444 marlin good loads?


March 30, 2010, 01:04 AM
Just put a deposit on an older Marlin 444. It has a 24" barrel with their "micro-groove" rifling. Did some searching here and there to see what other folks load for them, most opinions were about which bullet for what animal. Since this is my first experience loading for a lever-gun in big caliber, i'm wanting to try some heavy slugs, Hornady and Speer offer 300 gr. jacketed. Already have a selection of 240, some 265 and 270 stuff. Does anybody have any experience with cast slugs in these barrels? Does a gas-check make any difference?

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March 30, 2010, 07:29 AM
Alot of people will tell you that Micro-Groove barrels are terrible with cast bullets, and for the most part, they're correct. Unless you cast your own, or can order commercially cast bullets that are sized .001" over your rifle's groove measurement. I would slug your bore, before deciding on what diameter to use. Gas checks are a must, and don't try to drive them overly hard. Bullet fit in your bore is the most important part of making those rifles shoot. Don't get hung up on bullet hardness, the bullet should not be overly hard. It has to be pliable enough to conform to the lands and grooves in your bore. Using these tips, your rifle will probably make you very happy. Good luck!

March 30, 2010, 08:06 AM
Using 240gr lead, .430 dia, with a gascheck I can hit clay pidgeons half the time at 100 yards.

March 30, 2010, 09:43 AM
I have a 1971 vintage 444, 24" micro-groove and I shoot my cast Lyman 429640, lubed and gaschecked it weighs 290 gr. and sized .431. It is accurate and hard hitting. I use SR4759 or AA 5744 powder for slightly over 2000 FPS depending on ambient temperature and which primer I'm using. Minor differences to be sure. I cast using air cooled wheel weights, not very hard, but they work well in my rifle. Haven't experimented much with different lubes so I can't offer anything there. My load data is not in the books, I worked it up for my rifle and it must be regarded as extreme.

March 30, 2010, 01:12 PM
Dang! I like the sound of using a slug called devastator!
MMCSRET, are you using a hollow point mold, or is yours a flat point? A quick search showed a lyman mold of that same # with GC FP, but not available. The weight of your bullets seems a good bit heavier than the hollow point as well. Flat point designs would make the bullet more reliable at rifle velocity/impact, no ?
Thanks for the good info.

March 30, 2010, 01:52 PM
The 429640 was only offered for a few years in the late 80's, early 90's. my wife got it for me for christmas for use in 44 Magnum. I've never met another one of them anywhere. It is advertised as 275 Gr. from Lyman #2 alloy, I go softer and it works out heavier. It is a flat point gas checked double cavity that casts beautiful boolits every time. It has a good bearing surface and the gas check makes it easier to work with in the very shallow Marlin rifling.

March 30, 2010, 08:34 PM
Not sure about starting up / growing my shooting hobby to include casting. Still, it sounds like that is the source for the bullets I crave. Found this place "beartooth bullets" they offer a great selection of custom bullets. Good for the guy who wants to try before buy. If one of their bullets works good, I would consider getting started casting with a specific, known performer. I'm thinking the same bullet would be worth a try in my 44 mag.
Love to shoot my revolver and lever guns, homebrewed ammo could only make it better!

March 30, 2010, 08:40 PM

There is tons of the info you seek here... http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/board,52.0.html

I have no experience with the 444...yet.

45-70's I know a thing or two about.

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