Making a case for "the" case.
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Thread: Making a case for "the" case.



  1. #1
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    Making a case for "the" case.

    Modified cases for the 35 Remington:

    When I first got my Marlin 35 Rem XLR, I wanted to "play" with the OEM cartridge. I was seeking a load using the 180 grain Speer bullet that was referred to me as an excellent bullet for deer. I purchased 100 brand new Remington 35 Rem cases, fire formed them correctly (seating the bullet to engage the rifling and force the head of the case against the bolt face of my rifle), and, set up my sizing die to size the cases for the chamber on my rifle....backing off the shoulder. I used 20 cases for testing. The load that was suggested to me was 2300 fps or so for the 180 grain Speer...so, I backed way off of that and started working up to that velocity.

    I used a chrono for all of my testing, and my most accurate load came in a tad over 2300 fps. This was a near max load, and everything seemed to be "right", and I didnt give it a second thought.

    I continued to shoot those 20 cases. At 9 firings I found a couple of those cases to have incipient case head separation (I check the case interior wall to determine that on my bottleneck rifle cartridges). Of course I pitched those cases, and continued to keep a very close eye on the rest of the 20 cases. The next time I loaded up and shot at the range, and checked the cases again, a number more were exhibiting the incipient case head separation issue. The average number of rounds fired till that issue arouse was about 8 to 10 firings. Keep in mind these were near max loads in my rifle. Other than this issue, everything else seemed normal and the accuracy was superb. I took 20 more new cases, shot them with that load once, checked for the separation issue...nothing was found, and loaded them up for deer season.

    When I modified my XLR to an SG 35 and reached the maximum loads for the modification, I was still getting the case head separation signs at anywhere from 9 to 12 firings on average. I shoot a large number of rounds to prove the viability of my modifications so I was going through brass like nobodies business! Then the 35 Rem brass shortage hit and my testing came to a complete standstill...there was no brass to be found! A friend sent me 100 rounds of once fired, and that lasted me a short while, and I was again dead in the water.

    With either rifle, OEM or SG 35 this issue only arouse when shooting near or at max loads. I contacted a few folks who had a lifetime of experience with this cartridge and the Marlin lever gun and they told me that this scenario was to be expected. Much of this issue arises because of the rear lockup of the bolt in battery, and one of the most experienced Marlin gunsmiths I know explained it like this: "There are two "headspace conditions" that can be attributed to a rear lock up bolt. The first condition is the "mechanical or static headspace" as is set by the factory. The second condition is the "active headspace" which is the true headspace of the rifle when bolt thrust is applied to the bolt, and the bolt tends to "give or flex"" a bit under the pressures of the ignition of the cartridge. He told me that not only does the Marlin lever action exhibit this phenomena, but some pumps and semi autos do as well, so, it is just an inherent character or trait in some firearm designs. Push the limit and apply greater pressure to the bolt, and the cartridges stretch and case head separation occurs...pretty simple!

    Be that as it may, I ended up making some 35 Rem cases from 35 Whelen cases. I sectioned the OEM 35 Rem and the modified Whelen/35 Rem cases and the difference was readily noticed. The thicker case walls and stronger web and head design of a cartridge designed for much higher pressures was readily evident in the Whelen/35 Rem cases! The case capacity difference between to two was approximately 2 grains, but, I could still make the guaranteed power of the SG 35 modification......and after 18 firings at max loads in the SG 35 the Whelen/35 Rem cases never exhibited incipient case head separation symptoms! The modified cases were a chore to make, but, I came across a fella on another forum that makes 35 Rem cases from 308 Lake City MIL Spec brass, and has very good reviews from all who use his modified cases! . Turns out he is also a member on M.O, so I contacted him and ordered 100 for testing. They are absolutely superb, and after many firings in my SG 35 they are still going strong. I have sectioned these cases from time to time and they are just as stout as the Whelen/35 Rem cases that I made, and the difference in case capacity is also approximately 2 grains.

    The Forum members name is Grumpa, and if you want cases that will last through strong loads or just a lot of shooting, I highly recommend Grumpas modified 308/35 Rem cases. In my experience Grumpas cases are "the" case for the Marlin 35 Rem!

    Photos:

    1.) A manually seperated 35 Rem case to show the "fault line" of case head speration, and (arrow) points to the visible exterior sign of a separation. (Warning!!! You DO NOT want to let it go this far...check for incipient case head separation on the interior wall of the case!!!!)

    2.) The sectioned 35 Rem case on the left and the modified 308/35 Rem case on the right. The strength difference is readily visible!!!!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "Overkill.............is WAY underrated."
    https://www.marlinowners.com/forum/new-sg35-sg444-home/

  2. #2
    Gun Wizard
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    And that's what I like about you FT... You don't take what you have heard or read as the gospel ... You prove or disprove it!!
    Good job
    dpe.ahoy and vt4ster like this.

  3. #3
    Sidewinder
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    Flat Top.....If you have no objections I would like to use those 2 photos you have. To date there has been no one writing me letting me know those cases I convert have worn out.....ever. I'm sure they will in time, but when I have no clue since I don't own anything in that cal.
    Flat Top and vt4ster like this.

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRUMPA View Post
    Flat Top.....If you have no objections I would like to use those 2 photos you have. To date there has been no one writing me letting me know those cases I convert have worn out.....ever. I'm sure they will in time, but when I have no clue since I don't own anything in that cal.
    Grumpa; You are of course more than welcome to any information, or photos I have, that pertain to your modified cases. FT
    vt4ster, rooterpig and ratshooter like this.
    "Overkill.............is WAY underrated."
    https://www.marlinowners.com/forum/new-sg35-sg444-home/


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