Author Topic: 38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,  (Read 920 times)

Offline olskool

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38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,
« on: May 26, 2021, 09:23:16 AM »
i am a handloader with 50 years of handloading experience, i have a nice marlin 1893 made in 1901, i want to load it will real BP i have loaded 44WCF and 45 colt, but no other cartridge applications. i hear a lot of people use a wad over under the bullet. is that necessary for some reason other than using lighter charges and compression? is it fin not to use a wad as long as the powder is compressed?
thanks,,,,,,,,,,,
beware of the man who has only one gun, he probably knows how to use it.....

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: 38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2021, 09:39:55 AM »

 :) Hi Olskoold   ;)

Loading a wad under the bullet for 38-55 makes no sense.  It accomplishes nothing.  If trying to use a reduced load, the remaining space is taken up by a filler.  I happen to like Cream-0-Wheat.

I don't even see where a "Lube Cookie" would be beneficial.  Or even useful.  Over time would contaminate the propellant.

It is important to load a bullet that carries sufficient lube to carry all the way thru the barrel.  Skip any wads.

I do admit, I cheat somewhat.  I load 38-55 with APP.  No wad, No lube, No grease cookie, strictly a "nude" bullet.  Super Fine.

Play Safe Out There

Offline olskool

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Re: 38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2021, 11:08:36 AM »
thanks coffinmaker, yea i don't see any reason either. i have a boolit ordered from accurate molds with big designed lube grooves. i tried to get a hold of Dick at  big mav. lube boolits but never got and answer. is he still in business.,,,,,,,,,,,,,
beware of the man who has only one gun, he probably knows how to use it.....

Offline Cap'n Redneck

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Re: 38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2021, 01:30:30 PM »
I would like to state there are wads, and then there are wads.

If Your previous experience with .44WCF and .45 Colt has been limited to revolvers You may find that Your BP loading techniques have to be refined a little.

If Your Accurate Mold-bullet holds enough lube to leave a "lube-star" on the face of the muzzle, then You are okay.

If not, and precision declines after a few rounds Your .38-55 would probably benefit from a lubed wad or even a "grease-cookie" between bullet and powder. 

That's where Coffinmaker's caveat comes into play:  unless You place a round card (can be cut from a milk-carton) between the powder and the wad/cookie the lube will migrate into the powder and give erratic results.  (It is also sound advise to store the cartridges with the bullet down, in a cool place.) 

At the other end You would want a round newspaper-card or two between bullet and wad to prevent the lubed wad from sticking to the rear of the bullet once it leaves the muzzle.

A round milk-carton card is often used by itself between bullet and powder to act like the copper "gas-checks" that are common with smokeless high-power rifle lead bullets.

Mike Venturino & Steve Garbe (of SPG BP lube) have authored a Reloading Primer directed at BP Metallic Silhouette shooters, and they list two loadings for .38-55: 
1st.:  41 grains of FFg, milk carton card, Lyman 250 grain bullet cast from 1-30 tin/lead alloy.
2nd.:  46 grains of FFFg, milk carton card, Hoch Custom 310 grain bullet cast from same 1-30 alloy.
(these loads were made for a single-shot Win. High-Wall, and may be too long for the Marlin repeater; reduce powder to suit.)
The Reloading Primer does not specify what make of BP was used for these loadings, but I would recommend either Swiss Blackpowder or Old Eynsford, as these are the two most clean-burning real blackpowders.

As Your 50 years of reloading experience have probably already taught You: Your Mileage May Vary.
"As long as there's lead in the air, there's still hope..."
Frontiersman & Frontiersman Gunfighter: The only two categories where you can play with your balls and shoot your wad while tweaking the nipples on a pair of 44s.

Offline Ranch 13

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Re: 38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2021, 05:44:09 PM »
 You'll need to try loads with and without, but chances are pretty good that using a .030 fiber wad under the bullet will give you better accuracy due to keeping the bullet base from being deformed and allowing for gas cutting the sides of the bullet.
Eat more beef the west wasn't won on a salad.

