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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I need some opinions. I sold my 307 a couple years back. Wish I had it back. Now I found another. They want too much for it but it sure felt good in my hands. But, I love Marlins also and a 308 Marlin would be hard to beat. I have reloaded for the 307 in the past and it seems like it could actually be more versitile because you can actually load it to a higher pressure. And, shooting the 30/30 Hornady 160 grain LE bullet it should be a fine 300 yard gun. Could be loaded with a BarnsX bullet for Elk with out much trouble. But, the 308 Marlin is easier to scope if I want to scope it. I like the XS lever rail system and you cant put that on a win bigbore. Wildwest happy trigger kit is an easy marlin upgrade etc. And, no i cant buy both! What to do?
 

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As a big fan of the 307 Winchester I have to say; go with the 308 Marlin.
I have both and prefer the 307 Winchester the 308 Marlin is a fine rifle, I have the 22” blued model. The 308MX and its factory cartridge are very hard to beat accuracy wise using Hornady ammunition. The brass for the 308ME is not really easier to get but as time goes along it will be.
You can easily make 307 brass so it is not a problem for the handloader to keep the rifle shooting.
Seattleloader is waiting on his new lever-action wildcat rifle from Regan Nonnaman. When it is delivered Seattleloader, Snow and I will be shooting all three cartridges with every powder and bullet we can find. Get either one and join in, should make for a fun summer.
 

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The 308 Marlin Express is the one Hornady is loading the "special" ammo for, that none of can really duplicate with handloads, right? I think I read where that puts the performance of the 308 ME somewhere between 307/300 Savage and 308Win performance. Then again, if that is with special powders that we can't get, and it will basically be the same as a 307 with your own handloads, then I say go for whichever rifle you prefer and don't worry about the cartridge as much.
 

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[307win or 308marlin ]

You say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to. :)

IMO, the only difference/advantage would be a very slight one to those shooting commercial fodder, due to LeverEvolution pointy plastic-tipped bullets available for the Marlin chambering.

For me, it would drill down to whichever style rifle was preferred.

.
 

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The 307 Winchester when loaded with the wonderful Speer 170-grain flat nose bullet has a point blank range of 240 yards on an 8" target circle and thats good enough for my use. I really dont need the pointy bullets, but I have shot deer with them. We are going to do some serious testing with them this summer.

The problem with the 308 Marlin Express is that it is pressure limited due to the Marlin 336 action. The 308 Marlin Express is a pretty easy cartridge to overload with the powders available to the handloader today. This can be a problem when working with unknown or new powders for which there is no pressure tested load data. When I started reloading the 308 Marlin Express I overloaded it with no apparent negative results. When Hornady released the pressure tested load data I had to reduce my loads.

This is not a problem with the 307 Winchester as the case capacity due to the deep seating of the bullets is matched to the strength of the rifle. With every appropriate powder and bullet weight you find yourself using a compressed load for a maximum charge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Slim, A few years back when i was developing a load for my 307 you helped me settle on Reloader 15. I was getting 2650fps with a 150 grain speer bullet. I wonder what that IMR powder that Hodgden is advertising would do in the 307win. Why did i sell that gun? That poweder sure looks like a good option for the 308marlin.
 

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I use 52.8 grains for my total water capacity estimates.

I use a COAL of 2.550” for most of my loading.

The 150-grain Speer flat nose bullet is .905” long. Seated .275” deep – nearly to the bottom of the neck – I have a useable water capacity of 47.8 grains.

The 170-grain Speer bullet is 1.020” long. Seated to .390” deep I have a 45.7 grain water capacity to play with.
 

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It doesn't take much encouragement to get us talking about the 307W. If you are not to interested in reloading, get the 308ME. I don't have one but I will some day.

The 307 is great if you reload.
Why wouldn't the 308ME be good if you like to reload? I can't think of anything about that case design (except maybe availability) that would make it difficult to reload for, especially since mine would be in an Encore or custom bolt-action rifle, not a lever-action.
 

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In the lever action rifles with their restricted COAL the 307 Winchester is more flexible with regard to powder selection due to the higher pressure threshold.
The higher operating pressure of the 307 Winchester allows the handloader to use the full case capacity with any appropriate powder for the bullet weight.

The 308 Marlin Express is restricted by the lower operating pressure. The case capacity of the 308 Marlin Express is great enough to allow it to be overloaded with any of the medium burning powders available to the handloader. This is a small matter when using powders for which there is pressure tested load data. When using new powders or those for which there is no pressure data it adds a little more work to the load tasks.

In the single shot or bolt action rifle there is little reason to choose the 308 Marlin Express over the 307 Winchester unless there is a COAL restriction in your bolt action.

I am not a 308 Marlin Express basher, I have one and I enjoy loading for it and shooting it.
 

