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-Reloder 15 and the 220 Speer-
This past weekend I was at the range doing more handloading work for
the .35 Remington. It's been sort of an ongoing project for this summer.
One of the statements I had heard was that Buffalo Bore used Reloder 15
to make its 2200 fps loads using the 220 Speer. To date, I still don't
know if that velocity figure is quoted from a 20 or 24 inch barrel. I
do know that Reloader 15 is available commercially, and I have used it in the past, mostly with the .22-250 and the 7-30 Waters. It is a short, rather coarse grained extruded powder produced in Sweden and distributed by Alliant in the United States. It could qualify as a medium burning rifle powder and supposedly is resistant to velocity variation due to temperature changes. My intent was to discover whether the velocities
of the Buffalo Bore load were attainable in the .35 Remington cartridge
using this powder.

In brief, the answer is NO, even if I extrapolated the velocities I was
getting in my 20" barrel to a 24" barrel. I don't know if the Reloder
15 thing is rumor or what, but if Buffalo Bore is using Reloder 15 they
are using a variation that is not available commercially and that has a
substantially different burning rate, or maybe they are pounding it into the case with a hammer to get more in. That statement is only a little tongue in cheek, as I understand Hornady does the dense powder packing thing with their Light Magnum ammunition. Nevertheless, handloaders don't appear to be able to do it with RL 15. I started off by using 35 grains under the 220 Speer in Federal cases. If you have read my previous post on the topic you will remember that I found no significant velocity differences when the same amounts of powder were used in Remington, Winchester and Federal cases. My supplies of the 220 Speer bullet were running low so I elected to use the one brand (Federal) as they were already full length sized. The 35 grain charge gave 1854 fps, and I could tell almost right away that I would have trouble duplicating the claimed 2200 fps velocities using Reloder 15. Nevertheless, I continued to add powder until the effort to seat the bullet and compress the powder became substantial. Once I reached that point, the case held 40 grains of RL15 and the powder was above the bottom of the neck when slowly poured into the case. The base of the Speer bullet is well below the shoulder when the bullet is seated to the cannelure, so you can see that compaction of the powder is taking place.

Even with the compressed charge, I attained a velocity of 2021 fps,
well below any claimed figures for the Buffalo Bore load. Reloder 15
appears to be too slow burning in the .35 Remington to achieve the hoped for velocity.

-Revisiting the 220 Speer/39.5 H4895 load-
If you happened to read my other post on the topic you will know that I
attained 2200 fps using the 220 Speer and H4895, but I noted that the
powder was compressed in full length sized cases and I was fearful that
the compaction needed to seat the bullet might be too great. Well, I
did some more testing along this line, pushing the limits a bit, and
the compression of the powder does not appear to be excessive, even in full length sized cases. Reason I say that is that I seated some bullets
over that charge in full length sized Federal cases without crimping,
then observed them for 72 hours. Two of the cases had no remnant of a
crimp in them, as they were so short from the factory that the Lee
Factory Crimp die did not put a stab crimp on them. It just merely
rolled the end of the case into the cannelure on the 200 Hornady RN I
used for the previous firing. When the case was fired the crimped
section straightened out and the case acted as an uncrimped one for the
subsequent loading. These two cases had one bullet that moved about half the width of the cannelure out of the case after seating the bullet
over 39.5/H4895 after 72 hours had passed. The other case had no bullet movement. Both of these uncrimped and loaded cases easily chambered in my 1988 and 2003 336's, even the one that had slight bullet movement. The growth of the cartridge was not sufficient for the bullet to hit the rifling origin, even with the Marlin's short throat. The other cases had a slight pinched area from the previous crimping with the Lee crimp die, which served to hold the bullet in place even though it was not actually crimped. I have come to the conclusion that if you take care in settling the powder charge slowly into the case and use a firm crimp
the bullet will not back out of the case from the pressure caused by
compressing the powder.

