Though, to be honest.... this blog doesn't get much traffic, and what it does get is almost all Google surfs.
That makes wonder if I'm not wasting my time with it.

Freddyboomboom said...

I love it, actually.

You need to look at if it gives you any satisfaction to do these writeups, and is it for you or for others that you do so.

Those are questions only you can answer...

Weetabix said...

That makes wonder if I'm not wasting my time with it.

Oh, my goodness no! Perhaps your a quiet member of Albert Jay Nock's "Remnant" - the people who keep civilization going through the low points.

I found you on a google surf, and I check in every day even when you're on hiatus. This is a great blog and one of my every day reads.

Brigid said...

You know, you need to write a book on this stuff. Between you and Frank James what else do I need to know??

farmist said...

PLEASE know that your efforts here are appreciated! I have enjoyed your writings for some time now, but this last series on reloading is the best. I have not found a reloader locally to teach me, (reading the procedures in a book just isn't enough) - this series is the next best thing.

Thank you.

Bruce B. said...

Thanks for posting this series. I'm going to be teaching a friend to reload and I'm going to direct him here to begin his preparation. Then I'll have him read my manuals of course.

The Misanthrope said...

"Though, to be honest.... this blog doesn't get much traffic, and what it does get is almost all Google surfs. That makes wonder if I'm not wasting my time with it."

Your site is read by more than google!

I recently started loading. I found this site via a google search trying to figure out if I could safely load a .310" bullet in my 30-06, and if not, what about my MAS which has been converted to 308.

I was stuck here for hours of enjoyable reading after finding this site. Believe me, there is much useful information here and I appreciate what you have written here. I will be bookmarking your site and visiting often.

Anonymous said...

Please, PLEASE, continue posting to your blog!

You have inspired me to go find a nice Swiss K31 and try some long-range high power shooting with handloads. And I loved your entry regarding the Lee molds. I too love the Lee stuff for its great value and utility, while recognizing the work they do sometimes requires a little, ahem! touchup...

Killshot said...

Well here it is nearly May 2010 and your excellent article are still motivating and informing.

Bookmarked your blog for continued reference.

Anonymous said...

You have done well , Obiwan! lol

Here I am in Alaska in March 2011.

Your accuracy post and the post on turk Mauser firing pin was excellent. Well done and much appreciated!

ak_milsurp CHugiak, AK

Anonymous said...

just stumbled on this site.
I aquired my first mauser (a "Slav") several years ago for a really good price. It was so full of cosmoline that I could barely see through the barrel, after cleaning, the bore looked beautiful. The very first rounds I put through it were handloads. Satisfactory 3"-4"@ 100 yds open sights. since then I have stocked it(original was badly cracked), and triggered it, and scoped it. now it shoots 1"-2" groups @ 100 yds and 3"-4" @ 200 yds. I now have 4 mausers; 1-German K98(8mm) and 2-Spanish 1916 pattern, 1 rifle & 1 carbine both 7mm, and the "Slav" my personal favorite!
They all shoot very respectable even the 1932 Spanish "Ovedio" with a badly pitted barrel shoots
3"-5" @ 100 yds (reduced loads only in that one). Anyway I could talk forever ; Love them mausers!
Keep up the good work! Great site!
Scott from Western Wa

Anonymous said...

I followed a link from Thank you very much for the detailed step by step instructions. I printed the whole series out and laminated them for future use and to keep for reference, right alongside the Speer reloading guide. 8-)