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Thread: Cast bullets in micro groove 35 Rem?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master stubert's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Wappingers Falls, Ny

    Cast bullets in micro groove 35 Rem?

    I have read that Marlins with micro-groove barrels will not shoot cast well. Does anyone here shoot cast in one and what bullet and load are you using.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master GrizzLeeBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Cast boolits are the only thing I shoot in my micro-groove 336C 35 Rem! Do some searches and you should find a lot of good info. here. I have had good luck with both the Lyman 358156 155 gr. SWC (I know, its a pistol bullet) and the RCBS 35-200-FN. I have had good luck with 37.5 gr. of H4895. I think Hodgdon shows a max. of 38.5 grains for a 200 gr. bullet. As always back off 5 - 10% and work up.
    Everything I have read where someone gets good results with micro-groove says cast them BIG and HARD. You will need to slug your bore at both ends and size your bullets to that size or usually .0005 to .001 larger. Mine slugged .358 at the breach end and .3575 at the muzzle. I cast from wheel weights and add a little tin (lead free solder) to aid mold fill out. I size my bullets .358 and lube with Javelina. I get NO leading. This load should be right around 2000 fps. The 35-200-FN is a perfect fit so that it lightly engraves on the bore riding nose sections. The only drawback with this bullet is that I have to seat it so that I can crimp it just at the top of the first driving band due to the Marlins short throat. Some guys can get this bullet seated and crimped in the crimp groove, but most like me have to seat it deeper in order to feed and chamber in the rifle. It does not seem to affect the accuracy though. I get about 1 1/2" groups with both bullets.
    The 35 Rem seams to be a natural with cast boolits, you will like it. I'm sure others will chime in on this one.

  3. #3
    ********* Emeritus
    garandsrus's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Warren, MI

    The RCBS 35-200-FN works great in my Marlin 336 in .35 Rem. For plinking I settled on a 9.5 (1273 fps) and 11.5gr (1416 fps) charge of Unique. Groups off a bench with iron sights (aperture rear) are an honest 1.5". I think the rifle would do much better with a scope but I haven't put one one yet.

    I don't get any leading.


  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    9.3X62AL's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    Imperial Beach, CA
    Not a 35 Remington, but I have a Marlin Model 62 levergun in 30 U.S. Carbine with MG rifling. It shoots the Lee Soup Can and Lyman #311316 better than it shoots jacketed bullets, and just as fast (1800-2000 FPS). Taracorp (92/6/2) alloy--sized @ .311"--and Javelina lube in all grooves is the ticket in my little rifle.
    "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."--Winston Churchill

  5. #5
    Boolit Master KYCaster's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    +1 for the RCBS 35-200-FP. I cast them of straight WW and 100yd. groups average about 1 3/4 when pushed to 2100fps. with WC846...slightly better at the same speed with IMR3031. I've gotten my best groups (1 1/4) with a Magma 200SWC cast of 92-6-2 alloy at 2080-2100fps. Both these boolits are GC'd, lubed with Thompson's Blue Angel and sized to .358 or .359 (doesn't seem to make any difference).

    Limited testing (one doe with each the ribs, through the heart) seems to show exactly the same performance I've gotten with Win., Rem. and Speer 200RN.

    I've also done some limited testing with 180RF cast of WW, and so far it's done well up to 2100fps.

    Wandering from the subject a little bit....I started working with the RCBS 35-200-RF early summer last year and fired a little over three hundred rds. with various loads without any cleaning what so ever. Having settled on a suitable load and fired enough to be confident I could hit my intended target, I decided it was time to clean the gun in anticipation of the coming deer season.(three days away)

    I then carefully loaded twenty rounds and went back to the range to check my zero and verify that this batch of loads was up to par....the first shot wasn't on the wasn't even on the three ft. X three ft. backer. Can you say PANIC!!!

    Two more rounds and I had a hole in the 11:00 almost TWO FEET from POA. The remainder of the twenty rounds showed a definite pattern in the upper left quadrant, slooooowly inching toward the bull. Back to the loading bench for another fifty rounds.

