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Old August 27, 2009, 09:28 PM   #1
skydiver3346
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.308 Marlin Express?

Am thinking about geting this lever action rifle for this coming hunting season. Been reading a lot of good stuff about the cartridge and the Marlin
.308 M. E. rifle. Was wondering if anyone on TFL has experience with this gun and willing to share some feedback with me on how it performed?
Thanks for your help.
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Old August 27, 2009, 09:40 PM   #2
garryc
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As often as I go to the range, and that's very very often, I have never seen a 308 marlin. I gotta think it is a round that's not going to be around long. If you buy that rifle you better get lots of ammo and reloading stuff for it.
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Old August 29, 2009, 06:40 AM   #3
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I own a lot of Marlins but not the .308MX. However my good friend and hunting buddy of 45 years has one. Last year we were fortunate enough to go out west for antelope and I watched him kill one at 297 yds with one shot he went straight to the ground. I have shot his at 100 yds on a range with less than 1" groups.
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Old August 29, 2009, 06:47 AM   #4
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I shot the .308 Marlin when it first came out. Nice shooting, but Hornaday was the only one making ammo for it. Very limited in bullet selection and the powder is proprietary to Hornaday so there is NO reloading data for it. At least at that time.
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Old August 29, 2009, 09:53 AM   #5
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It's a great round and I am debating buying one right now. The only reason I haven't marched down to the gun shop and bought the one on the rack is because Marlin just brought out a 338 MX and I might want that one instead. If you're a handloader you don't care about the succes or failure of the round commercially and if you aren't, just stock up on ammo now.
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Old August 29, 2009, 12:47 PM   #6
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You remeber the 307 winchester, same gig same outcome.
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Old August 29, 2009, 09:38 PM   #7
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+1 GaryC

Rimmed 308W case with less capacity. Get a real 308 and you'll be happy. Edit - Sorry that's GarryC
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Old August 30, 2009, 10:29 AM   #8
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The .307 failed not because it wasn't a good idea but because people didn't buy them. Big difference! Probably add in some poor marketing on Winchester's part. The Marlin should have a much better chance at success because the market seems to be more open to the concept and the rifles are better suited to scope mounting. They were also smart enough to team up with Hornady and design an aerodynamic projectile that makes the most of its velocity but is also safe for a tubular magazine. Not to mention being chambered in the lovely long barrelled XLR's. I still lament the loss of the old Big Bore .307 and .356, they were great rifles with lots of potential.


Quote:
Get a real 308 and you'll be happy.
"Real" .308's don't come in a traditional levergun. So negative, I wouldn't be happy with a "real" .308. Modern boltguns hold almost no appeal for me.

Last edited by CraigC; August 30, 2009 at 10:42 AM.
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Old August 30, 2009, 11:06 AM   #9
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How about a Browning BLR, you'll be able to buy ammo for that. The 308 Marlin is actually a recreation of the 307 winchester. And it will fail just the same way. I know two guys with the winchester big bores in 307. They hord their brass like gold. They don't make it much anymore. The same will be true of the 308 marlin
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Old August 30, 2009, 11:35 AM   #10
moosemike
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The .308 Marlin is not a recreation of the .307 Win. The Marlin round is rimless and the dimensions differ.
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Old August 30, 2009, 11:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosemike
The .308 Marlin is not a recreation of the .307 Win. The Marlin round is rimless and the dimensions differ.
308 Marlin Express is not rimless, it is semi-rimmed similar to the .220 Swift.

And honestly it is essentially a recreation of the .307. Yes the dimensions differ, but the stated goal is the same, .308 Winchester performance from a lever action, tubular magazine rifle.

The primary difference is the availability of Hornady's soft rubber ballistic tip "LEVERevolution" spitzer bullets.

Neat idea, but I see it as a solution in search of a problem.
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Old August 30, 2009, 12:51 PM   #12
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So get a 30/30 and have your levergun. If you're a good shot it will do what a .308 will do (inside 150 yds) those 170 gr flatpoints can be very accurate!

