One of the world's truly great military cartridges, along with the 303 British, the 7.62x53R and our own 30-06. Still a great hunting cartridge, but pretty limited in LR applications due to bullet selection. There's one 200 grain match bullet I'm aware of, and it's going to suffer by comparison to a similar weight 30 cal bullets due to sectional density issues. For what it's worth, the round really made it's history and reputation with a lighter (154 grain) bullet. The heavier 197 grain (if I recall correctly) bullet was used primarily in machinegun ammo due to German doctrine of the time.
Kevin is right, Not a good long range cartridge. Not enough case capacity and not a very good bullet selection. Same thing that did in the 8mm rem mag. Good cartridge for short range work on deer and several of my buddies hunted with it back in the 60's when you could still get military surplus cheap. The 7x57 improved is the best long range gun I have seen off that case. Years back I saw some excellent long range groups shot with that one.
Predictions are difficult, especially when they involve the future
The 7x57 improved is the best long range gun I have seen off that case. Years back I saw some excellent long range groups shot with that one.
That's only because you haven't seen a .260AAR. Otherwise known as a 6.5X257Roberts Ackley. Great at longer range. Close on the heels of the 6.5X284win, with more barrel life.
There are Afghani snipers picking on our guys at 500 yds with ancient 8x57 Persian M98s.
Our military is looking to assign each squad a "Designated Rifleman" with an accurized M1a/14 to shoot back at those ranges.
Actually, they're using a variety of DMRs (Designated Marksman Rifles) for this purpose right now. The main one right now is a purpose-built NM AR, built to AMU specs; a heavy, AMU contour Stainless Match barrel, fluted to bring the weight back down to "standard" M16 weight, a fully floating handguard (Daniel Defense) with full Picatinny rails, a match grade trigger (usually a Giessle) and an ACOG scope that's ballistically matched to a special 77 grain Match load put together by Black Hills. Incredibly accurate out to 600 yards and beyond, and they don't make the guys stand out from the squad quite so much as an M14 does.. The Marines seem to be pursuing the M14 a but more than the army has, but either way, the idea is the same; extending the rifle squad's lethal zone into the 300M+ range that our current small arms doctirne has gotten away from over the past couple decades. I've worked with a lot of these guys, and these rifles, and they're doing some A+ work in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
Thanks for straightening me out on the "Designated Marksman" Kevin. I knew they were working on the issue, but I blew it on the terminology.
The main point I was trying to make is not to count the 8X57 out in the "lob it long" discussion about accuracy. When you consider the targets are way easier to kill than an elk for instance.
Especially when some of those old Mausers could still be wearing a 29" barrel!
no, actually you didn't; the terminology is pretty broad here, and I've seen it applied to several different types of rifles. The M16A4 config that I described is the current incarnation of the concept, though. I've done some of the training with these, with guys who were set to deploy and they're very impressive performers. Working with the troops again is a bonus for me, and something I truly love doing. There's still a fair number of the 14s in service these days, and they're trying to field more. My State Association (Missouri) recently had to turn in all of our issued M14s. From what we heard, so did the other state associations as well. Word was that these were to be checked over, rebuilt/rebarreled as needed and issued to the troops as DM rifles. These were true NM M14s, and were generally pretty good shooters. Anyway, no, there's not a real strict standardization and the terms are used pretty loosely.
Having carried an M21 for much of my time in service, I have to admit to a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that they're still out there on the line. Great rifles, but just happened to come along at a time when history was convulsing on to the next phase of weapons design.