General Information & Facts Pertaining To The German Model 1888 Commission Rifle
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I currently own two 88s. One an unmodified type without the S marking the other an 05 conversion of an 1890 Styer. I have been looking for ammo to shoot and managed to find some Turkish 8mm dated from '35 to '43. I figured this was as close to the JS version as I could find. Quite of the rounds had split necks so I disassembled them. The powder weight varied from 48.2 to 49.6 grains of flake powder similar the WWII German loads. The bullets weighed between 154.2 and 155.1 grains. To test accuracy I removed myself to the range with the 05 conversion and the remaining ammo and 10 rounds loaded in Rem. cases with 42 gr of 4064 and the 200 grain bullets I acquired in Berlin. The first five rds. of the Turkish ammo grouped 4 inches at 50 yards with two of the case necks splitting. Over the next 40 rds (fired in five shot groups) over an hour and a half to allow barrel cooling the same results and percentage of split necks continued. The last group, with no split necks, produced a two inch group. Oh, there were 18 duds in the mix. I assume that given good condition ammo without any necks splitting, the ammo should provide a 4 in. group at 100 yds - fairly acceptable for any military rifle of the time. After wiping the bore and waiting a half hour I tried the loads with the .318 bullets again at 50 yards. I was pleasantly surprised. Both groups were 1.5, with one flyer each (probably my 70 year old eyes). This convinced me that even in the "S" marked rifles the .318 bullets would be more accurate. I plan to load the remaining pulled bullets in good cases with Federal primers and 4895 powder. I will let you know how that turns out. Incidently the Turkish bullets were only seated about .2 inches into the case and were held in place by a crimp. Good shooting, Mike
Good info I myself have a Danzig 1890 all original that has been in my family sense ww1 it is in firing condition just need ammo so far I have not found any.
A friend said I love guns too much, I said we can't be friends anymore.
The cases are the same as for the 8x57 JS. I got a replacement decapping unit from RCBS (contact the store directly). You can use standard 8x57 dies and just replace the decapping unit. Midway and other sellers have Woodleigh 200 gr .318 bullets for sale. You might have to wait from Midway. Alternatively you can watch gunbroker and EBAY for the rimmed version dies - they work fine for the standard case. Much easier than going to all the expense of setiing up to cast and size lead bullets. There is one other option. Lee sells a sizing die to squeese .323 lead bullets down to .318.Graff and sons sells 200 grain lead bullets already lubricated in .323. Good luck
Currently Midway has Australian made .318 bullets in stock. around $38 per box of fifty. You can check Frankonia's site - they said (when I was there) that they would ship the PP manufactured .318 bullets to the US. Price there was about Euro 37 per box of 100. I think! that not paying the tax on them might come close to shipping cost. Hard to say rules vary from country to country. Dont give up - check gunbroker often smoetimes they show up. More expensive option would be to buy 8X57JR ammunition which is available and use the powder and bullets and sell the cases on an auction site. Good luck!