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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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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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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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A quote I recieved from Wild West Guns states $1000 on a stainless 336, you provide the rifle. I would guess the extra cost of a stainless barrel would not be any greater than the rebluing you would need with a blued rifle. This is for the 7mm STE chambering, which was the original bone of contention in the cost area. I don't claim this as proof that ALL 7mm STE conversions will cost $1000, this one would be $1000+rifle+dies. This is not from a friend of a friend, or a relative, or the brother in law price. This is what you could expect to pay to have a 7mmSTE built by a quality gunsmith who is reputed to do good work.

Enforcer,
you better go arrest them. I've got a copy of the e-mail I sent and the one I received back if you need to get some evidence for the warrant.:)
 
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