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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Custom bullet size die source? (Read 743 times)
RonR
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Custom bullet size die source?
Apr 7th, 2021 at 3:28pm
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   While not concerning an actual single shot, don t kick me off the island, I do have several S/S in the safe.
   Its a cast bullet issue, and where better than to ask here?
I have both an original 1893 Marlin, and a modern 336 Marlin "cowboy" with the Ballard rifling in 38-55.
    I was aware that the old Marlin 3855 had large bores but was surprised to learn the modern version does too. Both slug .381
    Standard bullet sizer are .376. Both guns shoot a good improved cylinder group, (with cast) pretty much no matter what. Well maybe a modified on a good day.
    I annealed a .376 die, and polished it out to looks about right and get bullets .379  Now Murphy appears, and the modern marlin chamber neck is so tight, it won't accept the seated bullets. The vintage gun, does chamber, but tighter than the proverbial bulls butt.
    A couple options seem possible. buy another die, polish it not so much, it would then chamber but still rattle down the bore.
     I would be tempted to pull the cowboy barrel and polish the neck area a bit, till it accepts the larger bullets, but that would be risky at best.
   Shoot way soft bullets, but then they might lead like a bad boy.
   I know that one mold maker,  can't think of the name right now, who makes one heck of a good mold, offers to bore them, to match the lead mix. 
    I have yet to contact him. In theory, they drop from the mold, correct size, and just hand lube them. I am not a serious competitor, nor shoot these guns that much. I am just picky Smiley
Open to ideas and suggestions, thanks! I always was mystified why Marlin ran their 38 55 bores so much larger than Win.
Ron
  
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JLouis
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Re: Custom bullet size die source?
Reply #1 - Apr 7th, 2021 at 3:50pm
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Might try turning the case necks to get the bullets to fit inside. Actually a practice the Jacketed benchrest shooters purposely do pretty much all of the time for the sake of tight neck accuracy brass preparation and bullet fit. How much shy are you of actually getting your bullets into the cases if I am actually understanding your current problem right it should also work for you. There is actually allot more to why they do it so just a quick overview of what might also work for you. You could also inside ream the necks of the cases should there be enough material and if so you could do it either way
  

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oneatatime
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Re: Custom bullet size die source?
Reply #2 - Apr 7th, 2021 at 6:15pm
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I ran into this with an old Marlin in 38-55. My question would have been why did Marlin stick with undersized chamber necks once black powder was no longer in general use to bump up the undersized bullets? I sold the rifle. My Uberti has a .379 groove but will chamber .380 bullets.
  
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JLouis
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Re: Custom bullet size die source?
Reply #3 - Apr 7th, 2021 at 7:55pm
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So is the actual problem with the chamber or the bullet not fitting into the case?
  

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Re: Custom bullet size die source?
Reply #4 - Apr 7th, 2021 at 9:34pm
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Use black powder!
  
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CW
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Re: Custom bullet size die source?
Reply #5 - Apr 7th, 2021 at 11:57pm
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JLouis wrote on Apr 7th, 2021 at 7:55pm:
So is the actual problem with the chamber or the bullet not fitting into the case?

Correct.
This comes up with singleshots as well.
Regardless the action, the chamber issue fix is the same.
If Starline very thin case necks do not solve the problem, a correct chamber reamer in the hands of a home gunsmith or pro solve the problem for all time. Recut the chamber.

Turning the already thin Starline case necks thinner does not end well.
  
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38-72
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Re: Custom bullet size die source?
Reply #6 - Apr 8th, 2021 at 12:34am
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I had a similar problem with an H&R rifle in 38-55.  I slugged the bore and the rifling required 0.380 bullets but the chamber was cut for 376.  I had the gun re-chamber to accept the .380 bullets.  It now shoot great.
  
