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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If anyone is interested, Starline just told me they won't be making a run of .38-55 brass until the end of the summer.
 
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I purchased 350 of the short stuff but was too late when I tried to order some long ones. I have a back order from Track of the Wolf for 100 long ones. Maybe they will show up. Looks like I will have to make due for a few months.

Thanks for the heads up!
 

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Yea, I have plenty of the short brass, will just have to make due unless I find some at one of the gunshows.
 

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Ya. I haven't seen any "easing" of the shortages in my part if the country. Can't find bullets, brass, or powder, although I have been seeing more primers lately.
 
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I don't have trouble buying powder or primers its just the brass and bullets that are getting hard to find. I used every web site I could and the same message was not available. I was looking for 180 gn xtp's to shoot in my 35 rem and being they were such a large bullet you would figure there would be some available but no such luck. I finally found some from a forum member. I guess a lot of folks are shooting them in their 1894C's.
 

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Midway has or had some .
I just got a box last month
 

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Someone please tell me what benefit one gets by loading 375 brass and calling it 38-55.
I've tried to figure it out but can't.

38-55 brass should be 2.085 long not 2.020.

Can't figure it out for the life of me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Someone please tell me what benefit one gets by loading 375 brass and calling it 38-55.
I've tried to figure it out but can't.

38-55 brass should be 2.085 long not 2.020.

Can't figure it out for the life of me.
Actually, if you've an old .38-55, Marlin cut the chamber to 2.125"............which is why Starline offers both the long and short brass...........or at least that's my understanding. To make sure, a chamber cast must be made of your specific rifle. Short brass will work, but if you've the longer chamber, you'll end up with a carbon buildup that will be difficult to remove. The bullet is supposed to be about .005" from the rifling before firing.
 

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Actually, if you've an old .38-55, Marlin cut the chamber to 2.125"............which is why Starline offers both the long and short brass...........or at least that's my understanding. To make sure, a chamber cast must be made of your specific rifle. Short brass will work, but if you've the longer chamber, you'll end up with a carbon buildup that will be difficult to remove. The bullet is supposed to be about .005" from the rifling before firing.
Maybe this will help some folks when it comes to the dimensions of a true 38-55 cartridge and chamber. Anything other than these is not a 38-55.

I just don’t understand why a gunsmith would use any other dimensions and try to call it a 38-55.

My numbers in the above post was incorrect. I'm sorry for that.






djh
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, djh, I'd never seen those two drawings together before. I'll save them.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Dangit.............I couldn't open it when saved. What format is it?
 

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Hey Chris,

Those drawings are in PDF format and hard to view. The drawings are SAAMI specifications. You will note that the rifling is approx. .100 from the mouth of the case, thats near 1/8 inch. And that it is with the 2.125 long case.....that over .130 from the standard 2.082 case. That would place the bullet well beyond the crimp groove, not a good thing.

Also, the throat is designed for a breech seat or ball seat system which makes seating the bullet out to .005 inch close to the rifling impractical to say the least. Such an overall length would probably cause cycling issues in a lever gun.

We all tend to over think the reloading of the 38-55. It's not a bottle neck round using jacketed bullets, it is a straight wall case using cast bullets............two entirely different paths.

JB

:tee:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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Hey Chris,

Those drawings are in PDF format and hard to view. The drawings are SAAMI specifications. You will note that the rifling is approx. .100 from the mouth of the case, thats near 1/8 inch. And that it is with the 2.125 long case.....that over .130 from the standard 2.082 case. That would place the bullet well beyond the crimp groove, not a good thing.

Also, the throat is designed for a breech seat or ball seat system which makes seating the bullet out to .005 inch close to the rifling impractical to say the least. Such an overall length would probably cause cycling issues in a lever gun.

We all tend to over think the reloading of the 38-55. It's not a bottle neck round using jacketed bullets, it is a straight wall case using cast bullets............two entirely different paths.

JB

:tee:
Thanks, Jim. I downloaded the image and "thought" it was a .pdf also..............but my .pdf reader wouldn't open it. That's why I asked.

Guess I'll learn all this reloading gobble-d-goop some day! :biggrin:
 

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Hey Chris,

You will note that the rifling is approx. .100 from the mouth of the case, thats near 1/8 inch. And that it is with the 2.125 long case.....that over .130 from the standard 2.082 case. That would place the bullet well beyond the crimp groove, not a good thing.

JB

:tee:
This would be a picture that well illustrates that delta of which Jim speaks. At least that is if I understand him correctly.
38-55 throat before and after(2).jpg

My mold and bullet doesn't have a crimp groove against which to measure good and evil - said with a grin (and not a smiley face) but I'm thinking the 'not so good thing' would still apply... that being more bullet inside the case and less lead outside the case contributing to the COAL? Meaning more pressure in the achievment of any given velocity sought? Am I getting that right or did I read that backwards?

I'm hoping Jim's "that would not be a good thing", is NOT a strict translation for "that will be a bad thing", since I'm mostly using what I thought, was the original 38-55 brass length and my bullets are seated pretty darn deep.

Of course if I were really really touchy about pressure I'd probably steer clear of Unique in the old girl and stick with powders slower than 2400, no?


So, I can always cut down my long brass to suit any unique bullet need but since the one time I used short Starline I got this - I never really thought to expend energy to go back.
38-55 in 1893 - lead ring on neck - Lee with 4759 and short Starline.jpg

Of course that lead-blowback didn't come from any particular case-length (its a symptom not a cause)... but it WAS eliminated with the introduction of long Starline.

Which begs the question, what is really "standard"? Or, asked another way, which is actually short and which is long?
Is 2.125 the original and 2.082 therefore "Short"?
Or is 2.082 "Standard" and therefore 2.125 "Long".

I just love this topic!! I'd put a smiley face right here but someone was mean to me with a smiley face the other day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks, John, very helpful.

(a smiley face shouldn't be used as a smirk, if that was your reference) :biggrin:
 
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You are correct on all points, John. The standard case length for the 38-55 is 2.082.........the 2.125 is the "long brass".
Some time when I feel ambitious I will try to explain where the "long" brass came into being.

Your second picture looks as if the lead has melted and flowed back around the case mouth......could I be seeing that right?
 

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Now Now Jim, It's not nice to spread internet rumors, even worse to start them.

Now you got me kinda wondering if you didn't start some of those other myths you curse so much.

Wait a minute!!! Light just went on. Might you actually be using Lee Factory Crimp Dies in secret?

Next thing we know you'll be re-crowning your muzzle, seating your bullets at the Lands and applying barrel harmonics to your cast bullets.

I'm gonna give Chris all my long Starline (original) imposters.


*** Chris, I'm not really gonna do that.
 

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By the way Jim, in all seriousness you are seeing that correctly. There is a picture that looks just like it over on another thread but for being a 32-20. Got my ideas as to the cause - and hopefully taken care of. Should know next week some time for sure.
 
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