38-40

Discussion in 'Blackpowder & Musket' started by dz1087, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. dz1087

    dz1087 New Member

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    What would one go about loading a black powder 38-40 load? Got a 1892 rifle that takes black and wondering if anyone loads that anymore.
     
  2. 1984cj

    1984cj New Member

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    Are you looking for loaded ammo or are you looking for how to reload .38-40 black powder rounds?
     

  3. BillM

    BillM Active Member Supporter

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    Unless you just REALLY want that big cloud of smoke and the cleanup mess,
    load smokeless. Factory 38-40 is loaded pretty mild, just because there are
    a pile of old rifles out there that won't take a high pressure load. I've shot
    current factory loads in an original 1873 Winchester (mfg. 1912)for years with no problems. Your '92 is a MUCH stronger action.
     
  4. shoez

    shoez New Member

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    Modern cases don't work well with black powder for the simple reason of case capacity. Old cases were of the "balloon head" design and had more capacity than modern solid head cases. So, while you could use modern cases and black powder, you would never get the 38 grains in it that it is supposed to have. And the 38-40 needs every bit of help it can get. Just look at current reloading manuals and stick to the cowboy style loads and you should be fine, with out all the hassles of black powder.
     
  5. 1984cj

    1984cj New Member

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    I agree that the newer cases don't have the capacity of balloon head cases.

    Actually, the first number represents the caliber and the second number represents the charge weight. So it is 38 caliber with 40 grains of black powder.
    However the .38-40 has a bullet that is actually .410 in diameter. Confused yet?
    Here is some reading on the .38-40
    http://www.chuckhawks.com/38-40win.htm
     
  6. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Actually the .38-40 uses .401 bullets. It was the .40 S&W of it's day. You can use bullets designed for the .40/10mm.
     
  7. shoez

    shoez New Member

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    No I am not confused. Why Winchester named this cartridge this way is a mystery, or at least I have not found the reason. It should actually be a
    .40-38. I think Winchester was confused. And actully, while we are nitpicking, the good old .44-40 isn't a 44 but a .427 and the .38 special is a .358 and the .32 S&W long is a .312. I collect cartidges and live by the book "Cartridges of the World". It is a great reference.