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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found what looks to be a good buy on a new production Winchester 94 in .38-55. However, I don't know much about the round. I'd like a rifle that that would be useful for deer out to about 150-200 yards maximum, black bear, maybe elk at close range. Deer and bear would be the primary purpose, however, and the primary shooter would be me, with my wife using it occassionally. She says she wants me to buy her a Ruger #1 RSI in .243, but good luck finding one, and even then I could get two good lever rifles for the cost of a #1. Plus, I don't feel good about the .243 for even small black bears.

Making the Missus happy aside, my question is, can the .38-55 be handloaded SAFELY to accomplish these tasks? I assume it can also be loaded down for more pleasant target shooting.

Also, how has the quality control been on the newer Winchesters? The last time I had any contact with their new rifles was in 1988, and I saw a batch of 10 model 94's come to the shop where I worked at the time. Four of those had visibly warped barrels. That scared me off for a while, but time can change things like Quality Control.

Regards,
Mike

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your replies, gentlemen. They were very helpful. I may be going with the .38-55.

With regard to the missus and her wish for a .243...well. I have a friend whose mantra is "if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy", and like all colloquialisms, there is a grain of truth there. That said, I tried to at least talk her into a 7x57 in the Ruger, to no avail. I figured that if the .38-55 could be loaded heavy for elk and bears, it could also be loaded down for light practice loads, so ol' girl would actually shoot the thing a few times.

Thanks again.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Upon further reflection, I ended up going with a Marlin 336 in .35 Remington instead. It should arrive within 10 days or so, then I will hopefully be able to break free from work long enough to shoot it.

Thank you everybody for your input.

Mike
 
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