The H4895 I used was from a new lot and gave 2212 fps average
velocities with 39.5/220 Speer, which is quite close to the average of the last lot. The velocities obtained are quite consistent, which is what you
would expect from a compressed powder charge using a heavy bullet in a
relatively small capacity case.

-Accuracy Comments, and a bit of a rant-
Lever actions with barrel bands have never been noted for accuracy over
a string of shots. I have counted many posts on this forum, old as
well as new, that claim "sub inch groups" from Marlin barrel band carbines, presumably at the standard 100 yard distance. For two shots, quite possibly, for three shots, maybe. For five shots, for an average over three or more groups, not likely. Barrel heating and binding from the barrel band cause the groups to open up. For me, I judge how closely the first two shots are together. If it's less than an inch and a
half, you've got a keeper. The 220/H4895 load often has the first two shots from my rifle touching, with the next landing about 1.5 inches away, which I consider pretty darn good. The low velocity variation helps
accuracy by making the barrel vibrate nearly the same way each time.
Heating still screws things up eventually, though.

Incidentally, varying bullet weight or even just velocity in my rifles
causes greatly divergent points of impact. Normally as bullet weight
is increased point of impact gets higher on target. Sometimes point of
impact not only goes up but also moves to one side or another.

-A failed attempt at a high penetration load with the .35-
After doing things wrong for quite awhile, I succeeded in getting 33
BHN from my heat treated wheelweights in my oven. My previous best had been around 27-28. I thought I would attempt to make a high penetration, high velocity load to try to keep up with the .45-70 boys, or at least sorta close. This used the RCBS 200 grain FN gascheck, 214 grains weight with gascheck and Lee alox lubricant applied. I used it over 38.5/H4895, which is the first time I had used a lead bullet over a compressed powder charge in this cartridge. This caused some problems.

Fouling and the compressed charge contributed to gascutting of the
bullet base. I didn't try the load for accuracy, but I would guess
that the accuracy wouldn't hold up for long, even with a hard bullet. A fouled throat caused the bullet to be seated deeper in the case, placing the base of the bullet into the powder charge and below the neck. I think these deeply seated bullets suffered more erosion than I am used to seeing, so for full power lead loads I will stick with extruded powders that do not fill so much of the case. H4895 will work, I just need to use less.

It has been mentioned many times on the big bore part of this forum that velocities in the 1500-1600 fps range seem to give the most penetration. I had hoped that the extra hard lead bullet would raise the velocity floor somewhat, while the low antimony content of the wheelweight alloy should minimize fracturing of the bullet. Didn't happen. The bullet still lost its nose but did not mushroom appreciably. It penetrated about the same distance as the 220 Speer, or in the vicinity of 21-24 inches. The muzzle velocity of the hardcast load w/4895 was 2160 fps. By contrast, I tried a load using 15/SR4759 (NOT 4756) with a dacron fiber wad filling the case to the base of a 158 grain Lee Tumble Lube SWC, hardened to 27 BHN or so. This gets around 1600 fps, and easily outpenetrated the harder, heavier, faster bullet, getting over three feet of penetration in well soaked newspapers. The distance from the papers to the muzzle of the gun was about twenty yards. I think I'll stick with my .45-70 Marlin for maximum penetration, but it was illuminating to try anyway. That .45-70 will penetrate more like four feet plus, often in excess of that depending upon how close I am to the books and how fast the bullet is going.

Next I am going to report on some refinement I have tried on my old favorite plinking, target practice and small game loads using lead bullets. A few other things might get thrown in as well. These posts get tedious to type, and probably to read as well, so I gotta stick to only a few topics at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Guys, sorry for the weird looking text. I'm a little computer challenged, and I posted this from a saved text to the Marlin topic window. I cleaned it up so it looked okay, yet somehow it got screwed up when it actually got posted. I'll try to minimize the eyestrain next time.
 
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35Remington

Thanks for your careful work and clear explanation.

My 45/70 load, CP 460gr loaded moderately penetrated ten 1-gallon water jugs. I have no idea how that compares to newsprint, wonder if you have tried water like that?

