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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I gotta ask you original Marlin 38-55 shooters out there a question. I have two Lyman bullet moulds, one that drops a 250gr plain base bullet, and one that drops a 271 gas check. They are the two bullet moulds still made now for this caliber. In two Marlin 1893's I have, the 250gr bullet with 21gr of 4198 or 28gr of 3031 shoots poorly, like 5 inch groups at 50 yards! The heavy gas check bullet shoots darn near into a ragged hole at 50 yards with those same two loads! Both bullets sized to .377, as my old guns slug out about .376. What the heck is going on? Is my 250gr mould defective? I am wondering, as isn't that 250gr Lyman plain base bullets as normal as you can get in this caliber? Why would the heavier bullet shoot SO much better? Anyone have experience with this bullet in their old 1893 Marlin? Any help greatly appreciated, as I am stumped on this one. Oh yeah, I have some Hunter's Supply .376 265gr gascheck bullets that shoot well in these guns also, so do Marlin 38-55's just like heavy bullets? .
 

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Sounds like the gas is getting by the one and not the ones with gas checks. Could be a difference in hardness and how much they expand. Could be that you need to use a different powder with the lighter bullet. I am sure there are other things (like your rifle doesn't like the lighter bullets).
 

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There's probably nothing wrong with your mold. The 250 gr. PB bullet was never accurate in ANY of my .38-55s (one a Marlin 1893) if loaded above the original 1200-1300 fps velocity range. My load to duplicate that level of performance is 18 gr. H4227 (you can also use IMR 4227).

I use 28 gr. IMR 3031 with a 265 gr. cast and get the same excellent accuracy you've experienced with your GC bullets.
 

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Well your load that doesn't shoot well in your 1893, is nearly identical to what shoots great in all my .38-55's!
Mine is an old Ideal mold for a 245 gr. plain base bullet. It measures .382" out of the mold, and I size to .381" for my 1893, 1881, and Ballard. They all have much larger bores than what your gun slugs to. I'm a bit surprised that your gun slugs so small, as most Marlins slug anywhere from .378"-.380" bores.
I use 8.0 gr. of Unique, and it will keep them at under 1" in my Ballard, and under 2" in all my other .38-55's at 100 yds.
 

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Marlinman93,

I think we're talking the Lyman 375249, right? I've had excellent success with that bullet privately and commercially cast BUT it doesn't do well for me at the 1800 fps that one would get loading over 28 gr. IMR 3031. It LOVES 1000-1300 fps (of course, size relative to bore will make a difference). I think that you're getting somewhere in that range with your load of 8 gr. Unique. I think that Marlinaholic is just pushing this bullet, the Lyman 375249, too fast. The heavier GC bullet will handle the stress of moving that fast better due to the GC. Alloy could have something to do with this. I have driven the 375249 at 1800 but it was cast harder than sin and tempered.

It pays to use the appropriate tool for the job. It is clear that the 271 gr. GC (Lyman 375449?) is better suited to being pushed hard.
 

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No on both accounts Hobie. The Unique load is down around 1100 fps, with a 245 grain bullet. The bullet I'm casting is the old Ideal stepped mold, which is .382" at the base ring, then .377", and finally .375" at the final ring. It was designed to be a breechseating bullet, but when sized down a bit, and not crimped much, it works well in my guns as a case seated bullet.
It is possible this mold has been modified to be a stepped mold, as I got it from an old Schuetzen shooter at our gun club, but it sure looks original. He said it was what he used in all his schuetzen loads.
 

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Marlinman93,

Ok, I got the mold wrong. Sounds like you've got a real treasure, original or not!

What's the second count I'm wrong on? Do you think that bullet cast of #2 will do well at 1800 fps when launched with 28 gr. of IMR-3031? What am I missing here?
 

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Hi Hobie,
You mentioned that my load of 8 grains of Unique was probably qround 1800 fps, it's about 1100 fps.
No biggie. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm still stumped. That 4198 load I tried was only going about 1200 or so fps, which is not that fast, and the bullets still shot crappy. I am casting these out of just your run of the mill wheel weight material, which should be plenty hard enough to shoot well at 1200 fps or so. I am going to do some more experimenting, including trying a Lee plainbase bullet mould I have. I will see if that one shoots well or has the same troubles, as I believe it is about 250gr too. Thanks for all your thoughts and comments, any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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marlinman93 said:
Hi Hobie,
You mentioned that my load of 8 grains of Unique was probably qround 1800 fps, it's about 1100 fps.
No biggie. :D
Nope, perhaps not well said but I meant to say that I don't like the 249 gr. PB bullet at 1800 fps. NOT that your load generates 1800 fps.

I think we're talking the Lyman 375249, right? I've had excellent success with that bullet privately and commercially cast BUT it doesn't do well for me at the 1800 fps that one would get loading over 28 gr. IMR 3031. It LOVES 1000-1300 fps (of course, size relative to bore will make a difference). I think that you're getting somewhere in that range with your load of 8 gr. Unique.
IOW, I had your velocity down pat. :wink:
 
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