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Thread: Shilo Sharps question............

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Shilo Sharps question............

    A little over a year ago I ordered a Shilo Saddle rifle in 38-55. It will have a 32" Standard Oct. BBL.
    I also have a Marlin 1893 Black Powder Barreled rifle and a H&R Buffalo Classic, all in 38-55.
    For the life of me, I can't get either one to shoot worth a hill of beans with BP.
    The Marlin shoots real well with 9 gr. of Unique & a 250 gr. Flat nose, and I will be trying some 4198 with 300 gr postels in the H & R very shortly.
    The question is, will that Shilo shoot BP? I told the people there that is what I wanted to shoot, but these other two guns really have me concerned.

    Knarley
    A gun in hand is worth two cops on the phone.
    MOLON LABE

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Shiloh Sharps rifles are well known as excellent performers with black powder. Tell us more about how you are loading your black powder cartridges. Details will help.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    The .38-55 was a very competitive benchrest and offhand target cartridge back in the black powder days. Unless something is wrong with your barrels, boolit/bore diameter matches, or loading techniques, they all ought to shoot fine.

  4. #4
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    Knarley, I'm sitting here smiling because I had the same experience when I got my BPCR. FWIW, to begin with, you have to UN-learn EVERYTHING you know about loading smokeless, and start from scratch with black. First, I'd rate casting really good bullets as the #1 thing to get worked out. Read here in the archives everything you can about learning to cast really good BIG bullets. It's not like casting .357's or .44's! I found that with my mold, I could NOT get a bullet that didn't have a void near the base if I used any alloy with antimony in it. I switched to a plain binary lead-tin mix, and instantly started getting good, usable bullets. Then I started learning to control and adjust my alloy temp (pot) better, and my bullets got better. Big bullets drain a pot much more quickly than lighter bullets will, and that makes controlling the temp on Lee Magnum Melters a bit more demanding. Learn to keep a good, consistent rhythm, and to slow down a mite when your sprues take longer to solidify.

    Then, once you have some good bullets, know that you CANNOT use smokeless compatible lubes. This is a real biggie. BP with alox or most other smokeless lubes will form, when mixed with BP fouling, an asphalt like substance that you do NOT want to have to remove from your bore! It'll usually take hours to get it out, and all the solvents you have in the house! So just make SURE your lube is BP compatible, and save yourself a whole LOT of recriminations against your own self! I know this from experience, sad to say.

    Then once you have good bullets, lubed with BP compatible lube, all your sizing etc. can go as usual, except when it comes to charging your cases. I found, and most others have as well, that using a long drop tube (at least 18" and preferably 36") tends to enhance the way the charge stacks up and compacts into the case. And here, the next step once you get your powder levels very closely similar in your loading block, with the same wt. of powder in them all, you'll probably need (not want, but NEED) a "compression die. This is like a seater die, but instead of a seater plug, it's got a flat bottomed "punch" that's just a tad smaller than your sized case, and you seat a wad (either poly or fiber) of the right caliber over the powder, and press it down to the right level for your bullet to seat, compressing the powder if necessary, so all your bullets, when seated to engage the rifling as firmly as your action will allow (this usually gives best accuracy, but not always), will seat with just a moderate pressure on the wad you just compressed the powder charge with.

    Once you've determined the proper OAL to engage your rifling, you can adjust slightly for a bit more or less contact with the rifling to let the rifle tell you what OAL it wants in order to do your best shooting. Always let the RIFLE tell you what it wants! You can try what YOU want 'till the cows come home, and it likely won't work that well. Only when you allow the rifle to decide your loads, will you find wondrous fun with it and black.

    Mostly, WLRM's and Fed 215's (either std. or match) work best with Goex, while milder primers (often R9 1/2) tend to work best with Swiss. I'm not sure what works with OE now, having not used it nor kept up with the BPCR shooters, but any good BPCR forum should be able to tell you what works in their rifles.

    It's kind'a humorous that the guys who shoot black at 1,000 yds, and near that, tend to report that black is MORE accurate than smokeless loads when both are legal to shoot at various matches. Ol' Black may be old, but she can STILL do the long range thing. You just need a good vernier sight, and a bubble level front sight. And believe me, that bubble level really DOES matter when your sights are at the kind of angle they are with BPCR's and real black! That was another lesson I had to learn the hard way! Hope to save you the trouble and mystification. I was trying to blame wide shots on the wind, but when I finally decided to use that bubble level, I was hiting center every shot! That's one of those occasions when you just smile your best Cheshire Cat smile, and just say "I was wrong!" And then go enjoy your newfound marksmanship! Sure assuages a guy's ego quickly!