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Re: 38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,
« Reply #5 on: Today at 06:45:29 PM »

Offline Ranch 13

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Re: 38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2021, 05:47:55 PM »
 One thing you might want to do with that 93 is go into that barrel and do some serious lead mining before you shoot it. Lots of times what appears to be pitting and black spots is leading left in the bottom of the lands.
Eat more beef the west wasn't won on a salad.

Offline greyhawk

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Re: 38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2021, 12:37:18 AM »
Just have to take the opportunity to argue with Coffinmaker

Some of us - if we shooting for score at 100yards and further out, find the 38/55 gives better accuracy with blackpowder (real blackpowder not the fake hybrid stuff) if we use a card wad over the powder - juice box / milk carton / writing tablet backing .......

Shoot it and see ---

-----if you shooting cowboy style at steel plates close up who cares - you wont notice the difference -

Forget trying to reduce blackpowder loads with wadding or breakfast food in a 38/55, the case dont hardly hold enough to start with anyways.

In a decent barrel its a fun round - easy to shoot - accurate - got enough grunt to be useful in the field - easy to load - low recoil - whats not to like?

Offline olskool

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Re: 38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2021, 07:38:13 AM »
well i just got my accurate mold a couple of days ago. i designed it with big lube grooves. it is a beauty. i loaded up 5 yesterday and shot from the bench at 50yds. it is very promising. it shot a 1 1/2in group, i used 42re. of 2f ol eynsford. i am a flintlock shooter and i have a good bit of BP to chose from. this afternoon i will walk out to my range and try some 3f with a card under the boolit. thanks for all the wisdom here, it is apprecheated! oh an my rifle has a pristine bore so there is no problem there,,,,,,,,,,,,,
beware of the man who has only one gun, he probably knows how to use it.....

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: 38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2021, 03:54:03 PM »

 :)  Oh Awright  ;)

I'll admit, I haven't shot anything for "Score" in literally YEARS!!  I gave up High Power Military, gave up Bench Rest, even gave up my treasured Finewerkbau Air Pistol.  SO:

My CAVEAT:  I have never loaded 38-55 for anything other than as a hunting round and for the past few years for CAS Plainsman Side Matches.  And, for CAS Plainsman side matches, I load with APP and now for the piece de la resistance, I load a 90Gr EPP-UG-36 Pistol Bullet, as cast, 380 diameter.  Shoots like a Laser.  Nanny Nanny Poo Poo and So There . . .. Thibbit Thibbit

Play Safe Out There 

Offline kwilliams1876

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Re: 38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2021, 09:27:41 AM »
Most likely a wad will improve accuracy. You need to recover a few of your cast bullets and study the bases for obvious deformation, gas gutting and finning. A wad thickness of .030" will cure that, a poly or veggie wad is the preferred choice.
kw

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Re: 38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,
« Reply #10 on: Today at 06:45:29 PM »

Offline wildman1

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Re: 38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2021, 03:46:47 PM »
My wifes 38-55 Highwall with a bp load and a BACO 250 g bullet will consistantly shoot under 2 1/2" at 200 yds. BP can be very accurate.
kR
WARTHOG, Dirty Rat #600, BOLD #1056, CGCS,GCSAA, NMLRA, NRA, AF&AM, CBBRC.  If all that cowboy has ever seen is a stockdam, he ain't gonna believe ya when ya tell him about whales.

Offline greyhawk

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Re: 38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2021, 05:42:55 PM »
:)  Oh Awright  ;)

I'll admit, I haven't shot anything for "Score" in literally YEARS!!  I gave up High Power Military, gave up Bench Rest, even gave up my treasured Finewerkbau Air Pistol.  SO:

My CAVEAT:  I have never loaded 38-55 for anything other than as a hunting round and for the past few years for CAS Plainsman Side Matches.  And, for CAS Plainsman side matches, I load with APP and now for the piece de la resistance, I load a 90Gr EPP-UG-36 Pistol Bullet, as cast, 380 diameter.  Shoots like a Laser.  Nanny Nanny Poo Poo and So There . . .. Thibbit Thibbit

Play Safe Out There

That lil pill would be buzzin along nice - did ya checked how fast its goin?

