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Barrel length
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October 8, 2023 - 10:21 pm
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Can anyone tell me if my rifle is a special order possibly or if it likely was shortened at one time? It’s a model 1894 chambered in 38-55 manufactured in 1916 and it has a 22″ barrel .

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October 8, 2023 - 10:30 pm
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Chris Sterling said
Can anyone tell me if my rifle is a special order possibly or if it likely was shortened at one time? It’s a model 1894 chambered in 38-55 manufactured in 1916 and it has a 22″ barrel .

  

Measure the distance from the forward edge of the front sight slot to the muzzle; should be exactly 3/4″. 

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October 8, 2023 - 11:51 pm
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Chris Sterling said
Can anyone tell me if my rifle is a special order possibly or if it likely was shortened at one time? It’s a model 1894 chambered in 38-55 manufactured in 1916 and it has a 22″ barrel .

  

What is the serial number on the rifle?  Can you post pictures of the rifle?

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October 9, 2023 - 12:56 am
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Still trying to figure this site out , I tried replying but think I did it wrong , bare with me ……

Serial # 827794IMG_20231008_193615907_HDR-2.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_20231007_172312728-2.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_20231007_172327964-2.jpgImage EnlargerScreenshot_20231005-1644512-2.pngImage EnlargerScreenshot_20231005-1643472-2.pngImage Enlarger

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October 9, 2023 - 1:02 am
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Chris,

It is positively a cut down (shortened) barrel.

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October 9, 2023 - 1:05 am
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Chris Sterling said
Still trying to figure this site out , I tried replying but think I did it wrong , bare with me ……

Serial # 827794IMG_20231008_193615907_HDR-2.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_20231007_172312728-2.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_20231007_172327964-2.jpgImage EnlargerScreenshot_20231005-1644512-2.pngImage EnlargerScreenshot_20231005-1643472-2.pngImage Enlarger

  

The location of the magazine retainer would not be that close to the end of the magazine which tells me the barrel and magazine have been shortened.

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October 9, 2023 - 1:07 am
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Okay thank you , does that really hurt the collector value , also it seems to have been refinished but looks like it was done really well , the bore is excellent also .

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October 9, 2023 - 1:11 am
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Chris Sterling said
Okay thank you , does that really hurt the collector value , also it seems to have been refinished but looks like it was done really well , the bore is excellent also .  

A cut barrel and being refinished kills any collector value.

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October 9, 2023 - 1:27 am
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That’s what I thought but still a cool old rifle in great shape , almost bought a 1990’s model for a couple hundred more than I paid for this one.

I’m happy with this one ! Could you tell me if it’s okay to use the short brass cases for this old rifle or should I get some of the long 38-55 brass to reload for it ?

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October 9, 2023 - 1:35 am
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There is only one length of the shell for 38-55.

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October 9, 2023 - 1:40 am
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I bought some Starline brass that is labeled short , measuring 2.082 but then I read there is also a little longer case measuring 2.12 I believe?

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October 9, 2023 - 1:47 am
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I have three loading books and they all say 2.129″

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October 9, 2023 - 2:01 am
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I wonder why they sell this brass and if I should use it in that rifle ?Screenshot_20231007-071843.pngImage Enlarger

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October 9, 2023 - 2:05 am
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https://www.starlinebrass.com/articles?id=2540

I use both case lengths depending on the bullet. I’ve settled on the 2.125” case mainly because the bullets I use were designed for it. I don’t totally agree with the conclusions of this article but it’s a good read.

 

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October 9, 2023 - 2:11 am
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That’s great info , thank you ? I’ll read that , I bought some 260 grain cast bullets . Do you think they will work out okay with that brass ?Screenshot_20231008-221041.pngImage Enlarger

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October 9, 2023 - 2:47 am
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Not familiar with that bullet, Chris, depends on the crimping groove location and your ideal OA cartridge length. I’m using a few different moulds but I’m focused on Accurate’s 38255L mould at this time. I like the Lyman moulds but need to get back on that project. I don’t believe I have a 38-55 with an outstanding bore at this time so I’ll just muddle along with what I have. The Cast Bullet Performance folks make a good bullet but a hard bullet is seldom the right answer for an older gun.

 

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October 9, 2023 - 3:20 am
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Okay well thank you for the information Mike, I just read that article and it about put me to sleep but I understand the reasoning behind the different case lengths now , thanks again , I really appreciate your shared knowledge.

Chris

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October 9, 2023 - 3:18 pm
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I have always used the long case which is the correct case for the old guns. I don’t know why they make a short case. you need to slug your bore and shoot a soft bullet .001 to .002 over bore size. my 38 55’s like 20 to 1 alloy. I shoot mostly black powder. For smokeless I shoot 4198 or 5744. 255gr bullets are ideal.

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October 9, 2023 - 9:49 pm
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TXGunNut said
Not familiar with that bullet, Chris, depends on the crimping groove location and your ideal OA cartridge length. I’m using a few different moulds but I’m focused on Accurate’s 38255L mould at this time. I like the Lyman moulds but need to get back on that project. I don’t believe I have a 38-55 with an outstanding bore at this time so I’ll just muddle along with what I have. The Cast Bullet Performance folks make a good bullet but a hard bullet is seldom the right answer for an older gun.

Mike
  

Ive used Cast Performance bullets in the past, they are ok, a bit hard, would recommend something softer for hunting.  20:1 or 30:1 will perform better as they are about or more than half the hardness of the CP bullets. 

As for the case length, as Mike said above, depends on the location of the crimp groove and the OACL.  Modern Winchester factory brass measures to 2.075″ – 2.08″ in length.  No issue with shooting the shorter brass, did so for many years.  For years now I have used the Starline 2.125″ brass, but have to trim to 2.110″ to accommodate the bullet I use, with a maximum OACL of 2.50″ or therebouts, otherwise the cartridge will not cycle.   I can load the untrimmed 2.125″ brass with my cast bullets if single-loading, but they wont cycle through the action.  I use the Accurate mold 38-255SG.  I also have the 38-255L like you have Mike, but never loaded with those bullets yet.  Due to the bullet shape, you may get away with using the longer untrimmed brass at 2.125″.   Just stuck with using the 38-255SG sized to .380″ diameter and made it work.   

I read that Starline article a long time ago, a bit confusing, and think I agree with you Mike regarding the conclusions based on what I can remember.

    

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October 10, 2023 - 12:50 am
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Chris Sterling said
Okay well thank you for the information Mike, I just read that article and it about put me to sleep but I understand the reasoning behind the different case lengths now , thanks again , I really appreciate your shared knowledge.

Chris

  

Forgot to mention, Chris; welcome! Good to have you here. Back to your earlier question most here are conservative collectors who generally will avoid any non-original specimens. There seems to be a growing number of collectors who are interested in a rifle like yours so all is not lost if you decide not to keep it. 

 

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