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Guys - I've been neglecting the lever world for a few years. Even sold my two BLRs, but that still leaves me with three Marlins and several Winchesters. Then, decided to put a BAR (Belgium made) .30-06 on the trading block and that got me to thinking about the .308 Marlin Express. When it came out I didn't pay it or the LeveRevolution bullets too much notice. But, in researching threads on various forums the past week it seems this is a finer caliber than I had given it credit for.

But, being a reloader and knowing I can't quite duplicate the LeveRevolution load I am still pondering if I want to stock up on factory-made ammo.

I've been shooting a single-shot the past couple years so shooting just two in the Marlin -- one in the chamber, one in the tube -- doesn't scare me if someone has a load they like better than those rubber-tipped things (never was a huge fan of the Interlocks to begin with, functional but not fancy.)

Also, it appears people are, for the most part, happier with the .308 ME than they are with the .338ME. Is that a proper assessment?

Anyway, I could use all the enlightenment folks want to share. Thanks. john
 

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Well, you knew I would say I like the 308ME very much.
With the good Speer 170-grain bullet you dont need the FTX bullet out to 240 yards. Its not a 307 Winchester but it is a good cartridge and the rifle is very accurate.
If you can handload and equal the accuracy of the 22" Marlin 308MX using factory ammunition you have done well
 

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I'd suggest you take a gander over at the Marlin Owners site. My opinion, reading postings there, is that they feel the .338ME is a VERY fine cartridge and an improvement even on the popular .356 Win.:D
 

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I'd suggest you take a gander over at the Marlin Owners site. My opinion, reading postings there, is that they feel the .338ME is a VERY fine cartridge and an improvement even on the popular .356 Win.:D
TnHunter,

I like the 338ME quite a bit, but I'm not sure it is an improvement over the .356 Winchester, which never was, and never will be, "popular". For one thing, there are very few 338 diameter bullets designed for the lower velocity the Marlin load generates, so unless you stick with the FTX factory stuff, your options as a reloader are kind of limited.

Oh, and the OP is asking about the 308ME, which is not even built on the same case as the 338ME.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've read a lot of threads on Marlinowners and when you add them all up there seems to be more happiness with the .308MX than with the .338MX. There have been some mechanical issues with the .338, which are probably settled now, and a number of people are remarking that the recoil is much stiffer than they expected. Of course, that can be partially alleviated through adding a better recoil pad. There is wide support for the .338MX and it is probably a fine round, but I want to lessen noise and recoil. My main reservation against the .308MX thus far is the ammo. I wish Hornady would go ahead and make a GMX/FTX bullet for it as they have for the .30-30.
 

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TnHunter,

I like the 338ME quite a bit, but I'm not sure it is an improvement over the .356 Winchester, which never was, and never will be, "popular". For one thing, there are very few 338 diameter bullets designed for the lower velocity the Marlin load generates, so unless you stick with the FTX factory stuff, your options as a reloader are kind of limited.

Oh, and the OP is asking about the 308ME, which is not even built on the same case as the 338ME.
What he also asked was if the .308ME (which I own) is more popular than the .338ME. Well, more specifically if .308ME owners are happier than .338ME owners. The numbers the .338ME 200gr/FTX show are also pretty much head and shoulders above the .356 Win (which I have also owned for 25 yrs) factory loading. The difference in claimed velocity for their 200gr factory loading are 2565 FPS @ muzzle and 2174 FPS @ 200 yds for the .338ME vs 2460 FPS @ muzzle and 1797 FPS @ 200 yds for the .356 Win load. Of course, the 200gr/.338 cal bullet has a higher S.D. and B.C. as well.

And thanks, but I am more than familiar with the heritage of both the .308ME and .338ME, along with the .356 Win. Thanks for your help tho!:D
 

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I wish Hornady would go ahead and make a GMX/FTX bullet for it as they have for the .30-30.
I believe they recently released the 160 gr FTX for the 308MX. The cannelure is back closer to the base than the 30/30 version and the Ballistic Coefficient is .395, Sectional Density .241 They also added a 150gr FTX for the 30/30.




http://www.hornady.com/store/FTX/

http://www.hornady.com/store/30-Cal-.308-160-gr-FTX-308-Marlin-Express/

Midway and a few others have it...

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=139334

http://trophysoutdoors.com/node/12811

https://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/item.asp?sku=0000330396
 

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Guys - I've been neglecting the lever world for a few years. Even sold my two BLRs, but that still leaves me with three Marlins and several Winchesters. Then, decided to put a BAR (Belgium made) .30-06 on the trading block and that got me to thinking about the .308 Marlin Express. When it came out I didn't pay it or the LeveRevolution bullets too much notice. But, in researching threads on various forums the past week it seems this is a finer caliber than I had given it credit for.

