38-55 reloading help

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jim18611865
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38-55 reloading help

Post by jim18611865 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:39 am

I have a NEF Buffalo Classic in 38-55.
I originally loaded fifty 255 gn. cast bullets sized at .380.
I guessed at the time of my bore size. Accuracy was acceptable, so I tried to buy more.
That guy went out of business, so I bought a whole bunch (500) from someone else.
Now when I load the shell, it will not chamber without a lot of effort.
Basically where the brass meets the bullet, it is too fat. It isn't bulged or anything, but I can see the marks after I pound one out.

I bought a "slug your barrel kit", and the bore is in fact .378, so these bullets shouldn't be an issue.

What am I doing wrong?

I am loading on a Dillon 550 with RCBS dies (all three).
The gun I bought new and has never seen a factory load.
I am using new Winchester shells or once fired shells. I bought 100 new cases when I bought the rifle.


Thanks

Jim

GRUMPA
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Re: 38-55 reloading help

Post by GRUMPA » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:33 am

I'm sorry to say this but your going to have to do 1 of 2 things. The neck in your chamber can't handle the fat boolit so your either going to ream the necks or turn the necks, no way around it.

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Phyrbird
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Re: 38-55 reloading help

Post by Phyrbird » Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:34 am

Jim,
Outside neck turning will help some. Use care, if you trim too much the sizer die will not give you enough neck tension to hold the bullets. Especially if you find some jacketed. The turning can contribute to accuracy, too. Inside reaming often runs off center in the brass.
An option is to get a .378 sizer die from lyman or RCBS to size down the cast bullets a little. Good luck.
Phyrbird
SOKY

jim18611865
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Re: 38-55 reloading help

Post by jim18611865 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:25 pm

Maybe that new lathe is going to get more work than I imagined.
I can't understand why I had no issues initially?

I may try some factory loads. If they are OK maybe I can get a gunsmith to open the last 1/2 of the chamber a hair?
Thanks
Jim

norm
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Re: 38-55 reloading help

Post by norm » Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:06 pm

That is a common problem with current 38-55's. Three possible solutions. Thin case necks,ream front of chamber or size bullets smaller. Sizing bullets is the low cost option. If you don't have a Lyman or RCBS lubesizer get a Lee sizing die. The Lee die mounts in a standard reloading press. I don't know what sizes are available and if you can't get one big enough you can lap it bigger. If that was my rifle rifle I would make a chamber cast and find out just what the front end of the chamber measures. Measure neck of a loaded round . It should be at least .001 smaller than the neck diameter. Get accurate measurements of everything. Then it is no longer a guessing game.

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Roger
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Re: 38-55 reloading help

Post by Roger » Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:19 pm

Sir,
I had the same type problem with some loaded ammo I purchased at a gunshow.
It was in an Ultramax box but I have no idea if it was factory loaded or not. I was trying to chamber it into my Winchester 1894 SRC in 38/55 wcf. I pulled all 20 bullets and they measured. 379 I then reloaded them with. 375 jacketed flat nose 200 gr. Sierras They shot perfectly and chambered beautifully. I've been shooting them regularly at the range. The only problem I have is finding enuf of them to buy. They are not available from Sierra right now,nut I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Finding any jacketed bullet of .375 diameter with a crimp groove in the right place is impossible right now. Oh and by the way,my bore slugged out at. 375. It's a 1918 mfg. Winchester.
Thanks for your time,
Roger
Roger
raw4555@gmail.com

jim18611865
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Re: 38-55 reloading help

Post by jim18611865 » Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:31 am

I just heard back from the maker that is out of business. He said the bullets I bought were tapered. That explains a lot.
There isn't a sizer die for odd sizes but they will custom make them, it just takes a few weeks.
I just don't think a bullet smaller than .378 is going to be accurate in my rifle?

Roger,
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewIt ... =453534648
Looks like this guy sees a market for some. $0.45 is a little pricey though.


Thanks

Jim

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Roger
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Location: Iowa

Re: 38-55 reloading help

Post by Roger » Thu Nov 20, 2014 5:27 am

Sir,
Thanks for your tip. Really though,I've paid. 43@.44 cents apiece for the Sierras,when I've found them. They are designed for the. 375 win. Cartridge. I need to contact this seller to see what the minimum amount of the .375 diameter bullets I can buy.I'm really stunned at how the 38/55 is all over the place, in terms of bore diameter. I wonder if all Winchester from that era (1918) are .375
Thanks for your time,
Roger
Roger
raw4555@gmail.com

jim18611865
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Re: 38-55 reloading help

Post by jim18611865 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:22 pm

I think I found the answer. I knew I couldn't be the first.
Apparently Winchester brass is thicker than Starline. I just ordered some Starline.
We'll see.
Thanks
I'll report back later.

Jim

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Roger
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Re: 38-55 reloading help

Post by Roger » Sun Nov 23, 2014 6:54 am

Hey Jim,
Thanks for the tip on the. 375 bullets. I contacted the seller and will be able to buy whatever amount of them I want to start testing.I'll be putting together an order soon.
Thanks again,
Roger
Roger
raw4555@gmail.com

jim18611865
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Re: 38-55 reloading help

Post by jim18611865 » Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:35 pm

Starline Brass is the fix. Who knew?

Thanks

Jim

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Roger
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Location: Iowa

Re: 38-55 reloading help

Post by Roger » Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:52 pm

Wow, that is really weird. But you learn new things every day.I need to check and see what brand of brass that was,in that ultramax box of ammo I first bought, when i had chambering issues with my 1894 src. Funny thing is,when I loaded that brass with the sierra 200 gr. .375 s they worked perfectly. I'll check them out when i get a few minutes.
Thanks for your time,
Roger
Roger
raw4555@gmail.com

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