8mm Remington Magnum
Date: Dec 24 2014
Notes from the Lab: 8mm Remington Magnum
The 8mm Remington Magnum was formally introduced in 1977 and based on the belted .300/.375 H&H Magnum case blown out with 25-degree shoulder and necked to accept 8mm (.323-inch) bullets. Due to its 3.600-inch overall length, it requires a magnum length action. Remington was trying to popularize metric designated cartridges bearing its name, such as the 6mm Remington, 6.5 and 7mm Remington Magnums and others. The 8mm was intended to provide a blend of flat trajectory and high retained downrange energy without excess recoil as well as fill the gap between the popular .300 Winchester and .300 Weatherby Magnums and the .338 Winchester and .340 Weatherby Magnums. Initially, factory loads included 185- and 220-grain bullets at 3,080 and 2,830 fps, respectively. Today the only surviving load from Remington contains the 200-grain Swift A-Frame bullet at 2,900 fps. Nosler Custom also offers a 180- and two 200-grain loads at 3,200 and 3,000 fps, respectively.
Unfortunately, 8mm cartridges have never sold particularly well in the U.S., and being sandwiched between other popular calibers, sales for the Remington’s 8mm Magnum were limited. Nonetheless, it is a good cartridge suitable for any game in North America and African plains game, and with the recent introduction of the .325 WSM (an 8mm), there are many new hunting bullets that help make this cartridge better than ever.
Handloads were relatively easy to develop and neither did the cartridge build excess pressures unpredictably. Factory load performance was easily duplicated. The best accuracy was usually obtained with loads that were maximum, or near maximum. Notable performance was obtained with Hornady 195-grain InterLock SPs pushed with Alliant RL-19, IMR-4831, IMR-7828 and Hodgdon H-4831 powders. A magnum primer, such as the Remington 9 ½ Magnum used here, is suggested to achieve reliable ignition.