Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: .308 Marlin Express

  1. #1
    Member TYBSP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    196

    Default .308 Marlin Express

    Will have my new .308 Marlin Express next week and can't wait to experiment with loads. I was wondering if anyone has done any loading for it yet. So far the only place I can find to get brass is by shooting factory loads.

  2. #2

    Default

    Keep us posted on what you learn. I'm a sincere fan of the 308, the 300 Savage, and both the Savage 99 and Marlins. Seems like a winning combo if you can locate components.

  3. #3
    Member TYBSP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    196

    Default

    I've already ordered dies from Midway. Thats the only thing I've got nailed down thus far. I'll probably work up my own loads with Quickload for now. I'd sure like to see Hornady put LEVEREVOLUTION bullets on the market for reloaders. In the meantime its FN or RN.

  4. #4

    Default Marlin express interest

    Keep us posted on your handloading adventures with the new express, please. Am also watching this cartridge with interest. Also anxiously awaiting the Hornady market charge, with their new revolution bullets for the handloading public. Would very much like to see how the 200 GR. - .35
    cal revolution bullet will perform out of the venerable old .358 in a coverted Marlin 366. Yes, indeedy.

    JWB

  5. #5
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,418

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TYBSP View Post
    I've already ordered dies from Midway. Thats the only thing I've got nailed down thus far. I'll probably work up my own loads with Quickload for now. I'd sure like to see Hornady put LEVEREVOLUTION bullets on the market for reloaders. In the meantime its FN or RN.
    What will a pointed bullet do for you that a RN or FN can't do at 2600 fps?

    If you want more velocity use the 130 grain Speer FN, it can be driven to 2800 fps. If you don't use it beyond 200 yards, there is ZERO advantage to a spitzer bullet, given equal weight, and it's power curve is suitable for deer/caribou size out to about 200 yards.

    The 308 Marlin has some promise in the lever gun but it's ballistics are the same as the 307 Winchester, which is good for a lever. It is actually the same case shortened for better efficiency and feeding. Pretty much a reintro of the 307 with their new soft tips. I'm pretty sure it will work fine with the FN/RN bullets. It would also be an excellent round for the 14" encore pistol. It really likes H4895 and the 150's.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  6. #6
    Member TYBSP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    196

    Default

    Ballistically a Pointed Bullet (Spitzer) shoots flatter. Tho it is true that the difference wouldn't be significantly noticed till 250yrds or more. Your point is well taken however and I have rarely shot anything over 150yrds so FN and RN are more than adequate for most of my shooting.

  7. #7
    Member TYBSP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    196

    Default loads for marlin Express

    Well, Ive started loading for the 308 Marlin Express this week. I found some loads to start with on loaddata.com. I'll more than likely build my own load but over its a great place to start.

    The rifle is very nice to hold as far as balance and its very easy for me to snap it up and see the sights very fast. I bought the Stainless 24" version (hard to come by it seems). It comes with a very nice recoil pad and recoil is minimal enough for my 11 year old son to shoot. Its similar to my Browning A-Bolt with Boss as far as recoil.

    Dies were easy to get but brass isnt on the market yet so its a Pay for Factory and reload thing. I'm told you can shorten 307 Brass but havent bought any to test it. I might order some and try in a week or two.

    In the mean time I've been building and playing with AR's and built a serious tack driver. Dime groups very easy at 100yds with .223. Whatever keeps you going I guess.

    Later
    Mike

  8. #8
    Member rlcofmn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    154

    Default Powders not avalable to the public

    Im not sure what mag i read this in but they said that the way they are getting the velocity they do out of that round is by using new powder that is not avalable to the public. So my question is if you are going to be able to make a load equal to the factory stuff. I will try to find that and post it on here. I really have no idea but i did read that and thought it might be something to think about.

  9. #9
    Member TYBSP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    196

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rlcofmn View Post
    Im not sure what mag i read this in but they said that the way they are getting the velocity they do out of that round is by using new powder that is not avalable to the public. So my question is if you are going to be able to make a load equal to the factory stuff. I will try to find that and post it on here. I really have no idea but i did read that and thought it might be something to think about.

    Whatever Powder they are using, its all a matter of acceptable pressure.
    Any load velocity should be fairly close (within a few thousand) in pressure for that given velocity. Heres what I found that is fairly impressive.

