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Rifle Review: Petzal Tests the Marlin .338 MXLR

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November 18, 2009

Rifle Review: Petzal Tests the Marlin .338 MXLR

By David E. Petzal

With all due respect to the many great Marlins of the past, this rifle bears an uncanny resemblance not to them but to the cult favorite Winchester Model 71. Both rifles are lever guns that deliver Serious Thump—in fact, the ballistics for their respective cartridges are almost identical. The main loading for the 71’s cartridge, the .348 WCF, is a 200-grain bullet at 2,530 fps. The sole loading for the .338 Marlin Express (developed and loaded by Hornady) is 200 grains at 2,500 fps.

The rifle I got to try out is ...

... an all-stainless gun with a laminated stock and 24-inch barrel. You can get the same thing with a 22-inch barrel (I would go with this one) or a blue-steel and walnut model with a 22-inch barrel. The new cartridge is based loosely on the breathtakingly obscure .376 Steyr.  It’s a chubby little rascal with very little taper, a fairly sharp shoulder and, since it has to work through a lever gun, a pronounced rim.

Factory ballistics specify a 200-grain poly-tipped FTX bullet at 2,565 fps from a 24-inch barrel. However, my chronograph said 2,485. I say, who cares? For all its power, the Marlin kicks about like a .30/06 of the same weight; it should not pose a problem to anyone who is not a sissy.

The rifle weighs 8 pounds, 2 ounces with a 3X-9X scope in Weaver mounts. The trigger pulls 5 pounds even. It’s clean and consistent, but 5 pounds is too heavy for me; I would take it to a gunsmith and have it lose a pound or so.

The Winchester 71, for all its virtues, was not an accurate rifle by modern standards. You couldn’t mount a scope on it, and even with a good peep sight typical groups for the ones I’ve shot ran in the 2 ½- to 3-inch range. The Marlin test gun will shoot rings around that; the average group size was 1.135-inch, which is bolt-action accuracy, and pretty damn good bolt-action accuracy at that.

For some reason, Marlin continues to use the same old semi-buckhorn rear sight that has blighted its rifles for many decades. About the only good thing you can say about it is that it folds flat and out of the way of a scope. If you’d like iron sights as an option, get a ghost ring sight in the rear, a big bead up front, and a good QD mount.

If you’re interested in shooting at long range—which for this cartridge would be beyond 300 yards—find yourself a scope with a range-compensating rifle that is appropriate to its velocity and flatten things at 400. I would not push it beyond there. The .338 Marlin Express has plenty of power, the FTX bullet is good and tough, but 2,500 fps is good only up to a point.

MSRP for this gun is around $800, which is certainly fair. It is a powerful, accurate, versatile firearm that is also drop-dead reliable and fast-firing if you need that. If you want more, you’re just plain greedy. Marlinfirearms.com --DEP

Comments (80)

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from Brian Jackson wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Is anyone else nervous about some of these gun specific calibers? I really like the idea of the 308 Marlin Express and this new cartridge, but if it doesn't catch on what do I do in 5 years when I'm scouring the internet to pony up $50.00+ for a box of ammo and nobody wants to buy my MXLR? Same goes for other cartridge/gun combos that are limited to one or two manufacturers like the .370 Sako Mag, .327 magnum, etc.

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

NOS Jest wanted to let you folks know Beekeeper is now back in Georgia. We had a great time chasing pheasants out in Southwestern KS in spite of the weather (it rained and snowed). I'll never forget that purty waitress standing over us with a fire extinguisher while we ate lunch in a small town rest'rant. It seems she was worried about the sparks from my knife and fork. Ol' Bee shot a rooster that had no spurs. Dan is having that one stuffed. One other thing, don't make any shooting bets with Beekeeper. He is one helliva wingshot. Back to original subject thanks Dave.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from general dethcoff wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I agree with jacksjb_44. I'm the type of gun nut who loves seeing new cartridges though so my solution is to start handloading is to get into reloading once a graduate and get some disposable income.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

That is a nice looking rifle, but I think that I would prefer it in traditional blue/walnut. I would have to do some serious soul searching before I bought anything that is dependent upon Hornady ammunition after the rash of crap with their factory ammo that I recently experienced. Heck, I can easily get 2,500 fps out of 200 grain spitzers in my .358 Winchester Savage 99F without the necessity of flat nosed or rubber tip bullets.

But whoever said that buying a new rifle had to be a matter of practicality!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I think I would still rather have a 348.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Del

Maybe Bee could export some shooting juju to me. I'm having my worst wingshooting year ever! Remember C.R.S? I have C.H.S....

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from OrangeNeckInNY wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I think you meant to say, "...find yourself a scope with a range-compensating RETICLE..."

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Seems like a great gun and round. Big wallop without a lot of meat damage. Lever guns are just plain fun. Receiver mounted XS ghost ring and front post would be nice, as would a slightly larger lever loop.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from MJC wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I was excited to learn about this rifle when it was first announced. It looks like a great all round woods rifle.

I share everyone's concerns about the ammunition though. With prices where they are these days, even tried and true cartridges are expensive. For the moment, the internet is only place I've seen .338 Marlin and you hate to own a gun you can't buy ammo for locally. I've had that experience will mil. surp. rifles and it's a pain.

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from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

What has changed in hunting recently that says this medium bore lever action will not die like all the other medium bore lever actions?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Nice gun-- I'll stick with my 30-06 until I see .338 Marlin on the shelf of my local mom and pop sporting goods store. Then I'll still stick with my 30-06. Nice gun though.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I'll go grab one when they turn that "M" in Marlin into a flying "W". LOL

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from cliff68 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Think I might buy one, the blued and walnut version, and I don't buy many new rifles. I've got plenty of other rifles to hunt with if they stop making them or ammunition, just try to buy a bunch of brass. Might even become a collectors item down the road if it doesn't go over.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from yohan wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

All my (sport) hunting life,. Ive been a M98 Mauser shooter.
Push feed,.claw exctractor,. metric calibers,..

Which got me out of a couple rather uncomforable spots ,.
Which will sooner or later happen if your messing with soemthing that will given sufficiant opportunity mess back.

But tomorrow I leave for what i consider the most hallowed of hallowed ground,.

Big woods northern Wisconsin ,.

Of course I will have a Mauser as back up ,.. but the main,.. intended smoke pole / bambi thumper this year,..
is Marlin 1895 45-70

Why ???
Because is handy and quick,.
But mostly because its so damn much fun to shoot .
Not to mention within reasonable range ( to me 150 yds ) it bestows on the white tail unfortuant enough
to standing in the way of a 325gr slug
( which I whomp up a tad from factory specs)
immediate winged flight to the great beyond.
While spoiling little meat in the process.
Said "whomping up" certianly not needed for deer ,. but on the off chance an owly sasquatch would show up ,.
( hear they are not always friendly ) there is enough (whomp) such that I make it home.

As to the 338 Marlin ,. I think its intersting
I do not need more guns ,nor am I in the mood to buy one .. but if I were in the mood ,. I would also be a little supect ,. unless I planned to live another 80 years ,. at which point I would immdiatly buy three,..
One to shoot one as a present to a guy I know who likes that kind of thing and one for the safe.
As I do believe the round will fail but like ye ole 71
Later it gonna be a valuable .

Best Regards
&

Happy Thanks giving to all

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

This is not a knock on the Marlin or the cartidge in question, just a request for clarification. If you want bolt action ballistics, why not buy a bolt gun? Does the MXLR offer any advantages over a bolt action or are we simply dealing with romance and aesthetics? I just acquired a Marlin lever gun in .35 Remington that I see as an easy carrying piece for deer drives and tree stands. I agree with the brethern above as well, maybe I'm just behind the times and can't get past the .30-30s, .35s, .45-70s, etc in that platform. Again, not knocking it or anybody's taste in armament, just wanting to better understand. Good shooting, and thanks.

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from 007 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Not knocking the MXLR or the round, just wanting to understand a bit better. If you want bolt gun performance, why not carry a bolt gun? Are we talking tastes, romance, and the inherent aesthetics of a lever gun, or does the MXLR offer some advantage over a bolt? I just acquired a 336C in .35 Remington and have a retired Savage 99 resting in the back of the safe so I have nothing against lever actions, just wanting to get a better understanding of the topic. Thanks and good shooting, all.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Sorry for the duplicate post, all. I didn't think the first one went thru. Deer season comes in Monday and my mind is drifting badly. Best regards.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from -Bob wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I carry a Browning Lever Rifle topped with an ancient Redfield widefield 3X9, chambered in .30-06. Dad's Sierra 180 gr. BTSP handloads make this a one shot-goodbye combination on Pennsylvania whitetails.

I have nothing but good words for Marlin products, and I wish them success with this latest offering.

But…If you want .30-06 performance, buy a .30-06. Seems fairly simple to me. Did I miss something? -Bob

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from Devil_Dog wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Speaking of peep sights for Marlin rifles, I have a 336 that I want to put a peep sight on. Anyone have any suggestions for a good one? I tried the XS ghost ring for my muzzleloader and hated it, even the smaller apeture provided was too big for my preferences. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Devil_Dog - take a look at Williams Gun Sight. They have receiver and dovetail aperture sights for the 336. The peep screws in - can remove it if you ever want a larger "ghost" sized opening.

