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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since my stock of Remington 8mm Lebel is rather low and they are now collectors items, I'm going to be loading this round for fun and recreation w/Pervi brass. But rather than endless experiments I thought I would ask what people have found to be safe and accurate in these fine rifles and carbines:

1st Question. Jacketed Bullets: 8mm bullets in stock include some Sierra 150 gr. soft points and some older 160 gr. soft points. I also have salvaged 8mm Mauser bullets pulled from military cases. I'm not sure what to expect in the market place for bullets these days, it seems like everything is out of stock, but any ideas would be welcome, as well as powder charges.

2nd Question. Cast Bullets: Another option is to cast some lead. I have a Lymann/Ideal mold No. 321297 which reportedly casts a 181 gr. bullet, but the Lymann data I have for this mold suggests powders which are no longer made so any suggestions for a powder charge would be of interest.


What are your pet loads for the 8mm Lebel rifle/carbine?
 

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I my keep loads for all my 8mm Lebel chambered weapons on the light side including my 1918 semi auto. I use 38 grains of 4895 behind 150 grain SP's. Functions the semi fine a keeps the recoil moderate in the carbines. I use Graf's brass.
 

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Sierra 220 gr. bullet ... 44.0 grs. of IMR 3031 ... 2250 fps ... 2.967 OL
Sierra 220 gr. bullet ... 45.0 grs. of IMR 4895 ... 2250 fps. ... 2.967 OL
Hornady 220 gr. bullet ... 44.0 grs. of IMR 3031 ... 2230 fps ... 3.020 OL
Hornady 220 gr. bullet ... 45.0 grs. of IMR 4895 ... 2250 fps ... 3.020 OL
Sierra 175 gr. bullet ... 44.0 grs. of IMR 3031 ... 2350 fps ... 2.967 OL
Nosler 180 gr. bullet ... 44.0 grs. of IMR 3031 ... 2350 fps ... 2.967 OL
Nosler 200 gr. bullet ... 44.0 grs. of IMR 3031 ... 2350 fps ... 2.967 OL

I personally like the Nosler bullets best as they come the closest to simulating Balle D spitzer boattailed bullet and I get excellent results in my firearms with them
Please use the above data with care and I am not responsible for it in use in your firearm ... sorry have to CYA
Patrick
 

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45 auto, you may find the 150 gr bullets too short for proper functioning. I have used 170gr rn bullets before, but single loading them. If OAL is too short, the cartridge lifter tends to launch the next loaded round clear out of the action. They need to be long enough so that the nose of the bullet catches the top of the receiver to prevent this. You may find the cast bullet you mentioned may have the same problem, as well as it may cast too small. For cast, you should slug the bore, measure, and look for a bullet about .001-002 over groove diameter. I use a "special order" Lee mould available from Mid South that weighs 225 gr and casts at about.325-.326. There is also a Lee mould intended for the Steyr straight pulls that is 205gr and .329 diameter, if you need to go that big.

Edit: Most all my cast bullet loading is light loads, probably 12-1300fps. 11-12 gr Trailboss. Use them on steel out to 100 yards or so. For more range, you could try 16-17 gr 2400. For more cast ifo, go over on Castboolits website and search for the C.E. Harris article on cast loads for milsurp calibers.
 

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I actually just loaded 20 rounds up for testing this weekend with the 170gr round nose and they went fine with no ejecting out of the chamber. I seated them about halfway between the min and max OAL's and on the bullets I was using, the cannelure was about 1/32 above the top of the case. I got a Lee die set and used the data there as a start. They recommend 31 min/35 max of 4064 with a 170gr bullet, which sounds really anemic, but I'm just shooting paper so I tried 33gr and they shot pretty good. All 3 of my Berthiers fired just fine with this load (yours may be different of course use caution, etc, etc.) These are a bit underpowered, but nothing is being stressed, that's for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Many thanks for the additional data. I have not had time to seek out the suggested bullets and powders yet, but I intend to do so.

The last time I went to the range I tried some of the bullets I have in stock with light charges of powder, which worked ok but the accuracty was not great. As far as functioning, I kept the bullets close to the length of an original cartridge and they fed from the mag rather well.

Regarding Ideal mold No. 321297, according to one of my pre-war Ideal Handbooks and another one from 1946 this mold was recommended by Ideal for casting bullets for the 8mm French Service rifle. The flat tip would be a plus for a tubular magazine. So far I have had no time to cast and size any bullets with No. 321297 so this experiment will have to be done latter.
 
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