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#643405 03/02/24 03:06 PM
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Lloyd3 Offline OP
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Never came across this one before. Am in the shop today, helping measure a large number of guns that came in recently. Two drillings included in that lot, both Merkels. The hammer version has this 8x88 rimmed rifle under barrel. Can anybody tell me about this one? The hammerless version has a .30-30.

Last edited by Lloyd3; 03/02/24 03:07 PM.
Lloyd3 #643417 03/02/24 04:56 PM
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LLoyd3,
Was the barrel marked 8/88R or did you measure a chamber cast? If it was marked 8/88R (including the R), I suspect it stands for 8mm model m88 rimmed(8x57IR). Normally the R wouldn't be marked as the rim recess would show it is a rimmed cartridge. If it was proofed before 1912, but after Mar 1893, the bore diameter should be shown in gauge measurement as 172.28; in which case, 8/88, 8/M88, 8/M88R could have been added as a voluntary mark to designate the cartridge it fired. I could find no 8x88R cartridge in either Dixon's book or the Municion.org website, but if you measured the case length to get the 88, you may have included the chamber leade of an 8x75R Behrs, by mistake. I hope this helps.
Mike

Lloyd3 #643530 03/04/24 01:35 PM
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Mike:

I was stamped 8x88. The breech face clearly shows a rim cut-out for the extractor. I can't find any reference to an 88mm cartridge anywhere.

Lloyd3 #643549 03/04/24 07:29 PM
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Ll0yd3,
I couldn't find an 88 mm long case either, that is why I believe it is an 8x57IR. This cartridge is based on the model 1888 8x57 I case head size case with rim. An early way of designating this nominal cartridge is 8-88, similarly I have early 9x57 cartridges marked 9m88. The bore, if marked on the barrel would be shown as 172,28 (if before 1912); 7,7 or 7,8; possibly 7,6 or 7,9 (if after 1911) with the case length of 57mm. Note, the Germans used a, in numbers where we would have used a. . if it used the spitzer size bullet(.323") the bore diameter would likely be marked as 7,92.
Mike

Lloyd3 #643589 03/05/24 04:05 PM
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Well, that would be the only logical explanation here. It's a shame because it's nice example of an early Merkel and that odd designation for the rifle will hinder it's sale. How Merkel would ever do something like that defies imagination but....there you go.

Lloyd3 #643593 03/05/24 04:53 PM
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Lloyd3,
I think you still don't understand, there is nothing wrong with the gun or the marking. If you post a photo of all the markings on the rifle barrel, I can explain them. If you can't post a photo, fire an 8x57IR (sometimes called JR) and if it doesn't expand unusually large, that will show 8x57IR is the correct nominal caliber. Not only was 8x57IR a very popular caliber, but it was a very good one as well and should not hinder its sale.
Mike

Lloyd3 #643643 03/06/24 12:36 PM
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Mike,

Remind me again about the 2 designations for the .318 and .323 rimmed 8x57 cartridges...how to tell them apart by markings.

thanks,

Rob


My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income.
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Lloyd3 #643646 03/06/24 02:02 PM
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8x57 J (sometimes shown as I) is the .318 diameter bullet with about 40K psi chamber pressure.

8x57 S (sometimes shown as JS or IS) is the .323 diameter bullet with about 50K psi chamber pressure.

https://www.ssusa.org/content/what-you-should-know-about-8x57-mm-mauser/

Lloyd3 #643655 03/06/24 06:10 PM
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Rob,
The markings on the barrel (at least before the 1939 proof law) do not designate the nominal cartridge the rifle is intended to use. They show the bore (not groove or bullet) diameter, as measured with gauge pins in 0.1mm steps, and case length. To confuse matters more, the nominal cartridge designation is sometimes added in addition to the actual proof marks. This is why I asked for clear photos of the markings, since without them I can only guess. My guess it is the 8mm cartridge in the model M88 commission cartridge case with a rim added .
Mike

Lloyd3 #643699 03/07/24 12:21 PM
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Mike: The next time I'm downtown I'll try to get some photography of it.

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