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Thread: Stevens 44 action in 38-55 loads?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Stevens 44 action in 38-55 loads?

    I have a Stevens 52 built on a wide 44 action. Curious what others with a 44 action in 38-55 might be loading it with (other than BP)?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    The only strong Stevens single shot rifle was the falling block Model 44-1/2 - ALL other Stevens had swinging block actions (the breechblock pivot point is ahead of the rear end of the barrel) - which swinging blocks were designed for relatively low pressure ( compared to smokeless ) black powder loads.

    I would be VERY leery of shooting any smokeless loads that were not very light loads.

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    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  3. #3
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    25 grain of 3031 and .382 gas check 275 grain NEI boolit
    or
    15.5 grain of 4759 same bullet
    or
    19 grains of 4198 same bullet
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  4. #4
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    The two old Lyman manuals I have list very light loads for the .38-55, I don't think there's anything that gets above about 1100 FPS.

    My rifle is built on an old waffle top Marlin, and Marlin chambered that same action in .375 Winchester, so pretty sure I could juice those loads up a good bit if I wanted to. For that 44 action, I think I'd stick to that old Lyman data.
    Last edited by richhodg66; Today at 08:13 AM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    No, not on the 44 actions. The above smokeless loads will either open the action up completely or at the least stretch the heck out of it.
    The 44's lock up with a single small link. If you have a 44 1/2 then the above would be just fine.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    The two old Lyman manuals I have list very light loads for the .38-55, I don't think there's anything that gets above about 100 FPS.

    My rifle is built on an old waffle top Marlin, and Marlin chambered that same action in .375 Winchester, so pretty sure I could juice those loads up a good bit if I wanted to. For that 44 action, I think I'd stick to that old Lyman data.
    I wouldn't go as low as 100 fps. but I would use BP, even duplex loads, but you need the Bp to keep pressures way down.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Others have already said what I'd say about a 44 in .38-55 with their warnings. I would probably shoot it also, but I'd be darn sure to keep loads down to 245-255 gr. bullets, and either BP, or smokeless with levels down near BP pressures.
    A 52 is a wonderful old Stevens, and it would be a shame to harm such a neat gun.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MT Chambers View Post
    I wouldn't go as low as 100 fps. but I would use BP, even duplex loads, but you need the Bp to keep pressures way down.
    Sorry, that was supposed to say 1100, I fixed it now.

  9. #9
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    I think that Stevens 44 would be pretty easy to harm with smokeless. The 44 is not a very strong action at all and I think that most consider it an error that Stevens made them in .32-40 and .38-55. If it's the rifle I saw pictures of on the ASSRA forum then I'd be super careful with that beautiful piece of history.

    Chris.

  10. #10
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    I don't recommend the 44 action for 32-40 or 38-55 with anything more than black powder. These are not strong actions and they will shoot loose in no time even with modern hinge pins. Keep the loads mild.

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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