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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
While posting on the "357/44 Bain & Davis" thread it occurred to me that it was not going to be a walk in the park to build a light, compact lever action rifle capable of firing this cardridge without spending a lot of money. Most, if not all of us that were posting, agreed that in order to do it right would require the services of a gunsmith. Not any gunsmith but one that had "done it before". One was found who's material and labor amounted to $500 (US). That's $500 plus the cost of the Marlin 1894 or USRA M92/clones used as the platform.

The goal is to obtain 1500 ft-lbs of muzzle energy from one of these quick pointing marvels of blued steel and warm wood. Sure, that's been available for years chambered in 45 Colt, 44 Remington Magnum, and the King; the 454 Casull.
So, why bother?

First, do we really need to make a .429 or .454 hole in that deer, yote, tin can, paper target, etc? My answer to that is no.
However, I have seen some Russian Bores here in the Louisiana swamps that would make you feel undergunned with such.

Second is trajectory. A projectile with a diameter of something less .429/.454 of similar weight traveling at a higher velocity is going to shoot flatter. Higher ballistic coefficient.

Third is "JUST BECAUSE WE WANT ONE".

Here's my pitch:
Here lately several manufacturers and importers have offered 38-40 chambered lever action rifles. I didn't think much of it at the time until today when a light went on. Why not rechamber using the 45 Colt case necked down to 38-40, which is .400"-.402". Why not indeed. Maybe that's been done before. If so, we're good to go. If not, we are still good to go with a little more cost for a special order reamer and dies. Beartooth Bullets casts a 10MM (.401"-.4025") 200 grain RNFPGC that appears to be perfect for the project.

Is 2000 fps possible while keeping the pressure under that of the 44 Mag which is 43,500 CUP. If so, then the muzzle energy would be around 1775 ft-lbs. Maybe someone with a ballistics program knows.

Flatter trajectory, less recoil, less muzzle blast, more penetration. These are more than enough reasons to justify owning another gun. WHY BOTHER INDEED.


NITRO,
New Orleans, LA

"The only problem with instant gratification is that it takes too long".
 

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Nitro,

Are you looking for a cast bullet or jacketed bullet gun? The reason for asking is that a cast will develop 100 fps or better than the jacketed due to the differences in the coefficient of friction.

There are a few faults, and a few good things to mention about this question. The major fault, assuming a 158 gr. bullet, is that to get the energy level you are wanting the velocity would have to be 2250 fps rather than 2000. This is going to take a stronger gun and a larger cartridge than what you are talking about. (158 gr. @ 2250 fps = 1776 fpe.)

The good thing is that there are two cartridge/rifle combinations which already exist and are readily available which will do what you are looking for. Unless you just want a wildcat, of course.

BTW, the reason of "Just 'cause" is a very valid rational. Anytime we have to justify past this point we get into ground which is usually indefensible from a logical point of view.

The two guns which should satisfy your needs, and for a lot less than any custom work, are:

Marlin 336 in .35 Remington. This will do 2000-2150 fps with a 200 gr. bullet giving 1776-2050 fpe muzzle energy.

Any .357 Magnum carbine/rifle by anyone. I prefer the Marlin guns, but any will do. The .357 Magnum is capable of generating 1800 fps+ in any of these, and with a jacketed bullet. That figure would give in the vicinity of 1151 fpe.

And finally, if bore diameter isn't critical, then the .44 Magnum with a 240 gr. bullet will give 1800 + fpe if you can get it to 1850 fps.

Really last, this year Marlin is selling there 1894 in .41 Magnum again.

In the .35 Rem. usually it isn't too hard to find a used Marlin 336, or even an older Remington Model 8, 81, or 141 for a very reasonable price. The 8/81 are semi-automatic, and the 141 is a slide action.

So far as flat shooting is concerned, the .35 Rem. would be the best bet. But at the ranges most shooting for most game is done, less than 100 yds, that isn't an issue worth spending any money on because even the .357 Magnum will be within aprox. + or - 1" of point of aim clear out to nearly 120 yds.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Howdy CB Hunter,

Thanks for the info. I am considering the Marlin 1894FP 41 Magnum and its micro-groove rifling. I don't think that Marlin will ever make it with ballard type cut rifling since it probably won't be used for Cowboy Action Shooting.

At lease we know that marlin is listening to us. Now if they would only bring back the 375, 356, and 307. If I were to pick just one it would be the 356.
 

