38-55 or 38-56

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by thomasray, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. thomasray

    thomasray Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Columbia River
    Would somebody splain me the difference in these 2 rounds?
  2. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    The 38-55 Winchester is actually the 38-55 Ballard cartridge and was developed as a target round by and for the Ballard Perfection #4 rifle. It was commercially introduced in 1884 by Winchester. It is a straight walled case and was introduced by Marlin and Winchester in their respective lever action rifles. Winchester dropped the 38-55 in their Model 94 in 1940. Winchester has reintroduced the round in their Model 94 due to the popularity of the cowboy action shooting events. This was a black powder round.

    The 38-56 was introduced by Winchester in 1887 for the model 1886 Winchester rifle and also their single shots. Marlin chambered the cartride in their Model 1895 and Colt also made this in their Lightening pump actions. It was intended to be a souped up 38-55 without lengthening the case, which is bottle necked, however that never came to fruition. It is about equal to the 38-55. However, this cartidge did make the transition to smokeless powder. Cases can be made from 45-70 brass.

    Hope this helps.

  3. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    The 38-55 is a .30WCF, or .30-30 Win, with no shoulder, usually shooting a .375-.377 dia bullet.
    The 38-56WCF is a .45-70 sized case, necked to the same caliber, and usually attributed to Marlin, as originator.
    In a modern Marlin M1895, 320 grains of bullet can safely move out at way over 2000 fps, with smokeless powder, no sweat, and no pressure signs.
    In a Sharps, or Winchester Single Shot, the loads only get BETTER!
    Caution: the ,375 Win will fit in 38-55 rifles, and often save you the time of dis-assembly--- DON'T DO THAT!!!
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