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.38-55 as a hunting round

This is a discussion on .38-55 as a hunting round within the Hunting forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Anyone out there hunting with the .38-55. Can't tell whether I think it's a tweener or just a very versatile round. Concern is that it ...


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Old November 5th, 2013, 09:39 AM   #1
 
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.38-55 as a hunting round

Anyone out there hunting with the .38-55.

Can't tell whether I think it's a tweener or just a very versatile round.

Concern is that it might be a bit much for deer sized game without really being enough for moose/black bear sized game.

On the other hand if it isn't it seems it would be a very good round for the eastern lower 48 or more specifically midwest/great lakes region.

Anyone with any real world experience with the .38-55 or the .375 Winchester which is virtually identical in some loadings.



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Old November 5th, 2013, 10:41 AM   #2
 
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220 grains at 1650'/sec or 255 grains at 1415'/sec is what you are talking about. I'd use it for deer, pigs, or black bear. Not sure about moose.

Last edited by Tater; November 5th, 2013 at 10:48 AM.
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Old November 5th, 2013, 11:23 AM   #3
 
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Deer and other animals are no tougher than 100 plus years ago so what killed them then will kill them now. Just remember range is 150 yards max.
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Old November 5th, 2013, 02:08 PM   #4
 
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Oh it can handle bigger stuff, in certain rifles you can achieve 1700 FPS with the 255. I personally wouldn't want such a strict yardage limit, but under 100 yards there's not much the above metnioned load couldn't take.
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Old November 7th, 2013, 02:15 PM   #5
 
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Why a 150 yard max range?
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Old November 7th, 2013, 02:32 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NORA View Post
Why a 150 yard max range?
Because it would be ridiculous to lob that slow of a projectile into an animal at long-range. Innefective as well, and very hard to do.
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Old November 13th, 2013, 10:05 PM   #7
 
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An old guy that I once knew killed many east coast white tails using a .38-55, unlike me he was a hunter rather than a shooter. Almost all of his deer were shot at ranges of about 50 yards or so.

If you can legally hunt and kill deer with a .44 mag handgun there is no reason why a .38-55 won't work.
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Old November 14th, 2013, 04:07 AM   #8
 
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I have a Marlin 336 Cowboy in 38-55 and let me tell you, Handloaded with 255gr Barnes Original bullets, the 38-55 works WELL out to 250 yards and shoots amazingly well.

Awesome rifle and cartridge.

You talked me into it, I'm going to dust it off and deer hunt with it a couple days this year.

THANKS!

WC
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Old November 14th, 2013, 07:36 AM   #9
 
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My Dad killed over a dozen moose with 38-55, commercial 255 grain ammo, back in the 60's and 70's. Manitoba swamps and forest, fairly close range hunting. No troubles to report.

Get close and put it through the vitals.
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Old November 14th, 2013, 08:52 AM   #10
 
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I inherited this 4 digit serial # 38-55, I still use it for late season whitetail! It is amazingly accurate and that 255gr maybe a softball pitch but the mass has flattend some thick neck whiteys and muleys with authority......

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Old November 14th, 2013, 06:31 PM   #11
 
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I had a Marlin Cowboy in .38-55 and hunted with it for a few years. I wanted something with more thump than a .30/30 but didn't have the recoil of a light Marlin in .45/70. A 'tweener"! I shot 2 muleys with it but didn't keep it long enough to shoot an elk. It did a good job on the mule deer, but they were shot fairly close, 50-75 yards. 150 would be stretching it. After all, you are using a load that doesn't start out that fast to begin with, uses a blunt nose bullet that is barely longer than it is around, so it will lose speed and energy rapidly and drop fairly quick as well. I would rather use a max load .35 Remington or .356 Winchester with the pointed Hornady FTX bullet if you wanted to attempt longer shots like the 150-250 yardages mentioned above.
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Old November 17th, 2013, 04:22 PM   #12
 
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Sound like it might just suit me. I hunt the great lakes region (Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin)far and away more than anywhere else and it sounds like it might be a good fit. I have seen many of the old model '94 bog bores in .375 winchester (which is one way interchangeable with the .38-55) and always wanted one when they came out although I was in high school and couldn't afford one then. After picking up an unfired single six from '77 I have come to appreciate how well made guns of than era are by comparison to today.

I am going to start seriously shopping and will post a pic here when I find one.
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Old November 18th, 2013, 08:48 AM   #13
 
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The .38-55 will be very reliable at reasonable distances...... Sounds like a fine choice.
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Old November 19th, 2013, 08:52 AM   #14
 
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No experience with the 38-55, but do own a couple Marlins in .375 (as well as .356). Had one out hunting just this morning. No reason a newer Marlin in 38-55 can't be loaded up close to .375 specs. Only one buck with my .375s thus far, but it seems to kill about as well as my Marlins in .356 at woods ranges. I'd think either a 38-55 or .375 would suit your needs pretty well (as would a .356 or .358) . Good luck!
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Old December 1st, 2013, 05:12 PM   #15
 
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Just ordered a big bore XTR in .375/.38-55. Supposed to be near new and looks it in the pictures. I'll post pics when it shows up.

Thanks to all responders.
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