Winchester's XPR Bolt...
ZiPô - It's the Futur...
Either a 338 Ultra Ma...
Winchester's XPR ...
Handloading... A ...
Sabot munitions p...
The Ruger GP100 M...
Don't Forget the ...
Ruger's Lighter C...
Ruger's LC9s Turn...
Ruger's GP100 5&q...
Dreyse Model 1907...
Remington Model 7...
17 Hornet
204 Ruger
22 Hornet
22-250 Remington
220 Swift
223 Remington
243 Winchester
6mm Remington
240 Weatherby
25-20 WCF
257 Roberts
25-06 Remington
257 WM
6.5 Creedmoor
6.5x55mm Swede
260 Remington
6.5-284 Norma
264 Winchester Mag
6.8 Rem SPC
270 Winchester
270 WSM
270 Weatherby
7mm-30 RG
7mm-08 Remington
7x57 Mauser
280 Remington
7mm Remington Mag
7mm WSM
7mm Rem Ultra Mag
30-30 WCF
30 Remington AR
308 Winchester
30-06 Springfield
7.5x55 G11 Swiss
300 RCM
300 WSM
300 Winchester Mag
300 Weatherby Mag
300 Ultra Mag
7.62x39mm Russian
7.62x54R Russian
303 British
8x57mm Mauser
325 WSM
8x56R Mannlicher
338 Marlin Express
338 RCM
338 Remington UM
338 Winchester Mag
340 Weatherby Mag
338-378 WM
348 Winchester
358-378 RG
375 H&H
375 Ruger
375 Remington UM
378 Weatherby Mag
38-55 WCF
450/400 3" NE
416 WM
416 Ruger
416 Rigby
.44-40 W.C.F.
44 Rem Mag - Rifle
45 Colt
454 Casull Rifle
45-70 Government
45-70 Cast
450 Marlin
450 Rigby
460 Weatherby
500 S&W
500 Jeffrey


Marlin's Model 338MX Part I
The Pride and the Passion and the 338 Marlin Express
By Joe D'Alessandro Editor | RealGuns.Com

Marlin's 22" barrel Model 338MX arguably strikes a better balance of size versus power than the 24" barrel Model 338MXLR. Two inches shorter than the 338MXLR and an inch shorter than a Remington Model 700 Mountain Rifle, the Marlin 338MX is still not a typical lever action fifty yard spitballer.


Marlin Model 338MX


Marlin Firearms


338 MX


Lever Action


338 Marlin Express

Magazine Capacity


Barrel Length



1:12" 6 Groove


*7 lbs 0 oz.

Overall Length



walnut, pistol grip



Length of Pull

*13 5/8"

Drop at comb

*1 5/8"

Drop at heel

*2 1/2"


Metallic Adjustable


Drilled & Tapped

Trigger Pull

*7 lbs. 3 oz.


Cross Slide



Discount Retail


* Actual weights and measures

The 338 Marlin Express cartridge, in combination with this rifle, outperforms or matches bolt action rifles chambered for either the 338 Federal or 338-06 cartridges. Marlin recommends the Model 338MX for hunting anything in North America and notes this in product literature with the presence of categorizing coyote, deer, bear and very large proboscised moose icons. A tough jacketed 200 grain bullet, producing 3,000 ft./lbs of muzzle energy, suggests these are credible assertions.

The factory ammo's use of low .430 coefficient of drag Hornady Flex Tip bullets give the round relatively long legs. The 200 grain 338 Marlin Express load has higher retained energy and velocity than a 180 grain bullet .30-06 Springfield load and it shoots flatter all the way out to 400 yards.




338 Marlin Express 200 Grain Load 216 Yard Zero

Range -yds





Velocity - ft./sec.





Energy - ft.-lbs.





Path - in.





Time of flight - sec.






