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Hello. I have a M95 Steyr Mannlicher that’s still chambered in 8x50R. The discussions I found here about reloading for this rifle have been super interesting, but as a non-reloader, the learning curve has been a little steep. Even though I don’t reload myself, I have friends who do reload modern rifle cartridges, and they will help me with rounds for the 8x50R. What I’m trying to do at this point is find the right projectiles (and load data somewhere). I found some 8x50R brass from Buffalo Arms. To get the right projectile, I used a kit to slug the bore as recommended in a post here. I used a 0.327” slug. It went through the bore without much force (although I don’t have any other bore slugging experience). The retrieved slug had what I would describe as well-defined flat spots where it rode the lands, but the lands didn’t really imprint a groove in the slug. The retrieved slug’s dimensions were 0.318” on the flat spots and 0.329” on the high spots. So my question is what size bullet is appropriate?

I bought some bullets I thought would work at Western Bullet. They are advertised as NOE 326378 250 gr. gas check cast lead. I measured their diameter as 0.325” (0.326” on the gas check). The weights of five pieces were actually 265 grain +/- a few tenths. These are the only bullets I’ve found that have the proper length and profile as the originals. Do you think they will perform well and safely? If not, what bullets can you suggest based on my bore? I appreciate any comments or other suggestions.

Steve
 

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Hornady and Privi make jacketed bullets in the (I believe correct) .329" diameter. Available from Graf's. If you wish to stick with lead, I would gravitate toward .329/.330" bullets. There is a feller over on GunBroker that sells such.
 

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I used .329 jacketed Hornady's (available at Grafs.com only) or Speer 200 gr .338 sized down to .329. You can also get PPU .329's at Graf's. I also use a 275 gr .330 gas-checked lead bullet that I cast. Don't bother with the bullets from Western Bullet - they will lead your bore. They arrived heavier because they are softer than the mold manufacturer used to determine the weight. They would be great in an 8x57 or such, but not a m.95. Been down that path. It sucks. Here's the bullet i cast on the right. A Lyman .323 250 gr bullet from Western Bullet is on the left...
3753101
 

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Thanks very much for your message. I hope you don't mind me asking you questions, but it's hard to find answers. I checked the Grafs site, and I can't find any .329" bullets. They have .330 jacketed boat tails, and I have some of them already. Any comment on if they'd work? I actually tried to "slug" my bore with one of the .330 rounds, but I couldn't even get the whole bullet into the muzzle. I had to drill it out.

I understand that a lead bullet will foul the barrel, but is there a cast bullet of any kind that WON'T foul it? The original bullets were lead also, right. Did the army just deal with lead-fouled barrels? (That's a sincere question by the way.)

I see the .324" had cast truncated tip bullets by Missouri Bullet. I assume they'd work, but I worry how they'd feed. They're already much shorter and the squared off end won't make life easier I assume.

Is there a source anywhere for the right bullet in terms of composition, weight and length??

THanks very much for your comments.

Steve
 

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Thanks very much for your message. I hope you don't mind me asking you questions, but it's hard to find answers. I checked the Grafs site, and I can't find any .329" bullets. They have .330 jacketed boat tails, and I have some of them already. Any comment on if they'd work? I actually tried to "slug" my bore with one of the .330 rounds, but I couldn't even get the whole bullet into the muzzle. I had to drill it out.

I understand that a lead bullet will foul the barrel, but is there a cast bullet of any kind that WON'T foul it? The original bullets were lead also, right. Did the army just deal with lead-fouled barrels? (That's a sincere question by the way.)

I see the .324" had cast truncated tip bullets by Missouri Bullet. I assume they'd work, but I worry how they'd feed. They're already much shorter and the squared off end won't make life easier I assume.

Is there a source anywhere for the right bullet in terms of composition, weight and length??

THanks very much for your comments.

Steve
Yes, those .330's are the ones we're talking about. Same bullets used in 8x56R, and the Austrians didn't modify barrels, just chambers. I seat the hornadys out, and ignore the cannelure. which is placed for the 8x56R.

