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Range report for my vintage Winchester 1894 38-55
July 5, 2019
12:17 am
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Headed over to the range today to try out a new load for my Winchester Model 1894 38-55. This particular rifle was made in 1904. It has a full octagon barrel and a tang sight. I set up the target at 100 yards and took five shots. Measuring with my steel ruler, all five shots went into a 1 & 7/8" group at 100 yards. The load was 17.5 grains of 5744 under a 255 grain soft cast bullet sized to .380. To write this up, I went to weigh one of the sized and lubed bullets and noticed that the butt end seemed to have a lot of lube on it, so I wiped it off and made a discovery. These are gas checked cast bullets and I'd completely forgotten they were when I sized and lubed and loaded them! So that five-shot, 1 & 7/8' group at 100 yards was shot with soft cast bullets that were missing their gas checks! I'm surprised they are so accurate without them. Having done that, I don't see why I would bother with the expense of putting gas checks on them in the future. This particular load gives me a 10 shot average velocity of 1,365 fp with an E.S. of 29 fps. The temperature was in the 80's and I have found 5744 to be temperature sensitive, so they will probably slow down to around 1,330 fps when hunting this fall in below freezing temps. Anyway, here are a couple photos ...

38-55-Rifle.jpgImage Enlarger38-55-Target.jpgImage Enlarger

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July 5, 2019
4:59 pm
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I would be real happy to shoot that group with iron sights. 

July 5, 2019
5:11 pm
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South Texas
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Good shooting Kirk.  I havent used 5744 in a long time but if I remember right I was using 17 grn loads.  I bought a ton of the SR4759 before they quit producing it and thats all Ive used since.  If I ever run out, the 5744 or IMR 3031 will be my next choices.  Both shoot good groups as well.  

DSC_0245-Copy-3.JPG1892takedown @sbcglobal.net ......NRA Endowment Life Member.....WACA Member

"God is great.....beer is good.....and people are crazy"... Billy Currington

July 5, 2019
6:50 pm
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Gaschecks are not "needed" below roughly 1600fps but are a must above.

In general you'll see improvement as speed increases when a check is applied.

 

To stop contamination of powder apply a milk carton wad at the bottom of the bullet when seated.

July 5, 2019
9:01 pm
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 Nice report .Thanks for posting.

July 6, 2019
3:00 am
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1892takedown said
Good shooting Kirk.  I havent used 5744 in a long time but if I remember right I was using 17 grn loads.  I bought a ton of the SR4759 before they quit producing it and thats all Ive used since.  If I ever run out, the 5744 or IMR 3031 will be my next choices.  Both shoot good groups as well.    

SR4759 has also worked well for me as well. I only have slightly less than 1 pound left. 🙁

August 29, 2019
2:11 pm
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Thanks for the write up Kirk.  I don't own a 38-55 but still always learn something from your posts.  Good luck hunting!

Regards

Brad Dunbar

http://1895book.com/

August 29, 2019
7:48 pm
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Very nice group!

James

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