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DML
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.38-55 Smokeless Loads
Aug 25th, 2008 at 8:50pm
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I found an old Handloader magazine at the library. It cost me 25 cents.  Shocked It has an article about the .38-55.

I scanned the block with the loads. The magazine got wet a long time ago, but it is readable.
« Last Edit: Aug 25th, 2008 at 8:55pm by DML »  
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Quarter_Bore
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Re: .38-55 Smokeless Loads
Reply #1 - Aug 25th, 2008 at 9:35pm
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Those powder charges seem at least 2 grains more then the max.  I usually use. & of course, the velocities are higher. I find it comical that it says that jacketed bullets are more accurate then cast. If there is a caliber that this would not be true for it would be .38-55 with its wide range of groove diameter barrels.
  

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Re: .38-55 Smokeless Loads
Reply #2 - Aug 25th, 2008 at 11:13pm
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Could be, but keep in mind that this magazine is almost 40 years old. Perhaps they didn't worry much about frivolous lawsuits.

Here's some loads I have.

Loads from Townsend Whelen:

255 gr.  JSP 3031  30 gr.  1555 fps. 35 gr. MAX  1820 fps

280 gr. L gc  4759 21 gr. 1589 fps.

From Hodgedon:

255 gr. ?  H4895   30 gr. 1519 fps  35 gr. MAX  1729 fps

From Alliant:

255 gr. jsp  Rl-7  23.9 gr.  ND  26.5 gr. MAX 1725 fps.

I have seen loads as high as 28 gr. of Rl-7 with a 265 gr. LGC bullet listed as safe in modern lever actions.

The old loads aren't really that far off from modern data. I don't know about Hi-Vel 2 though. It's pretty hard to find these days.  Wink
  
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waterman
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Re: .38-55 Smokeless Loads
Reply #3 - Aug 28th, 2008 at 12:18am
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HiVel #2 was a lot like a double-base version of IMR-3031.
  
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J.D.Steele
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Re: .38-55 Smokeless Loads
Reply #4 - Aug 28th, 2008 at 8:26am
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I've used up to 30 gr. of both 3031 and RL-7 over the years in a half-dozen original pre-WW1 Winchester and Marlin lever guns with 255-gr bullets. Always got the best accuracy from Barnes 0.377" jacketed bullets, in barrels up to 0.382" dia.

Probably the somewhat worn bores of these particular old rifles was a factor, but I've also seen similar results from others with excellent bores.

The 30-gr loads will knock you into next week if using a crescent buttplate, I certainly don't suggest them for a Ballard or any light rifle. Use a heavy crimp with 3031 to ensure a cleaner burn.
FWIW, good luck, Joe
  

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marlinguy
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Re: .38-55 Smokeless Loads
Reply #5 - Aug 28th, 2008 at 7:14pm
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I've found the .38-55 to be very accurate with properly sized bullets, in a good bore. The problem is that due to variances in bore diameters, and conditions, many shooters find that the jacketed bullets are more forgiving, and get better results sooner, without slugging the bores or working up loads.
I'm still amazed by folks who reload, but have never slugged the bores in their guns, or don't even know how to check bore diameter!
Since this data is 40 years old, I'd guess many things have changed. I've got a number of old Ideal loading manuals, and some of the data in there flat scares me!
  
Vall
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