The German Ordinance Bureau introduced an improved version of the 8mm Mauser cartridge, and then, to create the 8x57 JRS, added a rim to that case. The major change in the process of improving the 8mm Mauser was increasing the diameter of the bullet to 0.323 inches. The version without a rim served in various militaries around the world. When the cartridge was finally retired from active service by the last country, the 8mm had more than a century of use as a military cartridge.
This service record is undoubtedy one of the longest for a modern firearm cartridge. Bearing this in mind, it's easy to understand the development of a rimmed cartridge. Double rifles, drilling rifles, and combination rifles were popular in Europe in the early 1900's, making the development of a rimmed version of the 8x57 JS inevitable. The result is the 8x57JRS.
In terms of performance, the 8x57 JRS is frequently compared to the .30-06. The 196 grain bullet achieves muzzle velocities greater than 2,400 feet per second, and muzzle energies of nearly 2,700 foot pounds. The cartridge is therefore great for hunting medium sized game at ranges inside 500 yards.
Several rifle companies today still manufacture double and bolt action rifles chambered for the 8x57 JRS. Ammunition is getting harder to find, but Sellier and Bellot, and Norma are some of the manufacturers still making high quality 8x57 JRS ammo. Essentially all cartridges produced in this caliber are topped with 196 grain bullets, so there is not any variety to speak of. This bullet weight is useful enough for many different applications, but when compared to .30-06 cartridges and the availability of a large variety of bullet weights and configurations, the .30-06 proves to be more versatile, just by availability of different bullets.
Used around the world by military and civilian shooters alike, the 8x57JRS is a powerful and proven cartridge that would make a great addition to any shooter's collection. The cartridge has an interesting history, and is a very capable round as well.