Offline Dave T

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Re: 38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2021, 08:50:11 PM »
Don't know if this info will be of any use to you but here it goes. Years ago (mid 1980s) I owned a Winchester Model of 1894 chambered for the 38-55 Winchester cartridge. I cast bullets from a Lyman mold that came out about 260g from my 1-20 alloy. Lubed them with SPG and loaded them over 50g of GOEX FFg. I used an over powder wad cut out of milk cartons. I shot it for a few months in our local CAS matches until they decided only rifles shooting pistol cartridges were allowed.

I tried to argue that 44 WCF was a rifle round but they still said no, because I was going to damage their steel targets. I pointed out that I hadn't damaged one yet and they said if they let me shoot a real rifle round someone would try to shoot a 45-70 and that would damage their targets. I quit arguing after that and eventually sold the rifle. It shot just fine, even with the less than ideal GOEX which was all there was available back then. I just never found a use for it once the CAS boys banned it.

YMMV,
Dave

Offline olskool

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Re: 38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2021, 05:42:45 PM »
i am a flintlock shooter mostly now days. i here people putting goex down like it is inferior to swiss here is a 3 shot sight in group shat a few days ago. on the right and the final group in the center at 50yds. i think it was a 5 shot but lost count. it was shot from my custom made 40 cal. southern mountain rifle at 50yds off the bench. 55gr. of standard goex 3f ,swiss can't keep up,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
beware of the man who has only one gun, he probably knows how to use it.....

Offline Cap'n Redneck

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Re: 38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2021, 02:12:04 PM »
As to the distinction between Swiss Blackpowder and other makes:

Swiss is commonly held to be about 15% stronger than other makes of blackpowder.
It is also burns "cleaner".  On the downside some complain that it leaves a harder residue in the barrel.
This is of essence in a cartridge gun, where there is limited space inside the case due to modern-made cases having a solid base.  (the .45-70 will often only hold 65 grains of blackpowder).
There is also limited space inside the case for extra lubrication and the grease grooves on the bullets can only hold so much lube...

Not so much of a problem in a muzzleloader, where you have 2 to 3 feet of "case capacity" to play around with.
Plenty of room for manly amounts of blackpowder, greased wads, and lubricated patches.
"As long as there's lead in the air, there's still hope..."
Frontiersman & Frontiersman Gunfighter: The only two categories where you can play with your balls and shoot your wad while tweaking the nipples on a pair of 44s.

Offline olskool

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Re: 38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2021, 06:46:31 PM »
swiss is stronger. in a flintlock it will build a hard ring about 3in from the bottom of the barrel after only 5 shots or so. but i have found a way around it. if the patches are lubed with dawn dish soap and water mix 50/50 you will not have any problem and you can also shoot all day without swabbing the bore. and the ball and patch slides down slick up to the last shot. but i am still a goex man, i like to by USA products, and goex shoots just as good in my flinters. another thing i found. cleaning BP is a breeze! i use Windex, it will melt BP like hot butter, i also use it to clean my cartridge guns that shoot BP. it is the best stuff i have ever used. it beats any BP cleaner on the market,,,,,,,,,,
beware of the man who has only one gun, he probably knows how to use it.....

Offline Cap'n Redneck

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Re: 38-55 BP question,,,,,,,,,,,,
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2021, 10:58:41 AM »
I assume You're referring to "Windex with Vinegar", as recommended by Mike Venturino in his many books and articles on BP shooting, and not just any "flavour" of Windex...?
"As long as there's lead in the air, there's still hope..."
Frontiersman & Frontiersman Gunfighter: The only two categories where you can play with your balls and shoot your wad while tweaking the nipples on a pair of 44s.

 

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