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I am hoping my next lever gun will be one these two? What are your recommendations? Values? Models available? Any and all thoughts welcomed.
 

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Sunday,
You're looking at two different power levels here, and two different levels of cost. The 7-30 Waters can be found in a Model 94AE, but the 7mmSTE is going to require you to find a Marlin or Winchester chambered for the .307 or .356 and have the rifle rebarelled. You probably already knew that. The downside to both rounds is the limited availability of suitable bullets. I just took a quick look at Hornady, Speer, and Nosler's websites and didn't see any of the bullets that used to be listed for these cartridges. From what I can see, you'd be limited to cast, or custom swaged, bullets at this time. You could just put one in the barrel and one in the magazine, but that would be a bit of a limiting factor if you like more than two quick shots available. At lockstock.com, they still have the Nosler 120gr FP and the Hornady 130gr FP, the Hornady is listed as "limited availablity". I read that as "discontinued" since it is not on their website. You'd be taking a little bit of a gamble having one, at the most, suitable bullets available. It looks like the ballistics for the 7mm STE would be 2900fps with the 120gr and 2700fps with the 139gr from a 22" barrel. The 7-30 will do about 2700 with the 120 and 2400 with the 140 from a 24" barrel, which is what the factory rifles had. I would want the 140gr bullet in either if larger than medium sized whitetails where the quarry. There is a 7-30 Waters for sale, click HERE to have a look at it. There is some discussion on the Marlin Talk forum about gunsmiths who will build the 7mm STE for you. Here is a link that will provide you with a starting point.
 

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kciH - Hmm, perhaps I need to be less traditional and consider a 7mm-08 in a BLR? I have quite a few lever guns but I have none in the .25 to .28 caliber range. I have looked at a Winchester 88 in .284 but it had the stock cut down and I passed on a Savage 250-3000. I have heard good things about the 7-30 Waters but I didn't realize that bullet availability was a problem.
 

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Sunday,
It appears that the Nosler 120gr FN is still available, I was mistaken on that matter. I was looking in the wrong place for it. The Hornady 139gr FP has been discontinued, but a good supply could still be attained as they are still in the pipeline.

I think the 7-30 Waters would be the most practical way to go unless you want to lay out $1000+ for the rifle and dies. The 7mm STE is not just a 7-08 made from the .307 Winchester casing, it's has reduced body taper and a sharper shoulder angle.

If you could get a M88 in .284, you'd be way ahead of the game in this area, but the nicer ones are being eaten up by collectors to a greater degree. There is one on GunsAmerica that the seller claims is 99% for the low, low price of $1195. I shoot a .284 in a XP-100 pistol. It will attain the same performance as the 7mmSTE with a 22" barrel in the 15" barrel of my pistol. The .284 is a great cartridge that was killed by ignorant gun scribes.

As far as the BLR goes, I've never owned one, they are very nice rifles. I've shot one in .308 on a few occasions and it proved to be accurate enough to hunt out to 300yds, which is pretty much the practical limit for the better shooters. If I where to buy one it would be a .358 Winchester though.

If you like traditional levers, I'd get the 7-30 and lay in a supply of bullets. There is a 7-30 Waters improved, but I don't know how well it would feed or what the gain in performance is. I shoot a 6.5 Bullberry (6.5-30) in a Contender Carbine and the performance is quite good, but I'm not limited to the FN bullets. I would think that for target shooting and varmint hunting, if you do that, that you could just use the pointed bullets and save the others for hunting. If you're a bullet caster, you could probably come up with some very good bullets that would work just fine through the rifle. The velocities involved with a 140gr bullet are well within the realm of a good gas checked bullet. I have a SAECO #281 2 cavity that I don't have a gun for anymore, it throws a 145gr FNGC that appears to be made for this cartridge.
 

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7x30 Waters ,7MM STE

First Sunday Creek,I have not found the availablity of bullets a problem.i own both the Marlin M336A in 7MM STE(24in rebarreled from 30/30) and a Win M94XTR-AE in 7x30 Waters with 24in barrel.First remember you can use any rounded .284 caliber bullet.It doesn't have to be for the 7MM STE or 7x30 Waters and it doesn't have to be flat.

