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Thread: Input on Marlin .444

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Ontario, Canada

    Input on Marlin .444

    Input on New Marlin 444 lever
    Howdy. Been a Winchester shooter for most of my life and a sucker for straight wall cartridges, I was looking for peoples thoughts on this Marlin rifle. I realize Marlin had some issues in the past but have had some clarity on the newly made ones. Itís brand new probably last year and from a dealer. I just havenít had much experience with Marlin.
    I will basically be only shooting cast out of it.
    Anybodyís input on this rifle will be greatly appreciated.
    Donít know why I have had a recent interest in this caliber, as I shoot a multitude of other straight wall cartridges but I know itís been around for a long time. Just looking for something new to play around with.
    Thanks again and look forward for peoples input

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

    richhodg66's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    I'd try to find an older one if I were you, I just can't stand the push button safeties on the new ones, not to mention the general lack of finish and workmanship quality compared to the older ones.

    I'm sure it's good, but I could never see what the .444 could do the .45-70 couldn't do better and you can have the same rifle in .45-70.

    For what it's worth, Winchester made some '94s in .444.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    kungfustyle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Knoxville, TN
    Just a point of reference. I have reloading dies for the 444 Marlin, brass and a few 44 mag molds, but I use mine to reload the 410 shotshell. Now with that being said, supply vs demand. 45-70 has a loyal following as does 444 marlin. However, pull up any website and look at the ammo/components for said cartridges. 45-70 19 different rounds to select from on GRAFS.com 3 for 444. 6-45-70 and 3 for 444 Marlin. More people follow the 45-70 than the 444 marlin. My advice is to go with the 45-70. Or 44 Mag if you want the 44 cal. More = cheaper and options.
    However, if you just want a 444 Marlin, that's the cool thing about this hobby, you can do it.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    The Marlin uses a 1x38" twist that does some what limit the weight of the jacketed bullet. Normally the 240 grain bullet is standard with factory ammo and handloaders do use a 265 grain bullet. I seem to remember Marlin doing a few runs of 336's chambered in the 444 with a 1x20 twist but not quite sure about the twist. My Marlin in 444 had seen some use but not much care. But did shoot well with the factory ammo and destroyed a Bushnell scope I had on it. Started getting lousy groups one day and took the scope off. You could hear ratteling inside the scope tube. Changed out scopes when I got home and after zeroing the new scope groups back to normal. But then I also have a Ruger #1 in 45/70. The only factory ammo that shot well was the Remington 300 grain ammo. Which kinda surprised me after I slugged the barrel. The barrel slugged at .459. Cast bullets did so-so as well as the largest one barely made .459. Will have to get a fatter cast bullet mold. Plus a couple new sizer dies. Mine is an older Ruger made before Ruger started making their own barrels. Prior to that they out sourced the barrels,so who knows whose barrel is on my Ruger?. Frank

  5. #5
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    New England

    FYI - from my sticky in the gunsmithing section here

    Barrel twist rates:

    444 Marlin - 1 in 12"...Win 94BB Black Shadow
    444 marlin - 1 in 20"....Win 94BB Timber Carbine, post-1998 Marlin (Ballard rifling)
    444 Marlin - 1 in 38"...Marlin 336, 444S (Microgroove rifling); Win 94BB Std carbine

    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    FWIW newer 444s from Marlin have a 1-20" twist.

    The only thing that would make me hesitate to buy one is that they are limited in Cartridge OverAll Length by the 336 action. But let's face it - there's nothing any of us are likely to ever encounter that can't be flattened by a .444. In that light it may be a more sensible cartridge than the 45-70.

    edit: Also, I saw a new 444 in a shop about a week ago. It looked nice. Couldn't find any faults just looking at it.

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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