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Retreever
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Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Apr 23rd, 2021 at 9:32am
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On various sites I frequently see this caliber mentioned. I have a nice collection of antique and replica 45-70's but think I might like something in a smaller caliber just for a change.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Recommendations?

Thanks, Retreever
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #1 - Apr 23rd, 2021 at 10:00am
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Consider BOTH 38-55 and 40-65.  Both lest brutal to the shoulder and shoot medium to heavy bullets.  Watch to ensure you get the right twist for the bullet.
  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #2 - Apr 23rd, 2021 at 10:21am
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The .38-55 Ballard is a very versatile and very old cartridge. It was first introduced in 1884 for the Ballard rifles, and was quickly picked up by other companies. It's been a popular hunting cartridge, and target cartridge for many years. And one of the few early BP cartridges that made the transition to smokeless and is still currently in production.
The .38-55 is mainly a mid range or closer cartridge, but a few have used it for longer range shooting with faster twist rates, and heavier bullets. The standard load was a 255 gr. bullet, but many shooters today use bullets up around 325 gr., and a few even heavier. Old time target shooters also used bullets around 300-315 gr. to shoot bench rest, and schuetzen too. But offhand shooters soon turned to smaller calibers to avoid stiff recoil over long shooting periods.
The .38-55 is one of my favorites, but as mentioned above the .40-65 is a better choice if your goal is 800-1000 yd. shooting. But if you plan to shoot mostly 500 yds. or less the .38-55 would get the nod from me. Very mild compared to the .40-65, and easier on the lead and powder supply too.
  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #3 - Apr 23rd, 2021 at 10:50am
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If you are trying to move away from recoil it might not be the best pick. What will it be used for I guess should be the next question in order to provide you with more valuable input.
  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #4 - Apr 23rd, 2021 at 11:51am
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My thoughts: 
Yes, the 38-55 is a fine cartridge to work with for short to
medium range shooting. ESPECIALLY if you go with a 12 twist barrel to enable stabilizing heavier bullets out to 600yds.
AND the 40-65, is also a fine, modest recoil cartridge usually used for out to Midrange-600yds in usual 16 twist.
It is noted that the 40-65, with appropriate length bullets
has been shown to be accurate out to Long range- 8,9,1000yds.-even in usual modern16 twist.  However, for best versatility, I would go with a 14-14.5 twist barrel for long, heavy bullet capability.
NOW, there is a middle of the road cartridge to consider:
the 38-50 Rem Hep cartridge. My recent experience with mine
indicates much greater versatility/capability than the 38-55 BMW. (Ballard/Marlin/lately Win). It is a pussycat to shoot, but will reach out with heavier bullets, even up to 360-380 grain with a 10 twist barrel clocking up to 1375fps.
It is easy to form brass from 30-40 Krag brass. 
beltfed/arnie
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #5 - Apr 23rd, 2021 at 12:46pm
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I think the .38-55 is a great cartridge.  It's the only one I've played with that is very easy to get shooting well with either smokeless or black powder.   I have never shot fixed ammunition with a .38-55 though, always breech seated, and at schuetzen distances. 

The .38-50 Remington Hepburn cartridge is nice too.  I've never shot smokeless in mine, just breech seated with black powder.  I like it too as it's also a traditional cartridge, although mine is a Winchester single shot, so not a traditional cartridge for that rifle Smiley.   

Chris.
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #6 - Apr 23rd, 2021 at 1:54pm
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JLouis wrote on Apr 23rd, 2021 at 10:50am:
If you are trying to move away from recoil it might not be the best pick. What will it be used for I guess should be the next question in order to provide you with more valuable input. 


Recoil isn't my concern, I'm a big guy well padded  Wink and I like my 45-70's I'm just looking for a another caliber to have fun with - I'm fine with the mid-range limitation.

My 45-70's fill the bill for me for long distance.

Retreever
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #7 - Apr 23rd, 2021 at 2:05pm
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I'm struggling with two antique 38's right now.   Both of them have groove diameters that are "larger than convenient", let's say.   Bullet diameter is as larger or larger than case-neck ID.   I'd like to shoot fixed ammo and smokeless powder,  but may have to go to "real" powder to get them to work.

