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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Marlinitis is now under some control, and I really feel my next need is a Winchester 94. I'd like something a little unusual though and I ran across a 94 in one of the commemorative configurations for not too much the other week and chambered in 38-55. I haven't bought it, but am considering it seriously.

Here's the issue, I don't hand load at the present and don't foresee having the time to get outfitted to do so for some years to come. From reading quite a few MO posts, it seems the 38-55 is a hand loaders caliber and possibly a frustrating endeavor if i plan to use factory ammo.

Is that a fair assessment?

I know, I know, I need to take up hand loading, but let's just assume that's out for now.
Thx,
NW
 

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Hey NW your pretty accurate on your assumption of the 38-55, don't know anyone that is making factory loaded ammo. If you have a buddy who reloads and would do it buy the dies and components with the mutual agreement you own them. Pay him for his time to reload for you and when your ready to reload you have the dies and what's left of the components to get you started. eh
 

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JB...is right to the point!

It would be tough. Each 38-55 seems to have a personality of their own.
 

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I would call it more of a challenge and opportunity
 

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If I didn't hand load I wouldn't be able to shoot .
When you price out any of the rimed pistol cartridges they run to almost a dollar a shot :ahhhhh:

The .357 and 44 mag .
Don't know about the 32-30 32-40 45LC ect
The 45-70 almost $2.00 a pop !
The 30-30 i have know idea ,Lot is in stock here .
The 25-20 and 38-55 I don't even bother to look .
The last time I checked I think they were $3.00 + each ,(25-20)
And a very limited selection on bullet type and weight..
I would start loading just to save on the cost of the ammo
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys!! Sounds like I'd be better off with the 30-30 commemorative with octagon barrel they have. That one has seen some use already and won't make me feel so bad to take it afield. I feel the 38-55 coming, but it may be a few years out.
 

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I'm a little late here but----gonna put in my 2 cents worth ---just as everybody else is saying---its a great calib.--but store bought ammo is hard to find --some of it is junky and all of it is expensive---in the years I've had both of mine (yes they are addictive)----I've only seen 2 boxes of Win.(j.s.p.) & I bought em---were junky----10 x kinda specializes in older calib.s (their product ya wind up ordering em)----Black Hills makes some pretty good stuff---(ya wind up ordering from Midway or factory itself)------gets expensive & ya don't get to be choosey bout bullet diam. if ya rifle is pickey-----38-55 almost demands loading for-----30-30 not so pickey--ammo ain't cheap but much more available------it also is a pretty darn good calib.
 

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Good morning
One the caliber 38 rifles to me are the epitomy of versatility. If I could only have one caliber it would be the 38-55 or 375 Win. I can load Round ball for bunnies or a 320 grainer for bears.
You do not need a major investment to start reloading. Get the inexpensive Lee starter kit in your caliber. Buy Cast bullets at a show or on line. Primer and powder is not hard to come by. For a $150 investment you will be set up to load 500 rounds. Now what is better... 30 cents a shot or nothing ? Plus you will have a set up and never have to wonder where your next box of ammo will come from. And as you desire you can add more dies and items and separate yourself from high priced ammo costs and .... Shoot more !
Mike in Peru
 

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Night,
$40 a box, obviously ain't cheap, but if you want an old caliber to play around with what's your budget? You can cut the price in half by sending your brass back to ten-x and they will reload it for you that drops down to $20 a box.

Think about it. You could always get a LEE hand press just to load small amounts of .38-55 too.
John
 

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In my opinion you are spinning your wheels when it comes to factory loads for the 38-55. The only way to get the max from this caliber is to handload.

The companies that load the 38-55 have to much liability in giving you a decent load. There is to many older rifles that can't take a hot load without fear of blowing up the barrels.

If you just want to plunk targets and cans the factory loads are for you. But that caliber is really only for handloaders if you want a hunting load..

I've loaded this caliber for 40 years and in the right rifle it is a dandy hunting caliber but in the right gun. It takes a lot of time to work up a good load for the 38-55.

My opinion.
djh

 

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I bought a 38-55 so I would have to learn to reload and it worked! Now I have 3 38-55s, 2 45-70s and a 32-20 and now I really enjoy reloading. Do I have the time and the space to do it? No. But I make the time and I whittle out a spot in the middle of the kitchen for a Saturday afternoon of reloading. When I'm finished, I put everything back in closets and drawers for the next time. It's a pain for now, but my wife told me I could buy a bigger house for my Man Cave so I would have room for my rifles and reload bench. What a gal!
 

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.

I do reload and have done so for 60 years. Factory loaded ammo cost a premium and almost always is loaded with jacketed bullets (part of the high cost) which are about worthless on the 38-55.

The old Black Powder cartridges, of which the 38-55 is one, are great fun but are strictly a reloader's caliber. Therefore, I suggest that you learn to reload as HDStreet did .....or find another caliber to play with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Okay, okay. You've convinced me. It wasn't very hard to do and I'm happy about it. :biggrin:I'm gonna reload!! I need to see the potential in these lever guns and save money to boot. I'd like to work up a load for my 35 with 200gr corelokts and a load for my 444 with 265 hornadys.

After I decided that, thanks to your well intended prodding, I also decided I should look punt the Winchester altogether and just get either a 336CB in 38-55 or a 336CB or 1895 LTD in 45-70. Some of Wind's dinger YouTube videos caused that revelation!

Should I go 45-70 or 38-55 and CB or LTD? They're all pricey but they're Marlins so I know I'll love them.
 
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