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  #1  
Old 09-26-2009, 10:58 AM
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Hot 38-55 load


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I have an H&R BC Target Model 38-55,I have seen where they can take a very good load. What do you guys who load alot think about a load consisting of a 255gr hard cast bullet over 35grs R#7 that is a fairly compressed load about 1/8" compressed??????????
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:53 AM
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The SAAMI maximum pressure for that round is still only given in CUP, for which it is 30,000 CUP. CUP and absolute PSI are fairly close in that pressure range, though. QuickLOAD guessed about 50,000 psi for the load you are describing, so that's a pretty big leap. The Marlin 1895's have been known to withstand that difference, but I have no idea whether the strength of the H&R is up to it? If you can find examples of rounds chambered in that action that get to 50,000 psi and that have the same or larger case head diameter, and if the brass you have is strong, then you've got a shot.
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  #3  
Old 09-26-2009, 03:28 PM
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Contact H&R and ask if the rifle will handle the .375 Winchester because that's close to what you're talking about.
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Old 09-26-2009, 03:54 PM
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The highest 38-55 load I remember on the Beartooth forum was a 250 grain LFN LBT bullet ahead of 35.5 grains of Reloader 7 for 2,210 fps from a 20” Marlin 375 ER. This load used Winchester cases and .377” bullets. I have used 35.0 grains of Reloder 7 in my 20” 375 Winchester Big Bore rifle for about 2,000 fps.

Dave King started an interesting thread along these lines on the 24 Hour Campfire in 2006. Dave shot a new Marlin CB rifle. I have not heard of Dave in a few years but I don’t visit the Campfire as often as I would like so I am not aware of follow up reports.

Christian Helbig felt modern rifles chambered for the 38-55 could withstand pressures equaling the 30-30 WCF cartridge. Helbig wrote quite a bit about high performance 38-35 loads. Helbig published two good articles one published in 1991; “Loading the 38-55” was reprinted in Wolfe Publishing’s Big Bore Rifles and Cartridges book. The other is: “The 444 Marlin and its Big Bore Brothers,” 1968 Gun Digest.

I don’t follow the H&R rifles in this caliber but I would venture a guess the Marlin Board will have several informative threads. I am having computer problems and cannot post links but the advanced search function works well.
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Last edited by unclenick; 09-27-2009 at 09:34 AM. Reason: character fix
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Old 09-27-2009, 06:29 AM
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Try the greybeard (or is it graybeard) outdoor forums, they have a very active H&R group.

http://www.go2gbo.com/forums/index.php
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:55 AM
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Thanks Gents for the info, If the H&R receiver can stand the .270 and 30-06 it can certainly take this 38-55 load. I shot a few more this morning the Winchester brass took it well, the primers,when I ran the decapper/sizer die over them seemed as normal as the 28gr loads I shoot in the same rifle.........I am running with it,seems good to go! Accuracy opened up to 2 1/2" @ 100 compared to one big ragged hole with the 28gr loads....thanks again guys
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:14 AM
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AH HA, I found a glitch in the hot load.........Must trim case after two shots and two re-sizes, sure don't think that Remington brass could take this!!!.......Can't wait to take a deer with this load...........Better yet someone please tell me where I can shoot a hog here in North,Miss.
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:42 AM
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Use caution at this point.
If you are using Winchester 38-55 brass and you need to trim after two shots you are over working your brass cases.

Take a look inside at the pressure ring just above the web. Also measure your cases at the pressure ring. If you are over .4220” anywhere around the case stop.
Feel the inside with a bent paper clip or other small wire.
If you break a straight wall case at the pressure ring it will move forward into the throat. Easy enough to get out using a chamber cast but this could ruin a hunt.

If your cases are stretching this quickly switch to the Winchester 375 case for some load trials to see if case life improves.
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Last edited by William Iorg; 09-27-2009 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:50 AM
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I should have mentioned that some cases stretch quite a bit on the first shot and do not stretch very much after that. In my experience 30-30 type cases stretch when loaded to high pressure.

Here is a link to Dave Kings thead at the campfire.

http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthr...amm#Post900438
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:20 PM
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Agree with the overworking. Also, groups opening up are one of the classic pressure signs. I think I would back that load down in 1/2 grain increments until most of the accuracy returned and live with that.
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  #11  
Old 09-28-2009, 07:38 PM
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Yep, I agree guys the more I thought about it I am going to back down to 33grs. I think that will be hot enough and the group should shrink........Many thanks guys.......
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  #12  
Old 09-29-2009, 04:33 AM
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I believe this is a good plan. 33.0 grains of Reloder 7 should give you about 1,800 fps which should be a fine hunting load.
There were a number of active writers about 1900 who wrote of the effectiveness of the standard 38-55 cartridge and when the high velocity loading appeared there was some discussion of its being “too powerful” for most hunting situations.
I am interested in your load trials so keep us posted. I haven’t followed the H&R single shots chambered for the 38-55 and I am interested in your cast bullet results.

I shoot the 255-grain Lee bullet in the 375 Winchester. I don’t belive this bullet will work well in your rifle as it comes out of the mold at about .379” using my soft mix. It might work if cast a bit harder.

While miss-understood and discredited you could establish a few stop points using PRE and this will allow you to to use other powders by comparing chronograph and PRE measurements. Or as Rocky says, you could read tea leaves - Ive got to work on those smiley faces.
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:34 AM
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As I suggested in my first post, that was a big jump. There is safety and case life value in working loads up incrementally. Also, since the rifle was shooting very accurately with lighter loads, I expect it would be worth knowing if there is another good accuracy load on the way up the pressure chain? For a systematic way of finding that out, I like Dan Newberry's method over the old Audette Ladder these days, and you can run it in over the 28 to 33 grain range to look for a nominal load. Having an systematic approach costs a few more rounds, but if you can find a relatively charge-insensitive accuracy load (as Newberry's method seeks), it is also usually more weather insensitive than a load that has to be just right, and therefore better in the field.

I've added an item in the pressure sign list to include increase in trimming frequency. Not sure how I missed that before, since it is one of M.L. McPherson's favorites for lever guns.
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Last edited by unclenick; 09-29-2009 at 07:46 AM.
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