38-55 win questions

#1
I’m about to pull the trigger on a 38-55 and I tired to use the search bar on the forum and I couldn’t get it to jive too well so I’ll be brief

I’ll be shooting cast of course. I want to try to push it middle of the road velocity w Hodgdon data off their website or high end-ish of Lyman handbook

1) fav mold w these qualifiers
2) is gas check needed for that if I powder coat
3) tell me how fun you think this round is owners! It looks like a cast bullet launching dream
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
#2
Biggest issue with some 38-55 rifles is bore size. Some need over a .380 bullet, some closer to .378.

I don't own a 38-55 but do have a Win 94 in 375 Win I treat as a 38-55. Luckily I can go on the smaller side of bullets.
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
#4
I have an NOE 375449 plain base that shoots well. It does generate plenty of recoil at 1500 fps.
I have an Accurate 38-200AG I got on recommendation of Tom. Shoots quite well for me and gives far more reasonable recoil. It does use a GC but that doesn't bother me.
I don't powder coat so I can tell how it would work without the check if coated.
Tom also suggested a load with 5744 thst shot well for me. If only that powder wasn't so darn expensive.
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
#6
I used some 1680. Gives good velocities but recoil was more than I wanted. A 275 gr bullet at 1600 fps in the Win 94 is just not very fun.
The 200AG is much more enjoyable to shoot.

Good powders abound. Reloder 7 is a natural.
 

quicksylver

Well-Known Member
#7
Not being a trader here nut paco Kelly leverguns is a great place to up for 3855 info i shot plain base out of my first year production 94 in 3855 quite a treat
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
#8
Paco is a great source of info on shooting a variety of guns with cast. He does like to push the limits at times but also lists many mid range loads.
 
#10
I heard that 1680 was a velocity winner in 375 and recoil came w it as well. Does it have a place w 38-55? Also is there any published data on this or was it done by trailblazing?
 

Eutectic

Active Member
#11
I've seen Accurate Powder data with 1680 in the .375 Win. You might find it online. It's a good powder for it. Rel 7 does well too. 375449 has been a great bullet for me in all calibers in that bore size. NOE has a 235gr WFN that has also been accurate with less recoil. I've even sized it to .367" and paper patched it for my new Remington 788 rebore in .38-55. My paper patch hunting load in the bolt gun is over 2100fps with it. H-4895 here as I wanted the bullet onto the powder so it wouldn't recede from recoil in the magazine. (recoil is plenty)

Pete
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
#12
1680 will burn well at lower pressures but 2400 will match it without the drama.
one of the best 38-55 loads I ever shot was the 375448 on top of 9.5grs of Unique.
the 448 is the non gas check version of the 449.
I use pretty much the same thing as Brad in my win-94 and 1680 will rattle your teeth without even trying too hard, it's not so bad in the Marlin but your at the point of exceeding factory jacketed loads only with about 50grs. more bullet weight.
backing things down to about 1400 fps makes life a lot more pleasant.
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
#14
I agree with what fiver said. At lower load level I got huge velocity swings with 1680. I think it is very position sensitive.
2400 is good for 13-1500 fps loads and will give more reasonable recoil.
I will be trying that 9.5 gr of Unique load.
 
#16
I have two 38-55s -- a Marlin 336CB and a Uberti 1885. I have had excellent results using an Accurate 38-250D sized at .379 over 22 grains of H4198. Mild load that is very accurate.
 

Eutectic

Active Member
#17
I've had a love/hate relationship with spherical (ball) powders for nigh on 60 years...... On the 'hate' side those three score years have been a constant state of evolution on the ball powders part. A moving target on load development is not a good thing!

We are talking 1680...... I spoke comments on it. I have two round cans of WW 680 long discontinued. I also have half a bottle or so of very early Accurate 1680 and I have a jug of surplus W680. The W680 is the one used in the .375/.38-55 comments. Accurate used surplus W680 when they brought out 1680..... the supply ran out and you couldn't find 1680..... Then it showed up again..... Rumor has it as re-manufactured.... But by who? Foreign or domestic?

A few years back I ran extensive testing of the three powders WW 680, W680 surplus, and early 1680. I chronographed loads and miced pressure rings in 4 or 5 different guns, calibers, loads....... I now consider my three the same!!!!!! I've seen more lot to lot variation then I saw between my three 680's!

When WW 680 was still on the shelf I saw reduced lead loads for it! It's too close to 296 (H-110) for me to do that! Ball powder behaves best at 98%-99% load capacity for me and I try to stay there. This is not the faster pistol powders but anything from 296 (H-110) and slower burning.

Like the rest of the 'ball' family, 1680 (or any number you choose to call it) is well behaved if you scratch it's head just like it likes it!

Pete
 
Last edited:

Rick

Moderator
Staff member
#18
Ball powder behaves best at 98%-99% load capacity for me and I try to stay there. This is not the faster pistol powders but anything from 296 (H-110) and slower burning.

Like the rest of the 'ball' family, 1680 (or any number you choose to call it) is well behaved if you scratch it's head just like it likes it! Pete
My experience also. I did try reduced 1680 loads by using heavy for caliber bullets with it in the 357m. It actually worked pretty well, maybe too well as I couldn't quite get to the velocity I wanted with a heavily compressed charge. Was going to redesign the RCBS 180 Silhouette bullet by moving the crimp groove for less bullet in the case but that project got side tracked by moving across the country. Maybe someday I'll get back to that.
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
#19
On the 'hate' side those three score years have been a constant state of evolution on the ball powders part. A moving target on load development is not a good thing!
You got that right!

Buy in large containers, work up the load, and consider the next batch to be a whole new powder.
 
#20
Yup. Big fan of buying kegs and not 1lb containers.

The only double base powder that could be used in a rifle (this is considering I’m not talking about pistol powders) is 2400. Prob is it became unavailable and everyone in my area uses practically everything other than 2400. In wv I could buy kegs of 2400 at good prices now in va where I’m at you can get other thugs but not kegs of 2400. Gun broker doesnt usually have sale prices for 2400 but usually does for lil gun and h110. Unfortunate to that is you can’t really use either in reduced rifle loads per data provided to us. I’ve nearly based my shooting and reloading on things that shoot 4198. My ar big bore guns cycle h110 and lil gun. Now I wish I had a cheaper source of 2400 so I could use some. Maybe I should just man up and pay the price and enjoy the results.