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Thread: 38-55 with H4227 and/or Unique

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    38-55 with H4227 and/or Unique

    Looking for info on 38-55 loads using a 260gr fngc with either H4227 and/or Unique.

    Rifle is a re-bored 336 approx 20" barrell.

    Looks like folks are using around 17gr of H4227, any experience with this? Measured or even estimated velocities?

    Only info I've seen with Unique is a 10gr load imagine its a powder puff.

    Tried a search sure its been covered before, no other powders or boolits on hand.

    Thanks, Matt.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    My favorite powder for the 32-40 is the late, lamented IMR 4759, but I found that for fixed cartridges such as you will use in your rebored Model 336, IMR 4227 ran a close second, and was sometimes superior. IIRC, I was using 16.7 gr of 4759 in a good target load for the 32-20, so 17 gr in your 38-55 should be a good starting point. You may find you an improve performance with a slightly higher charge, but I believe 17 gr should be a good starting point. I have no experience at all with Hodgdon 4227.

    Froggie

    PS You might ask this question over on the ASSRA.com forum. A lot of those guys shoot 38-55 in competition.
    "It aint easy being green!"

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I have been shooting the 38 55 for years with 10 grs Unique behind a lee 250 gr RNFN and get good accuracy out to 300 yards. Most of my shooting was long rang Cowboy shoots. I would not hesitate to hunt deer with that load. It is no powder puff at a little over1300 fps. IMR 3031 is also an excellent powder for the 38 55. My Old Lyman book shows 9 gr Unique is 1200 fps.
    Last edited by 45-70 Chevroner; 02-24-2021 at 08:27 PM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Good to know, thanks, does it list a min-max for either 4227 or Unique?

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Rifle in the picture below is a .38-55. All I have ever shot it with is BP and it does well. Previous owner used 12 gr IMR4227 w/card wad and a foam plug. 300 grain cast


  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goofy View Post
    Rifle in the picture below is a .38-55. All I have ever shot it with is BP and it does well. Previous owner used 12 gr IMR4227 w/card wad and a foam plug. 300 grain cast


    WOW!!! What a classic.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    In my Winchester #4 barreled High-Wall .38-55, best accuracy using either Lyman 375248 or Leeth nose-pour copy of same 20-1 lead/tin alloy & home brewed lube..very much like SPG,18.5 grs. of H4227 would cut one ragged hole at 100yds. with tang & globe front sights...back when I could see! This old gun had a groove dia. of .379 & I had to thin case necks to allow chambering a .380 dia. bullet. I now am working with a custom Ruger No.1 in .38-55..but this one has .375 groove dia. still working on fine tuning loads, but 16-18grs. H4227 seems to want to shoot. I have tried Unique..away from notes, so can't remember amount but they were extreemly mild.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks for the info, appreciate it.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I had Marlin rebarrel my Model "36" 35 Remmington to 38-55 back in 2003 and it has a .380 bore. Back then Marlin would put a new octagon barrel new stock new forearm new bolt for $280.00. I could not afford a custom mold so I thought I would try a Lee 250gr 2 cavity bevel base mold end it dropped .382 boolits so I bought another one and it is the same. I size them to .381 and they shoot great.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Well interesting results at the range today.

    Had a few rounds loaded up with the 260gr, bore is .376 so boolit is .379. Starline short brass, boolit seated to crimp groove just engages the rifling, feeds/cycles fine.

    17gr 4227 shot ok, mild recoil accuracy wasn't amazing but first rounds so getting used to the rifle, adjusting sights etc.

    Then tried the 10gr of Unique. Definitely a much milder round, quiet too. Accuracy was nothing special but the weird thing was some of the boolits hit the target perfectly sideways. At 50 yards the paper was cut in a jagged profile of the boolit.

    I thought keyholing is usually a weight/length issue or an undersized boolit- neither of those really fit here.

    Thoughts?

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Are you sure your scale was set right? Sounds to me like it may have been a very slow load that didn't stabilize, and I have read many recommendations for 8.5-10 grains of Unique.

    Other than that, I have no idea why you had tumbling boolits.

    Robert

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by Goofy View Post
    Rifle in the picture below is a .38-55. All I have ever shot it with is BP and it does well. Previous owner used 12 gr IMR4227 w/card wad and a foam plug. 300 grain cast

    I have original 85's but nothing like that. WOW!!!!!!!!
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  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Running an FX120 with a checkweight so I'm pretty confident in the charge, good suggestion though and thanks for the reply.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Unique and 2400 is what I use with Lee 250 as cast .381 in a factory rebarrelled 336. Both powders have proven accurate.

  15. #15
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    Cool

    Key-holing is usually a bullet stability problem, as in the twist is too slow for the bullet length/velocity. If those are okay, as the 4227 results would indicate, then the root cause is most likely that the bullets are being damaged somehow when shooting. Base erosion from powder gas is a potential here, but the bullet/bore dimensions pretty much preclude that.

    How did the OP measure the bore? A loose muzzle dimension could cause this issue, but the 4227 results don’t really support that theory. Very odd indeed.



    .

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    Indeed, and not all of the Unique loads keyholed either.

  17. #17
    Boolit Mold
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    This thread is very timely for me. I am picking up a Marlin 336CB in 38-55. I will be casting for it and have both Unique and 4227 on hand.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Regards
    John

  19. #19
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    Well I decided to stick with 4227, loaded a few more up at a warmer but still well within published data load and headed out this morning.

    Checked 0 at 50 then tried the steel at 100. Looked good so sent 5 more, with a little guestimated holdover this is the first 6 shot group at 100.

    Not a record setter by any means but encouraging so far. ES and SD were pretty broad but will work with the load and see how it does, certainly looks promising for a whitetail load.
    Last edited by mattri; 03-20-2021 at 05:29 PM.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Just getting started with my MGM barreled encore in 38/55. I shot a 100 rounds yesterday in 16 different loads. 2 different boolits, a Lee 250 & NOE 235. I have sizing dies in .379,.377, .376 & .375. Tried 5744, 4198, red dot ,blue dot,& RL#7. Best powder seemed to be RL #7. Strange thing was 2 of best groups came from .376 & .379 sizing. & this was from same powder.5744 in that case. I wanted RedDot to shoot good but neither 10 or 11 gr.shot well. .377 boolits shot better if cases were expanded with die purchases from track of the wolf in .377. Lots more work to do.

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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