Can also get a fiberoptic front sight. They have a ghost ring fiberoptic aperture but it has a large diameter opening.

Don't be concerned by the material - the rears are high quality extruded aircraft aluminum and very strong.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I like Marlin rifles, too. But what I want an 1894 in .357/.38 SPL for a little possum and coyote control from the truck rack.

I have enough odd calibers to reload for: .358 Win, .257 Roberts, .38 S&W, .35 Whelen, 7mm Weatherby...not exactly corner hardware store stuff.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from -Bob wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I have a Marlin 1894S in .44 Mag. It was the first rifle I ever bought; $200 at K-Mart, back when they sold more than tennis racquets. It's a nice little deer gun, particularly when handloaded. Unfortunately, it lacked downrange performance -- those big slugs scrub off speed like nobody's business. Hence the switch to .30-06. -Bob

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from yohan wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

007 and others of similar ilk
myself included,..
Its simple,..hunter / gun nut types are like carpeters ,.. everything from framers to those who build furniture.

There are plenty of tools that will do the job just fine.
IE: 30 -06 7mm 6.5 x 55 30-30 35 45-70 and the list goes on and on.
But it is also a never ending search for the better more efficiant.
The new tchnology ( flex tip bullets ) allows an old
distinctly amercian design ( lever action) to function at a higher level.
For many long years "lever lovers" were cowed into buying a bolt or single shot because they wanted performance and or or not to be laughd at in deer camp.
Because they didnt have a rifle that could shoot q balls a 3000 fps.

Never mind, that what they had ( again the above list ) would get the job done just fine.
So now they can get ( better ) performance in their prefered design ,. and its like a new toy,.. some calibers will live on and some will not.

A paralell to this ,.. better sharper chisels,. lighter (titainium believe it or not) hammers,
Carpenter friend has one ( price ? just under 200 clams) .. cordless nail guns, and sofisticated , ever more powerful,. power tools ,.
All to accomplish the same thing ,.. but better and faster.

I worked on carpentry / construction crews in summer to get money for school and coin it took to date women.
Trust me these guys (carpenters) who are many times huneters) are no diffeeent.
If you wanna see a bunch with gadgets the past ten years ,.. check out a successfull carpenter
There will be more damn gadgets than yiu can shake a stick at all in the name of doin it better and in some cases faster.

Its big buisnss and marketing coming up with something new to sell based on new and improved technology and its the people who like levers who buy them.

So,.. your not missing anything ,..

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from JD wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Hey wait a minute, these may well be the 21st centuries answer to the .307 and .356 Winchester big bores or the model 88 and the great but gone .358 Win.

I will run right out for one after I get my .17 Mach2 rimfire, oh wait, when's the last time anyone mentioned them? Hmm, do we see a trend here?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from JD wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

-Bob,

In that M1894 you need to try the Hornady polymer tipped .44 magnums, they shoot great in my Rossi 92 and give much longer range accuracy. LeverRevolution and they won't break the bank. I love chasing deer with a light fast-handling gun like ours. These should be considered for "shotgun only" counties; these revolver-chambered light carbines. Safer that the newest slugs and shotguns. We can use a Contender or Encore with any of the hot rifle loads in shotgun only areas, but gawd forbid a M-92 clone in .44 mag!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from yohan wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

devil dog ,. if your clunky buckhorn sights are still on try this first,
Get a round pointed file ,.10 -15 bucks ,.. the idea is to open up (expand) and deepen the notch in the rear sight,.. You can do it,. just take it slow,.. work from, both sides.
The idea is to get it open enough to let enough light in so that when sighting you immediatly center the bead,.
Just go at it slow ,. might take you 2-3 three days ,.
But when the rear v is open and deep eough for your vision ( not your neighbors ) you will know.
You eye willcnter teh bead with down right uncanny quickness
After that get some quic blue ( like a majic marker ) to put on the shinney metal inside the notch exposed by the filing .
If you don't when sighting sunliht will cause mirage
( sp )

I have 3 levers and I did that to all the rear sights
and if I do say so myslef its pretty damn quick and accurate
I also had smaller beads installd ( a few more bucks)
but not near the expence of new sight apperatus.
Cant take credi for that idea ,. it was my fathers
who was a gun smith.
But Im sure he would be pleased if you took the time to try it ,. especially if it worked and it saved you money.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from yohan wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Devil dog,.. round taperd file,.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from coho310 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I love the lever but I want it in .348,although it's still a cool gun.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

What took you so long to review this one Dave?
I like this rifle with the laminate/SS look, making it a perfect Alaska/West coast rifle to take on the elements.
Like most of the quotes here I don't trust the long range(pun intended) availability of this ammo.
I have not priced this rifle in stores, but if MSRP is apprx.$800 it should retail for under $700..I'm thinkin?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

The great .358 is not gone. Ruger still chambers it in the Model 77 bolt gun.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

If you don't understand the desire for a lever gun, then you haven't really lived, don't hunt enough, and have no taste. A slim, slab sided, quick handling, fast reloading rifle is a thing of beauty. Especially when it's this accurate and powerful.

I don't get the people that put themselves in their own little hole with their own little thing, and want nothing to do with anything else. I like variety.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter = the 1894 in .357 is on my radar as well! But everything just costs so darn much these days.

There was a used 1894 at a local gun shop for $399 which was a really good price. It was a nice clean gun but had the micro groove rifling and the fit and finish was not quite perfect... In spite of all that I'd have still bought it if I'd had the $400.

Let me know how your search turns out.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I get it that it's now OK for Marlin to make lever actions that performed like bolt actions...whereas before that was a bad idea.

OK, IMO, actually that's a good idea at least in the accuracy department. Marlins have always been accurate. Whether the added power is necessary, esp. if it will be used mainly on whitetails, I don't know.

And considering all the recently-minted but soon to be dead cartridges (think Remington Short Action Ultra Mags and even the Ultra Mags themselves), I think it would be a wise idea to wait this out a bit more.

We've had far reaching lever guns and rounds before, but commercially only the 30-30 has thrived, with maybe some .35 Remington and .45-70 thrown in.
the .444 is barely hanging on, with little load development by the factories
the .307 and .356 are dead, the .358 is down to being a handloader's cartridge

maybe the "338" magic will work.

As for the .376 Steyr, it was basically the 9.3x64 Brenekke. Great idea, great performance, European appeal (at least for the 9.3), zero appeal for the English-speaking world. And the Steyr rifle to shoot it (the "SBS" that was also the basis of the official Jeff Cooper Scout) was ridiculously expensive. And as one gunwriter said, the .376 Steyr just didn't quite duplicate the H&H.

But the .375 Ruger did. Now whether the Ruger round itself will last, that's long way down the road.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadly wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Hey WA Mtnhunter,
Sorry to hear about your Hornady woes. I have a KR1 in .45-70 that shoots factory ammo OK but the LeveRevolution stuff prints 1.25" at 100 yds. My hunting buddy just bought a Handi-Rifle in .444 and LeveRevolution is the only ammo that it shoots well. Still waiting to try the .30-30 rounds in my Model 94.
I hope that your troubles were just a one-time occurrence.
Best,
John

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Devil_Dog wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Yohan,

Thanks for the advice I'll have to give that one a try once hunting season is over.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry Thompson wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Can this model be set-up with a scope and still be able to use the iron sights? Seems this rifle is ideal for the thick bruch of Alaska, where a scope is less than useful.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott Jones wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Devil_Dog

I have a 1894 in 44 mag with the Williams peep sight. I love the peep for two reasons - first, the rear peep allows you to ignore the rear sight, just center the bead in the circle, and second, the longer sight radius. Even with the big front bead its m-o-p accurate at 100 yards. Since the peeps are replaceable, you can find one small enough to match your tastes.
However, I just took mine off. My vision demands I go to a scope if I want to hunt early and late past 50 yards. Not as fun to shoot, but suits the way I hunt.

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from wingshooter54 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

If the firearm and ammunition manufacturers didn't come out with new guns and loads every year or so,Dave (and a host of others) would have to get a real job instead of being a gunwriter. In Dave's case though,(and a very few others;John Barsness in particular)a lot of good writing and bullsh** would be lost. I would cheerfully sit around a campfire with either one. Throw in Thomas McEntyre also.

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from KJ wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

007 - I think the desire for bolt action accuracy in a lever action stems from the fact that on lots of western hunts where horses are used, a lever gun rides flat in a saddle scabbard, with no bolt hanging out to catch on tree branches, etc. And some people just prefer the way a bolt action handles - I do. My Marlins come to the shoulder and settle down on the target quickly and smoothly - much moreso than any of my bolt actions. Just a thought.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

@ deadly

My Hornady ammunition woes are not with Hornady bullets per se. I have reloaded with the SP Interlock's for years for .25 cal, .30 cal, and .358 Win. without issues.

