.35 Remington: Ultimate Guide To What You Need To Know

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While the .35 Remington was extremely popular when first introduced in the early 1900s, the cartridge has fallen out of mainstream use in recent years. A loyal segment of hunters and shooters still use the cartridge, but most other hunters pass by the .35 Remington in favor of modern cartridges with more impressive ballistics on paper.

In my opinion, that is a big mistake.

The .35 Remington initially found favor among hunters seeking a good “brush bullet” and many deer, bear, elk, and even moose have fallen to the .35 Remington over the years. Don’t be fooled by it’s somewhat anemic looking ballistics on paper when compared to newer cartridges sporting fancy pointed tips and blazing fast velocities.

Those same characteristics that made the .35 Remington such an effective choice on really large animals during the 20th Century still ring true today. It never has been and never will be a good long range cartridge, but if anything, modern loadings using high quality bullets have further improved the performance of the .35 Remington on big game at short to moderate range.

In this article, I’m going to conduct a detailed analysis of the .35 Remington in an effort to cut through some of the myths and misunderstandings out there regarding the capabilities of the cartridge so you can make an informed decision regarding whether or not you should hunt with one.

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.35 Remington History

Remington introduced the Remington Auto-Loading Rifle (later known as the Remington Model 8) in 1906. Along with the rifle, they introduced four new rimless cartridges: the .25 Remington, the .30 Remington, the .32 Remington, and the .35 Remington.

Of the four rifle cartridges introduced with the Remington Model 8, the .35 Remington was by far the most popular and is the only one still in production.

.35 Remington Ballistics

Since it had no competitor at the time, and since it filled an important “medium bore” niche, the .35 Remington quickly caught on with hunters in the United States. The original load of the cartridge propelled a 200 grain, .35 caliber, bullet at just under 2,100 feet per second.

The original .35 Remington load generated over 1,900 foot pounds of energy and quickly became a favorite among American hunters.

Particularly when used in a high quality rifle, the .35 Remington is capable of pretty darn good accuracy and I’ve shot many nice groups with an off the shelf Remington Model 81. However, the biggest shortcoming in the cartridge is limited effective range.

Even when using loads on the upper end of the performance envelope for the cartridge, the .35 Remington still has a relatively slow velocity and low ballistic coefficient. As a result, the cartridge does not have a very flat trajectory.

Realistically, the maximum effective range for the .35 Remington for most shooters is 200 yards. Depending on the load, 150 yards may be a better estimate.

So, in recognition of both the strengths and weaknesses of the cartridge, the .35 Remington gained a good reputation among American hunters seeking an effective “woods cartridge” for pursuing game in areas where shots inside 100 yards were the norm.

The .35 Remington was extremely effective in that role.

Remington marketed the cartridge as a superior alternative to another extremely popular cartridge that excelled under those same circumstances: the venerable .30-30 Winchester.

35 Remington vs 30-30

A typical 35 Remington factory load (200gr bullet at 2,080fps) has about 5% more energy than a normal 30-30 factory load (170gr bullet at 2,200fps). The 35 Remington also uses a bullet about 18% heavier and with over 35% more frontal surface area (.1007 vs .0745 square inches).

These seemingly small differences added up to a significant difference in power and effectiveness on game between the two cartridges. In particular, the .35 Remington offers a marked advantage over the .30-30 Winchester when hunting very large, tough, and/or dangerous game like moose and grizzly bear.

picture of 7-30 waters vs 30-30 winchester vs 35 remington
30-30 Winchester vs 7-30 Waters vs 35 Remington

Remington made great efforts to promote the power of the .35 Remington by featuring the cartridge, along with their revolutionary new semi-automatic rifle, in many advertisements during the first half of the 20th Century. These advertisements typically featured hunters fearlessly facing down wolves and grizzly bears with their trusty Remington Auto-Loading Rifle chambered in the potent .35 Remington cartridge.picture of 35 remingtonOther Remington posters publicized the ability of the cartridge to penetrate a 5/16″ of steel plate, a feat the .30-30 Winchester could not match.

.35 Remington Ammo

Remington, Winchester, Federal, Hornady, and Buffalo Bore, among others, currently offer a handful of different .35 Remington ammo options. The most common load is a 200gr round nose soft point traveling between 2,000 and 2,100 feet per second.

For those interested in wringing out all of the power available in the .35 Remington, there are a couple of other .35 Remington ammunition options besides the standard 200gr soft point loads listed above. For instance, Remington also sells 150gr load that produces velocities around 2,300 feet per second.

Hornady also produces their “LEVERevolution” line of ammunition, which uses their Flex Tip Expanding (FTX) bullet. The FTX bullet has a pointed, flexible, polymer tip that has a higher ballistic coefficient than the flat tipped or round nose bullets the cartridge normally uses.

LEVERevolution bullets, unlike most bullets with pointed tips, are also safe to use in rifles that have tubular magazines (like the Marlin 336). The 200 grain bullet has an advertised muzzle velocity of 2,225 feet per second and a muzzle energy of 2,198 foot pounds.

