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Old 10-23-2020, 07:11 PM
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Default 375 Winchester Brass Substitutes?

I purchased an unfired Big Bore 94 in 375 Winchester at a local gun show back on the 29th of August of this year.

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For those of you that missed my posting on this new acquisition, here's a link to the original thread: I finally got a big bore...

Since that purchase, I've been working to track down ammunition and brass cases, with the cases suitable for loading being my highest priority. I've managed to get hold of one box of commercial reloads, and three boxes of factory 375 Winchester 200 Grain Power-Points. I have so far, not had any luck locating new un-primed brass, but I have requested notification from Midway USA if any of these apparently hard to get items show up in the future.

In the middle of my search, I came across a plastic bag containing 60 each factory new Federal 30-30's for $10.00 at my local gun store. That seemed to be a good price and I bought them and subsequently loaded all 60 with a case blow-out load so they can be converted to fire in my new 375 Winchester. Here's a photo of twenty of those 30-30's loaded and ready to be fire-formed.

[IMG][/IMG]

Then, the other day, I went into my stored reloading brass looking for some 41 magnum cases. I happened to notice a cardboard box that had never been opened, and decided to investigate... What a shock it was to discover the box contained 500 each (10 bags of 50 each) factory new 38-55 cases. I opened one of the bags to get some measurements, and sure enough, these are the short ones; 2.082" in length. I took one of these 38-55 cases and ran it into the chamber of my 375 Winchester, and it slid into the chamber easily and the bolt closed over it with no signs of brass impingement at the case mouth.

Here's the brass:

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[IMG][/IMG]
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I had apparently ordered this from Midway USA some time around 2006-7 to use in my Model 94 short rifle chambered for the 38-55. I sold that rifle to a friend with more money than sense, and during the ensuing 15 years or so, I had managed to completely forget about the box of new 38-55 cases.

My intent is to load some of these for my 375 Winchester, and the only real decision is; do I trim the repurposed brass to 375 Winchester length, or do I leave it the original length so it can be used in a 38-55 chambered gun in the future?

Thoughts and opinions, especially from those with first hand knowledge/experience shooting either blown out 30-30 brass, or 38-55 brass in their Big Bore 375's would be much appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to read my new thread.
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Old 10-23-2020, 08:32 PM
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Don't load to375 vels or pressure. The brass is not able to handle it. Just a word of caution. I may have some 375 brass but once fired...also 356 Win. I may know a fellow with brass also. Will call him in the morning
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Old 10-23-2020, 08:56 PM
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Itís my understanding that you can shoot .38-55 Win in a .375 Win rifle.

Starline is now selling .375 Win brass. It seems they have it in stock.

Buffalobore also sells a heavy .375 Win load thatís better than the original factory load. Good time to have a Big Bore!
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Old 10-23-2020, 09:27 PM
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I may have some .375 Win Brass. Hopefully I'll remember to look in the A.M.
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Old 10-23-2020, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s&wchad View Post
Itís my understanding that you can shoot .38-55 Win in a .375 Win rifle.

Starline is now selling .375 Win brass. It seems they have it in stock.

Buffalobore also sells a heavy .375 Win load thatís better than the original factory load. Good time to have a Big Bore!
Thank you for the up to date information on Starline Brass!

I had assumed if Midway had no product, Starline wouldn't either.

I now have 250 pieces of 375 Winchester on order.
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Old 10-24-2020, 06:45 AM
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Glad you found some new genuine .375 brass.

I Remembered!

I do have 58 pieces of once fired given to me by a friend.

I once had a 15" T/C Contender barrel that was a beast with 40grs of 1680.

375 Winchester Brass Substitutes?-375-win-jpg


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Old 10-24-2020, 10:20 AM
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I've backordered from Starline several times and never had to wait very long. I think the business is still small enough to be flexible to customer needs. I always order direct rather than ordering through another supplier.
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Old 10-24-2020, 10:34 AM
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375Win is shorter than 38/55. 38/55 can be trimmed to specs. 375 win is heavier brass than 38/55. In past 30/30 and 38/55 would have been drawn from same button. Case heads would be same. So blowing out 30/30 is fine for 38/55 level loads in 375Win. I wouldn’t load full house loads in this brass. As for Starline, I don’t have any but wonder if it’s just short run of 38/55 cases. In other words same as 30/30 brass.

