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Thread: Gas checked bullets; Marlin 44 mag

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Gas checked bullets; Marlin 44 mag

    Good morning;

    Request feedback from anyone using cast bullets from these molds and using these bullets in a Marlin 44 magnum.
    The Marlin 44 magnum has 1 in 38 twist. Know it does not like 260 grain plain base bullet. Have these additional molds:

    • Lee 2-Cavity Bullet Mold C429-240-SWC; 240 Grain Semi-Wadcutter Gas Check
    • Lyman Bullet Mold #429215 44 Special, 44 Remington Magnum (430 Diameter) 210 Grain Semi-Wadcutter Gas Check

    Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    Moderator Emeritus

    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    The 1894s Marlin 44mag that I no longer own, liked the NOE copy of a Keith boolit, because it would drop .434 fat, I sized them to .432 I used them as Plain base, as well as putting a plain base GC on them. My Marlin, like most Marlin 44 mag guns with Micro-groove rifling, had a oversized bore. Undersized bullets (meaning bullets that are smaller than .431) will likely be problematic in your Marlin, you should slug the barrel to know for sure. As to the molds, I owned both of the molds you mention, the Lee C429-240-SWC and the Lyman #429215 and both dropped boolits smaller than .431
    Good Luck
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2013
    I shoot lots of full power cast bullets out of my marlins, use good lube and size to .431,

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    TCFAN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Missouri Ozarks
    My Marlin cowboy likes the Lyman 429215 very well if the mold is beagled to make the cast boolit drop out at .433. Any boolit smaller than .430 and you may as well throw rocks.

  5. #5
    Vendor Sponsor

    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Ojai CA
    OK; there appears to be some misconceptions about SAAMI Specs for .44 Magnum in Rifles versus Pistols. They are different for a reason.

    For Pistols the groove diameter is .429+/-.002.

    For Rifles it is .431+/-.002 Marlin Rifle barrels are pretty consistent at .431

    The reason for this is that a Rifle has a Closed and Locked Breach which doesn't allow any Gas to escape. A Revolver has a gap between the cylinder and barrel that gas can escape from. Also the barrel on a rifle is longer than a pistol so there is more resistance to the bullet. hence the looser tolerance.

    I have used Both the Lee 240 gr SWC and 429215 SWC GC. and they both work fine, but the big secret to getting the 1:38 twist barrels to perform is simply driving the boolits faster. Once you get past about 1600 fps accuracy is just fine. Marlin Rifle seem to produce their best results with boolits in the 240-260 gr. range.

    As far as my preference for Cast Boolits in the .44 Spec/Mag. I choose 429421 for my midrange loads in both Spec and Mag for pistols. and 429244 GC for my Rifle Loads. Both sized .432 and a gas check on the larger boolit. I also powder coat these which allows me more latitude when sizing them down. My Mihec Moulds for these boolits drop at .430 so powder coating bumps them up so they can be sized down to what I want. Never any leading, but with a Gas Check there shouldn't be any anyway.

    Standard load with the 429244 in my Marlin 1894 CB 24" is 23 gr of H110 with a 250-260 gr boolit (depending on HP or solid.) These produce around 1600 fps and 1.5-2" groups at 100 yards pretty consistently, and that's with a Receiver Sight and XS Front Sight.

    This level of accuracy is more than adequate for any possible use of that gun.

    Hope this helps with understanding of this beast. Also please read the Sticky at the top of the Leverguns Forum for chamfering the chamber mouth on these guns so they will reliably feed SWC's. This is a must do.

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    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"

  6. #6
    My marlin Gobbles up RCBS 44-240-SWC sized to .430

    I didn't Chamfer nothin and purchased the gun new.

    All of my Ruger SBH love the same slug. Also sized at .430 All over a full dose of 296 with a winchester primer.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

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
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check