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Thread: Nasty new barrel; Uberti 1894 in 38-55....what to do first?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Nasty new barrel; Uberti 1894 in 38-55....what to do first?

    It just arrived; a Taylor/Uberti 1894 Deluxe in 38-55....20" barrel. After drooling all over it, weighing it and trigger pull, running action and drying firing it, I cleaned the bore and peeked (Lyman bore scope) into what, to me, seems a travisity of the barrel makers community. I plan on following Verl Smith's advice on lapping the bore, slugging the bore and taking a pure lead throat cast. My question is in what order? Shoot/lap it first then slug bore and obtain chamber/throat cast or take those first and then lap bore? Maybe find some jacketed bullets and run a bunch through to burnish as many of the imperfections as possible?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    If it's not going back under warranty, I would shoot it a bit before doing anything else - despite it's look, it may shoot good...…..

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

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Bore scopes do not predict the accuracy of a barrel. Shoot it with 'typical/normal' loads for the caliber. I have some very accurate rifles that have rough bores, some have pitting, a bore scope can tell you if the barrel is clean, maybe with before/after pictures that the throat is getting rough. Only bullets down range determine accuracy. I would use the largest bullet that chambers easily and go from there. I do not know what accuracy you expect from a Winchester 94 or what sight set-up you will use, but I expect it will be more accurate than you expect by looking at the inside of the barrel.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Well, cleaned the barrel really good, coated the interior with Ultra Bore Coat. Weighed the rifle (6 lb 6 oz) and trigger (5.5 lbs) and took it to work. Happened to find a box of 240 gr HSM Cowboy cartridges at Cabelas yesterday. 240 gr "hard" lead in Starline brass.....which was the plus to the entire ammo ordeal. Tonight, took it to work and shot several rounds over the Oehler 85 (1414 average) and then several into the water tank (zero/0 expansion). Hopefully in the next few days i'll have the bore slugged and a pure lead throat cast so I can send it to Verl for one of his molds.

  5. #5
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    I hope your barrel cleans up. Pictures would be great.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    I’d send it back!
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  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    You said nothing about accuracy? That would be the most likely tell to send back or not. No accuracy with factory ammo and send back. Accuracy with factory ammo - work with it.
    Wayne the Shrink

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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    if I were going to keep it, before doing anything to it I would break it in with a bunch of jacketed bullets and see what accuracy is. some guns have ugly bore but shoot real well. some new barrels just need to be broken in.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Smith View Post
    You said nothing about accuracy? That would be the most likely tell to send back or not. No accuracy with factory ammo and send back. Accuracy with factory ammo - work with it.
    Exactly. Putting rounds over a chronograph and checking expansion is a waste of time if the bore is affecting accuracy. 5 rounds on paper at 50 yards will tell you if you have a problem. I hope you get a nice round 1.5" group and can tweak it from there.

    Good luck!
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    being that its a new 38-55 you might take a .375 jacketed bulled and see if it fits in the muzzle without dropping all the way through the barrel.
    I read somewhere that a lot of the new ones are being bored at .375 but it could be the bore is .379 or more.

  11. #11
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    Uberti bore specs are .373 bore and .379 groove so the "longer" brass (actually the correct brass), thinner at the mouth, available from Midway (Starline) may be what you need to use. I would shoot some jacketed out of it first to smooth out the bore. Most other manufacturers, including Winchester (Miroku) use a .375 groove diameter to take advantage of .375 jacketed bullets which most handloaders use. Try to locate some .379" jacket bullets. Good luck with that. You definitely need to spec the bore to determine which brass/bullet to use. It's an Uberti so the longer (correct) brass and a .380 cast bullet is probably what you will need to use.

    Here is an excellent article which may save you a LOT of grief.

    Loading with Correct 38-55 Winchester Cases.pdf

    Uberti Specs:
    https://www.cimarron-firearms.com/bore-groove-twist

    Welcome to the 38-55 clan!
    Last edited by Tar Heel; 08-18-2021 at 06:10 PM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    A phone call to Uberti, talked to their gunsmith who confirmed your numbers; .373" bore and .379" groove along with chamber length long enough to accomodate the longer Starline brass. My gunsmith and I confirmed .382" groove (several times) and chamber length, definitely long enough to accommodate the longer Starline brass. I have Cowbody dies coming along with 150 pc "short" (to ensure COAL will operate in the 1894 action) Starline brass. Now to place an LBT Mold order. Talked to Verl the other day and I followed his directions on bore slug and pure lead throat cast. Also, have several hundred different bullets, PB and GC, to play with before my mold is made and shipped.

    Alan

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    So...how does the gun shoot? I think I would find out before spending money on a mold, but that's just me.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfin View Post
    So...how does the gun shoot? I think I would find out before spending money on a mold, but that's just me.
    Now why in the world would you try to find out how it shoots when the OP has it in his mind it needs extra special, expensive work done to it first?

    Kevin
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  15. #15
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    I would have to say that this metrological heartburning, previous to a shooting session at the range, is backwards from the logical progression of things. Unless and until you find an actual issue with the function and accuracy, all that scoping and mic’ing, even chronographing, comes under the heading of Too Much Information.