Regards,

Grizz
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Grizz, no, I never did much with water jugs. I have been using the phone books mostly because they are easily obtained (most years) and seemed to be what a lot of other people were using, so I went along with the crowd, I guess. Water jugs might be easier to work with than what I'm doing, but I haven't had enough experience with them to form any opinion. Maybe that is something I ought to try next.

My own .45-70 loads kinda differ depending upon the range they are shot and a bunch of other stuff. Interesting example: I shoot a Redding/Saeco design that weighs around 471 grains with lubricant and gascheck. I have shot this load at the moderate velocity of 1200 fps into phone books at close range-say the range you'd shoot something that was going to eat you, like 10-30 feet. It tumbled in the phone books and penetrated around 2.5-3 feet in the books. When fired from 100 yards the same bullet would penetrate an entire 4 foot stack. Apparently the longer bullet shows more precession at the close range and stabilizes with more distance. The shorter bullets haven't shown near the tumbling problem at close range, but when they hit the edges of the phone book they may tumble or deviate from straight. I suppose this might be due to the difference in resistance they encounter when they hit the books on edge-less resistance outside than inside, so they curve in that direction. I'm also guessing that the smaller nose flat and curving ogive on the heavy Redding design would tend to promote tumbling more than your bullet, which I think has a bigger meplat than mine does. The RCBS 405 FN does pretty good for me, and doesn't tumble or deviate unless it hits the edge of the stack. Hey, I can admit to hitting the edge of a phone book every once in a while. I don't always put them dead center, especially when I'm shooting iron sights on an overcast day at 200 yards. The phone books don't contrast well with the dirt backstop on my range. I should paint them or put a white sheet on the front so I can see them more easily but I don't.

I think we .45-70 shooters like to think the big heavy bullets we shoot will penetrate straight no matter what, but that isn't always true. Some bullets are better than others. Finding out what works and what doesn't is a very entertaining way of passing your time at the range, especially if you have access to one of the smaller country ranges like I do. Most Saturdays I'm the only one there, but if there is someone else there, it's a friend who agreed to meet me and do some shooting.
 

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Excellent Post 35Rem. !!

Glad you did the foot work for me with the RL-15. I had planned on trying it with a Remington 200grRNCL, but won't bother now.

I too have had superlative results with the H4985 in essentially the same loadings you used. The performance of the 200gr Rem C-L has been flawless on the Deer and Pigs I've used it on.

I settled on 40.0gr of H4895 for essentially the same reasons you did, It fills the case, with little to no compression, and at 2,250fps, give ZERO pressure signs with the Marlin. Cases extract and eject effortless, and still haven't stretched sufficiently after 5 loadings to require trimming.

Ditto 38.5gr of IMR-3031

But, best accuracy has been with BL-C2 at 39.0gr, for around 2,100fps. My gun too, will do the first two touching, and the third begins to "walk" away. If I allow gun two minutes between shots to cool, with action open, then occasionally I'll get 1" groups.

But, the .35 is not a "rat" gun, unless you're shooting Capybara (the 100lb Argentinian "Water Rat") !

Out to 200yds, the .35 "WILL DO!"

I really appreciated you data on the CAST slugs too.

Looks I'll just stick with my Lee 158gr Flat round nose at the pedestrian 1,600fps for my cast bullet use.

Perhaps I'll try the 158gr GC-SWC for perhaps 1,850fps to flatten the trajectory.
 
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35Remington,

This link is to some pics I put up on a web site. The first button goes to a WMV flick showing the shot at the jugs.

The second button goes to some pics of the targets and the bullet. There is no keyholing that I can detect.

I was out shooting last weekend at 85 yards, more or less my average hunting range, and there was no keyholing on the plywood that time either.

I have to get a chronograph, I have no idea of the velocity, but I have never shot anything that penetrates like the 460gr. I shot 25 rounds offhand from the GS with no discomfort, so it's not a "hot" load.

