Place of origin
The .308 Marlin Express is a cartridge developed in 2007 by Marlin Firearms and Hornady. It is based on the .307 Winchester with a goal to duplicate .308 Winchester performance. The cartridge uses a slightly shorter, semi-rimmed case similar to that of the .220 Swift to function in lever action rifles. As introduced in Hornady's LEVERevolution line of cartridges, it is the highest velocity production cartridge designed for lever action rifles with tubular magazines. It is chambered in Marlin's Model 308MX and 308MXLR rifles using the Marlin Model 336 action.
The .308 Marlin Express was designed to produce performance similar to the .308 Winchester. This would give lever-action hunters improved performance over their .30-30 Winchester rounds. The table below shows how the rounds compare. Note that reloading data for 160-grain (10 g) bullets for some of the cartridges is not available. Extensive loading data for the .308 Marlin Express is available at (Hornady Website Link). This round was designed with an elastomer tip, so that the .308 designed would be safe for the tubular magazine of lever action rifles. This softer tip eliminates the hazards of stacking pointed rounds end to end in a tubular magazine.
As of 2010, Hornady and Remington remain the only two manufacturers of loaded ammunition in .308 Marlin Express.