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#139139 03/06/09 04:02 PM
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We don't seem to discuss Cape Guns that often around here. I've never been particularly drawn to them (neither "fish nor fowl") myself, but in a fit of fiscal weakness I was browsing the closing auctions on gunbroker monday night and thought I'd do a little "sport-bidding" to pass the time. I ended up buying a Sauer cape-hammergun in 12ga x .43 Mauser. Turkey season opens in a couple of weeks around here and the place I usually hunt has a lot of wild pigs as well as gobblers; and for the moment, monday night, a capegun sounded like just what I'd always needed.

For anyone who knows even less than I do about obsolete cartridges, let me tell you right now that you don't just run over to Wal-Mart and grab a box of .43 Mausers. So, tuesday night was spent surfing the net for ammo. Two choices, no longer manufactured CIL/Dominion Canadian smokeless cartridges or specialty hand-loaded ammo in your choice of smokeless or black. The CIL's are selling at an asking price of $125+/box of 20 to collectors and the hand-loads for $60 or $70 upward for a 20 count box. I haven't hand-loaded for a rifle since the '60s, but I think I still have a Lee Loader around the house somewhere, and I see that dies are available.

My question is what the heck IS a .43 Mauser, and is it suitable for close range wild hogs and deer? If so, what is it comparable to; maybe a 45-70 Government? Other than reloading is there a lower priced alternative I've missed for commercially loaded ammo?...Geo

Geo. Newbern #139153 03/06/09 05:00 PM
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It was known as 11.15x60Rmm Mauser and 11x60Rmm Mauser. It is a rimmed cartridge designed by Paul Mauser and adopted by the German military in 1871 with the M71 bolt action, single shot Mauser rifle. The cartridge became a popular sporting cartridge in Europe and East Africa.

http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/4,4190.html

The original loading was:
370grn paper patched
77gr black powder
mv 1430
ft/lbs 1680

Pete

Geo. Newbern #139155 03/06/09 05:18 PM
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George you sure picked a good one. The 11.15x60r (43 Mauser)is an odd case. Bell at onetime made brass, not sure who is making it now. Your best bet is to handload. You will have to buy custom bullets or cast your own. The correct dia. should be .446 and between 375 to 450 grs. The old factory loads fired a 376 gr. bullet at around 1700 ft.lb . Are you positive about the cal. as there were quite a few 11mm cartridges around back then. It will take about any North American big game with the right bullet and load. I would make a chamber cast just to be sure.

Last edited by Rd Show; 03/06/09 05:26 PM.

Rd Show #139180 03/06/09 07:00 PM
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Pete,

If it's 11 mm Mauser, here's what 20 Bertram cases are going for from Huntingtons. (www.huntingtons.com)

B252 11mm MAUSER 51.98

Regards, Tim

Last edited by Tim Carney; 03/06/09 07:01 PM.
Tim Carney #139193 03/06/09 09:02 PM
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George,

You can get the brass here:
http://www.grafs.com/product/225775

Here are the dies:
http://www.ch4d.com/

Here are 446 bullets:
http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/4,351.html

You can get the mold here:
http://www.cabelas.com/prod-1/0018790210637a.shtml

There is another alternative. If you do a chamber cast, you can have an insert made. Just make sure you choose an low pressure round. He almost never responds to email anymore. Call him on a Sunday morning and he will answer the phone. Remember he is in Alaska.
http://www.mcace.com/rifleinserts.html

If you have never done a chamber cast, here are the instructions, scroll down a bit. If a casting becomes "stuck" you can simply pour hot water into the barrel and the cerrosafe will melt out.
http://www.damascus-barrels.com/More.html


Pete

PeteM #139199 03/06/09 09:54 PM
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Many thanks for the information! Pete, I especially appreciate the direct links to component suppliers. I'd already found the Buffalo Arms site and ordered a box of their BP loads a couple of days ago. This fellow (http://gadcustomcartridges.com/)
is a custom reloader and carries an amazing line of obsolete and current calibers, most I'd never heard of. I ordered a box of his smokeless loads.

