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 Marlin 38-55 Range Report

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Male Number of posts : 153
Age : 56
Registration date : 2017-11-07

PostSubject: Marlin 38-55 Range Report   February 20th 2018, 11:58 pm

Just started shooting my Marlin 38-55, Had this thing for many moons and never shot it.
I had ammo for it that was loaded also many moons ago by the guy I got the rifle from.
First outing was horrible, at 50yds the accuracy was about 2' group's, "Really"
Out of 11 rounds only 3 hit the 2'X3' cardboard 
Also Lots of unburned powder left in the bore and case.
Pulled a boolit and checked size, it was only .373 -.374
I pressed it nose first into the bore all the way in with my thumb 
Needless to say I have pulled all that ammo down, the cases were new never fired.
Today I shot some ammo loaded with boolits measuring .379
This thing is very accurate.
Only issue is there are still unburned powder kernels in the bore and if you look at the 100yd traget the boolits seem to be starting to tip 

Winchester short cases
18.5gr. 5744
Fed 210 primer.

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Number of posts : 321
Age : 67
Location : Alaska
Registration date : 2017-04-19

PostSubject: Re: Marlin 38-55 Range Report   February 21st 2018, 4:36 am

You dog!  I passed up one of those fine rifles when they were first available, then never saw another one for sale.  Well done picking that up.  It's one of my favorite rounds.

That's fine accuracy, but I see what you mean about the possibility that those bullets are starting to tip.  Probably worth shooting it at 150 just to make sure, before running the warning flag up the pole. 

Kinda wondering if your alloy is too soft, but wondering just as much about that unburned powder.  Something isn't right there, because I don't recall seeing unburned powder, even when I was shooting light loads of Unique.  For over 50 years my favorite powder for the 38-55 and others of similar vintage and case capacity (30-30, 32 Win, 32-40 and 25-35) has been IMR-3031. As a matter if fact, 3031 has been head and shoulders the most accurate powder in all those rounds.  Might give it a whirl if you keep seeing that unburned powder.
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Number of posts : 5862
Age : 75
Location : central Florida
Registration date : 2012-08-22

PostSubject: Re: Marlin 38-55 Range Report   February 21st 2018, 6:43 am

I'm not familiar with 5744 but higher numbers usually equate to slower-burning powders. A faster-burning powder is probably what you need to eliminate the unburned powder in the barrel. The reloading table I looked at had 5744 used with a Barnes bullet. Cast bullets would probably work better with anything from Unique up to RL-7 or so. 

Try BrownBear's suggestion for 3031. It's my go-to powder for .30-30 with 125 gr bullets.


"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government." -Thomas Jefferson
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Male Number of posts : 531
Age : 66
Location : Evans, Colorado
Registration date : 2016-02-03

PostSubject: Re: Marlin 38-55 Range Report   February 21st 2018, 7:02 am

I have that exact gun also. I use .380 cast and 5744. I have always got the left over kernals in the bore. I just never paid no mind to it. Bob is right about RL7 it works great. I also use it in my 45-70's along with 3031. My wife bought mine for me for my birthday when they first came out. I use to shoot it on a monthly basis in cowboy silly wets but I dont shoot it much anymore. I have been looking at getting another one but they are selling for 1200 on gunbroker and I just dont know if I want to pay that much. 38-55 is also one of my favorite rounds to shoot. I see winchester is making them in japan and they are selling for about that same price. Ive been told Henry is going to come out with one but I havent seen any info as to confirm it. Al

Have you ever just sat and thought man I've been through a lot of shit

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