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  1. #1
    Grandmaster

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    New to the 444 Marlin

    It appears I'm going to start handloading for a gun I don't own.
    My brother just "inherited" a 444 Marlin, and has hinted already that the ammo is not cheap.

    How dificult is the 444 Marlin to handload?
    Any little secrets I should be aware of?
    Should I start rifle loading on a different round?

    I've been dabbling in reloading for the past couple of years, going VERY slowly and taking it all in.
    To date, I've only loaded straight-walled pistol cartridges.
    I feel I'm ready to move to bottle neck cases, but would like to know what I don't know.

    I screwed up a half dozen .35 Remington cases last year trying to size them and have no idea what I did wrong, so I stopped.
    I already have dies for .223, .308Win, .30-06Sprg. .45-70gvt, .303Brit, .35 Remington, and a few more.
    Which case would be the easiest for me to get into rifle cases? Does it really make a difference?

    I see the 444 Marlin can generate chamber pressures in excess of 50,000psi, so I think I want to start slow...
    Any advice would be appreciated.
    Dormant U.S.Marine/ NRA Benefactor-Life

  2. #2
    Grandmaster Leadeye's Avatar

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    I've owned, shot and reloaded for 444 since the 70s. Easy cartridge to get going on but I'll ask up front is this an older or newer gun and does it have Microgroove rifling. That will make a big difference.
    Where's the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth shattering Kaboom.

    Marvin the Martian

  3. #3
    Grandmaster

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leadeye View Post
    I've owned, shot and reloaded for 444 since the 70s. Easy cartridge to get going on but I'll ask up front is this an older or newer gun and does it have Microgroove rifling. That will make a big difference.
    I believe it is a new(er) model, but don't know for sure.
    Brother won't even get to lay his hands on it until late March.
    Dormant U.S.Marine/ NRA Benefactor-Life

  4. #4
    Grandmaster Leadeye's Avatar

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    The older guns have a 1-38 twist which was set up for the 240 grain 44 magnum pistol bullets the gun was running in it's early days. Heavier bullets were tried out with a 265 being about optimum. The most recent Marlins have a tighter twist so you can step up to 300 grains without loss of accuracy down range. My go to load has been a Hornady 265 jacketed soft point and 53 grains of 748. Anybody's 240 grain JSP will work fine. Never had much luck with cast in the Microgroove barrel. Load process isn't much different from straight wall pistol cartridges. Something to remember if the Marlin is scoped or if you plan to put one on, it's a light rifle for all that power.
    Where's the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth shattering Kaboom.

    Marvin the Martian

  5. #5
    Grandmaster

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leadeye View Post
    The older guns have a 1-38 twist which was set up for the 240 grain 44 magnum pistol bullets the gun was running in it's early days. Heavier bullets were tried out with a 265 being about optimum. The most recent Marlins have a tighter twist so you can step up to 300 grains without loss of accuracy down range. My go to load has been a Hornady 265 jacketed soft point and 53 grains of 748. Anybody's 240 grain JSP will work fine. Never had much luck with cast in the Microgroove barrel. Load process isn't much different from straight wall pistol cartridges. Something to remember if the Marlin is scoped or if you plan to put one on, it's a light rifle for all that power.
    Thanks for that info.!
    Dormant U.S.Marine/ NRA Benefactor-Life

  6. #6
    Grandmaster Leadeye's Avatar

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    Might save somebody some stitches in their eyebrow, lesson well learned.
    Where's the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth shattering Kaboom.

    Marvin the Martian

  7. #7
    Expert Nazgul's Avatar

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    The 444 is a great round. I have a Win Timber Carbine and a Marlin XLR in 444. They are accurate and I have used up to 310 gr cast in them. Settled on a 280 gr cast flat nose as a go to.

    Easy to load for. If possible get someone to walk you through a few rounds. No real surprises, use a current loading manual/data.

    Enjoy, Don

  8. #8
    Master billybob44's Avatar

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    Smile I already have dies for .223, .308Win, .30-06Sprg. .45-70gvt, .303Brit, .35 Remi

    The 45/70 is almost the same case/load process.The 444 Marlin should be an easy load due to the almost straight wall case.
    Most any heavy 44 Mag bullet will work, although the heavy jacket 44 bullets work best..Bill.
    "It's more important to have a gun in your hand than a cop on the phone".

    NRA Life Member since 1976+Outdoor Sportsman

  9. #9
    Marksman

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    I am going to keep an eye on this


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