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  1. #1
    Marlin Marksman
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    308 marlin or 30-30 AI

    wondering if i should rechamber my 336xlr to AI or just get the 308 marlin. does the 30-30 AI stack up against the 308 marlin?
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  2. #2
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    Re: 308 marlin or 30-30 AI

    Well, you can compare ballistics all day long, but that leaves out "the rest of the story"

    The Marlin Express series are not only a new chamber, they made additional changes to the rifle geared towards accuracy.

    Tomray could fill in the details, but basically the way the barrel is attched is different, and the mag tube is supposed to be attached differently too.

    The following quote is from the Guns & Ammo article where they quote the Marlin R&D people who developed the rifle:\

    "The big difference here is that we have been used to thinking in terms of 100- to 200-yard shooting with 'hunting type' accuracy," says Tony Aeschliman, public relations and marketing manager for Marlin Firearms. "Now we have a lever action that is a 300- to 400-yard gun, and everything tightens.

    "Everything changes as far as how we do final assembly and what the tolerances are where the barrel meets the receiver. For example, if the barrel is not fitting exactly square to the receiver in a 150-yard gun, that doesn't really show. But you add another 150 yards to that and it becomes a big factor.

    "The reason, of course, is that everything becomes magnified the farther away from the muzzle the bullet travels. A two-inch group at 100 yards becomes a four- to five-inch group at 200 yards and loses any semblance of hunting accuracy by the time you get to 300 yards.

    "So it required us to look at things we never had to look at before because they never showed up before when shooting at traditional lever-gun ranges," Aeschliman says.

    "For example, with the attachment of the magazine tube to the barrel, just the tiniest variation can have major effects on the performance of the gun. If the screw that holds that magazine tube to the barrel is over-tightened, that can affect accuracy. If that screw is tightened too hard and the barrel starts to warm up and swell, the torque makes it move and it can act as a fulcrum. So we've been tweaking that attachment a little bit so there's not a lot of stress at that point It's not exactly free-floating, but it's an attempt to keep as little tension as possible on the bottom of the barrel," he says.

    In a way, it's like building in flexibility in an aircraft so that there is some "give" to the wings and fuselage to keep them from breaking apart in turbulence. As a result, Marlin has created a "stopping point" on the magazine tube screw so that it can't be tightened beyond a certain point and isn't pressing against the barrel.

    In addition, the fore-end cap has been reshaped so it does not come in contact with the barrel, and the surface finish of the locking lug is being given a higher degree of finish to ensure easier chambering and extraction due to the higher pressures of the .308 Marlin Express.

    "These are just some of the many little things that we never had to face before," Aeschliman says, "because we never had a true long-range, flat-shooting lever action before. After all, this lever action is, for all practical purposes, a .308 Winchester in terms of ballistic performance. For people who like to shoot lever actions, it's a huge technological step forward."



  3. #3
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    Re: 308 marlin or 30-30 AI

    thanx for the info quietman but the 30-30 ai would be chambered in a 336xlr which has the modifications you described as being traits of the new express series. if that changes things, any additional info would be appreciated. ive gotten permission to hunt a new property and there are a series of long hayfields. i have a 300 winchester magnum but perfer to use it for canned goods and cinder blocks. my levergun is for hunting...id like to keep it that way. if i could squeeze some performance out of my 30-30 id be happy too but if the 308 marlin walks away with the performance than id be easily persuaded to just take that route. i origionaly started out a blue walnut guy, then the 336 xlr. then i was a standard caliber guy, then the 308 and 338. didnt think id need either one ever, then the new permision to hunt a farm.(which ive never had the opportunity to hunt before) not to mention the marlinitis outbreak ive been dealing with.
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  4. #4
    Wrangler
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    Re: 308 marlin or 30-30 AI

    Thank you for asking these questions as I am in a similar 'pattern' with the Marlin Express series v. traditional
    Thank you for that informative response. I really appreciate the article quotes.

    From an uninformed perspective I thought the 308/338 were enhanced copies of the 336xlr (re: modernized 336 A in stainless), this provides substantiated information to the contrary. Sign me up.

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    Re: 308 marlin or 30-30 AI

    I kick around the same idea, rechambering a 336 RC 30 30 to a 30 30 AI. The concept of shooting standard 30 30 cartridges in AI chamber when your out of reloaded 30 30 AI is a ace in the hole. but I already had a 308LXR. There is same good stories and bad ones reported by folks who have done it. I bought the 308XLR because I wanted a whitetail Marlin lever rifle that can reach out to 250 - 300 yards. If your 30 30 XLR is in good to excellent condition trade it in or sell it out right and buy a NIB 308MX or XLR it would be cheaper in the long run.

