308 Marlin Express any info about reloading


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avtx
September 9, 2010, 12:33 AM
i just bought a 308MX not knowing that there isn't alot of ammo for it.
i have a lee press but it seems lee does not make dies for this round. besides buying a new press what are my options? will any die work in a lee press or is it made for their dies only?

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Jim Watson
September 9, 2010, 12:45 AM
Your Lee press will take other brands of die.
The standard thread is 7/8"x14tpi and was standardized by the old Pacific company decades ago. (Old Lymans and the bottom of the line Dillon notwithstanding.)

ScratchnDent
September 9, 2010, 01:35 AM
These dies will work fine in your press.
http://www.hornady.com/store/308-Marlin-Express-2-Die-Set/

And here is some loading data for the cartridge.
http://www.hornady.com/assets/files/ftx_load_data/338-marlin-express.pdf

avtx
September 9, 2010, 07:55 AM
i reload my 44 mag and it takes 4 dies, is two dies all i need for this caliber?

quietman
September 9, 2010, 10:56 AM
Yes you only need 2 dies, unless you choose to order a custom Lee factory crimp die.

44 mag is a straight walled cartridge, hence the need for the 4 dies as Lee crimps with a separate die. Others do pistol calibers with 3.

Redding and RCBS also make dies for this cartridge.

Hodgdon will be releasing the powder used in LeverEvolution ammo in 2011. If you uses another current powder from Hodgdon or Accurate, get their load data. Their data uses more powder than hornady's listed loads, so you'll get closer to LE ammo velocities until the Lever powder is released.

Remington and Hornady both make ammo for this rifle. But the Remington is round nose, so bleeds velocity fairly quickly.

Asherdan
September 9, 2010, 01:19 PM
Reloading data from the horses mouth. (http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,64951.0.html)

Good cartridge, have (safe) fun with it.

wombat13
September 9, 2010, 03:53 PM
Let me say up front I'm not trying to knock this round. I'm trying to understand the reason for it. If customers want the ballistics of .308 win in a lever gun, why not offer a lever gun in .308 win? Browning offers their BLR in .308 win. Is Marlin's design incompatible with common rifle cartridges like .308 win?

ScratchnDent
September 9, 2010, 04:39 PM
Is Marlin's design incompatible with common rifle cartridges like .308 win?

I believe the receiver/action of the Marlin lever guns are too short to handle a .308 Win.

quietman
September 10, 2010, 11:05 AM
Scratchndent is correct.

The idea was to come up with a new chambering that would fit the 336 / 1895 action and push a cartridge within the pressure limits of the action. Considering this, they came up with a wizbang cartridge that in the 308 even has room to play with.

Many people ask why not buy a 308 winchester then? (wombat didn't but, I figure I'll field this before someone else says it).

1. Because some people LIKE lever guns, especially a design with bolt like accuracy
2. Great solution for lefties
3. Action is much easier to work on than a Browning lever.
4. Balance is much better than the browning lever and many bolts.
5. The blued and walnut is MUCH cheaper than a Browning lever.
6. It's a very mild recoiling rifle with almost 308 Winnie performance, so is a great option for women and teens (Recoil is very close to a 7mm-08 and a hair over 2/3 the recoil of the 308 Winchester)
7. Made in the US

Maverick223
September 10, 2010, 08:43 PM
I have to admit that I too don't see much utility in it, though I don't particularly care for .308Win. either. My idea of lever cartridges are: .22LR, .30-30Win., .35Rem., .30-40Krag, .30-06Spfd, and .45-70Govt. A modern load of the .30-40Krag is a near ballistic twin of the .308MX, and has a good bit of history behind it. That said, I can certainly see why some folks would want it, because the Marlin levers won't accomodate anything much longer (certainly not the .30-40Krag).

:)

quietman
September 17, 2010, 04:00 PM
But none of those rifles you mentioned have had the additional work done on them by Marlin to make them more accurate at long ranges.

Even marlin admits the manufacturing tolerances they use for their previously existing levers are not on a par of those they required of the marlin Express series.

More work went into these than just creating a new cartridge. Something most people aren't aware of because marlin has done a poor job of informing the consumer.

As for the 30-40 krag, it's too long for the marlin action. If you can use the 30 cal FTX as a reload, it might match the downrange performance of the 308ME, other wise its just a slightly more powerful 200-250 yard cartridge. And just because a cartridge has history behind it doesn't make it better than a new cartridge. If history was so important we'd all still be shooting black powder.

Maverick223
September 17, 2010, 08:34 PM
But none of those rifles you mentioned have had the additional work done on them by Marlin to make them more accurate at long ranges.I didn't mention any alternative rifles, are you trying to say that the .308MX is more accurate than the .30-06Spfd. While I won't say that it is more inherently accurate (no such thing), there is factory match available for it, as well as better brass availability and more loading information available. That said, I am not saying that a .308MX shouldn't exist, only that I don't see much use for it, and it doesn't interest me much.

As for the 30-40 krag, it's too long for the marlin action. If you can use the 30 cal FTX as a reload, it might match the downrange performance of the 308ME, other wise its just a slightly more powerful 200-250 yard cartridge. And just because a cartridge has history behind it doesn't make it better than a new cartridge. If history was so important we'd all still be shooting black powder.That is exactly what I said, and you can use the FTX, although there are scores of other (arguably better) spitzer type bullets available for the .30-40Krag that afford a great improvement in terminal ballistics (but you have to use a box magazine fed action such as the Winchester 1895). Furthermore, I didn't say that history made a cartridge great, or better than any comparable cartridge, only that I prefer it because it has proven itself and withstood the test of time.