I am saving all your 35 info because I have one "down south" for hog hunting that I have not used yet, looking forward to that.

Thanks

Grizz

http://www.empresspublications.com/juneday/index.html
 

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35Remington,

I too appreciate you sharing your experience and experiments with us, especially since your loads are a little "above book." Your reports have inspired me to do a bit of load development of my own.

I have been trying to get a high-performance 35 Rem load utilizing one of the many powders I already own without buying yet another powder. Unfortunately, the 'magic' H4895 is not on my bench. The closest powders I have on either side of H4895 are H322 and IMR 4064. Both of these are quite a step away from H4895 wrt burning rate, H322 being quite a bit faster and IMR4064 being quite a bit slower.

I loaded up one each of 36 gr, 37 gr, and 38 gr of H322 under a Sierra 200 gr roundnose for a one-round pressure sign check. All fired cases unlocked and extracted with ease. 36 gr left the primer out of the case about 0.010" indicating low pressure. 37 gr left the primer flush with the rim. 38 gr left the primer flush with the rim with very slight flattening around the edge, but nothing that would raise my eyebrow. A chronograph was not available for the test so I have no idea what the velocities were. Hodgdon reports a velocity of 1987 fps with their maximum recommended charge of 33.8 gr H322. If I had to guess, I would say the 37 gr load did about 2100 fps and the 38 gr load about 2200, but it's purely a guess.

My question: Have you tried 37 and/or 38 grains of H322 with a 200 gr roundnose? If so, what velocities did you get? I would appreciate it if you would share this data with us.

I could not get enough IMR4064 under the bullet to show any pressure signs. Maybe the velocity was good, but I don't know. There was certainly no cause for alarm all the way up to 43 grains of IMR4064. At 44 grains of IMR4064 the bullet would not stay where I seated it due to powder compression 'springback', so I never fired it.

Thanks again.

Live well
 

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Thanks for all your work,

I was really hoping that R15 would work.You saved me alot of work.

Thanks again
Riflemen10x
 

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Lot of intersting work guys and thanks for sharing all your information
I have a pound of 4895 coming as I like it also for the 30/30.
I also had some BLc-2 that I found to work great with thw 180 Speer bullets and am waiting for my next shipment of 200 gr, remington bullets to try this powder too at the range.

It is nice to see some good press on the 35 Rem. I hardly see any one selling ammo up here in Ontario Canada were I live and few rifles in the bush.
I have an older 336 RC that I got two years ago and just love it.With reloads the price is good and the cartridge is grand in the bush.

Long live the 35 Remington

Happy
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Grizz:

Neat stuff. Sometime I'm going to try the water jug thing myself. God knows we go through enough milk around here. I'd carry that bullet to protect myself from a terminal case of Kodiak halitosis.

Riflemen10X:

Work up some loads if you want to and compare your results to mine if you feel like it. A little confirmation from another handloader is always welcomed.

Big Redhead:

Yes, I've used H322 and the 200 grain RN, both in jacketed and cast, through my 336 Marlins and a Bullberry barrelled Contender handgun with a muzzle brake. It needs it. I have used H322 with bullets as heavy as the Nosler 225 grain Ballistic Tip out of my Contender, obtaining 2000 fps out of the pistol barrel.

I had a conversation once with Jack Monteith of Beartooth Bullets, and he was relating his experiences with H322. This was before I used it for several calibers myself. He noted it is position sensitive, and he was right. Even though Hodgdon lists a maximum of 33.8 grains of H322 as maximum, I do not consider it a good load with that charge weight. The velocity variations were just too high. Upping the charge to 38.0 grains with the 200 Hornady RN yields much better loading density and velocities of 2200-2250 fps, with the average closer to 2250. Darn good guess on your part. The same charge under the RCBS 200 FNGC got 2100 fps from my pistol barrel. Yes, the charge is 4.2 grains heavier than Hodgdon lists, and I would put it at the top of the range of pressures for the .35 levergun. However, Hodgdon listed much heavier charges of H322 with 200 grain bullets in the past, going up to 41.0 grains (no typo, 41.0 grains). During that time the powder went from being manufactured by Nobel in Scotland to I believe Mulwex in Australia currently. The burning rate may have changed slightly but it does not appear it has changed greatly.

