- 8 X 63mm Swedish
It was used primarily as a machinegun round by both the Army and Air Force, and in the 1940’s Sweden purchased approximately 5000 K98K’s from Germany and re-chambered them to 8X63 for use by machinegun troops. This became the m/40. The benefits of standardizing on one round in the field are obvious and it is the m/40 that earned the title of the most powerful infantry rifle ever, a title it still holds today. A muzzle brake was added to reduce felt recoil, and this modification negated the possible use of a bayonet. The m/40 lasted only WWII, and most examples were sold to Israel after the war and subsequently converted to the Nato 7.62X51 round. Unaltered m/40’s exist in very small numbers, and I have included rare pictures of one presently in private ownership in Sweden. Examples modified by the Israeli’s turn up occasionally, but naturally are rare as well. It is my hope to some day own an original m/40.
I can only speculate on why the Swede’s created the 8X63, rather than use an existing round. Their small arms round in 1932 was of course the 6.5X55, undoubtedly considered too small for use as a machinegun round. Machineguns abounded in 30/06 at the time and the common 63mm length shared by the 30/06 and 8X63 cannot be a coincidence, neither I suspect are the close head sizes of the 6.5X55 and 8X63. So I speculate that the 8X63 was created to fit machineguns chambered for 30/06, but provide more power with a larger case holding the common European 8mm (.323) bullet – and it is indeed considerably more powerful than the 30/06. The next section goes into the details of the cartridge.
The ammunition I received from Marstar was packaged in crates holding 1750 rounds, loose packed in seven cardboard boxes each holding 250 rounds. Swedish military ammunition is marked with manufacturing year, plant and in some cases special marks. Numbers to the left and right of the primer is the year of manufacturing. At the bottom you find numbers or a letter which are the manufacturing plant code. On the top it may be stamped a crown, Amf, E or 07. Crown means that the cartridge is made in a state owned factory, and. “Amf” stands for "Ammunitions fabrik", which means ammunition plant. The bullets I have bought so far is dated from the 1940’s and came from two different factories.