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Thread: Resizing Lee 38.55 (379-285) bullet to .377

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Resizing Lee 38.55 (379-285) bullet to .377

    There has been a lot of talk lately about the 38.55 cal. Didn't want to hi jack anyone else's thread so I will ask in a new thread. This bullet is what i will be using (cheaper). Lee says it casts at .379. Add a thou. for PC, and I'm at .380. I called JESS and he highly recommends sizi g to .376 - .377.

    My question. Is sizing from .380 to .377 expecting a bit much?
    Even if it is possible, where can I find a .377 bullet sizing die?
    His barrels are 1:15 twist and recommends a 250ish grain bullet. He couldn't give me any info. as to whether or not the Lee .379-285gr. would work. What are you guy's th oughts?

    I know NOE has a few mold options, but if the size is correct, then the weight is wrong, and vice versa. Plus, trying to keep the cost down.

    Bruce

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Ben's Avatar
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    Reducing your cast bullet from .380 to .377 should be very easy.

    Ben

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    I didn't know LEE had a 285gr mold. I see only the 379-250. Sizing down .003 shouldn't be a problem as Ben stated. For a little more than a NOE Accurate will make any diameter you want but if you're on a budget, get the LEE 250. A 15" twist should stabilize up to 330gr or so.

  4. #4
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by WALLNUTT View Post
    I didn't know LEE had a 285gr mold. I see only the 379-250. Sizing down .003 shouldn't be a problem as Ben stated. For a little more than a NOE Accurate will make any diameter you want but if you're on a budget, get the LEE 250.
    You are right. Lee has the 250 gr8. I think it was NOE that has the 285 gr.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    I use the Lee 250gr and it sizes down to 377 no problem at all. Shoots well in my 375 whelen. Regards Stephen

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    I shoot the same boolit in my Jess 38/55 (30/30 mod '94 modified). Shoots great. I shoot it at about 1350 fps and size it .378 with Hi-Tec coating. With my alloy it drops out about .380. I've noticed all Lee molds don't drop exactly the same dia boolit with the same alloy even tho they would insist they do.It's not enough to cause a prob. generally tho.My alloy is COWW+some tin.

  7. #7
    Boolit Man
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    Ok. I see where Lyman sells a .377 and a .378 sizing die. Is that what y'all are using? And what about the NOE 285gr. bullet? Do y'all think it would stabilize out of the 1:15 twist , or should I stick to the Lee bullet?

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Iv'e got the lee 379-250 for my C Sharps 75 in .38-55 and I'm sizing to .377" with a lyman lubesizer with out any problems. They are coming out of the mold @ .380" and 255 grs. I had reservations about using a lee mold because of past experience but I'm actually impressed with it.

  9. #9
    Boolit Man
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    Hawkeye - that's good to hear. Have you shot a y yet?

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Bruce,
    I know you're trying to keep the cost down, but if you're powder coating, the NOE push through die set up to get to .377, would run you less than $60 (plus shipping, I'm guessing). Then any other bushing and push rod combo for other sizes, should only run you less than $20.
    That's actually less than the Lee push throughs.

    Just an idea.

    Don

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  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    The NOE 285 stabilizes just fine in my JES 38 55. I assume it is also a 15" twist. I shoot a 330gr in a 15" twist barrel on a 1885 Winchester w/o any issues.

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    Obssd - that is very tempting. NOE has a 375 bushing. Is that the one you're referring to? Will it size to .377 - .378?

    Bruce

    Never mind...I guess I didn't comprehend what I read the first time��. They have just the size I need.

  13. #13
    Boolit Man
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    Wallnutt - Th banks for your input. I really like the looks of that bullet. But then I seem to always lean toward th e heavier bullets when it comes to cast projectiles whenever I can get by with it.

    I think I am talking myself into going with a complete NOE setup for this project. Might have to sell off a few things to fund it though

  14. #14
    Boolit Man
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    Wallnutt - Thanks for your input. I really like the looks of that bullet. But then I seem to always lean toward th e heavier bullets when it comes to cast projectiles whenever I can get by with it.

    I think I am talking myself into going with a complete NOE setup for this project. Might have to sell off a few things to fund it though

  15. #15
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    ...............I have a 1906 made Marlin '93 in 38-55. It has a .378" groove. I also have a Uberti copy of the Winchester Hi-Wall, also in 38-55 and it has a .380" groove. I shoot the same boolits in either one, pretty much 'As Cast' at, at least .380", and that's the lube/size die used. I have all 3 of the Saeco moulds (225gr, 250gr & 300 gr) which are all FNPB designs. The Lee 250gr, and a Paul Jones 300gr which is a bore rider plain base.



    Plus the above swaged PP'd slugs in both rifles @ .381" over the patch, but single loaded in the '93 Marlin.

    Both rifles do very well with all the slugs.

    ....................Buckshot
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    The Lee boolit shoots very accurately out of my Winchester 94 Legacy. Also use an Accurate mold boolit with gas-check for "speedier" loads, and it is a tack-driver.

    One word of advice on lever action 38-55's, always check the over all length of the loaded round so it will feed properly. My experience with both the above boolits, is that I had to keep seating deeper in small increments until the cartridge feed slick and easy.

    Don't just trust the cannelure/crimp groove for seating depth. Also make sure the cases are trimmed to same length.
    Maker of Silver Boolits for Werewolf hunting.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    Yes I have shot quite a few. If I don't jerk the trigger the 100 yard groups are 2" or less. Personally I would skip the powder coat and run them through a luberasizer. It's a lot easier and faster than coating.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
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    Lee mold works well enough in my 38-55 Marlin CB that I have not bothered with another mold. Mines an old single cavity and drops some at 379 and other at 380 depending on alloy. I size to 379 and get very good accuracy. I also just lube the bullet while sizing. Main draw back to the Lee mold is that it is non gas check so that one is limited a bit in velocity but 15-1600 is plenty for what I want to shoot. Don't over think things too much. The Lee bullet is very popular for the 38-55 and it can be sized to 377.


    DEP

  19. #19
    Boolit Man
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    Y'all have given me some excellent advice from first hand experience. Sets my mind at ease and makes it much easier for me to make a decision. I was really confused as to what was needed and how to go about i.

    I Will try both PCed and lubed bullets.

    Bruce

  20. #20
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
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    Technique and attention to detail matters the most in the 38-55. The Lee mold yields good bullets, a better mold helps with production or more bullets with less time at the melting pot. I weight the bullets and separate them. Also when loading I prefer a 4 step process where the crimp for a tube magazine is done separate from seating. As I use a 379 bullet I also have to have a separate case bell step as my larger expander does not bell the cases. Your 376 diameter barrel permits the use of standard die set ups.

    DEP

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