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.38-55 Winchester&Ballard

Introduced by Ballard in 1884 for various single shot target rifles, the .38-55 was one of the first cartridges to appear in Winchester's Model 94 lever action ten years later. In its high velocity loading, which pushed a 255 grain bullet along at over 1500 fps, the .38-55 once enjoyed an excellent reputation as a deer and black bear cartridge for woods hunting. Many hunters were forever convinced that due to the .38-55's greater bullet diameter it was a far more effective big game cartridge than the .30-30and not far behind the harder kicking .45-70. Most target shooters load the .38-55 with light charges of quick burning powders such as H4227 and SR-4759for muzzle velocities of 1200 to 1300 fps with bullet weighing  from 250 to 300 grains. Some shoot cast bullets of spitzer form for increased wind resistance. For deer and black bear, the Sierra200 grain and Hornady220 grain jacketed bullets at about 1600 fps work fine. Another good choice is a cast bullet weighing around 250 grains. Excellent powders for the .38-55 hunting loads are H322, H4895, and H335. In a pinch, .375 Winchestercases can be used in .38-55 rifles, although they are a bit short. Never fire .375 Winchesterfactory loads in a rifle originally chambered for the .38-55. 

This text is based on information from “Cartridges of the World”, Hodgdon reloading manual, the cartridge designer and/or own resources.

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There is no printed reloading manual created for this caliber. There will be created a Wire-O booklet of all calibers with at least 60 loads present.
Click here to see in which calibers this reloading manual is available.


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The Complete Reloading Manual is a compilation based on all rifle calibers with at least one load from this site.
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Bullet weight: Bullet name: Powder:  

Not yet verified user loads  
ID: Bullet weight: Bullet name: Powder:  
200 grs
sierra fp
200 grs
Reloader 7
260 grs
cast performance
335 grs
Swiss 4
265 grs
NEI Cast
Reloader 7
255 grs
Montana Cast (.379)
IMR 3031
310 grs
cast BRP 378-310
260 grs
Hunters Supply RNFP
260 grs
Hunters Supply RNFP
320 grs
Ideal 375166 1;10
Swiss 1.5
280 grs
220 grs
Hawk Bullet .377 dia.
275 grs
Buffalo Arms Flat Point Cast
IMR 4198
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