It’s the modern way

I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned it yet, but I bought another rifle recently. 

It all started some time ago when I read an article about an old and slowly fading cartridge, and it stuck in my mind. It’s called .35 Remington, and while it is fairly old, so are many more popular cartridges. The .30-06 is 110 years old, so age alone doesn’t really matter. 

However, while it is a rimless case, it’s not exactly a speed demon. If it manages to push a 200gr bullet at 2000fps it’s doing well. But I suddenly have a thing for .35 calibre cartridges, so when I spotted a Marlin 336 lever action in .35 Remington on sale for a pretty decent price, it only took my willpower a couple of weeks to wear down.

This is what it looks like:

Since I’m usually all about accuracy, buying a lever action was something of a departure from the norm. However, early testing with factory ammo seems to suggest better accuracy potential than I expected. There is a new bullet that has been developed by Hornady. It is a spitzer style, but to prevent mishaps in the tubular magazine of lever actions, the tip is made of a slightly maliable material that deforms rather than ignite the next round under recoil. The pointed bullet helps get the most out of older cartridges like .35 Remington, and so I have bought a box, along with some new Hornady brass to load them in. I have fitted a cheap scope to the rifle, and zeroed the open sights it came with: because if the sights are there, they might as well work. 

The rifle is light and fast handling, and within about 200yds it should work fine on deer. If I get some load testing completed before November I plan to use the rifle for this year’s deer season. The place I have been hunting rarely offers a shot over 100 yards, so this rifle will be just fine. Also I will feel like I am getting more into the American hunting spirit. All I need now is a red checked wool shirt and the right accent, and I will blend right in.
The only thing about this rifle (other than the not insignificant recoil), is the difficulty involved in cleaning the barrel. To do this I have to undo a screw and remove the lever, then pull out the bolt body and ejector to clear the path down the barrel. Once this is achieved you’d think cleaning would be straight forward, but the size of the gun, combined with the awkwardness of attaching a bipod, makes pushing a cleaning rod back and forth a frustrating experience. 

Thus, in true modern style I decided to build a labor saving device. And here it is: 

This is my bench clamp. I built it from some random pieces of plywood, some scraps of leather, and a cheap hand screw clamp I bought on amazon. It worked out better than I expected, and makes cleaning all of my firearms a whole lot easier. 

And that’s the way it should be: boring parts easy, fun parts fun, for ever and ever, amen.

Till next time…

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