38-55 winchester experience and opinions

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38-55 winchester experience and opinions

Post by bigrich » 18 Jan 2019, 3:55 pm

hey all, i'm toying with the idea of a lead chucking old time rifle, and after discounting 45-70 on account of cost of reloading , and 30-30 cause it's a bit too common, i was thinking of 38-55 winchester. i'm wanting to hear any experiences and opinions on this caliber , i will mainly be using this at the range for fun, but the occasional hunting trip isn't out of the question. copper jacketed projectile availability is a point as well. thanks in advance and i look forward to some reply's . cheers

:drinks: :drinks: :thumbsup:
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Re: 38-55 winchester experience and opinions

Post by gunnnie » 18 Jan 2019, 6:21 pm

Hey mate,

I bought my missus a Mod94 commemorative Chief Crazy Horse chambered in 38-55 back in late 2016. I reload for it using TrailBoss powder & Spartan 265gn cast projectiles. The loads are not hot, not that you can really load hot using TB!!, I'm using 10gns and this produces a reasonably good load for my wife to shoot.

One point I was advised to be wary of was using the 'long' cases not the standard length. StarLine sell 38-55 brass in both lengths, so chase up the 2.125" or 38-55Long brass.

As for a hunting load, dare I say you could just stick with cast pills of around 260-265gns. These will hit hard enough out to 150M to handle medium sized game without any hassle.

Aside from that, reloading for the 38-55 is pretty straightforward, especially with a modern rifle in this calibre. Older rifles may show some variance in bore diameter which will need slugging to determine so you can match the projo size to suit.
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Re: 38-55 winchester experience and opinions

Post by in2anity » 19 Jan 2019, 6:22 am

The economist's job is to explain what has happened in the past.
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Re: 38-55 winchester experience and opinions

Post by in2anity » 19 Jan 2019, 6:31 am

A JM-stamped 24" 1894CB in 38-55 went up for sale a while-back, they were asking for something like $3500 - I came very close to buying it.
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Re: 38-55 winchester experience and opinions

Post by bigrich » 19 Jan 2019, 6:42 am



The link doesn’t come up to a specific add mate. Don’t you worry, I’ve always got my eyes on potential online purchases. There’s a couple of commemorative winnies online. Loaded up 38-55 don’t seem like a bad thing. The brass seems to be easier to get than 375 win. I’ve always wondered why 375 win isn’t more popular
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Re: 38-55 winchester experience and opinions

Post by yumastepside » 19 Jan 2019, 6:01 pm

Are you going to handload? I think the 38-55 uses an odd size bullet......377 I think....

http://www.savageshooters.com/showthrea ... -170-30-30

If this link works, have a read....could be worthwhile

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Re: 38-55 winchester experience and opinions

Post by in2anity » 19 Jan 2019, 6:30 pm

bigrich wrote:


The link doesn’t come up to a specific add mate. Don’t you worry, I’ve always got my eyes on potential online purchases. There’s a couple of commemorative winnies online. Loaded up 38-55 don’t seem like a bad thing. The brass seems to be easier to get than 375 win. I’ve always wondered why 375 win isn’t more popular


br the link was to the $1100 commemorative
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Re: 38-55 winchester experience and opinions

Post by combo12 » 20 Jan 2019, 7:36 am

Like Gunnnie says, older rifles may have different chamber and bore dimensions to what is now industry standard. So slug your barrel to make sure. Those older barrels were nominally .377” and worked best with .379” lead projectiles. Chambered for the longer cases too. More recently, US manufacturers seem to have standardised on .375” barrels and chamber for shorter cases, the same length case as the .375W. I guess it makes production easier?
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