Marlin 444


February 11, 2012, 04:25 AM
Right after I got married I wanted to get my own gun for Deer season 22 or 23 yrs.ago,and brought a Marlin 444.My fin law was:banghead: saying It was a pice of junk but he scoped it for me and the first time I shot it it blew my cap off my head.Anyway I ended up selling it because he said it was to much for deer do any of you agree or disagree with his theory?

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February 11, 2012, 06:18 AM
Never buy to please somebody else, only yourself.

February 11, 2012, 06:27 AM
How big are your deer?

I have a .444 that I bought as a bear gun, but it would wok on deer. It's probably a bit of overkill. It's certainly not a piece of junk.

If you liked it, and sold it because someone else didn't like it, I think you made a mistake.

February 11, 2012, 06:27 AM
I wouldn't consider it overkill. It is certainly more than enough for deer.

February 11, 2012, 06:31 AM
The .444 Marlin is one of my favorite cartridges (for that matter, so is Marlin's 444 rifle). I used an Encore pistol (I know...rifle post) to hunt my first russian boar close to 20 years ago. The found the recoil, even in that pistol, to be very tolerable with 265 grain projectiles.


February 11, 2012, 06:42 AM
I have a 444 Marlin and love it. Mainly a bear gun but feel very comfortable using for deer to. To much gun beats to little gun everytime. I disagree with his theory.

February 11, 2012, 07:08 AM
You screwed up selling it...

.444 can be loaded down to just over .44 Mag velocities for a good 'plinker', or excellent 'deer rifle'...

February 11, 2012, 07:45 AM
Marlin's of that era were NOT junk.

The 444 is a bit more powerful than is strictly required for deer, but they certainly get the job done. It's not "too much for deer", but it may have been too much for you, i.e. the recoil was more than you were comfortable with. You're in a better position to judge that than we are.

February 11, 2012, 08:09 AM
no, it is not to much gun for a deer. i am not really sure you could have to much gun for deer, unless you start digging out cannons. a Howitzer WOULD DEFINITELY be to much gun! my definition of to much gun is one that does way to much damage to an animal, so as to ruin much of the meat. a 458 Lott would not be to much gun for a deer. it would be to much gun for ME, but not the deer. dead, is dead. when people say it is to much gun, to me that means it is to much gun for them. i can understand that. not everyone is cut out for big recoil. i shoot deer with either a 300 Win. Mag., or a 45/70. both have a pretty stout recoil, so to some, they would be to much gun. but, i only had one deer go anywhere after being shot. and it was hit after the bullet went thru an oak tree. even after that, it only went about 70 yards. i can handle the recoil fine, and shoot both of them year round.

February 11, 2012, 08:56 AM
Possibly the most fun deer hunting I have done in years was with a 45-70 and the shot came at 20 yards after much stalking in open country. It was a huge rush and a closer shot than the one i pulled of last year with my bow. So don't ever let someone ruin a gun purchase for you just because they don't find appealing themselves. Next up, rossi 357 lever action with a tang sight. That should be fun!

February 11, 2012, 10:01 AM
Since it is gone, moot argument. The .444 Marlin is a great round only limited by bullet selection from the major ammo makers.

February 11, 2012, 10:04 AM
I would not call it over kill, I sometimes use a .45-70 & as far as destructive, not any more than a 220gr. from my 06...........

February 11, 2012, 01:13 PM
I, also, use a 45-70 on deer, as well as hogs, and looking forward to black bear. Go over to there are lots of .444 owners there. They'll be glad to explain exactly what the .444 is good for.

February 11, 2012, 02:21 PM
Definitely not junk and not overkill for deer. If you use the right bullet.

February 11, 2012, 03:05 PM
Bought the rifle back in the 70's..........good, solid lever gun.....accounted for many Black Bear with no difficulty. The last bear I shot with it was on the ground in front of me at approx. 12 yards.... Running shot broad side....just missed the lead for a solid lung shot as he was goin' full tilt. The Rem. 240 gr soft point blew his liver clean out the other side of him.....we picked up pieces of it off the ground. Found the bear a short distance further and stuffed part of a tree limb in him to plug the exit hole while we carried him a Boar....Wt. 342 lbs.
IMO.......solid round for 100 yds and under....good woods gun.

