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First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender (Updated) #209494 12/07/2020 9:38 PM
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Mech 8 Offline OP
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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.



Entrance chest cavity.



Exit chest cavity.



Exit.

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.

Last edited by Mech 8; 12/16/2020 3:49 PM. Reason: Update
Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: Mech 8] #209495 12/07/2020 9:57 PM
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I like oddball calibers and cartridges too. Excellent write up and impressive performance. Thank you for sharing your results.


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Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: Franchise] #209497 12/07/2020 10:25 PM
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That is Cool!


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Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: Ernie] #209499 12/07/2020 10:45 PM
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The 8 x 57 is a grand old cartridge that had more than a little to do with the birthing of the 30/06. My first "big game" rifle was a M98 Mauser purchased from Montgomery Wards for the princely sum of $27.50 gave me a real appreciation for this old round.


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Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: Sawfish] #209501 12/08/2020 12:19 AM
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Pa. Mike Offline
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Congratulations on a very nice buck. This was an excellent write up with great photos!

Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: Pa. Mike] #209502 12/08/2020 12:35 AM
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Mark Hampton Offline
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Congrats - well done with a unique cartridge.

Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: Mark Hampton] #209503 12/08/2020 12:47 AM
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GOOD REPORT, AND VERY INTERESTING. I WAS NOT AWARE YOU COULD DO THE 8x57 IN A CONTENDER


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Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: Mech 8] #209507 12/08/2020 1:46 AM
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Thanks to all for the kind words. I know SSK offered an 8mmJDJ based on the 444 Marlin case, but I think the 8x57 is pretty close performance wise. I really want to try it on one of our big feral hogs and see how it works.

Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: 45MAN] #209511 12/08/2020 2:10 AM
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Congrats! Great write up, too!

 Originally Posted By: 45MAN
I WAS NOT AWARE YOU COULD DO THE 8x57 IN A CONTENDER

Same here.


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Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: Chance Weldon] #209517 12/08/2020 2:37 AM
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It's a 35,000 psi cartridge...about 30,000 less than a 308 Win....it's definitely a Contender Cartridge


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Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: Franchise] #209519 12/08/2020 3:11 AM
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SAAMI has kept the pressure rating low just in case someone shoots a .323 diameter bullet out of an old .318 bore. The European industry standard is much more in line with the .308 Win or 30/06 I believe. You can shoot American made ammo without issue but you would be cutting the cartridge's performance off at the knees. If you compare the case head size to the 444 Marlin, which JD Jones uses for a lot of his cartridges, you'll realize you can load a little warmer than the 35K that the industry uses. I would not shoot the European factory loads in this barrel, I feel that they could cause a problem. In working with this cartridge and a 7mmJDJ#2, I found the CFE223 to provide higher velocities with no pressure indications. I think it might have something to with it's copper erasing additive slicking up the bore. I can't prove that, only a theory.

Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: Mech 8] #209521 12/08/2020 3:21 AM
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Cool! Sounds like a great round for a single shot. I can't wait to see you bust a big boar with it.


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Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: Franchise] #209527 12/08/2020 11:52 AM
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ruger4570 Offline
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Nice buck. Thanks for a great write up and pics. Unknown cartridge to me, but certainly looks capable.

Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: Mech 8] #209532 12/08/2020 1:25 PM
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cmnash Offline
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That's a good looking buck. Congratulations on breaking in a new gun right!

2597 fps with a premium bullet like the TTSX sounds like a load with a ton of potential to be effective on game larger than deer.

Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: Mech 8] #209538 12/08/2020 3:06 PM
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Zee Offline
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Very nice!!


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Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: Zee] #209546 12/08/2020 11:23 PM
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Well done. I love all things 8mm. It's a very underated cartridge.

Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: Brenden] #209549 12/09/2020 12:57 AM
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gunslingerdad Offline
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well done- that seems like a very capable cartridge.


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Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: gunslingerdad] #209599 12/13/2020 3:09 AM
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Bob Roach Offline
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Good write up, and an interesting cartridge.
I would have guessed the 8mm Mauser to be way warmer than a Contender/G2 could take. The velocity you are getting is not bad at all. I may need to try some CFE223 in some of my chamberings.

Bob R


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Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: Bob Roach] #209621 12/14/2020 1:34 PM
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reflex264 Offline
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Very nice. I have always liked the 8x57.


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Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: reflex264] #209645 12/15/2020 2:43 AM
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Willicd76 Offline
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I don?t believe you are getting 2600fps with that bullet out of a 15? barrel at anywhere close to 35k psi. I?d be very careful....

Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: Willicd76] #209650 12/15/2020 4:11 AM
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Carpe Diem Offline
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The minimum charge on Hodgdon?s site produces 42,100 CUP, pretty high for a case that size. The Contender was chambered to the same sized .45 Win Mag, Hodgdon lists a maximum pressure of 38,400 CUP. Years ago I stretched a frame with what I thought was a ?safe? load. I too would recommend caution.





.

Last edited by Carpe Diem; 12/15/2020 4:12 AM.

Based on total trigger pull weight, my trigger finger has lifted well over 200 tons....
Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: Franchise] #209651 12/15/2020 10:40 AM
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Congrats on a nice Buck, good write up!

Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender [Re: racksmasher1] #209661 12/15/2020 3:32 PM
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CONGRATULATIONS!

Re: First blood for SSK 8x57 Contender (Updated) [Re: Mech 8] #209705 12/17/2020 11:25 AM
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billa Offline
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Great buck. Congratulations. The 8x57 looks like a fantastic cartridge for the Contender. Well done!!!


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