But, being a reloader and knowing I can't quite duplicate the LeveRevolution load I am still pondering if I want to stock up on factory-made ammo.

I've been shooting a single-shot the past couple years so shooting just two in the Marlin -- one in the chamber, one in the tube -- doesn't scare me if someone has a load they like better than those rubber-tipped things (never was a huge fan of the Interlocks to begin with, functional but not fancy.)

Also, it appears people are, for the most part, happier with the .308 ME than they are with the .338ME. Is that a proper assessment?

Anyway, I could use all the enlightenment folks want to share. Thanks. john



I think the usefulness of the .308 ME depends on if you need a little more velocity and range , over the .30-30 .

I personally try to stay away from all the new whiz bang calibers .

You are talking about getting rid of the .30-06 . It will already out do the .308 ME . Almost certainly , more easily and cheaply .

God bless
Wyr
 

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I find it very interesting that NEW Marlins in 308ME sell for about the same as "average condition" used 300 Savage 99 rifles. Since the two cartridges deliver the goods same as each other, my choice would be the NEW Marlin!

Easy choice for me: new or old for same price.

I hope the 338ME makes it in the USA marketplace. Seems like many middle bore lever cartridges have faded into semi-obscurity. Examples include 35 Winchester, 348 Winchester, 358, 356, 38-55, 375, and 32 Special. Unfair but true.

TR
 

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I find it very interesting that NEW Marlins in 308ME sell for about the same as "average condition" used 300 Savage 99 rifles. Since the two cartridges deliver the goods same as each other, my choice would be the NEW Marlin!

Easy choice for me: new or old for same price.

.....

TR
That's one way to look at it, but a good Savage 99 in 300 Savage will handle pointed (non nerf) bullets and I bet will appreciate more than a Marlin 336.

I have both a Savage 99 and Marlin 336's, and there's something special about those old Savages.
 

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In this day and age, paying more to get a high-quality used product is sometimes preferable to paying the same amount for a new product that may not hold up as well. In fact, of all the durable goods consumers typically buy, guns may be the most outstanding example of something old being substantially better than something new, especially when you factor in the potential appreciation certain older firearms may experience.
 

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I will grant the Model 99 has a following; I had an Uncle who used a Pre-WWII for more than 40 years. The 300 Savage accounted for many mule deer and a few elk.
I myself do care for the Model 99. I do not like the lever safeties and I am turned off by the esthetics of the open lever and the arm, which moves the locking bolt.
The only Model 99 I have extensive experience with is a late model straight stock 22” rifle with the slim, finger groove forend.
This rifle has a pencil thin barrel and the balance of the rifle is too far back for a snap shooting rifle. The barrel is thin and walks its bullets when firing strings, which I admit, is not a problem for a hunting rifle.
I shot the forend off this rifle four times and I admit this takes some of the luster out of the Model 99’s reputation for me. My friend Fostule has a 1950’s vintage Model 99 with 24” barrel, which has been stocked for left-handed shooter, and it is a better rifle in all respects.

I have loaded for the 300 Savage with no trouble and like the cartridge very much. I do not consider the availability of additional bullets for the 300 Savage to be an advantage as out to 240-yards there is no advantage to a pointy bullet.
The power class of the 300 Savage, 30-40 Krag, 307 Winchester and the 308 Marlin Express is ideal for the deer and black bear hunter. Pick your rifle and one of the cartridges will work for you.
 

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This is my Savage 99C in .308; bought it new in 1972. It's taken a lot of game for me. Hunting photos from Black Hills of western South Dakota.

I had the barrel Magna-Ported in Michigan and all the muzzle-jump has vanished. Recoil reduced, too. Accuracy not affected. Does this affect value? Yes, it makes the rifle more fun to shoot and its not for sale anyways.

TR
 

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Here in Central Ontario the ME Marlins with the Laminated stocks and 24 inch barrels command very close to a thousand dollars from the factory . The Mx are priced just under seven hundred That to me is a lot of money .
Then an old friend was telling me his 303 Savage made in 1935 cost him a few months wages then too. So most folks are better off now .
Well I have looked at a few old Savage 99 "s and the one's seen are worn , but still comand about five hundred in Canadain dollars .
Still think there is a niche for the 300 Savage ? Yep . Made mine in a 307 W BB.
 