CHRIS
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #8 - Apr 23rd, 2021 at 2:41pm
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Thanks Retreever then I too would recommend the 38-55 for your own chosen use.
  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #9 - Apr 23rd, 2021 at 3:42pm
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I use the 38-55 and longer ranges, so have some familiarity with it.  With smokeless powder, 12 twist barrel, and 360 grain bullet, it is the equivalent of the .45-90 loaded with black powder.  It is superior to the 45-70 loaded with black powder.   

The ballistics of the heavy bullet 38's are identical to that of heavy (540 grain) bullets in the .45's.  The only thing you give up is size of the splatter or dust cloud so it's harder to spot hits and misses with the 38.  Wind drift, ballistics, etc. it's exactly the same.   

As Beltfed said, make sure you use a 12 twist barrel.  That will stabilize both heavy and light bullets.  The traditional 16 twist, or even 14 twist will only stabilize lighter bullets, and out beyond 200 to 300 yard, they start to have limitations.
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #10 - Apr 23rd, 2021 at 9:16pm
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I built a ballard in 38-55 with a 1:14 twist using a Manson McPherson reamer.  I love it, I could shoot it all day.  I shoot a 360 gr Paul Jones bullet and is very accurate, safe to say I can highly recommend it.
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #11 - Apr 23rd, 2021 at 9:51pm
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Rex N wrote on Apr 23rd, 2021 at 9:16pm:
I built a ballard in 38-55 with a 1:14 twist using a Manson McPherson reamer.  I love it, I could shoot it all day.  I shoot a 360 gr Paul Jones bullet and is very accurate, safe to say I can highly recommend it.

That’s a lovely gun, wood just speaks to me 
Gumpy
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #12 - Apr 23rd, 2021 at 10:19pm
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I shot a 45-70 Sharps 1874 in Schuetzen competition for many years until I finally bought a High Wall in 38-55, and never regretted it. Great cartridge and capable of excellent accuracy. Mine is a Uberti with bullet diameter of .382 which is no problem with a custom mold from Accurate Molds, twist is 1-18 which works well with 250-320 gr bullets. 4759, 4227, M&P 300 and 5744 are all good powders for that cartridge. Joe S
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #13 - Apr 23rd, 2021 at 11:27pm
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Thanks,

I bought the wood at local lumber yard called Windsor Plywood, i think the guy thought I was crazy as I  bought the part with an ugly knot in it but it turned out well.  The action was just a rusty frame that a friend found at a gun show for me.  Turns out to be a forged frame and handles the 38-55 very well. It is one of my favourite rifles now.  Grumpy gumpy wrote on Apr 23rd, 2021 at 9:51pm:
Rex N wrote on Apr 23rd, 2021 at 9:16pm:
I built a ballard in 38-55 with a 1:14 twist using a Manson McPherson reamer.  I love it, I could shoot it all day.  I shoot a 360 gr Paul Jones bullet and is very accurate, safe to say I can highly recommend it.

That’s a lovely gun, wood just speaks to me 
Gumpy

  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #14 - Apr 24th, 2021 at 12:06am
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I shoot a Pedersoli 1885 in 38-55 it has a 12 twist and use a 350gr bullet cast from an Accurate mold. It is very accurate and  lots of fun to shoot.
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #15 - Apr 24th, 2021 at 6:04am
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Thanks to everyone who has commented so far, appreciate the feedback.

I started looking online yesterday for a likely candidate to purchase but I'm finding very little in the way of used single shot rifles. Most of what I am seeing are older Winchester lever guns usually with a 26" barrel.

I did find a used Pedersoli High Wall Classic Model in 38-55 but that's about it.

Retreever

  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #16 - Apr 24th, 2021 at 10:55am
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Why not the Pedersoli?
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #17 - Apr 24th, 2021 at 11:07am
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Retreever wrote on Apr 24th, 2021 at 6:04am:
Thanks to everyone who has commented so far, appreciate the feedback.

I started looking online yesterday for a likely candidate to purchase but I'm finding very little in the way of used single shot rifles. Most of what I am seeing are older Winchester lever guns usually with a 26" barrel.

I did find a used Pedersoli High Wall Classic Model in 38-55 but that's about it.

