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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First shooting of my m88 "returked" 1939 rebuild

TAKE NOTE ON MY DECISION ON LAST POST, ABOUT MY NEW DECISION NOT TO USE SURPLUS AMMO in any of my weaker actions anymore, some rifles are just too nice or potentially fragile to risk with garbage bargain basement surplus ammo that can destroy them or wear them out prematurely. G/k43's, g41's, m88's, maybe even 93 actions, should be highly regulated at 2100fps or lower, only cause broken parts and worn rifles cost alot of money to repair or replace.

........Okay, so today after all these years I get to finally shoot a mauser 88, this one I have talked of previously in the last week, a commission 88 returked in 1939 with m38 standard items like .323 bore, etc.

So I shot the greek low pressure 8mm at 300 yards(probably like a bonehead first class), apart from too many being duds, the rifle did excellent on accuracy after I adjusted the front sight though shots were going high on 100 meter setting(ammo 198 gr), and I figured out one doesn't need a mannlicher clip for this, not that I can see, rounds go under the spring loaded bullet hold down latch, I never knew these 88's returked would work without a mannlicher clip.

I almost hated shooting it, previous owner who passed away put alot of effort into refinishing all his firearms in the same blueing and buffed metal parts, like the bolt and follower and cleaning rod are all buffed nice.

Greek low power ammo worked fine, I believe one of the rounds had more pressure and the spent case initially gave resistance to removal, just slight. Greek ammo feels a little tight when locking down a freshly stripped off round, maybe the differences in ammo. Truthfully, we all know the turks likely shot plenty of turk ammo out of rifles just like mine but I won't go there myself.

A shooting friend tried to talk me out of it for the $102 I paid for it even without the bayonet assembly, just couldn't do it, he is envious. If I reloaded at all, this rifle would likely shoot like a sharpshooters' arm, as it was I was lucky to hit a gallon jug at 250 yards once I figured out it was shooting 4-6 inches high and I had a round stripped off that actually did go bang. I had to throw away 1 in every 3-4 rounds shot today, this batch may have set out in the open in the home too long without being locking up in a can, seemed to be okay years ago with less duds, and I have more locked away in rubber sealed metal cans at least.
 

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"I never knew these 88's returked would work without a mannlicher clip."


Mine has been modified to use standard stripper clips.Guides were added on each side of the receiver bridge for this purpose.Also has a shell interupter added like on the Mosin rifles.Doesn't your have these mods?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, mine has all the mods that is for sure, I just never realized these returked ones were made that way, made sense when I looked over one in person that I wouldn't need a mannlicher clip, and heck, I got years experience looking over turk guns on the internet, etc.
 

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I haven't shot mine yet.I'm planning on trying some Romanian ammo.Ive tried some through the mag to see if it fed OK.That part works fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I figure all posts for the weekend will get erased, but someone else previously claimed he was shooting romanian in his returked 88. I wished I had some romanian 8x57 myself, it must be of lower pressure. I probably won't shoot yugo ball in the 88, I had to leave the gas setting on a fn49 wide open and it still ejected 3-4 feet in that rifle system.
I am not worried about saftey on this 88 rifle, I mostly worry about premature lug setback from high pressure loads.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Also, TAKE NOTE, personally, I may never(as in will not) shoot surplus greek or any surplus 8mm through this or any 88 ever again anyway, I don't much trust old surplus 8mm, today's shooting session was a fiasco of dud rounds, I thought the ammo is lower pressure, I have to trust the greeks back then didn't accidently overload a round(then what?). I went through this with G/k43 rifles, trying to shoot surplus ammo, I had a bolt in a g43 that had a mis machined spot too thin and was thin and broke one day in that weak spot, cost me $200 for a replacement bolt, when originally years ago I said I would only shoot reloads through an expensive rifle.

No more surplus ammo for me through an 88, is just aint worth the strain on the action, will be reloads when I get into reloading or I'll sell it off to someone who can reload in the 2100 fps range or less.
 

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Pretty neat gun- an 88 that looks like a 93, or 03, or...

They redid these guns quite extensively, obviously, and issued them to the Turkish army, and they worked fine, I'm sure! I'll bet it was fun to shoot, the 88 action is pretty smooth.

I've shot reloads and turk ammo in mine, but I'm pretty happy with the turk ammo I've got. I still mostly shoot mild reloads, as I like that better. Most of the turk ammo in strippers is the WWI load, which I know is safe in these guns, they were shot with them throughout their service life, and tested with them. If anything, a load matching 154 grain (10 g) bullets moving at about 2891 fps (880 m/s) at 25 meters should bring you right on the WWI service load that the gun was rebuilt for, and the sights are set for.

