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Reloading for Marling lever gun

gregoryhart1gregoryhart1 Member Posts: 518 ✭✭✭
I'm looking for a cast bullet that will feed reliably in my .357 and be a good hunting bullet for deer and possibly small hog. Any suggestions?


  • dcs shootersdcs shooters Member Posts: 10,969
    edited November -1
    A 158LRN for plinking. A good 180JHP for hunting.
  • joshmb1982joshmb1982 Member Posts: 8,929
    edited November -1
    i thought marlin had that polygonal rifling ( or whatever its called) and shooting lead pullets was a no no?
  • PA ShootistPA Shootist Member Posts: 680 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    For many years Marlin rifles have had Micro-Groove rifling, many more than the usual number of grooves, and relatively shallower grooves also. I have a Model 1894 in .44 Magnum that I have shot many thousands of cast bullets through, over more than 30 years. By simply keeping the muzzle velocity within reason, using a hard-enough alloy lead bullet, and sizing correctly (I use .001" over bore diameter) I have enoyed excellent results: good accuracy and minimum leading. The Lyman 429421 bullets are loaded into .44 Special cases to give an overall length that will feed OK from the tubular magazine. At around 250 grains with a flat meplat, they are thumpers on various varmints and game I have shot over the years. Using .44 magnum cases I have a "two-shooter", one in chamber and one in magazine, which will lift OK. Additional rounds in magazine are too long for the cut-off to the lifter, and will jam.

    Many of the current production Marlin rifles have Ballard-style rifling instead of Micro-Groove, fewer and deeper cut grooves. This was probably a result of the Cowboy shooters, who wanted to use cast lead bullets at moderate velocities for their game. I assume it is an improvement over the Micro-Groove rifling for soft lead bullets, but as stated I have enjoyed excellent results in my rifle.
  • 44shotdoctor44shotdoctor Member Posts: 178 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Ok, I know I have read that shooting cast in a marlin lever gun was a bad idea and in fact shooting other than hot loads and shooting jacketed loads was the only thing recommeneded. The reason I say this is because a standard pistol load put into a rifle will increase its fps by 300. So your melt down possibilities just went up. So let me ask this? For the cost of quality hard cast why not just shoot jacketed loads? Its hard enough to clean lead out of a pistol. I cannot even imagine cleaning that stuff out of a rifle.
  • Mort4570Mort4570 Member Posts: 472 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Not a no-no at all,just takes a CLEAN bore...NO jacket material,and an oversized bullet.
    I've shot thousands of lead bullets,leading is seldom a problem,and cleaning it out is not a monumenal task.Just use a solvent desigend for it,and a little elbow grease.
    a cast 180 grain bullet will handle any hunting chore a .357 is capable of with jacketed bullets. If you feel the need for lots of speed,use gas checked bullets.
    Yes,the cost difference is in there,but I just like shooting cast,so I don't care about what jacketed will cost or maybe .maybe.. do better.personal preference,ymmv
  • gregoryhart1gregoryhart1 Member Posts: 518 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I'd like to stick with a cast bullet for hunting, rather than a JHP. I know the SWC is a good hunting profile but what about RNFP? Will it do the job, assuming good shot placement? Does bullet profile make that much of a difference?
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