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Thread: .338 marlin express

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    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    Default .338 marlin express

    a joint venture between hornady and marlin produced some of the fastest, most powerful, and accurate traditional lever rifles extent. in 2009 hornady's ballistics dept under the direction of dave emary developed a cartridge with a ballistics match to the 30-06 180gr load. with a muzzle velocity of 2565fps and energy of 2921 this bullet retains 1500 ft pounds of energy at 400yds .featuring the flatest trajectory and down range energy of any cartridge ever made. this 200gr flex tip bullet is an honest 400yd gun, and has enough energy for any north american game.

    in 2011 my .338 marlin express took two elk with two hits...2012 it accounted for a whitail with one more shot. my rifle is stock except for the excellent trigger and ejector from wild west guns ( thanks kid ). i lapped the bolt and mounted a 4x burris scope and found this combination to be a favorite.

    bench shooting is accurate and pleasant, and shooting from field positions is easy with the 24" barrel and excellent stock/recoil pad. this rifle and cartridge may not be a substitute for your old favorite, but it is really beginning to grow on me.
    happy trails.
    jh

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinehavensredrocket View Post
    a joint venture between hornady and marlin produced some of the fastest, most powerful, and accurate traditional lever rifles extent. in 2009 hornady's ballistics dept under the direction of dave emary developed a cartridge with a ballistics match to the 30-06 180gr load. with a muzzle velocity of 2565fps and energy of 2921 this bullet retains 1500 ft pounds of energy at 400yds .featuring the flatest trajectory and down range energy of any cartridge ever made. this 200gr flex tip bullet is an honest 400yd gun, and has enough energy for any north american game.

    in 2011 my .338 marlin express took two elk with two hits...2012 it accounted for a whitail with one more shot. my rifle is stock except for the excellent trigger and ejector from wild west guns ( thanks kid ). i lapped the bolt and mounted a 4x burris scope and found this combination to be a favorite.

    bench shooting is accurate and pleasant, and shooting from field positions is easy with the 24" barrel and excellent stock/recoil pad. this rifle and cartridge may not be a substitute for your old favorite, but it is really beginning to grow on me.
    I have a good friend, that occasionally posts on the forum, that absolutely loves the rifle/cartridge combination. I think at this point he has used it for a couple of moose and a brown bear--it certainly is a neat idea.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    You're right about its uses and potential. I've been real close to buying it a couple of times, but then I talk to a bud with one. He's a happy camper with factory loads, but totally frustrated with it as a reloader. He doesn't like the spectrum of suitable bullets, and he's had trouble coming up with the right powder for best accuracy and anything close to factory vels.

    Have you been reloading for it and encountered similar issues? My bud (and me too!) would love to hear if you have it sorted.

    Thanks

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    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    You're right about its uses and potential. I've been real close to buying it a couple of times, but then I talk to a bud with one. He's a happy camper with factory loads, but totally frustrated with it as a reloader. He doesn't like the spectrum of suitable bullets, and he's had trouble coming up with the right powder for best accuracy and anything close to factory vels.

    Have you been reloading for it and encountered similar issues? My bud (and me too!) would love to hear if you have it sorted.

    Thanks
    hi brownbear i have used factory ammunition a lot and like it for power and accuracy, but have killed all my game with hornady flex tip bullets and leverevolution powder.i am using fired & new cases from hornady and they size and chamber just great. following the guide manual, my crono reads 2512fps, but the game doesn't seem to know the difference!
    jh
    as an aside...the cases don't show pressure signs in either primer pocket, web size, or extraction. my guess is that similar loads to factory specs could be reached safely..but mine work so well i haven't tried.
    happy trails.
    jh

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    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    well......the classic calibers will always hold their place in history and their effectiveness is not in doubt, but this new caliber is interesting. accuracy with the heavy-built 200gr bullets is very good and with a 430 bc quite "rangy" as well.
    happy trails.
    jh

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    I have a good friend, that occasionally posts on the forum, that absolutely loves the rifle/cartridge combination. I think at this point he has used it for a couple of moose and a brown bear--it certainly is a neat idea.
    well......the classic calibers will always hold their place in history and their effectiveness is not in doubt, but this new caliber is interesting. accuracy with the heavy-built 200gr bullets is very good and with a 430 bc quite "rangy" as well.
    happy trails.
    jh

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinehavensredrocket View Post
    a joint venture between hornady and marlin produced some of the fastest, most powerful, and accurate traditional lever rifles extent. in 2009 hornady's ballistics dept under the direction of dave emary developed a cartridge with a ballistics match to the 30-06 180gr load. with a muzzle velocity of 2565fps and energy of 2921 this bullet retains 1500 ft pounds of energy at 400yds .featuring the flatest trajectory and down range energy of any cartridge ever made. this 200gr flex tip bullet is an honest 400yd gun, and has enough energy for any north american game.