Or if you just can't live with a 30/30 and want one of the coolest things ever in a levergun...get a 45/70 !!

It must be the most versatile lever rifle ever made. Long range, short range, small game, large game, nostalgic, high cool factor, easily reloadable, not finiky, blackpowder, smokeless, lead (bullets!), do everything rifle.

I like my 45/70. Can you tell?
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Old August 30, 2009, 03:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
...but the stated goal is the same, .308 Winchester performance from a lever action, tubular magazine rifle.
Well, if that is the case it is a failure. The actual performance is closer to .300 Savage. It is still a marked improvement over the .30-30, and in that respect it is successful.

My only qualms about it is the lack of 3rd party support for the round. When I see other manufacturers than Hornady make ammo and brass for it, and any manufacturer (including Hornady) introduce appropriate bullets for it (no, not .30-30 bullets, the cannelure is in the wrong place) then I'll consider it a success and may get one myself. Or not, I may just get a Savage 99 in .300 Savage or .308 instead. Or, maybe get a long barreled 336 and have it converted to .30-30 AI.

Quote:
If you're a handloader you don't care about the succes or failure of the round commercially...
Not really. To a certain extent it is true, but there still needs to be enough market presence for there to be a source of brass and bullets.
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Old August 30, 2009, 03:24 PM   #14
garryc
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Boil it down, you have a case that can't be made reasonably from anything in common use. A round designed to fire one bullet, the only one of that type in existance. Hey, if you have that kind of faith go for it, it's your $600.
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Old August 30, 2009, 03:50 PM   #15
skydiver3346
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.308 Marlin Express:

Thanks for the info guys. Think I will buy one in stainless steel and make sure I get enough ammo to go with it, just in case....
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Old August 30, 2009, 05:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Thanks for the info guys. Think I will buy one in stainless steel and make sure I get enough ammo to go with it, just in case....
While you're at it, be sure you get at least one set of reloading dies as well - you just never know...
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Old August 30, 2009, 05:36 PM   #17
garryc
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Quote:
while you're at it, be sure you get at least one set of reloading dies as well - you just never know...

and a thousand or two of those bullets, they are unique to that round
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Old August 30, 2009, 08:56 PM   #18
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I'm thinking the 308MX has been around for over 80 years--as the 300 savage. I have a 1952 model 99 that handles sweeter than any marlin I've had my hands on, and I have loved a lot of marlins.
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Old August 31, 2009, 12:53 PM   #19
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I’m in the 19th year of a love/hate relationship with the 307, and hoping for more good times now that Hornady’s Leverevolution’s are starting to be available for reloading. My experiences with the 307 vs thoughts on the 308 Marlin are:

Plus…..The 307 used the same 30-30 shell holder(RCBS, others differ) and 308 Win dies I was already using. Easy leap to make. The 308 Marlin differs a few thousandths and needs a unique die. Wish marlin had done the 307/308 (and 356/358) commonality thing that Win had originally done. If Marlin and simply offered the 307/356 again instead of the 308/338 Marlins we’d probably have two good cartridges enjoying a second life instead of two more seasonal/expensive rounds soon to be in the history book.

Minus…..The original 307 offerings were a half solution. Near 308 win numbers at the muzzle but sub 300 Savage numbers before 200 yards. 180’s look like 200+ yard round, but sometimes disappoint re>expansion as velocity bleeds off downrange. I describe 150’s as a 200 yard round….. really a 250-275 yard but don’t use the first 50-75…. Purple jelly to edible meat ratio is bad when you push 30-30 bullets that fast.

Plus…. to the Marlin for the Leverloution tips ability to preserve the muzzle advantage, and provide legit 300 yard performance. 160’s look like a nice compromise between 150’s and 180’s.

Minus… to the Marlin until now because the advantage of the Leverevolutions was a onetime good deal that reloaders could not duplicate. I think they blundered taking too many years to make the bullets available to reloaders…. We’ll see in a few years.
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Old August 31, 2009, 09:02 PM   #20
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I personally am eager to get the 338 Marlin express.
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