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Doc Altman SASS#74468

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Posts posted by Doc Altman SASS#74468

  1. Not to throw a wrench into the works, but you might want to consider the length of the brass that you are using (especially if you are trying to work up a load in an older rifle).


    Original .38-55 cartridges were loaded with a 2.125" case.  In 1926, in an effort by the federal government to standardize cartridge specifications throughout the arms and ammunition industries, SAAMI was formed.  Sometime thereafter, and for some reason which remains unknown to me, .38-55 cartridge length was standardized to a length of 2.080" with a bullet diameter of about 0.3770".  Many rifles made before this time were manufactured with a bore in the neighborhood of 0.379" and thus require a bullet diameter a tad larger than factory-produced ammo of today.


    While you could write a book on this subject, there are a few key things to keep in mind.


    1.  You really need to know the true bore diameter of your rifle if you want to glean top accuracy from it.  Slugging your bore with a piece of soft lead and then measuring it is the easiest way to accomplish this.  With lead bullets, the best accuracy is generally achieved with a bullet that is .001 to .002" larger than the bore.  If you don't want to do that, several bullet manufacturers offer "sized" .38-55 bullets in diameters ranging from 0.378 to 0.382".  My 1894 Winchester was manufactured in 1920 with a barrel that slugs 0.379";  0.380" and 0.381" bullets shoot most accurately for me in that rifle.


    2.  A less understood problem is chamber length in older .38-55 rifles.  If you attempt to reload a 0.380" bullet in a standard, modern piece of .38-55 brass at 2.080", chances are good that it will not chamber in an old rifle.   In an effort to rectify this problem, many shooters have had their chambers reamed to make them longer.  An easier solution, and one that requires no modification of the firearm, is to use longer brass with a thinner neck.  Currently, the only supplier for this is Starline Brass.  These brass cases are 2.125" in length and have a very thin wall at the mouth.......so thin that they can be easily bent in shipping or by rough handling.  These two factors allow the handloader to utilize lead bullets that better fit the rifle's bore AND will chamber without problem.


    I'm certainly no expert on this subject.  These are some of the problems that I've encountered--and some solutions to those problems that I've learned about--while trying to develop an accurate load in an old rifle.


    For further reading, check out this link:




    • Like 2
  2. OnTarget Sights was what I was searching for.

    I've tried safety glasses with cheaters at the top, which work fairly well when I can force myself to put my chin down.

    Gold sharpie worked a little, but I really need a larger sight.

    Ultimately, I think I'll have to go to prescription lenses/trifocals, like Deacon suggested.


    Thanks for all of the help!



    • Like 1
  3. I'm looking to increase the visibility of the front sight on my Vaqueros.  I'm familiar with "Sure Hit" brass wraps for the front sight, but I'd like to look at other options before ordering a set.  I remember reading that someone was making a similar item but I can't seem to locate that maker.

    Any advice, information, or guidance would be appreciated.


    I'm certain this topic has been covered numerous times, but my searches here have been fruitless.




  4. 8 hours ago, Boolit Boomer said:

    Doc, this is awesome. You can send to:


    Mike Henderson 

    123 Landwood Ave 

    Greenville, SC 29607


    Thanks, Boomer 

    Boomer, I'll drop them by the post office this morning.

  5. Orphan Ruger Old Army small parts and springs looking for a home.


    Ran across these in a box of old parts last night.  I shot a Ruger Old Army through my college years (wish I still had it!) back in the early 80s.  I'd ordered a supply of spare small parts and springs from Ruger.  If I can read the postage correctly, they arrived from Ruger back in 1983.  Anyway, looks like I have the following:


    XR-46     Cylinder Latch Spring

    XR-41      Hammer Plunger

    XR-43     Hammer Plunger Spring

    XR-50A   Pawl Spring

    XR-51       Pawl Spring Plunger

    XR-38      Trigger Plunger

    ........and maybe another part or two.


    I'd be happy to send these to someone who shoots an Old Army.

    PM me your mailing address and I'll get them out to you.



    Old Army.jpg

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