Second the ballistics of the 7x30 Waters at 2700fps for 120gr and 2400fps for 140gr.Are off by a bit.As I have handloaded for both for many years.

7x30 Waters (24in barrel)
120gr Nosler with 42.0grs of H414 will get you 2760fps-2030fps
140gr Hornady with 34.0grs of H-335 will get you 2600fps-2102fps
The 7MM STE quoted ballistics are pretty close.

For the record most of the 7x30 Waters are 20in from factory,not 24in.I could of had 20 of the 20in 7x30 and did have 2 before i sold them when i finally found a 24in in 7x30.

As far as the 250 Savage,its a fine round.I have one in a M99EG with 24in barrel.It will send a 120gr bullet at almost 2700fps.But that is the largest bullet it has and really shines with the 87gr and 100gr.So its a little light for the big boys,just like the 243Win.

As far as the 284Win.Thats a whole different world.It is the king of the 7MMs (except the magnums).The 7MM/08,260Rem,7MM Mauser,270Win,264Win Mag can't beat it,and it is dead even with the 280Rem and 7x64 Brenneke,but in a lever action.

284 Winchester(24in barrel)
139gr Hornady 3125fps-3013fpe,Conley
160gr Sierra 2885fps-2955fpe,Hodgdon
175gr Speer 2700fps-2832fpe,Conley

In my Win M88 and Savage M99DL and M99C all with 22in barrels.I'm usally just 40fps short.In my Browning BLR-81 I lose almost a 100fps due to stubby 20in barrel.Still beats the rest.

I also have a 270 Ackley Improved Savage,of course in Savage M99.It will send a 130gr at almost 2800fps and a 150gr at almost 2600fps.

Just some thoughts:D

Must edit.Sunday Creek no way in this world should the whole set-up for the 7MM STE cost you anywhere near a $1000.00.It cost me $250.00 for the 30/30 and $175.00 to covert to 7MM STE.You do the math.If that was even close.I would sell you my 24in 7MM STE(like new),plus everything you need for handloading and shooting the 7MM STE ie.dies,powders,cases,books,bullets for $800.00 right now.You see how crazy that sounds.The whole set-up is probably worth $500.00.
 

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Enforcer,
of the smiths that I've seen advertising rebarreling of 94 Big Bore's or 336's for this cartridge, $175 wouldn't get the barrel threaded and chambered. That doesn't include the barrel, blueing, and sight cuts. Since I can find no one who lists the 7mm STE or 7mm SGLC on ANY of their die charts, I'd guess you're looking at about a $100 for a set of dies. The 7-08 Imp 40 degree is a class D from Redding. It may have cost you $175 when you had it done, but I have a pretty good idea it would cost you pretty darn close to $1000 to do it TODAY with a new or near new rifle included in that cost. What it's worth is of no consequence, it's what it would cost you to have what you want. If you are offering your 7mm STE rifle and dies for $500, I'm sure SundayCreek, or myself for that matter, might very well be interested.
 

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7MM STE

Yes it was about 5yrs ago i had it done.But if you already have the rifle as i did and as many do.Its not very costly as even today the Marlin or Win M94 rifles are dirt cheap.

On Marlin Talk their are a ton of guys having 30/30s converted to 307Win and 35Rems converted to 356Win for a $150.00 all day long.Go look.

Guys have been getting barrels for 7x30 Waters and 7MM STE for $60.00 -$75.00,and having barrel threaded,chambered and checked for headspace for $40.00.Bluing and sites your opition,still very cheap.Someone said they saw a Win M88 in 284win for $1200.00,thats cheap compared to some I've seen.

Come on,you know I said $800.00.If it would cost $1000.00+ as you said thats a deal.I said it was worth around $500.00,not i would sell it for $500.00.
 

