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Hi all,

I have a Mauser 98k action that I removed the barrel because it wasn't in good shape (externally pitted). I was thinking of re-barreling to 06 or 308 with a 22" barrel. My new thought was a 20" lightweight carbine rifle weighing ~ 6.5 - 7 lbs. While looking over possible caliber/barrel options, I noted ballistics of the 8x57 with modern loading data. I had an idea: Why can't I find a new or good used military barrel, have the steps turned off, cut to 20", re-crown and re-stock. I should end up with a short lightweight rifle. My goal is for a carry/beater rifle capable of taking whitetails and blackbears. Where can I find a new military barrel and what problems am I going to run into? Any thoughts? Thanks.
 

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Whitetail, it's a very good idea. The 8mm doesn't give up a lot to the 06. Brass is not quite as available as the 06 but not hard to come by by any means. You can also go to the 8mm/06 if you handload. this is nothing but the 06 cased necked up to take 8mm bullets. The only real advantage here is brass is easier to find.

If you do not handload and plan shooting a fair amount, I would get a 30/06 barrel.
 

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Whitetail: Sticking to the 8x57 is a great idea. Have you checked out all the cheap surplus 8mm miliarty ammo available for cheap shooting?

Also, there are some great 8x57 bullets out there for handloading. The Nosler manual shows the 200 grain Partition at 2700 fps. This is faster than factory loadted 30-06/180 grain ammo and it's heavier and makes a bigger hole. An optimally loaded 8x57 is way ahead of the .308.

Also the 180 grain Barnes X and Nosler 180 Grain Bal. Tip have achieved good reviews. Remington makes a 185 PSP. Never used them though. I don't much care for the short, stubby little 150 grainers that some like to use in this caliber. Too little S.D., although I have seen some good reviews of the 170 Grain Speer Semi-Spitzer and that bullet shoots well in my rifles. You can also get premium 8mm bullets from Swift, Hawk and Woodleigh. The 8mm bore has suffered until very recently from a lack of good bullets, but new introductions have cured that problem.

If you want to do something with the tons of 30-06 brass you have, you can get an 8mm trim die and make 8x57's cheaply and easily out of .270's, 30-06's etc. Works like a champ. Also, both Remington & Winchester make new 8x57 brass and there is no excuse for rejecting this caliber for reasons of brass availabilty.

I'm not a big fan of the 8mm-06. You can't use cheap surplus ammo for practice and the round is too long for intermediate length mausers. Also, most of the loading data does not show appreciable ballistic gains over the strandard 8x57. Some people love wildcats and can't sleep nights without one to play with. I sympathize. I have my own obsessions and if others are willing to accept mine, I will accept theirs.
 

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8X57

Try E R Shaw for a barrel. Wont be a stock Mil Barrel but a sporter wt barrel. You will have to get the channel in the stock opened up. They do reasonable priced work that I think would be better than a mil barrel.
 

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I agree on the Shaw barrel recommendation. There is, however, another way. Get a 7x57 miliatary barrel and have it rebored (185.00) for 8x57. You'll have a brand new bore and it will fit perfectly in your miliary stock.
 

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Whitetail said:
Hi all,

I have a Mauser 98k action that I removed the barrel because it wasn't in good shape (externally pitted). I was thinking of re-barreling to 06 or 308 with a 22" barrel. My new thought was a 20" lightweight carbine rifle weighing ~ 6.5 - 7 lbs. While looking over possible caliber/barrel options, I noted ballistics of the 8x57 with modern loading data. I had an idea: Why can't I find a new or good used military barrel, have the steps turned off, cut to 20", re-crown and re-stock. I should end up with a short lightweight rifle. My goal is for a carry/beater rifle capable of taking whitetails and blackbears. Where can I find a new military barrel and what problems am I going to run into? Any thoughts? Thanks.
OK, some basic obsrvations.....You say the barrel is pitted externally, but you want to cut it down to carbine length and turn the steps down. So far I'm with you. But here is where I loose you.....Why do you want another barrel in an 8X57mm if turning down the barrel would cure the pitting? Sounds like you could save a couple bucks, and besides, didn't you say you want a "beater" for white tail and bear? Could be if you left it alone and just polished it up with emory cloth, and cold blued it, you might even save the original.

Jim
 

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Have to agree with SavageT here.. If all you want is a beater just use a bit of OxphoBlue from Brownells(it will halt the active rust) on the rust spots and use it as is... Good caliber and a great rifle... You can add things to make it more effective(better trigger, scope, etc.) for just a little and have a very tough rifle..
 
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