38-55 Winchester Ammunition

Cartridge Hall of Fame

The 38-55 Winchester Centerfire started life as a Ballard Target Cartridge in 1884. Winchester later chambered this cartridge in the Model 1885 single shot, along with the famous Model 1894 lever action.

It's considered a medium power cartridge generating as much as 1,500 foot-pounds of energy. The 38-55’s name is derived from the old convention caliber of the bullet over grains of powder, 38 caliber bullet 55 grains of black powder. The case is a straight wall rim design, the rim is used to control headspace. Ideal for single shots and lever actions.

The 38-55, while first developed for the Ballard Target Rifles and later used in the Marlin and Winchester lever actions, was also a popular chambering in the Winchester 1885 single shot.

Modern ammunition for the 38-55 typically features a 255-grain jacketed bullet. Although, some specialty companies offer cast led bullet loads.

The popularity of the 38-55 Winchester in the 19th and early part of the 20th century earned it a place in the Cartridge Hall of Fame.