My Bullberry .35 pistol barrel has a longer throat than the Marlin, and this allowed seating the bullet out and using 42.0 grains H322 under the 180 Speer and 180 Hornady SSP for 2311 fps (NOT for Marlins). The Contender handles pressures less well than the 336, though, so although I mention that I wouldn't use it in Marlins that is because the loading parameters are not exactly the same and I do not know where this would get me with a shorter overall length to work through the levergun. I am more comfortable with less H322 using 180's in the Marlin. The 42.0 grain load with H322/180 was published by Layne Simpson in an issue of Shooting Times magazine in an article about the Contender handgun, this after the manufacture of the powder was switched from Scotland to Australia. The charge of 42.0 grains is halfway up the neck in the .35 Remington case and is slightly compressed (NOT for Marlins). I think the velocity potential with 180's is higher with H322 than H4895, and have proven it to myself, but I am reluctant to mention pushing the limits with the levergun to this degree with this powder, because we really need a pressure barrel to know where we are at. I tend to favor H4895 because of its slower burning rate, but there are many other powders out there that could serve as well. Incidentally, I was prompted to try H4895 for +P use in the .35 after hearing friend Dave relate how it gave surprisingly high velocities with compressed charges in his 7.62X39mm Contender pistol using 150 grain bullets. The loading parameters for that cartridge (small case, relatively large bullet) are very similar to the .35 Remington and the 220 Speer (relatively small case, large bullet). The pressures using the Short Russian round were so low the powder was not burning completely, yet the velocities were close to those obtained in a .30-30 carbine using the same bullet weight. That warranted further investigation, and it didn't hurt that Hodgdon listed the highest velocities with the Speer 220 and H4895, the highest I had seen, incidentally, since the Speer Number Nine loading manual. The 220 Speer/H4895 combination has worked wonderfully and I am getting really fond of it. If you haven't tried some 220 Speers at this speed, you should. Now that's a BULLET.

I think your load of 38.0/H322 is fine with the 200 RN, and it looks like you did your homework and were careful, but you really need a chronograph, so get out and buy a Chrony for 75 bucks. I would consider 2250 a good place to quit with the 200 RN and H322, so consider whatever charge weight that gets you that velocity as maximum. I think you are close to that now, but find out for sure. H322 is also temperature insensitive, and I would be very upset if it were ever discontinued. I like it very much for 180's and also in pistols. You've got a keeper for 200 grain +P use that is in a number of ways better than the RL7 load that gets the same approximate velocity. Good choice. Well done.

GooseGestapo:

We've been comparing info for awhile now and we've always been close. It is good to know that there is yet another guy out there who has had the same good results as I have had. Having multiple people cross reference data and report no problems has always been reassuring, and I am fortunate that this board, old as well as new versions, has kept me in contact with a number of others that also have an investigative bent. We've always stayed on the cautious side, swapped results, and kept it safe.


Now if only a powder manufacturer would load to 42,000 psi, same as the .30-30, for MODERN GUNS, just like they do for the .45-70 Marlin, and give us the additional reassurance of pressure tested data. If that would happen we .35 shooters would have done everything we could to give this cartridge a fair shake, and some new reason for others to purchase it that would keep it in the Marlin 336 lineup.

I should make clear though, that the .35 works just fine at lower speeds, and the higher levels of power are not needed in most levergun hunting situations. Factory loads with their lower speeds are still wonderful game getters.

I don't want to see it go away. Kudos to Marlin for keeping it alive. Let's continue to support it.
 

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Thanks for the kind words .35Rem.

RE: H322

I used it with outstanding success in a Rem m760 I had back in late '80's. Like a fool that I am, I needed a S&W 686 2.5" bbl for shooting PPC "off duty" matches so the .35 got traded off. I did well with the 'smith (national record!) and still have/use it, but I sure do miss the 760.