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Enforcer,
All I know is, my 'smith is very reasonable compared to everyone I've ever checked, and he would still get over $500 to rebarrel a 336 to a wildcat round. Unless you are using a barrel made specifically for the 336, there is some machining involved at the breech in addition to all the things kciH mentioned. I don't see 7-30 barrels listed for the 336A at Brownell's or Numrich's.Where are these guys getting $60-$75 barrels? I'd like to see a name, phone number and catalog number. A plain jane 30-30 barrel for the '94 costs $85.20, plus postage.

RCBS custom dies cost well over $100.

The other $150 conversions you mention (30-30 to 307, etc.) are simple rechambers, not rebarrel jobs. (For comparison, my gunsmith would do this for $75).

I think your estimate of the cost of this project is unrealistically low.

IDShooter
 

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7x30Waters- 7MM STE

IDshooter,well first let me say I don't know what it costs to do do a rebarrel to wildcat caliber. for anybody else.All i know is what i paid,and that it should be no where near a $1000.00.I have a Marlin M336A in 7MM STE,a Savage M99R in 416-284 McPherson,and a Savage M99EG in 270 Ackley Improved Savage.I'm having a 510KE done in a Win M1886 right now.I have never paid $500.00 to do any of them.

As far as dies for the 7MM STE over $100.00 is accurate.

As far as phone numbers for people that do the conversion for what i said.There are many,you'll have to look them up yourself.But the one I quoted was Master Sergeant from Marlin Talk(search 7x30 Waters).He stated he got barrel from Gun Parts Catalog for $60.00,and gunsmith charged him $40.00 to screw barrel,chamber and check headspace.His words not mine.

As far as mine it was done 5yrs ago.I had the gun,he had the barrel.He charged me $75.00 for barrel,and $100.00 for everything else needed to be done to shoot the 7MM STE out of what was once a 30/30,minus sights and reblue.Thats it.He was a friend of are families.He has now passed away.But he did not do two of them and prices were fairly close.Shop around.

As far as the $1000.00 cost.I can't believe anyone would put that kind of money into a $250.00 30/30.Thats what i started with anyway.It doesn't make sence to me as you can never recoup that much money out of it.Like i said i have one like new with 24in barrel and everything you need to handload and shoot for $800.00 plus $50.00 shipping for all the other stuff that comes with it.And I'll still make good money off the deal. Pictures if interested.Good Day!!!
 

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Not to add fuel to the fire here; but as far as the $60.00 to $70.00 barrels go, I ordered a Winchester factory 7-30 Waters 20 inch barrel (made for a M-94AE) last summer from Numerich's Gun Parts Corp. Cost was $66.00 shipped to me. Right now I am just waiting for the right deal on a '94AE .30-30 to have the 7-30 Waters barrel installed on.

I don't know what the final bill will be for switching the barrels will be so I can't comment on that cost.
 

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7x30

IDshooter,just for the record.A while back there was a couple posts on close out of 7x30 barrels for $50.00,with light surface rust on Marlin Talk M336 Site.The guy said there was about a hundred of them and he got to choose his.My last post was aimed at the 7MM STE not the 7x30.I would never do a rebarrel for a 7x30,when the Win m94s are going for $400.00-$500.00.I sold two last year on Guns America with 20in barrels and scopes for $450.00 each with a full box of factory ammo.I bought a 24in in 7x30 Waters for $475.00 with 2 boxes of factory ammo, a scope,and a sling .Not bad?
 

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Dutch4122 said:
Not to add fuel to the fire here; but as far as the $60.00 to $70.00 barrels go, I ordered a Winchester factory 7-30 Waters 20 inch barrel (made for a M-94AE) last summer from Numerich's Gun Parts Corp. Cost was $66.00 shipped to me. Right now I am just waiting for the right deal on a '94AE .30-30 to have the 7-30 Waters barrel installed on.

