It's been a while since I've owned a .35 Rem. but have been keeping my eyes open for one recently. My previous .35's were Remingtons, a 760 Gamemaster that I was quite fond of, and two old automatics, an 8 and an 81. Lately, I've been thinking of a Marlin as I've got an 1895 in .45-70 and an 1894CL in .25-20 and like them both. My only other Marlin is a Model 56 in .22.
Recently I ran across a Marlin 336 RC in .35 Rem. at a local gun show. It looked pretty good, was an older model, and was marked $275. I talked with the seller ("Honest John") for a while and started to step away. He said, "Are you interested in that rifle?" to which I answered, "Not at $275." He came back with, "Are you interested at $250?" and I said, "Yes, I'll take it at that price but I've got to look down the barrel." The barrel easily passed inspection.
The rifle had a scope mounted on the top of the receiver, an older, inexpensive Glenfield that looked to be in excellent condition. Well, at least it said "Japan" on it rather than "China" but I've got one Chinese scope that I wouldn't have thought was any good (came "free" on a rifle) and it turned out to be fine. I believe Glenfield is a brand name that Marlin used, so maybe the scope has been on this rifle for a long time. The hammer extension is marked "JM".
I wasn't sure when this rifle was made, but the four digit serial number has a "U" on the beginning of it, and I know that "M" was 1955 as that's the serial prefix on my Marlin Model 56.. I didn't do the math at the time, but it turns out that it was made in 1961 and was older than I thought it looked. Doing the math wouldn't have been exact anyway, as I find that they skipped the letters "O" and "Q".
When I got it home, I took a much closer look at everything and gave it a basic cleaning. The first thing I noticed was that the scope mount was loose; maybe this was why Honest John wanted to sell it. He could never get his windage adjustment to stick. I took the scope off and sure enough, the base screws were loose, no Loc-Tite had been used but the threads in the holes were good. I'm not sure I want to have a scope on a .35 Rem. anyway, but I'll decide that later. I pulled the bolt on it (which you can easily do on a Marlin lever action but not a Winchester), and found some nice, dry "grey deposits." This grey substance is a combination of dirt, old oil, powder residue, and trace amounts of lead. We've all seen it. I cleaned the bolt, the receiver, the bore, the lever, the little ejector thingie that you have to remove to take out the bolt, and so on. Used a lot of Q Tips.
This rifle cleaned up well. I will venture to say this rifle belonged to a hunting-only owner for a good many years. I don't know that the bolt had ever been out of it for cleaning. The bore had been fired, was dry but not overly dirty. However, they can look like that even sitting in a closet for years. There is very little wear on this rifle, an indicator that it might have belonged to a very occasional hunter. Guns like this that get carried a lot in the field usually have wear on the receiver to show for it.
I'm quite pleased with this latest purchase but there is one thing that I do not like about it. It has that stupid-assed gold-colored trigger that Marlin liked to put on at one time. A gold plated trigger doesn't do a thing for accuracy or functionality. It just looks tacky.
I'm glad that when a nice .35 Rem. came my way, it was a Marlin. Now that Marlin's future is uncertain what with their acquisition by Remington/Freedom Arms Group/Cerberus, who knows what we'll be able to get. And they won't be made in the old Marlin factory, either, if that means anything.
So I've had this rifle to the range lately and wasn't disappointed. It took me six rounds on the 50 yard range to zero the sights. It printed to the left, so I drifted the front sight a hair and my next shot showed that I was right on as to windage. I also raised the rear sight ramp a couple of notches to get it into the bull's eye. I fired a few more shots and zapped them right into the bull's eye. Another shooter had a chronograph set up, so I asked to send one across the instrument to check its speed. As he was finished with his target, I kinda snap shot one out to a hundred yards and was two inches off the bull's eye at around 7-8 o'clock.
My load was something I hadn't tried before in .35 Rem. So far as I know, Varget hadn't been invented when I last owned a .35 Rem. and I used a load from the Hodgdon book. They list a max. load of 39.5 grains of Varget using the 200 gr. Hornady bullet, which they claim flies along at
2,139 fps. at the muzzle. Their starting load is listed as 36.0 grains with the same bullet at a muzzle velocity of 1,966 fps. I loaded mine with 38.0 grains and clocked 1,840 fps. Accuracy was splendid.
About six or eight months ago, I was at the gun show and saw a bag of .35 Rem. brass on a guy's table. It was for sale for $5 and contained 127 pieces of once fired brass, about 3/5ths RP, 2/5ths Fed and one piece of WW. I had no earthly use of it at the time, but had been thinking maybe of getting something in .35 Rem so I bought it. Now glad I did. 'Course, I didn't have the dies, so I got a set of those at the same show where I got the 336. The dies were a new set of RCBS but luckily had last year's prices on them. RCBS has done a smart thing on these dies, I think. The shoulder on the .35 Rem. case is very slight and with older design sizing dies it was easy to bump it back too far which caused a finished cartridge with maybe too short of head space. These new dies are made so that it's impossible to screw the sizing die down far enough to make contact with the shoulder. I also noticed a little hole drilled in the side of the die right at the part of the die where the shoulder is. I looked in the instructions to see if they mentioned this hole, but they didn't. I'm thinking this is a bleed hole in case excessive lube is used. With a hole to let the hydrostatic pressure out, lube dents cannot form. Anybody know differently? Since the shoulder of the case can't contact the die in this instance, I don't know if lube dents would be an issue.