    in 2011 my .338 marlin express took two elk with two hits...2012 it accounted for a whitail with one more shot. my rifle is stock except for the excellent trigger and ejector from wild west guns ( thanks kid ). i lapped the bolt and mounted a 4x burris scope and found this combination to be a favorite.

    bench shooting is accurate and pleasant, and shooting from field positions is easy with the 24" barrel and excellent stock/recoil pad. this rifle and cartridge may not be a substitute for your old favorite, but it is really beginning to grow on me.
    It is an interesting cartridge. Does it offer any real advantage over say the .356/.358 Winchester or even the .338 Federal? I've wanted to take a 35 Rem. Marlin 336 and re-chamber it for .358 Win. for quite a while for the same reasons you like the Marlin. There's a gun shop nearby that has a new in box Model 94 in .356 Win for $750 that tempts me every time I am there also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evandailey View Post
    It is an interesting cartridge. Does it offer any real advantage over say the .356/.358 Winchester or even the .338 Federal? I've wanted to take a 35 Rem. Marlin 336 and re-chamber it for .358 Win. for quite a while for the same reasons you like the Marlin. There's a gun shop nearby that has a new in box Model 94 in .356 Win for $750 that tempts me every time I am there also.
    Better yet, to me anyways, at the last gunshow here in ANC a guy was selling a really nice Marlin 336ER in 356 for 450$. I didn't have the scratch and am a 35 rem guy anyway, but it was a good deal on a nice gun in a cool caliber.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evandailey View Post
    It is an interesting cartridge. Does it offer any real advantage over say the .356/.358 Winchester or even the .338 Federal? I've wanted to take a 35 Rem. Marlin 336 and re-chamber it for .358 Win. for quite a while for the same reasons you like the Marlin. There's a gun shop nearby that has a new in box Model 94 in .356 Win for $750 that tempts me every time I am there also.
    It is easily chambered in traditional leveraction rifles, while the .338 Federal or .358 Winchester are not and the .356 Winchester is not presently available from any manufacturer. The other cartridges mentioned are all fine cartridges in their own right, but this doesn't make the .338 Marlin/XLR a poor combination. In the last many years, I feel that the .338 Marlin is among the best new cartridges as it truly does something "different." I like different much more than the same old thing in a new wrapper.......
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    evan, you better grab that rifle up! Take that 356 big bore, flip the bird at velocity, and stoke it full of reloader 10x and a 310 grain woodleigh round nose.

    jh,

    take your 338 marlin, flip the bird at those silly jelly donut tipped bullets, and load up some 300 grain woodleigh round nosed bullets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinehavensredrocket View Post
    a joint venture between hornady and marlin produced some of the fastest, most powerful, and accurate traditional lever rifles extent. in 2009 hornady's ballistics dept under the direction of dave emary developed a cartridge with a ballistics match to the 30-06 180gr load. with a muzzle velocity of 2565fps and energy of 2921 this bullet retains 1500 ft pounds of energy at 400yds .featuring the flatest trajectory and down range energy of any cartridge ever made. this 200gr flex tip bullet is an honest 400yd gun, and has enough energy for any north american game.

    in 2011 my .338 marlin express took two elk with two hits...2012 it accounted for a whitail with one more shot. my rifle is stock except for the excellent trigger and ejector from wild west guns ( thanks kid ). i lapped the bolt and mounted a 4x burris scope and found this combination to be a favorite.

    bench shooting is accurate and pleasant, and shooting from field positions is easy with the 24" barrel and excellent stock/recoil pad. this rifle and cartridge may not be a substitute for your old favorite, but it is really beginning to grow on me.
    The 338 Marlin Express, may be a great cartridge, but how is it a "ballistics match" to the 30-06?

    The 30-06 180 travels at around 2700 fps. It is 30 cal. and has a better BC & SD.

    If this claim is based on ME, and I'm assuming it is, that is a meaningless figure.

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    [QUOTE=Smitty of the North;1213029]The 338 Marlin Express, may be a great cartridge, but how is it a "ballistics match" to the 30-06?




    hi smitty; the figures are based on terminal velocity/energy, and are quite close. figures are based on the 24" issue barrel not a pressure test barrel.

    in addition the heavy built 200 gr bullet is designed for heavy game, and in three different animals ( two elk one deer ) bullets were a complete pass through.

    the beauty of this rifle, is that the ballistic performance is there in a traditional lever format. for those folks who like that ( count me in ) it is a great improvement. paper ballistics aside,if you like a rifle that can be used close & far this is it.
    happy trails.
    jh

