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Discussion Starter #1
I have a new marlin lever gun in 357/38, and I have scads of Meister hard cast 125gr bullets. I use them mostly for light 38 plinking loads and want to do the same for use in my marlin but worry about leading, so whats is a good velocity to keep them at in order to keep from leading up my barrel? This marlin has been shooting loads about 300fps faster out of it than in my revolvers, so if the load listing is for say 800fps, then I would expect 1000-1100 out of the marlin, which, might lead at those velocities...correct? So should I look for a super light load in 38 to keep velocity to a minimal? This load will be for steel plate, spinner plinking only. Thanks in advance.
 

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I cast my own lead bullets, but I use a 105gr SWC. Works great in my 357 Marlin for plinking. I would just recommend slowing it down to the lower ranges for whatever powder you use. If you cast your own bullets and had access to a bullet sizer you could put a gas check on the bullets you use for your reloads that you plan to shoot in your Marlin. I don't because keeping the speed down keeps leading down to min. It's a fun round to shoot. More like a 22lr. Less noise, no recoil. You shouldn't get leading until you really crankup the speed. I shoot 30.06 with 16 gr of 2400 under a 150 gr flat nose with a copper gas check. It gets about 11,000 and doesn't lead the barrel. Just run your "Chore Boy" brush down your Marlin, you'll be fine.
 

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There is no certainty the light .38 Special loads will necessarrily have a velocity increase with a longer barrel, as it depends on the powder burn rates. (Many .45 ACP factory loads have velocity *decreases* in Thompsons, Cam Carbines, etc., likely using a fairly quick burning powder..)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have clays, and bullseye on hand that I use in my 38spl loads. Reason for the concern with the velocity increase is that every single load that I have tried in the marlin did have a pretty good increase in velocity and can't immagine why the 38spl would be any different. So what velocities should I go for when selecting powder? I think that if I load up a 38spl to 800fps, I would get 1100 out of the marlin, and from what I remember reading, 1100-1200 is where you start running into problem with leading shooting a non gas checked bullet. I don't use cast in my 357 loads, but I do in 38's and the only real experience I have shooting cast bullets is in 45acp, and not with 38's out of a rifle.
 

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http://www.reloadammo.com/38loads.htm

You can always start with the start charges listed if you have access to a chrony, but I will bet you one each free small pistol primer (JK!) that with Clays you will show a velocity decrease!

I personally would start in the middle, and only reduce charges if velocity was above perhaps 900-950 fps...

(.357's are usually loaded with a slower powder, and more of it, allowing a longer, more complete powder burn all the way down a carbine's barrel)
 

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I have had experince with that gun and reloads. My wife shoots one in CAS. To make sure it feeds okay, you need to make sure the the OAL is at least 1.5" to ensure proper feeding. That info is in your owners manual.
 

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I have had experince with that gun and reloads. My wife shoots one in CAS. To make sure it feeds okay, you need to make sure the the OAL is at least 1.5" to ensure proper feeding. That info is in your owners manual.

Thanks. What load does she/you like?
 

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I've used Clays, 231 and Universal. The smaller amount of Clays needed makes it a little harder to meter. 231 works fairly well, but I've been using Universal recently and I like it. I'm loading 4 gr with my smaller lead bullets. Seems to burn better and more completely in the Marlin than in my S&W. Plenty accurate with very little bark and no recoil.
 

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She shoots 38 Spl. cases with 3.7 grs. of W231 and a 158 gr. LRNFP bullet. She shoots 38 Spl. so she can get 10 in the mag tube. It only holds 9 357 mag.
 
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