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338 Marlin Express-Lever Action

 
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  #1  
Old 10-14-2012, 11:17 PM
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338 Marlin Express-Lever Action

Marlin makes a 338 Marlin Express. It's designed for the pointed gummy tipped FTC bullets from Hornady. This is probably one of the greatest advances in lever action rifles due to their tubular magazines. Bullets in a tubular magazine previously could not be pointy because the point of the bullet would ignite the primer of the bullet in front of it. Hornady has developed a gummy pointed tip that is safe in these magazines and lever actions can now shoot ballistically superior bullets compared to the blunt nosed offerings. It's ballistics are close to a 30-06. Anyway, they makes two models. The MXLR and the MX. The MXLR is their high end offering with a laminated stock, stainless steel, 24" barrel. I got one of those. The MX is the standard model in blue, walnut stock and 22" barrel. I got one of those too, both new.

Marlin 338 MXLR- Fit and finish was great but beauty was skin deep. It had the worst trigger of any rifle I've held. The gunsmith fixed that however it would jam so badly and misfire that I sent it back. It came back much better after replacing the barrel and breech. No jams but it now misfires approximately every 7th shot and the dovetail insert on the forend stock hanger slid all over the place. It's retired for now. There's a gunsmith a couple hours away I'm taking it to. Hope he can help.

Marlin 338 MX- Since I won't take the other rifle hunting due to it's unreliability, I decided to break out the unfired 338 MX. I was saving it as a saddle rifle but decided to scope it up and take it hunting. I took it out today to break in the barrel. Once again, disappointment. My new, unfired Marlin was jamming like crazy. It wouldn't cycle and you couldn't get a round chambered by working the action. When you close the lever, it's supposed to lock in place but this one springs open like a bad cabinet door and the rifle won't fire in that position. By this time you might think I would go bizerk but no, that's all out of my system. Remington manufactured Marlins don't work and I've come to accept it. Anyway, since I was breaking in the barrel, I pointed the muzzle down and dropped a round in the chamber, shot, cleaned and so on. It turns out if this lever gun worked, it would be quite a rifle. After 6 break in shots, I shot a 3 shot group below. Not bad accuracy for a lever action with a 6 lb. trigger.

If the gunsmith can't fix it in 5 minutes, I'll send it back to Remington/Marlin for repair. They haven't made these rifles in a while. I'm not sure they ever will but if they do, the next run has to be better as it couldn't be much worse. Still, you think that if you bought two new rifles from the same company, one of them would work.
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  #2  
Old 10-14-2012, 11:26 PM
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Re: 338 Marlin Express-Lever Action

Leave that front tenon loose!!!

Thats a well known trick for making Marlins more accurate...the looser everything in front of the receiver fits, the better...up to a point anyway...it doesn't need to be sloppy loose, but not overly tight either...that includes the forearm itself, the end cap, the tenon, even the mag tube.

Thats whats known as "free floating a lever action"...and it does help.


If you want truly expert advice on Marlins...I recommend you visit Marlin Owners forum...those guys know Marlins inside and out, a few of them worked for Marlin before Cerebrus took over and moved the manufacturing elsewhere.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:42 PM
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Re: 338 Marlin Express-Lever Action

I forgot to mention...unless they changed it...you'll need to join to see the good stuff (the reference library)

You won't even have to ask the questions though...the answers are already there.
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  #4  
Old 10-15-2012, 12:28 AM
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Re: 338 Marlin Express-Lever Action

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner665 View Post
Leave that front tenon loose!!!

Thats a well known trick for making Marlins more accurate...the looser everything in front of the receiver fits, the better...up to a point anyway...it doesn't need to be sloppy loose, but not overly tight either...that includes the forearm itself, the end cap, the tenon, even the mag tube.

Thats whats known as "free floating a lever action"...and it does help.
The newer ones are already floated. To loose is bad. I've tried to tune the MXLR as much as I can. Relieving pressure... Anyway, the MXLR needs to be bedded + fix the misfire problem. Already did a trigger job. The MX is fine. Timing's crap on both. I guess Remington figures guys who shoot lever actions deserve what they get.

I'm tired.
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  #5  
Old 10-15-2012, 10:45 AM
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Re: 338 Marlin Express-Lever Action

What kind of velocity were you seeing? I wish they'd have done that case in .358 as well!

When Remington took over Marlin they seemed to fall off a cliff in quality
gary
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  #6  
Old 10-15-2012, 11:47 AM
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Re: 338 Marlin Express-Lever Action

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trickymissfit View Post
What kind of velocity were you seeing? I wish they'd have done that case in .358 as well!

When Remington took over Marlin they seemed to fall off a cliff in quality
gary
The MXLR (24" barrel) was right at 2545 fps. The MX (22" barrel) I didn't clock yet because I was just shooting, cleaning and getting it on paper. It should be close to 2500 fps though.

At the time, I was sort of transitioning to going all lever action. This whole experience has cooled me down however. After doing some research, I discovered the market was flooded with defective Marlins (no doubt an executive decision rather than absorb the loss of pulling defective units off the line). My experience is not unique.

I'm a fairly loyal person, almost to a fault but Remington/Marlin doesn't even acknowledge there was even a problem and the gun media is mum (I guess I know what that's all about). It sorta reminds me of some people I've worked with. They want the paycheck but the job they could do without.

I'm now liking what those Finns are doing at Sako/Tikka.
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  #7  
Old 10-15-2012, 04:40 PM
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Re: 338 Marlin Express-Lever Action

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike 338 View Post
The MXLR (24" barrel) was right at 2545 fps. The MX (22" barrel) I didn't clock yet because I was just shooting, cleaning and getting it on paper. It should be close to 2500 fps though.

At the time, I was sort of transitioning to going all lever action. This whole experience has cooled me down however. After doing some research, I discovered the market was flooded with defective Marlins (no doubt an executive decision rather than absorb the loss of pulling defective units off the line). My experience is not unique.

I'm a fairly loyal person, almost to a fault but Remington/Marlin doesn't even acknowledge there was even a problem and the gun media is mum (I guess I know what that's all about). It sorta reminds me of some people I've worked with. They want the paycheck but the job they could do without.

I'm now liking what those Finns are doing at Sako/Tikka.
don't think Sako has never produced a rotten apple! Wasn't all that long ago they were shipping rifles with bad steel. The real problem is that all the gun writers refuse to bring forth the data they know exists. Marlin built a great lever gun and a pretty good bolt gun before remington bought them out. Now they're junk. Perhaps we'd have been a lot better off is Marlin had of bought Remington, and finally instuted quality controll in New York
gary
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