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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) info on the 38-56 cal. (Read 1264 times)
knifemaker
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info on the 38-56 cal.
Aug 5th, 2017 at 4:02pm
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recently acquired a pristine win. hi-wall in 38-56 cal.
after trying to find brass for this forgotten cal. I decided to form my own from 45-70 cases. I bought the redding forming die, and have a rcbs full length resizing die, and in the process of forming some kind of brass to fire form.  This is a slow process, but it looks like the only way to get brass for this guy.
is there any one else out there that has any info on the 38/56 cal. reloading, ,shooting etc. I would appreciate it as i,am stumbling along with this bottle necked cartridge. thanks Duke
  
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marlinguy
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Ballards may be weaker,
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Re: info on the 38-56 cal.
Reply #1 - Aug 5th, 2017 at 5:12pm
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Don't own one presently, but it's a great old caliber! Most are found in lever action repeaters, but I think the caliber really shines in a single shot rifle!
I made mine from .45-70 also, but used a .40-65 die to do the first step, and then the .38-56 for the 2nd step. Worked well for my gun.
Loads I had good results with were a 264 gr. cast lead bullet with 28 grs. of 3031. I also had a plinker load with the same bullet that used 9.5 grs. of Unique, and was fun to shoot.
  

Vall
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craigster
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Re: info on the 38-56 cal.
Reply #2 - Aug 5th, 2017 at 5:23pm
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BACO 38-56 brass:

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J Louis
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Re: info on the 38-56 cal.
Reply #3 - Aug 5th, 2017 at 6:02pm
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Quality Brass shows it but currently out of stock. They might know of one of their suppliers that has it in stock.

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JLouis
  
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knifemaker
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Re: info on the 38-56 cal.
Reply #4 - Aug 5th, 2017 at 10:01pm
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thanks all for the great replies, any info is appreciated.
thats a good idea on the 40-65 forming die as a first step than the 38-56 forming die as a second step operation.
lot easier on the brass, and not such a drastic step down.
also thanks for your pet loads, i like the 9gr. of unique, sounds like a fun load.
this is my first black powder bottle neck cartridge to load for.
appreciate the info from baco on the win. brass ,not to bad for price either. i found some bertrand, i think that's how you spell it , but they wanted $60.00 for 20 rounds ,out of my price range.
  
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J Louis
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Re: info on the 38-56 cal.
Reply #5 - Aug 5th, 2017 at 10:09pm
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Bert. brass is real iffy at times and best to avoid it if you can.

JLouis
  
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ireload2
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Re: info on the 38-56 cal.
Reply #6 - Aug 5th, 2017 at 11:36pm
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By some bit of serendipity I found  several  forming and trim dies for the .40-60 Win on ebay.

The RCBS form die for the .40-65 that I found was no good for much of anything. It was designed to form the base of the .45-70 cases so they would eventually chamber when the rest of the case was properly sized. The case mouth was only formed down to .466.

However the RCBS .40-60 dies turned out to be just what I needed to form the .40-60.
The .40-60 looks like a short version of the .40-65. If you set the .40-60 form dies higher you can approximate the .40-65 profile.
My ,40-60 form dies produce the following case mouth diameters
1. .40-60 Form 1 = .452
2. A second .40-60  Form 1 = .432
3.  40-60 trim = .423

Don't waste your money on a Redding .40-65 trim die. It is the same internal size as the Redding .40-65 FL reloading die. You can buy a complete used Redding FL die set for about the same price as the REDDING trim die.

Those dies get the .45-70 brass down to where it is really easy to form the .38-56 Win cases I am not sure why but it is easier to size the .45-70 down to .38-56 in one pass than it is to size the .40-65 in multiple passes.  The .40-65 cases have always been stinkers to form. For some reason .40-60 is also easier to form.

I have die sets for a number of the 1886 Win rounds including the .33 Win and  the .38-56.
I found both of these have slightly smaller bases than some 45-70 cases.  You may run into  brass that will not chamber because the base is too large to fit your chamber.  The too large case heads will probably be WW brass (ironic huh?) The WW brass is .about .502 at the head.  Try RP and a few other brands if you run into large bases. The RP that I have runs about .500 on the base. Even this may be too large. You may have to turn or swage the bases a little smaller.

If you happen to have .44-40 or .38-40 dies they might be useful for forming intermediate steps.  You either need open top FL dies or trim dies. These are FL dies with large enough bores or threads in the top to let the longer formed .45-70 neck pass through.

Trim dies are open on top and would work fine but it is unlikely that you would have those trim dies.




