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Old January 24, 2013, 09:53 AM   #1
Mr. Whimsy
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.35 Remington - Have I Lost My Mind?

Got a line on a new 336 Marlin in this caliber in the midst of researching a .260 Rem. rifle project. The guns/calibers/usage couldn't be more different.

I have been hankering for a levergun for some time, especially in .35 cal. so I can use pistol bullets for plinking and small game. And yes, I am one of those weirdos who would do this with his deer rifle. Some on the Internet say you can blow up your rifle doing this... seems a dubious claim that no one seems to be able to re-create in a lab. OTOH, the cost of .35 rifle bullets is outrageous. I realize this is circular logic. Such is the mania for a big-bore deer rifle though.

A .357 Marlin is totally un-obtainable here, or anywhere possibly. Much cheaper is the .35 Rem., which has street value as a hunting arm here if I want to sell it on down the road. And there is factory ammo available locally.

Essentially, I can get the new Marlin for what locals are asking for a junker 336. Such is the state of used Marlin artificial inflation in my area. Since I refuse to purchase a used firearm over the Internet that I cannot inspect, these are my options.

Anyway... I'm interested in shooters' experiences with the max. range and trajectory of the .35 Rem. on deer. Can I load it a little hotter in this modern rifle? Am I making a mistake for not spending $300 more on a BLR in .358 Win.?

There are some real disadvantages for .358 Win. for me. It is NOT popular here at all, and I could never sell it if I didn't like it regardless of its' superior trajectory. I can't even find anyone who's heard of it, let alone stocks ammo. Further, I really only need long-range capability for 2 weeks out of the year; the rest of the time I would be down-loading it for plinking since I really don't like recoil much. And wow, is the Browning BLR rifle ever expensive for what you get. I get that it meets all my needs, but... could a .35 Remington Marlin do most of what I'd do with a .358?

I could afford the BLR, but no reloading stuff now. Or I could get the Marlin AND reloading components/dies. Then I could hot-rod it for those rare 250-300 yard shots - using Hornady FTX bullets and LeverEvolution powder. I don't like recoil, so this would not be a real frequent load choice - but during deer season, the 150-yard MPBR of standard loads ain't gonna cut it.

Is this do-it-all-rifle plan realistic? I adore a lever-action as it seems tailor-made to fit me. The .35, as a big-bore, has a great reputation as an old-school deer-killer... and could theoretically be used with cast boolits (something I might experiment with on down the line). It wouldn't hurt if it could shoot through some brush occasionally either.

So... anybody done this?
Or do I need talked out of a foolish investment?
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Old January 24, 2013, 10:02 AM   #2
603Country
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I don't think I can answer all your questions, but I once had a Marlin 336 in 35 Remington. I loved it. Still can't come to grips with the logic that led me to sell it. It was as good a deer killer as I've ever had, with range being the only limiter. I was good to 150 with that rifle and made a few shots out past 250. So buy it, put a 4 power scope and a sling on it, and go forth to the deer woods or your favorite plinking spot.

I never loaded pistol bullets in the reloaded ammo, so I can't comment on that. Had I thought of it, I would have tried it.
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Old January 24, 2013, 11:06 AM   #3
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I you handload it is a good round. Marlin never sold many 35's and they have stopped making them. Factory ammo is difficult to find so reloading is a good choice. If you want to download 35 pistol bullets it should do what you want. I'd get it just because it is a fairly rare, but good chambering and will only get more rare in time.

It is not the magic wand many will tell you it is though. A 30-30 does everything slightly better if you want to be practical. There are lots of guys who claim the 35 is the better deer/bear killer. If that were so the 30-30 would be the one no longer in production, not the other way around. My loading manuals show 2400 fps for a 170 gr 30-30 and 2100 fps for a 200 gr 35. My chronograph shows several hundred fps slower with factory loads and short 18-20" barrels The 30-30 bullet will penetrate deeper. The 35 will make a larger entrance hole, but after both bullets expand they end up almost the same size. The 30-30 will shoot flatter too.

While you may well be able to hit a deer at ranges farther than 200 yards, that is about as far as I'd feel comfortable shooting at game and knowing it still had the energy for a clean kill with either.

In a nutshell, if I didn't already have a 35, and had a chance to get one at a good price I'd get it.
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Old January 24, 2013, 11:13 AM   #4
Mr. Whimsy
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Yeah, as a young man I had various Marlins (including a 30-30) pass through my hands and they were great rifles... but they got sold to buy some handgun I had to have (but no longer do of course). Now I miss those rifles. They weren't the most accurate and weren't in a whiz-bang super short caliber of the day.
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Old January 24, 2013, 11:16 AM   #5
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Sounds like range is more limited than I imagined. I am in need of a good ballistics program for my Mac.
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Old January 24, 2013, 11:56 AM   #6
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They say to just use the round nose bullets in .35 caliber. The pointed ones in the tubular magazine are not good.
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Old January 24, 2013, 12:05 PM   #7
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I believe the FTX has a rubber tip. Think it's what they use in LeverEvolution ammo.
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Old January 24, 2013, 12:21 PM   #8
Mike Irwin
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It would help if you let us know where you are and what kind of hunting conditions you normally encounter.