February 11, 2012, 04:16 PM
The .44Mag is good to 125yds or more. The .444 will add a bit to this.

February 11, 2012, 05:46 PM
I inherited one from my much missed brother. Absolutely first model, straight grip, monte carlo, half magazine, microgroove, and marked 336-444. It has a few dings and scratches but I like it and am ordering a couple hundred new brass and bullets from 240 to 300 grain and WILL develop a load for hogs, deer and black bear. (of course I have to travel to use it, our Republik doesn't allow rifles on deer).

February 11, 2012, 06:06 PM
I heard that VV N120 will make the 444 shine.

February 11, 2012, 06:28 PM
Only thing wrong with a 444 is that it isn't a 45/70!!!!!I don't know how you can overkill a deer or anything else for that matter. Lots of gunstore bwanas around that will pontificate on all the guns and animals in the world but get choked up actually taking a mouse out of a trap. Go with what you like and ignore the "experts". FRJ

February 11, 2012, 07:47 PM
My philosophy is to buy and use the guns you enjoy hunting with. A 444 will work, but I wouldn't use one, but if someone else does that is fine with me. There are much better guns that will do the same job, with less recoil, more accuracy and range. I owned a 45-70 from 1976 up until about a month ago when I sold mine so I do have a bit of experience with Marlin big bores. I have no regrets. Would've sold it years ago, but waited until I could make a nice profit on it.

I don't know what you replaced the 444 with, but you are probably better off today than 22 years ago. They are not junk. They are high quality guns, but not the most efficeint guns to hunt with. If someone likes and enjoys using them, and accepts their range limitations they are good guns. But not for everyone. I'd call them a specialized enthusiasts gun. Certainly not the best choice for a beginner to use for all around hunting. I think that is the point your FIL was trying to make.

February 11, 2012, 09:08 PM
Speaking of the 45-70 last bear hunt, one of the guys hit a boar with that round......saw something I never saw before.....the bear was literally bleeding from every orifice in it's body including both nostrals, ears and his rear.....never saw any caliber do that to any animal before.....big 405 gr. bullet hittin' hard.

February 12, 2012, 04:29 AM
What is and how does marlin Micro-groove Barrel's and what are the advantage's or dis-advantage's.I know mine was micro-groove.The guy selling acted like it was the greatest thing since rifling came along but that was a long time ago.

February 12, 2012, 08:33 AM
Microgroove rifling works great with jacketed bullets. It's harder, but still possible, to get it to work with cast lead bullets. Another issue with 444s is that early barrels had a very slow twist that made it hard to stabilize long bullets. Current 444s use a faster twist.

February 12, 2012, 08:40 AM
MG rifling works great for jacketed bullets.

Also, I have seen this on Why is it that the 45-70 guys have to down the 444? I have seen the 444 shoot over 2000 fps with heavy bullets using VV N120. I have seen pics of a pig that was shot with cast bullets, and the entire face of the pig was gone. I don't mean a hole, and the other side kinda messed up. I mean entrance side was GONE! Looked like a package of hamburger.

I think the 444 is an awesome sight and gun to shoot. My opinion is to use some harder cast bullets because some of the .44 Magnum bullets just don't hold up at he speed that the 444 can push them. A good jacket bullet for the 444 marlin is the Speer 270 grain FN, but like I said most people who get the most from their 444 use cast bullets.

Go over to, and search for the 444 marlin.

February 12, 2012, 10:11 AM
I loved the one I had. Wish I didn't trade it. Around here ammo was/is way too spendy for factory loads and I wasn't into the reloading thing then.

February 12, 2012, 11:41 AM
What is and how does marlin Micro-groove Barrel's and what are the advantage's or dis-advantage's.I know mine was micro-groove.The guy selling acted like it was the greatest thing since rifling came along but that was a long time ago.
If you were gonna replace it, you'd be better off with a later model 1-20" example. These guns will push a 355gr LBT to 2200fps and a 405gr to 2150fps. That my friends, makes it a rival for the .45-70. Which is equivalent to a 460gr .45/70, only at a good 300-400fps faster. Those that down the .444 in favor of the .45-70 do so out of pure ignorance. As for range, the .444 is an honest 200yd deer cartridge. For those of us in the east, that's more range than we will ever need.

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