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I would appreciate some help. I just bought a Marlin 336CB in 38-55. This makes for one more bullet I need to reload. That being said, I reload for six other Marlin calibers I own, all jacketed rounds, and they are all very accurate. So I buy the only projectile my dealer has, Meister 245 gr. .377 diameter, and load it over 25 grains of Reloader 7. Wow, I am key holing at 25 yards. In addition, I am all over the paper. Although I have not yet slugged the barrel, I did use a Vernier on the end of the barrel and it measures .3815. Is this my problem, do I need larger diameter bullets. Also, if I choose to shoot jacketed soft points for hunting, what issues will I likely encounter since the jacketed projectiles are .377 also. Are they to small, or being jacketed it doesn't matter. Lastly, I like to shoot stiffer loads, once I, or I should say we get my problems straightened out, should I be looking for a gas check bullet in lieu of no gas check. All experience welcome.

Steve
Eph 1:7
 

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For lead you should look for .379 or larger. Each gun is slightly different, slugging the bore is the only way to know for sure. I would find some Starline brass and use the largest bullet that will chamber easily. Most everyone seems to have good luck with jacketed shooting well, I have only shot cast out of mine so far. If you want to use heavier loads I would look for gas check bullets of at least .379.
 

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Okay, slugging the bbl is a good way to get it done, for a better assessment of your grooves dia, drive say a pure lead .44 cal muzzleloader ball in the muzzle end, once you get it in, insert one of the lead .377 dia slugs and tap it in.

Now turn it over muzzle down using a flat jag on a heavy cleaning rod using it like a slide hammer tap that round ball a few time with the muzzle resting on a flat surface capable of enduring the blows.

Drive out both projectiles, and mic the round ball. Not the absolute best way but gives you a better idea of what your grooves actual size is.

Diameters of up to .381 are available do some online research or you may have one more hobby (Casting) Barnes makes a .377 dia jacketed though they are expensive. If you are leaning towards hunting I would get gas checked bullets.


Ranch Dog molds in our Industry Partners also moderator of the bullet casting, has molds made by Lee that do well
 

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I have a few cast bullets in .378 .379 lyman mould i think around 245 or 250 grains if you like to try
I also have a sarco mould 255 gr. 379 or 380 all soft lead
I like the starline brass in my 38-55 Buffalo Classic with IMR 3031 33.0 grains I would say more then enough for any deer or bear out to 100 yards
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all. I will find a piece of soft lead, sinker or musket ball, and find the true size of the barrel. I looked at some of the internet sites that manufacture cast lead bullets, w and wo gas checks. Quite a few out there. Also found several that have .380 as a offering. Now I just have to see about chamber size, to insure a .380 + brass neck thickness will fit in the chamber. One other question I have, is the serial number on the left side of the receiver has a letter F added to the original serial number. It was added after the fact, since it is not perfectly in line and oriented correctly. Can anyone tell me what this means.

Thanks

Steve
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The Starline brass is for the .380+ bullets. Comes in 3 lengths. You want the longest. It is thinner than the short WW brass and works great with the .380+ bullets. More often than not the WW brass will not allow .380+ bullets to chamber. Lots of folks sent their 336CB's back to the factory to have the chambers opened up a bit and those will chamber WW brass and big bullets now.
 

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Hey there shind444 -- Grab up a big bowl of pork rinds and a sixpack, cozy up to your computer and start reading. There is a wealth of information to be mined on this forum. Here is an excellent thread by Wet Dog on brass. It's now on page two. http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,72000.0.html Sorry I can't be of some help with the serial number question, but someone will be along shortly with the answer. I can see it very clearly, this is a case of "self inflicted hyphenation" and as well as Marlin-itus there is no cure!! Best regards. Wind
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Appreciate the diagnosis Wind. Guess I'm terminally Marlin ill. There is no doubt that if I can find the right bullet to barrel combo, for this one, then a temporary cure is in sight. Then, I'll just have to shoot my way to recovery !

