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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking about buying a medium bore rifle, and I really like leverguns. I'm planning a trip to Alaska in 2014 (or so), and I'd like to hunt carribou + brown bear with it when I go.

I started thinking that the .338 Marlin Express would be a just about perfect round (and rifle) for this trip. I'm curious how this round has been recieved by other buyers. More than that, though, I'm interested to see if that caliber is going to pick up and continue to do well.

I looked on common gun dealer websites, and have not found much in current inventory.

Any feedback here?

shane
 

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you could probably kill a brown bear just fine with a .338 ME. If you want it you should get it, if everyone waits for a particular cartridge to get popular before they buy it, it probably wont ever pick up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I hear you, but since I posted that, I've done more thinking about it.... and I see each of these as limiting factors:

Only 1 gun is made (presently) to shoot it- Marlin 338- presently hard to find
Only 1 mfr makes brass- hornady- presently out of stock on Midway
Only 1 projectile designed for it- 200 gr hornady flext tip - presently in stock
Only 1 manufacturer makes loaded ammo for it- Hornady- presently out of stock

All of that makes this, to me a quite desirable, but unstable market offering...

At least it should be easy to decide on reloads, since there are virtually no alternative options.

shane
 

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I hear you, but since I posted that, I've done more thinking about it.... and I see each of these as limiting factors:

Only 1 gun is made (presently) to shoot it- Marlin 338- presently hard to find
Only 1 mfr makes brass- hornady- presently out of stock on Midway
Only 1 projectile designed for it- 200 gr hornady flext tip - presently in stock
Only 1 manufacturer makes loaded ammo for it- Hornady- presently out of stock

All of that makes this, to me a quite desirable, but unstable market offering...

At least it should be easy to decide on reloads, since there are virtually no alternative options.

shane
Might wanna go with the .338 federal
 

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338 Marlin Express

Going to Alaska for Brownies and Caribou and you aren't considering the .338 Win Mag? Preposterous!!!:confused:

Just kidding, Shane. I appreciate your desire for a lever gun, but I don't think I'd dive into a new cartridge for this endeavor. If you like the .338, you might see about a lever gun in .338-06 or consider the .35 Whelen. Then there are always the old cartridges such as .45-70 or .405 Winchester - limited range but plenty of killing power within their range. I'd probably opt for a .338-06 as the lever gun should be strong enough for it. Give strong consideration to the ammo you can buy up in Alaska. If your home-bought stuff fails to make the trip, what do you do next? I opted for the .338 Win Mag in Alaska as it was the Alaskan cartridge. I wanted a bolt action so this fit my plans perfectly. Your lever gun will serve you well within its range for the cartridge selected.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
CCAguns,

well, now you got me interested..... what lever gun chambers the .338-06? are we talking BLR? I dont remember ever seeing a lever 338-06, or for that matter, any 338-06....

Still, I'm open to alternatives. I do think I want my "alaska" gun to be all-weather (stainless), and I've never seen a stainless BLR.

Thanks for the feedback, guys!

shane
 

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There's lots of stainless BLR's but I've never seen one in .338-06. I do know you CAN get it in .358 Win. though, a take down model is even available. That would be my choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
ooohhh.. that does sound like the best of both worlds.

stainless, take down, BLR in a short action, necked up 308, medium bore.

as a guy who loves his 7mm-08, I'm starting to drool just a little bit. =)

Gunbroker here I come......
 

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+1 for BLR in .358 Win

They also make it in .325 WSM
+1 for both of these cartridges in the BLR.

The 325WSM is a bit stout in this platform but a 200gn Accubond at 2750fps can handle anything you may encounter.

The 358Win in a BLR is a great combo which is suitable for eastern woods hunting out to 275 yds in the west. A 225gn Partition at 2450fps is bad mojo indeed.
 

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I'd agree that the BLR platform would be a better place to find a medium bore lever rifle. The .338ME is a fine round, but from what I see online at sites that sell ammunition and also what I read on the Marlin Owners Forum, I wouldn't be surprised to see Marlin (Hornady as well) drop the rifle chambering and ammunition. I own a .308ME and wonder if it's about to fall by the wayside as well. I also own a couple of BLRs, among them both a .358 and .325WSM. Both are fine rifles. If I simply wanted a good hunting rifle that could/would offer decent big bear protection, then the .358 would be fine. If I wanted to actually hunt big bears with a lever rifle then the BLR in .325 or .450 (also own one of them and that's what I took to Alaska) OR a Marlin 45-70 or .450. The .325WSM in the less than 7 lb BLR platform does have pretty stout recoil, as does the 7 lb .450. Of course, they are pretty much the most powerful production lever rifles made too.:D

Wonder what's going to happen with the .450 & .444 :confused::confused:
 

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The BLR would be a better choice than the Marlin in my opinion. I own one and wouldnt hesitate to buy another 1.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
choices, choices.... one of my coworkers mentioned the 45-70 as a valid option. that got me to thinking.... that might be a better solution (ie more whompum). That said, I doubt I'd really enjoy full house 45-70 loads, either.

I guess its a good thing this trip is still ~3.5 years away.... ;)
 

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choices, choices.... one of my coworkers mentioned the 45-70 as a valid option. that got me to thinking.... that might be a better solution (ie more whompum). That said, I doubt I'd really enjoy full house 45-70 loads, either.

I guess its a good thing this trip is still ~3.5 years away.... ;)
Well, since you have so much time to plan...and save..;)..lol. I would most certainly suggest a BLR in .450 over a Marlin in 45-70. I own both, but the ease of loading unloading and lack of consistent problems some Marlins have, along with the much stronger action makes the BLR the way to go IMO. Of course, the .325 does have some extended range performance if you like that too:D:D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
indeed. many options out there. I'll keep kicking this around. it sure seems like there are ALOT of medium bore chamberings, considering how many of the guns are out there. maybe thats just an observation from a TX perspective. No one needs a 338 WM to hunt TX whitetails, so I dont see alot of those sorts of calibers around here.

Maybe in Wyoming, everybody totes something >30 cal.

Here where I'm at, I shoot my 7mm-08 at all game, and know I have enough gun.
 

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Marlin presently has a few problems with the ME levers if you read the Marlin Owners forum . How ever -" if" you continue to read Marlin owners, Marlin does come and repair any issue any one ever had , to the satifaction of the gunowner period . So give credit to that .
The 358 is a good round as it's sister the 338 Federal , but wonder if it is enought for the big bears .
I would contact an outfitter there and ask what would be prefered in a cartridge for the hunt , instead . Never hurt to ask before -than deal with the issue later !
 
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