The .35 Remington: An Underrated Brush Cartridge

Check out this article about the history and recommended uses of the .35 Remington.

When it was introduced by the Remington Arms Company in 1906, the .35 Remington had no true peer among the cartridges of the day. Hunters seeking a good “brush bullet” found the .35 Remington a satisfactory choice and many deer, bear, elk, and even moose fell to the .35 Remington over the years. However, the intervening decades have not been kind to the cartridge and the .35 Remington has fallen out of favor with most mainstream hunters. Though it is still a quite powerful cartridge under the right circumstances, the .35 Remington is now one of the most under-rated “woods cartridges” in the United States.

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Remington introduced the Remington Auto-Loading Rifle (later known as the Remington Model 8) in 1906. Along with the rifle, they introduced four new cartridges: the .25 Remington, the .30 Remington, the .32 Remington, and the .35 Remington. 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. This load generated over 1,900 foot pounds of energy and quickly became a favorite among American hunters.

Remington marketed the cartridge as a superior alternative to the venerable .30-30 Winchester, which was (and still is) one of the most popular deer hunting cartridges of the day. Though producing only slightly more muzzle energy in a typical load (1,905 vs 1,873 foot pounds of energy), the .35 Remington sported a bullet that was 18% heavier (200gr vs 170gr), 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.

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 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. Other 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 ad

Of the four cartridges introduced with the Remington Model 8, the .35 Remington was by far the most popular and is the only one still in production. In addition to the Remington Model 8 and 81, Remington also produced the Model 14 pump-action rifle chambered in the cartridge. Thompson Center also manufactures their break action Contender pistol in .35 Remington. However, the most popular rifle chambered in .35 Remington is the Marlin Model 336 lever-action rifle.

.35 Remington Loads

Remington, Winchester, Federal, Hornady, and Buffalo Bore, among others, currently offer a handful of different loads for the .35 Remington. The most common load is a 200gr soft point traveling between 2,000 and 2,100 feet per second. However, other bullet weights are available, though less common. For instance, Remington also sells 150gr load that produces velocities around 2,300 feet per second.

For those that are interested in wringing out all of the power available in the .35 Remington, there are a couple of other options besides the standard 200gr soft point loads listed above. Hornady produces the “LEVERevolution” line of ammunition, which has a pointed, flexible, polymer tip that improves the ballistic coefficient of the normally flat tipped bullet. LEVERevolution bullets, unlike most bullets with pointed tips, are also safe to use in rifles that have tubular magazines (like the Marlin 336). The 200gr bullet has an advertised muzzle velocity of 2,225 feet per second and a muzzle energy of 2,198 foot pounds. Buffalo Bore produces 220gr loads that they claim reach a velocity of 2,200 feet per second (2,364 foot pounds), which is a very stout load for the .35 Remington. Both of these 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.

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 its 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.

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

Hunting With 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 deer, feral hogs, and black bear at short ranges. At ranges less than 100 yards, like when hunting whitetail deer in thick cover or on an Alberta black bear hunt, 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 (though it’s on the light side for moose and really big bear). This is even truer when using some of the hotter loads available on the market.

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

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

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.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.

If you’d like to read a more detailed discussion on a cartridge that’s often compared to the .35 Remington in the .358 Winchester, read this article:

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

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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34 thoughts on “The .35 Remington: An Underrated Brush Cartridge”

  1. Very nice article- thanks for writing it.

    The 35 Remington is probably the most underrated and out of favor cartridge in 2014. But it wasn’t always that way, and really should not be that way now. In the early 1900’s, Ralph Edwards homesteaded in the Grizzly center of British Columbia and stopped counting after shooting 50 grizzlies. His rifle and cartridge,a Remington Mdl 8, 35 Remington. In the 1940’s, Judge Folta from Juneau, Alaska, routinely hunted the largest Brown bears he could find. His rifle and cartridge in the early years, a Remington Mdl 8, 35 Remington.

    Today, your considered a fool for going into Grizzly country with anything less than a 45-70; yet, in all these years, the bears have not changed size. The only thing that has changed is possibly the hunter.

    Reply
    • Hi,
      Judge Folta’s son is my father in law living in South East Ak. I can tell you from what I have heard the bears Judge Folta often pursued were very, very large, extremely rare or not around today.

