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I have been thinking recently of acquiring another levergun more for the range than for hunting. I am interested in the Marlin 336 Cowboy in 38-55. I sure like the looks of the Cowboy and I am looking for something that I can afford to shoot all day both economically and physically.

I have read in various places about varying bore diameters with the 38-55. Are there any Marlin 336 Cowboy owners out there? Have you slugged the barrel and if so what diameters were they?
 

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This topic has been discussed on the marlin bb for some time. I appears that the bores are .377-.378 with an undersized throat. I know the new winchester factory ammo is using a .375 bullet. I have never heard of any bragging about the accuracy of a new marlin unless they were shooting cast bullets sized at .378 or so. I am just telling you what others have posted, I have no first hand knowledge of the marlin cowboy, yet.
 

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WELL>>>if bragging is what you want to hear, I'll be happy to indulge you!!!
I own 2 Marlin 336 Cowboys in 38-55. Both slugged out,one at 379.3 the other at 379.0. I shoot both with superb accuracy. BUT it took some time to find a bullet that they will shoot well. Actually it took longer till somene made a jacketed bullet @.377 Barnes does now.377.
I have used several different weights and makes of casts. Bear Tooth included as well as Meister,Cast Performance, Oregon etc. Hands down the 377 Barnes jacketed shoots best. And yes I tried .379 casts .378 casts,.377 casts.Had too many problems with poor accuracy/weak gas checks/ in a hunting weight powder charge. My accurate load for both hunting deer/blk bear and I would pump one into an elk or moose as well under 150 yds is as follows: Barnes .377 250 gr over 32.5 gr of H322 Starline brass with a good but not real heavy roll crimp.
As you must have heard Marlin's 336 is a handloaders gun. Yes factory loads will shoot well enough to hunt with in a brush gun like this. But for me as a handloader I wanted more. Though if I was handed a 336 38-55 and a box of Winchester factories and told this was my outfit to hunt with for the week I wouldn't be unstaisfied...not by a long shot!
With this load I will shoot from a bench and with a 2.5 power scope ( old eyes) @ 100 yds 5 shots into ONE RAGGED HOLE at 1" above dead center ALL DAY.
OH YES!!!! I also have one of these 38-55s for sale in mint condition as I have decided I want to put the money towards a 336D 35 that the owner must sell. I'll let it go under 500, [email protected]
 

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Hey guys,
I hate to ask stupid questions, but I'm really good at it, so here's another: What was the first lever action rifle chambered for the 38-55? Just curious. I knew an older gentleman when I was much younger that shot an old beat up Winchester in the chambering and he used blackpowder for his loads. It was his bear and moose rifle. I've grown much older since that old fellow passed on, and now I wish I would have paid more attention to him and that old rifle. He was a hunter of the highest caliber and a nice guy spending his time talking to a young kid about guns. I can't remember exactly what model it was, but figure it had been around since about the beginning of time from the looks of it. I've often thought I might build one of the early lever actions in that chambering just as a tribute to him (and of course to hunt with).
 

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Hi, alyeska
It's a Ballard cartridge, introduced in 1884, for single-shot target rifles so Marlin would have first dibs on it. Likely the Marlin 1893 was the first lever action, beating the Winchester 1894 by a year or 2.

Bye
Jack
 

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Thanks Jack. So Winchester never chambered the 86 in it?
 

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Hi, alyeska:
I'm no Winchester historian, and if I say Winchester NEVER chambered an 1886 in .30-30, somebody will jump in with one and a factory letter to boot. Dave Scoville says the 1886 was chambered in .45-70, .45-90 and .40-82 in 1886. Next year they added the .40-65, .38-56 (fifty-SIX) and .50-110. The .40-70 and .38-70 joined the list in 1894 and the .50-100-450 the next year. The last was the .33 WCF in 1903.

The Winchester 1894 was first chambered in .32-40 and .38-55, both Ballards. The .30-30 and .25-35 came the next year and the .32 Special came in 1905.

The 1886 is a big rifle (a friend has one in .40-65) and the .30-30 doesn't need the space. Besides, the 94 was designed for that new-flanged smokeless powder and a smaller, high strength action was desirable. Of course there's those who want a 94 chambered in .348 Winchester. Too long, too fat.

I suspect John Kort could add a couple of pages here. (Hint, hint.)


