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Thread: Shilo Sharps question

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

    Knarley's Avatar
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    Shilo Sharps question

    This is going to sound odd.........but, A little more than a year ago I ordered a Shilo 1874 Saddle rifle. 32" standard Octagon barrel in 38-55.
    I have two other 38-55's, and they refuse to shoot BP worth a hill of beans no matter what. One is an H&R Buffalo Classic, the other a 1893 Marlin with a round "Black Powder Barrel".
    I told the people at Shilo that it would be for shooting BP, but now I'm a bit concerned, I don't want to be shooting Unique or 4198 thru a sharps.
    Any experiences?
    Knarley
    A gun in hand is worth two cops on the phone.
    MOLON LABE

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Why would you be concerned about shooting 4198 in a black powder gun?
    The ignition time and pressure curve is about identical with FF black powder...

  3. #3
    Boolit Master MOA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Herman View Post
    Why would you be concerned about shooting 4198 in a black powder gun?
    The ignition time and pressure curve is about identical with FF black powder...
    Gosh Tom, knarley is just worried that his new gun that is suppose to shoot BP will not shoot BP worth a darn when he gets it, and will end up have to shoot it with 4198 in order to shoot it accurately.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Ran across a thread from 2009, that they were using Pb for boolits. I've been running 20:1 boolits. Would that make the difference?
    A new Lyman 250 Gr. mold for the 38-55 came today, just might have to cast some regular Pb boolits and see what happens. 20:1 works well in the 45-70 but, who knows.
    A gun in hand is worth two cops on the phone.
    MOLON LABE

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I'm sure that it'll shoot black powder very well. Shiloh makes an excellent rifle and takes great care making their barrels and chambering them. Many of the problems with .38-55's comes from oddball chambers that don't match the rifling and brass dimensions.

    Chris.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    nicholst55's Avatar
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    The H&R .38-55s have pretty well known bore and chamber dimension problems, so I'm not at all surprised that it doesn't shoot well. I would be much less concerned about a Shiloh product, as stated above.
    'I have a feeling we're not in Kansas any more, Toto!' Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Chill Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knarley View Post
    Ran across a thread from 2009, that they were using Pb for boolits. I've been running 20:1 boolits. Would that make the difference?
    A new Lyman 250 Gr. mold for the 38-55 came today, just might have to cast some regular Pb boolits and see what happens. 20:1 works well in the 45-70 but, who knows.
    I think you are getting goood advice.
    You don't really want or need to try pure Pb if you have access to 20-1. The 20-1 is the better mix for most shooting.

    The question about your BP accuracy really goes to, are you doing what it takes to make an accurate BP load in any rifle?
    The shortest road to great accuracy is (a) a great rifle like a Shiloh, (b) great components including Swiss powder and (c) 'best' fitting bullets. To do otherwise is to prolong, or never hit upon accuracy.

    I have seen many, many, new guys to the bpcr game. Some of them want to cut all the corners and still have quick success. GOOD LUCK with that.
    Chill Wills

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    Cast good bullets from 20-1, use a good lube and be mindful of the fouling control, you won't have any problems getting that rifle to shoot well.
    GUSA #6
    People will forget what you said...
    People will forget what you did...
    But People will NEVER forget how you made them feel

    Want to join in adult conversation about shooting the old ways without the hysterics associated with other places?http://historicshooting.com/mybb/index.php

  9. #9
    Boolit Master MOA's Avatar
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    Fit, rifiling, and good lead alloy.

  10. #10
    Boolit Man Randy Bohannon's Avatar
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    Don spelled it out in the shortest possible terms, fouling control is as critical as powder/charge and bullet fit/alloy. Lots of new BPCR shooters spend a ton of time and money on componets developing good quality ammo and neglect what the rifle likes in terms of fouling control then wonder why the accuracy is not there. The 45-70 is perhaps the most forgiving with B/P at least my experience says the 45-70 is the easiest to get to better than average accuracy in a properly chambered rifle(no weird stuff).
    Last edited by Randy Bohannon; 07-14-2017 at 07:39 AM.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    I have also found as caliber size gets smaller fouling control becomes more important.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    Have zero concern. Shiloh Sharps barrels' rifling is designed to use black powder.
    Itís so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then donít say it. Sam Levinson

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Thank you gents, I'll sleep better tonight.................

