7,92x57mm Cartridge | 7,92x57mm Markings | 7,92x57mm Identification

The 7,92x57mm Cartridge

7,92 specs

The 8mm Mauser (8x57 or 7,92x57) was the standard service cartridge of the German Army in World Wars I and II. Originally made in 1888 and called the 8x57J, it used a .318 bullet. Ten years later, the 1898 Mauser was introduced with a stronger action but it still used the .318 bullet. However around 1905 the .318 bullet was replaced with a .323 diameter bullet. All of this caused confusion and it would be dangerous to shoot 8x57JS ammunition in a 1888 rifle. The 8mm Mauser is an excellent cartridge and the 98 Mauser is a strong, smooth functioning gun. Many have been modified to sporting arms using high pressure cartridges.

Two things should be remembered about the 7,92x57mm Mauser. For one, modern .323" bullets must not be used in Model 1889 rifles with .318" bores. Secondly, the 7,92x57mm Mauser will do about anything the .30-06 will do. You can even use .30-06 brass to form 7,92x57mm cases. (see Shooting Clinic)

The 7,92x57mm Mauser cartridge predates many rounds including the .30-06. The .30-06 was inspired by Germany's development of the 7,92x57mm Mauser in 1888.

The Infanteriepatrone 7,92mm (Infantry Cartridge 8mm) was used by the K98K rifle and other weapons. During World War II over ten billion of these rounds in various configurations were produced. The typical velocity of this round is 2500 fps with a projectile weight of 197.5 grains. Between 80% and 90% of all the 7,92x57mm ammunition produced was of the sS type(sS for Schweres Spitzgeschoss meaning heavy pointed bullet). The OAL cartridge length was 80.6 mm containing a power charge of 41.7 grains. The regular sS bullet had the following penetration performance:

Dry PineSteel PlatingIron Plating
Heavy Pointed Bullet85cm at 100m5mm at 100m10mm at 300m
65cm at 400m3mm at 600m7mm at 550m
45cm at 800m
10cm at 1800m

The next most common type used was the SmK (Spitzgeschoss mit Kern meaning pointed bullet with core) bullet that weighed 177.5 grains and contained a hardened steel core.
Another was the SmK Leuchtspur (Leuchtspur meaning tracer) bullet that burned for 900 yards. Tracers were usually loaded every seventh round in automatic weapons.

The lS(leichtes Spitzgeschoss meaning light pointed bullet) had an aluminum core and weighed only 85 grains which resulted in a higher speed of 3035 fps but its total range was limited.

An interesting bullet type was the SmK(H). The H stood for Hartkern (meaning hardened core), this was the armor piercing version of the 8mm round. The bullet was only 28.2mm long weighing 193 grains, containing a tungsten core (2nd hardest substance in the world, the first being diamond) that was 22.5mm long. The powder charge was increased to 55.5 grains. This gave the bullet the penetration power of almost 20mm of plain steel at a range of 550 yards.

North American made commercial ammo in this caliber will usually be labeled either "8mm Mauser" or "8x57". Foreign produced ammo and military ammo in this caliber is called by several other names depending on the manufacturer or country of origin.
The most common names are:

7,92x57mmGerman military
7,92x57JSGerman military, European hunting ammo
7,90x57 Portugal, Spain, Middle East, South America
8x57JS European hunting/sporting ammo
8mm Mauser Common commercial designation
8x57mm Mauser Common commercial designation

There is also 8x57J, which is a low pressure loading with slightly smaller bullet diameter (i.e. .318) that will work fine in 8x57JS rifles, but accuracy will be reduced because the smaller bullet doesn't fully engage the rifling in the JS diameter barrels (.323).

There is also 8x57R (or 8x57JR, or 8x57JSR), which is a rimmed cartridge for use in German single shots sporting rifles. However these should not be used in rifles designed for rimless cases.

Remington (USA)
8mm Mauser
"Soft Point"
Norma (Sweden)
8mm Mauser
"Premium Soft Point"
DWM (German)
8mm Mauser
"Brenneke Ideal"
Bullet170 grains196 grains198 grains
Muzzle Velocity2570 f.p.s.2526 f.p.s.2732 f.p.s.
100 yard Velocity 2300 f.p.s.2195 f.p.s.2415 f.p.s.
Muzzle Energy 2490 ft.lbs.2778 ft.lbs3276 ft.lbs.
Drop @ 100 yards0.8 inches 0.3 inches0.3 inches

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