Retreever

If it is the 38-55 Pedersoli with the 12 twist, I would jump on it in a heart beat. I kick myself for not getting one 10 years ago when they were first available. Be sure it is not the 18 twist 38-55!

Those 12 twist Pedersoli's are set up to be everything a 38-55 could be for midrange and silhouette. It was built for the job. 
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #18 - Apr 24th, 2021 at 11:21am
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The Pedersoli SPORT model 38-55 is 1:12 twist with a 30” barrel
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #19 - Apr 24th, 2021 at 11:51am
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If you want a modern single shot with old school looks, but a very good barrel and fast twist; the Pedersoli is a great gun. Those who shoot them love them, and are getting very good accuracy with a variety of bullet weights. Fast twist barrels can still shoot lighter bullets, but slow twist don't shoot heavy bullets as well.
  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #20 - Apr 24th, 2021 at 3:10pm
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oneatatime wrote on Apr 24th, 2021 at 10:55am:
Why not the Pedersoli?


I haven't discarded it but the description says it's a Sporter Model with a 28" barrel , the Pedersoli web site says it is supposed to have a 30" barrel.

I have sent an email to the folks that have it for sale asking them to confirm the barrel length and also the twist rate.

Retreever
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #21 - Apr 24th, 2021 at 4:47pm
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Retreever,
If it is the one on gunbroker, I would buy it in a heartbeat if you are looking at a modern "state of the art" 38-55 single shot
beltfed/arnie
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #22 - Apr 24th, 2021 at 6:44pm
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Have built two 38-55’s, both with 12 twist GM barrels, one for my self and the other for my daughter. We shoot a 360 grain Money type/style bullet that performs very well to the 600 yard line.

A 12 twist would not be needed if shooting at 200 or less, lighter bullets, less lead. My offhand rifle wears a 15 twist and breech seats a 280 grain bullet.

The newest 38 project is a 38-56 Win with a 12 twist on a High Wall. Went a little over the edge with it, designed my reamer and a 354 grain bullet. Sized 40-65 Starline brass down and gained .015 length in the neck. Will be rebarreling this High Wall. 

Best of luck with your endeavor.
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #23 - Apr 24th, 2021 at 9:12pm
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A thought just occurred to me - I recently purchased an 1881 Spanish Rolling Block action that had been re-barreled in 45-70 there is still some work to do but would this be a good candidate to change out to a 38-55 rather than continue with the 45-70 build?

Thanks, Retreever
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #24 - Apr 25th, 2021 at 12:17am
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Retreever wrote on Apr 24th, 2021 at 9:12pm:
A thought just occurred to me - I recently purchased an 1881 Spanish Rolling Block action that had been re-barreled in 45-70 there is still some work to do but would this be a good candidate to change out to a 38-55 rather than continue with the 45-70 build?

Thanks, Retreever


I suppose so, but seems like you're going to toss aside a fairly complete gun, and a new barrel to make it into a .38-55 instead? It will of course need the extractor built up to fit the smaller rim also.
  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #25 - Apr 25th, 2021 at 7:48am
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Hunting Deer with Ballard in 38 55 the best .........
Max
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #26 - Apr 25th, 2021 at 12:02pm
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beltfed wrote on Apr 23rd, 2021 at 11:51am:
My thoughts: 
NOW, there is a middle of the road cartridge to consider:
the 38-50 Rem Hep cartridge. My recent experience with mine
indicates much greater versatility/capability than the 38-55 BMW. (Ballard/Marlin/lately Win). It is a pussycat to shoot, but will reach out with heavier bullets, even up to 360-380 grain with a 10 twist barrel clocking up to 1375fps.
It is easy to form brass from 30-40 Krag brass. 
beltfed/arnie


I've never owned a 38-55 but the cartridge has always caught my fascination.  But now I have to say that you have turned my head with the 38-50 Rem Hep; and I am assuming that refers to Hepburn.  At the risk of pirating this thread, what is your experience with this cartridge?
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #27 - Apr 25th, 2021 at 12:36pm
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Retreever wrote on Apr 24th, 2021 at 9:12pm:
A thought just occurred to me - I recently purchased an 1881 Spanish Rolling Block action that had been re-barreled in 45-70 there is still some work to do but would this be a good candidate to change out to a 38-55 rather than continue with the 45-70 build?

