Marlin Firearms Forum banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thank you all for this marvelous forum. I have learned so much but have been lurking for too long and decided to come in after a long while.

Here's my brief Marlin biography: I've been somewhat "into" firearms most of my life, but not in a serious way. My dad took me shooting once in a while when I was a kid, and when I moved to the country as a young man I found that I needed a gun or two. Over the years that grew to be a few firearms in the usual calibers, and I've spent many an afternoon blasting away with recreational shooting until I moved to a somewhat less remote area (still pretty rural by most folk's reckoning) over a decade ago.

I've raised livestock of various kinds over the years, and while I'm still not a hunter I have had to put down predators on several occasions, including a bear a few years ago that was terrorizing the neighborhood, breaking into people's houses and not dissuaded by nonlethal deterrents. When it came after my critters and wouldn't run away when confronted I was forced to shoot it, and this experience made me think that I needed to upgrade my arsenal somewhat.

I've had experience with more guns than I've had the pleasure to own, including semi-autos of various stripes, but I guess I have a soft spot in my heart for lever actions in traditional calibers. When I finally came across a JM guide gun, new in box at a good price, I knew right away I had to have it. It was and is my dream rifle.

That was over a year ago, and I still haven't shot it. That is soon to be remedied. Bear with me a little more while I complete the saga:

When I found my Marlin I got three boxes of ammo for it: Remington 405 gr. jacketed flat point, Remington 350 gr. hollow point, and Hornady leverevolution. I kinda figured I was eventually going to handload for it, but with no experience in loading I thought it could wait until I had the rifle sorted out before attempting a new project of such depth.

Unfortunately, shortly after I acquired the Guide Gun I was laid up with an injury that would keep me basically housebound for several months. Sitting in an easy chair gets old pretty fast, and that was all the incentive I needed to take up reloading for the .45-70 and other calibers. I needed a new hobby and this was it. By this time I was already an avid reader of MO, and had soaked up as much as I thought I could, thanks to the many helpful members of this site who so generously share their experience and knowledge.

Unfortunately again, shortly thereafter the terrible massacre happened in Connecticut. Factory ammo as well as reloading supplies dried up, as most of you know, and this was especially difficult for me as I live in one of the most gun-unfriendly of these united states. There used to be several gun shops in my local area, but they have all pretty much gone under, and those few that are still around don't stock reloading components.

It took a lot of doing but in the last year and a half I've finally managed to get a semi-respectable stock of basic reloading components. Whereas (before I got my Guide Gun) the thought of rolling my own was rooted in my longstanding desire to do it myself as I do many other homesteading tasks, the ongoing ammo and component crisis has brought a new sense of exigency to my reloading efforts. I've reluctantly come to terms with the fact that I cannot rely on finding ammunition of any type or caliber within at least a 40-mile radius of my home. This would be more palatable if this was just a side-effect of living in the sticks (in a mostly urban northeastern state), but unfortunately this is not the case: it is the what the gun-banners have had in mind all along: making gun ownership difficult. End of rant.

So with the capsule biography out of the way, here's where I am:

I have a beautiful, unfired JM guide gun that has captivated me. Some Starline cases in addition to the factory ammo noted above. I've got some Trail Boss, some Unique, and some IMR 4198, as well as some 405 lead flat points from Hunter's Supply, and some 350 gr. Laser-Cast. I also have cast a few myself with Lee dies in both 405 and 340 grain (also Keith-style bullets) with Lyman #2 from Rotometals. I've got a couple other powders too, but only one pound each so because that's all I have I'm going to wait to try the 2400, Reloder 7 and Bullseye until I have a source for more. Actually, once I've loaded some plinking loads with the Trail Boss I want to focus on the 4198 for my Guide Gun since I've got more of that and it's not really suitable for handgun loads.

I mentioned that I am new to reloading, but I have loaded up a few dozen .357 cartridges with the Trail Boss and cast Keith-style lead boolits and Federal primers. All went boom and most hit the target and I plan on loading more but I'm just psyched on my Guide Gun and really want to explore what it can do.

OK. Here's my questions:

My Marlin has never been fired since it left the factory. I haven't sighted it in or anything. Although I have a few boxes of factory ammo, it's all jacketed. Here's my question for the old-timers on the forum: if you had a brand-new Guide Gun, would you test it or sight it in)with factory jacketed ammo, or would you start with your own handloaded lead bullets? I'm worried that shooting jacketed bullets will get copper into the grooves that might reduce accuracy down the line, since everyone says clean the heck out of it before you shoot lead after firing jacketed bullets.

Would it would be better to shoot lead at first, even though I'll be sorting several variables as a new reloader with a new rifle that hasn't been sighted in, and moving up from minimal plinking loads? Initial shooting will all be using the factory open sights.

I'm reasonably cautious, but not really that concerned about the safety of my loads. I intend to start with the Trail Boss (which has a margin of safety built in by virtue of its load density) and work up to the more energetic powders as I gain experience. I'm reasonably proficient in lab work.

PS: I've been a member for quite a while but came to dislike the user name I had chosen. It was meant to be a portmanteau of my own name, but looked and sounded a lot like the governor of my state, whom I don't hold in high regard. I didn't want to be reminded of that every time I logged in, so I chose a new name. That's why my profile says I joined today.

When I was a kid I was sometimes known as "Spug", so even though I haven't gone by that in 30 plus years I hope it's good enough for y'all. It's good enough for me.

