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Bob Ryan

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38-55 breech seater - case length?
Apr 30th, 2019 at 6:24pm
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I'm making a breechseater for a 38-55 high wall I've about finished. The barrel is a 32" winchester no 4 weight original. It has a long chamber. Most of my cases are new winchester and short. Is there a reason to use a case of one length or the other on the front of the mechanical seater? I've made other seaters but for cases with only one length so have never thought of critical measurements. what is critical - the distance from the case mouth to the bullet base or the placement of the bullet in the rifling?
  

Bob Ryan
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Schuetzendave
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Re: 38-55 breech seater - case length?
Reply #1 - Apr 30th, 2019 at 7:22pm
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The case guides the bullet as it is pushed across the leade and becomes perfectly aligned in the bore of the barrel as long as the bullet is puhed forward straight.

We use the maximum case length for that cartridge to minimize the distance when the bullet is being guided across the leade and before it engages in the bore.

A case that is too short means a bullet may tip into the leade before it starts to align into the bore.

Cases cannot be too long or you can bell the mouth in if it is shoved up against the leade.

The case length for the .38-55 is listed as 2.085" but Starline makes 2.125" long cases.

What is more important is having a rod long enough to push the bullet fully into the bore so that at least half of the bullet's base band is engraved by the rifle lands.

Better yet is having an adjustable rod (that can push bullet further into the bore) so you can fine tune the chamber capacity to tune your load.
« Last Edit: May 1st, 2019 at 6:37am by Schuetzendave »  
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Re: 38-55 breech seater - case length?
Reply #2 - Apr 30th, 2019 at 11:20pm
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Buffalo Arms has some 38-55 basic cases that measure 2.245.  Should be long enough

Jack
  

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Schuetzendave
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Re: 38-55 breech seater - case length?
Reply #3 - May 1st, 2019 at 6:29am
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Loading with the correct .38-55 cases:

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Re: 38-55 breech seater - case length?
Reply #4 - May 1st, 2019 at 8:44am
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When I build a seating tool I use a case that's been fired in my gun. I want the exact same fit with the tool that I shoot with.
  

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Re: 38-55 breech seater - case length?
Reply #5 - May 2nd, 2019 at 12:21am
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Seater should be made with a case fired in that gun, as Vall said. I don't think that the shorter case is a problem, it should still align the bullet properly. The length difference is only .060-.080".
  

Willis Gregory, aka singleshot
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is0086s
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Bob Ryan

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Re: 38-55 breech seater - case length?
Reply #6 - May 4th, 2019 at 2:55pm
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Thank you for your responses. I'll be starting with a long (2.125) case on the seater. Does anyone know of an answer to my last question?
  

Bob Ryan
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Re: 38-55 breech seater - case length?
Reply #7 - May 4th, 2019 at 4:16pm
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The placement of the bullet into the barrel is the sole purpose of the seater, the case is just a guide that centers the bullet as it is forced into the rifling.
  
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