View Full Version : 38-55
September 19, 2004, 12:26 AM
I am new to lever guns, but have found two wich appeal to me. The first is the Marlin 1895CB in 45-70, The second is the 336CB in 38-55. The trouble is I am having alot of trouble finding info on the latter, or someone who can tell me about firsthand knowledge of it. Any help would be appreciated.
September 25, 2004, 03:06 AM
The .38-55, like the .38-40 WCF pistol/rifle round, is a .40 caliber - not a .38. It is based on the straight-walled .30-30 case. It is not as powerful as the .45-70 and is useful for deer-sized game at close range. If hunting is what you want the rifle for - the .45-70 would be best. If you want it for something like Cowboy Action Shooting - the .38-55 might be a better choice.
BTW - Ammo for the .38-55 will be a bit harder to find and you will have fewer load choices (unless you handload) than for the .45-70.
September 26, 2004, 12:11 AM
Thanks Boomer, I handload so ammo's no prob. I saw both rifles on marlins site and the 45-70 at Cabelas. I want em both. But maybe for my first lever gun I should go with the one that is better all around. I have always shot and loaded modern high power rounds so I want a new challenge. Is the 45-70 hard on meat? I have heard both ways but wondered if ammo choice might have some bearing. Thanks again.
September 26, 2004, 03:07 AM
Ammo selection will have a BIG effect on the .45-70. If you load it like a "poor man's" .458 Win Mag you're going to lose LOTS of meat! Loaded to "standard" velocities (like the old 405-gr factory loading) with hard-cast bullets that have large, flat noses or appropriate soft/hollow point bullets you can, as Elmer Keith liked to say, eat right up to the hole. Enjoy! ;)
September 26, 2004, 11:47 AM
The .38-55 is NOT a .40 caliber like .38-40.
It IS a true .38 caliber. My Winchester Single Shot is .378" and I cast a bullet just slightly over that diameter for it.
Current Marlins run .380" or .381" groove diameter. From what I have read on the SASS Wire, gunsmiths and the Marlin shop are doing a brisk business opening up the chambers which are to official but incorrect specification to clear a .376" bullet.
There has been a lot of wild shooting with .38-55s based on the Lyman handloading manual's listing of .375" for bullets. Barrels that small are scarce to nonexistent except maybe for modern rifles made up with H&H barrel blanks.
September 29, 2004, 04:12 PM
The 30-30 is based on the 38-55 rather than vice versa. The 38-55 in a Marlin action is an AWESOME deer or black bear cartridge.
September 30, 2004, 12:41 PM
There was an early high velocity load of 255gr @ 1700 which certainly would work on deer and bear. ..
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