Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Marlin 336 Cowboy in 38-55 part 3

Since getting it back I've been shooting and packing it around every chance I get.

Here it is on a recent scouting trip. There is a Black Bear (he's actually cinnamon colored) on my property tearing apart pretty much every stump on the place, feeding on grubs.

Data for 38-55 Win is pretty limited but I have been trying several powders. Unique, SR 4759 and IMR 4198 have shown the most promise.

My rifle seems to prefer a cast bullet un-sized, as cast (~.380"). The .380" bullet won't even fit in my friend's Cowboy when using Winchester Brass but I have some Starline brass on Back-Order that is supposed to have thinner walls that should allow feeding of the fatter bullet in his too. Luckily a .379" bullet shoots very well in his.

In tests mine will put most of them into a <1" group at 50 yards with open sights, even with me behind the trigger.

With .379" sized bullets the group size doubles in my rifle.

I've used two different bullets so far. The Lee 379-250 RF and the Ranch Dog TLC 379 235 RF. The Lee bullet seems to like 1250-1400 fps the best and the Ranch Dog has shot well at 925 fps to over 1500 fps.

It really is a neat old (1882) cartridge. It reminds me of a skinny 45-70 and has a nice old fashion aesthetic that I'm really attracted too.

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