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Thread: 444 Marlin vs 44 Magnum

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    444 Marlin vs 44 Magnum

    What can a 444 Marlin do that a 44 mag cannot with cast (in a rifle)?
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master 6pt-sika's Avatar
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    444 can handle a 400 grain bullet , but a 44 MAG I would say can't !
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    Double's , 6.5mm's , 444 Marlin , Sika Deer and the Philippines

  3. #3
    Produce substantially more velocity with any bullet weight!

    44

  4. #4
    Boolit Master EOD3's Avatar
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    With either rifle, you'll probably want to limit the velocity anyway, velocity will pretty much be a wash.

    The main question is rifling, twist, and throat that will generally limit the bullet weight/length.

    Not knowing the rifle(s) in question, I can't WAG an answer.

  5. #5
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    Good evening
    The 444 will do it with alot less pressure using the same boolit. And as mentioned you can really get into Heavy Boolits.
    It is the same as comparing a 45 Colt to the 45-70. I have both and I figure if I really need more than a 275 grain bolit I get out a 45-70 and Charlie Mike.
    But also the short actions are much nicer to tote about the vegetation and where I stalk about in the state of ILL there really are no 45-70 critters lurking about.
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  6. #6
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    I don't have a 44, but it seems like enough people have complained of problems making a 44 shoot well, that I have no real interest in having one. I just do the 357 mag and jump to the 45/70.

    So the 444 would be the way I would go.
    Crabo

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I don't know about most 44 mag rifles shoting poorly but I DO know that the Marlin 1894 model has a very in appropriate twist in 44 mag. You want atlest 1-18 twist if I remember rightly.

    Tom

  8. #8
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    I have a 1-38" twist micro-groove marlin and it shoots the cast 240-250 grain at about 1700 fps with no troubles. I have shot moly lubed Bear Creek brand bullets at up to j-word speeds with real great accuracy.

    Another thing the .444 can do is kick the sh** out of you.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newtire View Post
    Another thing the .444 can do is kick the sh** out of you.
    I can always count on Newtire for linear thinking .
    Lotta people die in bed: Dangerous place to be!

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  10. #10
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    It can give you harder to obtain ammo and brass and 6? shots vs 10 or 11.
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  11. #11
    A Winchester trapper in 44mag with a 300 grain boolit at max will make you have to start over your shooting training to get rid of your flinching problem. It will flip a 2 ft square 1/2 inch steel plate hanging target flip clear over in a complete circle. And knock a blacktail deer plumb off his feet at a hundred yards.

  12. #12
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    I do not own a 444 Marlin but do own several 44 Mag lever guns. I have yet to get one of them shooting better than around 3 inches at 100 yards. Actually most of my loads go 4 to 6 inches at that range and some or worse than that. I guess I just have not found a combo that works. I also have the same guns in 45 colt and they shoot much better for some reason. As for the 444 I never bought one as I have several 45-70s so why do I need a small bore. I Think I may get a new mold in 44 I was thinking of a 265 gr flat point this might cure my accuracy problems.

  13. #13
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    a closer comparison would be the 444 against the 4570. Ive used all three and on deer sized game they all kill well at under a 100 yards. The 444 will handle heavier bullets and will easily shoot out to 200 plus yards. Ive allways thought it hit like a 4570 with much less recoil. Ive got a marlin outfitter in 444 and it shoots moa at a 100 yards with loads it likes and smacks the **** out of game. Another fun thing to do is shooting varmit with 180 jacketed hollow points out of a 444. Talk about a bomb! I guess i do prefer the 4570 as i have 5 of them and only the one 444 but i wouldnt part with my outfitter for any price.
    sixgun junky

  14. #14
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    With cast bullets, the .44 Mag gives me 1650-1700 fps with a 250 gr bullet. It takes 22.5 gr of H-110 to do it, pretty much a case full. The .444 Marlin gives me 2050 with a 310 gr. bullet, taking 46 gr. of AA-2460 to do it, once again a case full.
    Pretty much a cartridge dumps the energy of its powder load into the bullet, so the .444 is dumping twice as much energy into the bullet as .44 Mag does. What else can I tell you? I haven't shot any animals with either one, and probably it wouldn't make that much difference on deer, but for bear, boar, and elk I would pick the .444.

    It should be noted that energy is related directly to bullet weight and to the square of the velocity, so if I increase the bullet weight 24 % as above, I would require a 24% increase in powder charge to keep the same velocity of the bullet. If I double the powder charge with the same bullet, thus doubling the energy, I would get a velocity increase related to the square root of 2 (1.414).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightning Ross View Post
    A Winchester trapper in 44mag with a 300 grain boolit at max will make you have to start over your shooting training to get rid of your flinching problem. It will flip a 2 ft square 1/2 inch steel plate hanging target flip clear over in a complete circle. And knock a blacktail deer plumb off his feet at a hundred yards.
    Agree. At about 90% of max it starts becoming quite managable. Still plenty for the local white tails or a 300 pound pig.

    Anything that the 44 will do the 444 will do it a few dozen yards further away. The gain will not be free with respect to noise, weight and recoil. It is a matter of personal needs and taste.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master 6pt-sika's Avatar
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    I've used up to 350 grain cast bullets in the 444 to kill game animals .

    In the 44 MAG the biggest I've used has been the Ranch Dog 432-300GC . However I wouldn't have been afraid to use them to 100 yards in a Marlin lever gun .

    My own personal take on the situation !

    I own ONE 44 MAG rifle and two revolvers .

    I also own NINETEEN Marlin rifles chambered for 444 .

    No I DO NOT think the 444 is the end all cartridge but I do like shooting cast in them !

    I am also an advocate of the 45-70 which I happen to hold in higher regard then the 444 . However the 45-70 with my cast handloads is not quite as pleasent to shoot . But that could be more due to the buttplates on my old 45-70's then anything else .

    To me the 444 recoil isn't bad . However all of my rifles have recoil pads , although they are all factory pads I think they do an adequate job .

    My own findings with cast in Micro Groove 1-38 barrels has been that I can shoot up to a 375 grain bullet with acceptable accuracy .

    In my faster twist Ballard rifled gun I can shoot up to 400 grains easily .

    Someone said velocity was a wash . I don't agree with that statement . Especially in the slower twist Micro barrels . Unless you juice them up pretty well they won't stabalize satisfactorily .
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    Double's , 6.5mm's , 444 Marlin , Sika Deer and the Philippines

  17. #17
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    That depends on where you live. The 44 mag with cast bullet in a rifle is fine for most game when fed a load it likes. If you live in a place where you have Grizzer bears and such then I would go with the 444. I shoot both. You will be limited to three hundred grain bullet in the 44 because of the 1:38 twist.

    The 444 has been used with 400 grain bullets in the 1:20 twist ballard barrels and three fifty grain in 1:38 twist barrels.

    The thing a 444 can do that a 44 can't is give you a heavier bullet at a longer range for more foot pounds of energy on target.

    I live in Texas and normally the toughest things I have to shoot are feral hogs, but now and then there are the UFO's, black hilocopters, and african game that have escaped. Of course when the SHTF I might need them to shoot lions, tiger, elephants, cape buffalo, and polar bears that escape from the zoo.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master JIMinPHX's Avatar
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    I looked into this a number of years ago. My conclusion at that time was that the .444 would push a .44 slug faster than a .44 mag would, but that because the .444 was designed to use pistol bullets, you would never be able to push the .444 as hard as a .45-70. The availability of .458" bullets with heavier jackets for performance at higher speeds was what gave the .45-70 the advantage over the .444.

    That was all before I started casting my own. If I were to look into those calibers today, with cast boolits in mind, I might come to a different conclusion.
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    There's an article about the .444 in Handloader's Digest 10th edition that is a pretty good read and lists lots of loads including multiple round ball loads and even shot loads. I used the shot with ball load they had and ended up with a case of sticky cases so wouldn't try that one. It's a fun rifle to shoot even with a 12 grain load of Unique and a Lee 200 gr. flat point. My 12 yr old son (23 now) shot that load all day long with no troubles.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master excavman's Avatar
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    The 444 I had years ago had the 1-38 twist, I kept cast boolits light and slow. Kieth 250 with Unique powder at 1200fps to get accuracy. I now have a long barrel ( 26 " ) 44 Mag rifle that will do that and then some. If I want more I'll break out the Sharps 45-70.

    Larry

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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
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HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check