8x56mmR Steyr / Hungarian
8x56mmR being loaded into a rifle via an en bloc clip.
Type Rifle
Place of origin 22x20px Austria
Service history
In service 1930-1945
Used by Austria, Hungary, Germany
Wars World War II
Production history
Designed 1930
Produced 1930-1945
Parent case 8×50mmR Mannlicher
Case type Rimmed, bottleneck
Bullet diameter 8.35 mm (Bad rounding hereScript error in)
Neck diameter 9.20 mm (Bad rounding hereScript error in)
Shoulder diameter 12.00 mm (Bad rounding hereScript error in)
Base diameter 12.47 mm (Bad rounding hereScript error in)
Rim diameter 14.05 mm (Bad rounding hereScript error in)
Rim thickness 1.37 mm (Bad rounding hereScript error in)
Case length 55.63 mm (Bad rounding hereScript error in)
Overall length 75.91 mm (Bad rounding hereScript error in)
Rifling twist 255 mm (1 in 10 in)
Primer type Berdan or Boxer Large Rifle
Maximum pressure 355 MPa (Bad rounding hereScript error psi)
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
206 gr (Bad rounding hereScript error g) M30701 m/s (Bad rounding hereScript error ft/s)2,737 J (Bad rounding hereScript error ft·lbf)
200 gr (Bad rounding hereScript error g) 200 Grain Jacketed621 m/s (Bad rounding hereScript error ft/s)2,504 J (Bad rounding hereScript error ft·lbf)
Source(s): Lee Precision [1]
Surplus Rifle [2]

The 8x56mmR or 8 x 56 R M30S (C.I.P. civil designation) cartridge was adopted in the 1930s by both Austria and Hungary as a replacement for the 8×50mmR Mannlicher cartridge. It was originally created for the Steyr-Solothurn light machine gun as the M30. Later the cartridge was adopted for use in rifles in 1931 as the M31 to replace the 8x50mmR Mannlicher cartridge. The updated cartridge coincided with an update to the Steyr-Mannlicher M1895 rifle in which the barrel length was reduced and the chamber re-cut to accept the new cartridge, and was the cartridge chosen by Hungary for the 35M rifle as a replacement for the Mannlicher M1895. The 8x56mmR was also used in updated versions of Austrian and Hungarian machine guns such as the Solothurn 31M and Schwartzlose 07/31M.

This ammunition was made at a variety of plants as well as countries, including Austria, Germany, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia.

Current production Edit

The 8x56mmR is currently produced by Hornady and Prvi Partizan for commercial sales. It is no longer in use by any organized military forces.

Handloading Edit

Reloading the 8x56mmR Mannlicher can be problematic, due to the .329" groove diameter of the barrel. Commonly available .323" 8mm "S"-bullets will produce very poor accuracy. Open-base jacketed bullets, such as the .323" 244 grain round-nose FMJ bullets used in the 8x50mmR Mannlicher, will often produce better results but are difficult to obtain. However, the reloading situation for this cartridge, at least in Europe, has improved significantly in the last few years.

Some manufacturers like Haendler & Naterman (Germany; 190 grains) or Degol (Belgium) still produce various bullets for sporting or hunting purposes. Prvi Partizan produces a FMJ Boat tail bullet under the number B-384 and a Soft Point bullet nr. B-561, both 208 Grains.

Lee Precision, Inc. can make a bullet-sizing die in .330", allowing .338" bullets to be swaged down to this caliber. Bullets in the 200 to 225 grain weight class would work best. Lyman offers cast molds in this caliber. Corbins offers swaging dies for their bullet swaging-presses to make various bullets from raw materials.

Reloadable cartridge cases can be produced by resizing 7.62x54mmR Mosin-Nagant Russian brass. This results in a case neck 2mm short, but no problems arise from this, as the cartridge will still headspace correctly on its rim. The remaining case neck is also still sufficient to hold the bullet firmly. RCBS produces a reforming die. 8mmx56R Mannlicher brass for handloading is produced by Prvi Partizan although availability is irregular.

Chargers or clips for the M.95 (and earlier 8x50mmR and 8x56mmR Mannlicher rifles) are available from surplus arms and ammunition dealers such as Sarco.

Reloading dies are made by Hornady, RCBS, and Lee.


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