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October 15, 2008

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New From Marlin: .338 Marlin Express

338mxlr At the new product seminar today we learned about a new cartridge that will be joining the successful line of LeverEvolution products, the .338 Marlin Express.

These bullets will use the same soft-tip technology that the other LeverEvolution cartridges employ and the result will be a round that is the rough equivalent of a .30-06.

I'm a huge fan of .33 caliber bullets and can't wait to give this one a go. I hope the accuracy is on par with the previous Marlin XLR rifles. If it is I know I'm going to order one. If you combine a lever-action with an accurate .33-caliber bullet, I just wouldn't be able to resist.

According to the spec sheet, the initial offering will be a 200-grain bullet, which will exit a 24-inch barrel at 2,565 fps. Sighted in 3 inches high at 100 yards, the bullet drops only 7.8 inches at 300. At the 300-yard mark, the bullet is carrying 1,760 ft-lb of energy--plenty for even elk-sized game.

It is very hard for any cartridge larger than a .30 caliber to become a runaway success and I doubt the .338 MX will buck that trend, but that doesn't mean it cannot have a long and productive (and for the folks at Marlin, profitable) run. I'll be pulling for it.

UPDATE: Had a chance to crank off a few rounds of the new .338 MX and...it worked. Without being able to do a comprehensive workup it is difficult to draw any conclusions about the round and we were limited by the amount of ammo that was available. But it loaded, fed and cycled well and it was hitting the steel targets I was shooting 100 yards away.

The rifle will come in two versions, a blue/walnut trim--the 338MX--and a stainless version, the 338MXLR. We had the stainless rifle and it handled very much like the other MXLR rifles I've shot. Meaning the trigger could certainly use some work but that it hit what I was aiming at, which is the whole point of the affair after all.

UPDATE: Ballistics Info from Marlin.


—John Snow



Just what we need "another" cartridge that shoots almost as good as the 30-06 (your chart). Granted it comes in a lever action, but so does a BLR.


Yeah, but a BLR ain's an American made legend like the Marlin is.


338 Bullet diameter plus 30-06 performance? What else do you need? Marlin is American and I am buying one.