    Hope this helps?

  5. #5
    I don't own or have ever owned or loaded for a 38-55 but this article was a great read and might help you out.



    https://www.starlinebrass.com/articl...t-38-55-Cases/

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Blackwater: what do you think about BP lubes? Are you suggesting grease of some type or Beeswax for that rifle? I was using Bore Butter in my BP 43 Spanish or a homemade using lanolin and Beeswax from Randy
    Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
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    Non nobis Domine,
    non nobis,
    sed nomini tuo da gloriam

    (Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
    but to thy name give the glory.)
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    The gold standard is SPG. See (for example): https://www.trackofthewolf.com/Search.aspx?search=spg

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I would slug the bores, shoot two dia. over if they will chamber get a good bp lube this step is very important and try differnt amounts of compression on your powder charge.Keep trying I also slip fit my boolits in the cases no sizing.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonp View Post
    Blackwater: what do you think about BP lubes? Are you suggesting grease of some type or Beeswax for that rifle? I was using Bore Butter in my BP 43 Spanish or a homemade using lanolin and Beeswax from Randy
    Jon, I started out using some really high octane petro lube, and it took a number of hours to get that bore clean again! Then I learned that it was the lube I'd used initially that caused the problems. I went and read ALL the archives here and at the then best forum site for BPCR, and found some recipes, and the recommendation of using the white lube that everybody seems to recommend, but I can't remember its name right now. It's highly lauded and touted, though, and has won a number of BPCR matches. Then I tried Emmert's with lanolin, and I've never looked back for my purposes. Emmert's is very simple: 50% beeswax, 40% Crisco, and 10% canola oil. To that, I add @ 6-7% by volume anhydrous lanolin. The lanolin really makes it stick wherever it's applied, and I think, keeps the fouling wetted a bit better. It's always worked for me in my .45/70 at least. When I found something that worked and allowed me to shoot up to what I figured my real potential was, I stopped searching. But many lubes have been tried, and some have even worked! Some have been so-so's, and some have been rather awful.

    When it again became "fashionable" to shoot the old BPCR type guns, we really had to re-learn how to shoot black all over again, and it was NOT easy nor did an overnight solution offer itself up! We had to learn by trial and error, but learn we did, much to the thanks of some intrepid and diligent and persistent shooters who were DETERMINED to re-learn how to shoot black again. And now, shooters of REAL powder can come close to shooting with the smokeless guys, even with their super tuned bench guns, even at 1,000 yds.! No they can't quite compete against the best smokeless guns/loads/shooters, but they're FAR from being embarassed by them. Good shooters can hit a man-sized target 7 to 10 times out of 10 at 1,000, and anyone who can't or doesn't or won't respect that, is just .... well, plain ol' silly, really. I didn't think so when I started shooting black, but it's really true! One CAN learn to love the smell of sulphur! Who'd a'thunk it????

  10. #10
    Boolit Mold
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    Good solid advice from Blackwater.. The learning curve can be frustrating and a lot of fun.. Congrats on the Shilo
    Leroy

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    The right lube is super important and easy to make for me its 60%beeswax 30% olive oil and 10% lanolin.

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    I've shot more than a few cases of Swiss up over the years. As far a lube goes, I've made a batch of "Pink Stink" up long ago and while I use it occasionally (my recipe for it used some left over SPG), but when I shoot GG bullets I use DGL as I have a few tubs.

    I now shoot mostly paper patch bullets and couldn't be happier with the accuracy and ease of loading.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    H&R Target Classic in 38-55, all except the last year of production had too tight of chamber to fit a cast bullet large enough for the bore. Or so I read and the one I had acted like that.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by flint45 View Post
    The right lube is super important and easy to make for me its 60%beeswax 30% olive oil and 10% lanolin.
    Pretty close to what I settled on.
    Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
    Bastiat

    Sic transit gloria mundi ( the glory of man is fleeting)
    Whispered in Julius Caesars ear before every speech to remind him that everything comes to an end.

    Non nobis Domine,
    non nobis,
    sed nomini tuo da gloriam

    (Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
    but to thy name give the glory.)
    Knights Templar

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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