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Thread: 8mm-06 AI

  1. #1

    Default 8mm-06 AI

    What do you guys think of the 8mm-06 AI? I've heard that it's a pretty cheap, simple, effective option.

    The M98 action can be reamed out for the '06 AI case without removing the barrel. Then just drop it in a Sporter stock.

    Brass should be easy, as wildcats go.

    200 gr. TSX @ 2800+ would be a great moose/black bear load... and in a pinch could suffice for the big brownies.

  2. #2
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    A couple of considerations, and this is based on my experience with a 35 whelen ai, and building mauser sporters in general.

    Most of the 8mm mausers have so-so to crappy bores. If you have one that shoots well, great, if not, expect to pay a fair bit for the donor.

    If you're going to use a scope, you need the action d/t'd for scope bases, the safety changed, and likely a new bolt handle, which adds up to a minimum of $100, more like $150 of gunsmith work.

    While a reamer can be run in w/o removing the barrel, any gunsmith worth his salt will pull the barrel and center it in a lathe to cut a round chamber of proper depth. Handreaming in the action often leads to an oblong chamber, and it's tough to check headspace with the barrel in the action.

    Finally, the improved cases don't feed that well from the stock magazine, and the -06 is enough longer than the X57 that you might need to open up the magazine for the rounds to fit.

    Unless you're doing the work yourself, when you add up the donor rifle, setting it up for a scope, re-chambering, and a new stock, you'll be out more than what you can buy a used 338 win mag for, heck you could likely get a Ruger M77 for the same price if not less. Not to mention the 338 will be easier to sell and sell for more than the 8-06AI.

    The day of cheap surplus sporters is over. They end up costing at least as much as a new factory rifle, and often aren't nearly as good. I doubt I'll ever build another mauser sporter, and if I do, it'll be a nice classic rifle, not an attempt to get a cheaper than new rifle.

  3. #3

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    Let's assume that I have a good barrel, and that I don't want a scope.

    What would it cost just to have the magazine opened up (how do they do that anyways?), the action reamed properly, a ghost ring installed (personal preference), and then it all dropped in a sporter stock?

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    To re-chamber the barrel, figure about $100, that includes having the crown touched up, while the barrel is off and in the lathe it only makes sense. Opening up the magazine requires the front of the magazine to be cut off, a piece of steel formed, welded into place, ground down and bluing touched up, then the bottom of the action has to be ground to match, that's a fair bit of labor and I'd assume over $100 easily. To fit a rear ghost ring, the stripper hump will have to be ground off, the rear of the action drilled and tapped, and the bluing touched up, at least $50 plus the price of the sight. A sporter stock will set you back at least $100, and I assume you'd want it bedded, so say another $50 for that. So that's $400 on the low end. You might find someone that quotes you much lower than that, but I'd avoid discount gunsmiths at all cost. Then you have custom reloading dies as well which aren't cheap.

    I've gone down that road before, I'm just trying to warn you there is no such thing as a cheapy milsurp sporter unless you do the work yourself, and limit the modifications. If you keep it as an 8X57, then all you need is the rear sight and a sporter stock. An 8X57 will kill stuff just as dead as an 8-06 AI.

  5. #5

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    Thanks Paul- I think you're right. I probably would have started down that road and been very frustrated by my final bill.

    Like you said, just dropping it in a sporter stock as is isn't a bad idea... 8x57 ballistics aren't what I'd like... but it'd make a fine deer rifle.

    Thanks!

  6. #6

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    I was just looking into my options a bit, and I think that 7.62x54R is an even better way to go. I can get a surplus Mosin-Nagant for $70-80, a Sporter stock for $50, and that's it! Ammo is super cheap too... cheaper than 8mm.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Make sure you can find a supply of 7.62X54 brass. I picked up a beater nagant years ago, and was finally going to get some dies and work up loads. Brass is hard to come by, and super expensive. The best bet is to buy Sellier and Bellot loaded ammo for a source of brass. Trouble is I couldn't find any up here, and the hazmat to ship it wasn't worth the trouble.

    Many of the milsurp guns have bores in rought shape and damaged muzzles from careless cleaning. The nagant I have, of Polish origin, is the least accurate milsurp gun I've ever shot, 1+ foot groups at 100 yds!

    You could likely find a used Remington, Ruger etc bolt gun with some cosmetic dings to the stock and rusting for under $300, and you'll be dollars ahead and have readily available ammo.

  8. #8

    Default loaded 7.62 X 54 R and Brass

    Graf has pretty cheap non Norma 7.62X54..Pri brand I believe

    I haves used it in various calibers OK so far.....had one longitunal! split upon friing in a 7.5X54 case

    GNG in Anchorage has some Winchester 7.62X54R for around $15 and it looks suspicously like S&B stuff...which is going to be fairly close to the graf Bass + shipping price, when it is all said and done...

    I think I saw som S&B in Ammo King on Boniface...

