Hyph,I'd like to have a second .444 myself, but don' like the 1-38" twist that comes on the pre-safety models. Here's what I'm thinking...talk to JES about what is the best 336 platform for a re-bore. I believe the SC's make a better donor gun when converting to a big bore, but a second opinion may be required. Anyhow...if you do a re-bore you can name your tune. Get the ballard rifling, choose how many grooves (3,4 or 5) and the rate of twist you desire. I would personally go with a faster twist in the 1 in 20" neighborhood simply so I wouldn't have to drive lighter bullets real fast in plinking loads.
My .02 cents.
Wouldn't you also need a bulged mag tube or is that only for the 45-70's? I thought the bulge was required for the length of the cartridge for which the 444 (2.57") is the same length as the 45-70 (2.55").