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  1. #1
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    Default .43 Mauser Cartridge

    I have read that the .43 Mauser was one of the best black powder cartridges ever created. What rifles fired this round? What is its performance like? Thanks!

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    Gewehr 71, Kar 71, Gewehr 71/84 (and if you count the variations including the Jaeger models). I have a Gewehr 71/84 and am working away at gather the supplies needed to reload for it as the bore is good condition as is the rest of the rifle.

    As far as I have read, the .43 Mauser cartridge was decent for range and performance but it was found that with the single locking lug positioned on the right side of the rifle's action when the bolt is locked down hindered accuracy as the rifle "pulled" to the right when fired. The effect was worsened when the bayonet was mounted.

    When I do take mine out to the range, I'll try to make a report about how she handled and how the round performed.

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    Never heard of the 43 Mauser being touted as the best, I thought the 42 Russian and 10.3 Jarmann were both reputed to be the very best in black powder military cartridges.
    Last edited by FABIAN23; 02-25-2010 at 09:01 AM.
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    I thought the 9mm Turkish cartridge was the final evolution and best performing of the black powder Mauser cartridges?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wyowillys46 View Post
    I thought the 9mm Turkish cartridge was the final evolution and best performing of the black powder Mauser cartridges?
    1. The Turk round for the M1887 was 9.5 mm
    2. The best black powder cartridge was the Mannlicher Patrone 88 (8x52R).
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    IMHO the .43 Mauser was just another also ran in the family of cartridges of approximately the same character in that era. Similarly the M71 and M71/84 rifle variants are also in the pack. While there is lots of room for argument on the "best" of the BP military rounds, all the contenders were late comers to the party after the modern science of ballistics was developed. The 8mm Guedes 8x60Rmm would be my nomination, but many writers seem to lean towards the 9.5mm Mauser, which I've never had the pleasure of trying. As for the most accurate military rifle of the BP era, you similarly end up with rifles chambered for one of the late BP rounds. Personally I'd go with the M86 Kropatschek. While its design wasn't necessarily more accurate than the M71/84 Mauser, its cartridge was which makes the difference.

    Of course this is like asking which was the best car or best wine. While a lot of contenders fall by the wayside, there are more than a few that are close enough to each other that picking one is a matter of personal opinion....but I don't consider the .43 Mauser or the rifles chambered for it in that group.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    1. The Turk round for the M1887 was 9.5 mm
    2. The best black powder cartridge was the Mannlicher Patrone 88 (8x52R).
    Whoops. Thanks for the correction.

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    Good points, Richard. Regarding the .43 Mauser, I find that it is subject to serious throat fouling in the 71 and 71/84 just like the 11 mm Steyr in the 1886 straight pull. At least that has been my experience when shooting these rifles with compressed BP loads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    1. The Turk round for the M1887 was 9.5 mm
    2. The best black powder cartridge was the Mannlicher Patrone 88 (8x52R).
    I will disagree, the 9.5mm Turk which is actually a 9.5 X 60R has better ballistics as the 8mm was too small of a projectile for the fast BP powder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Time Hunter View Post
    I will disagree, the 9.5mm Turk which is actually a 9.5 X 60R has better ballistics as the 8mm was too small of a projectile for the fast BP powder.
    Well, when we talk ballistics it usually takes numbers. Look at the ballistic table below, the second column is for the 8 mm Mannlicher M.88, the eighth is for the 9.5 mm Turk Mauser 1887, cal. 9.5 mm. (For whatever reason this book lists M.1887 as model 1884. It also lists the three-line Mosin rifle as "Nagant" and Mannlicher M.90 as model 1891. However, the book was written as an army manual in 1898 by two Bulgarian officers who personally contributed to most of the information there and other than the nomenclature the rest of the information is pretty correct).

    The first line is the muzzle velocity. They are almost identical for the 8 mm Mannlicher and for the 9.5 mm Mauser.

    The second line shows the revolutions per second, 2,120 for 8 mm Mannlicher and 1,072 for 9.5 mm Mauser. Of course - the Mauser bullet is not jacketed. And is not as stable as the Mannlicher round.

    The first group of numbers bracketed by a large "{" shows the max vertical point of the trajectory at 200, 400, 600...1600 meters. You can see which round has a flatter trajectory.

