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Thread: 38-55

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
    Lethemgo's Avatar
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    38-55

    I recently picked up a 94 winchester in 38-55....need to do a better slug of barrel but as of now it looks @ .380. Want to run some paper patch boolits through her mostly to help polish the bore up some from years of not being cleaned much plus have always wanted to give it a try. Don't mind loading it one at a time plus it will be a learning deal. Don't want to invest in a mold right now but I have a lee 200gr .358 mold for 38spec. Cast some up and they come out at .3595 or so with 20.1 lead. Can I patch that up enough to work. Looks like it but would probably have to do 3 wraps of paper but most stuff I've watched says 2 wraps. Not looking for killer accuracy so that's not really an issue. Just want to give it and try before I try it for my 45-70 sharps. Probably will shoot smokeless at first so now I see I probably put this in the wrong section.
    Last edited by Lethemgo; 02-14-2017 at 08:42 PM.
    Muzzleloaders....why don't you pick one up and smoke it sometime

    Serving my Lord and Savor has been one of my biggest challenges and for sure biggest joys in my life....
    Thank you Jesus....you changed the rhythm of my heart.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    At 380 you may want a bullet around .370 .371 for what you want to do. Bore dia or bore dia +.001. I would use an onion paper ro thin drafting paper of around .002 thickness and 2 wraps with edges just shy of meeting by .030 or so. fold under would be just enough to leave a .060 - .080 circle of bullet base showing in the center of the bullet. A wad under the bullet to protect base.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Toymaker's Avatar
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    Mine's a Pedersoli 1885 High Wall in 38-55. Looking around I couldn't find a mold for a paper patch bullet in the right size nor could I find properly sized commercial bullets. I didn't want to invest in a custom mold until I had some idea of how it would do. So I got the closest commercial bullet I could and found a paper that, with three wraps, would give me the diameter I needed. Results have been good but I think better accuracy can be obtained so I'm still playing with it. Winter weather has put a crimp in testing AND messed up a couple of testing sessions that frustrated me so I gave it a break. But three wraps shrink up nicely and give you good bullets. You need to watch the stretch of the paper more closely so the edges match up properly.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Sur-shot's Avatar
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    Midway has standard old 38-55 Lyman moulds you should be able to adjust the alloy to cast what you need in a diameter.

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/41...nose-gas-check
    "Let us speak courteously, fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."
    Teddy Roosevelt, May 13, 1903

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    I have fired a lot of Lyman 9.3 mm bullets through my Marlin 38-55 using black powder. They are around .369" and shoot well patched to .381" or so. But Lyman no longer makes that mold. Now your best choice is likely a 250 grain or so slick from Accurate molds, spec'ed to fit your bore. It will cost about the same as a Chinese made Lyman, will be better quality, and shoot well since it will fit your rifle. Patch it up to be a slip fit in a fired case and you'll be good to go.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Boolit Master enfield's Avatar
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    NOE makes a nice 9.3 mould , about .368

    hey, watch where ya point that thing!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    I like Toymaker's suggestion about buying the closest commercially cast bullet you can and working from there since you say you don't want to buy a mold for this rifle yet.

  8. #8
    Boolit Man
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    Well I did buy a mold that will be here today. I didn't really care for the prices on what was available but almost went with the .381 one midway has. So instead bought the Lee 2-Cavity Bullet Mold 379-250-RF 375 Winchester, 38-55 WCF (379 Diameter) 250 Grain Flat Nose. Figured I could cast up a hundred or so quick enough and start loading. There is some 20 to 1 in my pot left from pouring this last weekend.
    Muzzleloaders....why don't you pick one up and smoke it sometime

    Serving my Lord and Savor has been one of my biggest challenges and for sure biggest joys in my life....
    Thank you Jesus....you changed the rhythm of my heart.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Hmmm, posting in the black powder paper patching room you had me fooled. Didn't know you wanted a grease groove bullet.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Boolit Man
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    Yes....that's what I said at the end of my post but didn't know how to delete it and move it to the other section.
    Muzzleloaders....why don't you pick one up and smoke it sometime

    Serving my Lord and Savor has been one of my biggest challenges and for sure biggest joys in my life....
    Thank you Jesus....you changed the rhythm of my heart.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check