  9. #9

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    Olympic Ammunition 7.62x54R 180 gr. FMJ Boat Tail Berdan Primed case of 400, $109.99 @ Midwayusa

    Can you give me some things to look for when checking out a milsurp gun like a nagant?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by go_north View Post
    Olympic Ammunition 7.62x54R 180 gr. FMJ Boat Tail Berdan Primed case of 400, $109.99 @ Midwayusa

    Can you give me some things to look for when checking out a milsurp gun like a nagant?
    I liked your 8'06 idea better. A Mosin-Nagant rifle if made here in the US by Remington, way back when, is probably a good one. Most never saw military service. The rifle is not a prize however due to the design, not the weakest action but certainly one of the ugliest. Not at all worth putting any money in for any reason. The only reasons to buy one would be if someone gave you a truck load of Norma ammo or you found a very nice specimen to complete a collection.

    Remington and Westinghouse made them for the Czar in 1914-1917 era and were ready for shipment when the revolution ousted ole' Nicholas and the rifles were stored here for many years. The US Gov't bought them from the companies and used some of them for training and some were issued to WWI troops. They were so disliked by US soldiers after troops were sent to Archangelsk that the rifles were left there when the troops came home from Russia in 1920. There once was a supply of them, some unfired, but I would say they are gone. This rifle rates right up there with the Carcano and others in that quality level. The rifle was designed by Sergei Ivanovich Mosin (moy-seen) and the Nagant name comes from a Belgium designer named Leon Nagant who made the rifle work and designed the feed system and magazine. Some Mosin rifles were sold here by a company called Bannerman who rechambered them to 30-06. That was considered a very dangerous rifle.

    The cartridge is of the era and ballistics of our 30-40 Krag, the Arisaka 7.7mm and the Enfield 303, sharing bullet diameter with the 7.7 and 303 at .311". Barrel groove diameter on the rifles is typically .314" so accuracy is not one of their strong points. Come to think of it...the rifle doesn't have any strong points. I don't think old Sergei's vintovka (rifle) is worth a plazvit (#!^*#!).
    Last edited by Murphy; 06-28-2007 at 11:05.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by go_north View Post
    Olympic Ammunition 7.62x54R 180 gr. FMJ Boat Tail Berdan Primed case of 400, $109.99 @ Midwayusa

    Can you give me some things to look for when checking out a milsurp gun like a nagant?
    Shipping to Alaska can be prohibitive as to cost and and most firms just won't do it.....

    For example:
    I have shipped cases of 22 LR at $37/case Air via Fedex. The count was 30 cases, and FEDEX was cheaper that truck at the time.

    CMP sent me a case of 22LR for $27 Air via Fedex

    LTL truck rate has a fairry high minimum fee out of Seattle as well...

    Also: consider the N05 Lee Enfield for a ready to go hunting rifle:
    reliable, US made ammo available just about anywhere, 10 rds detachable magazine, carbine length, peep rear

    Also, there are many No4's already sporterized, which can be had ready to go and cheap

    I have have several, and they all shoot minute of moose......
    thanks

    R/Allen

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by go_north View Post
    What do you guys think of the 8mm-06 AI? I've heard that it's a pretty cheap, simple, effective option.

    The M98 action can be reamed out for the '06 AI case without removing the barrel. Then just drop it in a Sporter stock.

    Brass should be easy, as wildcats go.

    200 gr. TSX @ 2800+ would be a great moose/black bear load... and in a pinch could suffice for the big brownies.
    I'm not sure what you're after here other than a fun project gun, and that's a good reason to tinker. I would like to speak to the 8mm caliber a bit and the options available for that bore.

    Most 8x57's are worn out. The barrels aren't worth much and to rechamber to 30-06 wouldn't prove anything. That was done back in the 1950's when 8x57 brass/ammo was a no-no. So we use our '06 brass and a Nazi made barrel.

    The 8-06 has merit and is a useful caliber but in an old 8x57 barrel it would not be a treasure as a shooter. The 98 actions take very little work to get them to feed the 30-06 case and many have been pressed into service for lots of '06 wildcats. If you have or find an action for little or nothing that wuld be worth while to rebarrel it to what you want, but not to rechamber.

    The 8x60 is a very good caliber when found in a good rifle. They were never a military caliber. I have a Sako rifle, made in Finland in the early 1950's, on a FN Mauser action. It is an FN deluxe which means it has a Mauser trigger and two position safety without a thumb notch in the receiver. The barrel is Finnish made and absolutely perfect inside. For some odd reason it was made with it's groove diameter at .318". (Normal 8x57S rifles are .323" and all bullets are .323".) When I found this out I almost back out of buying this beautiful rifle, then the seller lowered the price by a bunch. I found I could get good .318 bullets and bought the thing. I believe it was unfired when I got it. It is a prince of a shooter and as an iron sighted hunting rifle it has no equal for deer sized animals. It is all original with the horn butt plate, flip sights and signature FN style stock of beautiful French walnut. This rifle is not in a caliber that most would or could use but it is a fun project. Ammo is ...well there ain't any except what I make. It was fun rounding up a supply of good brass and finding some good bullets. I have that now and I can shoot it for a long time with the supplies I have.