    One of the guys in a SASS club decided he needed a matched pair of revolvers. After endless reading, comparison of technical points, queries to club members, and other due diligence, he sent in an order for two Ruger Vaqueros in .44 Magnum. (This was before a lot of the obsolete calibers began to be chambered again in replicas.) He didn’t even take delivery of these guns directly; instead, he had them sent to Joe Doakes, Pistolsmith to the Stars, for his special lightening, slicking-down and tweaking treatment that all the then-Champions espoused as essential to unloading their sixguns in the minimum time, with the minimum effort, with the minimum disturbance of aim.

    While the guns were getting reworked, he was back at the books again, researching the minimum loadings necessary for minimum recoil, maximum recovery from same, and therefore highest hittability coefficient. A look at these mouse fart charges in the cavernous Magnum shells convinced him (along with more reading and consultation) that the hottest Magnum primers were necessary in order to ensure complete burning of the powder and avoidance of squibs.

    When the guns came from the gunsmith, he was ready with a couple boxes of these optimized loads, and then it was off to the range and a local Cowboy Action shoot. When the buzzer went off, he achieved the fastest ten clicks ever recorded by the local club. Not a single one of those Magnum primers fired with the light strikes delivered by the lightened springs and hammer.

    Of course, he came back subsequently with loads that worked, in his guns, but a couple hours’ worth of load development with the guns as-issued, would have identified any real problems he might have encountered, saved him some negative notoriety (and even some money), and kept him off the bottom of the scorecard for the match.

    I figured it was a true story because none of the shooters who told me about him would repeat it in his presence. But I took it as an object lesson in what the drill should be: you find the shooting problems by actually shooting, rather than try to head them off beforehand by addressing a bunch of theoretical possibilities.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
    Now why in the world would you try to find out how it shoots when the OP has it in his mind it needs extra special, expensive work done to it first?

    Kevin
    LOL, because I once bought an 9MM Argentine Hi-Power clone to turn into something else. I already had the parts but decided to shoot it first as it was. I took it to the range, shot it, was dumbstruck with its accuracy and then said, "It's staying just like it is!"

    So the short answer is, "Been there, done that."
    Last edited by bowfin; 10-11-2021 at 02:48 PM. Reason: added space

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bent Ramrod View Post
    I would have to say that this metrological heartburning, previous to a shooting session at the range, is backwards from the logical progression of things. Unless and until you find an actual issue with the function and accuracy, all that scoping and mic’ing, even chronographing, comes under the heading of Too Much Information.

    One of the guys in a SASS club decided he needed a matched pair of revolvers. After endless reading, comparison of technical points, queries to club members, and other due diligence, he sent in an order for two Ruger Vaqueros in .44 Magnum. (This was before a lot of the obsolete calibers began to be chambered again in replicas.) He didn’t even take delivery of these guns directly; instead, he had them sent to Joe Doakes, Pistolsmith to the Stars, for his special lightening, slicking-down and tweaking treatment that all the then-Champions espoused as essential to unloading their sixguns in the minimum time, with the minimum effort, with the minimum disturbance of aim.

    While the guns were getting reworked, he was back at the books again, researching the minimum loadings necessary for minimum recoil, maximum recovery from same, and therefore highest hittability coefficient. A look at these mouse fart charges in the cavernous Magnum shells convinced him (along with more reading and consultation) that the hottest Magnum primers were necessary in order to ensure complete burning of the powder and avoidance of squibs.

    When the guns came from the gunsmith, he was ready with a couple boxes of these optimized loads, and then it was off to the range and a local Cowboy Action shoot. When the buzzer went off, he achieved the fastest ten clicks ever recorded by the local club. Not a single one of those Magnum primers fired with the light strikes delivered by the lightened springs and hammer.

    Of course, he came back subsequently with loads that worked, in his guns, but a couple hours’ worth of load development with the guns as-issued, would have identified any real problems he might have encountered, saved him some negative notoriety (and even some money), and kept him off the bottom of the scorecard for the match.

    I figured it was a true story because none of the shooters who told me about him would repeat it in his presence. But I took it as an object lesson in what the drill should be: you find the shooting problems by actually shooting, rather than try to head them off beforehand by addressing a bunch of theoretical possibilities.
    Are those Vaqueros still in one piece? Sounds like a recipe for obstructed bore to me.
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, 6.5 Creedmoor, .30 WCF, .308 WCF.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfin View Post
    LOL, because I once bought an 9MM Argentine Hi-Power clone to turn into something else. I already had the parts but decided to shoot it first as it was. I took it to the range, shot it, was dumbstruck with its accuracy and then said, "It's staying just like it is!"

    So the short answer is, "Been there, done that."
    Fifteen to twenty years ago when it was somewhat affordable to rebuild rifles into something else, a common saying was "Don't shoot the donor."

    Nice to see that it applies to handguns as well.

    I know I have been bitten by that same thing a few times.

    Robert

  19. #19
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    I've never done or had done anything to a gun before shooting it. With the exception of a good cleaning.
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Heck, most of the time when I buy a gun I get a box of ammo (if I don't already have some loaded up) and go straight to the range

    And, yes, that sometimes 'backfires'. I had bought a Win94 in .30-30 planning on having it bored to .38-55. Took it to the range on the way home. Mistake. That thing would hit golf balls at 100yd on a regular basis. It ended up being a Christmas present to a nephew.

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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