My recent problems arose from 2 boxes of Hornady factory loaded 154 grain Interbonds for my 7mm. They shot horribly with erratic 5"-6" groups at 100 yards. This from a rifle that shot 1.5" groups with another Weatherby factory load and 1" groups with a handloaded Barnes TSX on the same day. I was talking to my buddy who had the same experience with his Browning A-bolt 7mm Rem Mag. He switched to Remington's that shot MOA. THEN, at elk camp, one of the fellas was bemoaning the fact that he was using his .270 because he could not get his .300 Win mag to group some 180 gr Hornady loads. After shooting nearny 2 boxes, he went to his .270 because he did not have time to fiddle around with the .300 Win mag 2 days before the hunt.

I'll never buy another Hornady cartridge based on that experience. Would I buy a rifle whose sole source of ammo was Hornady? Not in this lifetime..... Too bad. It looks like a nice rifle.

@ Carney

Yes, those 1894's could be had for $299 on sale at Big 5 sports a few short years ago.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

So many rifles and so little space in the gun safe... I'll stick with my .338/06 bolt gun.

Had a great time in Kansas with Del and his friends! He is a true gentleman and a pretty good wingshot himself. He took the head off a rooster with a 28 GA at about 12 yards on the wing!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Quahog wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

-KILLED MY FIRST BUCK IN 5 YEARS YESTERDAY. A NICE 6 POINTER,I'D SAY 160LBS. - SHOT HIM THRU BOTH SHOULDERS IN MID-AIR JUMPING OVER ONE OF MY STONEWALLS @45 YDS WITH MY ANCIENT 336 IN .35 REM.- OPEN SIGHTS.
-GEEZERS CAN RECOVER FROM BRAIN SURGERY !! ( IT JUST TAKES AWHILE )
THE BUCKS HANGING IN THE BARN, BUT LOADED W/TICKS - CHECKING W/NH F&G TO SEE IF MEAT EDIBLE (LYME DISEASE ?)
-ANY OPINIONS OUT THERE ? NH F&G WEBSITE INDICATES 7240 WHITETAILS HARVESTED TO DATE IN STATE. DEER SEASON CLOSES HERE DEC. 6th.

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from Quahog wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Sorry for upper-case brain-cramp !

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from Mock1 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Give me my 1895 Guide Gun in 45-70 over that cartridge any day. I shot an 1,000 bull moose in Newfoundland w/ 300 gr nosler partitions. It really did the trick. Also, how long has the 45-70 been around? I almost bought the .450 instead, but since i reload, the possibilities are huge. Someday, maybe use it on a Cape Buff. Hey, I can dream

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from Mock1 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Also, just got back from Moorestown Mich. Missed a running deer at 50 yds with my 25-06 but on a drive, killed a nice one w/ the 45-70 running at 60+- yds. 300 gr. hollow point hornady reloads. Can eat right up to the hole.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

As I posted on another thread, I was looking at my .35 Whelen last night and was wondering to myself as to why I did not hunt with it this year and why do I have all those other rifles taking up space and $. I suppose because I can.....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Looked at some 71s on the internet and found some in very good condition for reasonable prices now all I have to do is convince the wife that I need one.

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from -Bob wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

JD -- thanks for suggesting the .44 Mag. LeveRevolution rounds for my 1894S. I haven't yet gotten the opportunity to try them, but they are on the short list. Two quick questions:

-- Are the polymer-tipped bullets available as reloading components yet?

-- Any clue as to how the LeveRevolution rounds behave in handguns? I sometimes carry a .44 Mag. Dan Wesson DA revolver during the deer season. We used to handload a "common" round for the handgun and rifle, which was mightily convenient.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

it may sound wierd, but i would probably buy that rifle just because i don't have one.

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from 256newton wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Why wasn't the 1895 ever chambered for .348? Some of us would have bought them in a minute for hunting, collectors would have snapped up the rest. Future obsolescence of a cartridge is no reason not to buy the rifle. Buy a couple of hundred rounds of brass and you're set for life. Even if you don't reload, someone you know does.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

What about dies? Does anyone offer them yet?

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

All:

On the subject of lever action rifles, does anyone here have much experience with the Browning BLR (lever action rifle)(in any calibers)? I've always like the looks of the BLR, and appreciate the magazine vs. tube fed loading system (so one can use tipped bullets instead of flat-noses). Also, from everything I've read, the BLR action-mechanism is supposed to be as strong as a good bolt action, and so, at least theoretically speaking, handloads in a BLR should be respond no differently than handloads in a bolt rifle. But how accurate are BLRs? Thoughts and comments appreciated.

TWD

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from Carney wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

TWD = For all the reasons you have mentioned, I purchased a BLR in 300 winmag this past spring. I'd wanted one for about 3-4 years. My goal was to get a long range gun as I've been carrying a Marlin 1895 45-70 for 5 years. The Marlin is hands down my favorite gun in my collection.

PROS=
+The BLR 300 winmag is long range with a flat trajectory.
+The action is an engineering joy.
+I have the takedown model with the scope mounted on the receiver but it hasn't significantly changed point of impact to remove and replace the barrel.
+Overall style and handling is good.

CONS=
-I bought it over the internet and was disappointed with the butt stock figuring -- but that's what I get buying sight unseen...
-Had to take it to the certified gunsmith to get it to feed from the magazine -- that's 100% now.
-My 45-70 was regularly an MOA gun. I could shoot and shoot and shoot never worrying about the barrel getting hot. The BLR has a pencil thin, long barrel that heats up significantly with just one shot -- 3 in a row heats the barrel enough to burn your hand.
-I've never gotten MOA groups no matter what I load...
-Groups are in the 1.5 - 3" range.
-Petzal wrote on this gun that the trigger was only so so and not really fixable. I don't know that I've ever pulled a decent trigger so I can't tell the difference. It goes BANG when it is supposed to is all I can say.
-It was a little awkward at the beginning since the barrel and balance were different than my Marlin, but I'm pretty used to it now.

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from Devil_Dog wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

With regards to the Hornady Interbonds not shooting well, it may be more an issue of rifle preference than poor bullets or cartridge manufacturing. I tried loading some Interbonds in my .270 several years ago because I wanted to 'upgrade' to a bonded bullet from the usual Hornady Interlock load I had. Those Interbonds wouldn't group past 5" at 100 yards no matter what combinantion of powder, primer, case, etc. that I tried. I don't blame the Interbonds though because I have since found out that that particular rifle will not shoot poly-tipped bullets of any make or weight. Same goes for my .35 Whelen. That rifle shoots Interlocks and Nosler bullets very well, but I've given up on getting Barnes bullets to group because it's a waste of money.

As for Lyme's disease in deer meat, don't worry about it. You'll only contract the disease if one of the ticks crawled over and bit you. I suppose eating a raw tick might pose a hazard, but most people probably wouldn't do that anyways. Congratulations on the buck.

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from -Bob wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Regarding the BLR -- I've had one in .30-06 for about 10 years now. About the only complaint I could possibly conjure up is a less-than-perfect trigger...but since I'm a less-than-perfect rifleman, things seem to cancel out.

On the other hand, I've found the accuracy (for a hunting rifle) to be outstanding. Using handloads, 1.5" or slightly better is the norm for me. My best three-round group was .35", shot with Hornady match bullets.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Devil Dog

Thanks for your comment. It is very true that not every rifle will shoot all bullets well. My .30-06 is allergic to Nosler Partitions and Swift Scirocco's, too. It did not shoot the factory loaded 165 gr Interbonds worth a crap either, but not as extreme as the 7mm Weatherby. Not a good excuse for crappy brass, however. I'll continue to use Hornady Interlocks as components, but I won't waste money on factory ammo from them again. To each his own.

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from 007 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Thanks for all the enlightenment, that makes sense. Beekeeper, did you say .338-06???? I'm into the third year of waiting for one to be completed at my local gunsmith's (now I know how an elephant feels in waiting for the stork). I found a used Ruger Mk II in .270 and am having it reworked into the .338-06. If you could share your reloading wisdom with it, it would be greatly appreciated. I'm hoping to use 200 grain Hornaday interlocks ahead of probably IMR 4064. Thanks.

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from bluegraytx wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

With all due respect to the fuddy-duddys who get all paranoid about rifle cartridges that may not sell or ammo that may be hard to find someday, get over it. Who cares. Unless you're going to go out and fire all day at a paper target, which, IMHO, is about as exciting as watching the leaves fall off trees (Oh!, look there goes another one), most hunters won't use up a box of ammo in a year. So what's the big deal if the price goes to $75/box and you have to camp on eBay to find one? You want to target shoot, go get something in a cheap-to-reload caliber, and go nuts. But don't cast aspersions on a new rifle/caliber because you're not sure if it's going to sell or the ammo might cost more than a box of .22's. Yeah, I own a Marlin 338 MXLR that took some "do-withouts" to finance, including all the Wild West trimmings along with Weaver-style mounts, Leupold QRW rings, and a Leupold silver VX-3 2.5-8x36 scope. But you know what? When I open my gun safe and see that Marlin 338 MXLR stacked right next to my lefthand, stainless, Ruger M77 Mk-II in .30-06 caliber with silver Nikon 2.5-10x42 scope, I can't help but feel blessed that my vision and choices weren't limited or constrained by "what ifs?" and $ signs.

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from shane wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

If you want a rifle for the thick brush in Alaska, you want the original 1895 or the 1895G. Much shorter and handier. A low powered scope is just as good if not better in thick brush.

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from shane wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Although it pains me to say that as an iron sights lover.

