A Word About the New LeverEvolution Ammunition
There's nothing that can spoil any hunt faster than a gun malfunction. Couple a simple malfunction with a jam that renders your rifle completely inoperative and you may not only have a spoiled hunt, but also have a possible dangerous situation, depending on the area and game you're hunting.
Going out to the back forty for a few hours and experiencing a jam might be inconvenient, but having one happen after your 2nd shot at an already hit grizzly bear is something else, totally.
Hornady has given us some very fine loads in the last few years that can upgrade the performance we've seen previous from our traditional lever rifles. They have also invented some excellent new rounds that are good powerful ones based on their new FTX bullets. These lever action loads are known generally as LeverEvolution loads and are newly designed bullets with an elastic tip that makes it safe to load these pointed bullets in a tube magazine as normally found on traditional lever rifles. They are also loaded with some newer powders Hornady has pioneered to give some enhanced performance too.
Nothing new or shocking there. I'm simply rehashing some recent changes. There are a few additional things the buyer of these new rounds for their older lever rifles may want to know, however. There should be no problem with using these loads in any rifles (in good working condition) that are chambered for these loads.
These loads do not work at excessive pressures and should simply work as your previous loads did. On some older Marlin rifles, however, there have been instances where these loads have jammed as the round is moved from the tube to the chamber. Most of these problems have occurred with the "tipped" bullets only and once the jam is cleared and rifle reloaded with older flat nosed or round nosed loads the problem mysteriously disappears.
It's also most common that it is the last round in the tube (first inserted there) that causes the jamming. What has been found is that in some cases the initial round inserted into the tube during loading procedures is found to have become cocked awkwardly in the tube. The round has become misaligned and this can cause a jam as that crooked round becomes the next one to be chambered, as in most typical unloading procedures or when shooting the round previous to it and trying to lever that one into the chamber.
This may not have ever happened to you and may never happen, but it had become enough of an issue that Marlin started making their followers (round plastic piece the first round's nose sits against in the tube magazine) with a dimple in the middle of it to keep the bullet straight in the tube, making the possibility of such a jam much lower.
The newer Marlin lever rifles have red dimpled followers, so they are easy to determine. Depending on just how old your rifle is, it may or may not have this new "improved" follower installed. The follower can be changed out at home if you are handy and you can purchase one from Marlin or some other places for this switch.
Another "cure" is to always load a flat nosed bullet first in the tube, followed by the tipped LE rounds. Or, of course, simply do not use them if you suspect or have had issues with them.