Thanks, Retreever


If you prefer a 38-55 to a .45-70, it would be an excellent choice.  Ebay the .45-70 barrel, and it would get you most of the cost of a .38-55 barrel from green mountain to replace it.  Would just lose the value of the threading/chambering work done so far, and you would know exactly what barrel and work you have, instead of an unknown from before you got the .45-70.
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #28 - Apr 25th, 2021 at 4:12pm
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S99VG wrote on Apr 25th, 2021 at 12:02pm:


I've never owned a 38-55 but the cartridge has always caught my fascination.  But now I have to say that you have turned my head with the 38-50 Rem Hep; and I am assuming that refers to Hepburn.  At the risk of pirating this thread, what is your experience with this cartridge?


I've owned both, and honestly can't see enough difference between them to say one has any advantage over the other. The .38-50 case is about .1" longer, so you could get slightly more BP in it. But if shooting both with smokeless loads there's no advantage to either.
Both originally were factory loaded with the same weight bullets, and if you don't mind fire forming cases from .303 Brit or .30-40 Krag, the .38-50 donor brass is cheap and readily available. But so is .38-55 Ballard and it's usable as is.
The choice is more of a psychological choice, than a which is better choice.
  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #29 - Apr 25th, 2021 at 4:23pm
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Buy the Pedersoli and shoot it. If it turns out you don't like it you can easily move it on. Price 38-55 dies vs 38-50 dies. Think of all the powder you could buy with the difference. I shoot BP in my 38-50 but I use less BP than will fit in a 38-55. 38-55 has always been thought of as one of those inherently accurate cartridges. I have both, by the way, and shoot 200 meter matches with the 38-55.
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #30 - Apr 25th, 2021 at 7:55pm
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Retreever,

Not all Pedersoli are listed on their sight. BA has had a DST 30" 38-55 which I purchased  a few years ago and it looks really good and at less than an original action or MVA action you get the whole rifle. It does have the .382 bore but a custom mold. And I bought a CPA scheutzen stock and Schoyen plate to convert it. a real budget entry into the sport. I have been shooting scheutzen only since the mid 1980's and the 38-55 is the most universal cartridge IMHO>

Charles
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #31 - Apr 25th, 2021 at 9:35pm
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bohemianway,
Are  you sure that your Double Set Trigger Hi wall is not
Uberti ?  I believe the Pedersolis had Single Set Triggers.
What is the twist of your rifle?
The Pedersoli's are 12 twist and the Uberti's are much slower twist.
beltfed/arnie
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #32 - Apr 26th, 2021 at 12:09pm
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bohemianway wrote on Apr 25th, 2021 at 7:55pm:
Retreever,

Not all Pedersoli are listed on their sight. BA has had a DST 30" 38-55 which I purchased  a few years ago and it looks really good and at less than an original action or MVA action you get the whole rifle. It does have the .382 bore but a custom mold. And I bought a CPA scheutzen stock and Schoyen plate to convert it. a real budget entry into the sport. I have been shooting scheutzen only since the mid 1980's and the 38-55 is the most universal cartridge IMHO>

Charles


Thanks Charles , who is 'BA' you referenced in your first sentence?

Roger
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #33 - Apr 26th, 2021 at 12:58pm
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Uberti makes the High Wall actions for Pedersoli. Currently Pedersoli comes with a single set trigger but oddly the Sporting model has it set in a trigger guard made for 2 triggers. Uberti has a single standard trigger but did offer a double set in a trigger guard like Pedersoli's. Who knows?
BA is Buffalo Arms.
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #34 - Apr 26th, 2021 at 2:04pm
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Beltfed,

I looked it over and yes the action is labelled A Uberi on the upper tang and the barrel is marked "manufactured for Cimmeran repeating arms...". No other marks. I tried a tight patch but still got measurements between 12 and 16 so I will try something else. Luckily my use is for lighter schuetzen bullets and not the heavyweights.
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #35 - Apr 26th, 2021 at 2:14pm
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     "Uberti makes the High Wall actions for Pedersoli."

