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WTB Winchester 38-56 ammo or brass
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January 14, 2021 - 1:55 pm
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Looking  for    CTG’s  or  Brass   thanks 

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January 14, 2021 - 4:13 pm
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Got a call Tuesday from a friend who has 47 38-56 brass in various states of condition. Some are reloads, some primed, some without. Any Idea what you would pay for these? Don

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January 14, 2021 - 4:52 pm
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Like $100.00  or  so….  im  interested 

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January 14, 2021 - 4:52 pm
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Well, the reloads you wouldn’t want to shoot.  You don’t know how they were loaded.  The brass could be brittle, have splits, may have been loaded many times.  So, the answer is not much without seeing the brass.

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January 14, 2021 - 6:27 pm
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mrcvs said
Well, the reloads you wouldn’t want to shoot.  You don’t know how they were loaded.  The brass could be brittle, have splits, may have been loaded many times.  So, the answer is not much without seeing the brass.  

You can pull the bullets and reload with your powder.  Split necks or other damage is junk. You can anneal the neck area to soften it again.  I hand anneal brass at least once a month.  Buy some Tempilac 650 F degrees.  It will melt at the temperature it is rated for.  Start far from the hottest part of the flame and count how many seconds it takes to melt, not burn, the Tempilac.  A rule of thumb is about 5 seconds in the flame.  Do not heat them until they turn orange.  Let them cool slowly.

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January 14, 2021 - 8:45 pm
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Yes, of course you can pull bullets and dump the powder and then you have a case that you can use as well as a bullet that could work, or at least lead to melt.  But I’m not convinced that the case is serviceable.

Photographs would be helpful.

When is the last time new .38-56 brass was available anywhere.  I think it’s been a very long time!

I believe I purchased .38-56 brass that had been fired, but was it once or ten times?  In any event, I probably paid 25 or 50 cents a case for it.  Not sure if I would buy it again.  No split cases but very old and I question the integrity if reloaded.

Antique ammunition still loaded, antique ammunition boxes, preferably with live rounds inside, but a box with spent rounds within, these are all of interest.  Old brass with a questionable past, not so much.

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January 14, 2021 - 11:49 pm
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  I’ve had good luck with Glen Anderson’s brass. I buy his loaded rounds and pull the bullets, he makes his brass from 45-70. His price is reasonable, I don’t know who makes the brass but it works. His company is called Aardvark Laboratories in Cape Coral Florida, 630-957-7999. He is usually set up at Tulsa. He used to be out of Chicago. I’ve been using his brass for 25 years. T/R

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January 15, 2021 - 12:00 am
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20210114_185248.jpgImage Enlarger

I have 39 of these, W.R.A.Co.  Winchester Repeating Arms Co.  I think I paid $15 for them all a few years ago.

When might they have been produced?  Edit:  An internet search reveals these date from 1928 or before.

A quick inspection suggests these are okay to reload.  Edit:  How brittle might brass that is at least 93 years old be?

However, I wish Starline would do a run of these.

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January 15, 2021 - 5:25 am
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Well until we can see what he has for sale no one knows what can be saved, if any.  Proper head stamped brass made in the last 20 years is worth buying if it isn’t ruined.  I wouldn’t suggest using 100 year old brass.   The brass TR mentioned is way better than no brass at all.  If I were to buy some I would always be on the lookout for some with the proper head stamp.

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January 15, 2021 - 10:55 pm
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Aardvark Labs   is  out  of  Business as  of    fall  2018…has  a  web  page   with    info  on  reloading    but  hes  done    making  Brass. 

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January 16, 2021 - 2:41 am
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Well, I e-mailed Starline Brass about doing a run of .38 56 and they responded that there are no plans to do so at this time.

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January 16, 2021 - 11:39 am
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If you aren’t worried about headstamp then case form from 45-70: Lube up a new unfired 45-70 case with some good resizing lube. Run the case part way into the 38-56 sizer die, pull it down, rotate it a bit on the shell holder and run it back up. Do this several times, a little at a time, eventually sizing it all the way. When done, anneal, prep the case and check for overall length. If the 45 brass doesn’t fit into the sizer die, you will have to get with CH-4D to get a form die.

