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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been toying with the idea of a 16 inch lever carbine in 357 Maximum, I don't think you could use the Marlin 1894 action as it is too short, but in a 336 or a 94 winchester, I think it would be awesome. Has anyone tried this before?

Graycg
 

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Anybody ever converted a Marlin or Winchest

You're not the first to ask this question. I don't know the answer, but there are some easier ways to achieve the same result of a super .357 in a lever action carbine.

One way is to rechamber a .357 to the .357 Bain & Davis wildcat, a .44 Remington Magnum necked down to .357. This has been done and written up on anoather site, where a guy reported about 2100 fps with the 158 grain jacketed bullet in a M-94. This cartridge was originally developed for hand guns and has been chambered in TC Contender guns and was listed in an earlier Hornady reolading manual. It's ballistics in the M-94 with the 20" barrel were comparable with the .35 Remington.

The advantage of the .357 Bain & Davis in a carbine are (1) you don't have to make major modifications to the action as would be the case with the .357 Maximum and (2) You will never run out of brass because .44 Rem Mag's are plentiful and inexpensive. I've read predictiosn that the .357 Max casings may disappear in 10 years or so. Of course they say this about everything, but when was the last time you tried to buy some .357 max?

I wrote this up in an earlier post and will try to find it as well as the utl for the guy who wrote up the .357 B&D in his M-94. Just my .02.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Anybody ever converted a Marlin or Winchest

Advocate,
You make a great case, and thanks for the information. I think I'll look into the B&D ALSO....but...

I just can't get a Max in a lever action off my radar screen!

Regards,
Graycg
 

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Anybody ever converted a Marlin or Winchest

Actually I was wondering if you couldn't just rev up a .357 Mag in a '92 action. The '92 Rossi is supposedly handling the .454 Casull with grace.
Wouldn't there be room in the .357 Magnum case?

Or could one use a powder more suited to taking advantage of a 20 or 24 inch barrel?
 

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Hot-Rodding the .357 Magnum

Yes, you can get some modest velocity/energy improvement in loading .357 with the slow ball powders like H110 and WW 296 using lighter bullets like the 125 grain softpoints.

However, it is probably NOT a good idea to do extensive shooting with hot pistol caliber loads in the M92 design.

Several gun writers and gunsmiths including guru P.O. Ackley wrote that for more than a generation, it was popular to convert old original Winchester M1892 carbines from .32-20/.25-20 to .357 Magnum and .38-40/.44-40 to .44 Magnum. The original barrels were re-chambered or the actions were re-barreled.

This was in the 1960's and 1970's. These .357 and .44 Magnums were inevitably "hot-loaded" for more power and hunting effectiveness.

Well, you guessed it: Plenty of users reported problems with hard extraction, "jugged" (bulged) chambers, stretched and loosened actions. It apparently wasn't a good idea to hot-load ammunition for the old veterans.

Browning, Winchester, Marlin, and others now have at least a generation of building sturdy magnum pistol caliber rifles/carbines with modern steels and metalurgy. None of them will recommend using hot handloads.
 

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Anybody ever converted a Marlin or Winchest

I don't have any experience with having a lever action rifle reworked to shoot the .357 Maximum cartridge, but I have loaded .357 Maximum equivalent rounds for my .357 Magnum Rossi ('92 Winchester clone) which can be loaded into the chamber one at a time.

The standard .357 Magnum in a 20" barrel is a very lethal round, especially with 180 gr. LBT style cast bullets. They have a broad flat point and the seating depth is the same as a 158 gr. jacketed bullet which will give sufficient powder space to propel the heavier 180 gr. LBT bullet to 1,700 f.p.s. with no problem whatsoever.

About 4 years ago I got the bug to see what a .357 Maximum equivalent round would do in my Rossi's 20" barrel. In order to accomplish this, I would have to seat the bullet just barely into a .357 Magnum case to get the same overall cartridge length as the same bullet loaded in a .357 Maximum case.

In order to chamber the long round, the forward portion of the bullet needed to be reduced so that it would ride the top of the lands and thus allow the overly long cartridge to chamber. I solved this by running the 180 gr. LBT cast bullets nose first into a .349" sizing die for about .37".

I selected a published starting load for the .357 Maximum using a 180 gr. bullet with 296 powder. I loaded 5 rounds to the same overall length as the .357 Maximum with the modified LBT bullets and headed to the range. I single loaded each "torpedo" into the chamber and fired the 5 cartridges which had noticeably more pizaz than the standard .357.

With the sights all the way down, the bullets impacted in a 3" group
12" above the aiming point @ 100 yards. Velocity! I was surprised! The chronograph registered 2,080 f.p.s. average for the 5 shots! WOW! The cases extracted easily and there were no signs of excess pressure.

Yes. A .357 Maximum chambered lever gun would be a powerful package indeed!

w30wcf
 

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Anybody ever converted a Marlin or Winchest

w30wcf: Very informative post, wcf. Welcome back. When did you say your book is coming out?
 

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Anybody ever converted a Marlin or Winchest

Hello everyone,
In the Win. 94 action, I have long loaded the 357 to 1.720" with no problems in feeding or chambering. With 180-200 gr. cast gas check bullets, I seated them just above the lube groove. I then used a RCBS taper crimp die instead of the roll crimp. They worked fine. I was able to get 1700 fps in a 16.5" trapper barrel with a 200 gr. LBT gas checked and H110 powder.
Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Anybody ever converted a Marlin or Winchest

Thanks to you all!! I now have some ideas to chase after...