KJ - exactly.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Wa MNThunter,
I feel the same way, I would never buy a rifle or caliber only made by one manufacturer. The PR and maker themselves must salivate over fools who do. I really don't appreciate magazines or gun writers who promote these rifles, not to mention we can't even buy the "proprietary" powder to reload.

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from crm3006 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Never did really fall in love with Marlin actions, due to the fact that they were side eject, and not really convenient for left handed shooting. The MXLR seems to be of the same design. Also agree with most of the above posters who don't trust a new caliber that may not be around next year. I will stay with my bolt actions in proven calibers like .30-'06, .338 Win Mag, and .25-06. If that ain't enough "Serious Thump", I can always drag out the .375 H&H. None of these seem to be scarce, and don't appear to be on life support.
Quahog-
Don't worry about Lyme disease from the deer meat. The tick has to bite you to transmit it. Just be careful of the live ticks, and remember to wear rubber gloves when gutting and skinning deer that have visible infestations of ticks. Glad you got your big six point.
crm

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from focusfront wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

TW Davison:

I had a BLR in .308 for years; finally ate it when injuries and sickness hit. Pretty gun, shot straight. Not a target rifle, the barrel was too light, but the first three 150 grainers were always within an inch. I'd buy another one in a heartbeat.

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from focusfront wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

TW:

Got cut off. I never owned a long action BLR but have handled them. They are much longer and less handy than the short action BLR: night and day. You can get the short action BLR in WSM calibers, so there seems little point in buying a long action BLR, but that's one man's opinion.

I didn't mean to give the impression in prior posts that I don't like .35 caliber levers. I own a Marlin 336 in .35 and it is a great gun. But it isn't a caliber that everybody wants. It is more a single shot handgun round these days.

Somebody here wondered if the .338 Marlin would be around in a few years. I would say yes. Marlin kept the .444 in the lineup all these years despite the fact that the factories loaded the .444 wrong most of its life, and Marlin continues to so do though the .444 never set the world on fire. Marlin is not Winchester; if Marlin introduces a round they mean to stick with it if history means anything.

Levers are ideal hunting rifles. They are flat, light, handle well, carry lots of bullets, and are very quick on followup shots. One look at the exposed hammer tells you all you need to know about the status of your rifle. Gun cranks can't mess with levers the way they can a bolt, so they look down their noses at them, despite the fact that you can get a BLR in most of the same calibers or a Marlin in an equivalent caliber. If you need benchrest or varmint accuracy, or need to deliver elephant killing power, you may need another rifle. If you want to put meat on the pole, lay aside your slow moving bolt and get a lever.

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

All . . .

Thanks for the insights about the BLR. I'll probably get one someday, probably in a short action, and probably in safe, available, reasonably economical and decently powerful .308 Winchester. But unless brass, powder, bullets and dies are easily available for a given chambering in a potential soon-to-be-mine rifle, I probably won't buy it.

On a separate note, I dearly wish Savage would again produce its beautiful Model 99. Always wanted one, never had one, still want one. Savage, are you hearing this?

TWD

TWD

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from green pond mike wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

The lever action rifle is a piece of history that has served its owners well.I myself have used all actions,but prefer the lever.Deer hunting with a lever gun just feels natural.Where I live you don't get a shot past 100 yards unless you are on a clear cut,a pipe line right of way or a power line right of way anyhow.The lever is quick,balanced,points well and accurate.I can't blame marlin,which are mainly known for their lever guns,to improve them and come out with new calibers in order to entice the younger generation into trying/buying one.Everybody thinks in this day and age that you need a bazooka to kill a deer--so marlin turns the lever gun into a lever bazooka and most are paranoid about buying one.What if nobody gave the ol 30-30 a chance when it first came out?I also like veriety but prefer the lever.Hey yohan,bigfoot only gets grouchy when you disturb him while he's on the "nextel" with his cousin--give him a cup of my green pond stump water and it'll make him friendly.He might even let you use his cell phone after drinking some of my strong coffee.

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from green pond mike wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

As I've mentioned before,I'm not new to this forum.I got on here back around december of 2007 as redneck 185 while I was laid up from knee surgery.From what I can see,most of the people that were on here back in 2007 are still here today except for bubba and silver arrow.I was just wondering if they were still around?

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from Tim Platt wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

A new friend of mine that has been to the house and seen all my antlers on the wall decided to take up hunting this year. Against my advice he bought a Mossberg 4X4 which is a $325 gun complete with Mossberg? scope mounted. At least he took my advice and got it in 30-06... this damn rifle will shoot 1" groups from 100 yards all day long. I don't know if it is a fluke or Mossberg is on to something but the sumbich is a serious contender for inexpensive ready to hunt rifle champion of the world.... Oh and I missed a bobcat yesterday and came home and drowned my sorrows in anti-depressants and Rocky Montain Goat Piss (Coors). Man it would have looked good perched on the fireplace mantle. He was about 75 yards away and walking fast and I had to shoot behind me and left handed but it should have been a sure kill for me. I had that stupid Ruger 1A that shoots softball groups instead of my Remington 700 because I have been switching scopes around and the Rem hasn't been sighted in yet. I am waiting for the gun range to open right now so I can get back in the woods with the rifle that never seems to miss. 1964 700 ADL. You can take 150, 165, 180 grain cartridges from different manufacturers and load them in any order in this gun and it will still shoot minute of angle.

Plus the comfort factor is there. I feel confident with the Rem and not with the #1A. I missed the first two deer I shot at with the Ruger and just lost all confidence in it. I think it is too short for me to hold steady or something... I just know I have shot at 5 deer running wide open with the 700 and dropped 4 of them in their tracks. If they are standing still it is all over. If only I had it with me yesterday. I may become a one gun man, well for large game hunting purposes anyway.

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from focusfront wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

TW Davison:

Unless you live in the Kenai Penninsula of Alaska, it would be hard to imagine a better all around hunting rifle than a BLR in .308 with a good low powered variable scope on board, say 1.5-5 or 2-7, or even a one minute red dot. It doesn't have a target trigger, but it is not a target rifle. Now that you can get the BLR in stainless steel, with a takedown option, and even with a Scout scope mount, you can have it almost any way you want it. Check this out:

http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/family.asp?webflag_=003B&catalo...

Why don't I have one any more? Injuries made me a lefty, so I have been eating all my right-handed rifles one by one, and my own .308 BLR went in its turn. If they ever come out with a left-handed BLR, I'll be the first guy in line.

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from hjohn429 wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Getting that gun is too much of a compromise for me. I say just get one in 444 Marlin. It is much more powerful and makes much bigger holes. Although, I gues for some situations, a flatshooter is more practical/necessary. For me though, I would use the 444 Marlin on Elk, Moose, Bear, and Mabey even deer. If you really only wanted one gun though, this wouldn't be a bad choice. What Marlin needs to do is develoupe a 40 cal cartridge for it. More bullits seem to be availible for it and it would give Hornaday even more business. Sounds good to me either way.

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from hjohn429 wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Why not a 444 Marlin necked down to 40 or 357 cal? This would give you a flatter trajectory and a harder hitting round. You could load 200 grainers in the 357/444 and prbably some midweight 300 grainers in the 40/444. What say you?

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from kodnocker wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

I will stick with my 30-30 caliber when it comes to lever action marlins. Ammo is cheap, readily avialable, and it has good knock down power!

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Focusfront . . .

I shoot lefty with a rifle. Always have. Question: Can a person who shoots lefty comfortably shoot a BLR with its right-side ejection? Does the empty brass strike the lefty in the face or otherwise interupt a quick second shot?

Thank you.

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from idduckhntr wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

hjohn they do have a 444 necked down they put a 375 bullet it its called a 375 JDJ and it does thump and from what I hear on both ends. JD Jones has used it on every thing from deer to elephant.

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from Joel Panian wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

If I was able to hunt more often, and had a steady source of income, I would be interested in buying one of these Marlins. There is something about a lever action rifle that really appeals to me- the nostalgia, the easy handling, and the darn good looks. However, I'm not able to hunt much, and I could use a good scope on my Winchester 30-30 more then another rifle.

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from 007 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Hello friends, I'm back after taking part in the first week of WV's general firearms season, and it was enlightening as I carried the Marlin 336 in .35 Remington for the bulk of the week. Light, fast handling, the perfect deer drive rifle. I took a big doe with it and it did everything I asked of it. While I'm not ready to trade in any of my Ruger 77's, rest assured that the Marlin and I will spend a lot more time together, Good Lord willing. Merry Christmas, one and all.

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from trent n hannah wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

im getting that bad ass rifle

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from watchman wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

I think you dissenters are missing an important point - you get '06 ballistics, but with more frontal area and less recoil than an '06 - out of a quick-handling rifle with more case capacity than a bolt (5+1). Reviews are saying this thing shoots like a dream while packing some substantial lumber at 300+ yards. For those of us who love levers, there's nothing out there like this.

If you want to stick to your '06's, God bless you. But you can't deny the huge potential or utility of this cartridge. There are guys who are buying them because they're backordered at some major retailers, so the ammo will come. Ammo availability sure doesn't keep people from gobbling up Rem 673's in 350 Rem Mag or BLR's in 358. It's about what works and works well - not what's a safe buy.

