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1283 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  NFG
All the remaining parts for the 444S barrel swap are flowing in and I should have it in load testing shape by next weekend...hopefully the weather will warm up enought to get into my unheated, open air shop to finish the mill work.

I want to do another barrel for it and was originally thinking of doing a 375-444, but after crunching numbers for a while, it's too close between the 356W and the 444 and overlap in bullet weight/velocity/energy...SO...

I'm thinking now of doing a 6.5 cal now. I looked at the 260 Rem, 6.5x47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 Grendel but I'm cheap and want to do this as economically as possible. I have several calibers based on the 308 case so lots of cases and die sets...I've been wanting to buy a Redding 308 Type S FL bushing die for a while to use with my 708's and 308's but have several sets of dies for each that produce very accurate ammo so been too tight fisted with the schekels to do it...doing a 260 Rem for the 336 will push me over the edge.

I have 2 - 6.5x55 that like the Nos 125 and 140 Pt's and there are several very nice varminting bullets for thr 6.5 cal. I think the 260 Rem would make the 336 a very nice shooter for varminting or deer especially with a 26" bbl. A nice addition to the 356W and 444M.

The 25 Souper would be nice also for the same usage and is on my mind also.

The barrel/reamer cost for either the 25 Souper or 260 Rem runs ~$165 and the Redding die about $61 shipping included in the costs. I could save the cost of a new Redding die if I went with the 25 Souper as I already have a 243 Type S die and a bushing change is all that's needed and I could bore out the neck of that 243 die to 308 and save the die cost and handle ALL my 308 based cartridges...have my cake and eat it too... ;D 8) ::)

Anyway...any thoughts out there??...Yes/no/who cares?? ;D :eek: ??? :mad:

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I'm thinking the 6.5 lapua may be nice as the shorter case will give plenty of room for long, pointy bullets (as a 2-shooter, of course). Plus, you could probably use 444 brass to make a 6.5x47 rimmed. Of course, with 336 level pressures, you won't get near those velocities. 25 souper and 260 would work about the same, and with the extra case capacity you might get better velocity, but bullet selection might be limited to flat (Are the any flat nosed 6.5s?) or light. Any option you listed should give better performance than a 25-35.
250-3000 might also be a consideration.
Lots of ways to go...the Lapua has a small rifle primer and I had some problems with the "old" 6BR Rem case in cold weather so I laid that one aside. I have a 250 Sav AI and the Creedmoor case is about the same as that one and would be a good one except for needing new dies...but I guess I could pop for a set of LEE RGB's. ;D

I looked at the 270-308 because I've never had a .277 cal rifle but couldn't find a rental reamer...wish I had then this conversation wouldn't be happening...I would have already ordered the barrel.

I'm still thinking which way to will have to be a case that will work well in the action without a bunch of messing about and one that will fit in a type S bushing die I already have so that limits it to 308 or BR cases or jumps up to belted mag( ??? :eek: :( )

I'm not sure how well a BR length round would feed but I WILL before I finalize and there are a few other short wildcats that I can use my present dies with and the reamers are available for rent.

I'm REALLY going cheap on this one...4D reamers has a 260 Rem for about $15 bucks cheaper than ReamerRentals and I will just bore out my 243 Redding bushing die far enough to handle bushings for a 338 Fed...that one is itching me also...not for the 336 but for my Ruger SA switchbarrel 7-08/308 or Savage SA 243.

The problem with the 336 is the pressure limitation and I already have at least one rifle/barrel in all the cals and bolt guns that give me much better performance...but Hey...velocity isn't always the most important thing and I'm flexible most of the time.

I think I can get away with <$150.00 for the whole 9 yards at least I'm gonna try.

No actual FP jacketed bullets for the 6.5 that I know off, but bobbing the noses on the Nos PT's would work and there are several other brands with enough lead tip to nip off and some very nice lead hard cast FP's.

Hey...anyone for a 17-20cal BR Marlin 336 about bragging rights. Hahahahahah

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7mm STE is what ya need for flat nosed bullets. Layne Simpson made one up many years ago on a Marlin action. Only flat nosed bullet still available is the Speer 130 gr, I asked Hornady when they were going to produce a FTX 7mm and was told they had no plans to do so, but would listen to suggestions from customers and keep an open mind. For those who don't know what the STE is, it's basically a 307 Win., necked down to 7MM and given the Improved treatment reducing the case taper and bolt thrust. I think a 338 LE case necked down to 7mm would be a good little screamer as well/ DP
Absolutely...I remember that article and the 7mm STE would work, but I don't have any bushing dies on hand I could use. I would have gone with the 7mm IHMSA or 7-08 if I didn't already have two of them and because I have a 300 Savage with lots of brass I could use for the IHMSA but no dies...and Custom dies are EXPENSIVE besides!!!!!!!! :( :eek:

I'm fairly restricted trying to match up a rental reamer, a cartridge that will fit dies I already have, the Marlin rifle pressure and COAL, to something on the 308 case and something I don't already have one or two of in bolt or single shot guns.

