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Thread: Waaaaaa....

  1. #1
    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default Waaaaaa....

    Took the 'new' .38-55 Model 94 to the range over last weekend, three shots, and a nice round four inch group, with all three shots going through the target sideways.
    Load was 220 Hornady flat points with 'about' 27 grains H4198.
    The bore has a 'nasty' spot that extends back from the muzzle about 3/16's of an inch, the remainder of the bore is bright and sharp....
    My first inclination, considering the age of this rifle, and the era in which it was manufactured, has me thinking that the bore is perhaps a bit oversized for my chosen bullet and the velocity is down,though I can't get the Hornady bullet to enter the muzzle, not meaning much,of course, but makes me wish it was still tight 'enough'.
    I ordered in a box of the Barnes 'Originals' 255 gr. 377 diameter bullets on Tuesday from their website, and they were sitting on the porch this afternoon (Thursday)!!! Then I discovered I have no data for this bullet and my new WW cases.
    Update later on how this one performs.
    If it doesn't, I still can fall back on my Lyman bullet mold that throws a 260 gr. flatpoint right at .380, leaving enough meat to size where I need to....and I can talk to the local gunsmith about back-boring the muzzle to get rid of the pits and a fresh crown.
    I REALLY want this rifle to shoot this year!

  2. #2
    Member e45colt's Avatar
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    Default Slug your barrel

    Then try cast sized to fit usually 1 or 2 thousands over. If you have never done this its really easy. Pick up some lead fishing weights, the kind that slide on the line, and try several sizes close to your bore diameter. When you find the right size take wood dowel and drive the lead-slug down the barrel. Should be a snug fit and requires tapping gently with a hammer.
    When the slug comes out just measure the ridges for your bore size. Try several and measure a couple of times then take the average.
    I have used both Beartooth Bullets and Cast Performance with great success.

    Good luck (I have read that there is a good degree of variablity in the bore diameter for the .38-55)

    Ed

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Default

    yep.. what Ed said!

    Also check out the http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php for load data. I know its a Marlin site, but there are a bunch of 38-55 shooters there. You may also want to do a chamber cast to determin the best length of brass for your particular rifle. 38-55 brass is avalable is a couple of different lenghts and if you know what bullet you plan to use and the max COL for your rifle to function, you may be able to eek a bit more capacity out of her with out going up in pressure, and also aid in accuracy a bit as you reduce the amount of jump you bullets take to reach the rifling. of course this can also be accomplished by seating the bullets further out in the brass...

    One thing is for sure.. if your bullets are "key holing" then they aint being spun enough, and it dont take much spin to stabilize a short 220 grain bullet... they are most likely way to small in diameter for your bore.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  4. #4
    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for the Tips!

    The 220's easily enter the muzzle to a depth of about 3/8's of an inch, the .377 Barnes won't enter. Loaded a few up with 3031 this afternoon according to Barnes data, and will head to the range tomorrow.....
    BTW, here's a couple of shots of the .38-55 (top) and my Grandfather's .30-30. The s/n on the .38-55 comes up 1898, Granddad's 1906.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default

    For the 255 grain Barnes jacketed bullets you might want to try 28 grains (max) of H4198 loaded to aroun 2.62 inch COL. With a standard primer like a CCI-200 you should get around 1780 fps from a 24 inch barrel and 1680 from a 20 inch carbine.

    32 grains of H322 will give you about the same velocity, as will 34 grains of IMR 3031 MAX .

    I tried some IMR 4895 and it was slower and the cases were dirty.

    Mine liked 260 grains cast bullets from a Lyman mold with 30 grains of RL-7 and a standard primer. BUT mine is newer than your so i would back off a few grains.

    My cousin who works R&D for Winchester -Browning says his old rifle likes the cast 335 grain slugs loaded slow.

    I am thinking that Hogden BENCHMARK powder might work well but have not tried it yet. It sure works in my 45-70.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
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  6. #6
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Gee Darreld,

    With a nice vintage rifle like that one, I don’t know what load I would use. I aint that knowledgeable about which ones were rated for smokeless powder and which ones were BP rifles, but you have to assume that any barrel made back in the 1800’s is most likely of an inferior steel compared to modern barrels….

    That said, I probably wouldn’t push anything down that tube much faster than about 1500 fps. I think the first thing I would do is load some BP loads with a 250 to 280 gr lead bullet seated with about 1/8” powder compression and then fire them over a chrono to get a baseline velocity target for my jacketed bullet loads.

    Just a thought, but I sure wouldn’t push that nice old rifle too hard if it was mine.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  7. #7
    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default Range today...

    Sorry, no photos, but also NO keyholes! Sunny, less than 5mph breeze from the right. Quite a bit of mirage visible at 100 yards through the spotting scope, and, alas, I apparently decided to become allergic to something floating in the now-not-snow-covered ground and air, and my eyes were NOT cooperating. Like a film floating over the right eye, and had to take my shots as I could.
    Still in all, lateral dispersion of shots at 100 yards off the bags was only around 1 1/2 inches, while the vertical went nearly 4". Next time out, I'll take a bull that I can put the front sight on, and NOT one of those scope sight-in targets with the four 2" squares in the center.
    Recoil with the 255 gr. 377 Barnes was just a scoche more brisk than the 220's, but quite a bit more satisfying! The loads I took out were 27, and 28 gr. of H-4198 and 28 gr. of IMR 3031 at a length of 2.592. Any longer, and the rounds would not clear the magazine and jammed on the lift arm. Might have to get busy on the stop on the lift arm and make just a bit more clearance, as I suspect 'they' used a .30-30 lift when they rebuilt the rifle.
    Just for grins, I also took my H&R M1 Garand out with known loads that give MOA accuracy from that rifle, and my eyes did the same vertical stringing thing with that rifle!
    Thanks fer the help fellas, and yes, I'm looking into cast bullets, and maybe even some black powder cartridge loads! Fun Gun!!!

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