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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
Wolfe Publishing Group
  • reloading manual
  • alliant reloading data
  • reloading brass
  • shotshell reloading
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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
hodgdon load data

Loads for the 8x58R Danish Krag-Jørgensen

Author: J. J. Stransky and H. L. Stockwell
Date: Jan 13 2020

Loads for the 8x58R Danish Krag-Jørgensen

The 8x58R cartridge was adopted by Denmark in 1889 for the military turn-bolt Krag-Jgrgensen rifle. At the same time Norway and Sweden also used this round but soon abandoned it. It served as the standard Danish cartridge until shortly after World War 11. The round was also popular for hunting and target shooting in Denmark but was little known outside that country.
The case is rimmed, bottlenecked and 2.28 inches long with a base diameter of .550 inch, a shoulder diameter of .457 inch and a rim diameter of .575 inch. Bullet diameter is .325 inch according to some sources, while others list it as .323 inch. Bore diameter is given as .315 inch and grooves measure .329 inch.
The original military load had a 236-grain roundnose bullet driven at 1,968 fps. In 1908 a 196-grain spitzer at 2,360 fps replaced the heavier roundnose bullet. Part of the spitzer bullet’s ogive is inside the case neck, supposedly so that the overall cartridge length would fit the magazine well. Working pressure was about 44,000 psi.
The cartridge has also been known as 8mm Krag-Jgrgensen, 8mm Danish Krag, 8mm Norwegian Remington and 8mm Swedish Remington. DWM (Deutsche Waffen-und Munitions Fabrik) assigned number 385 to this round. Danish military ammunition with an HL headstamp was made by Haerens Laboratorium in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Since World War I1 the cartridge is no longer standard with Denmark. At one time Norma produced Boxer primer ammunition and unprimed cases.
In the 1950s loading recommendations with now obsolete powders drove 196 and 198-grain bullets at 2,630 and 2,740 fps, respectively. Data from the late 1970s are more conservative, giving the same bullets 2,231 and 2,296.
Handloading is now greatly’ facilitated by fine 8x58R cases made by Bertram Bullet Company of Australia. These cases as well as loading dies are available from Huntington Die Specialties, PO Box 991, Oroville CA 95965.
The 8x56R Mannlicher case closely resembles the 8x58R Danish and may be used in the Danish rifle without fireforming and undue swelling. The case is but a fraction short in length and fps held up well for several reloadings. Berdan primed 8x56R military cases accept the RWS 5.5mm Berdan primer number 5620.
A most important warning is in order here. The original live military 8x56R round will chamber and presumably fire in the Danish rifle. Under no circumstances should this be done because the 8x56R has a .329-inch bullet that is oversized for the Danish Krag.
In our tests we used both Boxer primed Bertram 8x58R and Berdan primed Sx56R cases with .323-inch bullets. All test loads were fired from a Danish Krag-Jorgensen 1889/1924 infantry carbine with 24.02-inch barrel with an 11.02-inch twist. Shots were fired in five-round strings from sandbag rests at 50 yards, except the cast bullets that were fired at 25 yards. Two loads were also tested at 100 yards. A PRO-TACH chronograph measured the velocities 15 feet ahead of the muzzle.
All loads performed exceptionally well for a military rifle with open iron sights. Velocities approached those listed by Norma in 1977. Jacketed bullets ranging from 150 to 220 grains shot equally well regardless of powder, case or primer combinations. Cases held up for several reloadings, including those formed from 8x56R brass.
A good selection of .323-inch bullets in various shapes and weights and availability of cases and loading dies should put the smooth-working, accurate Danish rifles back into use.