    As far ballistic it's my understanding that the 308 Marlin exp. can do better than the 30 30 AI with less powder. And your 30 30XLR will lose it's value My second advice to you is keep the 30 30XLR and put a V 10X scope on it and practice does long shots. Use only factory LE ammo for hunting. Practice with reloads then fine tune it with factory LE. You can't duplicate Hornady LE ammo ballistics yet.
    Last edited by 308/338; 08-01-2013 at 03:52 PM.
    My Avatar is my brother John who left me to soon. He was 10 Y/O 1 month older than me. He took me off the Streets of Brooklyn taught me how to handle a rifle and to hunt. For his attention I would always be grateful. Rest in Peace Brother John.

  6. #6
    Site Contributor - Team Marlin Express Capt'n Super Moderator
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    Re: 308 marlin or 30-30 AI

    In all honesty I don't believe you will really gain anything with the 30-30AI over the 308MX, and esp over the 338MX. Here is some stuff from the Reload Bench. But if it just something you want to do, then why not.

    General Comments:

    The 30-30 Improved basically requires only a simple rechambering job. Cases are made by firing standard 30-30 Winchester ammunition in the Improved chamber, then reloading them. However, anyone who favors the Model 94 Winchester or Marlin 336 and wants more power than the standard 30-30 offers can simply buy one in 307 Winchester caliber. This makes the Improved 30-30 pretty much obsolete for new rifles, but it is still a good modification for older Model 94's or 336's.
    Here is the full link

    http://www.reloadbench.com/cartridges/w3030ack.html
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  7. #7
    Tinhorn
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    Re: 308 marlin or 30-30 AI

    You can hang an earing on a pig but it is still a pig. One can spend the extra money to make a 30-30 do and perform close to the 308me... close but no cigar.

    With the advances in the new rifle and ammo I would think it better to go with the 308me and make advancing modifications to the new platform rather than trying to make the old into something it was never intended to be.
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  8. #8
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    Re: 308 marlin or 30-30 AI

    Quote Originally Posted by luvalever
    thanx for the info quietman but the 30-30 ai would be chambered in a 336xlr which has the modifications you described as being traits of the new express series.
    As far as I know, the 336 XLR's are just a long barreled stainless 336 with ballard rifling and a different twist rate to take full advantage of the LE ammo. The LR, for long range, is supposed to be because of the increased muzzle velocity you get out of a 24 inch barrel and the improved accuracy in LE ammo from the different twist rate.

    If you are only shooting out to 250-300yards, might as well stick to the 30-30. The XLR was designed to make the 336 hit harder at these ranges, but not to make it a 400 yard rifle- the criteria for the Marlin Express series.

    If you are going to make an AI out of it, you'd want to make sure you can still use the LE bullet. I don't know if bullet length would be a problem in the AI as the LE's are a longer bullet. If you can't use the LE after rechambering, you'd lose the benefits because of the poor BC of flat and round nose bullets.


  9. #9
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    Re: 308 marlin or 30-30 AI

    Quote Originally Posted by quietman
    If you are going to make an AI out of it, you'd want to make sure you can still use the LE bullet. I don't know if bullet length would be a problem in the AI as the LE's are a longer bullet. If you can't use the LE after rechambering, you'd lose the benefits because of the poor BC of flat and round nose bullets.
    Quietman I agree with you. But if he rechambers to the 30 30 AI he can use the 30 30 160gr FTX projectile. As far as I know the 30 30 AI chamber reamer tool only change the shoulder outwards for more powder capacity.The throat remains the same to accommodate the 30 30 FN projectile. I still would recommend trading or selling the 30 30 xlr and buy a 308MX or XLR. It makes today's good sense. Who knows maybe the 308 M.exp. AI is next.
    My Avatar is my brother John who left me to soon. He was 10 Y/O 1 month older than me. He took me off the Streets of Brooklyn taught me how to handle a rifle and to hunt. For his attention I would always be grateful. Rest in Peace Brother John.

  10. #10
    Marlin Marksman
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    Re: 308 marlin or 30-30 AI

    from a handloaders perspective, buying a stack of factory loaded ammo for any centerfire sounds crazy. the truth is, after a solid comparison the 30-30 with the hornady sticky tip factory stuff vs 308 marlin handloads are 200 fps different. thats almost miniscule. i was thinking somehow the ai would put it up to the 308 mx with my handloads. but you guys are right. i wont be happy till i am caressing and stuffing my new 308 mx. and no i ant gonna SELL my xlr..ARE YOU GUYS LOST?? who sais that?
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