    150gn RN Hornady in a 30-30 Max velocity 2300fps 36gn BL(C2)
    150gn RN Hornady in a 308 Marlin Max Velocity 2700fps 49.2gn Win748 or 48.3gns of IMR-4895
    150gn RN Hornady in a .308 Win. Max Velocity 2800fps 46.4gn IMR-4895

    This is basically what Marlin says about the Marlin Express is just a bit slower than the .308. I'm not sure at all what powder they are using but there is certainly powders that will crank up the velocity. Keeping in mind these are RN or HP bullets and that alone can slow a bullet down so these are pretty dang good IMO.

    As far as a deer or moose gun the .308 Marlin Express is fairly impressive over say a 30-30. Not that a 30-30 is bad, I have one that I REALLY enjoy but this Marlin Express is also very impressive and perhaps more versatile than the 30-30 if not equal to a 308 and in a lever rifle to boot. IMO hehe

    If you are a lever nut like me, you will like this one.

  10. #10

    Default

    In my mind it compares best to the 300 Savage. And that's a sincere compliment. One of my favorite rounds, and the way prices are going for used 99's these days, the Marlin is going to give you a "cheap" way to get the same ballistics.

    I wouldn't be scoping it, so long range trajectory isn't an issue for me. Add a receiver sight, then go out and practice to learn your range limits. Inside my limits, I wouldn't hesitate to poke a moose with it. Smaller stuff goes without saying.

    I'd sure stock up on these or the Winchester version. They also have 150's. Comparatively cheap shooting, and a long history of excellent performance on game.

    Keep us posted on your results, both at the loading bench and on the range. That's more than an idle request from this 300 Savage fan.

  11. #11
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,418

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TYBSP View Post
    Whatever Powder they are using, its all a matter of acceptable pressure.
    Any load velocity should be fairly close (within a few thousand) in pressure for that given velocity. Heres what I found that is fairly impressive.

    150gn RN Hornady in a 30-30 Max velocity 2300fps 36gn BL(C2)
    150gn RN Hornady in a 308 Marlin Max Velocity 2700fps 49.2gn Win748 or 48.3gns of IMR-4895
    150gn RN Hornady in a .308 Win. Max Velocity 2800fps 46.4gn IMR-4895

    This is basically what Marlin says about the Marlin Express is just a bit slower than the .308. I'm not sure at all what powder they are using but there is certainly powders that will crank up the velocity. Keeping in mind these are RN or HP bullets and that alone can slow a bullet down so these are pretty dang good IMO.

    As far as a deer or moose gun the .308 Marlin Express is fairly impressive over say a 30-30. Not that a 30-30 is bad, I have one that I REALLY enjoy but this Marlin Express is also very impressive and perhaps more versatile than the 30-30 if not equal to a 308 and in a lever rifle to boot. IMO hehe

    If you are a lever nut like me, you will like this one.
    I'll agree with Brownbear about the 308 Marlin being like the 300 Savage. A fine old round that Savage. I'll have to question the load data you posted here. There is no way the 308 Marlin will hold or tollerate more powder than the 308 Winchester. I don't even think the empty case will hold 48 grains of 4895 or 49 grains of W748. I'd recheck that. Also for loading data, you can use 300 Savage data. The 307 Winchester is the 308 Winchester with the 30-30 rim on it. The 308 Marlin is the 307 Winchester case shortened about .100". It will not load with the 308 Winchester.

    You're right the 307 is a big jump over 30-30 ballistics and should be a fun caliber to breath new life into a lever gun.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  12. #12
    Member TYBSP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    196

    Default

    Not exactly sure about the above loads that I posted as I did not try the load. However I just finished loading 180gn Hornady RN with 44gns of BL-C2 and they fired nicely. No signs of over pressure. Quickload estimates 2350fps. I believe I can go as high as 45gns for a max around 2400fps.

    I'm going to stay at 44gns though till I load more. Currently I'm still using 308 Marlin Express factory loads to get my brass. I'll probably buy some 307 brass soon however and trim it down to size.

  13. #13
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,418

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TYBSP View Post
    Not exactly sure about the above loads that I posted as I did not try the load. However I just finished loading 180gn Hornady RN with 44gns of BL-C2 and they fired nicely. No signs of over pressure. Quickload estimates 2350fps. I believe I can go as high as 45gns for a max around 2400fps.

    I'm going to stay at 44gns though till I load more. Currently I'm still using 308 Marlin Express factory loads to get my brass. I'll probably buy some 307 brass soon however and trim it down to size.
    OK, but look at your load here for the 308 Win vs the Marlin. The 308 Win is definately a larger case yet the load is less (and is a true max load).

