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Old October 29, 2013, 01:18 AM   #1
Ritz
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Favorite loads for .38-55 (smokeless powder)

Hi there,

I'm new to reloading and looking for advice on a decent hunting load for a modern .38-55 model 94. On another forum, it was suggested I try:

Barnes 255gr jacketed .377 bullet
28gr of H4198

Out of my 24" barrel, that ought to produce nearly 1800fps. I might not load it THAT hot. This is primarily for occasional white tail duty.

Best,
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Old October 29, 2013, 01:14 PM   #2
mehavey
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Don't rely on "suggested internet loads" by individuals unless you've got some considerable experience under your belt and can compare/contrast with that experience.

If you haven't already, get Lyman's 49th Manual ASAP. It will tell you what you need to get started.

See also:
http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp
...which has Low-High-Max load options with multiple bullets/powders
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Old October 29, 2013, 01:32 PM   #3
Ritz
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Actually, that load appears to be lifted verbatim from the Hodgdon data that you referenced above.

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Old October 29, 2013, 02:15 PM   #4
mehavey
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... as a MAX load. (The Hodgdon site lists both Min & Max, so you/the OP has a range to choose from)

I really suggest Lyman 49th... it will at least give you a range of powders. I recommend AA5744 for moderate velocities in the 1,400fps range, and any one of several .375 Flat Points bullets weighing 200-255gr .

Last edited by mehavey; October 29, 2013 at 02:27 PM.
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Old October 29, 2013, 03:40 PM   #5
Old Stony
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I have tried a lot of loads over the years for 38-55. For a hunting load for my vintage 94 Winchester and a modern Marlin I am currently shooting a Hornady 220 gr. with 30 gr. of Re-7. It gives me good performance..but use your own common sense to develop your loads. What I use might not be optimum for you.
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Old October 29, 2013, 03:49 PM   #6
Ritz
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Re: max load

Yes, I can read. I see that min and max loads listed.

I would not be using the max load and would likely pick a charge somewhere in the middle.

Best,
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Old November 2, 2013, 07:31 AM   #7
Ritz
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Heh...so...to my surprise, my H4198 powder (in 1# containers) arrived last night and the load above is actually printed on the label.

It does offer the following caveat:

Maximum Loads - Do Not Exceed -Reduce by 10% to Start

And that sounds pretty reasonable to me. 25gr of H4198 seems like it should fall in at about 20% more velocity than the standard Winchester loads.

Thanks to everyone for all the comments.

Best,
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Old November 2, 2013, 11:13 AM   #8
TomADC
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I used both the H4895 and Trail Boss with a gas checked 250 grain bullet.
Should add from Hodgdons website and I never load close to max.
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Old November 2, 2013, 04:49 PM   #9
Ritz
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Which gas checked bullet are you using? Have you had any issues with leading?

The prices on the cast bullets are pretty attractive compared to the hard to get Barnes 255gr jacketed ones.

I also noticed that depending on the bullet, there are varying max COL values listed. The cast ones show COL of 2.500" and the Barnes JFP ones are listed as 2.620". What's the rationale behind that?

I'm about 40 pages into the Lyman manual and the rest of my reloading gear ought to be here within the next few days.

Best,
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Old November 23, 2013, 04:38 PM   #10
Ritz
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Just a follow-up. I ended up loading with 23gr of H4198 and 260gr .380 cast bullets with a gas check. Recoil is a bit on the stout side (about the same as 150gr .30-06 out of my Remington 742 carbine and significantly more kick than the very docile factory Winchester rounds). I don't see any evidence of over-pressure. Next time around I'll load 22gr of H4198. That ought to be just what the doctor ordered.

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Old November 23, 2013, 06:18 PM   #11
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Old November 24, 2013, 12:25 PM   #12
eastbank
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i shoot 31grs of RL-7 and the hornady 220 gr bullet in a 38-55 marlin cowboy rifle with no signs of pressure and a very accurte load. start at 28grs. eastbank.
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