[quote author=7174737C7F777B717F681A0 link=1501963356/0#0 date=1501963356]recently acquired a pristine win. hi-wall in 38-56 cal.
after trying to find brass for this forgotten cal. I decided to form my own from 45-70 cases. I bought the redding forming die, and have a rcbs
« Last Edit: Aug 27th, 2017 at 9:26pm by ireload2 »  
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knifemaker
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Re: info on the 38-56 cal.
Reply #7 - Aug 13th, 2017 at 12:39pm
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your right on the larger bases on some brass I have starline , and bertrand brass and both are around .500 approx. at the base. after turning down to .408. .407 on the drill press with sand paper they now fit and my win. hi-wall will eject them properly without having to drive them out through the muzzle with a dowel rod. what a pain. baco has 38-56 win. brass but are currently unavailable. also quality brass, does not have any at present.
now another problem arises, that with bullets, my bore slugged out at .375, .376, after expanding out the cartridge neck, inside to .375 to accept the bullet , I,am having problems with chambering the round, I mean tight, if i could just put together something that will fit I than can fire form and, I think! mind you that maybe I,am home free.
the next option is probably buying a 45-70 barrel and screwing it on , simple and no more problems ,any one out there who is a 38-56 addict help!!!!
  
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beltfed
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Re: info on the 38-56 cal.
Reply #8 - Aug 13th, 2017 at 1:53pm
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Granded we are now dealing with forming 38-56 brass.
Bear with me re forming down to 40-65:
No. 1. When forming the 45-70 brass to 40-65,
First, the RP brass formed nicely.
I found WW cases liked to end up with wrinkles
in neck area. BUT, forming went well when I annealed
the WW brass about half way down from mouth. then just fine results which eliminated the case creasing.
BUT, and again I found the 40-65formed  WW brass case mouths were thicker, and FF brass still snug on my 0.410 bullets. Needed to go to 0.409.

Yes, we are now dealing with 38-56
You need to anneal the 45-70 brass halfway down.
Then (probably) go thru a 40-65 FL die, before going thru the 38-56 die.
As to the tight necks- remember when necking down, the case neck brass gets thicker.  YOu may need to neck turn.
beltfed/arnie
  
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knifemaker
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Re: info on the 38-56 cal.
Reply #9 - Aug 13th, 2017 at 7:35pm
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have not tried annealing the brass (half way down) , good idea. After going through the pangs of forming down with the 40-65 die first, sounds like a squirrel going through a knot hole, even with lube, than the 38-56 die went quite smoothly.
well try neck turning now, and off course sanding down the base ,maybe I'll  be able to chamber a round!  thanks
  
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marlinguy
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Re: info on the 38-56 cal.
Reply #10 - Aug 14th, 2017 at 9:38am
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If you neck turn, I'd recommend turning the outside of the cases, unless you turn the inside plenty deep to allow varying bullet depths. Sometimes turning inside necks results in a ledge that stops the bullet from seating deep enough.
  

Vall
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beltfed
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Re: info on the 38-56 cal.
Reply #11 - Aug 14th, 2017 at 10:20am
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That's right, Marlinguy,
As said. Neck Turn, not neck ream.
But note that one can end up with a ledge
inside the case after fireforming a neck turned case
as well as a reamed one.
If one has the right tools, one can do the neck turn
which not only thins the neck, but also makes it circumferentially uniform in thic ness.
Then fire form, then of an inside shoulder that will interfere with bullet seating, run an appropriate dia neck reamer
in to cut the shoulder out
beltfed/arnie
  
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Re: info on the 38-56 cal.
Reply #12 - Aug 15th, 2017 at 5:57pm
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Been shooting a 38/56 for a long time,dont anneal the brass down the case or it will never stop stretching. First try starline 40/65 because the necks are thinner and are already half formed. Thats what works in my lever gun , in my CPA I use Starline 45/70 brass as the necks are thicker and I slipfit the bullets in them and use  BP.
  
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knifemaker
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Re: info on the 38-56 cal.
Reply #13 - Aug 20th, 2017 at 4:25pm
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thanks well try some starline  40-65 brass next seems to be reasonable in price from baco.
Was curious to what you meant about not to anneal brass (45-70) halfway down as it will not stop  stretching? Can you explain I,am still learning ,but I thought annealing made the brass softer, and more malleable. and working it made it harder. thanks Duke
  
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Hiwall55
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Re: info on the 38-56 cal.
Reply #14 - Aug 23rd, 2017 at 1:23pm
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First 38-56 i formed I annealed down the case and made it too soft ,it formed nice but would stretch for about 3 or 4 firings,total stretch was about .050 long in 3 trims, now I know that had to come from somewere, so before they seperated I started over and only anneal after I form them.
  
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