A few general LR questions - 7mm Mauser

LoKei13

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2019
Messages
7
Location
St Louis
Brand new here guys (made the account to ask these questions) so go easy on me. A little background first:
I've only been shooting/hunting for nine years. After I killed my first deer with a rifled slug from my shotgun (nine years ago) my father in law gave me a bolt action rifle (he's not a fan of bolts) to commemorate the event. I still use that same rifle today, just a new bolt (previous guy made it a hair trigger himself and it was not good) and a new scope. The rifle is 7x57 or 7mm mauser and I love it to death.
Now, I've done a fair bit of research on the round and I've found that the round is actually fairly capable but manufacturers don't load hotter powders for fear of older blocks not being able to handle the pressure and exploding. That's reasonable since there are still ones from the Mexican/American war floating around. However, this means that I don't have as much oomph as I could which obviously limits me in many was.
Now for some questions:
I've looked into reloading, which you pretty have to do for some really far shots, but it's pretty darn expensive to get into and I don't know if it's worth it. I've read several articles saying this round can take most everything NA can throw at it. If so, then is getting into reloading worth it?
Or is it better (it's definitely simpler) to just buy a new gun? I know that the 300 WM is a really solid round, for instance.
How far can this thing realistically reach out and drop a NA big game animal?
Does anyone have experience with this round and it's realistic limitations for hunting NA big game?
 

CMP70306

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
330
We need a bit more information to provide meaningful suggestions to your questions,

What model is the rifle?
Do you know the twist rate?
What game do you typically hunt?
What type of terrain do you typically hunt?
Is it your intention to either start reloading or alternatively just buy a new rifle and forego reloading all together?

If you can answer these then we should ideally be able to provide you some answers to your questions.
 

Memberberries

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
200
Location
Oklahoma
My first centerfire hunting rifle was a sporterized mauser in 7x57 and it was a great gun but being young and dumb I let it go. It isn't a magnum but its a very capable round and a rifle that should hold some sentimental value. Assuming the barrel is good and groups are tight, hang on to it and start reloading. mine loved IMR 4064 powder.
 

LoKei13

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2019
Messages
7
Location
St Louis
The first two are unknown. The rifle has no visible serial number or makers mark, only place I haven't looked is the underside of the barrel but I'm not too keen on taking off the barrel to get to it myself and funds are tight at the moment so a gunsmith isn't likely to happen right now either.
I want to go out West in the next few years (hopefully) but right now I just get to hunt locally in the wooded hills of Eastern Missouri looking for white tail. How my gun is now is enough for what I'm doing but I'm trying to look at the long game (pun intended).
My intention is just more info gathering, really. If I can reload and make this thing a longer range beast that can take down the bigger of NA big game the awesome. If it can't then I'll look into other caliber options (like the aforementioned 300 WM) that will be great out of the box but can be fine tuned. It's also easier to find a buddy or something that reloads 7-08 or 300 WM than it is 7x57 so I might be able to avoid the cost of equipment that way.
 

Orange Dust

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
Messages
2,151
Location
Mingo Swamp
Brand new here guys (made the account to ask these questions) so go easy on me. A little background first:
I've only been shooting/hunting for nine years. After I killed my first deer with a rifled slug from my shotgun (nine years ago) my father in law gave me a bolt action rifle (he's not a fan of bolts) to commemorate the event. I still use that same rifle today, just a new bolt (previous guy made it a hair trigger himself and it was not good) and a new scope. The rifle is 7x57 or 7mm mauser and I love it to death.
Now, I've done a fair bit of research on the round and I've found that the round is actually fairly capable but manufacturers don't load hotter powders for fear of older blocks not being able to handle the pressure and exploding. That's reasonable since there are still ones from the Mexican/American war floating around. However, this means that I don't have as much oomph as I could which obviously limits me in many was.
Now for some questions:
I've looked into reloading, which you pretty have to do for some really far shots, but it's pretty darn expensive to get into and I don't know if it's worth it. I've read several articles saying this round can take most everything NA can throw at it. If so, then is getting into reloading worth it?
Or is it better (it's definitely simpler) to just buy a new gun? I know that the 300 WM is a really solid round, for instance.
How far can this thing realistically reach out and drop a NA big game animal?
Does anyone have experience with this round and it's realistic limitations for hunting NA big game?
The 7x57 and its ballistic twin the 7-08 are some of the finest whitetail rifles on the planet for normal hunting ranges. With good loads you can push either to 500 on deer. The 300 is a completely different animal. If you really like the rifle, you can up its effectiveness with just better bullets handloading. If you like the performance and not the rifle get a 7-08. If you want more without a lot of blast and recoil, a 280AI is just what the Dr ordered. The 280AI is not only a great long range deer cartridge, it is also a very well respected elk getter.
 