    Can you show comparative ballistic tables that prove your point?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Naidenov & Cvetkov 222.jpg  
    Last edited by Nick; 03-04-2010 at 07:15 PM.
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    "A який чоловiк горилку не пье - то вiн або хворий, або подлюка." - Невідомий українець

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Time Hunter View Post
    I will disagree, the 9.5mm Turk which is actually a 9.5 X 60R has better ballistics as the 8mm was too small of a projectile for the fast BP powder.
    I've never heard of bullet diameter being too small for BP. The oldest continous production target round was BP, known as the .22. Ballistics pertaining to flatness of trajectory goes to the 8mm Guedes 8x60Rmm, but that isn't the only aspect that matters. As stated before, the late comers were all superior to earlier ones predating the science of ballistics and "better" is a matter of taste and experience.

    Now if I wanted to cheat I'd point out that the Brits were slow in perfecting cordite as used in the .303 and initially loaded it as a BP round using a solid compressed pellet that blows any of the real BP rounds away as to trajectory and retained energy at long distances. But to me that really is cheating since the .303 was never intended to be a BP round, it is just that weapon system development got ahead of the perfection of their smokeless powder.
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    Here is another scan that ties the nomenclature to the rifle's parameters. Under Turkey (Турция) the sixth column lists 7.65 mm Mauser 1890 (shown as Mauser 1889) and the seventh column lists 9.5 mm Mauser 1887 (shown as Mauser 1884).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Naidenov & Cvetkov 218.jpg  
    "It's impossible to grasp the boundless" - Kozma Prutkov

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    "A який чоловiк горилку не пье - то вiн або хворий, або подлюка." - Невідомий українець

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    The Turkish M1887 Mauser is a further refinement of the M1871/84 German Mauser. The action was strengthened by the addition of a single locking lug* (see letter below) and calibre was further reduced. This rifle fired the smallest caliber black powder lead bullet military cartridge adopted by any nation. Its 9.5 x 60R cartridge represents what is regularly referred to as the epitome of black powder cartridge design.
    From Military Rifles.

    Also, from Cartridge of the World:
    This last Mauser-designed blackpowder cartridge is one of the most efficient ever developed. Mauser concluded after extensive testing and experimenting that the 9.5mm bullet gave maximum performance possible with this propellant
    pp. 363 11th edition Cartridges of the World

    The .303 Brit in BP form only generated around 1630 lbs of energy and the 9.5MM Turk was over 1900 lbs of energy, both considerably greater than the 1435 lbs of energy by the Mannlicher 8mm X 50R. Both the Brit and the Mannlicher in BP form lasted at most a year, whereas the 9.5 Turk even though only lasting three years, but was still being used into WWI. The diameter of the projectile isn't the reason for the inefficiency, but the combination of small diameter bullet in a bottle neck case configuration along with the inherent speed of BP, which we all know is the "fastest" powder known to man for use in firearms as it explodes instead of burning (as in smokeless).

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    9.5 mm Turk was over 1900 lbs of energy, both considerably greater than the 1435 lbs of energy by the Mannlicher 8mm X 50R
    The muzzle energy alone is way too narrow a definition of a "better ballistics". Then .450 Martini-Henry is much better than the 9.5 mm Mauser, because its muzzle energy is 60% higher?

    Mannlicher in BP form lasted at most a year
    Patrone M.88 was used well into the 90's. But how does duration of service prove ballistic superiority?

    I guess I am confused - are you saying that service life and muzzle energy determine which ballistics is better? Do you have ballistic tables for the discussed cartridges? "Cartridges of the World" does not offer this kind of information and I don't know why you quote it.
    Last edited by Nick; 03-05-2010 at 02:53 PM.
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    "A який чоловiк горилку не пье - то вiн або хворий, або подлюка." - Невідомий українець

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    Nick, your graph or table has no validity in it's current form, it is written in hieroglyphics...might as well be in Greek. Still searching for pertinent 'ballistic' information. The 'patrone.88', according to my research became 'smokeless' in 1889 per Belgium specs recieved at the munitions plant in Baden-Baden, Germany on 15,1,1889, that is the earliest manifest I can find. Still digg'n though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Time Hunter View Post
    Nick, your graph or table has no validity in it's current form, it is written in hieroglyphics....
    The table is invalidated by your inability to understand it? You win, man. I was wrong to think numbers are universal. And the fact that I translated the meaning of the rows and the headers doesn't matter, either.
    "It's impossible to grasp the boundless" - Kozma Prutkov

    "Бросая в воду камешки, смотри на круги, ими образуемые; иначе такое бросание будет пустою забавою." - Козьма Прутков

    "A який чоловiк горилку не пье - то вiн або хворий, або подлюка." - Невідомий українець

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    I like to think that the Russian Berdan cartridge was one of the best of the military blackpowder cartridges. It's unfortunate that so few rifle models were chambered for it. Millions of Berdan IIs were made, of course.