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from Gallo Pazzesco wrote 4 years 1 week ago

For those that commented about this rifle six months ago and decided not to invest in one at that time .... you're missing out. I finally took the plunge and it is one of the best investments I've ever made. The rifle is light, fast and accurate. Sure will beat the heck out of me humping 13 pds of 700 7mm mag with glass up that mountain in Idaho this fall after another big bull elk. Had the trigger slicked down to a sweet little 3.8 pd pull and that has made this stick about perfect for me with the Leupy on top. Going to roll my own for it when possible so I'm working up a 130 gr recipe for some whitetail action here in SC this fall before the Idaho trip - but honest to gosh, I have had more fun shooting this thing on the back forty so far, it is just the whoop.

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from tommyboy2 wrote 3 years 28 weeks ago

Your right....it is asthetics, nostalgia, attraction.....all of that. I love the way my MXLR in 338 ME looks, holds, shoots, and hits. I can easily shoot under 2 inch groups at 200 yards from the bench with the 3 x 9 Nikon on it. I love laminate, stainless, and the name Marlin. As for those of you who say, "If you want 30-06 performance, shoot a 30-06. I say if you want 30-06 performance plus, shoot a .270. Hey, was that sound I just heard Jack O'Conner applauding me?

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from Brian Jackson wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Is anyone else nervous about some of these gun specific calibers? I really like the idea of the 308 Marlin Express and this new cartridge, but if it doesn't catch on what do I do in 5 years when I'm scouring the internet to pony up $50.00+ for a box of ammo and nobody wants to buy my MXLR? Same goes for other cartridge/gun combos that are limited to one or two manufacturers like the .370 Sako Mag, .327 magnum, etc.

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from bluegraytx wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

With all due respect to the fuddy-duddys who get all paranoid about rifle cartridges that may not sell or ammo that may be hard to find someday, get over it. Who cares. Unless you're going to go out and fire all day at a paper target, which, IMHO, is about as exciting as watching the leaves fall off trees (Oh!, look there goes another one), most hunters won't use up a box of ammo in a year. So what's the big deal if the price goes to $75/box and you have to camp on eBay to find one? You want to target shoot, go get something in a cheap-to-reload caliber, and go nuts. But don't cast aspersions on a new rifle/caliber because you're not sure if it's going to sell or the ammo might cost more than a box of .22's. Yeah, I own a Marlin 338 MXLR that took some "do-withouts" to finance, including all the Wild West trimmings along with Weaver-style mounts, Leupold QRW rings, and a Leupold silver VX-3 2.5-8x36 scope. But you know what? When I open my gun safe and see that Marlin 338 MXLR stacked right next to my lefthand, stainless, Ruger M77 Mk-II in .30-06 caliber with silver Nikon 2.5-10x42 scope, I can't help but feel blessed that my vision and choices weren't limited or constrained by "what ifs?" and $ signs.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Del

Maybe Bee could export some shooting juju to me. I'm having my worst wingshooting year ever! Remember C.R.S? I have C.H.S....

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from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Nice gun-- I'll stick with my 30-06 until I see .338 Marlin on the shelf of my local mom and pop sporting goods store. Then I'll still stick with my 30-06. Nice gun though.

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from -Bob wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I carry a Browning Lever Rifle topped with an ancient Redfield widefield 3X9, chambered in .30-06. Dad's Sierra 180 gr. BTSP handloads make this a one shot-goodbye combination on Pennsylvania whitetails.

I have nothing but good words for Marlin products, and I wish them success with this latest offering.

But…If you want .30-06 performance, buy a .30-06. Seems fairly simple to me. Did I miss something? -Bob

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from Del in KS wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

NOS Jest wanted to let you folks know Beekeeper is now back in Georgia. We had a great time chasing pheasants out in Southwestern KS in spite of the weather (it rained and snowed). I'll never forget that purty waitress standing over us with a fire extinguisher while we ate lunch in a small town rest'rant. It seems she was worried about the sparks from my knife and fork. Ol' Bee shot a rooster that had no spurs. Dan is having that one stuffed. One other thing, don't make any shooting bets with Beekeeper. He is one helliva wingshot. Back to original subject thanks Dave.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

That is a nice looking rifle, but I think that I would prefer it in traditional blue/walnut. I would have to do some serious soul searching before I bought anything that is dependent upon Hornady ammunition after the rash of crap with their factory ammo that I recently experienced. Heck, I can easily get 2,500 fps out of 200 grain spitzers in my .358 Winchester Savage 99F without the necessity of flat nosed or rubber tip bullets.

But whoever said that buying a new rifle had to be a matter of practicality!

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from OrangeNeckInNY wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I think you meant to say, "...find yourself a scope with a range-compensating RETICLE..."

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from MLH wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Seems like a great gun and round. Big wallop without a lot of meat damage. Lever guns are just plain fun. Receiver mounted XS ghost ring and front post would be nice, as would a slightly larger lever loop.

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from MJC wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I was excited to learn about this rifle when it was first announced. It looks like a great all round woods rifle.

I share everyone's concerns about the ammunition though. With prices where they are these days, even tried and true cartridges are expensive. For the moment, the internet is only place I've seen .338 Marlin and you hate to own a gun you can't buy ammo for locally. I've had that experience will mil. surp. rifles and it's a pain.

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from Devil_Dog wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Speaking of peep sights for Marlin rifles, I have a 336 that I want to put a peep sight on. Anyone have any suggestions for a good one? I tried the XS ghost ring for my muzzleloader and hated it, even the smaller apeture provided was too big for my preferences. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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from MLH wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Devil_Dog - take a look at Williams Gun Sight. They have receiver and dovetail aperture sights for the 336. The peep screws in - can remove it if you ever want a larger "ghost" sized opening.

Can also get a fiberoptic front sight. They have a ghost ring fiberoptic aperture but it has a large diameter opening.

Don't be concerned by the material - the rears are high quality extruded aircraft aluminum and very strong.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I like Marlin rifles, too. But what I want an 1894 in .357/.38 SPL for a little possum and coyote control from the truck rack.

I have enough odd calibers to reload for: .358 Win, .257 Roberts, .38 S&W, .35 Whelen, 7mm Weatherby...not exactly corner hardware store stuff.

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from -Bob wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I have a Marlin 1894S in .44 Mag. It was the first rifle I ever bought; $200 at K-Mart, back when they sold more than tennis racquets. It's a nice little deer gun, particularly when handloaded. Unfortunately, it lacked downrange performance -- those big slugs scrub off speed like nobody's business. Hence the switch to .30-06. -Bob

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from JD wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Hey wait a minute, these may well be the 21st centuries answer to the .307 and .356 Winchester big bores or the model 88 and the great but gone .358 Win.

I will run right out for one after I get my .17 Mach2 rimfire, oh wait, when's the last time anyone mentioned them? Hmm, do we see a trend here?

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

What took you so long to review this one Dave?
I like this rifle with the laminate/SS look, making it a perfect Alaska/West coast rifle to take on the elements.
Like most of the quotes here I don't trust the long range(pun intended) availability of this ammo.
I have not priced this rifle in stores, but if MSRP is apprx.$800 it should retail for under $700..I'm thinkin?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

The great .358 is not gone. Ruger still chambers it in the Model 77 bolt gun.

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from shane wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

If you don't understand the desire for a lever gun, then you haven't really lived, don't hunt enough, and have no taste. A slim, slab sided, quick handling, fast reloading rifle is a thing of beauty. Especially when it's this accurate and powerful.

I don't get the people that put themselves in their own little hole with their own little thing, and want nothing to do with anything else. I like variety.

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from Carney wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter = the 1894 in .357 is on my radar as well! But everything just costs so darn much these days.

There was a used 1894 at a local gun shop for $399 which was a really good price. It was a nice clean gun but had the micro groove rifling and the fit and finish was not quite perfect... In spite of all that I'd have still bought it if I'd had the $400.

Let me know how your search turns out.

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from O Garcia wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I get it that it's now OK for Marlin to make lever actions that performed like bolt actions...whereas before that was a bad idea.

OK, IMO, actually that's a good idea at least in the accuracy department. Marlins have always been accurate. Whether the added power is necessary, esp. if it will be used mainly on whitetails, I don't know.

And considering all the recently-minted but soon to be dead cartridges (think Remington Short Action Ultra Mags and even the Ultra Mags themselves), I think it would be a wise idea to wait this out a bit more.

We've had far reaching lever guns and rounds before, but commercially only the 30-30 has thrived, with maybe some .35 Remington and .45-70 thrown in.
the .444 is barely hanging on, with little load development by the factories
the .307 and .356 are dead, the .358 is down to being a handloader's cartridge

maybe the "338" magic will work.

As for the .376 Steyr, it was basically the 9.3x64 Brenekke. Great idea, great performance, European appeal (at least for the 9.3), zero appeal for the English-speaking world. And the Steyr rifle to shoot it (the "SBS" that was also the basis of the official Jeff Cooper Scout) was ridiculously expensive. And as one gunwriter said, the .376 Steyr just didn't quite duplicate the H&H.

But the .375 Ruger did. Now whether the Ruger round itself will last, that's long way down the road.