Alibiiv

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2013
Messages
1,396
Location
Rhode Island
The first two are unknown. The rifle has no visible serial number or makers mark, only place I haven't looked is the underside of the barrel but I'm not too keen on taking off the barrel to get to it myself and funds are tight at the moment so a gunsmith isn't likely to happen right now either.
I want to go out West in the next few years (hopefully) but right now I just get to hunt locally in the wooded hills of Eastern Missouri looking for white tail. How my gun is now is enough for what I'm doing but I'm trying to look at the long game (pun intended).
My intention is just more info gathering, really. If I can reload and make this thing a longer range beast that can take down the bigger of NA big game the awesome. If it can't then I'll look into other caliber options (like the aforementioned 300 WM) that will be great out of the box but can be fine tuned. It's also easier to find a buddy or something that reloads 7-08 or 300 WM than it is 7x57 so I might be able to avoid the cost of equipment that way.

Something that you can count on in this forum is that there are a lot of opinions. and.....here's mine. I'd say that if you really wanted to get into shooting/hunting then "perhaps" getting into reloading would be advisable, however I'm not getting that from what you have written here. Even if you took up reloading, there will be no guarantee that you could get your rifle to shoot. From what you wrote in your original post and in your second reply I am inclined to suggest that you purchase a new rifle with long-range capabilities in a cartridge that is readily available. You have not mentioned what your long-term goals for hunting are; what game, what distances, stuff like that.

And....there's a big difference between the 7X57 and 300 WinMag in felt recoil. For some the 300 WinMag is a formidable cartridge, however for many (me included) it can be a tough cartridge to handle for the novice shooter, and....even make that novice a poorer shot. Once I traded a 30-06 for a .338WinMag because I wanted a larger cartridge for a bear hunt. After 3 shots with the .338 I went back to the guy I traded the rifle with and "untraded" it with him (he was very understanding); rattled my fillings loose!!! If you like the 7 X 57 and are comfortable shooting that cartridge and you want to move up a bit, look at the .270 Winchester or the .280 Ackley Improved, .308 Winchester. All good cartridges with total ammunition availability, extremely accurate long-range cartridge, and...with the exception of the big bears it will take anything that one might want to hunt in this country.
 

ShtrRdy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
3,425
Location
High Plains
Unless you're really into shooting then reloading for the 7x57mm might be more of a pain.

The 300 Win Mag is a very popular and capable cartridge. Depending on the particular game animal you're hunting would define how long of a shot is possible. For example if you were hunting Elk there's enough energy to reach out to about 800 yds.
 

Memberberries

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
200
Location
Oklahoma
The first two are unknown. The rifle has no visible serial number or makers mark, only place I haven't looked is the underside of the barrel but I'm not too keen on taking off the barrel to get to it myself and funds are tight at the moment so a gunsmith isn't likely to happen right now either.
I want to go out West in the next few years (hopefully) but right now I just get to hunt locally in the wooded hills of Eastern Missouri looking for white tail. How my gun is now is enough for what I'm doing but I'm trying to look at the long game (pun intended).
My intention is just more info gathering, really. If I can reload and make this thing a longer range beast that can take down the bigger of NA big game the awesome. If it can't then I'll look into other caliber options (like the aforementioned 300 WM) that will be great out of the box but can be fine tuned. It's also easier to find a buddy or something that reloads 7-08 or 300 WM than it is 7x57 so I might be able to avoid the cost of equipment that way.

If you have buddies that reload you could probably get dies and ask them to teach you on their gear but you most likely will have to get your own. Reloading is intimidating cost wise for many but it really helps with cartridges like the 7x57. You're just not going to find the same bullet selection in factory ammo. I miss my old 7x57 but I'm probably going to build a long throated 7mm-08 with a 1:9 twist because I have a short action that needs a barrel.

If you post some pictures of the gun, maybe a close up of the action, we might be able to help ID it. You can mark a cleaning rod and measure your twist rate if it's not marked.
 

