Help with cast loads for a 38-55 rifle and where can I get 220 grain jacketed Hornady bullets

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mashburn posted this 05 March 2019

I  would like to hear suggestions for cast loads for a 38-55 rifle, both plain base and GC.I have two 38-55 rifles,  one regular and one a 38-55 Improved. Yes, there is a 38-55 Improved thanks to a goofup  I made while building it. It turned out to be my favorite deer rifle. The 38-55 Imp is getting close to 2300 fps with 36.5 grs. of  Reloader 7 with a 220 gr .375 Hornady jacketed flat nose bullet &  5 shot groups at 100 yds. just slightly over 1/2 inch .When you make a shoulder shot on a deer, you don't have to look for him. If I ever figure out how to post a picture on this forum I would like to post a picture of this rifle and ammo. It's a very interesting little rifle. I built it 39 years ago.

Also does anybody know where I can get some Hornady 220 gr .375 interlock flat nose jacketed bullets .It seems Hornady dropped production of these but I heard they were supposed to start production again. I have 3 rifles that I shoot these in and I'm about out of bullets. I would appreciate cast hunting loads and target loads in the loads I requested.

Thanks,

Mashburn

 

David a. Cogburn

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onondaga posted this 05 March 2019

"suggestions for cast loads for a 38-55 rifle"

You couldn't have looked too hard. There is over 40 cast loads for the 38-55 in the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook #4 on pages 192-193.

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loophole posted this 05 March 2019

17 gr AA 5744, 245 gr bullet from Meister.  Just shot very small groups in a Stevens 44-1/2 rifle,  the first time I shot it.  I don't know muzzle velocity, but it hits steel targets at 100 yards with enough authority to convince me that it would be an effective deer load at that range.

Steve k

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Tom Acheson posted this 05 March 2019

Don’t worry about not looking too hard. Not everyone owns every loading manual. I have that Lyman manual and the Lyman manual that preceded it but I just know that there are other references sources that I don’t have.

I had a Marin 336 with an after market Green Mountain 1:12 octagon barrel. I only used CB’s in it.

I own (3) molds; Saeco 571 (2-cav.), Accurate 379245D (4-cav.) and NEI 379315 (3-cav.) The Saeco is a slightly tapered bullet so it isn’t recommended for a lever action. I have a Remington Rolling Block being built using a similar barrel blank, in which I will try the Saeco bullet. Maximum muzzle velocity is not something I look for.

The loads that worked best in the Marlin used either 18.0 of AA5744 or IMR4227, using the Accurate bullet.

Neither powder is shown in the Lyman 3rd edition (1980) and 4227 is not shown in the 4th edition. 

Hope this helps!

Tom

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mashburn posted this 05 March 2019

I think I detect some hostility from the quote about me not looking very hard. Yes, I'm well aware of the Lyman cast bullet load book. But what I was asking for was loads from knowledgeable shooters and experimenters who have developed good loads. Load books don't  have every good load that exists .You can spend a lot of time &money developing a load. Asking for suggestions from other knowledgeable shooters can do away with a lot of that. I'm not just a cartridge stuffer that is satisfied with minute of barn accuracy. I've been reloading for 50 years and am still learning.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 05 March 2019

Thanks Tom

Your information was greatly appreciated.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 05 March 2019

Thanks Loophole.

I appreciate your info.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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M3 Mitch posted this 05 March 2019

You might want to check out Hawk brand jacketed bullets, I have not tried them myself, but the website has some testimonials from people who appear to know what they are talking about. 

Given that the 38-55 is a nearly straight sided cartridge, how did you manage to "improve" it? 

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R. Dupraz posted this 05 March 2019

mashburn:

  " I think I detect some hostility from the quote about me not looking very hard" 

Yea, don't pay em no never mind.

I have shot lever action silhouette for a number of years now with a Marlin Cow Boy 38-55. And use two different cast bullet loads, one, the Lee 279-250-RF PB with a charge of IMR 4227 for the shorter ranges. And the other is the RCBS 37-250-FN GC with IMR 3031 for the 150 turkey's and 200 yard rams. This load will take those 50# rams down with regularity when the shooter is in the game.  

I won't list the charges because they are fairly stiff but safe in that Marlin, especially the 200 yard Ram load. Both have demonstrated very good accuracy

R.  

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onondaga posted this 05 March 2019

 hostility?

"I was asking for was loads from knowledgeable shooters and experimenters who have developed good loads."

Mashburn

This is worse.There is no reason to think someone else's developed pet loads will work as well in your rifles. If you are not invested in your hobby to do the work for yourself and your rifles, that describes you.

You want an edge? Get the software that compares efficiency of powders in your application. Efficiency is where accuracy resides..not somebody else's loads. Quickload:

 

https://www.accurateshooter.com/gear-reviews/test-quickload-review/

 

Gary

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R. Dupraz posted this 05 March 2019

mashburn:

Feel free to ask anything you want!

R.  