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

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy Dusty Ed's Avatar
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    Howdy Knarley
    The first thing I would do is to Slug the bores on your old rifles,
    They most assuredly different sizes ,they could be between .375 to .385,then you have to have Black Powder Lube an fouling management , Either blow tubing or wiping between shots.
    Hope this a help an not a hinderance.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Knarley, one more thing. Chills mentioned "best fitting bullets". This is a really important part. There can be a really big difference in accuracy from seemingly small differences in bullet dimensions with these black powder rifles. I would seriously consider a good quality mold for your new rifle, something from Buffalo Arms for instance. When picking a mold do some research to ensure that the mold you are picking works well with the Shiloh chamber. My .38-55's are not Shiloh's so I can't recommend a mold, but there is somebody out there getting really good results that will share their data I'm sure. The first step would probably be to call Kirk at Shiloh and ask his opinion.

    Chris.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    You really need to slug the bores of those guns. The 93 Marlin could have a bore as big as 380 or more. Ihave no experience with a Buffalo Classic but for some reason 38-55 are all over the map from 375 to 383 in the 8 or 9 I have slugged. The Shilo should be a 375 and a dandy B/P shooter from the ones I have seen.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master



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    I shoot a .381 bullet in my 38-55, what diameter are your bullets?
    Mike
    NRA Benefactor 2004

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    The current SAAMI chamber design for the .38-55 allows permits the groove diameter of the bore to be larger than the largest bullet that will fit in the case neck of a loaded round. In other words if your groove diameter is .380 to .381 you cannot obtain a good fit because the chamber at the case mouth is only .393 to .394 in dia. A .380 to .381 bullet loaded into normal WW 38-55 brass will not chamber in a SAAMI chamber.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knarley View Post
    This is going to sound odd.........but, A little more than a year ago I ordered a Shilo 1874 Saddle rifle. 32" standard Octagon barrel in 38-55.
    I have two other 38-55's, and they refuse to shoot BP worth a hill of beans no matter what. One is an H&R Buffalo Classic, the other a 1893 Marlin with a round "Black Powder Barrel".
    I told the people at Shilo that it would be for shooting BP, but now I'm a bit concerned, I don't want to be shooting Unique or 4198 thru a sharps.
    Any experiences?
    Knarley
    EDG

  19. #19
    Boolit Man
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    New WW brass is anything but normal. Everyone needs to go back and read KenWaters Pet Loads for the 38-55. In that long ago article he lays out and uncovers the "mystery" and history of the 38-55 brass. Get some Jamison/Captech "Normal" brass which is 2.10 and is thinner at the neck and you can seat and chamber those larger diameter bullets in most rifles.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    I just shot the '93 using a Lyman #375248 249 gr. boolit, 20:1 alloy as cast @ .381 with SPG lube and 9 gr. Unique.
    10 shots @ 100 yards, peep sight, and you could just about cover the group with the mouth of a Solo cup.
    With BP, I'd be lucky to hit a paper plate. Many would be hitting the target sideways.
    The wife's H&R Buffalo classic is all over the place with Black and a #378674 Lyman 335 gr. round nose. Either sized at .379 or as cast. Drop in 20 gr. 4198, and bingo! Settles right down and shoots well. Beats the heck out of me, but if that is what those guns shoot well on, that is what I'm going to feed them.
    There is also a Marlin 336 in 38-55 in the house, I haven't even started fighting with that one yet, and I don't think I'll even attempt running Black thru that one.
    Knarley
    A gun in hand is worth two cops on the phone.
    MOLON LABE

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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