      Reply
  2. Agree completely that .35 Rems are under-rated. I have owned a Marlin 336 for over 40 years and considered it my best shooter in spite of owning .30-06s, .308s, .223s, 7.62x39s, made by Browning, Remington, Sig-Sauer, etc. But, we must face the fact that hunters are only people and people love fads which in the gun world is currently dominated by black guns, AR-15s and M4s, in 5.56/.223 and .300 Blkout calibers. Maybe, hunters will wakeup and go back to using real guns and calibers.

    Reply
  3. Well writ. Love the .35 Rem. I have several other rifles but when I open the safe I want to reach for the .35 especially for whitetail. There’s a lot to be said about blued steel and real wood and an American made lever gun in a nostalgic deer caliber. Leave the AR’s for the folks defending our country, I like all guns but I feel there’s a place for each and there’s not a much more fitting gun in the eastern woods I hunt than the classic .35

    Reply
  4. I just bought a 336 1870-1970 marlin centennial rifle chambered in 35 remington… This article helped thanks for writing it!!!! It’s a 45 yr old gun in mint condition… I’ve taken many deer with the 30-06, .270, 30/30 winchester and even a few with a 7mm rem mag… I’m hunting brush this year got some big bucks found and can’t wait to try this rifle out on some deer and hogs…. I have shot it with 200grain core lokt soft points… It’s got alotta concussion the kick is surprisingly light but the hit can be seen down range as potent and authoritative…. I’m sure I’m gonna like it… God bless

    Reply
  5. My first deer rifle I owned, and still do, is a Remington Model 760 chambered in 35 Remington. Numerous deer have met their maker with that gun. I love how it handles and it shoots like a dream. Great caliber. Still use it when feeling nostalgic. Makes me feel like a kid again.

    Reply
  6. The 35 Rem holds a special place in my heart, hunting the north woods of Wisconsin, when i dont want to mess around using my 7mm or 270 i go to the trusty 35rem, its my Whitetail slayin rifle, my 35 blows away my other rifles when i gotta put meat in my freezer i get out the old 35 pumkin smasher i call it.

    Reply
  7. Thanks for all the info. on the 35 Rem. Very interesting. I’ve had a 336 Marlin, 35 rem. ( JC Higgens ) and just purchased a Rem. 760, 35 Rem. Found the info. I was looking for.

    Thank You !

    Reply
  8. Thanks for the write up on the 35 Remington I have lost count on the whitetail deer I have killed with my Remington 141 pump. I hunt the mountains of East Tennessee . My best deer was killed in 2008 a dress out 193 lb. B&C with a gross score of 175 net 163 6/8 in Tennessee too. Love them old rifles. Thanks Again

    Reply
  9. I’ve been using my Marlin 336 in .35 Rem for years. I’ve been loading Speer 180 gr. FNs for some time backed with 41.5 grs. of IMR 3031. Yes, it’s a very compressed charge. However, it is right on target at 200 yards and there are no pressure problems; easy eject, no primer flow and cases are not stretched or separating. Would I use on elk, out to 200 yards? You bet. It was my back-up rifle for my moose hunt in Newfoundland several years ago. I have .30-06, two .308s, .45-70 and a .375 H&H magnum, but, my little Marlin is still my favorite.

    Reply
  10. Love my Marlin .35 Remington. I’m on my third, a new one and I won’t make the mistake of letting it go again. Also have a Marlin 1894 in .44 magnum and 1895 in 45-70. Love them all and they are all perfect choices for the woods of WV. The .35 holds a special place for me though. When I lived in Montana I still chose the 336 in .35 over my bolt guns more times than not.

    Reply
  11. Thank you for this article I own a Marlin 336 in .35 my father bought the gun new and it’s now in my possession this information was helpful and interesting.

    Reply
  12. Moi​ j’ai 2 marlin Remington une cal .35 et l’autre cal 30/30 modèle 336 ? je ne peux pas demander mieux ?

    Reply
  13. My first deer rifle was a marlin 336 in 35 Remington. I took my first 75 deer with that awesome rife. Today I have collected many rifles in the 35… standard arms, Remington model 81, Remington model 14 pump… yes I love my 35s!

    Reply
  14. Just bought a Marlin 335 .35 Remington. Added a large scope and strap. Can’t wait to shoot it. Like one of the above comments: It looks cool and brings out the cowboy in us all.

    Reply
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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

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