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    evan, you better grab that rifle up! Take that 356 big bore, flip the bird at velocity, and stoke it full of reloader 10x and a 310 grain woodleigh round nose.

    jh,

    take your 338 marlin, flip the bird at those silly jelly donut tipped bullets, and load up some 300 grain woodleigh round nosed bullets.

    mainer; bird flipping not withstanding....this 200gr bullet is designed for heavy game, and in my limited experience, delivers the goods. as a .35 cal fan i thought you would applaud these companies not only keeping the lever rifle alive but bringing it up to bolt action performance & accuracy.

    the beauty of those "jelly filled" bullets is .430bc which in a traditional leverrifle is unheard of. see my 200yd group, i am only a so-so rifle shot. someone like you could do much better. try one, you will be amazed, in a good way.
    happy trails.
    jh

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    Believe its much like comparing the 338-06 to the 35 Whelen in bolt guns
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    I think it all boils down to this. People want bigger, better rifle rounds to hunt with. Marlin, looking at their product line and sales, probably needed something, new and better to help out. New 30/30 rounds could be loaded to +P rounds IF there were not older weaker actions out there, and henceforth liability. So with lagging sales they had to come up with something better. For dense hardwood foresst and brush conditions like in Northern NY and Maine, the old 30/30 or .35 Remington just plain work. But, bigger, flatter, better is what most people want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    I think it all boils down to this. People want bigger, better rifle rounds to hunt with. ...
    Yea, and to think folks used to hunt with the .25-20 or .32-30 and our forefathers ate just fine. Must've been better shots than we are....

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinehavensredrocket View Post
    mainer; bird flipping not withstanding....this 200gr bullet is designed for heavy game, and in my limited experience, delivers the goods. as a .35 cal fan i thought you would applaud these companies not only keeping the lever rifle alive but bringing it up to bolt action performance & accuracy.
    Seems to me a company back in 1919 came out with this idea and kept improving on it until they finally discontinued the line in the 90's and went solely to bolt rifle production. Today Savage could build the same M99 in "SUPER calibers" if there were a market, it's just not there. Browning offers a lever platform with "SUPER calibers" check their sales against bolt gun sales. Even Winchester dropped the M94 after over 125 yrs of production, I'm sure this was due to poor sales performance. Not saying levers don't have their place or won't perform as adequately as they have done for the past century, but time and technology have rendered them obsolete (NOT USELESS).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion8 View Post
    Yea, and to think folks used to hunt with the .25-20 or .32-30 and our forefathers ate just fine. Must've been better shots than we are....
    Not knocking the old rounds or our forefathers (mine killed a pile of whitetails with the 30-30) but they lived in different times. A lot of those guys hunted dang near year round. In my grandfather's day, "deer camp" lasted a whole month and "seasons of opportunity" often presented themselves in direct correlation to the proximity of the game warden- no judgements, just the facts in the poverty stricken Depression era South.

    Now rifle season is barely over a week long there and development has tremendously impacted the locations one can even hunt. Alaska is different in a lot of regards but most of the US has shorter seasons and more limited opportunity and for a lot of guys it boils down to just one chance a year (or even every few years) to punch a tag. Most of them aren't betting that opportunity on the 30-30. Admittedly, some of that inadequacy is imaginary but there are some real shortcomings to those cartridges as well.

    I think the new Marlin rounds are an interesting approach they've taken to make their product relevant in a competitive marketplace again. Not that I think they've ever been irrelevant in the field but when you've made millions of rifles that are still capable of providing good service to a shrinking market you have to do something a little different. On another thread about the 30-30, it's apparent a lot of the guys here still have a very functional, very old lever gun and few of us are looking to buy another.
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    I'm weary of the hornady 200 grain bullets. I tried one in 35 caliber/200 grain in the 358 win (2,700 fps) I lost a whole moose front quarter. It was so horrible, that I started to get choked up looking at the loss of meat. It changed me. Ever since then, I've gone after moose with the biggest bullet my rifles can throw.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    I'm weary of the hornady 200 grain bullets. I tried one in 35 caliber/200 grain in the 358 win (2,700 fps) I lost a whole moose front quarter. It was so horrible, that I started to get choked up looking at the loss of meat. It changed me. Ever since then, I've gone after moose with the biggest bullet my rifles can throw.
    I think I've commented on this before, but I've found that 200 grain Hornady lacking on numerous whitetails when used in a .358 Win for sub 2500 fps impact velocity. It is not a good hunting bullet IME though it has been very accurate. The .338 200 grain flex tip is in another class altogether as demonstrated on moose and bear. I used to think bullet weight the most significant factor, but experience has shown construction and composition dictate a bullets performance at any given impact velocity. I like heavies, but there are other ways to arrive at the same terminal conclusion--sometimes with external ballistic benefits.
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