Special SG 35 Range test #1
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Thread: Special SG 35 Range test #1



  1. #1
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    Special SG 35 Range test #1

    Range test #1 for the new SG 35 with the floating barrel:

    The test I ran yesterday was to test for top end load pressures, modification strength, operation, and just to see if there were any issues that needed to be addressed. I ran two series loads through the rifle ( the Safari 260 grain bullet up to 2350 fps, and the MIGHTY Safari 310 bullet at 2150 fps). We have had very hot weather here and I am not enthusiastic about testing top end loads with these high temperatures in play, so, I kept my work below the top end charges that would normally be attained during the testing process. I am happy to report, that no high pressure threshold was reached, the operation of the rifle was superb, and when I got the rifle home, I used measuring equipment to check the forearm modification to insure that everything was sound. I am happy to report that everything turned out as expected, and after checking the barrel, leading with the cast bullets at high velocity was minimal at best.....One dry patch down the bore pretty well cleared the bore of what little lead fouling there was, and a scrubbing with Hoppe's No. 9 cleaned the bore up very well. So at this point all is well!! Next test will be for group uniformity, as I had mentioned in the first thread on this project rifle. If no issues pop up there this rifle will be good to go....a report when the test is complete will be forth coming.

    The loads that I ran through this 20" barrel were what I would consider upper mid range loads for the modification. They are powerful, yet seemed to suit the light, short 336, but believe me even with these reduced loads (compared to what this modification can achieve) you definitely know that big power is being produced!!!

    Here are the "numbers" on the test loads that I shot yesterday. All loads were chronographed at 15 feet from the muzzle:

    Safari 260 bullet, at 2350 fps, 3187 ft lbs, TKO 31, Momentum Factor 87, Hornady HITS 1384...LG at 200 yards impact, Overall Trajectory to 200 yards 4.630".
    Safari 310 bullet, at 2150 fps, 3181 ft lbs, TKO 34, Momentum Factor 95, Hornady HITS 2003...LDG/African Big 5 at 200 yards impact, Overall Trajectory to 200 yards 5.440".

    Not too shabby for a 20" barreled Marlin 336!!!

    I also ran some "minimum load" numbers for the modification that would obtain an honest 3000 ft lbs from all the bullets that I have been shooting in my SG 35 since I built it. These loads are nowhere near max loads, but, it goes to show the capability of the modification even at reduced loads and pressures. Matter of fact the 260 grain bullet load stated below is my favorite deer load offering good trajectory and plenty of power to get the job done..... decisively!:

    rooterpig 225 (long range), 2455 fps, 3010 ft lbs TKO 28, Hornady HITS 1026 (LG) at 200 yard impact, OAT to 200 yards 4.290".
    rooterpig 230 (BABB), 2425 fps, 3002 ft lbs, TKO 28, Hornady HITS 1062 (LG) at 200 yard impact, OAT to 200 yards 4.400".
    Safari 260 (my deer load) 2280 fps, 3000 ft lbs, TKO, 30, Hornady HITS 1318 (LG) at 200 yard impact, OAT to 200 yards 4.890".
    Safari 310 2090 fps, 3000 ft lbs, TKO 33, Hornady HITS 1784 (LDG) at 200 yards impact, OAT to 200 yards 5.740".

    So, even with reduced loads at 3000 ft lbs the SG 35 modification can still obtain LG capabilities to 200 yards with three of the light bullets, and, LDG capabilities with the heavyweight 310 grain bullet, and compared to the top end loads for the modification these loads are cream puffs to shoot, and would be ideal for this light, short barreled Marlin 336.

    Well, back to work...need to get ready for test #2!!!!
    "Overkill.............is WAY underrated.".

    "You should not use a rifle that will kill an animal when everything goes right; you should use one that will do the job when everything goes wrong."
    - Bob Hagel

    ...."any achievement is directly proportional to the degree of difficulty, the degree of danger you have to go through". Jeremy Wade 2012


  2. #2
    Gun Wizard
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    That's some truly impressive numbers. Those heavier bullets defiantly carry the trajectory.
    dpe.ahoy, Flat Top and GrumpyBear like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rooterpig View Post
    That's some truly impressive numbers. Those heavier bullets defiantly carry the trajectory.
    They sure do, and they also carry BIG power down range. The 310 bullet at 2150 fps is VERY impressive (you ought to see the numbers for that same bullet at 2250 fps from my SG 35!!!). I am a firm believer in heavy bullets...if you want to not only kill an animal, but stop it in its tracks as well...the heavy bullet is the time tested way of doing so. That is why the SG 35 and SG 444 are designed around heavyweight bullets...I would have had it no other way.

    Back in the day, at the inception of the "express cartridges" lightening up the bullet weight to get higher velocity was all the rage, and on occasion there were some spectacular kills made with those high velocity cartridges. Many of the old timers said "well, you really dont want to do that".....and history proved them correct, because there were many big game hunters that put their lives on the line with those high speed bullets....and they lost their lives!!!!

