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Need advice loading .38-55 for Cody Dixon


Doc Holloman:
I just picked up a used Winchester 94 in .38-55 specifically to used for Cody Dixon matches.  Took it out to our club range this morning with my handloaded ammo and found that at the lowest sight setting, every round was going over the target (2 foot steel plate at 50 yards).  I suppose there are two solutions: (1) a taller front sight, or (2) a lighter load.  While option one might be the long term solution, I'd like to start out with a lighter load.

My rifle is a 1970 Model 1894  with a 20 inch barrel.

My current load is 26.5 gr of IMR 3031 behind  255 gr .378 Bear Creek lube coated flat points. Haven't had a chance to chrono it but it should be around 1375fps.

Our Cody Dixon targets range between 45 and 65 yards. With my .45-70 trapdoor carbine I use 12 gr of Unique behind a .300gr bullet and manage to clang pretty consistently on the Carbine's lowest sight setting.  Should I switch to Unique for the .38-75?  About 8-9 gr?  Or should I stick with 3031 and try 20-22 gr.?  Or something else?

Unique is your huckleberry IMHO.


 :) Nah  ;)

None of the above.  Switch to 2F APP.  Vary your load with Breakfast Food Filler.


You need to use the original Winchester load to shoot to the sights. I use 2ff black powder and at least a .380 to .381 255 grain bullet.
I believe original loads were 1100-1250fps.

Doc Holloman:
Went to 8.6 gr of Unique ( sorry, I don't do black powder) and a dacron wad and reliably clang the 50 yard targets with the rear sight set on the middle notch.  Will up to 9.5gr ( thanks to Hoss for the advice)so I can bring the rear sight back down.


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