Where did this information actually come from?
  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #36 - Apr 26th, 2021 at 5:35pm
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Actually Uberti and Pedersoli are in the same corporation.
They "share" several projects
beltfed/arnie
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #37 - Apr 26th, 2021 at 5:35pm
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John,  I can't remember the source, I think it was Dick Trenk that gave us that information.  The arrangement I remember is that Uberti supplied receivers to Pedersoli, who then installed set triggers, barrels and stocks.  Pedersoli in turn supplied Sharps receivers for Uberti's use.   

I don't know if that arrangement is ongoing now.  But, in the past it was how the Pedersoli high walls were produced.
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #38 - Apr 26th, 2021 at 5:38pm
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Retreever,
BA is Buffalo Arms Co.
beltfed/arnie
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #39 - Apr 26th, 2021 at 6:29pm
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When they were announced in early 2008 there was quite a bit of discussion here. One of our guys posted this in February, 2008:

Hi Green_Frog

I spoke with Pedersoli in Italy about this, they say the the action frame is made by Uberti but they were not satisfied with the DST from Uberti so they manufactured a SST instead, so the lever is possebly the lever from Uberti DST setup, I also asked them if they were going to make a DST but for now they had no plans for that. Sad

The barrels and stocking are Pedersoli made.
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #40 - Apr 26th, 2021 at 7:50pm
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This is actually quite interesting I watched a documentary on I believe his first name is Antonio Pedersoli giving a tour of his factory. And coming from that my understanding was he was providing Uberti and Cimmeron Arms with what they were selling.
  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #41 - Apr 27th, 2021 at 12:51am
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I think, at least in the beginning, that Pedersoli was providing Sharps actions to Uberti and getting Uberti's High Walls.
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #42 - Apr 29th, 2021 at 6:29pm
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The OP never said what he wants to do with it did he?  Just less recoil.  So why not go for the king of the schuetzen calibers, the .32-40?
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #43 - Apr 29th, 2021 at 8:57pm
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Hi All, again thanks for all the feedback and suggestions.

For those of you that have read through all my comments you will remember me mentioning my 1881 Spanish Rolling Block that has been re-barreled for 45-70. So I have decided to continue with that project - the parts (extractor) to make it shoot-able arriving this week then off to the gunsmiths.

That said I am still thinking about the 38-55. I bought a 1902 Remington Rolling Block #1 Action today and I believe I have located a source for a barrel here in Canada. Can someone tell me if a .375 bore +/- 0.0003 would be suitable for a 38-55? And if so I have the option for 1:10 or 1:12 Twist Rate - which one would be best for maximum range?

Thanks, Retreever
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #44 - Apr 29th, 2021 at 9:09pm
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Yes, the .375 groove works very well.  I have a 1 1/2 emington rolling block that was rebored with that size and it shoots bery well.   I also had a  Winchester 1894 rebarreled with an octagonal barrel in that diameter and it shot very well too.   Anywthing from .375 to about .380 works very well, but the bullet availability is best with a .375 inch groove diameter.

And, the 38-55 is a wonderful caliber.   Great for both hunting and target shooting.   pretty hard to beat as an all around cartridge.

George
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #45 - Apr 29th, 2021 at 9:14pm
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Twist rate actually depends on the bullet being used. This is a 200 yard target with a Douglas 15 twist and all of the data is on the bottom of this Target. I spent a year with it in Schuetzen benchrest competition but the recoil was in all honesty just abit to much for me. Shot several nice targets during that time and this just happened to be my best.

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #46 - Apr 29th, 2021 at 9:42pm
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John Louis, how much did the CPA weigh?
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #47 - Apr 30th, 2021 at 9:05am
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JLouis wrote on Apr 29th, 2021 at 9:14pm:
Twist rate actually depends on the bullet being used. This is a 200 yard target with a Douglas 15 twist and all of the data is on the bottom of this Target. I spent a year with it in Schuetzen benchrest competition but the recoil was in all honesty just abit to much for me. Shot several nice targets during that time and this just happened to be my best.


That's some nice shooting JL. As far as what I want , I understand that the 38-55 single shot is normally a mid-range rifle (100 - 500 yds) but some folks commented earlier in this thread if I wanted to go further I would need a heavy projectile (275-300g) and the 1:12 Twist rate if I wanted any kind of accuracy at the longer distances.

