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On 1 July, 1898 the 15,000 troops of the American Army attacked 700 entrenched Spanish soldiers on San Juan Hill in Cuba. The American Army had just adopted the Danish Krag-Jørgensen rifle in 30-40 Krag to keep up with the world arms race since the Frenchman, Paul Vieille, invented smokeless powder in 1884, setting the world on its ear.
Anyway, 15,000 American troops charged up the hill, many still armed with the archaic 45-70 Springfield rifles. In short order the 700 Spaniards inflicted 1,500 casualties on the Americans. The Krag-Jørgensen rifle was doomed to the bin and the Springfield Armoury soon developed the 1903 Springfield rifle and the 30-03 Cartridge (Yes 30-03 Springfield – I’ll explain it in another article – isn’t firearms history cool??) It predated the 8×57 Mauser and the Mauser ’98, which most bolt action rifles are based on, and forced the British Army to re-evaluate their ammunition and rifle design after the Boer War.
So now to the 7x57mm Mauser. Designed by Peter Paul Mauser in 1892 it is one of the first rimless, bottleneck cartridges. The 7x57mm’s design is the basis for most modern rimless cartridges in common use today and the base diameter is .470″ setting the industry standard for many cartridges including the 30-06 Springfield and all its cartridge family. First adopted by the Spanish Army in 1893 it was later adopted by many Central and South American countries as the official military cartridge. As a sporting cartridge the 7x57mm Mauser was an instant success and remains so today and I see no change in the future.
Every animal on earth has been successfully hunted with the 7x57mm, including Elephant. The famous Ivory Hunter WDM Bell used various rifles chambered in 7x57mm Mauser, called the .275 Rigby in Britain, to dispatch thousands of elephants in the early 1900s. Vastly superior to the 30-30 Winchester Center Fire, which was developed 3 years later, the 7x57mm is still considered a long range cartridge, only slightly inferior to the .270 Winchester.
Most shooters can be very accurate with the 7x57mm because of the mild recoil and report. With bullet selection ranging from 110gr to more than 175gr the 7x57mm is very versatile and handloaders can and do make ammo far superior to the anemic rounds produced by North American suppliers. Almost every gun company in North America has or does make their rifles available in 7x57mm, including Ruger, Winchester, Remington and more. Most European manufacturers do as well.
With a 140gr bullet having a muzzle velocity of 2800 fps, easily achievable when using a modern firearm by handloaders, the 7x57mm is flat shooting. Sighted in to be 3” high at 100 yards, the zero is 250 yds and only 4” low at 300 yds – 10” low at 350 yds. If it was good enough for Eleanor O’Conner, “Mr. 270 Winchester” Jack O’Conner’s wife and she shot everything except dangerous game with it, it surely is good enough for me. Proper selection of the bullet is imperative as in all firearms.
The 7mm bullet is .284” in British Standard measurement.
ALWAYS SHOOT STRAIGHT