    Meanwhile, back at the range....after thirty five rounds since my cleaning, I finally had two rounds relatively close together, relatively close to POA. Soooo, two five shot groups showed that I was indeed, back to POA. Two more groups of ten rounds each and I was once again confident that my gun and loads would do the job on demand. Five more rounds off hand, one each from various distances from 25 to 100yds. left me with five rounds for my hunt.

    I know there's a lesson in there somewhere. Maybe if I repeat the procedure a couple more times, I'll learn what it is...nobody ever accused me of being a quick study.


  6. #6
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Switzerland of Ohio
    The idea that Microgroove rifling won't shoot cast is a viral meme that should have been stamped out by now, but we just don't seem to be able to find all the infection sites.

    As others have written here already, it just ain't so.

    BUT, you must use a boolit with a long, long groove-diameter bearing area - 65% to 70% at least. The types that work well in traditional rifling with wide lands, many of which have a long nose section that is formed at BORE diameter, do NOT work in Microgroove. They tip in the bore and go everywhere but where you point 'em.

    Beyond that, there isn't any special magic. They don't have to be hard, even. Soft wadcutters work fine for subsonic velocities. In fact, if you cast hard, you have to up the charge to make 'em obturate properly, has been my experience. I shot a great many store-bought "hard cast" semi-wadcutters (intended for .357 Magnum reloading) through my own 336 Marlin, before I started casting for myself. They didn't work worth a tinker's d*mn until I loaded 'em for 1600 FPS and above with 4227 or XMP5744. Then they'd shoot under 3 arc seconds all day if I held the rifle right.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

    NVcurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    Pleasant Valley, NV, 400 yd. N of Galena Creek
    I had a .30/30 MG carbine that gave so-so accuracy wth bore riders and left long curls of alloy on patches. They looked like somethng you would find around a lathe! My stepson now has the 336 and I have managed to get it behaving nicely with Lyman 311466, a 152 gr. Loverin type. So far best loads have been 12-13 gr. 2400. With a big gold bead front and WGRS rear groups average 1.5" at 50 yd. with no leading. We use the "straight eight" sight picture, taking a 6:00 hold on a big black bull. Not quite up to Camp Perry standards, but good enough. As uscra112 posted, long bearing length seems to work best in MG barrels. the 311466 is nearly ALL groove diameter. Al Miller in Handloader came to a smilar conclusion years ago, reporting success if the boolit had at least 10 mm of bearing length.
    Eagles have talons, buzzards don't. The Second Amendment empowers us to be eagles. curmudgeon

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

    Ranch Dog's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Cuero, TX
    I shoot cast in a number Micro-Groove barrels from 30 caliber up through 45 caliber. The issue with the Marlin's chambered in 35 Rem is that there is no throat or leade to the chamber. Rifle bore right up to the mouth of the case. This requires a deep seated bullet which robs the case of much need powder capacity.

    I just took two more chamber casts from my 336D and SC trying to study what to do with the Marlins chambered in this caliber.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
    felix's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    fort smith ar
    Just think, Michael, you can shoot that 35 remmie until the cows come home with the hottest loads possible without wearing down the inherent accuracy (if any) of the barrel. Are we talking 50K rounds worth of 150's-180's? Prolly so. I have become to appreciate close fitting lands in guns that I really like to shoot, because I have begun loading rounds with no less than 35K CUP over the last 10 years or so. Just provides more consistent day-to-day shooting. ... felix

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    onceabull's Avatar
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    Mar 2005

    an alternative

    On the CBA's forum, Ed Harris has a couple of posts(6/14 and 15) suggesting how an "improvement" in Marlin "old style chambered" leverguns can be accomplished. Home workshop project for someone with the nec.talent/patience...Smithy job for me,though!! Specifically on 30/30's but I'd wager applicable to the 32Sp and 35 R's..fwiw, Onceabull
    "The Eagle is no flycatcher"

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

    Poygan's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    Fox River Valley
    Ranch Dog, I have the same issue in my dad's Remington 760, from the mid fifties.
    It also has a good imitation of microgroove rifling. The combination of iron sights and old eyes makes it an on again/off again project but I'm currently experimenting with the Lyman 358429 and 2400.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check