I don’t have an annealer- I just use a propane torch in a very dim garage. I place cartridges in a socket and extension or nut driver and hold/ turn the case at the tip of the flame.  As soon as I see a color change to faint red (in a very dim garage), I call it good. 

If you anneal the 45-70 brass before case forming into 38-56,  it may be easier to form but then you’re work hardening the case so then you should anneal them again after firing a few times.

Disclaimer: I’ve never formed 38-56 from 45-70 but I have formed many other cases from a parent cartridge using this method.  Go slow, do a fraction at a time and re-lube if necessary. 

Technically, the glass is always full; half liquid, half air....

WACA #10293

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January 16, 2021 - 1:03 pm
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 I’ve made 38-56 out of 45-70 by cutting it to length, annealing the brass first, then running thru a 40-65 die, and then the 38-56 die. I use the back part of a model 1894 Winchester tool. The only problem is the brass is thicker around the bullet, if the bullet is to big it’s tight, maybe reaming is in order. I find them a little tight in some chambers. T/R

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January 16, 2021 - 10:41 pm
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Ron and Tom.  Right now finding the loading dies may be a big problem.   You can get drill operated neck trimmers.  I don’t have a fancy annealer either.  Propane torch with a stand and a leather glove.

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January 17, 2021 - 12:13 am
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howardhughes said
Like $100.00  or  so….  im  interested   

I got the 38-56s but they are reloaded necked down 45-70s. There are R-Ps, UMC etc. I don’t need them. Anybody interested ? Don

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January 17, 2021 - 5:58 pm
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mrcvs said
20210114_185248.jpgImage Enlarger

I have 39 of these, W.R.A.Co.  Winchester Repeating Arms Co.  I think I paid $15 for them all a few years ago.

When might they have been produced?  Edit:  An internet search reveals these date from 1928 or before.

A quick inspection suggests these are okay to reload.  Edit:  How brittle might brass that is at least 93 years old be?

However, I wish Starline would do a run of these.  

I’d like to see the internet search.  4 of the 5 cases seem older than the odd one with the different primer pocket.  According to Dan Shuey’s book there were 3 very similar head stamps but no indication when the changes were made.  If your cases had the original primers in them that would help.  In my quest to shoot the Henry I have some brass that has never been fired.  The rim has been struck several times but no explosion.  I pulled these apart and reloaded them but when I fired the gun the striker barely scratched the rim.  This brass is very hard and maybe brittle just from sitting for 140 years.  I’m going to anneal the head on one of these and see what it might do.

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January 17, 2021 - 8:53 pm
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Sent  a  PM   for   price  and   cond.

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January 18, 2021 - 12:14 am
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howardhughes said
Sent  a  PM   for   price  and   cond.  

The two links I posted are for brand new and available 38-56 cases.  One is from Grafs & son the other is from buffalo arms.  It is expensive but if you need it you better buy some while there is still some for sale.

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January 18, 2021 - 2:49 am
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Chuck said

I’d like to see the internet search.  4 of the 5 cases seem older than the odd one with the different primer pocket.  According to Dan Shuey’s book there were 3 very similar head stamps but no indication when the changes were made.  If your cases had the original primers in them that would help.  In my quest to shoot the Henry I have some brass that has never been fired.  The rim has been struck several times but no explosion.  I pulled these apart and reloaded them but when I fired the gun the striker barely scratched the rim.  This brass is very hard and maybe brittle just from sitting for 140 years.  I’m going to anneal the head on one of these and see what it might do.  

Here’s the search.  It seems that W R A only came out in 1929 so W R A Co is 1928 and before.

https://forum.cartridgecollectors.org/t/wra-vs-wra-co/15580

I did not notice any difference in the headstamp of the 5 cartridges of the 39 that I photographed, only that the one that contains the spent primer is shinier than the rest.  They were randomly selected out of the 39.

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