    150gn RN Hornady in a 308 Marlin Max Velocity 2700fps 48.3gns of IMR-4895
    150gn RN Hornady in a .308 Win. Max Velocity 2800fps 46.4gn IMR-4895

    I have not loaded the 308 Marlin but I'm sure since it is smaller than the 308 Winchster it cannot use more of the same powder and give less velocity and still be loaded to Marlin model 336 pressure limits. Just an observation. The cartridge ballistically is a twin of the 300 Savage, A fine round in a lever gun, and so is the Marlin express, it is the 307 Win shortened to feed through the 336 rifle better.

    Am I wrong about the Marlin? Is it shortened in body or just the neck trimmed. Will you have to push the shoulder back on the 307 brass? I have read it is a shortened 307 case and I know Marlin had some problems feeding the 307 with available 30-30 bullets. Maybe I'm wrong, here. That would be twice I've been wrong and I'm not even 60 yet!
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  14. #14
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,418

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TYBSP View Post
    Not exactly sure about the above loads that I posted as I did not try the load. However I just finished loading 180gn Hornady RN with 44gns of BL-C2 and they fired nicely. No signs of over pressure. Quickload estimates 2350fps. I believe I can go as high as 45gns for a max around 2400fps.

    I'm going to stay at 44gns though till I load more. Currently I'm still using 308 Marlin Express factory loads to get my brass. I'll probably buy some 307 brass soon however and trim it down to size.
    I ran some 307 Winchester brass through my f/l sizer die for the 308 Marlin express and trimmed to length. This is .115" shorter than the 307 Winchester. When seating a 150 grain Hornady round nose bullet with 41.0 grains of IMR4895, it was a compressed load. With 42.2 grains H4895 was compressed. The Hodgdon Powder webb site gives a max load with 150 grain Hornady bullets as; IMR4895 41.0 grains Velocity of 2575 fps and pressure of 46,000 psi (Max load). With H4895 40.5 grains is max with velocity of 2607 fps. Initially it seems H4895 would be the best powder for peak performance.

    With BL-C2 and a 170 grain Hornady bullet, max was 40.6 grains and 2411 fps and pressure of 45,200 psi. All of these from a 24" barrel. I could not get more than 42 grains of BL-C2 in with this 170 grain bullet.

    This is a small case. It is very efficient but I don't think it can be loaded with the same powder charge of the 307 Win. I've ordered a gun in this caliber, though not a Marlin. I intend to wring it out and see what it will do. I'll chronograph everything and post the results for those who might be interested.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  15. #15
    Member TYBSP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    196

    Default

    I believe I should have clarified the info better.
    The load data I posted for the 308 Win. was taken from a load manual that indicated the information was "Max".

    The load data I posted for the 308 Marlin Express was a load I worked up in Quickload.

    Though it looks like something isnt correct, I assure you it is. I'm sure I could work up a load for the 308 Win that would exceed what I posted. The problem is that I didnt post the source of my info.

    Though I have not actually loaded the 308 Marlin with the info I posted, I have loaded, tested, and reload often the following.
    180gn Hornady RN loaded using 44gns of BL-C2 at 2350fps (medium load)
    180gn Hornady RN loaded using 45.5gns of BL-C2 at 2440fps (Max Load)
    180gn Hornady RN loaded using 44gns of Win-748 at 2455fps (Max Load)

    The data I posted originally was this.
    150gn RN Hornady in a 308 Marlin Max Velocity 2700fps 49.2gn Win748 or 48.3gns of IMR-4895

    I have rechecked that data and am very confident that it is valid as a Max load. Though I would not recommend anyone starting with that load.

    I worked up a Max Load senario for the 308 Win using Quickload and came up with the following.
    150gn RN Hornady in a .308 Win. Max Velocity 2950fps 48gn IMR-4895
    So using the same source helps quite a bit. This shows that using basically the same powder charge in both calibers produces quite different results. Still the 308 Marlin Express is impressive though not Par with the 308 Win.

    I hope this helps clear the confusion I created.

    Sorry it took so long to get back to this, I've been playing around building a few AR's. Three actually. But I'm finished with them so now its back to shooting and reloading.

    Mike

  16. #16

    Default

    Your #'s reaffirm that the Marlin is more akin to the 300 Savage, and as I said before, that's a compliment. Yeah, I've owned and shot my fair share of 308's in a wide range of rifles. I've owned and shot the 300 Savage in three diverse models, too.

    Shooting both, you won't notice any difference in the field. And the real value of the Marlin is putting a round of this capabiliy back into the contemporary lever action field. Anyone who has never used a round of these capabilities in a lever is missing out. Big time.

