I profess a love and long abiding respect for the .35 Remington. The cartridge has been around a long time. It was originally chambered in the Remington Model 8 rifle in 1908. It's probably the last of the line of mid-powered rimless cartridges that were designed for early autoloaders of that period. Framk Hamer used a Remington Model 8 in the ambush that ended the career of outlaw Clyde Barrow.
When I was a tender youth, my buddy shot a .35 Remington and propounded on the advantages of the cartridge as a dense woods deer rifle. I couldn't afford a centerfire rifle, but I listened to my buddy and dreamed of the day I could put cash down on such a masterpiece of engineering. Then, one day when I was in college I was walking through a hardware store and saw a Marlin 336 in the rack. I asked to look at it and saw that it was chambered in .35 Remington. The price tag, new in box, was $87.50, still more than I could afford, but the counterguy told me that they had a layaway plan. So, I plunked down $10.00 to hold it, and started saving my pennies to buy the rifle. In ninety days it was mine, paid in full, and I realized I didn't have enough hard cash to afford ammo, so I waited another 30 days to afford $8.00 for a box of Remington ammo.
A friend of mine went with me to a convenient pipeline and we set up a target and sighted the rifle. I still had 10 rounds of ammo left at the end of that exercise and no more money in my pocket.
Several weeks later I was walking down a logging road with Joe Duhon, a classmate, in the Kisatchie Forest just south of Provencal, LA. We were late getting to the woods, Joe having stuck his Volkswagen in a mud hole. As we walked down Kisatchie creek, a deer stepped out of the trees and started across that tiny road. I threw the rifle up, snapped a shot and Joe and I were surprised to watch the animal spin around like he was pole-axed and drop into the dust, dead as Het. The deer kicked twice and lay still. Joe and I looked at each other, then started pacing the distance. Eighty-seven long steps. When I examined the deer, the reason for his demise was apparent. The big 200 grain bullet had entered at the point of the right jaw, traversed the neck and come out on the other side of his head. He was a middling spike buck, but for two starving college students he represented a lot of meat. Getting that deer into Joe's Volkswagen is another story. Suffice it to say that the front luggage compartment was covered in blood before we unloaded it.
The .35 Remington is considered a rather anemic cartridge. It throws a 200 grain bullet at about 2000 fps. It's long been overshadowed by other cartridges, but every deer I've killed with that rifle has exhibited much the same tendencies. They fall over, kick once, and die. There's something about putting a 200 grain slug into play that seems to end the discussion. The old slow-moving cartridges do a magnificent job when used the way the old-timers intended them to be used.
I use just one bullet in the .35 Remington. The Remington Core-Lokt 200 grain bullet. Pushed by IMR 4895, it trundles along and hits the target with surprising accuracy. Marlin still makes the 336 in .35 Remintgon. At 38 inches and 7 pounds, it's pretty much a perfect woods rifle. I suspect they cost more now than when I bought mine in '74. At some point, I put a 2X Simmons scope on my rifle and it's taken several deer over the past 38 years.
Several years ago, I passed that rifle down to my son, who also has sons. We were talking about an upcoming shooting trip and he mentioned that he was thinking about bringing the Marlin. I rummaged around on my bench and found some Winchester brass and a few old left-over Core-Lokt bullets. We'll see next week if the rifle can still shoot.
Yeah, there are faster, flatter shooting cartridges out there, but there's something special about the .35 Remington.