I don't know what the final bill will be for switching the barrels will be so I can't comment on that cost.
Thank God,someone that knows whats going on.Enforcer
 

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Enforcer,
Didn't mean to offend, I just think it would be unrealistic to expect someone right now, today, to build a 336 in 7mm STE that inexpensively. I see Numrich has a 20" barrel for the Model 94 AE in 7-30 for 66.90, that is probably what Dutch got. I did the search before for a 336 and couldn't find anything. So I suppose one could take a 94, add the 7-30 barrel then rechamber to 7mm STE relatively inexpensively. It would be a 20" barrel, though.

Like I said, I didn't mean to offend you, but it seems Sunday Creek is interested in buying/building one of these rifles now, and it would be best to look at realistic options. The 94 may be built relatively inexpensively, the 336, probably not. And probably neither (cheaply) with a 24" barrel.

I agree that I would not pay over $1000 for such a rifle. I wouldn't even pay $500, personally. I think 7mm in a levergun is a dying proposition and components are only going to get harder and harder to get. My $.02.

ID
 

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For an example, I checked Montana Rifleman gunsmithing service, which has a reputation for being middle of the road, price wise. There cheapest chrome moly blank is $124, Rebarreling a Marlin lever action is $226, rebluing Marlin lever action is $226. Total $576. Plus the cost of the rifle - they go for $200-$300 in this area. Minimum $776 for the rifle, plus $100+ for dies. That's a realistic price for what the average Joe will pay to have this done.
 

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This conversation has gotten ridiculous. My sister-in-law will cut my hair for two bucks; that doesn't mean two bucks is the going price for haircuts. I think you understand full well the concept I've been trying to put forth and you are simply being obtuse.
I'm sure Sunday Creek has all the info he needs by now, so I'm bowing out of this thread. Bye-Bye! ID
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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A fascinating case of people talking right past each other.

Yes if you luck into a cheap barrel of the correct length, contour, bore size/chambering, finish, already threaded, the chamber isn't too deep, and the gunsmith already has a reamer + headspace gages, and you like the existing sights, then you're out of the woods, with a low expense. Combine that with a used gun and it's doable. Cheap barrels = cheap guns, I think we can all agree on that. Just remember that there may have been a reason the barrel was taken off another gun in the first place, although there are spares available from factories from time to time.

I can assure you, if a machinist has to make one from a barrel blank, it will cost several hundred dollars just for the machine work and no, that's not a rip off. Buy a lathe for several thousand dollars, plus a bunch of tooling and measuring devices, plus reamers, never mind the expense of education on how to do such things.... and by the way, Marlin receiver threads are square, which are not easy to cut. Then add in the hours spent machining.

Oh and if your cheap barrel on your cheap gun shoots like crap, then all the money is wasted, and start over. Yes sometimes they shoot like gangbusters. And sometimes not. Just a gamble.

Well, I'm done.
 

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Sunday, just wanted to add that you can get the 130 gr speer fp for the 7-30 at midsouth very reasonable. The noslers are also inexpensive there and I have been having great luck with bullshop 145grgc cast. The hornady is gone except for the suppliers that still have some.
 

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John - I like the sound of the Model 88 in .284. Was the price reasonable to you, and if so, would the addition of a Decelerator or the like bring it back to a suitable LOP? I am not personally interested in this gun, but thought that this might be a cure. Like the man said, it's a super round, and a I just love those 88's. Happy Hunting
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Another source of bullets for enterprising reloaders is a modification of the Ballistic Tip. Use a belt sander to knock the end of the bullet flat. You can make a pretty good flat without getting all the way back to the lead.

Sounds unbelievably crude, but a friend and I tried it with some 150gr. BTs for his .30-30. Only tried 3 rounds, but they grouped about as well as anything else did (and that gun would shoot around an inch with factory ammo, amazing).

I can't vouch for their terminal performance, but BTs are pretty soft and seem to work more reliably at lower velocities anyway.

Downside - the bullet won't have a cannelure. I suppose as long as we're modifying the bullet any way, might as well roll a cannelure with a Cor-bin tool, or just mash one in the bullet with the Lee Factory crimp die, if you can find one for that caliber.

The supply of round-nosed and flat-nosed 7mm bullets for the 7-30 is pretty thin, compared to pretty much anything else in the world.
 
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