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My first attempt at loading 38-55

3473 Views 35 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  GaCop
My first attempt at loading 38-55 (Updated with Range Report)

Hello again!!

Today was an exciting day for me, I finally got my dream rifle and I am as happy as can be!! I posted it up in the Marlin Collectors area.

Knowing that this rifle would be arriving soon, I finally got off my rear and ordered the RCBS Cowboy dies and bought some lead bullets, both items from Midway. I had purchased 2 boxes of Winchester 38-55 in the grey/silver box and fired around 25 of those in my last 1893 that I sold earlier this year. So today is the day I start on the path to perfection with the 38-55.

I slugged my bore today and it came out to .3785" (my calipers aren't that precise, but it seemed just under .379"). The bullets I purchased are made by Meister and they are 245gr RNFP and already lubed. The bullets are pre-sized to .380 so I was happy to see things all looking like they were going to fit each other.

The next thing to research was the powder choice. I looked through the manuals I have and there are a lot of powders mentioned that I have not used and have no way of purchasing (IMR 4227, A5744, RE-7. H4198, 3031, etc etc) but I did see in the Lee book there is mention of H335 and H4895, both of which I have here. Then I saw in the Lyman 49th book that there is a listing for TrailBoss!! I have a pound of TB and I have never used it, so I figured what the heck, might as well start with something so simple it can't go wrong (I know) so that was what I am starting with.

Here is a pic of my powder weighing station:

Here is a pic of the bullet seating process:

Here is a bullet being seated:

OK, so I will try them out tomorrow. The starting load is 7 grains, max is 9 grains. I made [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected] I seated them to 2.515 which is also right where the crimp groove ends on the bullet (book called for 2.510 OAL).

I will report back tomorrow!!

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OK, I know you guys are waiting for the big update... HERE IT IS!!!

I just got back from the test session at the range and I think it was a huge success!! I am smiling right now for sure.

My new favorite rifle is really a great shooter and everything worked perfect. I started on the 50 yard line, shoulder to shoulder with the AR-15 snipers :p
I shot the first round with a 6 o'clock hold and it hit the black maybe 2" low, so I fired 10 rounds in total:

Then I decided to move it out to 100 Yards and try it again. The first shot hit about 12" low, so it would appear this is a pretty slow moving projectile!!!
I raised the tang sight 2 full turns and tried again. I ran maybe 10 rounds through it and then lowered it 1/4 turn and shot this 5 shot group @ 100yds:

I finished off by shooting 3 rds of factory Winchester 38-55 JHP so I would end up with an even number of empty cases. Those 3 shots are at the top of the target.

Here is my final photo, one of this beauty sitting on the bench, resting between shooting sessions!!
Well, I have to say I'm envious! Darned impressive results...........and just imagine what you'll fine tune it to! Will make those "black rifle" guys squirm, for sure! :biggrin: My first results were very disappointing. I started out with Unique............which turned out uniquely crummy. (sorry about the pun) I'll have to try Trail Boss and see what I get.
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Sorry, but "This video is private" is all I see.
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