High Wall in 38-55

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  • Last Post 11 October 2019
Qc Pistolero posted this 13 July 2019

Not that I was not satisfied with my Billy Dixon Sharp's in 45-70(Pedersoli)but my dream was to have both a Sharp's and an Hidh Wall 1885.This one came in 38-55.Now,Pedersoli's twist in 38-55 is 1:12.The only mould I have right now is a RCBS that comes at 265gr from my beagled blocks at .3795''.

Some of the bullets,when pushed slow(aprox 1000 to 1100 fps)would print completely sideways.Not surprising considering the twist.

I've ordered a mould from Accurate(38-270-cb plus one band added)that should come out at aprox 330gr.

Somebody can give me a few loads to put me on the right path please?

I have 4198-4895-4064-3031-700 and 800X,Titegroup ,Unique,2400, Red Green and Blue Dot and a few others at hand.I'm looking for accuracy at 100 and 200yds at aprox 1200 to 1300fps.

Thanks!

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 13 July 2019

do you now have that highwall? ... is the highwall twist faster than 1-12 ? ..... if your 265 gr. bullet wobbles sideways, the longer one coming will wobble even more in the same barrel.

in a slightly worn 1895 m94 in 38-55 my best mold of 5 tried was a lowly lee 375-250 gr.  7 to 10 gr. Unique, just a plinking load, no gas check, just enough recoil to be interesting.

sounds like you are going to have a lot of fun !

ken

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Fitzpatrick posted this 13 July 2019

Ken I use reloader 7 in mine 26.5 gr under a 320 gr hoch top pour mould with great results my rifle is a browning 1885 1 in 15in I believe  .if you would like to try some bullets id be happy to pour some up for you

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R. Dupraz posted this 13 July 2019

Check the search feature. There are 407 posts relating to the 38-55 there. Many loads. 

The Lyman #4 cast bullet manual has two pages of loads for the 38-55 with bullets ranging from 225 to 335 grains.

The best accuracy in my heavy barreled CPA 38-55 (15" twist) is with IMR 4227 and the Hoch 310 grainer at 100.

And, 2 1/2 " ten shotters at 200 over cross sticks with 3F black .and the Hoch 335.

 

R. 

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Qc Pistolero posted this 13 July 2019

 Ken,yes I already have the little canon.Up to now IMR 4198 gave the best results but still far from what I expect(2'' @50).And I can't wait to get my new mould.It is my second one from Accurate and I'm much satisfied with the first one I got(31-155D)in all my 30-30(1 Trapper post 64,one carbine pre-64 and a M64 from 1954).

Shot at around 1200fps,they are fun and accurate.

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Qc Pistolero posted this 13 July 2019

Fitzpatrick,thanks for your kind offer and I would accept if it would not be that I live north of the border and right now,with the weak...sorry,top politician Canada has got,anything gun related is seen as worse than the devil himself.I wouldn't want you to run into problems.

Thanks anyway!Much appreciated.

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GWarden posted this 14 July 2019

I have a CPA with a14" twist and handles everything from 270gr to 330gr cast plain base well. You definitely need to get your velocity up. I have used 4759 and now exclusively Alliant 300mp and have the velocity 1330 fps. I know every gun is an individual though. That 12" is truly a fast twist for the 38/55. Keep working and you will find a good accurate load.

bob

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lotech posted this 14 July 2019

I bought a Browning / Winchester 1885 reproduction Traditional Hunter .38-55 not long after these guns were introduced just over twenty years ago. According to Browning, the rifles have a 1 in 15" twist. I did a lot of load development, using five bullets ranging in weight from about 250 grs. to around 340 grains. I'd have to review my records, but it seems every bullet shot accurately with at least one or two loads that included  powders Reloder 7, SR-4759, IMR-4198, and H4895. I've since tried 5744 (with only one bullet, the Lyman 270 grain flat nose gas check) and it's also a good powder. With wheelweight alloy, loads in the 1400 fps range seem to provide best accuracy. Groove diameter on the Brownings is allegedly .379", but I suspect mine might be a little tighter as .378" and even slightly smaller bullets shoot well.      

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Qc Pistolero posted this 14 July 2019

It looks like I'll have to get in the 1400fps range.A little faster than I wanted but if that's the price to pay to get accuracy,I'll jack up the fps.

I still have 3 #s of 4759 but since it is discontinued,I'd hate to work something interesting with it just to have to redo it again.But since I've got it and I gotta use it up at something,I might give it a try.

Thanks for all the info guys.

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Qc Pistolero posted this 09 September 2019

I solved my problem by pushing them 330 gr bullets faster;now they stabilize and I am starting to get accuracy with IMR 3031 and H 4895.But they kinda kick a little more;almost as much as my 350gr 45-70.

Ah well  it's not only ladies who have to suffer to be beautiful(and get good grouping!)

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 09 September 2019

glad to see 3031 working ... it kind of gets overshadowed by 4895, but for cast shooting it is worth giving it a serious go.   in fact, if you look at burn rates, you might even try it first ....

3031 even worked great in my 222 ... but lost out to ballc because the ball poured so well.

ken

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Tom Acheson posted this 09 September 2019

My (brief so far) experience with the .38-55 is with an octagon 30” Green Mountain 1:12 barrel. The action is a Remington #5 Rolling Block.