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Re: Custom bullet size die source?
Reply #7 - Apr 8th, 2021 at 6:55am
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38-72 wrote on Apr 8th, 2021 at 12:34am:
I had a similar problem with an H&R rifle in 38-55.  I slugged the bore and the rifling required 0.380 bullets but the chamber was cut for 376.  I had the gun re-chamber to accept the .380 bullets.  It now shoot great.


same issue - Buffalo Classic in 38-55.
  

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marlinguy
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Re: Custom bullet size die source?
Reply #8 - Apr 8th, 2021 at 11:01am
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This is a pretty common problem with many .38-55 chambered rifles, and I'm not sure why? But the fix isn't to alter the chamber, or thin case necks. Once thinned enough to allow chambering a .381"-.382" bullet, the cases wont make it past cleaning, as the necks are so thin they come out of the tumblers dented and almost ruined.
The fix is to have a mold maker like Accurate, or any custom maker, build you a mold that's basically a heeled bullet design. Make the first two bands (or whatever depth you need) small enough to not bulge the case. Then the remaining bands at the size you need to seal the bore. 
I've had several friends who had Tom at Accurate build molds this way and love shooting their guns in .38-55 with larger bores now. I've also seen a fair number of chambers ruined and later sold to unknowing buyers by owners who thought they'd "improve" the guns by opening up the chambers. In a couple cases friends had to rebarrel or reline barrels when they discovered some idiot ruined their chamber.
  

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JLouis
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Re: Custom bullet size die source?
Reply #9 - Apr 8th, 2021 at 11:46am
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Vall would a heeled bullet work in a lever action tube fed rifle would they actually be a tight enough fit to remain in place. Especially so when removing an unfired case back out of the chamber and not having the bullet staying in and being held in place by the lands in the barrel.
  

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cheatin_charlie
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Re: Custom bullet size die source?
Reply #10 - Apr 8th, 2021 at 12:12pm
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On the Starline web sight there is a good explanation and cure for the problem you are having.  Good reading. Starline brass may solve your problem.
 
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JLouis
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Re: Custom bullet size die source?
Reply #11 - Apr 8th, 2021 at 1:03pm
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Very interesting reading and thanks for sharing the link for the fix to the OP's problem. I would also tend to think he could also inside ream the cases that he already has on hand if all of necks are as thick as the article has stated them to be. Basically that is all that Starline did by making the necks thinner unless I am missing something.
  

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cheatin_charlie
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Re: Custom bullet size die source?
Reply #12 - Apr 8th, 2021 at 4:45pm
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JLouis wrote on Apr 8th, 2021 at 1:03pm:
Very interesting reading and thanks for sharing the link for the fix to the OP's problem. I would also tend to think he could also inside ream the cases that he already has on hand if all of necks are as thick as the article has stated them to be. Basically that is all that Starline did by making the necks thinner unless I am missing something.

 
They offer thinner necks and also two lengths 2.080" and 2.125" depending on 
which you prefer.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Custom bullet size die source?
Reply #13 - Apr 8th, 2021 at 7:39pm
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JLouis wrote on Apr 8th, 2021 at 11:46am:
Vall would a heeled bullet work in a lever action tube fed rifle would they actually be a tight enough fit to remain in place. Especially so when removing an unfired case back out of the chamber and not having the bullet staying in and being held in place by the lands in the barrel.


There's no reason that bullets wouldn't stay in place simply because they're used in a tubular magazine. At least I can't see why it would be an issue? Several owners I know are using this method specifically for lever action repeaters, and not problem.
Of course you wouldn't have the base bands so small the bullets would be loose in the case mouth. But using a taper crimp die they hold the bullets fine. And OAL is critical for lever actions to ensure they cycle through the action, so they don't normally work well if they were seated out far enough to engage the rifling. So not issue extracting unfired rounds, as bullets don't touch the rifling to grab the bullet.
  

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CW
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Re: Custom bullet size die source?
Reply #14 - Apr 8th, 2021 at 9:24pm
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I think I would have Mike Lewis fix the chamber.  I would have zero fear (McPherson) of not being able to address it.   McPherson's writings specific to the chamber reaming are not reasonable.
  
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