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Nitro, CB,
Ayup, my vote goes for the 356Win, flat shooting, good case efficiency. In fact it was the dearth of same that got me into this 'what if'. The B&D would be a great short-action magnum, AND with the accompanying revolver chambered in same.
My conclusions, and very limited experience, led me to pick between the big bore big bullet approach, and the small caliber screamer, no need to stir that debate up, :eek:). I compromised for the middle ground. There's a LOT of different guns from 38Spcl to 35 Whelen that can be loaded using the same moulds.
The reason I have not gone out and bought an older 35Rem is the microgroove. I disagree that ballard style rifling is on it's way out. More and more of the big bore offerings from Marlin are coming out with it.
Yes, they can be made to shoot cast just fine, but from I've gleaned across the various boards is that it can be tricky, and that getting the right load, sizing, velocity, lube can be frustrating. My 94CB in 357 handles anything and everything at a host of velocities with no trouble at all. I'll confess that after the first year of shooting it with cast, I stopped checking it for the dreaded leading. And I think there's no doubt that barrels last a LOT longer. After a couple 1000 rounds thru mine , it looks pristine. But in fairness to the microgroove proponents, I should try it for myself. I will try to find a real rough cheapie in a 336 35Rem.
Horses for courses I guess, I cheerfully admit that now my caliber choice has been made, I'm looking for firearms to keep my moulds occupied.
All the best,
R2
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
CB,

Very good choice. In the mid 80's Marlin made 2,441 of the 336 chambered in 356 Win. I was one of those fortunate enough to get one. You would think that I would get smarter with age, but noooooo. In 1999 I foolishly let it slip through my hands. However, it does have a good home belonging to a very good man in Indiana.

The 336ER in 356 Win has micro-groove rifling but that doesn't keep it from shooting M.O.A. with a Speer 220 gr. flatpoint ahead of 50.0 gr W748. AT least this one did and does. Last year I received an email from that fortunate gentleman and in it he also was getting M.O.A. accuracy from it. I tried to buy it back for $200 more but he wasn't interested. I don't blame him.

I have no experience with the 356 with cast bullets but when I get my hands on another one, and I will, we'll both know how it shoots.
 

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Nitro,
Ah well, as the Amish say, "Old too soon, schmart too late,,".
I nearly got my hands on a used Win BB in 356 a coupla' years ago. In spite of promises to hold it for me for 3 weeks, I suspect that someone else walked in to his shop and waved some $'s under his nose. I have had success buying off the various auction boards, but I make every effort to engage the seller in communications, email and phone,before putting any money down. Something about the attempted transaction did not sit quite right, and I opted for a personal inspection before laying any cash on the table. A day or two before the date of my travel plans through the area, any and all attempts to confirm aforesaid arrangemt went unanswered. I bypassed the town with one last try at the phone, but,,,,,,, a busy schedule etc, and a growing uncertainty about the deal convinced me that the couple hour diversion was not worth the time and effort. So it goes. And while I've never owned a Winchester, the feedback across the boards is that Marlins are a touch more refined with a slicker action. I certainly love mine, and as I grow older I find myself becoming more cautious, and conservative. The 336 action is not as highly rated for pressure as the BB Win's, and Paco Kelly certainly speaks highly of them as a stronger platform. I find my own reloading practices erring on the medium to light side, slowly working up till I find a sweet spot,
rather than wringing the last 100fps out of a powder/bullet combination. Mebbe it's testosterone levels as I start on the next half century, :eek:). Get a bigger caliber if you want more horsepower. There IS a 35 Whelen down the track awaiting me, and even a 35/348 on a 45/70 once I get a bit of practice with this wildcat/customization process.
Lol, trying to keep it on topic here.

CB; I fully agree with your assesment of the 357 and real life hunting. I don't load
many rounds to the max I've set formyself of circa the 1000#ME mark. ****, only had to use two last two years for a total of 18pts, I don't buy much in the way of meat these days. Both at 25-30 yds, one managed to sprint about 40yds before his body realised that the heart was no longer connected. The other shot was a couple inches higher, smashing a rib and then deflecting with a remarkable certainty smack dab through the spinal cord. Interesting that the same hit with a 16ga slug did precisely the same on my first ever deer the year before I acquired the Marlin, though with more lost meat. Both spinal shots dropped in their tracks like the proverbial ton of bricks, most satisfying.
Cheers gents, mebbe not quite on topic here, but I for one get a lot out of others' experience and observations.
R2
 
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