It would very frequently shoot the Sierra 200gr RN into 3-shot clover leafs at 100yds. I got a lot of dirty-envious looks at some public ranges with that rifle. I would pull it out when the Magnum-ites began running down the "Brush" cartridges and rifles. I can't remember the exact load but 38-40grs sounds right. The load was at or just above the Hodgdon load. Velocity chrono'd at 2,350fps and hit "harder" on deer than anything I've shot deer with, including the .30/06 and 12ga shotgun w/slugs at under 100yds (never shot a deer farther than that w/.35Rem). Performance seems very close to that of the .50cal muzzleloader.

The only reason I still prefer the Marlin is because of the ergonomics of the foward placement of the slide on the Remington, and the fact that it "RATTLED" big time!! I was just never real comforatable while hunting with that rifle.

I liked H322, but the lot I had was 16lbs of the first offering of H322 by Hodgdon and was milsurp. I had to discard the last pound of it because it had started decomposing. The later lots of H322 I've used seem to be a little faster burning, and I haven't loaded any more for the .35 because H4895 works sooooooo well! A friend really liked my loads w/H322 in his T/C Contender, and velocities were slightly better in it, ditto accuracy too. If I ever load again for a .35Rem Contender, I will certainly give it a try again.

For an accuracy load in my Marlin, I prefer BL-C2 at the Hodgdon listed max (mild, but very accurate!). The H4895 at 40.0gr is slightly less accurate, but not enough to ever notice hunting big game. The difference in punch IS noticebly better though. I rate BL-C2 just behind H4895 and IMR3031 for the .35Rem. I don't even consider the rest now; though I'm led to believe that H335 is good too.
 

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35 Rem. while I surely appreciate the effort you put forth and the detail to which you posted your results on the many 35 Rem. loadings over the past who knows...years maybe, when I think back on thew original Marlin Talk. I can not help but wonder why you seem to have the yearn to push the upper edge of the envelope with the .358/ 35 Rem loadings. When there are lighter loading for deer,blk bear,hog,etc. at hand. As well as larger calibers in Marlin lever guns that function fine for larger game.
I, myself adore the 35 Rem in a Marlin . Gleefully telling all that care to listen to me. But on it's finest day it will not be able to replace my Marlin 444 or 45-70 with warm loads. Not to mention hotter yet safe reloadings. Pa RR
 

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PA R R:

I thought I explained my reasoning in the past posts, but I'll repeat it. Many feel the .35 is nothing more than a poor alternative to the .30-30, with less energy and poor trajectory. If I can get a few to buy it by showing what it is capable of, then we are all ahead in this game by keeping the caliber alive. Yes, I agree lighter loads can work and have said so many times, very recently. However, some interest in what the .35 is capable of has been caused by Buffalo Bore's introduction of the Speer 220/2200.

It is not rocket science nor the province of the priviledged few to duplicate these loads. It is common sense, the type I feel that many here share with me. I always root for the underdog anyway. How about a more practical reason-with what the .35 is capable of, why would anyone feel the need for a .375 when a new .35 is available? I see some posts about those who feel they missed out when the .375 was discontinued. My reply? Buy a .35 and do the same things if you need to. I'm not trying to replace my own .45-70 Marlin and have never handloaded the .35 to try to equal it. That would be like making water run uphill. I just want to know what the .35's safe capabilities are, and they are considerable.

We can carry the caliber comparison thing to extremes. How about this, right back atcha-why would you carry the .444 and .45-70 when the .450 Alaskan and 50 Alaskan can be had, and will outdo those calibers in every way? On their finest day the .444 and .45-70 will not ballistically surpass those calibers. Hell, why carry a lever action chambered for those small capacity bigbores? Why not carry a .458 Lott or .460 Weatherby instead? See where I'm going with this? If it makes sense to load the .444 and .45-70 with "warm loads" when more powerful cartridges are available it also makes sense to load the .35 to its potential. Remember, no matter what you've got, something is bigger, faster and more powerful. I see that you are using "hotter yet safe reloadings" in your larger calibers. In the .35 I'm doing the same thing. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Now, are you ready to give up on your .444 and .45-70 just because I mentioned that very accurate comparison of cartridge power? I didn't think so. Loading the .35 to its (very) safe potential is more than fair.