Bye
Jack
 

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Alyeska: Just home from a trip up to your area. Actually stopped in Girdwood on way down Pennisula to fish and hunt. We were just north of Soldotna. Flew across inlet and fished for silvers and chums with some Dollies thrown in , till our arms ached!. Also saw several brown bears over by Polly Creek and Silver Salmon creek. On the Kustatan (?sp.) I had to hit a bear known as BROWNIE with pepper spray at 8 short steps...he wanted my camo pack cause I had lunch in it, as well as the video camera. I had pulled the camera out to film him on the opposite shore of the river. He waded in and swam over. I thought to bluff us out of our fish that were lying on the sandbar. He kept coming as we retreated to the boat. He smacked my bag around abit then came over towards us. I sprayed him. He bawled them ran up the sandbar and was gone....great trip. LF
 

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Country Boy

I have been shooting a Marlin Cowboy in 38-55 for quite some time now.I have nothing but praise for the accuracy and looks of the rifle.A lady at Marlin told me the bore was .378,and my cast bullets are .379 and work very well.181/2grs. of5744is my extended shooting range load with a cast 245RNFP.My Hunting load is the same bullet over 33grs. of H4895.This caliber is still quite popular in Canada I have read.Like the .32-40, the 38-55 was a Marlin-Ballard cartridge before being adopted by Win.I shoot a couple of 220 Hornadys before cleaning.I am not usually this long winded,but I really like the gun and caliber,you ought to give it a try. Tap
 

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Thanks, Garth. I'll make a note of that.

Winchester not only slapped thier on name on the .32.-40 Ballard and .38-55 Ballard, but they renamed the .40-60 Marlin to .40-65 Winchester too. The .40-60 Winchester is a different cartridge, with a shorter case and wider rim.

Bye
Jack
 

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Leadflinger,

I hope you had some extra underwear on hand! Glad to hear that the bear was repelled with no casualties. Wow... exciting day.
 

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I have had my 38-55CB for a year and a half and I love this rifle even though it has been a long search to find an accurate load.The 2 loads I have found that really work in my rifle are real close to what Lead flinger is shooting and believe me the .377 barnes 255 gr bullet will shoot a tight group with the right load behind it.I use the Barnes O with H322 at 33 grains and Rem 9 1/2 primers to get a 1 1/4 in group at 100 yards and 1777 fps and H4198 at 28 grains with a rem 9 1/2 primer for 3/4 in groups at 100 yards with 1780 fps .I took 4 deer last season with the H322 load from 40 to 90 yards and they never knew what hit em, 1 actually made it 25 yards from the spot I shot him.Both of these loads are listed as max so go slow on these!! and work up.
 

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leadflinger,
Sorry to hear about your misadventure on the Kustatan. Great fishing creek, I flew over there myself about a month ago for silvers. Lots of bears over there. Glad to hear there was no harm done. That's what makes great stories. Did you use any flies on the Kustatan? Silvers on a fly rod is an experience that just can't be duplicated especially if the silvers are dime bright. I suspect they are beginning to blush a bit by now though. I hope Girdwood left a good impression with you.

The Kustatan gets pretty high traffic during the height of the silver run and bears have come to associate people with the lunches they have in their packs. Best to leave foodstuffs sealed in plastic bags in the airplanes. Most of the time it's the teenage bears (just like humans) that get themselves into trouble, but every so often, a big one just can't resist the urge. Brownies are coastal grizzlies. Similar genetically to the interior grizzlies, but because of their high protein diets of salmon throughout the summer, typically get much larger than the interior bears, so they are classed differently.

Hope you had a great time.
 

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Alyeska: the Kustatan was running pretty dirty but I did get some silvers on a pink bunny fly. BUT at Polly Creek...WOW!!a pink bunny fly lasted but 2 or 3 fish then it was nothing more then fuzz. And they were bright chromers. I honestly guess i hooked about 45 silvers and 20 chums on flys there at Polly and landed about half.
Our plane landed on the beach among nothing but bear tracks. I laid my size 12 boot along side one set and they weren't more then 1 inch smaller then my boot.
BTW I got all that bear footage from the kustatan on video...it is what dreams are made of. Looking forward to next August already. LF
 

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The mountain just to the south of the Kustatan is Mt. Redoubt, an active volcano. Actually all of those are active volcanoes on that side of Cook Inlet. Anyway, Redoubt blew it's top back in '92 I think. Covered Anchorage in ash and completely shut the city down. Ash fell as far east as Cordova.
 

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There is a Gentleman up in Oregon who makes a .380 Jacketed bullet that shoots mighty fine out of those 38-55
Cowboys. If you intrested I will post a address when I get home today....................................................Marko
 

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Starrbow: I believe I shot some of his @.379 ..and yes they did shoot well. But he make only limited amounts.LF
 
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