  17. #17

    Default

    As usual with a new cartridge some unrealistic or at best overly optomistic velocities are attributed to the new wonder cartridge. The .308 marlin will never equal the .308 win and you shouldn't expect it to; more so given the difference between bolt and lever guns ......and it just doesn't matter. The Savage 99 and 300 savage combination was and is a gem! If the new .308 matches up to that, then I think it will give a useful and significant advantage over the 30-30 for lever fans and plaid shirt wearers amongst us regardless of what shape bullets are used and of course you can buy guns that aren't 50 years old. What's not to like!

    good luck

  18. #18

    Default

    Just got my annual email from a hunting friend in NoCal, who not coincidentally is a lover of the 300 Savage like me. Here's his ballistic report from this year's blacktail hunt with his 99:

    "Tried that 165 grain partition load you like, but gotta say it wasn't as good as I hoped. The buck missed Boone and Crockett by two whole points!!! That's what I get for shooting cheap bullets. Bet if I had used Barnes it would have made the top of the list.

    "Seriously, I'm delighted. Popped him face-on square in the brisket at about 80 yards, and recoverd the bullet from the hide under the back of the right ham. It weighed 138.4 grains! Dropped him like he had ben electrocuted."


    Not bad field performance, is it? For frame of reference alongside your Marlin, the 300 Savage pushes the Nosler 165 comfortably at 2400 fps. In long years of shooting we have found 165's to be the best compromise between heavy and light for both trajectory and penetration. You might be thinking 180, but in the Savage anyway, a 180 is slow enough to have trajectory penalties, while the 165 penetrates at least as well and shoots a lot flatter.

  19. #19
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,418

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TYBSP View Post
    I believe I should have clarified the info better.
    The load data I posted for the 308 Win. was taken from a load manual that indicated the information was "Max".

    The load data I posted for the 308 Marlin Express was a load I worked up in Quickload.

    Though it looks like something isnt correct, I assure you it is. I'm sure I could work up a load for the 308 Win that would exceed what I posted. The problem is that I didnt post the source of my info.

    Though I have not actually loaded the 308 Marlin with the info I posted, I have loaded, tested, and reload often the following.
    180gn Hornady RN loaded using 44gns of BL-C2 at 2350fps (medium load)
    180gn Hornady RN loaded using 45.5gns of BL-C2 at 2440fps (Max Load)
    180gn Hornady RN loaded using 44gns of Win-748 at 2455fps (Max Load)

    The data I posted originally was this.
    150gn RN Hornady in a 308 Marlin Max Velocity 2700fps 49.2gn Win748 or 48.3gns of IMR-4895

    I have rechecked that data and am very confident that it is valid as a Max load. Though I would not recommend anyone starting with that load.

    I worked up a Max Load senario for the 308 Win using Quickload and came up with the following.
    150gn RN Hornady in a .308 Win. Max Velocity 2950fps 48gn IMR-4895
    So using the same source helps quite a bit. This shows that using basically the same powder charge in both calibers produces quite different results. Still the 308 Marlin Express is impressive though not Par with the 308 Win.

    I hope this helps clear the confusion I created.

    Sorry it took so long to get back to this, I've been playing around building a few AR's. Three actually. But I'm finished with them so now its back to shooting and reloading.

    Mike

    Mike,

    With all due respect to you, your loading talents and Quickload, I have to disagree with the 308 Winchester load and the 308 Marlin Express loads.

    I have actually loaded now for both of these and what Quickload is giving you is well beyond the maximum charge.

    First of all Quickload must know to what pressure would be a max load. With the 308 Winchester, that level is 60,000 psi, with the 308 Marlin Express, it is 47,000psi. This difference is because the Marlin round is made for Matlin leveraction rifles. The 308 WInchester is contained in much stronger bolt action rifles and other actions with stronger lockup.

    Your original post with that powder in the 308Win and 150 grain bullets is a max load. The 48.3 grains in the 308 Marlin is way over max for the Marlin Express and will not even go in the case without a bullet.

    150gn RN Hornady in a 308 Marlin Max Velocity 2700fps 48.3gns of IMR-4895
    150gn RN Hornady in a .308 Win. Max Velocity 2800fps 46.4gn IMR-4895


    IMR 4895 is a max load in a 308 Winchester at about 46.0 grains. Every loading manual I have supports that and the highest safe charge I have listed in any of my notes, which is rather extensive loading for the 308 Winchester, is only 46.2 grains with the various 150 grain bullets. Velocity for this load is around 2800 fps in 22-24" of barrel, varying from gun to gun. The 308 Winchester can deliver some very good velocity with 150 grain bullets but IMR4895 isn't the powder for it.