As to bullets. The rifles I've had in .35 Rem. before all loaded from a box magazine. The Marlin 336 loads from a tube. Bullet choice is important with tube magazines, as pointed bullets should not be used. This is because a primer resting against a pointed bullet in the magazine could be set off from the impact of recoil. A detonation inside the magazine could be a messy thing. You may use round nose bullets in a tube magazine, several flat points are made, and now Hornady has their special bullets with the polymer tip for use in tube mags. Of course you could use flat point pistol bullets designed for the .357 magnum as well as flat point cast lead bullets.
I found a bag of 42 pieces of Hornady 200 grain SP's at the gun show for not too much money. They don't have a truly pointed tip, kind of a blunted one but still I will not load these on top of each other in the tube mag. With these, for the time being if necessary, I would load one in the chamber and one in the magazine and two shots ought to be enough, huh? If you have a need for that third shot, your game is probably gone anyway.
Good find, I really like 35's.
Team 35 RemIngton #151; Team .45-70 #541
Good find nice looking rifle,i picked up a 1958 336 in 35 Rem.,great condition but had to pay a little more than you, $360 otd .you made a great deal ,congrats.
Sounds like exactly what you want. If you really are averse to that gold trigger is is easy enough to remove the plating or get a parts trigger ordered , know that this gold trigger makes it period correct , but no reason that you have to live with it if you don't like it .I'd say that you made a great find .
I've not had any RCBS neck sizing dies but I suspect that is what you have , if that is the case you'll need to check and make sure your fired , sized brass all chambers prior to finish loading it. This would also explain the pricing.Not positive of this I'm just taking your story and trying to figure it out .
I like the way it's shooting for you , but I'm not at all surprised .
A fellow that goes by the handle "35 Remington" has done extensive research on 35 caliber bullet performance and I believe that you'll enjoy reading and learning from it .Access through search function.
all the best
The post mentioned above is actually a series of at least 3 VOLUMES. It is a MUST READ if you own and especially reload for the 35 Rem.
If I recall, the Hornady bullets from these tests all showed that they are a VERY tough bullet and result in little expansion in both the 180 and 200 grain bullets. How the accuracy was good and I've never really read of a case where the non expanding bullet didn't kill a deer so take that for whatever it is worth. THe Remington 200 RNCL has proven to be extremely versatile and is pretty much the go to bullet. Some have had both good and bad luck with the new Leverevolution ammo and components. It seems to be individual rifle dependent with some guns hating the stuff and others loving it.
BTW, very nice rifle you have there and a good find at a great deal.
You must see what you shoot...or you might shoot what you don't see!
You might want to try 39 grains of Varget behind a 200 grain bullet. It gives excellent accuracy and is the load I've standardized on.
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." --John Adams
That's a real sweetheart ya got there. I like the slimmer fore end better than the old Perch-belly, fits my hand better. For around my area, ya stole the thing! Anything looking that good around here is at least $100 more and goes up from there. DP
TEAM 444 #187, Team 35 #7, Two Marlin 1894Cs, Remlin 1894C, 1894-44mag, 1952 Marlin 30-30, 1966 Texan 30-30. Glenfield 36G & two 30A's 30-30, 30-30 XLR, 2009 336C, 3- 35rem. 1957, 1975 and 2008, 38-55 CB, M-375, 308 MX, 338MXLR, Two 444Ps, 444SS, 1895 GS, XS-7 22-250, XS-7 7mm-08 AI, XL-7 25-06
Oh, the gold trigger will stay the way it is, I'm don't hate it enough to change it. The situation is kinda like the dash knobs in my '66 Ford Fairlane. I've had the car for 30 years and all that time, I've hated the big, fugly, die-cast dash board knobs. I've never hated them enough to change 'em, though. After while, you just learn to live with things like that, minor as they are to an otherwise good machine.
The gold trigger does date the rifle, as do the white line spacers. Well, fashion goes with style on rifles as it does on other consumer products. The manufacturers of vacuum cleaners change the design from time to time just for the sake of style. I don't mind having a rifle that clearly shows that it's from a few decades past. For example, not long ago I bought a Winchester Model 70 that had never been used but was made in the 1970's. White line spacers, black fore end, glassy urethane finish, the whole bit. I liked it because it was a like new rifle in a caliber that I liked and a design of my choice. I didn't have to have the dark, silky stock or Heaven forbid, the black plastic abomination.
As to the dies, my .35 Rem. sizing die says "FL" on it so it doesn't seem to be a neck sizing die. I've adjusted the die as I always have per the instructions so I think I haven't committed a human error. Actually, if you follow the RCBS instructions on initial adjustment, you can find yourself with cases too short on headspace so you have to be sure to check. The best way is to have a cartridge headspace gauge to do that. If you look at the neck of the cartridge case you are sizing, you can see how far down the die is going before it contacts the shoulder. If all is working okay, I like to stop the die just short of the shoulder. In the matter of these new RCBS dies, I don't see a way of the shoulder in the die ever being able to touch the shoulder on the case. The bottom of the die body won't allow enough travel in the press ram to do that. If this is inadvertent, it meets with my approval on this cartridge case.
I just bought my brother in law's Marlin 35 REM for $250 because he needed the money badly. It only had 5 rounds through it and he gave me 2.5 boxes of REM ammo along with it. The Walnut on it was nice and the bluing was beautiful.
I was just sitting in his closet for the last 5 years. It is essentially a NIB rifle.
I just bought 400 rounds of the LEVERevolution ammo for it on sale online and got the best deal I could find anywhere.
I can not wait to shoot it. Thanks for the detailed post above. I plan on printing some of it out for info.
PS - I also noticed that WALMART does not carry 35 REM or 45-70 ammo anymore in my area. You have to special order it through the sporting goods counter.