RDshow, because there is also a .43 Egyption and a .43 Spanish (probably other 11mm's I don't know about too), I know you are right about doing a chamber cast, but the guy I bought the gun from has been shooting CIL/Dominion smokeless factory loads in it and assures me its a .43 mauser. I don't have the gun in hand yet, so we'll see when it shows up. I expect the ammo I've ordered will fit though.

Best bet for sure is to reload, though I'll probably just buy the bullets, don't think wife will let me melt lead in her sauce pans (specially since using the kitchen sink to clean black powder residue out of the barrels worked out so badly last time). I sure ain't gonna buy the collector grade factory loads I ran across.

Have any of you guys used the .43 mauser to hunt with? The Sauer has a set-trigger arrangement that I'm looking forward to playing with...Geo

Geo. Newbern #139219 03/07/09 12:12 AM
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Have fun with your new find Geo. i know you are going to like it, its a great cal. How lucky we are to live in these times where the old cals. are being brought to life.


Rd Show #139222 03/07/09 12:50 AM
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I've played around with the 43 Mauser for the last 6 or so years in both a 71 and 71/84 Mauser. I like to refer to it as the German version of the 45-70 or the 45-70 as the American version of the 43. In fact, any load data for the 45-70 1873 Trapdoors can be used in the 43, just pay attention to bullet weight. Have fun!

Geo. Newbern #139587 03/10/09 10:32 AM
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If you are willing to register as a member on Nitroexpress.com (a very good site) there's a bunch of .43 Mauser loading data --> here <--

The 11,15x60R is a great cartridge and pretty easy to load for, though like all these 1870s era rounds there's more variation in bore and chamber diameters than we are used to seeing these days. Lee makes inexpensive dies, bullets are available in diameters from .439 to .452 and in general it's just a hoot to shoot!

Good work taking the plunge on that one!

Steve Meyer #139589 03/10/09 10:49 AM
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Still don't have the gun in my hands yet, but its on the way now. Sure hope the gun works out as I expect. I've learned a lot about the .43 mauser from your posts and from other internet research. I probably will get back into rifle reloading for this one and the load data at Nitro-express will surely be of help...Geo

p.s.: In a few years time, I've gone from a perfectly state of the art Rem.700 .270 with a modern variable scope to a Ruger #1 single shot with 4X fixed scope, and now to a cape-gun with hammers in an obsolete black powder cartridge and leaf and fixed iron sites that I gotta roll my own ammo for. I may be turning into a Luddite in my declining years.

Geo. Newbern #139793 03/11/09 05:24 PM
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OK! I picked the J P Sauer & Sohn hammer Cape Gun up today and all appears to be in good order. After reviewing all the markings on the gun I have a few questions.

Below the 1527XX serial number on the rifle barrel and next to the German proof stamp (eagle) there is a number: 1 33 9. I'm thinking this may be the date code for Jan.9th 1933. Seems late production for a hammer gun in an obsolete 1871 black powder cartridge. Is that right?

The rifle side of the barrel flats is stamped 10.8 MM. That's right for a .43 Mauser, I hope? Just thought I'd ask before I cut loose with live ammo.

I was going to ask how the set-trigger arrangement works on these things, but the seller helpfully cleared that up for me. You PUSH the front trigger forward till it sets, DUMMY, and the back trigger has nothing to do with it. Glad I didn't embarrass myself by asking that question here. There is a small screw right behind the rifle (front) trigger blade. I figure that must be for adjustment of the trigger pull, right?

The shotgun barrel is marked NITRO. It has 2.5" chambers, and the barrel is shiney and unpitted inside or out. I'm thinking I can safely shoot any CIP loaded modern shells in it?...Geo

Geo. Newbern #139800 03/11/09 06:08 PM
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Mr. Newbern:

I'm not sure of the 1 33 9 date. Offically, proofhouse dating didn't occur until Sept. 1923. Considering the serial number, I'd guess a date for the Cape to be the start of WWI. The single set trigger is of French origin and is referred to as a French stecher and yes the set screw is for tension. Any other marks near the 10.8mm? There's a whole family of 11mm so a chamber cast may be in order.

I checked Mr. Cate's book and 152,769 was a combo with 16 over 11mm Mauser marked 10.7mm 1912-1914.

Kind Regards,

Raimey
rse

Last edited by ellenbr; 03/11/09 06:32 PM.
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