K98 Fun


Nov 27, 2023

There is 8mmx57 out there. Some of it cheap. Unfortunately, for me, most of it is berdan primed.

For those that don’t understand the importance of that statement, there are two types of primers that are currently used, “berdan” and “boxer”.

Boxer primers are made in two parts, a cup, with primer material, and an anvil. When you seat the primer, the anvil is set further into the cup by a slight amount. When the firing pin strikes the back of the brass cup, the primer material is crushed between the base of the cup and the anvil, causing a spark. I.e., the spark button works.

That spark flashes through a single, “large” hole and ignites the zoom juice, causing the magic powder to go “poof” pushing a freedom seed out the mouth of the cartridge.

A berdan primer is slightly different. It has the same cup and primer material, but it does not have an anvil. Instead, the case that receives the primer has an anvil. There are two holes on either side of that anvil that allows the spark to flash through to the zoom juice.

When we use a boxer primer, we can push the primer out with a pin pushed through the mouth of the case. Easy. There is no central hole to remove the berdan primer.

A common method used to remove berdan primers is hydro-shocking them. You fill the case with water. You push in a small road that fills most of the mouth. You place the case with rod over a small hole. You wack the rod with a hammer. That presses down on the water. Since the water is not compressible, the water in turn presses on the primer and ejects it from the case.

It is a messy process. After which you need berdan primers to prime the case to use again. Or you need to convert the case from berdan to boxer. It can be done. It is not worth the time, most of the time.

Having said all of that, I had around 20 rounds of 8mmx57 Mauser. All of it seems to be berdan primed.

20 rounds is the same as no rounds. I want more. At least one full load.

The other day, the LGS sold me 125 boxer primer cases for a good price. My dies showed up within the week. I had my powder. All I required was bullets. Nobody had any. I spent time looking and didn’t find. I thought I read that the 0.312 would work. I was wrong.

I finally found some at OpticsPlanet. I ordered them because they were in stock.

It seems that sometime between the add to cart and checkout, they sold the last of the Hornady SST, 170gr. They tell me that I’ll have both bullet styles to me in a week. A week turned into 6 before they finally arrived.

I resized 10 cases, verified everything, primed them. I got done with Thanksgiving and loaded them with IMR 4895 today.

Out to the test range. The freedom seeds are flying. The spark buttons are sparking. The targets are NOT ringing nor is the small pumpkin splatting.

WTF!? Hagar is spotting for me. “The height’s good, off the left.”

I aim to the right side of the pumpkin. “Still left of target”.

I’m perplexed. I’m not a great shot, but I’m not this bad.

Maybe it is the rifle? I start by making sure the rear ladder is set correctly, it is. The small notch and fine front post work well. It could be I just need to adjust for windage? No adjustment on the rear sights. Go to check the front sight.

The damn blade has shifted right! It is visibly no longer centered. I shove it back to center with my thumb and take two more shots.

One rings steel. The other sends that pumpkin flying in multiple different directions.

Look at yourself first, but it could be your equipment that is failing.

And I love my Redding Dies.

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By awa

3 thoughts on “K98 Fun”
  1. Yes, this is why I have a box of Norma .308 match ammo that I use as a control for my .308 Winchester loads to ensure my scope is zeroed and I’m not screwing up. So far I think I’m the weakest link but I need time, daylight, and moderate temperatures to test this.
    I don’t personally own any Mausers but I have tried a Romanian VZ24 and a KMT Kar 98k. The light was poor so I actually shot better with the Mosin-Nagant.

  2. RCBS makes- or made- a Berdan decapping tool. It has a hook to fit over the case rim, and a pivoting piece with an adjustable punch. The punch punctures the primer, the you use it to lever the fired primer out. I’ve used them, when the punch is properly adjusted they work well.

    I just looked around, they may not be making it currently. And the price has gone WAY up at places that do show it.

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