.338 Marlin Express LEVEREvolution Ammo From Hornady

The .338 Marlin Express is the ‘427 big block’ of lever gun cartridges according to Hornady.  Hornady states the .338 Marlin is the first “long-range, big game, lever gun specific cartridge.” Introduced by Marlin in October, the firearm has not yet been posted on the Marlin site, but should be listed in the upcoming 2009 catalog.

Using a 200-grain FTX bullet common to the LEVEREvolution line, the Hornady loading of the .338 Marlin Express shows a muzzle velocity of 2565 fps (2921 ft/lb) that maintains 1991 fps (1760 ft/lb) at 300 yards with only a 7.8″ drop.  Hornady says the .338 Marlin is “based loosely on the 376 Steyr.”

This is the only load for this caliber from Hornady.  Hornaday often loads ammo for the smaller, niche calibers.  While it is great they are making a LevereRevolution load for the .338 Marlin Express, it would be great to see another load from them in this caliber.  I don’t know if there is enough of a following to justify its development, but it would be great from this consumer’s viewpoint.

More information about the .338 Marlin Express ammunition from Hornady is here.

Update September 2013

This cartridge is still the only .338 Marlin Express load made by Hornady.  I presume it is still selling relatively well for the company since it is still in the catalog some five years later.  The specs on the load remain the same: 200-grain FTX bullet running at 2565 fps from the barrel.

MSRP on this ammo is $39.81 for a box of 20.  For a top load in a niche caliber, that price isn’t shocking.  Figure street prices to be a little lower, but no cheaper than $1.50/round.  That is one of the prices you pay by going with high performance, low circulation caliber I suppose.

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

4 replies on “.338 Marlin Express LEVEREvolution Ammo From Hornady”

And of course there is the Browning BLR long-action chambered in the venerable .30-06, which more or less performs the same ballistic tricks out of a lever gun in a far more well established caliber.

Though I well know there are those dyed-in-the-wool Marlin fans out there. And I wish them the best of luck on their hunt for Elk, Moose, large Black Bear and an ammo source.

The only probablem with that is the 30-06 is shooting 180 grain and the 338 is shooting 200. Dont get me wrong I cut my teeth on 30-06 but it isnt the 338 and alot of people cant afford a BROWNING. So each to there own.

Dear Hornady.
I’m currently in the process of purchasing a 338 Marlin Express Lever
action rifle for great hunting in Alaska.I know this rifle is new for
Marlin in 2009 and manufactured as well as all Marlin Firearms. I have no comment to the 338 Marlin Express LEVEREvolution ammo,except
how long will it be available and were to purchase it in quantities..
(Is this a new cartridge that might fade away) Thanks for time

I own a 338MX and am an ardent of the gun / caliber.

Buy the BLR? Sure, everyone wants to spend 50% more for a browning BLR to get the same ballistics. And most people ignore the 338ME has the same trajectory shooting a heavier bullet. Plus the BLR kicks a lot harder than the 338 as the 338 comes in at about 70% of the recoil of a 180 gr bullet shot out of a 30-06.

The 338 Marlin Express shoots subMOA groups, costs less, kicks less, and actually hits harder than the 30-06. In my mind the BLR comes up short by comparison.

It’s easier to break down for cleaning, and Marlin’s warranty program is top notch. So it’s the better buy in many ways.

Comments are closed.