I had a Big Bore for awhile years ago. I got Marlin a few years ago when we got straight case deer season in Ohio. Of available cartridges the 375Win seemed best. I traded off the Marlin lever and got a #3 Ruger in 375Win so I could shoot spitzer bullets. I was able to gather up a couple hundred new old stock Win brass. Loading with Speer 235gr Semi-Spitzers . At 100yds it won’t matter but you get out 150 and over the spitzer does better for accuracy than 38/55 style bullets.
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Old 10-24-2020, 01:30 PM
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Yes the brass is stronger but in a pinch I would exceed 38-55 loads in that rifle only with 38-55 brass. You are running the risk that someone else can fire it in your gun. If I did so I would mark each case. Obviously 375 Win is the best brass. With the strength of the BB rifles the brass thickness is not an issue, though internal case capacity may be slightly larger.
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Old 10-24-2020, 04:41 PM
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I’m not sure but I think the Big Bore is the weakes of the 3 levers for 375W Sav 99, Mar 375, Win BB. Probably means nothing because all 3 are more than sufficient for 375Win pressures.
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Old 10-24-2020, 05:33 PM
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I might still have some of that .375 brass. I'll look later to make sure I didn't recycle it.

That rifle has been upgraded. Mine doesn't look nearly as fancy.

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Old 10-24-2020, 10:07 PM
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Save the 30-30 and "55" cases for light 100 yard practice loads and your plinking or jack rabbit loads, or what ever is your light duty shooting stuff.

Save the 375 cases for full loads and for hunting deer or Hogs, if you do that sort of thing.
I look at the 375 as a "Magnum" 30-30.

A great load if you don't try pushing it past 200 yards.

A vote for 4198 or RL-7

Have fun.

Last edited by Nevada Ed; 10-25-2020 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 11-04-2020, 10:09 PM
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Today I spotted 4 boxes of Winchester Big Bore 375 at an LGS.

They have it priced at almost $50 per box.

Anyone interested, pm me for LGS phone number.
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Old 11-07-2020, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drm50 View Post
Iím not sure but I think the Big Bore is the weakes of the 3 levers for 375W Sav 99, Mar 375, Win BB. Probably means nothing because all 3 are more than sufficient for 375Win pressures.
Quite irrelevant here, but there was a feeling (rumor/myth/tale?) that the 94BB in 444 was slightly stronger than the Marlin.
This was fostered by a couple of articles in print (Marshall Stanton, Brian Pearce, etc).
Where they got the notion is never completely explained.
The CIP raised their max pressure level for the 444 to over 50kpsi.
Now this really only applies to rifles made in Europe but Vihtavouri for example has issued reloading data that is quite a bit above anything seen here in the USA

I set a personal limit of 45kpsi for lever and break action rifles.
The additional whallop you might get out of another 5kpsi is just not worth it IMHO.
The peace of mind is worth it.
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:52 PM
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The Winchester BB is said to be a little stronger, due to the way the bolt locks.
I am a big Marlin fan, and never Winchester, so it slightly pains me to say that.
It's also true that I doubt either are tested to their limits by 99.9% of shooters.
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Old 11-18-2020, 03:46 AM
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I almost got a Win94BB in 444 when they were offered.
The ported 18" with 1/20" twist is particularly interesting in it's contrast to the Marlin.
However I already had/have a nice Marlin 444S (without the bolt safety) that shoots fine and held off.
Later, following Elmer's advice with regards to hunting big animals in the woods,
I added a B. Rizzini double in 444 to satisfy my urge for an exotic 44 and a new reloading challenge.
(Mr. Keith didn't specifically recommend the 444, but he did advocate the use of doubles in the mountainous Idaho woods.)

I would love to see a Senior or Masters mechanical engineering thesis on the relative strengths of the
Marlin and Winchester actions possibly including some testing to destruction.
New Mexico Tech might be a good place to do this.
EMRTC Services and Research
Marlin folks will argue that the M95 type action, with it's closed top, is less flexible and hence "stronger".
The bolt lock is an open question and I have always liked the W92 or the big 86/71 type action as far as Winchesters go.
Big Horn Armory went with an 86/71 style action when they designed a lever gun for the 500 S&W.
I have both 92's and 94's in 44 Mag.
The 92 is a much better action for revolver rounds.
I have to say the Marlin is easier to take apart, work on, and put back together than any of the Winchesters.

Sorry to ramble on, but I don't have much else to do these days.
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Last edited by Nemo288; 11-18-2020 at 05:37 AM.
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