Custom rifle 338MX or 33WCF ?
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Thread: Custom rifle 338MX or 33WCF ?



  1. #1
    Tenderfoot
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    Custom rifle 338MX or 33WCF ?

    I am seeking opinions on a custom build. I have an 1895GST in 45-70 that I want to convert to either 33 WCF or 338MX. Best I can tell is they are pretty close in velocity, but I don't have any concrete data like barrel length to make a comparison. I have looked all over internet and cant find water case capacity of 338MX, I know 33WCF is 63, I saw estimates that 338MX was 60ish =/- 4%. They are going to be shooting the same gummy tip 200gr Hornady FTX's which is why I want to go with the 33 cal because of all the FTX bullets the 338 200GR has the best BC @.43 and I'm content with making this a one load gun. I think 200 grain projectiles are plenty of metal for what I'm hunting or come across in the woods.

    338MX means I am pretty much stuck with Hornady Brass at about 80 cents a pop, where as I can make 33WCF from 45-70 at about 45 cents a pop. Gunsmith says 33WCF will be slightly easier conversion. I just don't want to spend money and feel like I left any performance on the table but if it truly is a was or close to it then I'm fine with the 33WCF and forming my own brass.

    Rifle will be for big game hunting in woods and Montana hills. I have bolt actions for the plains and prairie dogs, and 5 other 45-70s.

    Your comments will be greatly appreciated. WWWID? = What Would William Iorg do?
    94win30wcf likes this.

  2. #2
    Distinguished Master
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    Slim might go 356 Winchester. Out of your choices, I would probably go 33 WCF for the reasons you stated. Whatever you do, take us along for the ride.
    bryan alder, Redhotfill and Judson like this.
    Team 1894 member #67 1977 44 mag.
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  3. #3
    Gunfighter
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    .35 Winchester
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    Marlin Fanatic
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    For some reason I like the .33 winchester.
    shawlerbrook likes this.

  6. #5
    Marlin Marksman
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    Personally, I like the 338ME. You can buy loaded over the counter ammo still and when you have enough brass you can reload and experiment. Besides I'll take FPS and Energy gain any day.
    Cowboy23* likes this.
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  7. #6
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    Redhotfill, welcome to Marlin Owners.

    I own both the 308ME and 338ME and both are sub-moa shooters and are hard hitting rounds. That said, you cannot convert an 1895 receiver to a 338ME as the 1895 is milled with square bbl thread whereas the ME's are V-bbl thread to handle the increased pressure of the ME cartridges. And don't let anyone tell you the square threads will handle the 338ME pressure, they won't!

    The only way to have a 338ME is to buy one and then customize it to your liking. The 338MX are not nearly as difficult to find as the 338MXLR and don't demand insane the prices of the latter. You just need to be diligent in your search for one. They come up for sale from time to time here on Marlin Owners.

    I found both of my ME's the same morning on Guns International (GI) which turned out to be listed by Cabela's Library in WV. I bought both in a quick second and you need to be ready to pull the trigger when you find one, they go quick.

    You can find them on Gun Broker as well.

    Good luck with your quest and be sure to share your custom Marlin when completed.

    Jack
    All that the South has ever desired was that the Union, as established by our forefathers, should be preserved, and that the government, as originally organized, should be administered in purity and truth. – Robert E. Lee

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  8. #7
    Army Veteran 67-69 Korea Administrator
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    So have that 45-70 bbl relined and chambered for the .33 WCF.

  9. #8
    Site Contributor Contributing Member
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    Will the over all length of a loaded 33Win cartridge be a problem?

    And Redhotfill, WELCOME to Marlin Owners from the dry side!
    ..
    JACKTW and Redhotfill like this.

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    Good question, twodot.

    Hornady 9th Edition: 45-70 Marlin Maximum C.O.L. = 2.550
    .33 WCF / .33 Winchester (Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading 7th & 8th Editions)
    Warning! Notes: rifle: Winchester Model 1886; barrel: 24", 1 in 12" Twist; case: Remington; primer: WLR; bullet diameter: 0.338"; maximum C.O.L.: 2.690"; max. case length: 2.105"; case trim length: 2.095"


    Jack
    All that the South has ever desired was that the Union, as established by our forefathers, should be preserved, and that the government, as originally organized, should be administered in purity and truth. – Robert E. Lee

    My avatar is dedicated in honor of my
    Great Great Grandfather who fought at Bunker Hill and survived to continue his fight in The American Revolutionary War for Liberty and Freedom.


  11. #10
    Marlin Marksman
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    I had a 33WCF in a Winchester 1886. It is just a 45-70 necked down to take a .338 bullet.
    Don't mess around trying to make brass... call Buffalo Arms and buy from them. You lose a lot of brass trying to form them.
    I used the Hornady 200 grain JFP and IMR 4064. Bullets are hard to find but Buffalo Arms has a copy made or them. It makes deer flop right where they stood.
    Always better to carry "too much" gun and too many cartridges...
    Marlin 1894SS, Winchester 1886 Ultralight rifle, 94 Legacy 44 mag
    Springfield Trapdoor carbine, Sharps carbine
    I like big calibers


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