Have played with an Accurate 4-cavity 379245D 250-grain, 3-cavity NEI 379315 (Postel type) 305-grain and 2-cavity Saeco #571 290-grain. Powders tried were 4198, Re-7, 5744 and 4227. So far the Saeco mold with either 4227 and 4198 are the “best”. More testing is needed. Will shoot it in two CBA matches before the end of Sept.

The neat thing about the Saeco bullet is that it has a slight taper on the lube groove bands. Once I settle on a mold I’ll sell the other two.

Tom

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Qc Pistolero posted this 14 September 2019

All my Saeco moulds are giving very good bullets.But lately,Accurate has my vote for being the best since they are not much more expensive and will deliver custom measurements mould within a very reasonable delivery time and will shell out bullets at the exact measurements you've ordered them.And my experience is not based on a single mould.

Back to the  38-55,I am delighted to find that like with the 45-70,the powders used that give good accuracy are not the quick burning ones(Unique and such)but ''bona fide'' rifle powders(3031,4895 4064).

While I nowadays only shoot at paper,it makes me feel good to know that my little cannon will print nice groups while having enough OOOMPH to go through a big bear!

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jeff houck posted this 01 October 2019

What diameter are your bullets? I too have the Pedersoli .38-55 and found the barrel to be .380 if I remember correctly. I've since re-barreled it after 10,000+ rounds with a Green River 12" twist barrel. Use as fat a bullet that will chamber in your throat. I shoot a 375 gr. Boomer bullet now though I've shot 300 gr. an up bullets for years. 13 grs. of unique worked with most all bullet weights. 44grs. of 3f Old Eynsford black gives me 1125 fps with my 375gr. bullet. I've always seated the bullets into the throat too.

 

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.22-10-45 posted this 01 October 2019

Curious about your problems with key-holeing with a 265gr. bullet with a 1-12 twist.   I have an original Winchester High-Wall .38-55 with 30" #4 brl.  groove dia. is .379 & twist is the then std. 1-18"  This will shoot the Lyman 375248 250gr. plain base into a ragged hole at 100yds.  Will handle a 280gr. Hoch tapered breech-seated with accuracy to 200yds. both these loads are using 18.0-20gr. H4227.  Have you slugged the bore?  Best of luck!

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Qc Pistolero posted this 04 October 2019

Jeff:my barrel is .3785.My bullets are left as cast at .381.I kinda seat them out far also,touching the rifling;

.22.10-45:I've found the reasons for keyholing:not pushing them fast enough and when I'd speed them up,the alox lubricant was not doing its job.

I now push them at around 1250/1300fps and use regular lube in the grooves.They now print straight on and all that's left is to change the patterns(3-5'' at 100)into groups.

3031 and 4895 seem the most promising at that.This gun and caliber are challenging;much more so than the 45-70.I'm having more and more fun out of it.The caliber really starts to grow on me!

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 04 October 2019

Qc Pistolero ... what " regular lube " did you use instead of the Alox to help with the load ?  always interesting when lube makes a difference at 1300 fps  .... and especially when performance is better than the NRA alox stuff.

and yes, alox mix is kinda a sticky mess, but target performance is usually fine .

funny, after 120 years of trying cast with smokeless, we are still not even sure we even need lube or not, or when and what kind. ( g ) .

ken

 

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Tom Acheson posted this 05 October 2019

Hopefully partially on topic.....

What would be the consensus on the use of SPG lube on .38-55 loads using plain bsae cast bullets? The mv is about 1,300-1,400 fps, 250-300 grain bullets. I use SPG in my BPCR loads but was curious about using it with .38-55 smokeless loads. I'm too lazy to remove the SPG lube from the sizer so smokeless .38-55 bullets can be lubed.

Thanks!

Tom

 

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Redleged posted this 05 October 2019

Hi Tom!

The SPG website says it can be used for both Holy Black and smokeless. I use it or my beeswax/Olive Oil lube for both. Ed

Growing old is mandatory, growing up, however, is totally optional!

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Tom Acheson posted this 10 October 2019

Ed,

Looks like I should puruse product websites more/better. 

Appreciate the comment. I guessed that with my lower mv (plain base bullet) SPG should be OK.  It's a relief to know I don't need to empty the lube sizer and use a different lube. 

Next spring when the gun comes back from the metal finisher I'll have to dig out my Chrony and see how fast  the rounds are actually moving.

Tom

 

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Qc Pistolero posted this 11 October 2019

Ken:I've used succesfully LLA with all my handgun cal and rifle loads which I tend to keep at or below 1250fps.But the twist of my 38-55 being so ''short'' at 1-12 I suspect that the LLA strips and burns from the extra pressure generated because of the tight twist,which gives a lot of smoke and some lead streaks in the barrel.

My regular rifle lube is lithium grease +powdered graphite hardened a bit with parawax.I've added some floor wax carnauba based in it.I made a huge batch in a crock pot and during summertime,I add a little parawax(parafin)to harden it and when comes wintertime,I add a little lithium grease.The recipe gives good results even at 1800fps(with GC) in a .308.I intend to push it a bit more(circa 2200fps)when I have some more time to test it.

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