Remember I'm not pushing my .35's as hard as you are currently loading the .444, around 42,000-44,000 psi. Pushing the upper edge of the envelope? By that standard, your .444 and .45-70 are pushing the upper end of the envelope too, if not more so. I'm just trying to get the .35 on a level playing field where it was not allowed to play for many years, so the cartridge is long past due. Nobody loaded the .45-70 to 40,000 psi in leverguns until recently. Now everyone is doing it. Loading the .35 to elevated pressures so it can operate at its potential is reasonable. A bonus is its smaller case head produces less backthrust and longer life for the cases and action than the bigger rounds.

Now, was that long winded enough for you? The things that motivate us are always mysterious to those whose interests lie elsewhere. PaRR, I dare say there are probably a few things or activities you pursue very avidly, and which you enjoy very much, that others don't completely understand. I am no different than you in that respect, so it may help to think of me in that way.
 

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35 Remington: Inhale...exhale..inhale..etc. I give you your credit you are indeed,er..as you put it "long winded".
My pursuit of happiness falls along the lines of doing custom smith work on all types of firearms. A trade taught to me by my uncle whom also posts on occassion under the name of "Waknstak" he is a smith possesing extreme talents. His/our reply to "why carry a 45-70 when a 50 Ak can be had" is...you can only kill something so dead, why kill a 1500# steer with a 22 LR when a bazooka could do the job?
We (you, Wak,I and others ) simply choose our arms cause we have our own preferences for doing it. Simple in the end...isn't it?
I own more firearms than anyone with good sense should. They run in caliber from the .17 up to an inherited .500 Lott DBL gun. All have their purpose and I've hunted with them all either here in the USA or abroad. Killing everything from gray squirrels to lion. My favorite is a custom 24" stainless steel Mralin 336 35 Rem that Waknstak built for me to match the same gun in 30-30 ( they were Christmas gifts from a grand uncle). So you needn't bother extolling the use of a 35 Rem on me, I already adore the caliber. But even you 35 Remington must be willing to admit they have their limits.
I doubt seriously that you, I or any group could make a serious enough impression on any firearm manufactor to "keep the 35 Rem alive" with the theory of..let us just hot rod it up a bit and it is a marginal true big game killer. What civil attorney isn't dreaming of a law suit based on hype like that? Not withstanding the vast majority of gun buyers today do not reload their own ammo. In truth it is the ammunition makers themselves that will an do keep any caliber "alive".
Case 'n point: Marlin for whatever the reason thought the shooting world should have a 450 in a lever gun..great. But to make it feasible they first approached Hornady to make the bullet, contracted with them for X amount of years to guarrantee the bullet would be offered to the shooters . THEN started production. I can guarrantee you this much, if Hornady stops production of that bullet at the end of the contract with Marlin and no one else makes it the 450 is going in the direction of the 5mm . Pity too 'cause the 450, 5mm, and possibly the 35 rem are all great calibers. Each designed to do a segment of a shooters needs, yet none designed to do everything.
Pa RR
 

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This is some great stuff - the pros and cons.

Gonna make a personal reference guide and hope to add my own observations to it, though I am sure most, if not all the variables are being brought to light here.

Keep it going!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
PaRR:

I've exchanged a few posts with your uncle Wak. Very knowledgeable fellow and he's told me of a few of his gunsmithing projects, which are darn impressive.

