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Thread: Win 1894 38-55

  1. #21
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
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    The Buffalo Bore article referred to by Pioneer is a good article. I was leery because one individual claimed their 44 mag stuff started to loosen his Super Blackhawk.
    I collected old bolt action military rifles at one time and preferred to shoot cast bullets in them to preserve them. I have a "sporterized" #4 my father bought me when I was a teenager that still sees more modern loads, but the one I had in full battle dress was used with cast and I shot a deer with it. My Marlin Cowboy is a modern 336 action and can take some pretty stiff loads. Many are now getting JRS to rebore shot out 30-30's which can take a bit more. Your rifle, your choice but it is a bit of history.

    DEP

  2. #22
    Boolit Master
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    I don't shoot factory anything hardly but may just pick up a [JM] Marlin 30-30 and have it rebored to 38-55 then shoot and hunt the snot out of it.PS I have a mint LE #4 MK1* Longbranch [Ontario] 5 groove full walnut wood.As well a Win 1895 28" barrel .303 British that is worn but still thinks it's a bolt action accuracy wise. I got .770" for a 3 shot group at 100 yards with J Hornady 174gr RN dark bore and all.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    If I were hunting bear I would go with something with more power. The reason is that I shot my 1898 mfg. 94 with factory rounds in wet newsprint and it only had 1-3/4" penetration. To get any accuracy out of the barrel that slugged .379, I had to load the bullet out to make it a crush fit to the rifling with the lever.
    The only amendment the Democrats support is the 5th.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    Don't need more power for bear ,elk or moose.I'll get a load figured out when our -25 weather subsides.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master
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    First time I heard of the .38-55 was in an episode of "Bonanza". Hoss Cartwright was showing off his new custom engraved Winchester and comparing it to Little Joe's .44-40.

    Probably an anachronism since the series was set in an earlier time frame.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
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    From what I read Dan Blocker enjoyed hunting and made several trips up here to Alberta.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
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    The best way to know if your 1894 is a Black Powder Shooter is the external rail screw on only the 32-40 & 38-55 WCF,, App # 5000 and less in the manufacturing . if you measure across your 1894 frame the external screw frame will measure about 1'' ... the smokeless 1894 frames are fatter!!


    Ol Deuce
    Last edited by OlDeuce; 02-08-2018 at 10:51 PM.
    Do the Best with What you have !

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    Not sure what you are referring to parts wise?
    Last edited by Pioneer2; 02-08-2018 at 10:05 PM.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer2 View Post
    Not sure what you are referring to parts wise?
    Ok... In my diggings the early first year production winchester had 2 frames ! one had the ext rail screw for BP and it measures 1.08 app. in the sides of the frame ! "I measured just forward of the loading gate" The second early MFG, Frame winchester had was internal rail screws and it measured 1.1320 just forward of the loading gate . Smokeless Powder Shooter but within the 1st year of manufacturing ..

    So what all this means is The smokeless powder guns were on the drawing board mid year 1894 and the model 1894 wasn't started until mid month of
    August ......So if your winchester measure 1.132+ it was a Smokeless shooter ..........

    Ol Deuce
    Do the Best with What you have !

  10. #30
    Boolit Master
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    I'll take a measurement but mine was made in 1911 so it should be smokeless.Thanx

  11. #31
    Boolit Master
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    Got some .381/ 265gr GC bullets coming.......1.124" in front of the loading gate.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer2 View Post
    Got some .381/ 265gr GC bullets coming.......1.124" in front of the loading gate.
    Your Ol 38-55 will shoot those GC boolits fine !!! You'll Like It!!! Ol Deuce
    Do the Best with What you have !

  13. #33
    Boolit Master quail4jake's Avatar
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    Was that pound slugged and is .381 dimension throat (if any) or groove? .379 works well in most standard lever guns (W'94. M'93)...

  14. #34
    Boolit Master
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    Groove ..........not unusual for 1894 38-55's to be .380" or larger.Hope it fits the throat....guess we'll see next week.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer2 View Post
    Groove ..........not unusual for 1894 38-55's to be .380" or larger.Hope it fits the throat....guess we'll see next week.
    With your 1894 and using the short brass I don't see a problem! When I first got my 1894 shooting ,I did a slight neck size on my brass and firmly set a boolit
    in the brass. than I chambered the round gently so I could get a chamber length to the rifling . Than I measured length. backed off just a bit and set the seating die !! This little task worked well for me. Than when I was playing with different cast boolits it became easy to rearrange the seating die!!

    Ol Deuce
    Do the Best with What you have !

  16. #36
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer2 View Post
    Did a little more digging and who knows why but most 32-40's and 38-55's were never marked in plain view on the side of the barrel? One has to remove the magazine tube and forend to see under the flat side of the barrel at the reciever.Nickel steel will be stamped MNS or INS.Two nickel mixtures were made 5% and 10% The 10% was very hard to machine and dropped.I need to take it apart to be sure before getting too hairy reloading it.Records contradict each other as my serial # is in the 573XXX range.
    Pioneer2.........My 38-55 is so old ...... all the markings are on the under flat Ser.#4xxx AkA The Holy Black Powder Shooter!!! But by paying attention to my smokeless loads it does well Safely!! But Black is what she likes!! Ol Deuce
    Do the Best with What you have !

  17. #37
    Boolit Master
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    Well both the RCBS dies and rifle throat are too tight to allow .381 cast in Win brass.Not sure where that leaves me? Have the chamber throat enlarged as well as the dies or just get a 336 re-bored and hang the Win on the wall? The bullet is shoved too far into the case even with the bullet seating stem removed and the dummy cartridge wont chamber more than 3/4 of the way.Would cowboy dies cure the reloading .381 bullets?

  18. #38
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer2 View Post
    Well both the RCBS dies and rifle throat are too tight to allow .381 cast in Win brass.Not sure where that leaves me? Have the chamber throat enlarged as well as the dies or just get a 336 re-bored and hang the Win on the wall? The bullet is shoved too far into the case even with the bullet seating stem removed and the dummy cartridge wont chamber more than 3/4 of the way.Would cowboy dies cure the reloading .381 bullets?
    Pioneer2... are you sizing after you cast??? I resize with a .379 sizer and it does well!!! If you have a Modern 38-55 Not sure what to say on your .381!!!!
    I'd sure hate to see ya hang up a 38-55 for a .381 slug !!! Ol Deuce
    Do the Best with What you have !

  19. #39
    Boolit Master
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    These are commercial cast .381 and the dies are so tight they won't even load them .It's in a 1911 1894.Wouldn't be much point of sizing them .379 and they still may not chamber or crimp properly.

  20. #40
    Boolit Master
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    I guess starline must have changed their .38-55 brass. I bought some from the 1st run, loaded some .379dia #375449GC over IMR3031-28.0grs. Loaded with no die adjustment as the cases were already at minimum length for modern case length. The cartridges wouldn't chamber. Case neck thickness was twice as thick as WINCHESTER. Broke down the loaded rounds, sent all 100 cases to starline, with letter of explanation. Never heard a word back. Sent email. No response. Never answered my email. Nothing.

    Went back to WINCHESTER brass. Bought a new LYMAN #381248. Stepped down 4grs of IMR3031. GREAT accuracy, and the bolt closed with very little effort. Perfect throat fit. Had to get a lube-sizer die from Buffalo Arms.
    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

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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