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I stumbled across an offer for a 28" barrel 1874 Shiloh Sharps in mint condition for a reasonable price, so I just couldn't resist, kind of an early christmas gift I don't have it yet, but really looking forward to it! It's a 38-55 which seems an interesting caliber for me as it will be used just for mid-range fun plinking up to 450m (500 yds) on a quite wind protected range. I asked Shiloh about the specs. It's made in the late 80's with a groove of .375 and bore dia of .365, so "modern" specs as I understand. The twist is 1 in 16". I don't reload yet at all, but plan to, of course, and just started to gather equipement for my other calibers (45 Colt, 45ACP) and also want to buy everything needed for the 38-55 and need some advice now. Please don't be too harsh if my questions are too dumb... There will be some compromises as some components for this caliber won't be easy to get, but the cartridge doesn't have to be deadly accurate. I just want to avoid the biggest mistakes and rather buy once than twice... Bullet: I figured out so far (please correct me if I am on the wrong track) that a .376 bullet would be best, ideally between 310gr and 340gr for my 1:16 barrel twist. Can I use the same bullet for smokeless and BP? What do I have to consider? Brass: Found Star Line, but only the short ones (2.080"). Still trying to find 2.125", but would the short ones do the job? I will buy one or two boxes of Black Hill 255gr ammo to have something to begin with, it's the only 38-55 ammo you can buy around here. They also use the shorter shell. AOL: How do I determine the best AOL for this rifle when I can really focus on the chamber? Until now AOL was all about levering... Powder / Load: Some of my pards use Vihtavuori N32C aka Tin Star as this is what's available around here. I will use it for my 45 Colt and think that it should also work for the 38-55, but haven't found loading data yet... In the long run, I want to shoot BP. What do I look for? 2F, 3F? Completely clueless... What fps am I aiming for? Dies: Any recommendations? A lot of people recommended Lee factory crimps for my other calibers, is it also to consider for 38-55? Any inputs will be welcome! Equanimous Phil
Redding 38-55 Win & Ballard F.L. Reloading Die Set $100 Redding 3-Die Sets contain a full length sizing die, expander die, and bullet seating die. Shell holder is not included. Lightly used and near new condition. Has 7/8"-14 Threads To Fit All Popular Presses. Model 80365 Redding 38-55 Winchester Competition Seating Die $80 The Redding Competition Seater Die has tighter manufacturing tolerances and uses a micrometer calibrated in 0.001" increments for precise seating depth and is infinitely adjustable (without clicks). Also has a "zero set" feature that allows you to zero the micrometer to your rifle or favorite seating depth. Shell holder is not included. Lightly used and near new condition. Has 7/8"-14 Threads To Fit All Popular Presses. Model 55365 Notes: THIS DIE DOES NOT CRIMP THE BULLET. USPS shipping $8.50 each. AS IS - No refund or exchange Accept Personal Check, USPS Money Order, Money Order, Certified Check