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Accurate Powder
Rifle Magazine
December - January 2002
Volume 37, Number 6
ISSN: 0017-7393
Number 220
On the cover...
The Ruger Blackhawk .30 Carbine has been in the company lineup since 1968 (photo by Gerald Hudson). Stan Trzoniec loads the classic favorites, including the .44 Smith & Wesson Special, .38 Smith & Wesson Special, .45ACP and .38 Super (photo by Stan)
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Product Tests
Boer Bullets

Our long wait for jacketed softnose bullets of proper diameter and profile suitable for .38-55 and .38-56 Winchester - and most recently Marlin - tubular magazine rifles appears to be over.

Mr. William Baden Powell of the Boer Bullet Co. (516 Park Ave., Medford OR 97501) forwarded test samples of his new 220-grain .38-55 bullets. Following is my report on them.

My micrometer (machine shop tested for accuracy) shows their diameter to be .378 inch.

Quite as important, they are of full diameter .378 inch for the entire length of the shank from base to crimping cannelure. This makes a big difference in how accurately they shoot. Tapering bullets lose accuracy in these rifles.

Their bases are flat and even, also helpful of accuracy. Weight uniformity is remarkable! I picked a dozen bullets at random and found a variation of only 0.4 grain. That’s .0018 percent - amazing, especially in bullets as heavy as this.

With all this going for them, it’s no wonder they shoot so well. The fact they weigh 220 grains rather than the usual 250 grains will help keep pressures down, raise velocities a bit and is certainly plenty of bullet for deer and black bear.

In a Winchester High Wall .38-55, 35.0 grains of IMR-3031, or 37.0 grains of H-4895, produced around 1,800 fps in a 30-inch barrel.

In a Winchester Model 1894 .38-55, 32.0 grains of Reloder 7 generated just under 1,800 fps in a 26-inch barrel.

In a Winchester Model 1886 .38-56, 38.0 grains of H-335 registered just over 1,900 fps in a 26-inch   barrel.

Accuracy will, of course, vary depending upon whether iron sights or a scope is used, also upon the condition of a rifle’s bore. My .38-55 and .38-56 test rifles have only iron sights but are still capable of grouping in 2 inches at 100 yards with the better loads. A new rifle with scope sight should be able to cut that group size in half with these fine new bullets, shooting from benchrest. - Ken Waters

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