38-55 for two rifles

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38-55 for two rifles

Post by vhank » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:59 pm

I am a newby at reloading the 38-55, and have a few concerns. There seems to be two case lengths out there. Short at 2.080, Long at 2.125, are they both 38-55 cases or is one for the 375 Winchester? I want to shoot the same reloads in two different rifles. Model 94, (MFG 1897), and a Rolling Block, (said to be a #5) barrel maker and twist unknown.
Mike Venturino claims the Winchester has larger bore and recommends a .379 Dia. Bullet, and since the RRB has a modern barrel I assume the, 377 Dia bullet would be the one to use.
My reloads seem hard to chamber in the Rolling Block, is this” normal” or do I have a crimp problem, I crimp using a Lee Factory Crimp Die. I have not tried to chamber a round in the Winchester.
Suggestions / comments? Thanks, Hank
Smokess powder is only a passing fad

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Re: 38-55 for two rifles

Post by Arnie » Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:00 pm

Both cases are 38/55 .Old rifles used the longer case and somewhere maybe about 1970 , 38/55 cases were made shorter ,maybe to be able to use a different parent case . If your tighter bore rifle has loading problems you should check the neck diameter of the chamber and the loaded round . If your using cast bullets and black powder or just soft cast bullets ,you do not want to be crimping them .

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Re: 38-55 for two rifles

Post by gunlaker » Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:34 am

First I would get one rifle shooting and then see if you can use the same ammunition in the other. With my black powder rifles I never bother to attempt to use the same ammunition in two rifles, unless they use the same chamber. But it depends of course on what your accuracy requirements are, and what you want to do with them.

Personally I would slug the bores to determine groove size. Then I'd check the twist with a tight patch on a good cleaning rod with bearings in the handle. If done carefully you can get pretty close to the actual twist. Those numbers will help you decide on th bullet diameter and weight. Or you could just fireform some cases and use the biggest diameter bullet that will chamber well :D

If you don't want to measure the twist then keep on the short side for thr bullet length.

I haven't tried it, but a number of people like the Lyman Postell bullet in the .38-55 in a single shot.