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Kapincrunch,
Reloder 15 does excel in the 307 Winchester.
The interesting thing is how close the performance of the 20” barrel 307 Winchester and the 22” 308 Marlin Express are out to 250-yards.
The Hornady LeveRevolution 308 Marlin Express chronographs 2,600 fps from my 22” barrel 308MX. Sighted in for 200-yards I have a point blank range on an 8” target circle of 250-yards.

My 308 ME handloads with the 150-grain Speer flat nose bullet chronograph 2,550 fps and with the same sight setting have a point blank range of 242-yards.

My 20” barrel 307 Winchester pushes the 150-grain Speer bullet at 2,700 fps and has a point blank range of 250-yards on the 8” circle.

Hornady and Marlin have done a good job of developing a replacement for the 307 Winchester which will work within the pressure limitations of the Marlin 336 action. Combined with the remarkable accuracy of the 308MX rifle and the Hornady factory ammunition, the handloader is hard pressed to equal the accuracy with his handloads.

Seatleroadwr, yeah, it’s hard to get me to talk about these rifles!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok, im leaning pretty hard toward the Marlin 308. Cost is an issue and the platform is more easliy modified. :D Bass Pro down the street has them at $549. looks like i need to earn a little extra $
 

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I know a guy is not supposed to buy his guns from a “shoe store” but I bought mine from academy about two years ago for $500.00 including tax. They have not gone up very mush since then which is a good thing. I have been worried about inflation for awhile. As a kid in the 1960’s I spent a lot of time with my nose buried in the Shooters Bible. There were lots of interesting guns but no one had any money back then. Not rich now but I am able to budget for a few guns. It’s hard to be patient and watch the little nest egg grow!
 

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Slim,

I also bought my 308 MX from Academy at about the same time. It was $499 plus tax so you just couldn't go wrong. I did pass on the 338MX recently, my cousin is some kind of honcho at Cabela's and he sent me a certificate to buy the rifle at $500. I looked at it and for some reason just could not get excited. I thought of the dies, brass, and everything I went through with the 308ME and walked off. I guess I'm a traditional cartridge guy and shoot enough as it is (18K to 20K bullets downrange a year not counting handguns).

I'm going to go back through the 308MX and decide for sure if it is something that I want to keep or not. For my needs as a South Texas rancher/hunter with the limited range in the our thorn and brush, the 308MX really doesn't offer much over the 30-30 Win.

I know a bunch of fellows in the wildlife management industry down here and there is a group of the old fellows that started whitetail management in South Texas and they now hold an annual invitational hunt on a well know ranch. If you get invited, the only thing you can hunt with is the "treinta-treinta". They hunt as you did in the old days, no feeders or stands but rattle horns and kill big bucks at close range. Pack in on horse to big country and tent camp. Pretty nice, no black and stainless, no big objectives, no sniping deer, no lodges; just killing deer at close range with an effective rifle.
 

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RD,
Shades of Tom Hayes.
I have hunted South-West of Corpus and it is tough hunting without a feeder. At these distances the Winchester Trapper with the Marbles flat top folding open rear sight and a big white bead work fine. The deer are often in motion when first seen and it is a snap shooters dream hunt.

I prefer the 307 Winchester and 308 Marlin Express for this type of shooting as the deer generally drop in their tracks. With the 30-30 they will often “hump-up,” lower their head and head for the brush. They don’t get far but sometimes you have to hunt for them.

I prefer the 356 Winchester to the 338 Marlin. The .338 diameter bullets are not of particular interest to me. I have loaded for and shot the 338 Win Mag quite a bit. I have a young friend who killed his first deer using a 338 Win Mag. He made the shot at about 80 yards and we had a great hunt together. Loaded down this was about the same as the 338 Marlin Express.
I prefer the .35 caliber bullets and molds and I don’t believe the 338 ME could stand against the 356 if it were packaged in a good rifle.
 

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Depends on the gun. Marlins don't seem to have any issue with rimless cartridges, not that I've encountered. Can't speak for other brands?

.300 Sav in a Marlin, with some way to avoid setting off rounds in the mag tube, would be neat. Perhaps if Hornady's soft tipped spitzers had come along 50 years ago?
 

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Marlin evaluated the 250 Savage in the 336 frame but I believe there was extraction problems. I have an article about it somewhere, here is an image from the article. The rifle had a spiral fluted magazine tube, similar to the early Remington pump and semi-auto rifles so that spitzers could be used. Jim Carmichael ended up with rifle and I believe it was in an auction where he move a lot of unusual firearms several years ago. I'm pulling all of this out of my gray matter, not the best resource. I am sure it was a Marlin project rifle and not something Carmichael came up with.

 
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