Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

Please confirm you want to mark all posts read

Mark all topics read

sp_MobileMenu Actions
Avatar
Guest
Not logged in

New/Updated Topics

Select Forum

sp_TopicIcon
My favorite High Wall, but 38-56?
December 12, 2022 - 11:39 pm

1sp_QuotePost

I don’t believe the High Wall was ever offered in .38-56 Winchester.  But…… when I was a teenager (many moons ago!) my brother and I were in the pine hills north of Pompey’s Pillar Montana where we were exploring an old homestead cabin. In it we found a coffee can with 19 loaded 38-56 cartridges in it. Gosh, we were sure we’d find and 1886 rifle in there too. While we didn’t, thereafter I wanted (needed) a rifle in caliber .38-56. Years later a favorite aunt who lived on the South Fork of the Shoshone River in Wyoming gifted me an 1885 High Wall given to her many years earlier by an old trapper named Max whom she had befriended. It was in .32-20 and the bore was beyond shootable. After playing with it a few years I found a Bozeman gunsmith who could and did re-barrel and chamber it to .38-56 with a nice half octagon/round barrel. New sights and some re-finishing resulted a rifle I’ve been shooting targets and hunting with for nearly 40 years. I shot some mule deer with it and the cartridge did a good job. It has been easy to reload for. I mostly use bullets I cast but I’ve also enjoyed targeting with Hornady 220 gr. .375″ jacketed bullets. Most groups are around an inch at 100 yards. Number of rounds fired must be in the thousands. I really enjoy single shot BP rifles and took bison with my .40-65 High Wall and shoot lots of .32-40 through my 1875 C. Sharps.  Recent purchase of a Low Wall in .32 Ideal has added even more interesting experimentation in handloading.

And with continued interest in the .38-56 cartridge about 25 years ago I had Arnold Erhardt at Capitol Sports in Helena re-barrel my Browning 86 in .45-70 to .38-56 (bottom carbine in the photo – others are .50 Alaskan and .45-60). Using cast bullets and black powder, I ‘ve had good luck taking whitetails with it. The recoil is much much less than the beating I took when the carbine was in .45-70! 

IMG_3837.JPGImage EnlargerIMG_3582.JPGImage EnlargerIMG_3586.JPGImage EnlargerIMG_3825.JPGImage EnlargerIMG_0009.JPGImage EnlargerIMG_2910.JPGImage Enlarger 

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments
Avatar
NY
Posts: 6150
December 13, 2022 - 2:40 am

2sp_QuotePost

Brian Sindelar said
I don’t believe the High Wall was ever offered in .38-56 Winchester.  

  

It was, but not commonly; friend of mine had one.  It’s quite as “good” as the older .38-55, but what was the point of introducing a ballistically duplicate cartridge? 

Avatar
Kingston, WA
Posts: 10609
December 13, 2022 - 3:30 am

3sp_QuotePost

 Brian Sindelar said

I don’t believe the High Wall was ever offered in .38-56 Winchester. 

  

It most certainly was one of the standard cataloged cartridges for the Single Shot (high-wall) rifles. While not nearly as common or popular as its ballistic twin the 38-55 cartridge, it was produced in a larger number than most other cartridges.  Of the more than (90) different cartridges found in the Single Shot, the 38-56 WCF ranks 20th on the production chart.  It was a popular target cartridge in Australia, with more than (70) of exported there.

Bert

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
High-walls-1-002-C-reduced2.jpg

December 13, 2022 - 4:06 am

4sp_QuotePost

Thanks for this information, Bert. Now I don’t feel bad about choosing .38-56 chambering when I had the rifle re-barreled. At the time almost 40 years ago I knew not a thing about the 1885 rifles. I know a lot more now, thanks to you guys.

Avatar
Posts: 4097
December 13, 2022 - 4:13 pm

5sp_QuotePost

We even know of a factory original Low Wall in .38-56.  A member here has it.

Avatar
Posts: 1656
December 13, 2022 - 4:31 pm

6sp_QuotePost

steve004 said
We even know of a factory original Low Wall in .38-56.  A member here has it. 

