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  1. #1
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    Reloading for my 38-55 Rebore

    A few months ago I made a post soliciting input from the congregation here about whether to have my 30-30 rebored to .375W or 38-55. The general consensus was to go for the 38-55 which indeed is what I did and Mr. Ocumpaugh did a fine job I hope. As it turns out I'm just now getting around to loading some fodder for my 336 Texan 38-55. I've decided I'll use it for shooting jacketed .375 bullets and reserve my Cowboy in same caliber for cast loads.
    Now here's my question, using Starline's long brass, can I safely load to .375W published velocities with Hornady's 220 gr. flat nose bullet? Their published loads for 38-55 are a good bit below those for the .375 W but it seems the knowledge I've gleaned from this site is that a modern 336 receiver for a 30-30 is just as strong as one for the .375 W, am I correct.
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    Re: Reloading for my 38-55 Rebore

    I have used the Winchester 38-55 brass and the Hornady 220gr with Accurate 1680 powder in my M-375 as well as other rifles chambered in 38-55 and 375 Winchester. Not saying you can, not saying you should. DP
    TEAM 444 #187, Team 35 #7, Two Marlin 1894Cs, Remlin 1894C, 1894-44mag, 1952 Marlin 30-30, 1966 Texan 30-30. Glenfield 36G & two 30A's 30-30, 30-30 XLR, , five- 35rem. 1951 SC, 1952 SC, 1957, 1975 and 2008, 38-55 CB, M-375, 308 MX, 338MXLR, 444P, 444SS, , XS-7 22-250, XS-7 7mm-08 AI,

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    Re: Reloading for my 38-55 Rebore

    .

    You had it rebored to 38-55 (.380) but you want to shoot 375 Winchester (.375) bullets at 375 Win power levels? If that is true what do you expect to accomplish?

    .
    Jim

  4. #4
    Deadeye
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    Re: Reloading for my 38-55 Rebore

    IIRC he had the chamber cut to 38-55 so he could use what ever brass he wanted but the barrel is a true 375 or 376 if it was done by JES.


    John

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    Re: Reloading for my 38-55 Rebore

    Quote Originally Posted by JBledsoe
    .

    You had it rebored to 38-55 (.380) but you want to shoot 375 Winchester (.375) bullets at 375 Win power levels? If that is true what do you expect to accomplish?

    .
    It was my understanding from several of the replies to my earlier post and from Jesse himself that the bore diameter he uses for the 38-55 is .376 which would allow me to use both cast (of the proper diameter) and .375 jacketed bullets in this rifle. My thinking is that if I'm going to be shooting the jacketed bullet, I may as well load it to velocities it was designed for if the brass/rifle is capable of handling it, and that is what I expected to accomplish.
    This most recent post is to reassure myself I'm still going the right direction.
    A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.
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  6. #6
    High Priest of the Powder Hoarders Super Moderator
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    Re: Reloading for my 38-55 Rebore

    Drypowder, I've heard conflicting testimony on whether the Marlin M-375's were any different from the regular 336's, some say the heat treatment was different, others say there was no special heat treatment. I'm not one to push things just to see, though I might work up to maximum if there was a potential benefit, i.e., if I was going to hunt with it and might get a longish shot. I'll work up my loads like any prudent reloader, but I'll also quit and back off if I see clear pressure signs. Abusing my rifles out of curiosity is not what I consider "worth it".

    As long as you're working up your loads like you should, I think you'll be fine. I run the Hornady 220 fairly hard out of my 375, using a stiff charge of Varget. I like Varget for its ballistic consistency and uniform velocities, but I'll be the first to admit it's not the velocity champ. H-322 has given velocities several hundred feet faster, but it's not as uniform, and there have been some notable (unexplained) velocity spikes. I'll stick with Varget a few hundred fps slower, with good accuracy and consistency.

    If you want to turn your rebore into a cannon, the best way to do that is to hunt down some of the 335-grain .377" slugs out there (My supplier has apparently retired or I'd give you his info) and load them up over about 24 grains of H-4198. Out of my rifle that load averages 1560 fps, groups better than I can hold, and beats me like a red-headed stepchild off the bench. It's about all the ballistic whiplash I can enjoy.


    Oh...........and congratulations on your 500th Post!

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    Re: Reloading for my 38-55 Rebore

    Quote Originally Posted by papajohn

    Oh...........and congratulations on your 500th Post!

    Well I'll be darned, I hadn't even noticed. Thanks papajohn

    You know I can't help but wonder, now we're still talking about the same gun here, if I'd had it rebored to .375 W and was using brass for same, would we even be having this conversation er exchange of posts to begin with. Oh well, that being said, I've loaded up some using my Starline long brass w/ 35 gr. of RE 7. Fired 3 rounds into a dirt bank looking carefully at each after firing. No flat primers, no craters, no sticky extraction, and the rifle appears none the worse for wear.
    A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Reloading for my 38-55 Rebore

    .

    Hi Drypowder,

    I agree with PJ, I don't push my 38-55's over about 1600 fps. Several test have shown that 1500 to 1600 fps is the optimum velocity for the hard cast bullets. Higher velocity produces less penetration in proportion to the increase in velocity. That does not apply to jacketed bullets. If I need higher velocities (I can't imagine why) I have two factory 375's for that purpose.

    The 38-55 with 240 grain LaserCast bullets at 1400 fps will penetrate 18 milk jugs filled with water. A 30-06 will penetrate 6 to 9 jugs, depending on bullet.

    As to whether you 336 is as strong as the 375 Win, look in the parts list, You will see that they have the same part numbers for receiver, bolt, etc. so there must be no difference except for barrel (chambering). I would not be concerned with shooting 375 ammo in your rifle but then again, I would not want to. Again I ask; What do you expect to accomplish?

    Enjoy
    Jim

  9. #9
    Gun Wizard
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    Re: Reloading for my 38-55 Rebore

    The only weak link in driving the .38-55 fast is the brass. Factory .375 Win brass is thicker in the web than .38-55 brass. It was made thicker to deal with the higher pressure factory loadings. You can use .375 Win brass in your.38-55 with no problems. Just look for pressure signs in your load development if you like to push the envelope.

    Swanny or somebody posted a real nice pic of a .375 Win and a .38-55 case cut in half vertically so you could see the difference in case thickness.

  10. #10
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    Re: Reloading for my 38-55 Rebore

    Drypowder - I have loaded my 38-55 with 240 grain Oregon Trail Company's silver bullets using Re7 (27.0 grains), W-W 38-55 brass, in a Marlin 336CB. According to a fellow gun club member it was clocking just under 1950 FPS.
    As JBledsoe has indicated accuracy started dropped off once you reach about 1500 FPS. It was still accurate enough for 150 yard hunting (deer, elk, bear) but why, when 21.0 grains of IMR 4198 under the same bullet at about 1,475-1,500 FPS was much more accurate (in my gun).
    I can't address jacketed bullets as in more than 3.500 rounds they were all cast lead.
    I shot a couple of hogs with my IMR load and was not able to recover any bullets as they all made complete penetration. By some standards they were smaller hogs (115 pounds (2 shots) and about 150 pounds (1 shot)), but semi-wild hogs none the less.
    From what I have heard of JES work its very, very good. I say set back and enjoy the 38-55 ride, it is a wild one, but rewarding when it all comes together. Mild recoil, excellent bullet penetration, very good accuracy, and not everyone at the range has one on the firing line. Shenandoah
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