Buffalo Bore also produces 220gr loads that they claim reach a velocity of 2,200 feet per second (2,364 foot pounds).

This is a very stout load for the .35 Remington.

Both of these .35 Remington ammo choices offer slight improvements over typical factory loads. However, they are high pressure loads and should only be used in modern firearms, such as the Marlin 336, that are in good condition.

Buy some high quality 35 Rem hunting ammo here.

picture of 35 remington vs 30-06
Hornady LEVERevolution (L) and Remington Core-Lokt (R) compared to a .30-06

.35 Remington Rifles

In addition to the semi-auto Remington Model 8 and 81, Remington also produced the Model 14 pump-action rifle chambered in the cartridge. A very small number of Winchester’s legendary bolt-action pre-64 Model 70 rifles were manufactured in .35 Remington as well.

Thompson Center also manufactures their break action, single shot Contender pistol in .35 Remington for handgun hunters who love the cartridge. Henry Repeating Arms currently manufactures a model in .35 Remington as well.

However, the most popular rifle chambered in .35 Remington is the Marlin Model 336 lever-action rifle.

At this time, Henry and Marlin are the only two companies I’m aware of that produce new rifles in the cartridge.

Buy a nice .35 Rem hunting rifle here.

What Can You Hunt Using The .35 Remington?

Even when using the standard factory loads, the .35 Remington is an outstanding round for use on medium sized game such as whitetail deer, feral hogs, and black bear at short ranges. At ranges less than 100 yards, like when hunting whitetail deer or black bear in thick cover, the cartridge excels and is absolutely deadly on big game.

The heavy, slow moving bullets deliver bone crushing power and do not produce large amounts of ruined, blood shot meat that high velocity cartridges do. Additionally, the .35 Remington will perform adequately on larger game such as elk, grizzly bear, brown bear and moose.

It’s even more effective when using some of the hotter loads (like those from Buffalo Bore) available on the market.

Especially when used in handy, quick pointing rifles such as the Marlin 336, the .35 Remington really comes into its own when used in thick cover. For this reason, the .35 Remington is most popular in the northeast and southeast regions of the United States where shooting ranges are short.

When hunters there really need to make a rapid shot and anchor their game quickly, they can rely on a Marlin 336 chambered in .35 Remington. Because of its power and versatility, many generations of hunters from states as varied as Maine, North Carolina, Texas, and Georgia have successfully hunted deer, moose, bear, and hogs (like the one in the photo below) with the .35 Remington.

For a more detailed discussion on .35 Remington hunting ammunition, read this article:

Best .35 Remington Ammo For Hunting Deer, Bear & Other Big Game

35 remington hog huntingAnother interesting tidbit about the .35 Remington is the alleged use of a Remington Model 8 chambered in the cartridge by legendary Texas Ranger Frank Hamer in the final ambush that killed Bonnie & Clyde in 1934. However, historians are conflicted on the subject and there are several different stories about what rifle Hamer actually used.

We’ll probably never really know for sure, but it is certainly possible that he used a Remington Model 8 in the famous shootout, though it very likely did not have an extended magazine (as alleged by some sources).

Even though it does not sport the sexy pointed bullets and high velocities of some of the more popular cartridges on the market today, the .35 Remington still maintains a healthy following among American hunters. It is true that the cartridge has its limitations, but used under the right circumstances, it is an outstanding choice. If we’re being honest with ourselves, the majority of American hunters, especially in the south and northeast, will take only a handful of shots at big game at ranges past 100 yards in their lifetime. For those close range shots, the trusty old .35 Remington has few equals.

Are you just itching to take a rifle chambered in .35 Remington on a hunt?

Book an incredible black bear hunt here.

Book an outstanding African safari hunt here.

If you’d like to read a more detailed discussion on a couple of other .35 caliber cartridges, read the articles below:

338 Federal vs 308 Winchester vs 358 Winchester: What You Need To Know

35 Whelen: The Poor Man’s Magnum

America’s “Other Levergun” by Glen E. Fryxell, The Great Model 8 & 81 by Richard Jones, Bullet Frontal Area List, by Chuck Hawks, and the Lyman 50th Edition (p309-310) and Hornady 10th Edition (p682-683) reloading manuals were used as references for this article.

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NEXT: THE 9.3x62mm MAUSER: AN UNDERRATED BIG GAME HUNTING CARTRIDGE CARTRIDGE

40 thoughts on “.35 Remington: Ultimate Guide To What You Need To Know”

  1. I bought a Marlin 336c new in 1975 at Woolco for $89.00. Recently I’ve been thinking of selling it since I’m old now and haven’t fired it in a while. After reading this article and the comments I’ve just decided to hang onto it.