Glad to see that I'm not alone in the quest for 357 max performance in a handy lever action carbine. By the way, the 180 grain LBT WFN mould I have is the ultimate barrel, 2000 fps with that bullet will shoot clear through near anything made of flesh on this continent. Might not be the best stopper on bigger game, but it hits deer and pigs like one of those new North Korean nukes.

regards,
Graycg
 

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Anybody ever converted a Marlin or Winchest

Advocate,

With regards to my .30-30 Journal, I am finished with the first 4 chapters
(1891-1895, Cartridge Development At Winchester; 1895, Introduction ; 1895-1904, The First 10 Years, and 1905-1927, The Second Generation).

I still have about 3 chapters to go, along with a section on reloading which will primarily deal with replicating all of the factory loads ever offered for this cartridge, from the Special 85 gr. Full Patch Peters load up to the heaviest, a 180 gr. loading. All in all, about 18 different bullet / velocity combinations(!).

If I could concentrate on finishing the project, I would hope to have it to the printer by September, but since I can only work on it off and on, I will be lucky to finish it by year end.

The good thing is that my research appears to be complete with no new information being uncovered in the past 12 months or so. That should help since I spent a fair amount of time on research in the past.

Thank you for asking and for your interest.


Graycg,

Good luck on your project. Please keep us posted on any further developments.

w30wcf
 

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I really want 357max in a Marlin
I see that this thread is 13 years old
But what the heck something must have happened in 13 years??
Let's get this thing rolling one more time .
How bout you tell me how yours has come out?
How good it shoots.
Keep me excited


Thanks
Tommyt
 

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rob applegate did a 475 linebaugh on a 94 marlin for me. How does the length of a 357max compare?
 

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I tried some 357Max dummy rounds in my 336 last month. A single round would feed from the mag and almost chamber except for being too big in dia. With two rounds in the mag both would try to feed and it would jam. Those were with 158gr XTP bullets with a COL around 1.9". I'll have to try some heavier bullets like the 200gr Lee or sierra 200gr rn at around 2.2" COL to see if they are long enough that they don't jam or if it's more of a rim diameter issue and the feed latches just not catching the second cartridge. I'm sure there's a way to adjust for COL in the feed system, but I haven't taken mine apart yet to see.

Never seen a 475 linebaugh but WIKI says the COL is 1.77" which is a little less than what the 158gr COL is at around 1.9". I'd want to use at least 180gr and if possible 200gr cast in mine so the COL would be closer to 2.2"
 

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Rob told me the 475 was borderline to long for a 94. I have to use short in the nose bullets in it. So I doubt theres room for a 357max. He also said about 35k was max pressure for the 94. Now ive run a bit higher then that without trouble but sure wouldn't push it past 40k. So what I basically get is 480 rifle performance using 475 brass. Its nice when carrying both the handgun and rifle to be able to share ammo but truth be told a 92 rossi 480 might even be able to be loaded faster then my linebaugh.
Moleman said:
I tried some 357Max dummy rounds in my 336 last month. A single round would feed from the mag and almost chamber except for being too big in dia. With two rounds in the mag both would try to feed and it would jam. Those were with 158gr XTP bullets with a COL around 1.9". I'll have to try some heavier bullets like the 200gr Lee or sierra 200gr rn at around 2.2" COL to see if they are long enough that they don't jam or if it's more of a rim diameter issue and the feed latches just not catching the second cartridge. I'm sure there's a way to adjust for COL in the feed system, but I haven't taken mine apart yet to see.

Never seen a 475 linebaugh but WIKI says the COL is 1.77" which is a little less than what the 158gr COL is at around 1.9". I'd want to use at least 180gr and if possible 200gr cast in mine so the COL would be closer to 2.2"
 

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i have a marlin i have converted to 357 MAX....equivalent


i use pistol powders in the 35 rem cases and load the down to 357 MAX
this is a very simple conversion
and is easy to covert back to 35 rem


sorry couldn't help myself
i would really like my little winchester trapper 357 mag to be maxed
 

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Some of us are limited to straight walled cartridges due to hunting regulations or I'd just use my 336 in 30-30 as marlin had intended. For now, it just sits in the safe unless I go to my buddies in MO or sisters in WI. Rebarreling it in 357Max wouldn't give up a whole lot and would let me hunt with it more frequently. My 444 marlin is in the same boat, but I'm playing around with cutting a few hornady cases down to 1.8" (longest a straight walled case can be in my hunting zone) and seating the bullets out further. Don't think It'll ever match my 444 loads but at least it will get used again.
 

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i have a marlin i have converted to 357 MAX....equivalent


i use pistol powders in the 35 rem cases and load the down to 357 MAX
this is a very simple conversion
and is easy to covert back to 35 rem


sorry couldn't help myself
i would really like my little winchester trapper 357 mag to be maxed
This^^^^^^^^
Now I know its not what you want to hear but I have a 35 remy 336 in blue and one in stainless. and if it weren't for that I might want a 357 max. The thirty five rem is better than a 44 mag and can be loaded down and shoots a 200 gr. nugget that will stop anything a 357 max will.
 
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