View Full Version : Best Mid-Range Silly Wet Cartridge

11-18-2006, 09:39 PM
I am into a new rolling block project. Looking for the opinions on the best mid-range silly wet ctge. I am looking at 40-65 etc. Any and all opinions welcome.

11-18-2006, 10:20 PM
.40-65 or 45-70 ought to do you. The 40 uses a little less powder and lead, brass costs more. Some people like Dan Theodore are using smaller than .40 but that seems kind of "postgraduate"

11-19-2006, 05:41 PM
I've got a few 45-70's. I was thinking of something different. You know, just another toy. What about something in the .38 cal class?

11-19-2006, 05:48 PM
Might want to discuss that with Dan and some of the others on one of the dedicated BPCR boards. The friendly controversy over .45’s versus the smallbores is what got the Cybershoot started. It seems the 38’s are a kind of a +Expert proposition. People are shooting them.

11-19-2006, 07:30 PM
.38-50 Hepburn. Designed as a target cartridge. Holds more powder than a .38-55 and with a 12 or 14 " twist will stablize a bullet heavy enough and deliver it fast enough to take down targets. At least that's what Dan told me in posting sometime in the dim past (anything over 6 months is the dim past). I'm considering it for a Midrange Rolling Block.

Jerry Liles

11-20-2006, 12:12 AM
That sounds like a pretty good idea, and while you are at it maybe since, you’ve already got a roller, you ought to get a Hepburn http://www.gamradtgallery.com/images/firearms/RHRightside.jpg
to shoot it out of. Maybe more historically correct.

11-20-2006, 02:33 AM
................What's mid-range? In true long range competition to 1000 yards, mid range is 600-800 yards.

In that venue, the British proved with their superb muzzle loaders that 50 cal was just too much of a good thing for a man to shoot a match with, and 40 & 42 cals just weren't consistant enough. So the 45 caliber proved to be the best of both worlds. Good BC's and recoil that wouldn't cause you to loose brain cells.

At the 'mid-ranges' the 40-42 cals did well, and with less recoil. Very basicly a 300 gr slug in 40 cal has about the same BC as a 400gr boolit in 45. The 400 gr 40 cal then mirrors the 500gr 45 cal.

However, momentum plays a part too and the more mass in the 45 slug can be telling, when all else is the same.


11-20-2006, 10:31 AM
I'm partial to the 40-65 myself but have entertained the idea of a 38-56 which can be made from the 45-70 brass. It also hold more powder than the 38-55. According to Venturino you can size the brass directly from the 45-70 brass if you take your time and use plenty of lube. I have a set of 40-65 form dies and would probably use them as a step down to the 38.


11-20-2006, 11:38 AM
I have a 38-55, 38-56, 40-65, 45-70 and a 45-90. The 38 caliber rifles are great out to 300 yards or so then wind drift gets to them unless you use really heavy bullets. My heaviest one is an NEI of 330 gr. The 40-65 works great out to about 600 yards with a 410 gr bullet and will do quite nicely for a silhouette cartridge. Beyound 600 yards it starts running out of gas and suffers from excessive wind drift. The 45-70 Works at all ranges out to and including 1200 yards but it is optimum only to about 800 yards with a 535 gr bullet. So for long range (i.e 800,900 and 1000 yards) I got the 45-90. I thought of using a longer cartridge like the 45 - 2.6 case but decided on the 45 2.4" case. I only shoot straight black in these rifles.

11-20-2006, 12:31 PM
Gee whiz, some of you fellas just have too much money!

11-20-2006, 02:07 PM
Right up till Quarterlies are due anyway. I tend to cull the safe every couple years as my interests change. I've been pretty lucky so far all of my better stuff has made money. Maybe not compared to inflation but better than buying a vehicle.