I don't mess with most of the surplus ammo in the 88's, as most of it is simply the wrong ammo, and seems to give more recoil. The sS (heavy ball round) was much heavier shooting, and during these gun's heyday (WWI) was reserved for heavy Machine guns, (MG08) firing with special sights. It's the common today 8mm surplus round, with 198 grain bullets, moving at 2575 fps.

Have you pulled any of the Greek ammo's bullets to see what kind it is? Did it come in it's original boxes? I'm guessing since the Greeks used a different cartridge in WWI, it's sS ball ammo?

In any case, I'll bet the 88's reworked by the turks into your configuration are the strongest and safest to shoot 88's out there. They are certainly the ones with the thickest barrel, and have been by far the ones most recently through a total arsenal rebuild and check out, by people who were re-doing lots of them, so they had the tooling set up, and lots of parts. I've also heard that they re-heat-treated the recievers when they redid them, but I haven't seen proof of that. Enjoy your rifle!
 

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Yugo ball

Don't shoot Yugo in this thing, that's really heavy stuff. Some of the Chech rounds are very light, and the Romanian ammo is the LPS bullet, which is a light ball- it's not bad.
 

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You are going down the right path...don't shoot any surplus ammo (as is) in your 88.

What I do for my Turk 88/05/35 is I pull the bullets on the Turk ammo and dowload it 25%. Still shoots nice but it doesn't beat on the 110+ year old receiver as much.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I think the downloading of turk ball could be my best bet then, though I don't reload, I could start out downloading turk ammo if I got me a basic setup for reloading, maybe even using a different powder for instance on a semi auto, for I have a significant amount of turk ball ammo, I could very well see downloading just a bandolier of 70 rounds for a range trip or even two. I suppose people use a kinetic bullet puller for that type of operation.
 
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I was sitting close to a 93 action that bout blew apart once, most of the bolt face after a case head separation, and it held together, but I wouldn't shoot any surplus in any 93 or older action myself.
 

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A set of Lee powder measures is about $7, impact bullet pullers run about $15. It's a little tedious to pop off the bullets, put back in a measure of about 75% of the powder and push the bullet back in but its cheap and safe.
Unless you get a press and crimp them the reloads are only good for single shots, recoil will push the bullets back into the case if they're in the magazine.
To avoid mixing up your rounds dab the downloads with a magic marker.
 

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S Ball loads

If you're going to download the S Ball Turk ammo, then you should probably use a powder and load with known properties, and not just reload the turk powder; I noted variations on it with a chronograph, so I'm not sure what pressures you'd be getting. As noted, though, you could just reduce the charge a little, and that's probably fine. I think the S ball turk ammo is fine as is, but ymmv. If you use IMR 3031 powder, for example, you can get load data for that, and then just replace the bullet. Don't go shooting the Yugo. I've got some old Greek ammo, what headstamp is the Greek you've got? I'll pull a bullet and check it out.

I think to start off with, you should get a lee loader type reloading set and a bullet puller for this type of deal, if you haven't done this before- it's a little one at a time kit, everything you'll need is there, it's cheap, and it'll work well, but if you're not doing lots of ammo, it's a good way to start and see if you like it.
 

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I wouldn't recommend shooting that Romanian surplus either. I have 50's and 70's yugo and some 70's Romanian and I don't think any of these are loaded at levels that would be safe for an 88.

But I err on the side of caution and good eyesight!

T
 

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I use pulled Turk bullets with 49 gr of IMR 4350 in a new commercial case for my Turk 88, it's a pretty mild load..

It's just easier IMOP to S-can the turk brass & powder and just use the bullet with new brass & powder since new boxer 8mm brass isn't all that expensive...
 

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Here's a Turked 88 I picked up a couple of weeks ago at a gunshop for $115. It was missing the rod, but I had an extra 93 Turk rod and it went right in. It's by far the nicest Turk I have.







 

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I often wonder why Gew88s were never modified with an emergency gas-vent hole in the bolt-body.
Dunno. I've done it with 93 mausers, imitating the 96 Swede - needed to use a glass cutting drill bit, the bolts were so hard.
 

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gunluvver,

That is a great looking turk! I keep getting tempted to pick up a turk, and yours makes me think of looking again.

T
 
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