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35 Remington


Developed in 1906 and offered as an original chambering option in the 1908 Remington semi-automatic rifle, the 35 Remington is my candidate for the single most under-appreciated hunting cartridge in North American history.  Intended as a more-powerful alternative to the 30-30 Winchester, this was and is, an ideal cartridge for typical deer hunting, with shots to about 200 yards on smaller species.

Oddly, for almost a century, while improvements in propellants allowed ammunition manufacturers to massively advance ballistics of the 30-30, they loaded 35 Remington ammunition to progressively lower pressure and often with progressively decreased ballistics!  Recently, through many decades, Remington offered a 150-grain factory load at the same velocity as the original 200-grain factory load!  (If that does not boggle your mind, I don’t know what would.)

With its narrow, shallow-angled shoulder that is often very thin, ammo makers have long known the 35 Remington has extremely marginal headspace control.  They were very cautious about neck annealing.  The handloader should follow this lead.  Best practice with the 35 Remington is to not anneal the necks.  Just reuse the cases until the necks get too hard and then start with a new batch.  Better safe than sorry.

I will even go so far as to warn against use of relatively hot primers I any 35 Remington load.  The force from these can easily drive the case forward in the chamber, thereby driving the shoulder back and creating excessive headspace.  Best practice, regardless of recommendations to the contrary might be to use the Federal-155 or CCI-300 for loads used in the Model-8 or any other gun that is not a Marlin 336 with extruded propellant, the CCI 300 for loads used in the 336 with extruded propellant, and the CCI-200 of BR2 for loads used in any gun with ball propellant.

Along about 2000, Federal and Buffalo Bore started offering factory loads at full SAAMI pressure using ideal modern propellants.  These loads bring 35 Remington performance more in line with what it should always have been, a far superior choice for hunting deer and an entirely capable combination for elk hunting with shots to 150 yards or so.

The recoil-operated semi-automatic Model-8, designed by John Browning, dramatically mitigates recoil.  Even top-end 35 Remington loads fired in this gun are pleasant.  With a decent recoil pad, even the most recoil-sensitive of shooters should have no problems shooting a 35 Rem Model-8 well.  Recoil in the Marlin 336 is more noticeable.

For those who are recoil sensitive, when, using a 336 I recommend installing a quality recoil pad.  I also suggest adjusting length of pull (usually about one inch shorter) for most folks less than 6½-feet tall!

Worth noting, the Marlin 336 in 35 Remington has a well-earned reputation as the most accurate traditional lever-action rifle ever offered commercially.  Through the years I was writing about Marlins and building custom Marlin rifles, half a dozen folks sent me pictures of 100-yard groups they fired with their Marlin 35 Remington, most of those were one-hole, or very nearly so, for three to five shots.  Ah, but all the experts know lever-action rifles are not accurate.

This case likely derived from the, circa 1883, 38-50 Remington-Hepburn case.

The text associated with the cartridge description reflects opinions and conclusions of the author, M.L. (Mic) McPherson. Lee Precision and its employees do not necessarily either agree or disagree with any of his comments. We present these with due deference to his recognized expertise in the firearms field. His acumen extends to handloading and all aspects of ballistics - internal, external, and terminal.
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