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #48 - Apr 30th, 2021 at 9:30am
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George Babits wrote on Apr 29th, 2021 at 9:09pm:
Yes, the .375 groove works very well.  I have a 1 1/2 emington rolling block that was rebored with that size and it shoots bery well.   I also had a  Winchester 1894 rebarreled with an octagonal barrel in that diameter and it shot very well too.   Anywthing from .375 to about .380 works very well, but the bullet availability is best with a .375 inch groove diameter.

And, the 38-55 is a wonderful caliber.   Great for both hunting and target shooting.   pretty hard to beat as an all around cartridge.

George


Thanks GB much appreciated.

Retreever
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #49 - Apr 30th, 2021 at 9:50am
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Heard back from the Green Mountain distributor , he has a a 38-55 barrel #W38126-3 in stock - Product Description
.38-55 Cal, 1:14 Twist, 35” Long, 1”-2” Receiver Stub, 4140CM, Honed Octagon Tapered BPCR Barrel. #3 Profile- 1.05” at the breech, tapered down to .95” at the muzzle. Button Rifled, Stress Relieved, and Air Gauged.

Looking for feedback on the product and the specs.

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #50 - Apr 30th, 2021 at 10:41am
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Premod70 not sure of the weight its a 28 inch #3 half Oct. to Rd Douglas barrel and rifle a CPA 52 Schuetzen Jr.
  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #51 - Apr 30th, 2021 at 11:11am
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Retreever I believe Steve Garbe won at least one of his four National Shilloute Championships while shoting his 38-55 at Raton several years back. He shared allot of real valuable information about his journey with that 38-55 in past Black Powder Cartridge News publications. If you or a friend happen to have any of those past articles to reference.
  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #52 - Apr 30th, 2021 at 11:24am
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My 38-55 Hiwall Helm had a RKS 18 gain twist. Shot A 225 gr very accurate at 200 yds. This was a fixed set up for black powder or smokeless, felt like a 32-40 with a hot load.....
  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #53 - Apr 30th, 2021 at 11:49am
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JLouis wrote on Apr 30th, 2021 at 11:11am:
Retreever I believe Steve Garbe won at least one of his four National Shilloute Championships while shoting his 38-55 at Raton several years back. He shared allot of real valuable information about his journey with that 38-55 in past Black Powder Cartridge News publications. If you or a friend happen to have any of those past articles to reference.


Thanks for the tip JL , I checked and you can order back issues I just need to figure which issues the articles are in.

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #54 - Apr 30th, 2021 at 11:56am
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Retreever .95 at the muzzle seems a bit small and do you really need that much barrel length it seems a bit long but that is just my own opinion. Was trying to picture just how it might look on a rifle based on a friend's 36 inch barrel on an original 441/2 Stevens and it looked quite odd and out of proportion.
  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #55 - Apr 30th, 2021 at 12:25pm
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Retreever unfortunately I gave my entire collection to a friend or I could have found it for you. You might just try contacting Steve Garbe directly he and his wife started the publication and he was still the editor in 2017 not sure about now. Maybe Joe  / Westener might be able to help you find his contact information or it might possibly be in the BPCNews. Joe has shot quite allot of Schuetzen matches with Steve and why I thought he might be able to help as they are probably also good friends. 
.
  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #56 - May 1st, 2021 at 10:15am
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Ok, just to update everybody - the 1881 Spanish Roller is going ahead as a 45-70 project - parts I needed arrived yesterday so off to the gunsmiths next week.

I bought a 1902 Remington Roller #1 action yesterday and that's the one I will use for the 38-55 build. I have found (2) barrel options which I would like feedback on.

(a) 1.25" Unturned barrel blank - bore size is 0.375, 28" barrel with option for 1:10 or 1:12 twist . ( I'm assuming in addition to everything else I would be spending money to have this milled to an octagon shape).

(b) .38-55 Cal, 1:14 Twist, 35” Long, 1”-2” Receiver Stub, 4140CM, Honed Octagon Tapered BPCR Barrel. #3 Profile- 1.05” at the breech, tapered down to .95” at the muzzle. Button Rifled, Stress Relieved, and Air Gauged.

Note: (b) is twice the price of (a) but I'm also assuming the extra milling would pretty much even out the cost so I am leaning toward (b).

Comments , Feed back appreciated.