11-20-2006, 02:28 PM
You want to try a fairly cheap rifle that will do the job? Find yourself a Marlin in 375 Win. These Marlins have a 1/12" twist same as 375 H&H that will keep a realy long boolit spinning true.
I shot with a fella at the Quiggley that was shooting a 1/12" 38/55 shooting a 375gn Postell style boolit. When we got to shoot the 800 yard buffalo a storm had moved in that was litteraly blowing over the tents and awnings in the camping area. Most shooters couldnt even come close but he hit 4 out of 8 with his misses just off on the down wind side.
I was shooting a 45/70 with the Lyman smitzer at 1450 fps which was very accurate from my Browning and extreamly good at cutting through the wind.
Cant remember the exact numbers but I think I was using 8.5 points for wind and he was using 7. I also hit 4 of 8 and we were the only ones in our squad that I remember scoring any hit on that target, most just gave up.
That little Marlin will shoot the same boolits and my rifle will chamber and fire 38/55 cases with no problems what ever.
My favorite hunting boolit for the Marlin is an LBT 350gn LFN. I push it to about 1550 fps and it makes the 375 win act like a much bigger cartridge. With soft alloy they will expand nicely and penitrate beyond belief.
For long range fun shooting I like the 330 gn Lyman, but this one is too long to cycle through the tube where the LBT works fine.
You bet a fairly cheap rifle that works in the field as well as at the range that little Marlin 375 is a good one.
If I ever get to shoot the Quiggley again I would like to do it with the marlin. They have a lever gun class that only seems to atract 3 or 4 shooters. Some will build specialty rifles (race guns) but I think it would be a kick in the pants to shoot it with a real saddle gun.

11-20-2006, 03:05 PM
Prejudices... - don't forge tthat the last rifle to hold the US BP LR record was a .40 caliber, more specifically a .40-90 What cheer, shooting a 500gr bullet... Faster than normal twists and heavy bullets will make those smaller calibers shoot at LR
The Brits stayed with .45 not because the smaller caliber didn't perform, but because the minimum caliber required for their matches in the BP days was .45...

11-20-2006, 04:13 PM

A mid range match is 200, 300 and 600 yards. BPCRS is shot at the same ranges as standard silhouette. Would the 53 yard difference between rams and a 600 yard bulls eye make that much difference?

11-20-2006, 06:06 PM
Bullshop Dan: Is is correct that the loads you use(d) in the 375W were with SMOKELSS?? Will a stock Marlin chamber your load with the 330 Lyman (in orig. length 38/55 brass) for use as a single shot.If not how about in fireformed 30/30 brass..???? P.M. if you prefer that route...Thx, Onceabull

11-22-2006, 06:20 PM
Talk about useing a Marlin for long range shots my one and only BPCR match was with a Marlin 1895 in forty five seventy! with 65grans or FFg what a hoot! I am hooked! I did good out to 500 yds or so then I ran out of elevation on my Layman #2 but who cares!


11-22-2006, 08:43 PM
Bullshop Dan: Is is correct that the loads you use(d) in the 375W were with SMOKELSS?? Will a stock Marlin chamber your load with the 330 Lyman (in orig. length 38/55 brass) for use as a single shot.If not how about in fireformed 30/30 brass..???? P.M. if you prefer that route...Thx, Onceabull
I got my marlin used so dont know if the chamber has been alterd but I dont think it has. Someone else once posted that they have one that will also chamber a 38/55 round.
Yes my Marlin will chamber a 38/55 case with the Lyman 330gn loaded but single shot only, and yes I shoot mostly smokless with it. I do have a load that uses a heavily compresed charge of pyrodex RS.
Another boolit we use often is the NEI 320 spt. JR used it at the Amidon ND shoot from a roller with 1/14" twist and the little bugger cleaned my clock.
It was real funny ya see there was a couple old timers with some real spiffy lookin eqiupment and they wasnt doin so good and Jr. being kind of excited pointed it out to everyone after each shot. He was spoting for me and calling shots for everyone ya know no disrespect ment just an excited kid. When these fellas had thier turn and left the line they told me I should keep the loud mouth kid quiet so there was a bit of friction there.
Then came Jr's turn and on his first 800 yard shot, bang clang and everybody accept the two fellas chears cuz he's an excited kid and the smallest body on the line.
So Jr. procedes to clang a long string without a mis and the crowd is chanting DANIEL----DANIEL----DANIEL with each shot. I look at the two fellas that was upset with Jr. and with thier hands in the air they are chanting with the rest DANIEL----DANIEL----DANIEL. Dont ya just love it, I tell ya I had tears in my eyes as I chanted DANIEL----DANIEL----DANIEL!