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Thread: 44 Mag & 444 Marlin: Cast Bullet Load Data?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master LET-CA's Avatar
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    Question 44 Mag & 444 Marlin: Cast Bullet Load Data?

    Looking at Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook, I was surprised to see that Lyman's published loads for the identical bullets has higher velocities for the 44 Magnum than the 444 Marlin. I'm at a loss to explain why this would be. Anyone have any insight on this?

  2. #2
    Boolit Man
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    Check the barrel lenght & / or gun used on the load data. I think, longer barrel will give you more velocity.

    Vegas Vince
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    Boolit Master LET-CA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vegas Vince
    Check the barrel lenght & / or gun used on the load data. I think, longer barrel will give you more velocity.

    Vegas Vince
    It should, but they have higher velocities coming from a 44 magnum. Go figure.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    I was very disappointed with Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook. It is a reference I NEVER use, in fact I doubt that I could find it in my reloading room. I should have sent it back. Pistol loads for big game cartridges are ridiculous.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    444 cast loads

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranch Dog
    I was very disappointed with Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook. It is a reference I NEVER use, in fact I doubt that I could find it in my reloading room. I should have sent it back. Pistol loads for big game cartridges are ridiculous.
    Gee Ranch Dog! You should know yerself that those micro-groove barrels won't shoot cast bullets very well at speeds much past pistol velocities. I too think it is a pretty poor excuse for a cast bullet "Bible". Of course we are all spoiled here.

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    Boolit Master Glen's Avatar
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    Newtire -- That has not been my experience. My Microgroove .444 Marlin shoots cast bullets just fine at full throttle. My favorite load has a 300 grain GC cast bullet at 2100 fps, and it will put 5 shots into about an inch at 50 yards with iron sights, and about 2 1/4" at 100 yards. My .35 Remington Microgroove rifles will do slightly better with select cast bullet loads, at the same velocity. This business about MG barrels not shooting cast bullets well is an old-wives tale that has been repeated forever. Just make sure your bullets are slightly oversized, since groove diameter tends to run a little large on these barrels.
    Glen

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    Boolit Master
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    Sorry Glenn

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen
    Newtire -- That has not been my experience. My Microgroove .444 Marlin shoots cast bullets just fine at full throttle. My favorite load has a 300 grain GC cast bullet at 2100 fps, and it will put 5 shots into about an inch at 50 yards with iron sights, and about 2 1/4" at 100 yards. My .35 Remington Microgroove rifles will do slightly better with select cast bullet loads, at the same velocity. This business about MG barrels not shooting cast bullets well is an old-wives tale that has been repeated forever. Just make sure your bullets are slightly oversized, since groove diameter tends to run a little large on these barrels.
    Sorry Glenn,
    Just being a wisenheimer about the micro-groove. My .444 is one of the best cast bullet guns I have and full-power, plinkers, you name it, it is very accurate indeed. The Lyman cast bullet book is surely lacking in these full-house loads though.

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    Boolit Master LET-CA's Avatar
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    I assume that you crimp on the forward driving band if you want to load one of Lyman's 429650 Keith style 300 grain bullets. The engraved crimp on the bullet makes the overall length too long to cycle through the action. My Lee FCD gets a nice crimp, which may not be necessary, given that there's about 24 inches of bullet inside the cartridge casing. . .

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    crimping spot

    Quote Originally Posted by LET-CA
    I assume that you crimp on the forward driving band if you want to load one of Lyman's 429650 Keith style 300 grain bullets. The engraved crimp on the bullet makes the overall length too long to cycle through the action. My Lee FCD gets a nice crimp, which may not be necessary, given that there's about 24 inches of bullet inside the cartridge casing. . .
    That's where I crimp both the .44 and the .444 as the only guns I have are long guns and like you say, to get them thru the action. That rounded nose feeds real good though in both my Ruger Auto and my Marlin .444.

    I'm using 20 gr. of 296 or 15.5 gr. Alliant (new) 2400 with the 300 gr. Lee in the .44 mag. Don't have a chrono so can't tell you the speed. Promised to get myself one this year but Dire Emergencies of the Winchester/Ruger/Midway order kind prevented that. Yes..I have enough guns now so will definitely buy it next year for pretty sure.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master LET-CA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newtire
    That's where I crimp both the .44 and the .444 as the only guns I have are long guns and like you say, to get them thru the action. That rounded nose feeds real good though in both my Ruger Auto and my Marlin .444.