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from deadly wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Hey WA Mtnhunter,
Sorry to hear about your Hornady woes. I have a KR1 in .45-70 that shoots factory ammo OK but the LeveRevolution stuff prints 1.25" at 100 yds. My hunting buddy just bought a Handi-Rifle in .444 and LeveRevolution is the only ammo that it shoots well. Still waiting to try the .30-30 rounds in my Model 94.
I hope that your troubles were just a one-time occurrence.
Best,
John

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from Scott Jones wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Devil_Dog

I have a 1894 in 44 mag with the Williams peep sight. I love the peep for two reasons - first, the rear peep allows you to ignore the rear sight, just center the bead in the circle, and second, the longer sight radius. Even with the big front bead its m-o-p accurate at 100 yards. Since the peeps are replaceable, you can find one small enough to match your tastes.
However, I just took mine off. My vision demands I go to a scope if I want to hunt early and late past 50 yards. Not as fun to shoot, but suits the way I hunt.

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from wingshooter54 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

If the firearm and ammunition manufacturers didn't come out with new guns and loads every year or so,Dave (and a host of others) would have to get a real job instead of being a gunwriter. In Dave's case though,(and a very few others;John Barsness in particular)a lot of good writing and bullsh** would be lost. I would cheerfully sit around a campfire with either one. Throw in Thomas McEntyre also.

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from KJ wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

007 - I think the desire for bolt action accuracy in a lever action stems from the fact that on lots of western hunts where horses are used, a lever gun rides flat in a saddle scabbard, with no bolt hanging out to catch on tree branches, etc. And some people just prefer the way a bolt action handles - I do. My Marlins come to the shoulder and settle down on the target quickly and smoothly - much moreso than any of my bolt actions. Just a thought.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

@ deadly

My Hornady ammunition woes are not with Hornady bullets per se. I have reloaded with the SP Interlock's for years for .25 cal, .30 cal, and .358 Win. without issues.

My recent problems arose from 2 boxes of Hornady factory loaded 154 grain Interbonds for my 7mm. They shot horribly with erratic 5"-6" groups at 100 yards. This from a rifle that shot 1.5" groups with another Weatherby factory load and 1" groups with a handloaded Barnes TSX on the same day. I was talking to my buddy who had the same experience with his Browning A-bolt 7mm Rem Mag. He switched to Remington's that shot MOA. THEN, at elk camp, one of the fellas was bemoaning the fact that he was using his .270 because he could not get his .300 Win mag to group some 180 gr Hornady loads. After shooting nearny 2 boxes, he went to his .270 because he did not have time to fiddle around with the .300 Win mag 2 days before the hunt.

I'll never buy another Hornady cartridge based on that experience. Would I buy a rifle whose sole source of ammo was Hornady? Not in this lifetime..... Too bad. It looks like a nice rifle.

@ Carney

Yes, those 1894's could be had for $299 on sale at Big 5 sports a few short years ago.

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from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

So many rifles and so little space in the gun safe... I'll stick with my .338/06 bolt gun.

Had a great time in Kansas with Del and his friends! He is a true gentleman and a pretty good wingshot himself. He took the head off a rooster with a 28 GA at about 12 yards on the wing!

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from Quahog wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

-KILLED MY FIRST BUCK IN 5 YEARS YESTERDAY. A NICE 6 POINTER,I'D SAY 160LBS. - SHOT HIM THRU BOTH SHOULDERS IN MID-AIR JUMPING OVER ONE OF MY STONEWALLS @45 YDS WITH MY ANCIENT 336 IN .35 REM.- OPEN SIGHTS.
-GEEZERS CAN RECOVER FROM BRAIN SURGERY !! ( IT JUST TAKES AWHILE )
THE BUCKS HANGING IN THE BARN, BUT LOADED W/TICKS - CHECKING W/NH F&G TO SEE IF MEAT EDIBLE (LYME DISEASE ?)
-ANY OPINIONS OUT THERE ? NH F&G WEBSITE INDICATES 7240 WHITETAILS HARVESTED TO DATE IN STATE. DEER SEASON CLOSES HERE DEC. 6th.

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from Carney wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

TWD = For all the reasons you have mentioned, I purchased a BLR in 300 winmag this past spring. I'd wanted one for about 3-4 years. My goal was to get a long range gun as I've been carrying a Marlin 1895 45-70 for 5 years. The Marlin is hands down my favorite gun in my collection.

PROS=
+The BLR 300 winmag is long range with a flat trajectory.
+The action is an engineering joy.
+I have the takedown model with the scope mounted on the receiver but it hasn't significantly changed point of impact to remove and replace the barrel.
+Overall style and handling is good.

CONS=
-I bought it over the internet and was disappointed with the butt stock figuring -- but that's what I get buying sight unseen...
-Had to take it to the certified gunsmith to get it to feed from the magazine -- that's 100% now.
-My 45-70 was regularly an MOA gun. I could shoot and shoot and shoot never worrying about the barrel getting hot. The BLR has a pencil thin, long barrel that heats up significantly with just one shot -- 3 in a row heats the barrel enough to burn your hand.
-I've never gotten MOA groups no matter what I load...
-Groups are in the 1.5 - 3" range.
-Petzal wrote on this gun that the trigger was only so so and not really fixable. I don't know that I've ever pulled a decent trigger so I can't tell the difference. It goes BANG when it is supposed to is all I can say.
-It was a little awkward at the beginning since the barrel and balance were different than my Marlin, but I'm pretty used to it now.

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from crm3006 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Never did really fall in love with Marlin actions, due to the fact that they were side eject, and not really convenient for left handed shooting. The MXLR seems to be of the same design. Also agree with most of the above posters who don't trust a new caliber that may not be around next year. I will stay with my bolt actions in proven calibers like .30-'06, .338 Win Mag, and .25-06. If that ain't enough "Serious Thump", I can always drag out the .375 H&H. None of these seem to be scarce, and don't appear to be on life support.
Quahog-
Don't worry about Lyme disease from the deer meat. The tick has to bite you to transmit it. Just be careful of the live ticks, and remember to wear rubber gloves when gutting and skinning deer that have visible infestations of ticks. Glad you got your big six point.
crm

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from focusfront wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

TW:

Got cut off. I never owned a long action BLR but have handled them. They are much longer and less handy than the short action BLR: night and day. You can get the short action BLR in WSM calibers, so there seems little point in buying a long action BLR, but that's one man's opinion.

I didn't mean to give the impression in prior posts that I don't like .35 caliber levers. I own a Marlin 336 in .35 and it is a great gun. But it isn't a caliber that everybody wants. It is more a single shot handgun round these days.

Somebody here wondered if the .338 Marlin would be around in a few years. I would say yes. Marlin kept the .444 in the lineup all these years despite the fact that the factories loaded the .444 wrong most of its life, and Marlin continues to so do though the .444 never set the world on fire. Marlin is not Winchester; if Marlin introduces a round they mean to stick with it if history means anything.

Levers are ideal hunting rifles. They are flat, light, handle well, carry lots of bullets, and are very quick on followup shots. One look at the exposed hammer tells you all you need to know about the status of your rifle. Gun cranks can't mess with levers the way they can a bolt, so they look down their noses at them, despite the fact that you can get a BLR in most of the same calibers or a Marlin in an equivalent caliber. If you need benchrest or varmint accuracy, or need to deliver elephant killing power, you may need another rifle. If you want to put meat on the pole, lay aside your slow moving bolt and get a lever.

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

All . . .

Thanks for the insights about the BLR. I'll probably get one someday, probably in a short action, and probably in safe, available, reasonably economical and decently powerful .308 Winchester. But unless brass, powder, bullets and dies are easily available for a given chambering in a potential soon-to-be-mine rifle, I probably won't buy it.

On a separate note, I dearly wish Savage would again produce its beautiful Model 99. Always wanted one, never had one, still want one. Savage, are you hearing this?

TWD

TWD

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from general dethcoff wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I agree with jacksjb_44. I'm the type of gun nut who loves seeing new cartridges though so my solution is to start handloading is to get into reloading once a graduate and get some disposable income.

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from idduckhntr wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I think I would still rather have a 348.

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from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

What has changed in hunting recently that says this medium bore lever action will not die like all the other medium bore lever actions?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I'll go grab one when they turn that "M" in Marlin into a flying "W". LOL

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from cliff68 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Think I might buy one, the blued and walnut version, and I don't buy many new rifles. I've got plenty of other rifles to hunt with if they stop making them or ammunition, just try to buy a bunch of brass. Might even become a collectors item down the road if it doesn't go over.

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from yohan wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

All my (sport) hunting life,. Ive been a M98 Mauser shooter.
Push feed,.claw exctractor,. metric calibers,..

Which got me out of a couple rather uncomforable spots ,.
Which will sooner or later happen if your messing with soemthing that will given sufficiant opportunity mess back.

But tomorrow I leave for what i consider the most hallowed of hallowed ground,.

Big woods northern Wisconsin ,.

