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Back years ago, I was a newly wed, had a brand new son, I watched my company go bankrupt, and on top of this I was hankering for a new shooter to play with. I went back to college for some more training, sold my 03a1 Springfield for some fast cash, and I bought a used .375 Marlin. This was in 1992, 11 years ago at a gun show and the new Marlin .375 came with a partial box of cartridges, 8 total loaded, and some emptys. I was able to buy for $15 a used set of RCBS dies, and I bought a Lyman mold, not the out-of-print 375296 that I wanted, but the smaller diameter mold intended for the .375 H&H. I forget the number, but it was a standard offering. I had a hard time finding anything other than factory Winchester loaded ammo, and even that was in short supply and very expensive at over $20 a box. A friend of mine gave me some 30-30 cases blown out to fit his custom chamered and rerifled 788 Remington. I still had to acquire the proper lubrisizer die and top punch and gas checks. These I ordered from Midway Arms. First time out, I loaded the cases with 2400 load data from the Lyman cast bullet book,and shot the bullets as cast, without the gas checks, and lubed with NRA Alox lube cookie cutter style. The results were dismal, every shot keyholed, but they went into a 6" group on paper at 100 yards. I had no idea of the velocity. The friend who gave me the fire formed cases said to use "real power", so I used some Reloader 7 that always was my favorite for the 30-30. By this time I had slugged the barrel, found it measured .377, which I felt then was somewhat oversized, as I expected it to measure .375 or .376 maximum. I ordered a .378 sizing die, and lapped out the mold so it would drop a .379 bullet and I headed for the range. It actually worked, I used a load that was right out of the Lyman book. The brass situation was something I had to work on, so I bought some .38-55 brass, a hundred cases and I planned to cut them down to .375wcf length and load with 38-55 data...until my friend Jimmie came on the scene..."Why not just check the chamber and see how long it is?" He had the idea (because the bore diameter was more 38-55 than his custom 788 in .375) that the chamber might be a 38-55 instead. I got out the materials to do a chamber cast and found out that it was, in fact, a 38-55 chamber. I got on the phone, called Marlin up, and talked with one of their engineers. I told him that the chamber length was a 38-55 and asked in fact, if they cut these 375 Marlins as 38-55's to keep potential problems down to nothing if someone shoved in a 38-55 cartridge. The engineer replied, "we haven't chambered a 38-55 in 63 years"..."This is the work of a kitchen-table gunsmith"...My next question was, "can you explain why the barrel is .002" oversize then?" The phone went dead... disconnected.......One more thing...Because of the tumbling, I fire lapped the Micro grooved rifle as Veral Smith of LBT recommended. I didn't think it could hurt. He said that cast bullets shot well in Marlins if they were fire lapped.

Since then I've read on this forum that Marlins are cut long in the chamber. My bullet mold that has been lapped out now gets minimally sized, I use Veral Smith's blue lube, and I use the maximum charge of Reloader 7 that is right out of the Lyman cast bullet handbook. The bullet, gas checked, and lubed weighs 270.3 grains, cast of my wheelweight and 50/50 barsolder approximation of Lyman #2 alloy. It goes into a 1.5" hole at 100 yards. I shot a 8 point buck with it on my family's farm on Beaver Island Michigan early on opening day in 1998 at 111 yards. I never recovered the bullet, the animal dropped in it's tracks.

I never used a different load in my Marlin .375 than the ones out of the Lyman cast bullet handbook using Reloader 7. I felt I had a great shooter so why try all of the possibilities?... I still have the 8 factory loads in the box, and since then have found some new win 375 brass. I never fired a factory cartridge, or anything other than a cast lead bullet handload in it.

This is an excellent cast bullet rifle, and I feel it will take all the deer I will ever want to shoot. The only problem is the lack of factory ammunition in this caliber and it's expense. But a handloader can make his own even if it means reforming 30-30 brass and using a cast bullet. History again repeats itself, the old 38-55 is now the 375 wcf.
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