The .35 is, and has been for years, very popular in its various iterations in Central Pennsylvania, where shots tend to be on the shorter side given the topography and type of cover encountered.
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Old January 24, 2013, 12:24 PM   #9
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"I have been hankering for a levergun for some time, especially in .35 cal. so I can use pistol bullets for plinking and small game. And yes, I am one of those weirdos who would do this with his deer rifle. Some on the Internet say you can blow up your rifle doing this..."

Those people read to much web BS and shoot too little.

The 336/.35 is a bit more versatile than the excellant .30-30 in that it throws a 200 gr bullet quite well. The range is fine, it's very accurate and flat enough out to maybe 200 yards for deer/black bear/elk. Given that probably 95% of such game is killed inside 100 yards, that's not much of a limitation. I'm 72, deer hunted since my early 20s and have never even seen a shootable deer passed 100. And I've never had to shoot a deer twice with my .35.

Pistol bullets may be too short to feed well in some 336s but 200 gr. cast round nose loaded to maybe 1200 fps with a charge of 14-15 gr 2400 does nicely in mine. Kills squirrel and rabbits quite well!
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Old January 24, 2013, 01:50 PM   #10
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I killed my first deer with a Marlin 336 in .35 remington that was originally owned by my grandfather. Doe walked out into the clearing about 40-50 yards out. Shot it with iron sights right behind the shoulder and the deer crashed about 40 yards away.

It is ideal for hunting in thick woods where the shots are usually 100 yards or less. With some good practice I think you could hit a deer sized target at 250 yards, I just don't think that sort of shot is ethical with iron sights for me.

I didn't think Marlin was still making rifles in .35 remington. I would not be afraid to buy a used Marlin 336. They were built to last forever and they hold up to the years of use very well.

It is a very capable caliber. It just wasn't made to be a long range caliber.
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Old January 24, 2013, 01:52 PM   #11
Mr. Whimsy
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Thanks guys.

After some thought (and looking at my loading manual), I think 358 Win. might be better if I were to go .35. There were a lot of 300 yard+ shots I could've made on our WV "rock farm" this past season. I got to thinking about the deer I passed on because I wasn't using an appropriate gun for that range, and figured I'd better stick with my .260 idea.

In addition, the price, dearth of variety, and current un-availability of .35 Rem. bullets put kind of a damper on my plan. I was going to have to invest so much in hyper-expensive brass and bullets that it stopped being fun to consider. The .260 is much more economical for me, and possibly I'll even get something more common (cheap to shoot).

Thanks for the replies anyway. I think the .35 Rem. is just too expensive for me personally to invest in or shoot when I could get a much more appropriate caliber for my needs.
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Old January 24, 2013, 01:57 PM   #12
Mr. Whimsy
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Alex, there is an internet rumor that they discontinued them.

But distributor Williams Shooters Supply got in 4 new ones yesterday, so they are still making them.

I think people are confused because they took it out of their catalog. Don't know why. There isn't much call for the .35, so I'm betting they will now only produce them in occasional runs.
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Old January 24, 2013, 02:05 PM   #13
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I don't know whether I would prefer a slow jab or a fast punch, it sounds like that is what you are asking. 35 Rem is fairly pleasant to shoot but is a 200-250ish yds number, and the 358 kicks harder but shoots flatter. Neither has a lot of factory ammo options, you will need to reload to make either one very versatile. Makes for a tough choice. Which rifle do you prefer? Use that as a tie-breaker.
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Old January 24, 2013, 02:09 PM   #14
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Have you considered something like a .308 Winchester? It will give you a wider selection of bullets, in a caliber almost in the middle of your .260 and .35 Remington. You will have to form your cases from .308 Winchester brass. Very capable cartridge for the ranges you are looking at and even beyond that.
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Old January 24, 2013, 02:52 PM   #15
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Here is a chart comparing the 35 remington to the 30-30. Good luck finding brass, bullets or ammo for the 35 remington. My buddy has a 336 35rem for sale but I passed because I couldn't find anything to shoot out of it.

http://www.leverguns.com/articles/compare.htm This is a neat site for lever gun buffs.

If you want to shoot deer 300 yards away why not just get a 270 or 30-06? At least my local WM has 30-06 ammo in stock. And good luck with finding any of the recommended 308 ammo either.