I might just go with the 25 Souper...I have lots of light weight 25 cal bullets and 243 brass and they are much cheaper than 6.5 boolits anyway, plus I do more varminting now days than anything else.

Decisions, decisions...I'm getting a bellyache....hahahahahahahaha

My quick eyeballing of the choices tells me you will run into OAL problems with the Souper and probably the others. About 20 years ago I did a similar project and ended up making a 250-3000 flanged. Worked with the overall length, easy to form brass, and since I shoot 250-3000 in a few other rifles components and dies were on hand. Note that I didn't do any extreme work on the action to increase OAL possibilities, so YMMV on the ones you want if you go that way. I will say the 100 gr. Hornady interlock is a good little game bullet.
I can handle up to 2.67" COAL's so the bullets will just need to be seated a bit deeper than published numbers. I crunched some numbers through my Load from a Disk and I will loose more velocity through the pressure limits than anything else. I will also probably just shoot 75gr Sierra HP's or Horn VM's seated about 2.65". I can get an easy 34-3500fs at ~43-44KCUP with a 26" bbl. No where near my 25-06 but plenty good enough for sageratz out to 250-300 yds depending on the final accuracy.

I've thought about doing a 257 R but for all intents and purposes, with the pressure limits of the Marlin, the 25 Souper and 257 R are identical and I also thought about doing a 250 Savage but I have a 250 SavAI and I've had 2 - 250 Savages in the past.

If I was as smart as I wish I was...I would just do the 250 SavAI and use the dies I already have and not have to mess around at all...just drop my existing 75 VM load down 3 gr. That would work out fine until the ammo go mixed up and I stuffed a maxed out boltgun load in my poor Marlin. :eek: :mad: :'(

Better to do a different cartridge...!!!! ;D

I envisioned this project to keep the rifle in service during the "big" game off season and swap in the 356w/444m bbl when deer/bear season rolls around.

Actually I have so many shooters I get a bit picky when it comes to which one I grab...gotta hogtie the critter and measure and weigh THEN decide which cannon to use when I turn it loose. ;D :eek: ::) Hahahahahaha.

Yeah...I like Hornady bullets and one of my favorite 25-06 bullets is the 100 Horn SP. It shoots bughole groups in ALL the 5 25-06's I've ever had. I'v dusted many rockchucks and potguts WAY the heck and gone out there, with that bullet and the Horn 120 HP. Open country deer and antelope never have a chance.

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250 Savage has the same base diameter as all the other mauser based cartridges, right? So, couldn't you from brass from .307 or .444 brass, and have a 250AI rimmed? You could use your existing reloading equipment, and not worry about case confusion.
Yess and Noooo and you have a very good point...I could use those rimmed cases AND use my reloading 250 AI dies...I use the same reloading dies for 356/358 W, but WHY??

I can use rimmed and rimless cases interchangeably using 444 M, trimmed 30-06 or 7-8mm Mauser cases or ANY case with the same base dia trimmed to the correct length for the 444M, 2.225", I've already done that with the 356W...AND checked that out when I was considering the 375-444 originally to do a switch barrel in a NEF and the Marlin. It's very hard to tell the difference between a 375-444 and a 375-short '06 at first glance.

Doing a rimmed 250 SAI would be duplication of effort in one sense...but simplicity in another.

In actuality the difference between the NET case volumes between the AI at 2.58" COAL and the Souper at 2.67" is about 2 gr H2O...(OR...the 257 R)...and that is with the bullet seated the same amount...0.215" deep in both. Not enough to even bother about as fiddling with the seating depth in both could change that to zero or that amount on the other side. ???

The Marlin will handle slightly higher pressures shooting the lighter bullets so I'm not really sweating a accidental swap. ;)

I'm still vacillating on which way to jump...I'm just in the "wondering" stage while I finish the 444 and still have to make up some dummy's to check out the feeding when I get the mill work done on the barrel for the mag tube/forend mounts.

And I still have the 17-20 cal in the back of my mind...not very many Marlin 336's in those calibers. Hahahahah

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Just chomped some numberS for a 20 BR, 2.1" COAL, 40 gr VM, easy 3900fs with a 26" THAT's what I'm talking about. ;D ;D 8) :D I only have one other 20...a 20 Practical...AND I have a set of 6 BR bushing dies...heh, heh, heh...I don't NEED anymore ideas messing with my pointy little head...!!!!!!

STOPPIT. Hahahahahahahah

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