View Full Version : .38-55 reloading?

December 20, 2000, 02:00 PM
Anybody load for the .38-55? I was thinking about making one of the Marlin Cowbody models in this caliber my own. What powder and bullets do you who have taken this plunge use?

I reload and shoot a lot of .45 Colt and .45-70. Not sure why I "need" another old time caliber to shoot and reload for, but you know how it is. This little cartidge seems like it would be pretty cool to shoot and reload.

Bill Mitchell
December 21, 2000, 06:08 PM

A friend of mine had one of those 38-55 Marlins. He tried for awhile to get it to shoot a decent group, but couldn't. Turns out that the bore was oversized. So, before you buy bullets, slug the bore and find out what size bullets you need.

Bellicose Bill

December 23, 2000, 01:44 AM

there is a world of wonders in the 38-55 if ya got the time to reload for it. It is capable of extreme accuracy and you can shoot it all day without punishing yourself. I had an original Stevens Model 44 that had been rebored to 38-55 I shot for 15 years. It finally stretched out too far. The improved Model 44-1/2 is acutally capable of handling the modest pressures. Factory loads are quite light. Current issue of "Black Powder Cartridge News" has a great article out to 1000 yards on this caliber.

Many bores require a bit over the nominal .377-.379 specs. I found mild smokeless loads with lead 240 grain would provide popcan size accuracy out to 100yds with open buckhorn sights and my deteriorating peepers thru a light single shot carbine. It would be a wonderful companion to yer 45-70. Good luck.