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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just bought my first Marlin levergun last Saturday - a 336CB in .38/55. Previous levergun was a Rossi Puma (Mod. 92) in .45LC. I'm looking forward to getting on the range to shoot it!

I'm located in England and reloading for esoterica like the .38/55 is 'challenging'!!

I've already picked up some excellent tips from reading through the posts, here.

I'll let everyone know how I got on at the range - and maybe then ask for some advice from the large number of experienced shooters who log on here.

Safe shooting

Andy
 

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AMC, Welcome our esteemed ally, you have picked a dandy caliber rifle the 38-55 will be a challenge I will add that the cast bullets and jacketed shoot well for a reloader. The factory stuff is rather low powered. In cast I have found 245 gn .377 dia and above to be equally accurate. Slug your bbl and measure the slug. A word of caution here most of the marlin CBs are .379 mine measures .3785 I have seen numerous post of people trying .380 and above with nasty problems like having the chamber opened up for the larger bullets. Don't do it, stick with .377 to .379 and you should not have any problems. I would start with the .377 I have shot both and now only order .377 they obturate just fine. Accuracy, with 8 to 9gns of Unique shoots well in mine. With jacketed I have been using Reloader 7. Keep us posted and have fun with your new toy.
 

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Hiya AMC....

I don't have a 38/55, but I know someone who does......he calls it his 38spl on steroids! I think that's probably true!

hog
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Swany,

Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, the only bullets available were Meister 245g .380" - I'm going to slug the bore and then order a mould / lubrisizer accordingly.

Loaded ammo in .38/55 and bullets are as rare as hen's teeth in the UK so the only option will be to cast. Any advice on moulds ... Lyman, Lee, RCBS, NEI?

Cheers

Andy
 

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I have shot meister in .379 measure them first mine said .380 on the box.
 

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AMC,
I think you will really enjoy the 38/55, it is a very accurate combo in the 336CB. I have not shot any cast loads in mine. How ever I have shot jacketed loads with very good results. There is another member here (stone fence) he makes a .378 250 grain Jacketed Flat Point that shoots as good as anything I have found. AND it really lays deer out cold, like they have been hit by a freight train! I'm shooting it with H-335 powder with a MV of 2012 FPS. Did I mention that it flattens deer? :wink: Anyway, it is another option to consider. Let us know how it shoots.
 

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AMC, One other thing if you get the lee dies, order an expander decapper for a .375 H&H it is long and tapered and with a little lube you can make your 38-55 case abeit a little short from 30-30 cases. One other thing back off the sizer die .100 of an inch. The die is a dual purpose for .375 winchester and 38-55 and backing off the die is a must for good loading else you size the necks down too small and it causes problems when you are seating bullets. Bullet bulges in the case, causing bad accuracy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Gents,

I've only been in the Forum two days and I'm being inundated with loads of great advice from people who have the experience - thanks guys, it's much appreciated!

Incidentally, whilst I've not yet slugged the bore I have measured the Meister bullets and they mike out at .379 despite the .380 sticker on the box. Reckon I'll end up with Lyman dies; they are the only ones readily available over here. You wouldn't believe the hassle involved in exporting anything related to shooting from the States ... anyone would think my name was Mr. Al Queida .......
 

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AMC,
I think you will like the Lyman dies. I have used the Lymans for my 38/55 and they work great. You could put that 38/55 to the test and shoot some targets for Ranch Dogs postal Match III. It would be great to see some targets from England. It is over at Beartooth bullets. The match will start 1 March you will be able to print off the targets shoot them and send them in. Give it a try.

http://shootersforum.com/forumdisplay.htm?f=72
 

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AMC, you mentioned you have access to Lyman dies over there, see if you can find their M expander die in that caliber, they seem to be nice to use as they expand the case a little differently from a standard expander. i have an 1893 in 38-55 and it's a gnat's eyelash gun even at 105 yrs. old. Those 245's should do okay in yours, especially if they're a little soft( they'll obterate). I have to use a Montana Precision Swaging 265g in .381 for mine as the bore is .381. with this and 18.5g of XMP-5744 in a Winchester case and a CCI BR-2 primer, I get 1365fps and an SD of 7. The rifle just loves this load. The MPS's are in a BP alloy and bump up just right to make up the difference in the bore. I also use the LEE Factory Crimp die instead of using the roll crimp feature of my seating die. I use the RCBS Cowboy dies..........Buck 8) :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
First outing for the new .38/55 336CB will be this Saturday afternoon so I'll see how things go.

Thanks for the info. re the postal match - I'll click-through and check it out.

Safe shooting

Andy
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Gents,

I've just put 60 rounds of reloads through my new .38/55 336CB and I'm very impressed!

Winchester cases, RemLR primers, 20g H4198 and .379" Meister 245g FP bullets. The bore slugged .379" and I'm having no chambering problems this is an accurate, soft load.

It was just worth buying to see all the guys queuing to have a go!

It also looks like I got the timing right as I now understand that Marlin have dropped this calibre from the '05 line-up. In fact there are three of us locally with brand new .38.55 CB's - all with a big grin on their faces.

I'll post some pics. once I've charged up the batteries on the digital camera.

Safe shooting - Andy
 

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You'll findthat once you really zero in on a load it likes that it's one heck of a cartridge. My 1893 is 106 years old and once I got the right fit and did some load developement, it just drives tacks. If I had a tang sight on it, I bet it would drive brads! It's originally a Ballard cartridge used in the old single shots as a target round so accuracy shouldn't be too hard to attain. I sure love mine.......Buck 8) :wink:
 
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