    Reply
  2. 30 years ago I used my grandfathers 35 Remington pump action to take my first deer. When my grandfather does my dad sold it. Last year I found a marlon336 in 35 and bought it. It’s not the same but I love the 35 Remington

    Reply
  3. I’ve inherite a .35 bolt action rifle that’s been passed down the line of father & sons & now been researching its history but no luck causes most are talking about the lever action ones & not the bolt action ones this one only has 5 seril # instead of 6 or more now a days

    Reply
  4. I’m encouraged about all I’ve read regarding the .35 REM cartridge – however – can anyone address the effectiveness of this round from a 14.5″ barrel from an XP 100 hand cannon by Reminton? Obviously I’ll loose some velocity and energy from the shorter barrel, but I’d like to hunt elk – keeping the shot within perhaps 150 yards using Hornady’s 200 grain SST. Inasmuch as I’ve no chronometer to check, I’m wondering if anyone has a comparison (or chart?) delineating the difference between the normal 18″ or 24″ barrel as opposed to a 14.5″ barrel. Naturally, any hunt stories and/or photos are welcome. – Jeff Freeman, USCG (RET)

    Reply
  5. I inherited my dad’s 1959 .35 cal. marlin model 336 SC in 1996. It was his first & favorite deer rifle. Since I obtained it, it has become my favorite as well. I also have a winchester model 1894 30.30 & bought a bolt action remington model 783 30.06 a few years ago, but in the thick mountain woods of Pennsylvania, the .35 is superior in my opinion, however ammo is sometimes hard to find.

    Reply
  6. I’m in my mid 60 and have owned every flavor of rifle in my years including several Marlin 336’s in .35 cal. Of all the guns i’ve owned, perhaps the Marlin 336 is my favorite. I’ve sold most of the 336C’s that i’ve owned but recently acquired a Marlin 336SC made in 1962 which still had the original Marlin leather sling on it. Bottom line is i’ve got a safe full of other rifles but always keep going back to the .35 Remington. I just love this caliber and this Marlin and i assure you the 336SC i recently acquired will never leave my possession until my collection gets passed on to my son and grandson.

    Reply
  7. The 35 Remington is an old cartridge but fills a unique niche in and amongst today’s modern cartridges. Low recoil, moderate velocity and large frontal area of bullet with decent foot/pounds of energy spell doom for wild game with an accurate shot. This caliber must be used within its effective range. This is not a long range rifle but within its effective range it is a high performance caliber. Nothing fancy, it just gets the job done with little fan fare. I think this is a good choice for beginner or experienced hunter. Those that have this caliber in their gun cabinet enjoy and cherish this caliber. Good hunting!

    Reply
  8. Have a Remington 700 BDL in 30.06 since the 60’s. Took many white tails here in Penna. Also several bear. Have always admired the wood burling and finish on Weatherbys but where we used to have a 150 – 200 yd. shot it is now down to about 65 – 75 with brush. Lost a very big black bear and large buck due to the brush. So I am now using a Marlin 336 35 Rem with 200 grain. Also a Marlin 1875 in 45.70 as alternate. The stock on my 35 Remington is something to behold. Almost as special as the custom Weatherby. And boy does it go through brush and laurel. I just love it.

    Ed Thomas

    Reply
  9. Good reading about the 35 Remington. I inherited a model 14 from my grandfather many years ago and to it’s credit it has taken many white tail deer and I believe one black bear here in S.W. PA. A great brush gun that’s compact and easy to carry and plenty of power to get the job done. I have shot Hornady’s Lever evolution ammo in it but I have to put a 200 grain round nose bullet in the magazine first so the soft point bullets will feed and chamber. My son will inherit the gun next and I’m sure that good old .35 will keep performing as well for him as it did for his great grand father who purchased it new.

    Reply
  10. Here in Yukon, Canada I have shot 7 moose with my Rem.760 in .35 Remington. All were shot at close range(typically 50 yards or less). This cartridge is deadly on moose at these ranges assuming good chest shot is made!

    Reply
    • When you’re getting within 50 yards of moose you’re doing some real hunting. I get annoyed with ‘hunters’ taking 350+ yard shots on game animals. The long range rounds do a great job, don’t get me wrong. But, taking long range shots which I would say is anything over 200 yards is finding a target and shooting after all the doping is done. This is not hunting, in my opinion. I respect those who would disagree me and would never tell them to not hunt that way.
      I am tickled you use the 760 Rem. It is a sweet rifle. I have one (7600, actually) in .308 and really enjoy shooting it. Being left handed its nice to have weapons I don’t have to do anything special to be able to use them effectively.

      Reply
  11. Recently inherited my Dad’s 1950 336 in .35. It was also my grandfather’s. I will never sell it, thanks for the great article.

    Reply
  12. Great article! I have a complete set of Browning Blr from the 22 bl all the way to the 300 mag. I was trying to decide what to use for bear this season. I’ve owned a Marlin 336 in the 35 caliber for 40 years and have downed every large game shot at. I kept it at 100 yard max! This article has helped me decide to use old faithful over the 40 guns I own! Thank you for the lesson again after 40 years!

    Reply

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