My 1892 rifle (24 inch barrel) was made during the first year of production in 1892. It has a pretty worn barrel, which I made worse by an extensive cleaning. It seems that lead had been filling in all the pits over the last 120 years, BUT since I let some Marvel Mystery Oil sit in the barrel for a couple days, all the lead slivers came out of the bore.
Since there have been a couple of threads about the 38 WCF round lately (38-40) I decided to haul her to the range yesterday during a lull in our continual snow storms.
Unfortunately I only used some lead cast bullets that are exactly .400 in diameter. (The 38-40 is really a 40 caliber "" 10mm" round). I just happened to have a few hundred Western Nevada Bullet company cast lead slugs already lubed and sized..
But I slugged my bore and the rifling marks on a bullet are only 0.394 while the outside area is 0.398. So the 0.400 bullets are not being squeezed very much at all.
Thus the crappy groups of the day.
All loads using 180 grain Nevada cast bullets at .40 cal. one lube band.
All loads using Star-Line brass and CCI-large pistol primers. With a roll crimp and 1.60 inch COL.
10.0 grains Unique. = 1,472 fps and a 5 inch group. Lots of lead in bore, some bullet yawing at 100 yards. Kinda hot for a black powder era rifle.
Below loads are nice and wimpy for a 120 year old rifle that was made for black powder pressures. They also are good loads for 38 WCF sixguns.
28.0 grains Goex FFFg Clear Shot. = 1,070 fps. Very clean brass, 4 inch group. This is a Black Powder substitute which I believe is no longer being made after the factory burned down. This was a slightly compressed load. It leaves a weird white film inside the brass.
7.0 grains IMR 800X= 1,074 fps and a 3 inch group. Very clean brass. No pressure signs. This is a listed pistol load and could be worked up a little.
7.0 grains Hodgdon Universal = 982 fps. This load already goes this fast from my 7.5 inch pistol. So it is too fast burning for my loner barrel. No pressure signs, but the cases were a little dirty. Very quite load. Hit the pie pan size gong 7 out of 10 shots at 100 yards from standing position.
6.5 grains TRAIL BOSS = 1.073 fps. And a 5 inch group. Very quiet but the brass was very dirty. This is about all the Trail Boss powder you can stuff into the case without compressing the load. Which Trail Boss does not like.
I certainly need to see if I can find some slightly larger bullets. Although it is not like I shoot this old gal very much.