:)

quietman
September 18, 2010, 01:33 AM
Quote:
But none of those rifles you mentioned have had the additional work done on them by Marlin to make them more accurate at long ranges.
I didn't mention any alternative rifles, are you trying to say that the .308MX is more accurate than the .30-06Spfd. I should've been clearer because you DID mention other rifles My idea of lever cartridges are: .22LR, .30-30Win., .35Rem., .30-40Krag, .30-06Spfd, and .45-70Govt.I wasn't talking about the 06 but referring to the 308MX being more accurate than the other lever gun chamberings you mentioned (30-30, 35 rem, 45/70). Although it's true weren't talking about the rifle, when understanding WHY the marlin Express is better than the previous tube fed lever guns, it is important to understand that there is a difference in the rifle itself that makes it inherently more accurate than the other lever guns using the chamberings you mentioned.

The discussion actually does need to take into account not only the cartridge but the differences in the rifle itself that makes it more effective than other lever guns, especially tube fed ones.

Jim Watson
September 18, 2010, 12:08 PM
The last time the makers tried to convince the world that the .30-30 was obsolete, they brought out the .307 (and .356) Winchester. The case is pretty much a semi-rimmed .308, factory loaded only with flatpoint bullets for safety in tubular magazines. That also gets the OAL down to where it will run through the M94 and M336 actions without a lot of (expensive) changes in design. Only time will tell if the new attempt will catch on any better.

Maverick223
September 19, 2010, 01:37 AM
I should've been clearer because you DID mention other riflesTrue but I was still talking about the Marlins, just discussing other cartridges that could have been used instead (though most require lengthening the action).

Although it's true weren't talking about the rifle, when understanding WHY the marlin Express is better than the previous tube fed lever guns, it is important to understand that there is a difference in the rifle itself that makes it inherently more accurate than the other lever guns using the chamberings you mentioned.I don't believe it is inherently more accurate than other actions, including but not limited to other Marlins, just a bit stronger than most because of the high-pressure cartridge it employs.

:)

quietman
September 20, 2010, 01:28 PM
I don't believe it is inherently more accurate than other actions, including but not limited to other Marlins, just a bit stronger than most because of the high-pressure cartridge it employs.

:)Sigh, this is what I meant about Marlin doing a p*** poor PR job.

Changes made to the Marlin Express series from previous tube fed lever guns:

1. Receiver to barrel mating surface machined to higher tolerances giving greater contact surface
2. Barrel threads machined for tighter fit. I've heard that marlin went from square threads to V threads, but waiting to confirm this
3. Magazine tube to barrel attachment completely different from any other tube fed lever gun, including other marlins. You can't tell this by looking at it though.
4. Mag tube to receiver mating improved.

The mag tube mounting was changed to reduce the effect of the mag tube on the barrel as
a. it's weight changes as cartridges are fired and
b. drastically reduces interplay between the barrel and tube as the barrel heats up and only one side of the mag tube gets hotter due to it's proximty to the barrel. The uneven heating on the mag tube no longer places near the stress on the barrel older methods of attachment allowed.

The improved barrel / receiver mating makes the rifle much less susceptible to POI shift as the barrel gets hotter.

There are supposedly a couple more changes Marlin hints at but gives no details on. All of these changes are geared towards ACCURACY improvements, not strengthening the action. In fact, the 338 action is not stronger than any other Marlin action and is still rated at 46,00 0psi. Hornady / Hodgdon's magic powder allowed this achievement.

I've even had an e-mail discussion with the guy who was the head gun smith at marlin before they closed shop and he says these rifles are inherently more accurate than any lever gun marlin has made in the past.

This is why I made my statement, and experience by most owners has proven this to be true.

Just too bad the PR is so bad that you can't easily find this info.

Maverick223
September 20, 2010, 02:02 PM
Sigh, this is what I meant about Marlin doing a p*** poor PR job.Perhaps I am incorrect, but it certainly seems that most of the design changes are geared towards strength and efficiency (save for changes to the magazine, which I believe were also made to other models as well) not necessarily accuracy (which is typically improves in a stronger action).

:)

quietman
September 20, 2010, 02:16 PM
(save for changes to the magazine, which I believe were also made to other models as well)Nope, you are wrong on this. If you don't believe me, go to the marlinowners forum and PM bobbytjr, the previous service manager at marlin before the shop in CT was closed.

Ok then, here are the things the book "Accurizing the Factory Rifle" list for improving accuracy. I won't get into the stock mounting/bedding changes listed in the book.

1. Lapping the receiver barrel mating surfaces
2. lapping the barrel threads
3. several changes to the barrel and forearm band to reduce interplay between the tube and barrel.
4. polishing the crown

1,2 and 4 apply to any rifle, not just lever guns. I've personally used 1 through 3 on other marlins and they all make for a more accurate rifle. In fact, just the first 3 took a Marlin 336 that was shooting 4MOA+ to 1.5 MOA

Notice the first 3 in the list from the book are all achieved in one way or another at the factory by Marlin.

So regardless of what you personally think, these changes obviously affect the accuracy of a rifle. And the list I gave you earlier is a list from an interview with Marlin on the things they had to do to increase the ACCURACY.

If I could find a copy of the article with the interview I'd either post a scan or the link.

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