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Curio & Relic/Black Powder Curio & Relics and Black Powder Firearms, Old School shooting fun!

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  #1  
Old 02-24-2018, 10:32 AM
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Default G43, which factory 8mm ammo is safe to shoot?

I want to shoot it, what current production factory 8mm ammo is safe to shoot?

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Old 02-24-2018, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by 2shotjoe View Post
I want to shoot it, what current production factory 8mm ammo is safe to shoot?

More importantly, look for modern "shooters kits" for the gas system with piston and spring kits available on online to install in order to shoot it safely.

If it's a 'camp' made gun, be sure the gas-hole in the barrel is actually drilled through, check all the parts, do the above, and proceed with caution. However, many would advise not to attempt shooting a 'camp' made gun at all and I can't say that is bad advice.

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Old 02-24-2018, 2:00 PM
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Calling Gunkraut!

To answer your question, none until you've installed the Apfeltor shooter's kit. After that Ive had great luck with PPU FMJ.
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Old 02-24-2018, 3:55 PM
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Calling Gunkraut!

To answer your question, none until you've installed the Apfeltor shooter's kit. After that Ive had great luck with PPU FMJ.
Same here with PPU.

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Old 02-24-2018, 6:31 PM
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Calling Gunkraut!

To answer your question, none until you've installed the Apfeltor shooter's kit. After that Ive had great luck with PPU FMJ.
This is your answer.

After that any name brand US made 8mm should be safe to shoot. PPU is good to. Romanian surplus is ok. Never shoot Yugoslavian surplus ammo or any unknown surplus in one.
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Old 02-24-2018, 10:50 PM
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As others have said, and I'm sure GunKraut will explain in much greater detail, until you get an Apfeltor shooter's kit, it's not good to shoot your G-43 with any ammo due to the design flaw of the piston rod gap and the bolt carrier which is known to cause cracking.
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Old 02-25-2018, 10:24 AM
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Romanian surplus is ok. Never shoot Yugoslavian surplus ammo or any unknown surplus in one.
The Yugo M49 ball from the 50s had brass and primer issues while the 60s are good.

The best are the M49 and M75 sniper ammo from the 70s and 90s. The M75 velocity is close to the 198 grain WWII 8mm.

Given that this is a G43, the PPU 8mm is good and the boxer brass is good for reloading.
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Old 02-25-2018, 11:11 AM
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A little bit of history: The G43 saw initial service at the Eastern front in late 1943. It was the successor of the disappointing G41 which had at best a marginal gas system and quickly fell out of favor with the German troops. The G43 picked up where the G41 had left off, incorporating an improved gas system "borrowed" from the Russian SVT-40. Unfortunately, they didn't copy the SVT-40 gas restrictor. Service at the Eastern front meant a life of misery in mud, sludge and extreme cold (the G43 manual actually has a paragraph about shooting a frozen gas piston loose). Consequently, to ensure reliable operation, the gas system was designed with enough "oomph" to cycle the bolt in any condition.

No good deeds go unpunished and reports came back about cracked bolt carriers. A strengthening rib proved successful. But other problems persisted, such as bulging rear receivers and mushroomed bolts. Additional measures were taken to control gas pressure. A timing hole drilled into the gas cylinder allowed gas pressure to bleed off and drop once enough inertia had been created to cycle the bolt, opposite to accelerating the bolt for the full length of the piston stroke, or cylinder stroke to be correct as the piston is screwed firmly into the gas block.

All these fixes never made the G43 a well rounded rifle and instead of wasting scarce resources on improving a design which had become obsolete, development focused on the novel "Maschinenkarabiner" which later became known as the "Sturmgewehr". The G43 soldiered on until the 1000 Year Reich came to a grinding halt after only 12 years, with the last G43 produced under the designation "K43" in April 1945.

Three factories produced the G43: Walther (WaA359) at their main factory in Zella-Mehlis and at the concentration camp Neuengamme, Berlin-Lübecker Maschinenfabrik BLM in Lübeck near the Baltic coast (WaA214) and Wilhelm Gustloff Werke - Fritz Sauckel Stiftung at the concentration camp Buchenwald near Weimar (WaA749). Of all rifles, BLM had the best manufacturing quality due to their mostly civilian work force while Buchenwald had the worst due to unskilled slave labor and sabotage. Concentration camps like Neuengamme and Buchenwald were mostly assemblers with little in house component production. For example, Buchenwald was supplied with beautifully finish machined receivers made at St.Etienne in occupied France (yes, the MAS factory), looking 10 times better then the rough forged Walther and BLM receivers, but slave laborers in the camp made sure that heat treating, gas port drilling and alignment operations were all done such that the rifles broke or became unusable after a low number of rounds already. Buchenwald a.k.a. Gustloff-Werke II only produced G43 from January 1944 to August 1944 when a pint point RAF bomb drop took out the factory while sparing the prisoners' barracks. The short production period together with the grisly aspect of their concentration camp origin have made the Gustloff rifles (factory code bcd) coveted Nazi artifacts among collectors, commanding insane prices way above all other G43 manufacturers. Personally, I'm a shooter and a rifle I can't shoot because it's a piece of crap has zero value to me, concentration camp and all. But, "To each his own", as the SS Obersturmbannführer would say.

Modern ammo by Remington or Winchester is anemic compared to wartime ammo and is suited for use in G43 rifles. Although not as powerful as original German ammo, it still cycles the rifles with excess force. If you only want to run one box through your rifle to get the G43 feel and then store it in your safe for good, be my guest. If you're planning on taking it out to the range more than once, get a so-called shooter kit. It's the crucial part the Germans did not copy from the SVT-40. Basically a narrow orifice restricting the gas flow into the cylinder. Shooter kits come with and without gas cylinders. If your rifle has a gas cylinder with holes, you'll be good with any shooter kit on the market. If your cylinder doesn't have holes, the smallest orifice in the kit may still be too large. You either need to make your own orifice (it's just a tiny set screw with a 0.05" hole drilled through it) or chuck the piston that came with the shooter kit in your drill and sand it down a bit to create more blow by.
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