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 Winchester 1885-38-55
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Dave45-70
Junior Member

USA
280 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2011 :  2:01:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Need a little help,i just purchased a new winchester 1885 single shot in 38-55. I have brass and dies(Lyman) but i'm confused on bullet diameter.There is .375 and .379 Dia. both for the 38-55.The manual that came with the rifle is as usless as boobs on a bull,does not tell you the rate of twist,bore diameter,or recommended bullet weight.If any members have a similar rifle I would appreciate some feedback,bullet size and weight, powder and loads.I will wait to buy a sizer die until I know what size i will need. Thanks in advance.

Hawk Carse
Advanced Member

3478 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2011 :  2:41:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is one of the new made Japanese guns, right?

Such as I could google for you says the Browning Traditional Hunter had a .376" groove diameter and a 15" twist. I doubt Miroku has changed their barrels just because the guns now get a Winchester trademark instead of Browning.

.375" jacketed bullets would do ok. Cast at .377".
My old real Winchester is a rebore to .378" and I load it with .379" bullets. It also has a 15" twist and shoots the 336 grain Lyman "mini-Snover" very well.

No, not correct. I would not get a .375" sizer for cast bullets in a .376" barrel. The usual recommendation is groove diameter or a bit over. I actually got the best accuracy with .411" bullets in my Browning BPCR .40-65 even though it has a .408" Badger barrel. The reason I shoot .379s in my .378" .38-55 is that is what the bullet casts at; I pan lube with no sizing for black powder.

Buffalo Arms has some odd sizes, Lyman in .377"
http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm?viewfrom=25&catid=75&step=2
RCBS in .376 and .378 but not .377"
http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm?viewfrom=25&catid=77&step=2

You can get away with a slightly undersize jacketed bullet but undersize lead is a recipe for trouble, bore leading and low accuracy.

I would not mind trying some .379" cast bullets in a .376" barrel; as I said, my .40 works great with bullets .003" over groove diameter. The question is whether they would chamber freely. Mine do. You could buy some bullets to try before picking a sizer die diameter. I use Montana Bullet Works, he will size to whatever you like up to the as cast.
http://www.montanabulletworks.com/BB_38-55_caliber.html

Edited by - Hawk Carse on 01/15/2011 4:24:45 PM
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Dave45-70
Junior Member

USA
280 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2011 :  4:07:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hawk Carse, yes it's a Japanese made Winchester.If I understand you correctly I should get a .375 bullet sizer/lube die? I have not seen a sizer in .377. Would .379 dia.cast bullets be to large for my rifle? thanks
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Bert H.
Moderator

USA
10874 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2011 :  4:57:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All of the modern made Winchester rifles in 38-55 were designed for the .375 jacketed bullet... and that is what you should purchase.

The older (original) Winchesters made for the 38-55 cartridge (up through 1937) were a nominal .378, though some will slug out as high as .380.

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Bert H.
Moderator

USA
10874 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2011 :  4:58:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DBuesching

Would .379 dia.cast bullets be to large for my rifle? thanks



Yes!

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Bert H. - http://www.bbhc.org/explore/firearms/firearms-records/

Real Men own and shoot a WINCHESTER Single-Shot!


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