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Shooting my first reloads out of a 98K in 1964

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Rapidrob
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Shooting my first reloads out of a 98K in 1964

#1 Post by Rapidrob » Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:35 am

I had worked all summer long in order to get enough money to by a LEE Loader in 8x57MM Mauser, a box of Speer 170 grain round nose bullets ( all the gun shop had) a pound of IMR-4350 and a flat of primers. I bought the RCBS lube pad and their god awful lube that was like a mixture of STP and honey. A case "cricket" tool was given to me by the store owner,a good thing to he did..
I had found 20 rounds of once fired brass in the box on the ground at our local range ( a four mile bike ride from my house ) and was so excited to load my first ammo by myself.
Reloading for 8mm was really not needed as surplus ammo was so cheap back them. But I wanted to go hunting with my Dad's captured 98K rifle so much I was determined to load for it.
I made $6.00 a week,yes a week! back them delivering papers. Hard work as I had 250 customers and there was no such thing a plastic bags to put the papers in when the weather was wet,which was most of the time.
I lived in Maryland at the time and the forest were dense brush and a mixture of Oak,Ash and pine tress. I knew from reading that the round nose bullet would do well in this area.
I had read all I could get my hands on from the library on the subject of reloading. I felt I had a good understanding of what needed to be done.
The LEE Loader only sizes the neck and shoulder. So, I slopped on the case lube and pounded in the casing into the die and of course the case was crushed.Way too much lube.
I then only applied the smallest amount and the case was perfect. I de-capped the case and re-primed it. I scooped the powder into the shell and then seated the bullet. I turned the loaded round over and set the crimp by hammering the round backwards into the die. I now had loaded ammo that I did and the 170 grain bullet was going down range at 2,490 FPS. I remember that to this day.
I had my First loaded round of 8mm Mauser! I was so proud of myself. I loaded up the remaining 18 rounds of ammo and told Mom I was going to the range.
My Dad's rifle did not have a usable sling on it. It had been shorted by the German soldier for some unknown reason.
I had to hold the rifle on the handlebars of my Banana Bike as I rode the four miles along Ritchie Highway to get the range. The rifle was smashing my figures on each bump but I did not care. I was going to shoot my hand loads come Hell and High Water! ( a kid carrying a rifle was a normal sight in those days )
The weather was typical spring day in Maryland. Overcast and gray.
I had been shooting 50 foot indoor .22LR target rifles for a few years by then and was a fair shot at close range. All my targets from practice were 50 foot NRA rated.
The best I could do was to place the target at 100 yards and still see the darn thing.
I brought along a few surplus rounds to get onto target. They shot low but were on target using a 6 o'clock hold. The front sight was so much bigger than the target!
I loaded up the magazine with five rounds and taking my time,shot them all. I was trained not to leave the shooting position until the rifle was empty so as not to disturb the point of aim and my shooting position. I could just hold the 98K and see the sights. I was only 13 at the time.
I was the only shooter. It was a Wednesday.
When I did safe the range and go down I was very happy with what I did. I marked my shot with a pencil. I had rounds left and wanted to keep them for hunting. I still to this day have a couple of rounds left in the original cardboard box. I never saw a deer while using my Dad's rifle while huting.
I stuffed the target into my shirt so not to fold it, and rode my bike home smashing my fingers all the way back. I had shot my first reloads and they worked! This was to start a lifetime of reloading. And to this day when I load up 8x57 Mauser I still have fond memories of that day I fired my first reload.
My first reloaded ammo target 001.jpg
Dads Mauser1.jpg
Dads Mauser2.jpg
Dads Mauser3.jpg
Dads Mauser4.jpg
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Re: Shooting my first reloads out of a 98K in 1964

#2 Post by DaleH » Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:02 pm

Awesome ‘throw back’ story, wonderful memories there!

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Re: Shooting my first reloads out of a 98K in 1964

#3 Post by TNGhost » Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:48 pm

Great story. Thanks for sharing.

A lot better than what one sees in what passes for "gun magazines" these days.

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Re: Shooting my first reloads out of a 98K in 1964

#4 Post by OldRog » Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:53 pm

THanks for sharing, very interesting in the 50's as a kid i carried a Savage over and under 22/410 uncased walking down the road to farmers land to hunt and no one cared.

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Re: Shooting my first reloads out of a 98K in 1964

#5 Post by 41magman » Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:31 am

Great memories there!..........reminds me of Dad teaching me over 45 yrs ago.

I'm a former MD Terp also, what county did ya live?...…...I camped/fished/hunted all over the state and never ID'd Ash trees that I can remember.

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Re: Shooting my first reloads out of a 98K in 1964

#6 Post by Stahlhelm » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:17 am

Cool story and beautiful Mauser. And I liked the part about you riding to the range on your Banana Bike. I always coveted one of those back in the 60's but my folks were too cheap, lol. :D

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Re: Shooting my first reloads out of a 98K in 1964

#7 Post by Rapidrob » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:56 pm

I'm a Glen Burn-out, lived in Harundale, Anne Arundel County.
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