View Full Version : In Search of a Faster Cast Load for the 1917 Mauser......

08-30-2017, 01:43 PM
The rifle is the first one I ever built, a Bubba'd WWI M98 with 6" sawn off the end of the barrel with a hacksaw at an angle. Barrel faced and crowned, trigger polished, action reblued. New stock, scout mount, and 2X LeupoldEER on it. That was 35 years ago.
I already have a great target load for the 175 Lee and 3031, but it's barely 1500fps and I've been meaning to get around to testing some other powders to find something closer to or preferably well over 2000 for deer hunting.
Three years ago I loaded up a box of 4064 test loads. Yesterday I finally got a chance to shoot them. With the rifle sighted in for its favorite 150gr jacketed load I found the POI for the first increment was about 3" right and 8" low. Groups 3 5/8" + 7 3/4". No good. I readjusted the scope. #2 was on the paper with groups 4 5/8" and 5 3/8 (the first four were in a nice tight 1 1/4" group and I yanked the trigger to open it way up.) #3 yielded groups of 6 1/2" and 5 3/8". #4's POI was 5" higher and only had two rounds from each group at the top of the target. I adjusted the scope so #5 would be on the paper but I don't know where they went as the backboard was pretty shot up - none of the ten shots hit targets.
I figure I will need to retest #2, #4, & #5. No idea if 4 & 5 continued to open up, but the two pairs of #4 that hit the paper were each an inch apart.......
We need to cast a bunch more of those 175's......

09-07-2017, 03:36 AM
Inspect the bore for leading?
Are the bullets large enough?
Lyman #323470 w/ gas check and H4895.

09-07-2017, 02:10 PM
No leading. The same bullet does about 1.25-1.5" with its 3031 load. Size is .324", push-through with GC and lube is LLA. WW alloy for good obturation when fired and good expansion when it reaches its target. I liked the Lyman bullet and tested it in this and other Mausers, but this rifle liked the Lee noticeably better and I sold the other mould 20yrs ago. Despite its age and two WW's the old girl has a pretty tight bore and keeps every bullet it likes under 2MOA. Even the corrosive Yugo surp Berdan ammo shot 3MOA in it. I have also found that most of the dozen or so Mausers I have tried the 8mm Lee bullet in have done well with it. I have two of the 2cav Lee moulds, both are over 20yrs old, and both drop round, not oval, at .325" with WW alloy. I consider myself lucky to have found them as Lee's 2cav QC in recent years has left a lot to be desired.

No safe data that I am aware of for reducing Hodgdon powders - unlike IMRs and Alliants I've been reducing safely for the last 40years. (Not to say there isn't any, I have just never come upon it, or it has never come upon me.) If you have a safe data source for them do please post it. I really haven't had my ear to the ground for new developments these past few years and have been spending no time on the cast bullet forums so much new could have happened that I am not aware of.

I'll just try one powder after another until I get the combo that gives me something in a better velocity range. I'll probably try 4895 next - it and 3031 are pretty much my Go-To powders for cast hunting loads in medium capacity cases. Originally working up the target load for the Mauser I went to 3031 first and stopped when the first box of tests exceeded my expectations and shot under 2". I didn't keep very good notes back then and I don't see any 3031 tests in the hunting velocity range or any 4895 tests at all. It might be a smart idea to do a new ladder test with 3031 that goes all they way up through JStart and see what happens. I tried 4064 because it is safely reducible, because it has occasionally worked very well in .30 cal cast loads for me in the past, and because I had a lot of it on hand when I loaded the test.