Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Marlin 336CB Cowboy

The more time goes by, the more my eyes appreciate longer barrels. I'm holding out as long as I can before I scope my leverguns and I'm finding that means getting the front sight out a bit further than the carbine lengths. A range session with the 16" barreled 336SDT really strains my eyes. Conversely the sight picture on the 24" Cowboy is easy. Looks like before too long I'll either have to scope or sell the SDT to conform with my 'If I own it, I shoot it policy.'

Not that I'm admiting defeat but I've even sent one of the 336 Texan's in for the "Cowboy Conversion" - 24" octagon barrel and forend. I haven't heard back yet but I'm optimistic they'll be able to do the conversion - I'll write a full report when/if it happens.

A lot of us enjoy the quick handling and portability of a carbine. We spend more time carrying it than shooting so it really excells for field use. The downsides are muzzle blast, increased report, shorter iron sight radious and a small velocity penalty with some loads.

Now that I own both extremes the contrast is more evident, and the longer barrel is winning me over. Offhand the front sight just seems to hang on the target. The long sight radious doesn't require me to squint. The report, especially the subsonic loads, is greatly reduced. The chronograph has higher numbers and the gap in velocity is higher at the full power levels. Another bonus is the extra-cartridge or two that can ride onboard - "load on Sunday, shoot all week."

There is a small weight penalty and I've complained in the past about hunting thick stuff with longer barrels but my view on that is softening and I may take one of the Cowboys hunting this year.
A fun "Gallery Load" that shoots well at out to 25 yards and OK out to 50 is a '0' buckshot over 3 grains of Bullseye. It is very quiet and averages just over 1000 fps.


RKL said...

Interesting load, where did you come up with that idea? How do you seat it?

Anonymous said...

One reason I like the .35 Remington a bit more than the .30-30 is that plinker loads can be made using cast .357 pistol bullets. A couple grains of Unique or Red Dot will push them supersonic, and they hold accuracy quite a bit further than the little round ball loads.


Whit Spurzon said...

RKL: Way back when, my Scout Master taught us the load and we'd shoot in the his backyard. I've used it in 30-06 and 30-30. Great vermin and Grouse load. With iron sights it usually prints a little low out to 25 yards. I usually seat it by pushing it half way pressing into the side of my reloading bench. For more precision I use the seating device in one of those $20 Lee Loaders.

Whit Spurzon said...

Drew, If 35 Remington brass was as available as the 30-30 and as cheap (usually free) that would nudge me over to that camp. Great caliber but the economics are about the same as shooting 45-70. As you know (and have guided me along the way) the 45-70 has the bigger grin factor / bang for the buck. Are you getting any time to go shooting? Looking forward to the report on those Ranch Dog bullets.

Anonymous said...

Can you believe I haven't fired a shot of my own big bores in nearly 2 years?

I've been helping a friend develop smokeless powder powerful loads for a Uberti .45-60 repro 1876 Win.
Nearing 1900fps with 300gr cast, so far. At safe pressures.

I've figured out some really nice, low flash loads for .357 Mag snubbies.

I tried a few rounds of that PMC Silverline .45-70 2 yrs ago and they were duds, forcing me to hammer a jacketed bullet out of my barrel. Grrrr.

Your lovely bullets, made of that funky alloy we figured out (like Lymnan #2 as cast, but heat treatable to a high hardness if desired) are still all loaded up in their little bags.

I've got a bag of ultra low pressure .45-70 loads to try that should be safe in the junky H&R trapdoors and still give .45-70-405 original velocity.

Oh, and I think I've got a .45-70/90 load worked up that will push the Barnes Original 300gr spitzer to 2600fps safely. I've done it before with 300JHPs, but every bullet is different.

So all I need is some range time. No time at all for anything in the past couple years, dagnabbit. My total trigger time this year has been about 20 minutes. In the rain. Sux!

PS - .457 roundball, 10-15gr Unique makes a nice .45-70 popgun round, about equal in power to a .357 Mag. Use the liquid lube on the balls first, seat them halfway down or more. Single load. Guess you'd call that a grouse load. Works for me. .460 roundball is more accurate but you may have to size them to seat properly, and they are harder to find in stores.


Whit Spurzon said...

Drew, bummer about the range time... I have noticed a decline in the rate of global warming though... ;^)

What powder are you using for the low flash 357 loads?