Steve
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Maybe bobbytjr or some one of the other ex Marlin employees will come along with answers about the serial number. The only thing I can think of is when duplicate numbers were used a letter was added as the last digit of the serial number. F would be a lot of duplicates though. May have been added by someone other than Marlin.
 

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Georgeky

I use to call Marlin in the past and speak to a real live person, ask my questions and go away feeling good. Didn't always get the answer I wanted or even expected, but I got something. Now I get the computer recorded voice with a prerecorded statement to leave a recorded message. Just not the same. I tried to call them the other day, but got confused as to which department I should leave the serial number question for. I hung up. Perhaps as I get older I want things in my life simple. One of the things that impressed me about this site was the willingness of the participants to share info, just to be nice and friendly. I like that. I enjoy the videos, pics of customized guns and shared stories. Happy to be here.

Steve
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Greetings
As I get older I find myself wondering what part of 38-55 is so difficult...
That 38 means a caliber.38 especially with smokeless powder and the rock hard bullets comercial casters think are so necessary.
 

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The 38-55 is a fun rifle in a fun caliber. I have ordered some Lasercast .380 to try in mine, have not received them yet.

About the serial number, I have a Marlin 336 with an "A" after the serial number. Marlin said it was because of two identical S.N.s applied to different rifles. That "A" is perfectly aligned and is obviously factory applied. If your "F" is not aligned and if the blue, or lack of blue, in the stamped letter does not match, it was probably applied after the fact.

Another possibility is that you rifle was not originally a 38-55 CB. Someone (factory or private gunsmith) could have converted it to a CB and stamped the "P" to indicate that it is not original. I have seen that on other guns. Check the serial number and see if it falls within the range of the CB factory guns.

.
 

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The LaserCast arrived today. They look good and Oregon Trail Bullet company sent along some recommended loads. Guess what? one load - 30 gr. 3031 with the 245 gr. LaserCast is the same as several of you have suggested.
 

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I shoot 30 grains of 3031 under a 245 grain Mid Kansas cast bullet sized to .381. It is deadly accurate out of my 336 CB 38-55's. Never tried the Laser Cast but will have to one day. Mid Kansas went under so when these are gone they are gone. Still have a couple hundred left.
 

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Hey there georgeky -- A couple hundred 38-55 bullets might last about eight minutes around here! JBledsoe is gonna bring a few of the .380 Laser-cast bullets by next week and I hope that will answer the final brass and bullet combination questions for my Cowboy 38-55's chamber. I have shot tens of thousands Laser-Cast bullets and like their product. I highly recommend them. Best regards. Wind
 

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I have a few hundred other 38-55 bullets but they are all heavier than the 255's. 200 will last me a long time since I don't do much target plinking. I usually just shoot to kill something. If I ever make to your ranch I will shoot a bunch then. ;D

Still deer hunting with the 38-55 and factory WW loads. They ain't real stout but kill deer just the same. Think I will use my new to me 336CB 30-30 conversion this time around and maybe the 44-40. I like plinking with the 44-40 but I don't shoot those 1000 yard targets like you and Wet Dog do. I can't even see 1000 yards. 8)
 

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Wind,

I loaded a dummy round with this new bullet. LaserCast .380 in Winchester case and it cycles thru just fine. I don't think that I could go much larger in bullet size without chamber issues. A thousandth or two at most. See you soon.

JB
 

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Hey there JBledsoe -- I think my rifle may have the tightest chamber of any of the rifles amongst us hyphenated guys here. I think with the Starline brass, a .380" bullet will chamber in my rifle. If it does, I'd just like to see if there is any substantial improvement in accuracy between the .380" and .379". As a non-caster, the Wet Dog bullets work great (but he can hardly keep up with his own needs), The Missouri Bullet Co. and Montana Bullet Works (for the "heavies") all all great as well, but only come sized to .379". Looking forward to trying the Laser-Cast .380"s. See ya soon. Best regards. Wind
 
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