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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I had to have this beautiful Mannlicher Schonauer. A fabulous 1908 that hasn’t been tinkered with and has a factory scope

My problem is the tag says 8 x 57R. Very reputable collectible dealer but I was excited and din‘t bother to ask what the R stands for.

I am familiar with 6.5 x 54 Mannlicher Schonauer (yes, I still hunt with my grandfather‘s). And I am familiar with 8 x 56 Mannlicher Schonauer (which you really can‘t find) and of course 8 x 57 Mauser… but I also know there are different variants and this is one. DO they mean 8 x 57 Rimmed? Usually thats a double rifle or drill rifle cartridge. Was it common to adapt these rifles to this cartridge.

Anyway, what is 8 x 57R?
 

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Well, the 8 X 57R is definitely the rimmed version of the 8 X 57. I bought three boxes of S&B just in case.

I've been working with and studying German and Austrian firearms for about 20 years and I don't believe what ANY American gun dealer says about what cartridge a rifle is chambered for, reputation be darned. I've had TWO of those "reputable" dealers be wrong.

I have a totally un-mucked with 1908 and it is 8 X 56. I bet yours is too BUT, the ONLY way to confirm anything is make or have made a chamber cast. Bear in mind that SOME 1908's will chamber 8 X 57 but firing that cartridge is not recommended as it's quite a bit hotter. A double check would be to measure the bolt face. The rimmed and rimless versions do not have the same size rim.

Buffalo Arms USED to sell 8 X 56 made from 35 Whelen but it was too hot for my rifle. I pulled it down and removed 2 grs. of powder and it was fine.. I thought I had seen 8 X 56 by PPU or S&B in the past. The case is easily formed from 30-06 but you'll probably have to thin the necks.

I also have a 1903.
 

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I'd start with a GOOD set of calipers and......measure the bolt face. It ain't rocket surgery.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'd start with a GOOD set of calipers and......measure the bolt face. It ain't rocket surgery.
It’s not rocket science but ya know I dint know whether to measure the whole face or to use a caliper or micrometer.

Got a picture of the markings on the underside of the barrel?
Let me see what it takes to field strip it
 

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You'll measure that part where the rim fits.

Take down is as with the majority of bolt rifles. Only difference is the screw that holds the front sling stirrup on goes through a lug that is dovetailed into the barrel. I can't remember if the screw for the metal nose piece needs to come out or not. I want to remember I remove it and slide the cap off. Watch for the nut so it doesn't fall out. It's sort of held captive in the cap.....I think.

Go slow removing the action from the stock. After all these years it might be stuck pretty tight. Just go slow and you'll be ok. Every maker today who makes a stutzen stock needs to take some lessons from Steyr on how to make a full stock instead of a baseball bat. My goodness, those made today are clubs!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You'll measure that part where the rim fits.

Take down is as with the majority of bolt rifles. Only difference is the screw that holds the front sling stirrup on goes through a lug that is dovetailed into the barrel. I can't remember if the screw for the metal nose piece needs to come out or not. I want to remember I remove it and slide the cap off. Watch for the nut so it doesn't fall out. It's sort of held captive in the cap.....I think.

Go slow removing the action from the stock. After all these years it might be stuck pretty tight. Just go slow and you'll be ok. Every maker today who makes a stutzen stock needs to take some lessons from Steyr on how to make a full stock instead of a baseball bat. My goodness, those made today are clubs!
So, I very gently got it apart. Truly the finest, tightest fitting stock I have ever witnessed but none of it was crispy. It was also cleaner inside than out… really it looks like a new 11:)
Helmet Toy Personal protective equipment Hat Action figure

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2871 is the serial number 8mm is the caliber. It was the 117 th rifle Nitro proofed in 1913 through the Vienna Austria proof house. I doubt seriously that it is flanged but if you remove the bolt and shine a light into the chamber you should be able to see if the chamber is cut for a rim (flange).Nice looking rifle congratulations. It is a model 1908.
 

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Well, the 8 X 57R is definitely the rimmed version of the 8 X 57. I bought three boxes of S&B just in case.

I've been working with and studying German and Austrian firearms for about 20 years and I don't believe what ANY American gun dealer says about what cartridge a rifle is chambered for, reputation be darned. I've had TWO of those "reputable" dealers be wrong.

