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I have tried a number of hard cast 357 pistol bullets in my 35 Marlin. In every case, the bullet engages the rifling before the bolt is closed. I want to be able to shoot a 357 pistol bullet with a large metplate. I have tried a Lee crimper with mixed results. In some cases, the bullet had to be crimped on the tapered front portion of the bullets. This leads to reduced volumn for powder and the odd chance that recoil could make bullets slide farther into the case in the tube. An easier choice would be to relieve the rifling at the chamber. Can it be done? Have any of you tried relieving the rifling? If so, who did the work and how did you like it?
 

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If you've got the time and only a little smarts, you could do it yourself, and throat the rifle to whatever length you need. I'd suggest:

Dave Manson reamers. They will send you a throating reamer for 40 dollars, delivered including shipping.

You need an extention and a T handle to get at the throat. The hardware store will have the T handle; the extention you might inquire from Manson or borrow a machine shop extention.

Cerrosafe, to view what the throat looks like before you start. Progress slowly and take a few castings as you cut the new throat, to make sure you don't make it overlong.

At this point you'd have about 70-80 dollars invested in the project, which means this is the upper limit of what you should be charged if you have a gunsmith do the job. Most smiths should charge less than this; say 30-50 dollars. Be advised that you need to take in consideration just what you're going to do with the gun afterwards. Is this for cast bullets? Jacketed? 200 RN's, 180-220 Speer, etc? Sounds like you're interested in lead bullets from your post. Be advised the optimum taper for lead bullets isn't the same as for jacketed, but even a throat cut for jacketed bullets will show an improvement with lead bullet accuracy.

I'd suggest cutting it just a little bit deeper, mostly to get rid of the very abrupt taper from end of chamber to the origin of rifling and to ease the transition of the bullet from chamber neck to barrel. The Marlins usually have no throat at all, which makes it slightly amazing that they shoot lead as well as they do. A little reaming can improve things. Any halfway competent gunsmith ought to be able to handle this, but be sure to specify how much deeper you want to cut. Also ask about the finished throat diameter, as this will have a bearing on the proper bullet sizing die to select for best accuracy. Example; if the finished throat diameter is .3585", for example, you would select a .359" sizing die-assuming, of course, that the inside barrel diameter is .3585" or less.

I suppose I'd still invest in the Cerrosafe, do a chamber cast, and show the gunsmith what you have with the casting. That way you can make very clear what you need done. Or, if the gunsmith does it for you, have him make a chamber cast of the gun to show you "before" and "after."

That's how I'd do it, but then I'm a little fussy about my guns. A lot of gunsmiths don't like to be told how to do things, which is why I do projects like this myself some of the time.
 

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I wouldn't touch the throat of your .35!

One of the primary reasons the .35 delivers uncanny accuracy is that it DOES have a short throat. With the Remington 200gr Corlokt, the bullet will engage the rifling if seated out to the very rearward edge of the cannulure. This is intended as it places the bearing surface of the bullet very close to engagement with the lands even when seated to, and crimped into the groove, which is conducive to good accuracy.

I have loaded a number of different bullet designs, particularily several different SWC designs in my .35. What it takes is seating the bullet to be crimped lightly into the foward driving band of whatever design bullet you are loading to get the bullet deep enough to chamber easily. I have found the .35 thus loaded to be entirely satisfactory for a variety of cast bullet designs I've tried in it. I have found that even with very sharp shouldered Semi-Wadcutters that the m336 in .35 Rem will feed very reliably due to the taper due to the bottle neck of the case, unlike the .357 and .44mag cartridges in m1894. My m336 feeds reliably with short seated SWC and anything else, so long as OAL dosen't exceed the design limitations of the action (~2.550"oal)

However, my favorite "plinking" load is a Lee 160gr RF with Lee 50/50 alox sized to .358", and 5gr of Bullseye, and crimped into the provided crimp groove. POI/POA is VERY different than the 200gr RN at 2,200fps, but for "off season" plinking is very fun.



The only really limiting thing I have found is that without a gascheck, and if the bullet is sized under .359", accuracy over 1,500fps is difficult to impossible.

However, I have a Lee 158gr SWC-GC bullet borrowed from my brother that my Marlin thinks is "candy". I have run it up to ~2,000fps by only seating the gascheck and hand lubing the bullet and shooting it over H4895. Accuracy is running ~1.5" at 50yds which is quite good in my estimation. This bullet has a very short foward driving band, so is good with the case crimped into the crimp groove with a Lee Factory crimp die.

An $18.00 bullet mould is much preferable to "cutting" on your barrel.

Also, I hope you are expanding the case neck before you are seating the bullet. If not, you may have some lead shaved onto the bullet preventing proper chambering. I accomplish this with a .357mag expander from a .357mag Lee expander/powder charging die set up in a Lee Universal Rifle Expander/Charging die. This also helps alleviate the possibility of double charging a case sitting in a loading block. If its "flared", its "CHARGED" !

Good luck with your cast bullet loads in your .35
 
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