The .338 Marlin Express is the ‘427 big block’ of lever gun cartridges according to Hornady.Â 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.Â Hornady says the .338 Marlin is “based loosely on the 376 Steyr.”
This is the only load for this caliber from Hornady. Â Hornaday often loads ammo for the smaller, niche calibers. Â 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. Â 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. Â I presume it is still selling relatively well for the company since it is still in the catalog some five years later. Â 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. Â For a top load in a niche caliber, that price isn’t shocking. Â Figure street prices to be a little lower, but no cheaper than $1.50/round. Â That is one of the prices you pay by going with high performance, low circulation caliber I suppose.