Of course I will have a Mauser as back up ,.. but the main,.. intended smoke pole / bambi thumper this year,..
is Marlin 1895 45-70

Why ???
Because is handy and quick,.
But mostly because its so damn much fun to shoot .
Not to mention within reasonable range ( to me 150 yds ) it bestows on the white tail unfortuant enough
to standing in the way of a 325gr slug
( which I whomp up a tad from factory specs)
immediate winged flight to the great beyond.
While spoiling little meat in the process.
Said "whomping up" certianly not needed for deer ,. but on the off chance an owly sasquatch would show up ,.
( hear they are not always friendly ) there is enough (whomp) such that I make it home.

As to the 338 Marlin ,. I think its intersting
I do not need more guns ,nor am I in the mood to buy one .. but if I were in the mood ,. I would also be a little supect ,. unless I planned to live another 80 years ,. at which point I would immdiatly buy three,..
One to shoot one as a present to a guy I know who likes that kind of thing and one for the safe.
As I do believe the round will fail but like ye ole 71
Later it gonna be a valuable .

Best Regards
&

Happy Thanks giving to all

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from 007 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

This is not a knock on the Marlin or the cartidge in question, just a request for clarification. If you want bolt action ballistics, why not buy a bolt gun? Does the MXLR offer any advantages over a bolt action or are we simply dealing with romance and aesthetics? I just acquired a Marlin lever gun in .35 Remington that I see as an easy carrying piece for deer drives and tree stands. I agree with the brethern above as well, maybe I'm just behind the times and can't get past the .30-30s, .35s, .45-70s, etc in that platform. Again, not knocking it or anybody's taste in armament, just wanting to better understand. Good shooting, and thanks.

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from 007 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Not knocking the MXLR or the round, just wanting to understand a bit better. If you want bolt gun performance, why not carry a bolt gun? Are we talking tastes, romance, and the inherent aesthetics of a lever gun, or does the MXLR offer some advantage over a bolt? I just acquired a 336C in .35 Remington and have a retired Savage 99 resting in the back of the safe so I have nothing against lever actions, just wanting to get a better understanding of the topic. Thanks and good shooting, all.

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from yohan wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

007 and others of similar ilk
myself included,..
Its simple,..hunter / gun nut types are like carpeters ,.. everything from framers to those who build furniture.

There are plenty of tools that will do the job just fine.
IE: 30 -06 7mm 6.5 x 55 30-30 35 45-70 and the list goes on and on.
But it is also a never ending search for the better more efficiant.
The new tchnology ( flex tip bullets ) allows an old
distinctly amercian design ( lever action) to function at a higher level.
For many long years "lever lovers" were cowed into buying a bolt or single shot because they wanted performance and or or not to be laughd at in deer camp.
Because they didnt have a rifle that could shoot q balls a 3000 fps.

Never mind, that what they had ( again the above list ) would get the job done just fine.
So now they can get ( better ) performance in their prefered design ,. and its like a new toy,.. some calibers will live on and some will not.

A paralell to this ,.. better sharper chisels,. lighter (titainium believe it or not) hammers,
Carpenter friend has one ( price ? just under 200 clams) .. cordless nail guns, and sofisticated , ever more powerful,. power tools ,.
All to accomplish the same thing ,.. but better and faster.

I worked on carpentry / construction crews in summer to get money for school and coin it took to date women.
Trust me these guys (carpenters) who are many times huneters) are no diffeeent.
If you wanna see a bunch with gadgets the past ten years ,.. check out a successfull carpenter
There will be more damn gadgets than yiu can shake a stick at all in the name of doin it better and in some cases faster.

Its big buisnss and marketing coming up with something new to sell based on new and improved technology and its the people who like levers who buy them.

So,.. your not missing anything ,..

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from JD wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

-Bob,

In that M1894 you need to try the Hornady polymer tipped .44 magnums, they shoot great in my Rossi 92 and give much longer range accuracy. LeverRevolution and they won't break the bank. I love chasing deer with a light fast-handling gun like ours. These should be considered for "shotgun only" counties; these revolver-chambered light carbines. Safer that the newest slugs and shotguns. We can use a Contender or Encore with any of the hot rifle loads in shotgun only areas, but gawd forbid a M-92 clone in .44 mag!

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from yohan wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

devil dog ,. if your clunky buckhorn sights are still on try this first,
Get a round pointed file ,.10 -15 bucks ,.. the idea is to open up (expand) and deepen the notch in the rear sight,.. You can do it,. just take it slow,.. work from, both sides.
The idea is to get it open enough to let enough light in so that when sighting you immediatly center the bead,.
Just go at it slow ,. might take you 2-3 three days ,.
But when the rear v is open and deep eough for your vision ( not your neighbors ) you will know.
You eye willcnter teh bead with down right uncanny quickness
After that get some quic blue ( like a majic marker ) to put on the shinney metal inside the notch exposed by the filing .
If you don't when sighting sunliht will cause mirage
( sp )

I have 3 levers and I did that to all the rear sights
and if I do say so myslef its pretty damn quick and accurate
I also had smaller beads installd ( a few more bucks)
but not near the expence of new sight apperatus.
Cant take credi for that idea ,. it was my fathers
who was a gun smith.
But Im sure he would be pleased if you took the time to try it ,. especially if it worked and it saved you money.

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from yohan wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Devil dog,.. round taperd file,.

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from coho310 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I love the lever but I want it in .348,although it's still a cool gun.

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from Devil_Dog wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Yohan,

Thanks for the advice I'll have to give that one a try once hunting season is over.

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from Jerry Thompson wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Can this model be set-up with a scope and still be able to use the iron sights? Seems this rifle is ideal for the thick bruch of Alaska, where a scope is less than useful.

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from Quahog wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Sorry for upper-case brain-cramp !

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from Mock1 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Give me my 1895 Guide Gun in 45-70 over that cartridge any day. I shot an 1,000 bull moose in Newfoundland w/ 300 gr nosler partitions. It really did the trick. Also, how long has the 45-70 been around? I almost bought the .450 instead, but since i reload, the possibilities are huge. Someday, maybe use it on a Cape Buff. Hey, I can dream

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

All:

On the subject of lever action rifles, does anyone here have much experience with the Browning BLR (lever action rifle)(in any calibers)? I've always like the looks of the BLR, and appreciate the magazine vs. tube fed loading system (so one can use tipped bullets instead of flat-noses). Also, from everything I've read, the BLR action-mechanism is supposed to be as strong as a good bolt action, and so, at least theoretically speaking, handloads in a BLR should be respond no differently than handloads in a bolt rifle. But how accurate are BLRs? Thoughts and comments appreciated.

TWD

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from Devil_Dog wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

With regards to the Hornady Interbonds not shooting well, it may be more an issue of rifle preference than poor bullets or cartridge manufacturing. I tried loading some Interbonds in my .270 several years ago because I wanted to 'upgrade' to a bonded bullet from the usual Hornady Interlock load I had. Those Interbonds wouldn't group past 5" at 100 yards no matter what combinantion of powder, primer, case, etc. that I tried. I don't blame the Interbonds though because I have since found out that that particular rifle will not shoot poly-tipped bullets of any make or weight. Same goes for my .35 Whelen. That rifle shoots Interlocks and Nosler bullets very well, but I've given up on getting Barnes bullets to group because it's a waste of money.

As for Lyme's disease in deer meat, don't worry about it. You'll only contract the disease if one of the ticks crawled over and bit you. I suppose eating a raw tick might pose a hazard, but most people probably wouldn't do that anyways. Congratulations on the buck.

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from -Bob wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Regarding the BLR -- I've had one in .30-06 for about 10 years now. About the only complaint I could possibly conjure up is a less-than-perfect trigger...but since I'm a less-than-perfect rifleman, things seem to cancel out.

On the other hand, I've found the accuracy (for a hunting rifle) to be outstanding. Using handloads, 1.5" or slightly better is the norm for me. My best three-round group was .35", shot with Hornady match bullets.

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from 007 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Thanks for all the enlightenment, that makes sense. Beekeeper, did you say .338-06???? I'm into the third year of waiting for one to be completed at my local gunsmith's (now I know how an elephant feels in waiting for the stork). I found a used Ruger Mk II in .270 and am having it reworked into the .338-06. If you could share your reloading wisdom with it, it would be greatly appreciated. I'm hoping to use 200 grain Hornaday interlocks ahead of probably IMR 4064. Thanks.

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from shane wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

If you want a rifle for the thick brush in Alaska, you want the original 1895 or the 1895G. Much shorter and handier. A low powered scope is just as good if not better in thick brush.

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from shane wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Although it pains me to say that as an iron sights lover.

KJ - exactly.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Wa MNThunter,
I feel the same way, I would never buy a rifle or caliber only made by one manufacturer. The PR and maker themselves must salivate over fools who do. I really don't appreciate magazines or gun writers who promote these rifles, not to mention we can't even buy the "proprietary" powder to reload.

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from focusfront wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

TW Davison:

I had a BLR in .308 for years; finally ate it when injuries and sickness hit. Pretty gun, shot straight. Not a target rifle, the barrel was too light, but the first three 150 grainers were always within an inch. I'd buy another one in a heartbeat.