It does come down to preference for each of us, and we all favor certain calibers that we perceive as having qualities we need. I'm really enjoying the hell out of my .25-20 as a small game and nighttime coyote calling gun, and I doubt I'll ever find another that is as good for dual purpose use on game for the table and varmints at moderate range. One gun, a few shells in my pocket and I don't have to pass up a shot at a coyote when I am on a squirrel hunt. I don't wax philosophic about it because it isn't currently offered in a Marlin.

I am not trying to convince Marlin to keep it alive, at least not directly. And I also doubt they would listen to a guy like me anyway. But steady sales can make an impression on the people in charge at Marlin. I can have a little influence on some who may come to this site interested in buying their first 336. I'll be content with what little I can do, since I did my best.

Marginal big game caliber? Depends upon what you call big game. I shoot many other calibers, some quite a bit bigger than the .35. I am fully aware of its limitations. I'm probably better informed than most of exactly what its limitations are due to all the fooling around I've done with it. I hope my time spent with the cartridge makes me better able to judge what the caliber is good for rather than be blinded by virtue that isn't there due to an overactive imagination fueled by inexperience with other cartridges.

Deer, hogs, black bear, and similar size game should fall to the .35 easily. Elk and moose at timber ranges, say 150 yards or less, to the heaviest loads, maybe with 125 as a limit for some. Anything bigger or meaner than those critters and I'd pass on using the .35. When ranges exceed 200 yards on the smaller game, or the mentioned ranges on elk and moose, the .35 isn't suitable either. I've said as much, many times in the past, on the old forum and on this one. Apparently you missed those. Do you think that is a pretty good understanding of the .35's limits? I'm pretty comfortable with the conclusions I've made regarding the capabilities of the round.

Guess what helped the .45-70? Lever action rifles and loads that went to 28,000, then 35,000 and now 40,000+ psi or cup. When Marlin first introduced the caliber sales weren't all that hot, as it was perceived to be a slow, obsolete, low powered rainbow trajectory round that couldn't do anything better than an '06 or 300 mag. Now we have guys talking about Cape Buffalo hunts with 45-70's, and using it for all close range big game hunting on critters of any size. It's very popular and very deservedly so. If I have to pick one caliber for all big game, including very big game, I'd pick the .45-70 in a lever gun. I own and load for one, cast bullets for it, etc. etc. so I know very well what it can do.

Modern smokeless loading and the realization that levers could handle 40K pressures made the cartridge more useful. Sales took off. There's a direct connection. Things really started flying for the old .45 when the late 80's came around. Marlin introduced the Guide Gun in the 90's, and blackpowder silhouette and Quigley Down Under showed up at about the same time. Who knows what combination of factors really caused it to snowball? But it was elevated handload levels (which Marlin actually advocated, since we're talking lawyers here) which brought the .45-70 to the attention of many. That's the main reason I bought mine.

I don't expect to achieve the same effect in the .35 because it is a smaller caliber and the percentage increase in power will not be as great. I'm not going from 20,000 to 40,000 psi loads as the .45-70 has in many instances. That's a lot more punch with smokeless than most of the old blackpower loads at blackpowder pressures. I'm not looking for a giant groundswell of new buyers. I just want to get new users to at least consider it as an option when buying a 336 so sales will remain high enough for Marlin to keep it in its lineup. It covers a lot of the ground the .375 did, and maybe a little of what the .356 could do as well. And that's enough for most of the hunting that many guys do with a traditional lever action. Including me.
 

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"true big game" = bigger than black bear and such. Yes I know elk, moose, even the mammoth bison can be killed with a 35 Rem. Though I feel the 35 is a middle game size critter capper.
Indeed William (WAK) is a fine smith. Some of his clients are Gov. Tom Ridge, Pres. Jimmy Carter, Actor Tom Selleck among others.
Last year he tired of waiting on Marlin to produce a 24" 35 Rem so he whipped up a few of them. In stainless steel none the less. It is a clone to the 24" 336 CB 30-30 SS he built the year before. This past Christmas he honored me with the pair as a gift. Said his next project will be the same gun in .358 . Naturally I can't wait for Christmas this year!
 
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