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Correct brass length ?
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December 5, 2016 - 11:26 pm
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What length brass did they use back in the day. I have a Model 1894, 38-55 made in 1901. Would they have used the 2.080 or 2.125 ? Also what temper were their lead bullets. As in 25-1, 30-1, 40-1, etc. Thanks, Dale.

35th Security Police Squadron, Phan Rang AB, RVN, May 70-71.

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December 5, 2016 - 11:44 pm
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The correct brass length for all 38-55 W.C.F. prior to about 1980 is 2.129″.  The quality modern replica manufacturers (like C. Sharps) still chamber for the correct original Winchester specs.

Here’s a good report from Starline Brass:

http://www.starlinebrass.com/articles/Loading-with-Correct-38-55-Cases/

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December 6, 2016 - 3:03 am
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I’ve had good results with the 2.125 cases from a recent run of Starline brass, I understand they did another run in the past several weeks so they should be available.

Your alloy choice depends on the velocity you are looking for, the powder you intend to load and the purpose of your loads. If you want to shoot BP loads I’d suggest 16-1 or 20-1. Smokeless plinking loads can be assembled using wheelweights and hunting loads WW’s softened with varying amounts of pure lead. One popular recipe is 50/50 WW’s and pure lead. Probably more important than alloy is the correct bullet diameter. Most of the older rifles prefer .380-381 and some of the newer ones may prefer .377. IIRC the article linked above touches on that variable as well.

Don’t try to hot-rod this cartridge using 375 Winchester loads. It’s a fine old cartridge in it’s own right.

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December 6, 2016 - 11:12 pm
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Thanks to Wincacher and TXGunNut for the info I needed. Dale.

35th Security Police Squadron, Phan Rang AB, RVN, May 70-71.

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