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Keep in mind when people compare the marlin Expresses to the 307 or 356 that they are only comparing close range ballistics. Both calibers are smoked at longer ranges by the Marlin Express chamberings when using a bullet type allowing multiple cartridges in the tube (means RN or FN for the 307 0r 356). So if antelope is on your agenda . . .

The big thing not realized by most people is that Marlin made numerous changes to make them more accurate out of the box than the 336, 1895, or any other tube fed lever you've seen.

The 308 Marlin Express is not just a hot 30-30, there's much more to it than that.

About the 338's recoil
a number of people are remarking that the recoil is much stiffer than they expected. Of course, that can be partially alleviated through adding a better recoil pad.
The 338MXLR comes equipped with a recoil pad. Those comments are from people who bought the 338MX, which is equipped with a solid rubber pad. Although mild for the size and load, a recoil pad makes it more enjoyable. At any rate, it still has less recoil than a 30-06 shooting 180gr bullets.

I've let a number of people shoot my 338MX which I put a decelerator on. Without exception, everyone shooting it with the recoil pad has commented at how much less recoil it had than they were expecting. So 338's really should have a recoil pad on them.

As far as which is better? Depends on what you want. I've put 24 rds through my 338 in one sitting and felt fine. I'm not a big guy by any means. But if you want a rifle you can sit down and pump 60-100 rds through in one sitting, the 308 would be a better choice (and it has less recoil than a 308 Winchester btw). So if you are into something like silhouette shooting, the 308 is a better choice.
 

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Well, you knew I would say I like the 308ME very much.
With the good Speer 170-grain bullet you dont need the FTX bullet out to 240 yards. Its not a 307 Winchester but it is a good cartridge and the rifle is very accurate.
If you can handload and equal the accuracy of the 22" Marlin 308MX using factory ammunition you have done well
Using factory bullets I think the Marlin 308 ME would pass the 307. but reload both, with the flex tip, things might prove otherwise .
The thing is Winchester 94 's are no longer made , so Marlin and Hornady has taken a front roll seat .
The Savage 99 did well with the 303 Savage, the 250, then the 300 S until the 308 W came . So it now with the ME Marlins .
If your into Marlins, Consider the 338 ME .Then if your looking to compare with the power of the bolt actions , The browning BLR does come with the 325 WM, the 7MM and 300 Mag.
Still don't feel bad sitting with My 336 RC in 35rem. though . Want more powder out comes the bolt action 300 WM.
 

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Using factory bullets I think the Marlin 308 ME would pass the 307. but reload both, with the flex tip, things might prove otherwise.
Ya know, that would be really interesting if Hornady came out with a 307 FTX.

Some people have requested it, but personally have no idea if Hornady feels there's enough of a market to do so. Would be intriguing though.

I know they chose the 338 over a 35 caliber bullet because it allowed for a better BC and sectional density combination than a 35 cal could give them, resulting in better downrange trajectory and energy.
 

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The 308 ME is about 100fps faster than a 300 Savage, 100fps slower than a 308 Win. and ballistically identical to a 307 Winchester. A 307 FTX, with Hornady's blended powder "magic" might approach standard 308 Winchester levels.

It was Federal who chose 338 for their new cartridge and you can't blame them, given that the 358 Winchester has been around for ~55 years. That may have had more to do with it than BC or SD. ;)
 

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Ya know, that would be really interesting if Hornady came out with a 307 FTX.

Some people have requested it, but personally have no idea if Hornady feels there's enough of a market to do so. Would be intriguing though.

I know they chose the 338 over a 35 caliber bullet because it allowed for a better BC and sectional density combination than a 35 cal could give them, resulting in better downrange trajectory and energy.
We know Hornady and Marlin went together on the 308/338 Me , so why would they bring out a 307W ? And doubt if the numbers are there .
Winchester brought out the 307/356/375 chambering ahead of the times, before we had the smurf bullets .
They do show load data for the cartridge as well for the 300 Savage .
So for those few that might own a big bore winnie , we certainly can load up the Hornady offerings .

So if you want a new gun in that power range Marlin has the product .:)
 

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It was Federal who chose 338 for their new cartridge and you can't blame them, given that the 358 Winchester has been around for ~55 years. That may have had more to do with it than BC or SD. ;)
Except for the fact that Dave Emary from Hornady has been quoted as giving those reasons for choosing the 338. And the 338 Federal wasn't out yet when they started development on the 338ME.

The SD they wanted would make a 358 too heavy to push at a decent velocity out of a cartridge that would fit in an action the size of 336. Plain and simple reason for going to the 338 if you want a bullet that will match the trajectory of an '06 out to 400 yds.
 
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