I have a totally un-mucked with 1908 and it is 8 X 56. I bet yours is too BUT, the ONLY way to confirm anything is make or have made a chamber cast. Bear in mind that SOME 1908's will chamber 8 X 57 but firing that cartridge is not recommended as it's quite a bit hotter. A double check would be to measure the bolt face. The rimmed and rimless versions do not have the same size rim.

Buffalo Arms USED to sell 8 X 56 made from 35 Whelen but it was too hot for my rifle. I pulled it down and removed 2 grs. of powder and it was fine.. I thought I had seen 8 X 56 by PPU or S&B in the past. The case is easily formed from 30-06 but you'll probably have to thin the necks.

I also have a 1903.
You can buy properly head stamped brass from Quality cartridge manufacturing. I had them make me 200 cases of 9x56 MS a couple of years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You can buy properly head stamped brass from Quality cartridge manufacturing. I had them make me 200 cases of 9x56 MS a couple of years ago.
Just to clarify, the C 8.) does mean 8 x 56 Mannlicher Schonauer, correct? And of course the rifle would need some modification to adopt to 8 x 57 R.

I don’t reload so I’m going to get a cast made and find someone to roll me 50 or 100 rounds of 8 x 56 MS. There is a guy in Oklahoma that says he does it with a 170 grain Hornady Soft Nose.
 

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No Mr. E, it just means the bore is 8mm. You might slug the bore also to confirm it is .323 groove diameter. I never heard of any being .318 but I'd still check. I've had enough surprises with German and Austrian rifles that I don't trust anything or anyone. I check EVERYTHING. I have a Haenel/Aydt Schuetzen rifle that was sold as an 8.15 X 46R. It was actually a cartridge even a German authority acquaintance had never heard of. We ended up calling it an "8.7 X 55R." That's a far cry from 8.15 X 46R. Try to find that one in any cartridge reference. Another, a nice Czech made, German proofed double rifle ended up being an 8 X 65R Brenneke, sort of, with a .318 groove diameter that I ended up making from 30R Blaser cases. At any rate, my recommendation is to check everything, twice. Don't assume anything with these fine, old rifles. We don't know what some ham handed dolt might have done to them.

It might or might not need any mod. to chamber 8 X 57. As I mentioned, there is some 1908's out there that will chamber the 8 X 57 though they are assuredly not proofed for that cartridge. When you get your chamber cast measure it carefully as the two are very close.

Make certain whoever you get to load for you is definitely aware of the difference between the two. The 8 X 57 operates at a higher pressure than the 8 X 56.

I use two bullets in my 1908, the 170 gr. Hornady RN and a 200 gr. bullet I cast from an Accurate Mold.

Oh, and take a picture of that bolt face. I'll have to see it before I believe it's chambered for a rimmed case. I just ain't buyin' it on some dealers say so, regardless their reputation.

Edit: I've been a member of the Mannlicher Collector's Assn. for 10 years, I think. They' published a couple of my articles.
 

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Just to clarify, the C 8.) does mean 8 x 56 Mannlicher Schonauer, correct? And of course the rifle would need some modification to adopt to 8 x 57 R.

I don’t reload so I’m going to get a cast made and find someone to roll me 50 or 100 rounds of 8 x 56 MS. There is a guy in Oklahoma that says he does it with a 170 grain Hornady Soft Nose.
Old western scrounger has 8x56ms for sale from time to time. You can do a plaster cast or just take the bolt out and look at the chamber . If it is rimmed you will be able to see the recess for the rim. I have never heard of rimmed being chambered in the model 1908 but they did a lot of custom work before WW1. I would recommend slugging the bore to ensure it is not .318 The Mannlicher cllectors association has a website and is a wealth of information.
 

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GMTA....lol!!!

Heck, you said you have a 1903. Compare the bolt faces. They should be the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
GMTA....lol!!!

Heck, you said you have a 1903. Compare the bolt faces. They should be the same.
Ahhh… OK. I am learning a lot
1. Yess, I knew this rifle was an 08
2. I perceived the original chambering for the rifle was 8 x 56 Mannlicher Schoenaur… but I thought it wa a rimmed cartridge! So now I know better
3. Here is the bolt face. Now that I look at it it looks pretty standard. I can’t look at my other rifle. I keep it on my in-laws farm in Georgia and kill hogs with it
4. I have also taken reasonably good pictures of the chamber and chamber face
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Sprenger or Springer? There's a lot of shops from the 1800's, even the 1700's, that are still in business. Some are still in the family.

My compliments to you on the quality of your pictures. That's something I suck at.
 
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