    This rifle was $600. The action, the best of the actual m98's, is worth that. At worst. I could have it recut to .338" groove diameter and make 338-06, and it would still be a beautiful rifle. I could have it D&T'ed for a scope, and it would still be a beautiful rifle. I could rebarrel it to several different calibers on the '06 case, use the original stock and, you guessed it, it would still be a beautiful rifle.

    The point of all this is that when you start putting money into a rifle you won't fell very good about it if you don't get some warm fuzzy's back out of it....life is too short to hunt with an ugly gun.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  13. #13

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    8X57 is a fine cartridge, the nosler 5th edition shows no velocity advantage of the 8-06 over the 8X57 and a couple of extra grains can't turn it in to an 8mm rem mag. You can put on a scout style scope, which work very well, and you won't have to modify bolt, safety etc. If you are set on an 06 ai, make sure that the case will fit in the action, some yugos etc had shorter actions (3/4) length. This may, or may not affect the case you can use

  14. #14

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    yeah, you hit the nail on the head Murphy... I've never had a milsurp rifle, and I'm in the mood to fool around with one.
    I heard that the Nagant (esp. 91/30) is pretty accurate except for shooting rediculously high (sometimes 8" @ 100 yd)...which is easily remedied by raising the front sight. Anybody know different?
    If I do go that route...and I don't reload it for now... anybody know anything about the 203 gr. Brown Bear SP's made for it in Russia? Would they make it to a black's vitals?

  15. #15

    Default MN91's milsurp 8mm AI

    My thoughts:
    The Finnish MN's are pretty much the cream of the crop: good triggers, great barrels, quite accurate, I can see the sights ok and group right up there with the Swedes and K31's off the bench.. The M39 was the last of the Finnish series and are great rifles. Many were made by Sako. They are not cheap, but are well worth the price. One can hunt with them the way they are, as they have 24-25" barrels. Darrel's Parallex View on line makes a great scout scope mount that goes on without altering the rifle, if you want a a scope.

    The short MN carbines are horrid to shoot, due to muzzle blast. My hand gets tired from shooting many of the Russian rifles due to the trigger pull.

    I own about 8 of the various MN's and enjoy shoting the Finn's. M39's are currently available. I can hit the gong off hand with milsurp ammo at 300 metres at Birchwood routinely.

    I have a 8mm sporter, a 8mm/06 and a 8mm imp; they are OK but seem to have long thoats. They have good barrels and group OK. The imp takes extra work to load, not sure what is gained though

    While I am a Mauser fan, the Finns seem better finished and the tolerances are tighter that the war time M98's.

    I have a M96 Swede in 8mm and 9.3X57 which are nice as well.

    So for the MN;s, I would select a M39 Finn. the No5 Enfield for a already sportered No4 would be good too.

    The Milsurps are great knock about rifles and work well in cold weather.

    Hope that helps.

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    Default 8mm-06 Ackley

    Hi folks, I know this is an older thread but wanted to add my two bits. I have two 8 x 57's, one in an older 24-47 intermediate length action the other a Rem Classic M700. I also rechambered another 24-47 to the 8x57 AI and an older KAR98 that I blew out to the 8mm-06AI. I've been shooting these now for nearly 50 years and I love them. The 8x57 AI gives me an honest 2925 with both the 185gr Rem. CL and the 180gr Barnes while the 8mm-06AI is running at 3065 with the 175gr Sierra and 180gr Barnes. I'm running a stiff load of Re22 in that one but am going to try to work up a load with Re19. I think it might do the same with a bit lighter load. With both rounds I've never recovered a bullet on any of the elk I've shot regardless of the range...they just do an awesome job. Both of my AI's shoot 3/8" or better with my best group being a 1 bullet hole sized 4 shot group from the 8mm-06AI with the 175gr Sierra. I just wish those bullets were a bit tougher but they be deadly on deer. So far they've accounted for about a half a train car of deer and elk with a few black bear and pronghorns thrown in. Never used one on moose or big bear although a friend used my one of my 8x57 AI's to shoot a big bull moose in Montana and he dropped in his tracks. About a 225yd shot. I would not hesitate with good bullets. I like the North Fork bullets best even though they are pricey. Toughest bullets I've ever shot! The 8mm-06 AI is right up there with my 300 Win Mag and I actually prefer it to the 300. Less powder and recoil. Of course it's strictly a handloading proposition and there isn't a lot of load data available so I worked off the 30-06 AI load data from Nosler and went up from there. Different barrels seem to be either faster or slower. I've got a couple of really good barrels. Although one of my military barrels looks like a brand new bore and when I slugged the bore it showed the same diameter as the others but it runs about 150fps slower than my other barrels. Go figure. From my experience, you can't go wrong with either. Please let me know of your experiences and feel free to PM me. I would upload some pics but it doesn't appear I have that option!

  17. #17

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    Thanks for the excellent report! I tinkered with an 8-06 AI back in the late 60's-early 70's, but ultimately let it go. It just never seemed to perform to potential with the powders available then, and with each new generation of powders I've wondered how it would do. You've answered that, and the answer is "It does just fine!"
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

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