Upsidedownjack

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Messages
148
Brand new here guys (made the account to ask these questions) so go easy on me. A little background first:
I've only been shooting/hunting for nine years. After I killed my first deer with a rifled slug from my shotgun (nine years ago) my father in law gave me a bolt action rifle (he's not a fan of bolts) to commemorate the event. I still use that same rifle today, just a new bolt (previous guy made it a hair trigger himself and it was not good) and a new scope. The rifle is 7x57 or 7mm mauser and I love it to death.
Now, I've done a fair bit of research on the round and I've found that the round is actually fairly capable but manufacturers don't load hotter powders for fear of older blocks not being able to handle the pressure and exploding. That's reasonable since there are still ones from the Mexican/American war floating around. However, this means that I don't have as much oomph as I could which obviously limits me in many was.
Now for some questions:
I've looked into reloading, which you pretty have to do for some really far shots, but it's pretty darn expensive to get into and I don't know if it's worth it. I've read several articles saying this round can take most everything NA can throw at it. If so, then is getting into reloading worth it?
Or is it better (it's definitely simpler) to just buy a new gun? I know that the 300 WM is a really solid round, for instance.
How far can this thing realistically reach out and drop a NA big game animal?
Does anyone have experience with this round and it's realistic limitations for hunting NA big game?
300 WM has been known to Drop Elk out past 800 yds with a much younger “Me”! Winchester Winlite 300 WM with a KDF break and a Hand Load. Just went and Bought a Burgura HMR-PRO in again 300 WM. Small holes at a good range. Not fully broke in or load found yet. But working on both! Good luck, reloading will make your shooting affordable to shoot more! And Give you a load that will be better than the Person can Shoot All the time! LOL.
 

misterc01

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2019
Messages
577
Location
Florida Panhandle
Reloading is not for everyone, and you really have to have a good idea what your goals are. For instance, my brother in-law has a .243, and asked me to reload for him. I agreed, provided he provide the dies, powder, bullets and primers, etc. He researches what he wants to try, and I load it for him. He is also an avid fisherman, so it "costs" him a few fish now and then that my wife makes for dinner. Arrangement works since it not that time consuming for me (usually 20-40 rounds at a time), and he is not someone who would be into reloading, and I get some great fish.
 

rugers

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2013
Messages
68
From what I've read I think you have a 7x57 mauser rifle. It's a good rifle but I strongly suggest before you go to reloading it to take it to a gunsmith familiar with mauser rifles. It is most probably a small ring which could probably pre date ww1. Some are pretty strong some are not, with out markings you really got to know mauser rifles and most gunsmiths to day dont. Some of the spanish and Turkish mausers are not made to handle modern 7x57 rounds. Although a common customized rifle years back they did not remove the serial # they usually removed the crests and date. If it's a oberndorf you got something to work with.But again with out seeing it I cant really say. But the most common are spanish,turkish and mexican all of which are questionable with modern reloads. Until you can verify exactly what it is stay with factory ammo. They can and will blow up!!!
 

epoletna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2015
Messages
420
Location
Northern Nevada
Yes, hand loaded ammo will be harder hitting and flatter than what you are buying over the counter for the 7mm Mauser. And yes, it does require a bit of a financial outlay at the beginning. If you like the first point but not the second, look into having a friend (who already reloads) load up some ammo for you. I have done this for others, the usual agreement being that they supply the dies, powder and primers, and I return the ammo loaded to their specifications. This also requires you to know a little about what performance you are looking for (safely) and what powder/bullet combination you want.

As for whether or not your rifle will handle stiffer loads, post a photo of the rifle (action) so we can figure out what you are shooting.

Bottom line is, the 7 mm Mauser is a fine cartridge for most American game animals.
 

epoletna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2015
Messages
420
Location
Northern Nevada
I should have added to the last sentence: "at medium ranges." Don't use the 7mm Mauser at 1000 yards. It is possible, but there are better choices. On the other hand, other considerations come into play at extreme range: can you really tell if you made a good hit at that range? How long will it take you to reach the animal's last known position in order to see if there is a blood spoor? How far will a wounded animal travel in the time it takes you to go that distance?

Long range hunting comes with its own set of considerations. Please keep them in mind.
 

ofbandg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2015
Messages
220
It depends on your rifle. I have owned old Mausers that were made pre-WW1 and they were soft because the quality of the steel and heat treating was less sophisticated. I still own Mausers that will shoot the latest Magnum cartridges without a problem. It takes an expert to tell the difference, usually a gunsmith who specializes in these older rifles. Find one and ask for their opinion. It shouldn't cost you much, if anything. If your rifle is one of the softer ones it still makes a good hunting rifle. I have used old 6.5X55 and 8X57's that were loaded to the reduced factory specs and they were still effective, which is what you seem to be doing. If it will handle higher pressures the 7X57 will equal anything the 7-08 will do. My wife used a Ruger M77 in 7X57 for years with 140 grain bullets for deer at 2800 fps and 175 grain at 2600 fps for Elk and Moose. If you aren't into reloading and want stronger loads, some of the European companies like Norma make ammunition that appears to provide some extra reach.
 

Primary

LRH Assistant
Here are some related products that LRH members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to LRH’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to LRH discussions about these products.

 
 
Top