I have wanted a 35rem for a long time. But since I got a Marlin 44 mag I am sure I can do just about everything with it out to a hundred yards or so that the 35 will do. And the 44 mag kills the snot out of deer.
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Old January 24, 2013, 03:14 PM   #16
Mr. Whimsy
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Well my wife is ecstatic that I have decided not to buy either "weird" .35 caliber. She pointed out the ease with which one can find ammo and components for standard calibers at Wal-Mart. I gotta say my web search for .35 bullets has been miserable and I don't want to put myself in that position every time I want to shoot it.
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Old January 24, 2013, 03:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
I have been hankering for a levergun for some time, especially in .35 cal. so I can use pistol bullets for plinking and small game. And yes, I am one of those weirdos who would do this with his deer rifle. Some on the Internet say you can blow up your rifle doing this... seems a dubious claim that no one seems to be able to re-create in a lab.
I think you're referring to a Secondary Explosive Effect. SEEs seems real enough, but not consistent enough to reproduce under controlled conditions. It's been associated with light rifle loads using slow powders, but without being able to reproduce it, the exact cause, AFAIK, is unknown, and why it remains only "associated" with some conditions.

For light loads, look, maybe into H4895 and it's "60% Rule". Or look into Trail Boss as a powder - very light and fluffy, so it'll fill the case better than other powders.

FWIW, I had a 336 .35Rem and sold it too - and also kicked myself afterward. The thing is, if I were to get another lever rifle for deer, I wouldn't obsess over replacing it, but just get a .30-30, or even a .45-70, the latter being very versatile if you reload. LeverEvolution bullets can extend the range of lever action rounds, too.
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Old January 24, 2013, 03:44 PM   #18
603Country
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I don't want to muddy things up too much, but if 35 caliber interests you, there's always the 35 Whelen. Bolt action that has no problem with pointy bullets.
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Old January 24, 2013, 07:24 PM   #19
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Bolt action that has no problem with pointy bullets.
Nor does the Remington Model 760/7600 pump-action rifle chambered in .35 Whelen. My first choice, though, would be a Savage Model 99 or a Winchester Model 88, or even a Browning BLR, chambered in .358 Winchester.

Quote:
could a .35 Remington Marlin do most of what I'd do with a .358?
Maybe most-but not everything. I'm thinking that the .358 Winchester would give you at least a fifty yards or so down-range advantage over a .35 Remington (in terms of a flatter trajectory and foot-pounds energy).
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Old January 24, 2013, 07:36 PM   #20
Mr. Whimsy
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Thank you, gentlemen!

Appreciate the advice re: Whelen and 60% 4895 idea. Some excellent replies to this thread, but I've decided to abandon the .35 rifle idea - too expensive to reload for it. I almost think it would be easier to come by .45-70 components, and possibly not any more expensive, either. Although I'm not really into that kind of recoil.
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Old January 24, 2013, 07:40 PM   #21
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Ill put in another vote for the 35 whelen. Not sure if you would wanna download it with pistol bullets, but its an outstanding "all-around" .35

Read this article

http://35whelen.blogspot.com/
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Old January 24, 2013, 07:42 PM   #22
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nevermind just saw your last post. dont give up on that .260 idea in your other thread! great caliber
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Old January 25, 2013, 11:14 AM   #23
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Get the Buffalo Bore .35 Remington 220 grain bullets and you'll be giving up very little to a .356 Winchester which is just a hair behind the .358 Win.
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Old January 25, 2013, 02:10 PM   #24
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I have been around this block a few times so will relate my experience with 336 in 35 Rem using pistol bullets.

Sierra .357 180 gr FPJ Match which is a flat nose handgun bullet. Note this bullet and the Sierra 158 gr are listed in Sierra loading manuals for the 358 Winchester and the 35 Whelen loadings.

First off you have to load the bullet LONG as seating it to the cannelure will allow two rounds to be released from the mag tube with the lifter in the pre carry up position. Thusly read the OAL of the 35 Rem and load it accordingly.

Next I figured out the factory chamber for 35 Rem has almost no throat and the 357 bullets jammed into rifling as bolt went into barrel seating the bullets back a goodly amount. This is OK if you are never going to unload your rifle and attempt put that round back in the feed tube because if you do you will get the double load scenario mentioned above.

To cure this I have a 35 cal throater reamer and I put it on a long T handle and "throated" it out to where the full length load 180 gr bullet would just contact rifling with bolt in battery which works very well.

My load is 38 gr. 4895. Cost of reloading is probably 75% less than buying 200 gr. factory ammo which I also noticed was available in 150 gr. loadings.

Bottom line is you can load pistol bullets in 35 Rem cases and they will work and work even better after a bit of throating.
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Old January 25, 2013, 03:37 PM   #25
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That's great info on pistol bullets in the 35 Remington. And like I said, I do miss my old 35, but if I had it I probably would rarely use it. The 260 seems to be just exactly what I need at this location in the country and at my age. Location-wise, I have pigs, coyote, and small Central Texas deer. My 270 works for all that just fine. My 220 Swift is only good for the coyotes. The 260 (my Ruger Compact) is light and handy, has little recoil, and shoots pretty darn good. I've blasted pigs out to 400 yards and coyote at the same distance. Dropped a coyote just an afternoon or two out at 250 and shot those 'two out of three' pigs at 250 while they were trotting. Can't do all that with the 35 Remington. Surely I could do it with the 270, but that old Sako is long and heavy. Yes, a compact 260 is just what I've needed, and it's getting plenty of use. My 35 would just be a safe queen.
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