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UPDATE: John sent me an email that the chamber reamer is set for .375/76 bullets and not .379/80. He just needs to get a new reamer and I have to send the rifle back.


I just received a relined (.379) 1893 back from John Taylor, chambered in 38-55. He test fired it and had no difficulty chambering rounds, but I had serious difficulty chambering rounds. I had to use a soft mallet to get the lever to close.

John's been under the weather and hasn't had a chance to measure his brass or check his reamer yet, so hopefully you guys can give me some feedback until he's back up and healthy.

MY CARTRIDGE
Brass is all about 2.075
Case OAL is 2.502
Standard LC .380 bullet

Would trimming the brass down make any difference? You can see the "scuff" mark, on the brass.

 

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Re: 38-55 case size/chamber fit

Try running a case or two through the re-sizing die just to see how they chamber, if they work it's time go through your reloading process until you find the stage that is the problem. It could be many different causes at least this way you will be eliminating those under your control.
 

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Re: 38-55 case size/chamber fit

I'd start with a new piece of brass and work from there. Maybe you are using 1x from a larger chamber, maybe (hope not) .380 is too big, maybe the throat is too small/short for the bullet contour, etc.
 

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Re: 38-55 case size/chamber fit

Hey there jdad -- You didn't mention what flavor brass you were using. There is a bunch of discussion on this caliber in this thread. I got as far back as page 6 to find this link. It might get you started down the 38-55 road. There are a lot of twists and turns. Good luck. It's a fun journey. http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,72000.0.html. Hope this helps. Best regards. Wind
 

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Re: 38-55 case size/chamber fit

This round will just drop into my unmessed with 1893. I should probably wait and see John finds out. He said it may be that his reamer is out of spec. .380 is not going to be too large, for a .379 bore.

Wind,
I'm using a mix of Remington and Winchester brass.
 

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Aint all that many options, revise the chamber, or turn the necks smaller, (not shorter, I mean turn the necks like wildcat and bench rest guys do) or size the bullets down a thou or two, or find a batch of brass with thinner case neck walls.

Not sure about 38 55, but modern brass in general, rarely matches the SAAMMI prints. For example 06 brass from back in the day, has a rim diameter of 473 just like the print asks for. Now it runs around 468 to 470, Thats just one example.

I can only presume the factorys get less complaints for the guns that come out with a chamber cut with a minimum reamer.
 

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"Brass is all about 2.075..."
That size suggests to me it's possibly Winchester brass, which can have thick necks.

Until I switched to the correct length brass from Starline -- which also have the correct thickness at the neck -- I used to have chambering problems in my Winch High Wall 38-55 using Winch brass. I solved that problem by using an extra Lee sizing die (without the decapping pin) and I'd size the top 1/4" of the loaded brass very carefully once bullets were seated and crimped.

Since changing to Starline, I've never had to do that.

Tight groups,

Old No7
 

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Old No7 said:
That size suggests to me it's possibly Winchester brass, which can have thick necks.

Until I switched to the correct length brass from Starline -- which also have the correct thickness at the neck -- I used to have chambering problems in my Winch High Wall 38-55 using Winch brass. I solved that problem by using an extra Lee sizing die (without the decapping pin) and I'd size the top 1/4" of the loaded brass very carefully once bullets were seated and crimped.

Since changing to Starline, I've never had to do that.

Tight groups,

Old No7
I think you missed the the first line of my post...... ;)

UPDATE: John sent me an email that the chamber reamer is set for .375/76 bullets and not .379/80. He just needs to get a new reamer and I have to send the rifle back.
 

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John gave me the choice when he relined my old 1893 38-55. It is nice to shoot 'regular' sized bullets in my gun now. John is a class act and a damned good gunsmith.
 

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Reading between the lines for the newer reloaders, there is one thing written in stone, BRASS AINT EQUAL across the board, even by the same maker.

I have never had a case where changing to a different lot of brass, gave dangerous pressures, but for sure have had different lots of brass not chamber for sour owl manure in a tight chamber, that the batch before was fine.

One may hear the match shooters say, "Brand X is "good brass". well generally, there is a reason for that statement. It likely does not apply to a lever guns performance as perhaps as much to a bolt guns performance, but the fact still remains, BRASS AINT EQUAL. ;)
 

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Old No 7,

THANK YOU! I was having fits trying to load .380 245gr. cast RNFPs into once fired Winchester brass this weekend. Could not get the rounds to chamber in my 336CB. Tried carefurfully running the the loaded, crimped cartridges partially up the sizing die, and it worked like a charm. :)

-levernutt
 

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Hey there levernutt -- You will probably be doing yourself a big favor by getting some "long" Starline brass. It'll be smooth sailing from then on. It's presently on back order, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to call them and get your name on the list. Best regards. Wind
 
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