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from Tim Platt wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

A new friend of mine that has been to the house and seen all my antlers on the wall decided to take up hunting this year. Against my advice he bought a Mossberg 4X4 which is a $325 gun complete with Mossberg? scope mounted. At least he took my advice and got it in 30-06... this damn rifle will shoot 1" groups from 100 yards all day long. I don't know if it is a fluke or Mossberg is on to something but the sumbich is a serious contender for inexpensive ready to hunt rifle champion of the world.... Oh and I missed a bobcat yesterday and came home and drowned my sorrows in anti-depressants and Rocky Montain Goat Piss (Coors). Man it would have looked good perched on the fireplace mantle. He was about 75 yards away and walking fast and I had to shoot behind me and left handed but it should have been a sure kill for me. I had that stupid Ruger 1A that shoots softball groups instead of my Remington 700 because I have been switching scopes around and the Rem hasn't been sighted in yet. I am waiting for the gun range to open right now so I can get back in the woods with the rifle that never seems to miss. 1964 700 ADL. You can take 150, 165, 180 grain cartridges from different manufacturers and load them in any order in this gun and it will still shoot minute of angle.

Plus the comfort factor is there. I feel confident with the Rem and not with the #1A. I missed the first two deer I shot at with the Ruger and just lost all confidence in it. I think it is too short for me to hold steady or something... I just know I have shot at 5 deer running wide open with the 700 and dropped 4 of them in their tracks. If they are standing still it is all over. If only I had it with me yesterday. I may become a one gun man, well for large game hunting purposes anyway.

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from 007 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Sorry for the duplicate post, all. I didn't think the first one went thru. Deer season comes in Monday and my mind is drifting badly. Best regards.

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from Mock1 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Also, just got back from Moorestown Mich. Missed a running deer at 50 yds with my 25-06 but on a drive, killed a nice one w/ the 45-70 running at 60+- yds. 300 gr. hollow point hornady reloads. Can eat right up to the hole.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

As I posted on another thread, I was looking at my .35 Whelen last night and was wondering to myself as to why I did not hunt with it this year and why do I have all those other rifles taking up space and $. I suppose because I can.....

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from idduckhntr wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Looked at some 71s on the internet and found some in very good condition for reasonable prices now all I have to do is convince the wife that I need one.

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from -Bob wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

JD -- thanks for suggesting the .44 Mag. LeveRevolution rounds for my 1894S. I haven't yet gotten the opportunity to try them, but they are on the short list. Two quick questions:

-- Are the polymer-tipped bullets available as reloading components yet?

-- Any clue as to how the LeveRevolution rounds behave in handguns? I sometimes carry a .44 Mag. Dan Wesson DA revolver during the deer season. We used to handload a "common" round for the handgun and rifle, which was mightily convenient.

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from jamesti wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

it may sound wierd, but i would probably buy that rifle just because i don't have one.

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from 256newton wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Why wasn't the 1895 ever chambered for .348? Some of us would have bought them in a minute for hunting, collectors would have snapped up the rest. Future obsolescence of a cartridge is no reason not to buy the rifle. Buy a couple of hundred rounds of brass and you're set for life. Even if you don't reload, someone you know does.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

What about dies? Does anyone offer them yet?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Devil Dog

Thanks for your comment. It is very true that not every rifle will shoot all bullets well. My .30-06 is allergic to Nosler Partitions and Swift Scirocco's, too. It did not shoot the factory loaded 165 gr Interbonds worth a crap either, but not as extreme as the 7mm Weatherby. Not a good excuse for crappy brass, however. I'll continue to use Hornady Interlocks as components, but I won't waste money on factory ammo from them again. To each his own.

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from green pond mike wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

The lever action rifle is a piece of history that has served its owners well.I myself have used all actions,but prefer the lever.Deer hunting with a lever gun just feels natural.Where I live you don't get a shot past 100 yards unless you are on a clear cut,a pipe line right of way or a power line right of way anyhow.The lever is quick,balanced,points well and accurate.I can't blame marlin,which are mainly known for their lever guns,to improve them and come out with new calibers in order to entice the younger generation into trying/buying one.Everybody thinks in this day and age that you need a bazooka to kill a deer--so marlin turns the lever gun into a lever bazooka and most are paranoid about buying one.What if nobody gave the ol 30-30 a chance when it first came out?I also like veriety but prefer the lever.Hey yohan,bigfoot only gets grouchy when you disturb him while he's on the "nextel" with his cousin--give him a cup of my green pond stump water and it'll make him friendly.He might even let you use his cell phone after drinking some of my strong coffee.

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from green pond mike wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

As I've mentioned before,I'm not new to this forum.I got on here back around december of 2007 as redneck 185 while I was laid up from knee surgery.From what I can see,most of the people that were on here back in 2007 are still here today except for bubba and silver arrow.I was just wondering if they were still around?

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from focusfront wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

TW Davison:

Unless you live in the Kenai Penninsula of Alaska, it would be hard to imagine a better all around hunting rifle than a BLR in .308 with a good low powered variable scope on board, say 1.5-5 or 2-7, or even a one minute red dot. It doesn't have a target trigger, but it is not a target rifle. Now that you can get the BLR in stainless steel, with a takedown option, and even with a Scout scope mount, you can have it almost any way you want it. Check this out:

http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/family.asp?webflag_=003B&catalo...

Why don't I have one any more? Injuries made me a lefty, so I have been eating all my right-handed rifles one by one, and my own .308 BLR went in its turn. If they ever come out with a left-handed BLR, I'll be the first guy in line.

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from hjohn429 wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Getting that gun is too much of a compromise for me. I say just get one in 444 Marlin. It is much more powerful and makes much bigger holes. Although, I gues for some situations, a flatshooter is more practical/necessary. For me though, I would use the 444 Marlin on Elk, Moose, Bear, and Mabey even deer. If you really only wanted one gun though, this wouldn't be a bad choice. What Marlin needs to do is develoupe a 40 cal cartridge for it. More bullits seem to be availible for it and it would give Hornaday even more business. Sounds good to me either way.

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from hjohn429 wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Why not a 444 Marlin necked down to 40 or 357 cal? This would give you a flatter trajectory and a harder hitting round. You could load 200 grainers in the 357/444 and prbably some midweight 300 grainers in the 40/444. What say you?

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from kodnocker wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

I will stick with my 30-30 caliber when it comes to lever action marlins. Ammo is cheap, readily avialable, and it has good knock down power!

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Focusfront . . .

I shoot lefty with a rifle. Always have. Question: Can a person who shoots lefty comfortably shoot a BLR with its right-side ejection? Does the empty brass strike the lefty in the face or otherwise interupt a quick second shot?

Thank you.

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from idduckhntr wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

hjohn they do have a 444 necked down they put a 375 bullet it its called a 375 JDJ and it does thump and from what I hear on both ends. JD Jones has used it on every thing from deer to elephant.

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from Joel Panian wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

If I was able to hunt more often, and had a steady source of income, I would be interested in buying one of these Marlins. There is something about a lever action rifle that really appeals to me- the nostalgia, the easy handling, and the darn good looks. However, I'm not able to hunt much, and I could use a good scope on my Winchester 30-30 more then another rifle.

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from Gallo Pazzesco wrote 4 years 1 week ago

For those that commented about this rifle six months ago and decided not to invest in one at that time .... you're missing out. I finally took the plunge and it is one of the best investments I've ever made. The rifle is light, fast and accurate. Sure will beat the heck out of me humping 13 pds of 700 7mm mag with glass up that mountain in Idaho this fall after another big bull elk. Had the trigger slicked down to a sweet little 3.8 pd pull and that has made this stick about perfect for me with the Leupy on top. Going to roll my own for it when possible so I'm working up a 130 gr recipe for some whitetail action here in SC this fall before the Idaho trip - but honest to gosh, I have had more fun shooting this thing on the back forty so far, it is just the whoop.

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from 007 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

Hello friends, I'm back after taking part in the first week of WV's general firearms season, and it was enlightening as I carried the Marlin 336 in .35 Remington for the bulk of the week. Light, fast handling, the perfect deer drive rifle. I took a big doe with it and it did everything I asked of it. While I'm not ready to trade in any of my Ruger 77's, rest assured that the Marlin and I will spend a lot more time together, Good Lord willing. Merry Christmas, one and all.

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from trent n hannah wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

im getting that bad ass rifle

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from watchman wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

I think you dissenters are missing an important point - you get '06 ballistics, but with more frontal area and less recoil than an '06 - out of a quick-handling rifle with more case capacity than a bolt (5+1). Reviews are saying this thing shoots like a dream while packing some substantial lumber at 300+ yards. For those of us who love levers, there's nothing out there like this.

If you want to stick to your '06's, God bless you. But you can't deny the huge potential or utility of this cartridge. There are guys who are buying them because they're backordered at some major retailers, so the ammo will come. Ammo availability sure doesn't keep people from gobbling up Rem 673's in 350 Rem Mag or BLR's in 358. It's about what works and works well - not what's a safe buy.

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from tommyboy2 wrote 3 years 28 weeks ago

Your right....it is asthetics, nostalgia, attraction.....all of that. I love the way my MXLR in 338 ME looks, holds, shoots, and hits. I can easily shoot under 2 inch groups at 200 yards from the bench with the 3 x 9 Nikon on it. I love laminate, stainless, and the name Marlin. As for those of you who say, "If you want 30-06 performance, shoot a 30-06. I say if you want 30-06 performance plus, shoot a .270. Hey, was that sound I just heard Jack O'Conner applauding me?

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