Yes, something most of us missed, recently sold on Gunbroker.  Probably one of a kind!

Avatar
ME
Posts: 478
December 13, 2022 - 8:13 pm

7sp_QuotePost

Is it ok to shoot 38-56 ammo thru a 38-55 barrel? Or Marlin 25-36 thru a 25-35 barrel?…without possible issues. 

 RickC 

   

Avatar
NY
Posts: 6150
December 13, 2022 - 9:01 pm

8sp_QuotePost

RickC said
Is it ok to shoot 38-56 ammo thru a 38-55 barrel? Or Marlin 25-36 thru a 25-35 barrel?…without possible issues. 

  

If the 38-55 brl was re-chambered–38-56 is a slightly bottle-necked case.  Both 25-36 & 25-35 are bottle-necks, but not the same dimensions, I don’t believe; might be worth trying, though.

Avatar
Posts: 4097
December 13, 2022 - 11:33 pm

9sp_QuotePost

RickC said
Is it ok to shoot 38-56 ammo thru a 38-55 barrel? Or Marlin 25-36 thru a 25-35 barrel?…without possible issues. 

  

The .38-56 cartridge is a bottle neck cartridge and will not chamber in a .38-55 chamber.  And, it would not be appropriate to shoot a .38-55 cartridge in a .38-56 chamber (even though it would slide in).  For the Marlins, the .25-36 case is longer than the .25-35 and should not be tried in a .25-35.  However, it is appropriate to fire .25-35 in a Marlin .25-36.  The likelihood of running across a box of .25-36 cartridges is very low and what supply that exists out there are mainly in the hands of collectors.  I use .25-35 brass in my .25-36 and I suspect this is nearly universal practice.  

Avatar
ME
Posts: 478
December 13, 2022 - 11:46 pm

10sp_QuotePost

Thanks for the info Steve. Good to know. I have a few of the M brands ? in my collection. 

 RickC 

   

Avatar
Kingston, WA
Posts: 10609
December 14, 2022 - 1:13 am

12sp_QuotePost

mrcvs said

steve004 said

We even know of a factory original Low Wall in .38-56.  A member here has it. 

Yes, something most of us missed, recently sold on Gunbroker.  Probably one of a kind!

  

Nope, it is not one-of-a-kind!  There are a several other low-wall rifles out there that were chambered for high-wall cartridges.  One of them that I chased was a standard low-wall in 40-65 WCF.  There are a few each in 32-40 and 38-55 listed in the warehouse ledger records.  Thus far they were all made using the early production low-wall receiver frames with the high-breech block.

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
High-walls-1-002-C-reduced2.jpg

Avatar
Posts: 1656
December 14, 2022 - 4:39 am

13sp_QuotePost

Bert H. said

mrcvs said

steve004 said

We even know of a factory original Low Wall in .38-56.  A member here has it. 

Yes, something most of us missed, recently sold on Gunbroker.  Probably one of a kind!

  

Nope, it is not one-of-a-kind!  There are a several other low-wall rifles out there that were chambered for high-wall cartridges.  One of them that I chased was a standard low-wall in 40-65 WCF.  There are a few each in 32-40 and 38-55 listed in the warehouse ledger records.  Thus far they were all made using the early production low-wall receiver frames with the high-breech block.  

I meant that the .38 – 56 low wall single shot rifle might be the only one that is both low Wall and .38 – 56.  If not, how many in such a configuration?

I did suspect that other low wall rifles in high wall chamberings might exist, but wasn’t sure.  Thank you Bert for confirming this!

Forum Timezone:
UTC 0
Most Users Ever Online: 778
Currently Online: JWA, Big Larry, [email protected], 86Win, Ed Makuck, SureShot
Guest(s) 42
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Devices in use: Desktop (29), Phone (18), Tablet (1)

Forum Stats:
Groups: 1
Forums: 17
Topics: 12498
Posts: 108506
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1727
Members: 8716
Moderators: 4
Admins: 3
Navigation