Retreever
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #57 - May 1st, 2021 at 11:54am
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Except for the twist rate B sounds like a Green Mountain barrel #3.5 weight. But the GM barrel I see is a 1:12" twist, which I'd prefer over 1:14" twist.

W381236-3.5X 35” .38-55 Cal #3.5 Profile Honed Tapered Octagon BPCR.

I'd even prefer a #4 weight myself, but I see they're out of stock.
  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #58 - May 1st, 2021 at 11:57am
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my 14 twist 38/55 shoots very well with the 330 grain lyman bullet and black powder.  once had a 12 twist and didn't like it   art
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #59 - May 1st, 2021 at 12:28pm
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It sounds like you are having to compromise. When you can get a blank profiled exactly the way that you want it from CPA. The last one I ordered for myself was a profiled and polished 28 inch 1/2 octagon to round #3 Douglas and the price was very fair. 
As is the cost for just an unturned blank.
« Last Edit: May 1st, 2021 at 12:38pm by JLouis »  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #60 - May 1st, 2021 at 1:21pm
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marlinguy wrote on May 1st, 2021 at 11:54am:
Except for the twist rate B sounds like a Green Mountain barrel #3.5 weight. But the GM barrel I see is a 1:12" twist, which I'd prefer over 1:14" twist.

W381236-3.5X 35” .38-55 Cal #3.5 Profile Honed Tapered Octagon BPCR.

I'd even prefer a #4 weight myself, but I see they're out of stock.


'b' is a Green Mountain barrel, it's the only 38-55 the Canadian distributor has in stock.

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #61 - May 1st, 2021 at 1:23pm
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JLouis wrote on May 1st, 2021 at 12:28pm:
It sounds like you are having to compromise. When you can get a blank profiled exactly the way that you want it from CPA. The last one I ordered for myself was a profiled and polished 28 inch 1/2 octagon to round #3 Douglas and the price was very fair. 
As is the cost for just an unturned blank.


JL , who is CPA? Where are they located?

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #62 - May 1st, 2021 at 1:43pm
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Retreever wrote on May 1st, 2021 at 1:23pm:
.......... who is CPA? Where are they located?
Thanks, Retreever

CPA Rifles is located in Dingman's Ferry, PA in the Delaware Water Gap area north of Philadelphia and west of NYC along the PA/NJ border.
Paul Shuttleworth started CPA in the last century (1990ish) in the Blue Bell, PA area, which is a suburb north of Philadelphia. While Paul still works in the shop, his daughter, Gail, pretty much runs the show these days and does an excellent job of it. Great people to work with and their modern Stevens 44 1/2 is an excellent product (says the guy who owns one with three barrels).
In addition, CPA offers excellent wood for most all our single-shot rifles and performs repair work and offers spare part for many single-shot Stevens models as well as modern barrels for other actions. Google CPA Rifles for their website.
  

Glenn - CPA 44 1/2 w/22LR, 38-40RH & 40-65WCF
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #63 - May 1st, 2021 at 2:09pm
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Here is the link to the CPA Web site and Gail Schuttleworth is the owner and a real nice Lady. Her contact information is also located there.

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #64 - May 1st, 2021 at 2:32pm
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Retreever thier profiled and polished barrels are so nice that I decided not to even blue my own as shown below. So much so I had to be real careful while doing all of my own machine work to the blank. So I just wrapped it to keep it protected and when done I didn't even have to touch it up when completed so I just decided to leave it unblued. The picture doesn't really show just how nice the barrel actually is. It is basically bead blasted after polishing and thus leaving a real smooth and very nice mat finish to it that is actually ready to be rust blued.   

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #65 - May 1st, 2021 at 2:42pm
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I have several 38-55’s in various actions. The fastest twist is 1:14 which handles 370 gr slugs with no issues out to 500M.  Most of the others are 1:15 twist, which seems common for this caliber, and those barrels will also shoot these heavy projectiles with no difficulties.   
The drawback I have experienced is in heavy wind or where the backstop doesn’t permit good spotting.  I don’t have opportunities to shoot past 600 yards so I don’t concern myself with the longer distances.
My wife was consistently knocking over rams at 500M using a Uberti HW in 38-55 with 350 gr slugs. It has a 1:15 twist. 
Great cartridge.
Mike.
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #66 - May 1st, 2021 at 3:43pm
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I like the 38-55. Have used it a lot but other than black powder schuetzen I don't have much use for it.
  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #67 - May 2nd, 2021 at 6:23am
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JLouis wrote on May 1st, 2021 at 2:09pm:
Here is the link to the CPA Web site and Gail Schuttleworth is the owner and a real nice Lady. Her contact information is also located there.

