.35 Remington Tests

June 7, 2010
By Jason Wimbiscus
I finally got around to re-testing the loads I have for my Marlin 336 in .35 Rem.  I really like this rifle since it is almost as light and handy as my 1894 but packs a little more punch and with the right loads can give me a 200 yard reach if I need it (which I likely won’t).  Recoil is manageable enough to where I can shoot it from the bench all day without suffering any real fatigue, which I can’t say for cartridges in the .30-06 class.  While it doesn’t produce the blistering velocities of many of its more modern cousins, a 180-200 grain .358″ bullet is nothing to scoff at, especially at the close to moderate ranges encountered in the northeastern deer woods.  With the exception of the 200 grain factory load, all test material was shot at a distance of 100 yards.

180 Grain Speer Jacketed Flat Nose
The first load I tested was a handload  consisting of a 180 grain Speer flat point pushed by 39.0 grains of Hodgdon 4895.  The chronographed muzzle velocity is 2187 f/s, making for a 100 yard impact velocity of 1866 f/s.  The bullet cleared 10.5″ of test material and then embedded 3.5″ into a paraffin backing block.  The recovered  bullet expanded to a diameter of .51″ and retained 160 grains (89%) of its original mass.  Not bad for a round I assembled myself.
200 Grain Hornady Leverevolution Factory Load

Next up was the factory 200 grain Hornady Leverevolution.  This bullet incorporates a pointed, flexible, polymer tip that allows cartridges to be loaded into tube magazines without fear of a chain-fire occurring.  The result is a higher ballistic coefficient that results in a flatter trajectory.  The factory data has the bullet leaving the muzzle at 2225 f/s and impacting a 100 yard target at 1963 f/s.  As is shown in the photo, the bullet penetrated 12″ of the test material and an additional 1.5″ of backer.  The recovered bullet had folded back on itself making for an expanded diameter of .52″ and a retained mass of 169 grains (85%).

200 Grain Jacketed Round Nose Remington Factory Load

I was admittedly having a hard time hitting the 6″x6″ face of the test block at 100 yards with this load.  It may have been a hot barrel, dirty barrel, the cheap scope failing, operator error, or all of the above.  Eventually, I got aggravated and moved the block up to the 50 yard line.  When I finally hit the block dead center, I was surprised by the results.  The bullet had a muzzle velocity of 2080 f/s (according to factory data) and a 50 yard impact velocity of 1881 f/s.  Despite the fact that the heavier bullet impacted the target at a slightly higher velocity than the 180 grain Speer, it penetrated noticeably less than the lighter projectile .  Depth of penetration was 10″ and the recovered bullet had expanded to a diameter of .59″ and retained 186 grains (93%) of its original mass.  It’s interesting to note that my test of the Barnes 140 grain XPB fired from a .357 Mag carbine penetrated to a depth equal to that of the 200 Grain Remington Round nose.  However, it appears the rifle bullet created a wider cavity.
200 grain Hornady Round Nose Handload

The results of today’s tests may be a little skewed due to the unusually warm temperatures Vermont has be having lately.  The previous tests were conducted when daytime air temperatures were in the 60’s and low 70’s, but in recent weeks, temps have been in the 80’s to near 90.  This means the test material was a little on the soft side, which may have exaggerated penetration to some degree.  The results are nonetheless interesting.
The load consists of a 200 grain Hornady round nose Pushed by  38.5 grains of H-4895 to a muzzle velocity of a little over 2000 f/s.  The 100 yard impact velocity was 1670 f/s and the retained energy should have been around 1239 ft/lbs.  The bullet penetrated completely through the 10″ block of test material and through another 7″ of paraffin blocks before finally coming to rest.  The recovered bullet retained a mass of 155.5 grains (78%) and had an expanded diameter of .58″.  I’m puzzling over why this round penetrated more than the rest and my money is on the temperature

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