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Chambering problem .....
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February 12, 2024 - 12:13 am
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Can anyone tell me what may be the issue I’m having with a reload ? So I have two model 94’s chambered in 38-55 and I slugged both barrels and they are both .379 . So I used some once fired factory Winchester brass with some .380 cast bullets , 260 grain and they chamber fine in one but not the other . The empty brass chambers fine in both rifles as does the factory ammo ???

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February 12, 2024 - 12:22 am
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One chamber must be slightly larger than the other, at least in the neck; no other explanation.  Seating the bullet expands the neck just enough to prevent seating in the smaller chamber.  Suggest running a case with a seated bullet back into your sizing die, then test if it will chamber.

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February 12, 2024 - 12:25 am
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Just because the bores slug the same, doesn’t mean the chambers are the same.  For the rifle that won’t chamber your reloaded round, I would take that round and, after removing the decapping body from the sizing die, I would run the loaded round into the sizing die and squeeze it a bit.  You can squeeze it very slightly, and if it doesn’t chamber, run it in again and squeeze it a bit more.  I have done this with many different cartridges – mainly lever gun cartridges – and it has worked well for me.

 

EDIT – CLARENCE WAS A FEW SECONDS AHEAD OF ME AND BEAT ME TO IT.

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February 12, 2024 - 12:29 am
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Okay thank you guys , I will try that and let you know if I have any luck !

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February 12, 2024 - 12:49 am
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steve004 said
EDIT – CLARENCE WAS A FEW SECONDS AHEAD OF ME AND BEAT ME TO IT. 

Great minds think alike.

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February 12, 2024 - 1:17 am
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 It can be a lead/powder build up in the front of the chamber. I had to clean mine with Kroll and Scotch Brite, put it on a cleaning rod and twirled it. I’m not saying that’s your problem but it only takes a minute to look.

                                                                     T/R

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February 12, 2024 - 1:42 am
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TR said
 It can be a lead/powder build up in the front of the chamber. I had to clean mine with Kroll and Scotch Brite, put it on a cleaning rod and twirled it. I’m not saying that’s your problem but it only takes a minute to look.

                                                                     T/R

  

Excellent point.

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February 12, 2024 - 2:01 am
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My OLDER Winchesters will snag if using a wadcutter type bullet. I have to use smooth round bullets when reloading which slide nicely into the chamber or else single load into the chamber. Don

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February 12, 2024 - 2:26 am
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I tried putting it through the resizing die and that worked !!!

Thank you all for your help , I was really frustrated but now they chamber nicely 👍

I will try cleaning out the chamber also but it looks really clean , I don’t think the gun has been shot alot but can’t hurt to try that also .

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February 13, 2024 - 1:12 am
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I have several 1886’s and have constant chambering problems. A round will fit this one and that one but not them. Then a round will fit one of them but not this one or that one. My feeling is that there was a lot of acceptable tolerance back then and if a chamber ream was as little as.001″ worn it might not be picked up quickly and a couple barrels mite be run using it, Lets face it  there was no such thing as cnc and cad systems back then. Solely the talent of the machinist working at the time.  

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February 13, 2024 - 2:16 am
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clarence said
Suggest running a case with a seated bullet back into your sizing die, then test if it will chamber.

  

I have to do this on all 38-55 rounds I load.  With .380 diameter bullets the neck diameter is likely hovering at .395″, whereas it has to be .392″ to chamber.   The only thing that may change by doing this is your OACL may increase by .005-.010″ of an inch as it slightly pulls the bullet on the up-stroke.  It doenst take much of a bump in the sizing die to make it work. 

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February 13, 2024 - 2:44 am
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I suppose I’ve been lucky, haven’t seen that issue but have only loaded for about four 38-55’s. All but one about 1905 vintage, IIRC. I bell the case mouths for cast bullets and apply a moderate to light roll crimp to remove the bell and grip the bullet. I size the bullets to .381 and the most annoying issue is that the gas checks must be annealed to get them to hold on to the bullet base. 
Glad you got it worked out! May need this trick on my next 38-55.

 

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February 13, 2024 - 4:17 am
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I have to do this on all 38-55 rounds I load.  With .380 diameter bullets the neck diameter is likely hovering at .395″, whereas it has to be .392″ to chamber.   1892takedown said

The theory that bullet dia should match, or exceed by a mill, bore dia was unknown in BP days–that’s a creation of the smokeless age.  Check your Ideal Handbook:  .375″ was the standard bullet dia for .38-55, & other .38s.  Check also recommended bullet alloys:  between 1 to 20 & pure lead, because the bullet was meant to expand when fired.  Overriding all other considerations for ammo makers was RELIABILITY, meaning cartridges chambered & extracted every time, even in BP fouled chambers. 

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February 13, 2024 - 4:55 pm
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I was informed that today’s production of 38-55 brass has thicker case walls.  This may contribute to the problem.  Worth checking out.  RDB

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February 13, 2024 - 5:26 pm
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clarence said

I have to do this on all 38-55 rounds I load.  With .380 diameter bullets the neck diameter is likely hovering at .395″, whereas it has to be .392″ to chamber.   1892takedown said

The theory that bullet dia should match, or exceed by a mill, bore dia was unknown in BP days–that’s a creation of the smokeless age.  Check your Ideal Handbook:  .375″ was the standard bullet dia for .38-55, & other .38s.  Check also recommended bullet alloys:  between 1 to 20 & pure lead, because the bullet was meant to expand when fired.  Overriding all other considerations for ammo makers was RELIABILITY, meaning cartridges chambered & extracted every time, even in BP fouled chambers. 

  

I can’t say what was known in the BP days but I do know that today’s powder and lead behave differently than they did 130 years ago. I have found that with soft lead and a smokeless powder that builds pressure quickly we can still use “undersize” lead bullets in our old Winchesters. 
Roger has a good point, might be a good idea to check case mouth inside and outside diameter after sizing. Winchester brass used to be a bit thinner than some other makes but things change.

 

Mike

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February 14, 2024 - 1:32 am
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Thank you guys for all the knowledge !!!

It was definitely worth joining this site , a lot of great guys with lots of knowledge and willing to help , I really appreciate it !!!

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February 15, 2024 - 12:07 am
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Chris Sterling said
Thank you guys for all the knowledge !!!

It was definitely worth joining this site , a lot of great guys with lots of knowledge and willing to help , I really appreciate it !!!

  

Have you read any of the WACA magazines yet?

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February 15, 2024 - 12:21 am
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I just received my first one in the mail recently and I’ve looked at some on this site also .

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