Thanks for all your help,

Spug
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,161 Posts
sounds as if you have a pretty good handle on things already...Go ahead and shoot your factory stuff. It'll help you get used to the recoil and such. Copper comes out easily enough nowdays, so have at it. The Levo-Evo stuff will "print" higher so don't get alarmed. Save the brass, buy a GOOD reload manual and play around with the cast boolits (yours or store bought)...thats half the fun anyway! Oh yeah...welcome to the forum
 
  • Like
Reactions: Spug

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,700 Posts
Welcome to MO, Spug! Pull up a modem and sit a spell.

Interesting saga, and well told. Too bad about the scarcity of loads and components, it's like that all over but probably worse where you are. Wait and work for change, the pendulum will swing back, hopefully sooner than later.

With respect to your new GG... Go shoot her and get to know her. Shoot what you brung. If all you have is factory jacket, so be it. It won't be all that hard to get her squeaky clean again in order to shoot lead. It's a part of the experience, something else to learn to do well for yourself.

We'll be here to listen, answer questions, encourage, enable and commiserate. Share your journey, Spug, I'm sure we have things to learn from you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Spug

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks 1 Big and Dr Mike,

I guess the biggest part of my question is: how much will shooting copper jacketed bullets foul my rifling? Am I better off starting out with the lead and getting into jacketed later or is this just a myth? Will shooting lead alloy for the first few (dozen or hundred) shots make for a better barrel in the long term?

Spug
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,244 Posts
Well get out there and shoot that thing, then load-up some more and shoot it again!!!
Not sure where your from but the S.R. of MD is running neck to neck with the most unfriendly gun states.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks RHP. All of the states that are controlled by large urban power brokers are in the same boat. Does that leave anyone out? Unfortunately, it probably doesn't.

Thanks for the replies and hope to hear more although I won't be responding right away tonight. I'll post pictures when I get a chance, soon. More to come!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,700 Posts
Exactly how much jacketed bullets foul your bore depends on how rough it is, and you won't know that before you try it, if it is rough, it will smooth out faster with jacketed bullets than with lead. Of course, you can fire-lap the bore to get the rough edges off, if you eventually determine it's a problem. Until then... Just have fun with it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Spug

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,917 Posts
Bears have been getting much more aggressive. What did you use to shoot it?

Did you run into trouble with the law when you shot it? We have to be careful here in PA that we are not charged with a crime if we shoot a bear out of season.


Mike T.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
12 gauge. Low Recoil defensive load. It's not what I would have chosen had I known that was what I was facing but it did the job. I hope it doesn't happen again. I still prefer these loads in my home defense shotgun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,917 Posts
Wow, that bear must have been a very agressive animal. When you said it wouldn't back off with non lethal deterents, that usually spells death. Our state game commission wants to be called in when there is a problem animal, but that is not always "convenient". We have had some people attacked by bears in my county, and any time I go out in the woods I have a 45-70, a 357 side arm. and an "Arkansas toothpick" in reserve. There are bears EVERYWHERE.


Mike T.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,742 Posts
Take that baby out and fire up some targets Spug! None of those rounds will hurt your bore. Just be aware that the Hornady brass is shorter than normal brass and requires different dies. Other than that just have some fun and dive in to a wonderful experience working up the loads that you and that individual rifle like best.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Spug and Hawes

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
In this case it was an aggressive and apparently disturbed animal, and an emergency I had to deal with immediately. I feel a kinship with my fellow forest denizens and would never just shoot them without a very good reason. I'm kind of a softie that way, I guess. That said, I've thought a lot about about hunting bears ever since. I know there are a lot of them around (I've seen them and they don't always necessarily respond to polite suggestions) and I'm intrigued by the thought of eating one some day. Legally, of course.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,018 Posts
Hey there Spug -- You might consider the "support side" of your rifle. Laser-Cast produces a fine cast bullet, and you can have all you want with a phone call. www.gmdr has a bunch of loading information for powders such as Unique. Generally a Unique load will be twice as "thrifty" with limited resources as most others. IMR 4198 plays well also. Here is some information that may help...

View attachment 104621 View attachment 104622

I've never understood this infatuation with jacketed bullets anyway!

View attachment 104624

Best regards. Wind
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Hey wind that data shows the max a lot lower than my lee manual. I will take a pic when I get home and show you what it says. It is a significant difference. Is the lee manuals data safe?
 
  • Like
Reactions: GrondHamar

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,018 Posts
Hey there j82 -- There are two sets of load data there. One is the Trapdoor Springfield level loads. Oregon Trail has been conservative with their load data. Having several reference datums is essential for the hand loader. These are just one of many. I have a tendency to post conservative data and let the end user work themselves into a bind if they so desire!! This data has played very well for me. Best regards. Wind
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks guys, I appreciate the advice. It makes sense to fire the three factory loads I have to get an idea of what they are like before moving on to my own handloads. That way I'll have something to compare them to. I've read a few opinions about "seasoning" barrels and don't know if that is hooey or not, and also that leading can be a problem if there is any copper whatsoever in the barrel. This made me think that putting a bunch of unjacketed lead down the barrel before I tried the jacketed loads might be advantageous. I gather from what you all have written that this is not worth my concern.

I can hardly wait. Maybe tomorrow. The black flies are getting bad out there though...
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top