    I'm using 20 gr. of 296 or 15.5 gr. Alliant (new) 2400 with the 300 gr. Lee in the .44 mag. Don't have a chrono so can't tell you the speed. Promised to get myself one this year but Dire Emergencies of the Winchester/Ruger/Midway order kind prevented that. Yes..I have enough guns now so will definitely buy it next year for pretty sure.
    I'll work up to your load and give back chrono data from my Winchester 94's in 44 magnum and 444 Marlin. Thanks for the data.

    Lenny

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    Boolit Master
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    Hey Lenny..

    Quote Originally Posted by LET-CA
    I'll work up to your load and give back chrono data from my Winchester 94's in 44 magnum and 444 Marlin. Thanks for the data.

    Lenny
    I have a word doc with my .444 stuff if you want it. Send me your E-mail addy & I'll ship it off to you what I have.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master LET-CA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newtire
    I have a word doc with my .444 stuff if you want it. Send me your E-mail addy & I'll ship it off to you what I have.
    Private message sent.

    Thanks

    Lenny

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    Talking

    Beartooth Bullets has a lot of .444 Marlin data on their Loadswap site. A lot of good data for the heavier boolits as well.

    Here's the link: http://www.loadswap.com/
    Last edited by Dutch4122; 06-24-2006 at 10:40 AM.
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    Boolit Bub
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    If it's with the same powder charge it makes sense. The larger case will generate less pressure than would the 44 Mag. Another reason could be that the bullet used is not appropriate with the 444 because it could blow up on the intended game. If that's the case, they might have posted the 444 load they had luck with and did not exceed the bullets capability.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master LET-CA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Castaway
    If it's with the same powder charge it makes sense. The larger case will generate less pressure than would the 44 Mag. Another reason could be that the bullet used is not appropriate with the 444 because it could blow up on the intended game. If that's the case, they might have posted the 444 load they had luck with and did not exceed the bullets capability.
    The only problem with your analysis is that hard cast lead bullets don't blow up at higher velocities (these were Lyman cast bullets). I think Michael (Ranch Dog) had the definitive take on all of this - Lyman just missed the boat when they did their 444 loads.

    I stopped by a local shop today and checked out their latest load manual (48th Edition) and see that most of the load data they have isn't even based on their own bullets anymore. I guess the market of bullet casters is shrinking.

    I just received a Saeco 44 cal, 300 grain mould and looking forward to pouring a bunch of these to compare against the Lee and Lyman moulds in the same class.

    (My only defense is that this is cheaper than either a girlfreind or a drinking habit.)

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    Lenny,

    I think one of the problems with finding available data for the 444 is that there isn't a single mold available that was designed for the 444. Everything is based on the 44 Mag or is offered as a compromise for the two calibers. I believe Lyman generated data for #2 alloy which would limit chamber pressures to the mid 30K at most.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by LET-CA
    Looking at Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook, I was surprised to see that Lyman's published loads for the identical bullets has higher velocities for the 44 Magnum than the 444 Marlin. I'm at a loss to explain why this would be. Anyone have any insight on this?

    I'll throw one more twist on this. All you have to do is look at the more popular 45-70. 95% of cast loads in a 45-70 are shot at 45 Colt velocities. So why would you not use the same logic and simply load the 444 down to 44 mag velocities?

    Remember, a very high percentage of shooters use cast as lower velocity practice or "cheap" shooting equivalents and still prefer jacketed bullets for higher velocity work. From Lymans point of view, they were simply delivering what their customers wanted.

    Didn't like that rational? Here is one more take.

    The stigma at that time was that microgroove rifling is only good for cast up to certain velocities. When that data was developed and that manual written, most of the guns sold in those two calibers used microgroove rifling.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master LET-CA's Avatar
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    Lots of good thoughts from people whose opinions I respect. Thanks to all for sharing your inputs.

    Taking a twist on Michael's comment about the lack of moulds made specifically for the 444 - I'm looking at a fine stack of 429650s (Lyman's 300 grain Keith style bullet) In order to keep the overall length within spec (to allow it to cycle through my Winchester Timber Carbine) I have to crimp the bullet right on the very front end of the forward driving band. I was thinking that if I were to shorten the brass ever so slightly, I could apply that crimp towards the middle of the band and have a more secure grasp on the bullet. The internal capacity would be reduced but could be compensated for by starting at minimum suggested load and working up from there. Has anyone here tried this?
    Last edited by LET-CA; 06-25-2006 at 12:59 PM.

  19. #19
    Boolit Bub
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    Ooops! Should have read the original post closer.

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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