I recently bought a K98 in good shape and was so impressed with the way it shot the crappy (and expensive) 170-grain American ammunition that I bought with it, that I decided to use it to hunt whitetails with. However, I noticed by surfing the net that European 8mm SP hunting ammo is loaded much, MUCH hotter than American 8mm ammo (lawyers now run all U.S. ammo companies), but it's supposedly still within safe pressure limits. Sooooo... first I bought a box of Sellier and Bellot, 196-grain soft points and took them to the range. Man, were they ever hot! They chronoed over 2700 fps. Now that's smokin'!
Then, I found an internet deal on Privi Partizan, 8mm Mauser, 196-grain soft points. I had heard that Privi loads just a little lighter than S&B, but still much hotter than American companies do. So I bought 10 boxes (I reload, so I figured this would be a lifetime supply of reloadable brass) However, when I went to the range, the Privis chroned a consistant 2225 fps!
Now, don't get me wrong. I know that 196 grains of soft lead moving at 2200 fps will kill deer all day long, but if I wanted 30-30 performance, I would hunt with a 30-30!
That's when I made a discovery by going to the Privi Parizan website: Privi actually loads two separate series of ammuniton for the Mauser. One is entitled 8mm Mauser, and the other series is entitled 8x57 JS. Of course, in reality, these are exactly the same cartridge, but the 8mm Mauser is loaded way down from the 8x57 JS. (their site says their 196-grain 8x57 JS load leaves the barrel at a respectable 2500 fps). I assume the lighter 8mm Mauser loads are for American consumption. It must be, 'cause all I have found on this side of the pond is the 8mm Mauser.
So what do I do with 10 boxes of anemic 8mm ammo? Simple, I have started pulling the bullets, pouring out the powder and replacing it with 46 grains of IMR 4064, and re-seating the same 196-grain Privi bullet. This gives me a very managable 2525 fps with no signs of pressure (the S&B factory loads did show signs of excessive pressure).
So, is there a SAAMI designation differerence between the 8mm Mauser and the 8x57 JS? I only ask because even the S&B ammo calls itself 8x57 JS.
BTW, my son shot and killed a fat doe in Alabama a couple of weeks ago with the K98 using the S&B 196-grain load. Deer went D.R.T. (dead right there) when hit with open sights at 135 yards.