    There are very few occasions that a good hunter needs a flatter trajectory past 200 yards......and, those occasions are rare. Most hunters, including African big game and plains hunters, and the greater majority of North American hunters rarely need any further, and that lends itself very well to the use of heavyweight hard hitting bullets.

    With my SG 35 I "own" anything within 225 yards....and where it is hit...is where it stays!!!!
    "Overkill.............is WAY underrated.".

    "You should not use a rifle that will kill an animal when everything goes right; you should use one that will do the job when everything goes wrong."
    - Bob Hagel

    ...."any achievement is directly proportional to the degree of difficulty, the degree of danger you have to go through". Jeremy Wade 2012


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  5. #4
    Sidewinder
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    Do you have any idea how many PSI these loads generate? Are modern Marlins good for 52,000 PSI ? Other then case measuring and comparing that to factory case expansion and maybe sticky extraction or a blown primer, I have no idea how to tell if a load is in the "danger close" area.

    I am behind the curve on the mechanical/receiver strength of Marlin lever guns and always thought the barrel threads were a weak area that limited their capabilities.

    What is your preferred brass and would Norma brass be worth the investment? Seems like it would be if one was to have you do the forearm float job.

    I know from my youthful reading and old books Elmer Keith and Bob Hagle wrote they used "old school" pressure testing methods. Yikes, those guys were adventurous!

    I still use Hagle's methods and a chronograph for my bolt action loads and all is well!
    Flat Top likes this.

  6. #5
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    Ak Guy; The "Pressure" question has come up ever since I started working on the modification years ago...starting with the SG 444. I wont get into a long diatribe about "pressure" but I will say this: Just because a load is tested by a "pressure means" does not mean that will be the pressure in an individual firearm. Pressure testing devises (PSI or CUP) are not exact...they have flaws...and they only give a general guideline as to what the pressure "in the test vehicle" is...not in your gun! Margins of error can range from 5 to 15% in the PSI and CUP methods, and computer generated software is only as precise as the information that is programmed into it (which is usually generated by PSI and CUP data)...........this is why loading manuals tell us to "start low and work up, and if pressure signs are encountered, then its time to back off. All rifles are different, and therefor the top safe loads will be different. Factory ammo is subdued for a reason...."book" loads are conservative for a reason...there is no telling the condition of the firearm the ammunition will be shot in.....legal liability.

    When I test a rifle I have built, I take that rifle to the extreme edge of that particular rifles pressure tolerance (so my customers dont have to). When I complete a rifle I have compiled a "maximum performance parameter" that is the result of rigorous range testing. When done "I" know exactly what the pressure limit of that rifle is, but, to keep things simple and safe I give load data (a "book" load) to the customer that will allow for the guaranteed performance level of the modification and keep the customers rifle within a safe pressure parameter.

    That being said, the pressure limit of any Marlin lever gun is dependent on many factors, and only Marlin knows exactly what their rifles are capable of in that respect.... through a destructive testing process. They will not say...and I will not speculate.

    My preferred brass is made by a forum member...Grumpa. It is 308 military brass that he reworks into 35 Rem brass. When I get that brass I uniform size the primer flash holes, turn the necks, and fireform the cases. Although these cases have a 2 grain less powder capacity (which really makes no difference with the SG modification because the modification will still produce the guaranteed 3000 ft lbs even at lower powder charges), Grumpa's cases have a 30% or so thicker case wall at the case web (where the thinner case wall of the OEM 35 Rem case has a habit of head separation). Grumpas cases are strong and it seems they will last me forever. I do know that many 35 Rem shooters on other forums swear by them.

    As a small part of my testing I do use the case head measurement process that Bob Hagel was so fond of, BUT...I do not put all my eggs in one basket!!!! It is a combination of many factors/tests/results gathered from range testing, and also the modifications that I make to the rifle to regulate pressure that keeps everything on the safe side. It is a balancing act, for sure.
    "Overkill.............is WAY underrated.".

    "You should not use a rifle that will kill an animal when everything goes right; you should use one that will do the job when everything goes wrong."
    - Bob Hagel

    ...."any achievement is directly proportional to the degree of difficulty, the degree of danger you have to go through". Jeremy Wade 2012


  7. #6
    Sidewinder
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    On those 35Rem cases that I do....Simply stated they're much thicker than any factory case available at the current time. And if anyone has ever attempted something like this they soon find out it's very laborious and requires multiple steps. Folks soon realize that for all the effort required, as well as the special tooling, it's much easier to just order them from me. Here's a picture of a factory case and a case that's modified, and note how much thicker the ones I make are. I've been doing these for years now, and you know what? Nobody has ever written me back telling me the case wore out.

    35rem cut-a-way.jpg

  8. #7
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    ....................and I will stand behind Grumpas cases 100%!!! That is all I use in my SG 35!!!!! As I said above, it is my "preferred" case!!!!
    dpe.ahoy and GrumpyBear like this.
    "Overkill.............is WAY underrated.".

    "You should not use a rifle that will kill an animal when everything goes right; you should use one that will do the job when everything goes wrong."
    - Bob Hagel

    ...."any achievement is directly proportional to the degree of difficulty, the degree of danger you have to go through". Jeremy Wade 2012



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