Took this Hill Country 8 point this past weekend and thought I would share the story. It actually begins in late 2016 or early 2017 when I received an email from SSK about a barrel sale. They were offering a 15 percent discount on barrels in 8(7.92)x33 Kurz, and 8(7.92)x57. I remembered from way back when I first got into Contenders that SSK offered the 8x57 in a list of available chamberings, but at the time I was too preoccupied with collecting the more popular ones like the 6.5, 309, and 375 JDJ's. Now that I had most of the popular ones in my collection, the 8x57 seemed interesting. I ordered the barrel with the TSOB base and while I waited for it to arrive, I set about getting the reloading items. When everything was acquired I began load work with Speer 170 grain Semi Spitzers, and IMR 4064 powder. I found a decent load that would group into about 1 1/2 inches at 100 yards for five shots, but I just don't like working with IMR 4064 due to it's difficulty metering in a RCBS Uniflow powder measure. I switched to IMR 8208 with the 170 grain Speers and found a more accurate load that worked really well through the measure. I was happy with the load and content to take an animal with it, but you know how it is when you discover something new or different. You gotta try it and see how it works. The something new was the Barnes 160 grain TTSX bullet and CFE223 powder. After checking every resource I could find, including the online Hodgdon Data Center, the numbers showed higher velocities with lower pressures using this combination of bullet and powder. I started two grains below the minimum listed, and when I got to .3 grains above the minimum listed load, five shots went into a hair over one inch with a velocity of 2597 fps. I only chronographed the load that one time for the five shots, and that's what the screen read. I expansion tested at 100 yards into 3 one gallon jugs and everything looked good, but the gun/barrel hadn't made it into the rotation until now.
The above pic shows the similarity of the (L)309JDJ, (C)8x57, and (R)338JDJ#2.
The bullet on the left is the Barnes 160 grain TTSX, and on the right is the Speer 170 grain SSP.
Load work for the SSK 8x57 using the Barnes 160 grain TTSX and CFE223 powder.
The buck was following a doe and had worked his way to within about 50 yards, and was quartering towards me slightly when I hit him in his left shoulder. He managed to run about 90 yards with a decent blood trail, including bits of lung material on the ground at the point of bullet impact. No bullet recovery of course.
Entrance chest cavity.
Exit chest cavity.
I know one test is not enough to prove anything, so I guess I'll have to shoot something else with this barrel/bullet combo and see if the results concur. I like out of the ordinary stuff like a Contender in 8x57. Besides, 8 is my lucky number!
Follow up to the story.
Home cooked Euro mount. Boiling for about 4 to 6 hours.
Finished product after soaking in hydrogen peroxide for 5 days.