To slug the barrel, use a .44 or .45 cal round ball in pure lead (muzzle loader ball). That will give you enough meat to measure and be easy to drive down the barrel. Trying with a jacketed bullet is a no-no, as you found out. Make sure you drive it in with a wooden dowel - no metal near the barrel crown.

If you shoot lead, you need to be .001-.002" over your bore diameter. I size mine at .330, but they are heavy and long, and slug up on the bore well on firing. Until you get a good measurement on your slug, you won't know exactly what you need, I have seen m.95's go from .328" to .334". You also have to watch your neck clearance - fat lead bullet with thicker neck case walls can get difficult to chamber.

That .324 Missouri bullet is meant for an 8mm Mauser. Don't bother with it for your 8x50R. If you want to try anything close to .323, it has to be jacketed, and it needs to be flat based if you want any accuracy at all. A properly sized lead bullet with a lube and driven at the right speed will not foul your barrel. But an undersize one will allow gas cutting, and then you have a mess. Original bullets for 8x50R were round nosed, jacketed, with an open flat base .323 diameter. I believe they were around 244 grains in weight. They depended on the base of the bullet to flare and fill the bore for accuracy. That's not an off the shelf bullet these days.
 

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Steve,

What is the condition of your rifle's bore? If it is bright and shiny, no pitting, cast lead bullets about .329-.330 will work. You can even use a "puff" load from C.E. Harris of about 6 gr. or Red Dot for a 100 yard plinker. Look up C.E. Harris "the load" on the net for more options with cast lead bullets. If the bore is rough, cast lead will just shred in the bore and clog it up, with poor accuracy.

The original 8X50 R I have are .323 in dia. jacketed round nose. These early smokeless military cartridges used deep grooves, some call it land riding principle. As you noted, the top of the rifling is .318, which will engrave a .323 bullet .005, and the material displaced increases the diameter of the bullet. Also, softer hunting bullets "bump up" on firing - the slam of pressure on the base plus the inertia of the heavy bullet upsets the material to seal the base. Before .329 bullets were available in any form in the 90s, I used a 220 gr. .323 gr. Hornady spire point flat base (flat base is key) over a load of IMR3031. I also used Remington 220s as well, Midway used to make available. This load would make a single hole ragged group at 50 yds. with a 1890 Gendamerie carbine with a bore so bad, chunks are gone in sections. The key is seating length - the bullet must be close to the lands, for me, an overall length of 3.005" made a difference of one hole versus a 12" pattern with the same load seated to the crimping groove on the bullet.

The late 19th early 20th century military solution was the deep grooves to prevent the build up of jacket material, which as every one was still working up an effective jacket alloy, was a problem. Lead bullets were not used in these rifles, other than slow gallery loads, as the higher velocities of smokeless powder do not work with lead only bullets, a jacket or at least a gas check is required.
 

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Finally, the 1890s Knowledge of Austrian Rifling ( and,Europe in General ) is spreading throught out The US 1890s Milsurp community.
" Base Upset Obturation for Jacketed bullets in Deep groove Rifling.
THE "AUSTRIAN SYSTEM"..
8MM Bore/calibre .315";
Groove a diameter 8,35mm ( .329"), Bullet Diameter 8,3mm ( .324") Flat or Concave Base ( M-N M91), long Cylindrical RN FMJ...
Base upset like a,driving band to .329, rest of bullet
" Rode the lands ( minimal engagement: Less Friction, less Heat, less Nickel Fouling, less barrel wear, and even a worn barrel could still fire effectively ( eg, MN rifles)
The full groove .329 M30S bullet was because the bullet was Spitzer are Boat tailed! Less engagement, no base upset.
Cast lead needs the same solution...Bullet diameter from .326 to 329"( even 330" ) WITH gas check to upset and scrape out Fouling ( hardened lead, good lubing).
Long live the M93 patrone ( 8x50R...
Doc AV

PS the NOE line of 8mm Moulds are the preferred designs...no connection with NOE, just a technical appraisal on paper!....
 
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