    I did see a Colt made target version of the Berdan I, complete with tang aperture sights, for sale a few years ago. It was used in international competition for a while in the 1870s by a US shooter. Bet it was fun.
    Last edited by FGD135; 03-05-2010 at 08:49 PM.
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    I like to think that the Russian Berdan cartridge was one of the best of the military blackpowder cartridges.
    The table I show in post #10 lists its ballistics as well. See under header "Берданъ №2". Its performance appears identical to that of Werndl 1867 and Gras 1874.

    I have a series of articles (4) from a Russian magazine on the Berdan 1 & 2, where the authors conducted some ballistics measurements. However, I am not sure how close to the military specs their cartridges were.
    Last edited by Nick; 03-05-2010 at 09:10 PM.
    "It's impossible to grasp the boundless" - Kozma Prutkov

    "Бросая в воду камешки, смотри на круги, ими образуемые; иначе такое бросание будет пустою забавою." - Козьма Прутков

    "A який чоловiк горилку не пье - то вiн або хворий, або подлюка." - Невідомий українець

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    You might ask which BP cartridge is still commercialy available, and it will be the 45-70.

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    Default .42 Russian Berdan cartridge

    Quote Originally Posted by FGD135 View Post
    I like to think that the Russian Berdan cartridge was one of the best of the military blackpowder cartridges. It's unfortunate that so few rifle models were chambered for it. Millions of Berdan IIs were made, of course.
    @FGD135 - Don't despair. The excellent Berdan cartridge was almost certainly "borrowed" by the Remingtons, and only slightly bumped up in bullet size, to create what has to be the most produced military cartridge of the BPC era - the .43 Spanish. And easily over a million Rolling Blocks

    May not have been "the best" but sometimes "almost best" is more than good enough.

    Keith

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    Yes, they're very similar cartridges. The shoulder on the .43 Spanish is not as far from the base as the Berdan shoulder, but otherwise the cases are dimensionally very close. So close, in fact, that I used to fireform .43 Spanish brass in my Berdan II until those excellent Buffalo Arms cases became available. I would be curious to find out if the Russians ordered any rolling blocks from Remington or anyone else in 42 Berdan, would've been a good second line rifle compared to some other things they used in WW1.
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    We probably should start a ".42 Russian" thread ... not fair to hijack a .43 Mauser thread to extol the virtues of another cartridge. lol

    For sure, Remington (more likely its agents) tried to interest the Imperial government in buying Remingtons. They had just sold the Scandanavians the RB, as well as having a deal in the works with the Egyptians and with Rome (the Papacy). They cannot not have tried. But the Ruskies went with Berdan (easier to manufacture, which they wanted to be able to do ... impt for them to "catch up").

    Here is what I think: When Hiram sold the Russians on the .42 and the characteristics of the round got around, the Remingtons all but copied it (along with its superior ballistics) and turned around and offered it in an ever-so-slightly "bigger" version. States are not immune to such influences!

    The coincidences between the cartridges are just too striking for there not to be an incestuously close connection. One can reasonably fire the .42 Berdan in virtually all .43 Spanish rifles, and many Berdans will chamber the Spanish cartridge. Presuming soft lead, I doubt that it would be a serious problem in either rifle if in good working condition.

    While commenting, I should probably suggest, if it's not apparent, that all of the family of black powder cartridges encompassing "~11mm bottleneck" really had very similar performances, and it does seem that for a European country, having one's own proprietary cartridge was probably more important than having an only marginally better cartridge chambered in a neighboring country's cartridge!

    That would also explain why the Dutch HAD to have their own proprietary cartridge, notwithstanding that it is a knock-off of the Egyptian cartridge, and why the Scandinavian and Papal cartridges (especially the Papal) are so embarassingly close to the US .50-70.

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