    The 308 Marlin Express loads you have listed here are significantly over max as they are over max with the 150 grain bullet and a bunch over for the 180 grain. Hodgdon's lists a max load with 748 and the 170 grain bullet as 40.0 grains and a velocity of 2432. I did not try this one but pressure is listed at 45,400 psi. With this same 170 grain bullet and BL-C(2) powder, a max load of 40.6 grains gave 2420 fps and a pressure of 44,800 psi.

    180gn Hornady RN loaded using 44gns of BL-C2 at 2350fps (medium load)
    180gn Hornady RN loaded using 45.5gns of BL-C2 at 2440fps (Max Load)
    180gn Hornady RN loaded using 44gns of Win-748 at 2455fps (Max Load)

    The 308 Marlin Express cannot ever be loaded with charges that are greater than max loads for the 308 Winchester. It is a much smaller case. The 300 Savage, an excellecnt round, is very close to the ballistic twin of the new Marlin round. It holds only slightly more powder to the neck but with its short neck, when loaded with a bullet it has very similar case capacity and its pressure limit is very close to the 308 Marlin. It is the cartridge to which we should compare the new Marlin round and not the 308 Winchester. The 308 Marlin is a 300 Savage with a more conventional lever friendly rim.

    Some years ago when we shot a lot of handgun metallic sihleuette we made the 7mm IHMSA round. This was the 300 savage necked to .284". I was never satisfied with that. I pushed the neck back on the 300 savage and necked it to 6.5mm then 7mm and back to .308". I had a 12 barreled Wichita pistol made in the new redesigned 300 Savage. This case was 1.870" long but had a .300" neck length. It was a suped up 30 Herrett. Its performance in a 12" gun was impressive and was a hunting handgun of mine for a long time.

    The rimless Savage case caused some problems in the falling block pistol which I liked and when the 307 and 356 Winchester cartridges were introduced in the early eighties, I grabbed this case and shortened it to 1.875" with the shoulder pushed to leave .300" of neck and a 30 degree shoulder with a little more taper than the 300 Savage case. I had E. Arther Brown make a single shot pistol for me in this caliber. It is still with me today. It's performance is on a par with the new 308 Marlin, given comparable barrel length, and it's dimensions are so very close. I've owned this gun since 1986.

    I use some of the computer loading programs and they are useful. I also use the old Powley computers and have written calculations to convert the Powley to use various modern powders and it does work quite well. As with any theoretical treatise, they are fun to play with but the proof is in the practical application.

    How's the AR project coming?
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  20. #20
    Member TYBSP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    196

    Default

    Well Murphy you convinced me to go over all my info and thats what I did today. I think I may have found why we aren't coming up with similar loads.

    One issue is what I found while experimenting with C.O.L. I too read the load data from Hodgdon and in the beginning was using the suggested C.O.L. of 2.400. The problem I had with that measurement was that the cartridges would not feed worth a crap. They would jamb and I would have to work the lever up and down a bit before they would slide into place.

    So I decided to see what a maximum C.O.L. would work. I came up with 2.555 as the best C.O.L. The longer cartridges feed perfectly and I am able to load 5 into the feed tube. A very small amount longer and I can only load 4 but they still feed perfectly. At 2.555 I am still .140 to lands.

    Based on your concerns I backed off on my loads and worked them up to a current load of 41gns BL-C2 using the 180gn Hornady RN. This is far from a compact load as there is still a fair amount of room in the case. I will Chronograph the loads tomorrow for actual Velocity.

    Based on my experience with my Wildcat modified 405, I've found that by loading a longer C.O.L. you reduce pressure when using the same powder charge. With more room you can add a larger charge which brings pressure back up. Somewhere in there Velocity is effected as well. Seat Depth can effect pressure as well. .02 increase in Seat Depth can increase pressure a Great deal.

    Anyway, I believe the above is the culprit of our disagreement in a large way.

    As for Velocities, I will Chronograph what I try and create better load data.

    Keep in mind as well that my info from now on will be using resized 307 Win. Brass until such time as Hornady decides to sell 308 Marlin Express Brass.

    Below shows nicely how much additional capacity can be gained by reducing Seat Depth. Notice the Canalure on the following images cannot be seen. I Seat the 180gn Hornady RN to just above the Canalure. I am not crimping at all. 180gn RN on Left and 170gn FN on Right.



    Below is a comparison of 308 Marlin Express brass on the Left and 307 Win. Brass on the right.


    Below is comparison of my Hand loaded 180gn and a Factory Load




    Below shows both Bases.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •