444Marlin &44 MAG difference or similarities

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by FOUR4D4, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. FOUR4D4

    FOUR4D4 Moderator Moderator

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    Someone please explain is there a difference in the handgun bullet of the 44 mAG and the 444mar.Or is it all the same as long as the diameter is .429 And what do i look for if i want to load for the 444Marlin and not the pistol caliber of the 44MAG? Sorry about the stupid question :confused:
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  2. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    The .444 and the .44mag both shoot the same .429 bullets. What it boils down to is bullet construction. You need to stay away from the light fragile HP's when shooting them in a .444, because they will come apart at high velocity. I consider the 240JHP as the bottom line for the .444. They will handle whitetail deer just fine, however when the game gets bigger and tougher the Hornady 265gr., the Speer 270gr gold dot or the 300gr bullets are better choices.

    I use a modest charge of RL-7 with a 240JHP @ 2150fps. It is accurate in my rifle and enough for Missouri whitetails. I have some 300gr cast bullets. I just haven't seen the need for them and haven't developed a load.
     

  3. FOUR4D4

    FOUR4D4 Moderator Moderator

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    Thank You! ready to do some range time tomarrow
     
  4. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with Hyphenated.
    Although; concerning the 444 Marlin. Hornady came out with the .430" dia. 265 gr. FTX bullet for the 444. Same bullet as the 444 LEVERevalution. (same diameter as the Hornady 44 mag. bullet) Their web page states that the 265 gr FTX will not stabilize well in the older 444s with a 1:28 twist. The new bullet is designed to work best in the newer 444s with a 1:20 twist. I don't think it is because of the weight. More of a Ogive Design thing.
    I haven't owned a 444 for many years, but I can attest to the fact that the 265 gr. FTX didn't shoot well in the Browning 44 mag. Mod. 92 that I sold last year and they don't shoot well in my 50 cal. muzzle loader in a sabots. Both are/were 1:28 twist.
    Just trying to be helpful. Hornady FTX bullets aren't cheap. I have nearly a full box just going to waste.

    Grey
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  5. FOUR4D4

    FOUR4D4 Moderator Moderator

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    How old? This is with my vintage 1975 444S iron sights
    165 gr LeveRevoultion [​IMG]
     
  6. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    Nice shooting FOUR4D4. :)
    Not trying to be a smarty pants. As stated before, I'm not an expert. I surely don't mean to offend. I was just trying to be helpful.
    My experience with the 44 mag. was less than satisfactory, granted, the 265 gr. bullet (although listed) is a bit heavy.
    Looks like your 444 shoots pretty straight. I'm thinking, if you're happy, that's all that counts.

    Quote from Hornady.
    "Now handloaders can load the same 265 grain FTX™ bullets that are used in
    factory LEVERevolution® ammunition. We found in our testing that the 265 grain
    FTX™ bullets worked very well with H 4198.
    This bullet can only be fired from 1-20" Twist rifles, approximately
    "

    Here is the link. The quote comes from the text on the right side of the page.
    http://www.hornady.com/assets/files/ftx_load_data/444_marlin_ftx.pdf

    I'll attach an example of the .430 dia. FTX from my CVA, The range was 50 yards with Iron Sights. The Black Circle is 6". Although it's not bad, it would not be acceptable at 100 yards. I was hoping for a better group. Maybe I expect too much.

    Grey
    And, if you could use the 265 FTX that I have left, I'll send them to you, at no cost. Of no use to me except to use as a gift. :) Some of them were loaded in my 44 mag. and then pulled. Should work fine for practice.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. FOUR4D4

    FOUR4D4 Moderator Moderator

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    Im thinking my shots where just luck :(
     
  8. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    Hey Grey I am thinking you meant 1 in 38" twist in your older .444. I have a pre-safety model from the late 70's and it is 1 in 38".

    I have never played with the FTX bullets, but I can see where the slow twist would have trouble getting them stabilized. My rifle is surprisingly accurate with the traditional 240gr, 265gr and 270gr bullets so I haven't strayed.
     
  9. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    Now that I think about it, I believe that you are 100% correct. My bad. :(
    Seems like "my forgetter keeps getting better". :confused: As I get older.
    I searched the web and couldn't find my original info.
    Here is an interesting link that I found this morning. http://www.deltagunshop.com/clearwater_reboring/factory_twist_rates.html
    The Browning 92 was 1:38 twist and my T/C Texas Scout muzzle loader was 1:38. Neither liked the 265 gr. FTX. The CVA Optima with 1:28 done better but not as well as I wanted.
    Bottom line, if it works for you - go for it. :D
     
  10. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    I understand what Marlin was thinking when they introduced the .444. Thye were going to take advantage of the popularity of the .44mag by bringing out a big bore lever gun in the same caliber. They didn't need to do any bullet development because there was a good supply already on the market. All they had to do was match their barrel to the most common bullets being used in the .44mag.

    While I'm sure the thought process seemed logical at the time, by using the 1 in 38" twist they shot themselves in the foot, so to speak. The first real complaints about the .444 were the bullets were too light and didn't always hold up on impact. Hunters started saying the .444 needed heavier bullets if it was going to be a serious big game rifle. The problem with the 1 in 38" twist immediately came to bear. Hornady should get the credit for keeping the .444 alive as long as it has lasted. The introduction of the tougher 265gr bullet loaded in factory ammo and as components really made the .444 an effective cartridge. The Hornady 265gr bullet is still considered the best choice by most .444 users.

    Of course the point is moot now, because the newer .444 Marlins have a faster twist and will stabilize bullets as heavy as 400grs bringing the performance levels up to par with a stout loaded .45-70.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  11. Guntrainer

    Guntrainer New Member

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    I had great luck with the discontinued Nosler 250 gr Partition bullet in the 444. The older Flat Point Hornady 265 gr was used by Remington in factory loads several years back. These bullets are what you want. They will drop about anything in North America at close range.