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mashburn posted this 06 March 2019

Hello Mitch,

The Imp cartridge came about by accident. I was suffering from chronic Lyme disease and didn't know it for several years. During this time I did some very strange things. I got to where I couldn't write my last name. I could write my first name as well as ever. This is just a small example of the crazy things that were going on. When I was chambering the rifle that I talked about it was in the wee hours and I only liked a few thousandths having the chamber finished. I decided to wait until the next day when I was fresh. The next day I set up to finish and put the reamer in the chamber and It didn't go down all the way. I can't believe I did this, I turned the lathe on and started the chambering. When I pulled  the reamer out for the first cleaning, I saw 30-30 Imp stamped on the reamer. I couldn't believe what I had done All I could do was keep going. When it was completed and head spaced on the barrel I tested fired it and extracted the neatest little improved Case. It doesn't have much of a shoulder but the body blowed  out a lot straighter Than you would expect .The capacity  of the case increased a lot. I had to make my dies for it. Like I said my velocity is close to 2300 and shoots about 5/8 inch 100 yd. groups. I have it in a strong single shot and still have room for more powder,but I'm stopping there. It is a deer killing Machine. With the rings that I have on it, with a 100 yd zero it strikes less than a 1/4 " high at 50 yds. and the strike at 150 isn't discernable from the 100 yd. strike.  when you make a shoulder shot  on a deer you don't have to look for him.You see him hit the dirt. It weighs about 6lbs. I love it.

Mashburn

 

David a. Cogburn

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JeffinNZ posted this 06 March 2019

HUH, well you can't argue with success mis-intended or not.  Nice work.

Cheers from New Zealand

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Ross Smith posted this 06 March 2019

I understand the lymes and it's symptoms and side effects. I had it for 2+ years before the  dr.s in Utah figured it out. I was case #3 in Utah 30 years ago. I still have problems from the lymes. 

I just checked Hornadys website they don't make a 220 grn bullet in 32 cal or 8mm. Pretty much limited to 195-200 gr.

 

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John F. posted this 06 March 2019

Mashburn,

I have several boxes of the discontinued .375 Hornady 220 gr. FN bullets.  I used them with great results

in a Big Bore 94 in .375 Win. which has gone to a young hunter who is taking it afield very frequently after hogs.

I also have new Winchester .375 Win. brass in case anyone is interested.   Hope this helps!

John

 

 

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loophole posted this 06 March 2019

I have to object.  I am retired and have my own range, but it would be foolish for me to spend hours and dollars trying hundreds of loads in a new rifle when I can find out from experienced handloaders what works for them.  I suppose you object to Ken Waters "Pet Loads" because you think it is cheating to learn from other's experience.  Having had a few years experience with Lyman manuals I have never had much luck with their recommended pistol powder cast bullet loads in rifles, and I would much rather start with rifle powders which aren't even mentioned in the lyman cast bullet books. Some of my best loads were found in manuals which are out of print, so a new shooter will never find them if he doesn't not ask questions. You are free to go about this any way you want, but I hate to see this kind of reaction to any serious question about cast bullet handloading. 

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mashburn posted this 06 March 2019

Hello John,

I so glad to get your comment, I agree, the 220 gr Hornady bullets are devastating on Hogs as well as deer. If you want to sell them, set me a price. If you want to deal in private, send me  a email at: c4cogburn@sbcglobal.net  If you don't mind giving me your phone number in the email I'll call you and we can discuss it.

Thanks again,

Mashburn

David Cogburn

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 06 March 2019

Hello Loophole,

You are exactly right on. The best cast pistol loads that I have didn't come out of a popular reloading manual.  A lot of them came from other old sources and a lot out of my own head. I have a lot of friends that want me to try their loads in similar type firearms. I  have never tried their loads but it has given me ideas to try.

Thanks,

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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R. Dupraz posted this 06 March 2019

WARNING: QuickLOAD is a computer simulation of centerfire cartridge performance. YOU MUST NEVER just “plug in the numbers” and use QuickLOAD’s output for a load recipe. That is foolish and dangerous. There are many reasons why the data QuickLOAD generates may not be safe in YOUR gun. Before loading live ammunition, you should always check with the powder-makers’ most recent load data.

In fact, you should check multiple sources if possible, and consult with individuals who actually load for that cartridge.

Sierra Bullets offers free load maps which, in general, are fairly conservative. Even when using manufacturers’ load data, start 10% low and work up. Differences in brass, primer brand, and seating depth can make huge differences in pressure. Always reload conservatively and always double- and triple-check QuickLOAD’s output against reliable load data supplied by the powder-makers.

MPORTANT: Numerical values shown in the illustrations are supplied for demonstration purposes only. Do NOT use values found in these illustrations as a basis for actual loads

The starting accuracy loads for my cast bullet match rifles all originated from an old Lyman 44 th edition loading manual, copy right 1967. It is tattered and worn but the cast accuracy loads listed have proven still to be valid  with the older powders listed. It is the first place I look.

And the accuracy cast load for that Marlin 38-55 Cowboy was found in an article where the author did a load work up in those rifles. Among the several loads listed was one using IMR 3031 with a 250 grain cast. Ultimately, that recipe proved to produce excellent accuracy in that Marlin and saved me a bunch of lead and powder, not to  mention, frustration. 

R.

 

 

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 06 March 2019

... in a well throat-worn m94 in 38-55 out of several 375 molds, a lee 250-379 gr. did best.

lee does pretty good especially if you wiggle the handles a little to help them close evenly ... ( g ) ...

****************

hey, blown out 30-30 cartridges have potential ... the 219 Wasp did pretty good for several years ... still might be the best varminter for a single shot ...

ken

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Eutectic posted this 06 March 2019

The starting loads in the Lyman manuals with fast pistol powders make very good cast loads. My experience is the maximum loads with fast powders, while safe, are not the way to go for best accuracy. The moderate rifle powders always gave me better accuracy. Finding loads for moderate rifle powders especially in an uncommon cartridge can be quite frustrating.

Mashburn you are exactly correct in asking. There may be someone who has done what you are trying to do.  It never hurts to ask.

Good luck with your weird wonderful stepchild.

Steve

 

 

 

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