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Hi JL, CPA being in the US is a problem , US Export regulations adds significantly to the cost for us Canadians that's why I am looking closer to home.

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #68 - May 2nd, 2021 at 11:24am
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Retreever I did not realize you were out of the country. You might want to try contacting Ron Smith who is also in your Country. But his RKS gain twist cut rifled barrels are abit expensive but you do get exactly what you want. 


  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #69 - May 2nd, 2021 at 1:38pm
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JLouis wrote on May 2nd, 2021 at 11:24am:
Retreever I did not realize you were out of the country. You might want to try contacting Ron Smith who is also in your Country. But his RKS gain twist cut rifled barrels are abit expensive but you do get exactly what you want. 




I'm also in Canada and bought a barrel from Ron and he said he wasn't interested in doing the octagonal profiling.   

It's difficult enough up here to get good gun smithing that the last RKS barrel I bought came from Gail at CPA.  It's a beautiful gain twist barrel and they machined it to a #4 Winchester profile.  The quality of the work is excellent.  I think I could blue it with no polishing whatsoever.

One of these days it's going to go onto a Meacham 1885 action that I have ready to go.

Chris.

   
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #70 - May 2nd, 2021 at 1:47pm
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Chris how hard and expensive was it for CPA to ship into your Country and for it to finally get to you.
  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #71 - May 2nd, 2021 at 2:21pm
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JLouis wrote on May 2nd, 2021 at 1:47pm:
Chris how hard and expensive was it for CPA to ship into your Country and for it to finally get to you.


It wasn't cheap, I think a little over twice the price of the barrel blank directly from Ron, but I knew the profiling work would be done properly, and RKS 32 cal gain twist barrels can be hard to get so when I it listed on CPA's site I ordered it. 

I had to pay for an FFL to handle the import/export.  I used Prophet River Firearms in Alberta to deal with the paperwork.  I think it was $50 + shipping if I recall. 

Chris.

  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #72 - May 2nd, 2021 at 2:27pm
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I just had a look at the CPA web site.   RKS gain twist barrel blank $475.  ( for half the price you can get a different brand ).   Contour to octagon + polish $270.

So that's pretty much what I paid, plus the shipping and $50 paperwork.

I've got to get the barrel fit to the action and chambered yet.   
I've only owned one other RKS barrel on a .32-40 and it was probably my most accurate cast bullet rifle I've owned, but I sold it as it was a Ruger #1 and I want to focus on traditional style rifles.  Interestingly that barrel had 8 lands. 

Chris.
  
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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #73 - May 2nd, 2021 at 4:19pm
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Many RKS barrels are 8 groove. Gramps started doing only 6 groove barrels after he turned about 75.  When he asks me how my barrel is shooting, I tell him it shoots perty good for a barrel with two grooves missing.
  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #74 - May 2nd, 2021 at 4:24pm
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My 28 inch Douglas pre-profiled and polished half round to octagon was under 400.00 and the full octagon is indeed abit more.
  

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Re: Talk to me about 38-55 Single Shot
Reply #75 - May 2nd, 2021 at 7:14pm
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westerner wrote on May 2nd, 2021 at 4:19pm:
Many RKS barrels are 8 groove. Gramps started doing only 6 groove barrels after he turned about 75.  When he asks me how my barrel is shooting, I tell him it shoots perty good for a barrel with two grooves missing.


Thanks Joe, I didn't know that.  My Ruger #1 with 8 grooves was built in 1990.  I have two recent RKS barrels from CPA that are 6 groove.  I have a .38-50 that I'll have to take a look at.  Maybe it's 8.  It shoots pretty well either way.

John when I bought my second CPA I picked a Douglas XX barrel as I remember seeing some targets you posted.  I'm quite happy with the barrel on that rifle!

Chris.

  
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