7 x 57mm Mauser
Why the 7 x 57mm is so popular among today's
hunters and shooters is somewhat of a mystery. The cartridge is too long
for use in short actions and in long action rifles many other more modern
cartridges surpass it in performance by a considerable degree. But Paul Mauser's
old cartridge still enjoys a lot of use and is available in a number of sporting
rifles of foreign and domestic manufacture.
Introduced in the Mauser Model 1892 rifle, the 7 x 57mm and the later '93 Mauser rifle were adopted by the Spanish government for military use. American troops armed with .30-40 Krags learned how effective the 7mm was during the Spanish-American War when 15,000 attacked around 700 Spaniards at San Jaun Hill. The effectiveness of the Spanish troops and their Mausers prompted the development of the 1903 Springfield and its .30-03 (later .30-06) cartridge by the U.S. government.
Thousands of tired old military surplus rifles in 7 x 57mm have been imported into the U.S., some of antiquated design, others in poor and thus unsafe condition. Any rifle of this type should be checked by a qualified gunsmith before its fired. No handload developed for the 7 x 57mm in a modern rifle should be used in the older rifles.
When loaded to higher chamber pressures for modern rifles such as the Ruger Models 1 and 77 and Ultra Light Model 20, the 7 x 57mm cartridge is an excellent choice for big game hunting. Although seen at its best when used on deer sized game, the elk hunter who turns down shots beyond 200 long paces or so can get by with the 7 x 57mm. The best bullets for deer, black bear, and pronghorn are those weighing 130 to 140 grains. Bullets for bigger stuff start at 150 grains. H414, H4350, H380, IMR-4350, IMR-4320, and W-760 are good 7mm Mauser powders.
Source: Hodgdon Data Manual 26th Edition
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