I ran the factory loads on the RealGuns Ballistic Calculator and generated the table indicated above. 300 yards is a long ways off. I realize there are a good number of shooters who can deliver on a target well beyond this point, but for me, three football fields is enough for me. As a point of reference, the 338 Marlin Express slug hits at 300 yards with 3.5X the energy of a 30-30 WCF, just about 1/3 of the drop and with 66% greater velocity. This isn't a typical lever gun.

A gun is partially defined by its cartridge...

Marlin offers a number of different lever action designs and chambers with each combination having its own distinct personality and suitable for a different application. A 30-30 WCF is an excellent gun for deer, black bear and hogs when hunting densely wooded areas where shots are inside 100 yards, more typically inside 40 or 50 yards. The guns are fast and light and excellent handling even with metallic sights. The 45-70 Gov't guns, particularly the Guide Guns are made for the same settings, but they can handle much heavier and tougher game. With modern high pressure loads they can handle anything in North America, with range being the greatest limitation; hundred yards for best results. The 338 Marlin Express makes for a different kind of Marlin.

L-R, 338 Ruger Compact Magnum, 338 Marlin Express, .308 Winchester and .30-30 WCF. The 308 Winchester is shown for dimensional context. The 30-30 WCF is a reminder of how much lever guns of traditional design have changed and developed over the years with modern materials and manufacturing processes and cartridges of ever greater intensity.







338 RCM





338-06 200 69.0 2800 3483
338 Federal 200 57.5 2660 3143

338 Marlin





308 Winchester










0.338" bullets are a bit like 0.284" bullets, potentially high in sectional density and low in coefficient of drag. They retain velocity longer, which yields greater down range kinetic energy and flatter trajectory.

...partially by its live fire personality...


The Marlin 338MX loaded up easily and without the loading spring removing half of my thumb as happens on occasion with my 45-70 Guide Gun. Feed was routine and positive, as was extraction and ejection. Recoil was about the same as a lightweight bolt action 308 Winchester; can't miss it, but it isn't harsh by any means. The 338MX was accurate to the extent of popping a sub 2" knot out of a dead birch tree at 50 yards through metallic sights. A scope makes the 338MX a 1" gun at twice that distance. I couldn't quite match the factory-stated velocity for the 200 grain Lever Evolution load. Spec performance is 2565 fps, however, they clocked 2515 over the chronograph. I'll chalk that up to the difference between 24" and 22" models, but both are actually better than good.

...and partially by its appearance

There may be even more at work here in this current product, the Remington influence. Gone are the satin-finished stocks and glossy plastic bits. In their place is an oil finish like... finish and the elegant, yes elegant, matte black plastic trim. They combine with the traditional Marlin hardware bluing to give the gun a bit of a nostalgic look. And I like the black trigger. Very nice.

If there is a point to address...

If there is an enervating influence to the 338 Marlin Express strategy it would be in the area of bullets. The Marlin is a tubular magazine firearm, which means no conventional pointed bullets. 338 Marlin Express factory ammunition is loaded with 200 grain Hornady Flex Tip bullets, spitzer type, which are soft and designed specifically for use in tubular magazines. It would be great if there were a 180 grain and possibly a 225 grain load to give the cartridge a bit more latitude.

The 200 grain FX bullet is available to handloaders as a component part, but there are other interesting bullets out there expand the weight range and the number of useful applications the round might serve. This and handload data will be the subject of Part II.

Marlin's Model 338MX Part I
Marlin's Model 338MX Part II

Come Visit the!


RealGuns Store
327 Federal Mag
357 SIG
357 Magnum
40 S&W
41 Remington Mag
44 Mag Revolver
45 ACP
45 Colt
45 Super
460 Rowland
454 Casull
7.62 Nagant
9mm Luger
9mm Luger +P
10mm Auto
17-357 RG
222 Remington
223 Remington
30-30 WCF
44 Magnum
45-70 Government
General Info
Powder Rates
Primer Table
Safety Tips
Site Disclaimer
    All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. © 2015 Real Guns, Inc.