NEW lever 444 or 358


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andym79
January 22, 2013, 06:30 AM
Hi,

I am looking to buy a new lever to add to my 30-30 and 22.

I am considering a 444 or 358!

As far as I know the 358 has better ballistics, but is limited in that its only available in the not so affordable BLR (Savage 99 in 358 being rare)

A second hand Marlin however in 444 would be a lot more affordable!

How accurate can a 444 be at say 150 yards?

Thoughts 444 VS 358?

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eldon519
January 22, 2013, 07:05 AM
What do you want to do with it? Anything in particular you would be hunting?

XTrooper
January 22, 2013, 07:06 AM
Using a good peep sight like those sold by Skinner Sights or if using a scope, the .444 Marlin is capable of "big game" accuracy out to 200 yards.

Good 150 yard accuracy should be no problem if you do your part.

andym79
January 22, 2013, 07:46 AM
What do you want to do with it? Anything in particular you would be hunting?
The intended game are camels, donkeys and wild horses!

HoosierQ
January 22, 2013, 08:01 AM
The intended game are camels, donkeys and wild horses!
That's "game"?

StrawHat
January 22, 2013, 08:11 AM
The OP is from Australia, so his game animals are a bit different from what we may be used to seeing. Actually, I believe the animals he is seeking are considered vermin, not unlike prarie dogs and groundhogs.

I am in the big slow boolit camp, so I would recommend the 444, unless you can get a 45-70.

GooseGestapo
January 22, 2013, 09:15 AM
Camels, donkey's and horse's you say?!

I own a BLR in .358 and Marlins in .30/30, .35rem, .338MX, and .45/70.
You definitely want the .45/70.
Factory ammo in .444 is typically loaded with "pistol bullets", meaning those intended for it' snubbier cousin the .44mag. (The .444 is actually a .429-.430" ....)
Some of the 265-335gr component bullet offerings will be "stouter" bullets and would do what you want, however, most factory .444 are intended for deer and smaller bears, (Ursus americana, N. American black bear which will run typically 500lbs or smaller). Penetration on the 1,000lb+ ungulates you listed will be very limited.... You need much more penetration for those.

Whereas the .45/70 bullets 350gr and heavier are better adapted to larger game such as the American bison, elk, moose and larger bears which are in the weight class of your "vermin". The "big factory" (ie: Remington and Winchester) 405gr bullets excepted. They are "softer" and again, intended for deer ect., from the older rifles such as Trap-door Springfields at lower velocities (below 1,400fps m/v).

You'll also not likely find a Marlin .444 "down under" that has a fast twist rifling that will accomodate the heavier bullets you'll want. Factory barrels are typically 1/38" for the 240gr original bullet loadings and ususally don't shoot bullets heavier than 265gr's well. There are exceptions however. These are typically cast bullets specifically intended for the Marlins and are ususally a bit over-size (.431-.432") specifically for the Micro-Groove barrels of the Marlin .444. You'll likely have to cast them yourself.

Again, from experience, I suggest that you'll be happier with a .45/70, than the .444. Ditto the .358wcf. Even state-side, it's not popular (outside a very small "circle" of shooters/hunters). I had a smallish gunshop owner practically give me a box of dusty old 200gr Winchester silver-tip .358's. He said he'd had that box of ammo for over 20yrs and I was the first person to ask for it off the shelf...... Price was 1/2 of the 1993 price. Less than I can buy the bullets/primers/powder and load them in reformed "range-pick up" OFB .308 brass.....
The .358 with 250gr loads (factory discontinued) would do what you want, but again, rifles and ammo are are few and far between. I aquired mine from a friends widow. My friend passed away in 1998 and she was in '11 still "liquidating" his extensive collection. But, I bought the BLR because is was one of his "special-favorite" rifles. It was his "most favorite" and he took quite a few deer and a few ferral pigs with it. I hunted with him many times when he carried it.
I took two deer this past season with it. It performed splendidly with 200gr Hornady PtSpts @ 2,500fps (chrono'd).
However, for your purposes it will be strictly a "handloading" proposition.
For "camels, donkeys, and horses", I can't imagine a better rifle-cartridge than the .358 BLR with Woodleigh 250's @ ~2,250fps.... Except for the .45/70 with my 400gr hard-cast bullets @ 2,000fps....

edited to add: My .338MX and especially the .338/06, .375Ruger would likewise be splendid, but you inquired about the .444 vs. .358... vis .45/70...in lever-action rifles contrasted to bolt-actions.

MARKMALL
January 22, 2013, 10:38 AM
I have a BLR in 358 Win. I only hunt deer with it. I love it and if you hand load you have a much wider slection of bullets.

mdauben
January 22, 2013, 01:30 PM
I am looking to buy a new lever to add to my 30-30 and 22.

I am considering a 444 or 358!
You may want to double check, but I think that Marlin dropped their 444 lever action last year, so you may have trouble finding a "new" one.

That said, I might give the nod to the .358 myself. Its a very underated cartridge IMO and in many ways superior to the .444 cartridge. The BLR is the only gun currently chambered in .358 AFAIK, and its a bit pricer than the Marlin (it is a great rifle, though).

If you like the "big and slow" idea of the .444 you might consider a rifle in .45-70 instead. Its similar in a lot of ways to the .444 but with a bit more power and a generally better selection of both bullets and preloaded ammo. There are also a larger selection of curretnly in production rifles which are chambered in .45-70 to chose from.

Hokkmike
January 22, 2013, 01:35 PM
I had a Marlin .444. Loaded it up with a lighter .44 pistol hollow point. It was a zippy gun. It could hit a smaller 6" paper plate at 150 with open sites. But - that was in the 70's. Can't tell you anything about the .258. Sorry.

RPRNY
January 22, 2013, 03:45 PM
I too would be of the view that 45-70 might suit you better than 444. It takes your range out to a solid 300 yards (yes, even with the 45-70 trajectory) and will deliver solid kills on up through 600 kilo camels. I don't know what brass availability is like in Oz though for either...

Now the .358 is an excellent choice as well but it sounds like you may have limited rifle options. If you were in the States, I'd say get a Marlin 336 in 30-30 and have JES Reboring take it out to .356 Win (a rimmed .358) or .375Win, but I don't know what work needs to be done to the receiver etc., for feeding. If it was just a barrel rechamber, it might be worth the wait and shippping to send it to Jesse, but it needs magazine and feeding mods as well. I don't know what resources are available there, but looking into a 336 30-30 or 32 special rebore to .356 or .375 would be no waste of your time.

Finally, for range and penetrative power, a couple of calibers in bolt guns might also serve well - .35 Whelen (not sure how available/popular it is in Oz), .375 H&H, and finally for those big old camels, if it's available in Oz, the .376 Steyr Scout rifle would strike me as an awfully good option.

Ratshooter
January 22, 2013, 04:08 PM
There was an article a few years ago using the 444 in australia for donkeys in Rifle Magazine. They used a winchester big bore with nosler partition bullets but I don't remember what weight. They had no trouble killing donkeys with it. You can go to the Riflemag site and get a back issue.

I had a 45/70 and it was a good gun and dropped one deer for me. I sold it because I didn't use it much.

I would like to have a 444 myself. They still show them on the marlin website last time I looked a couple of weeks ago.

If you buy one get the one with the Ballard rifling. It will have the 1-20 twist instead of the 1-38 like the first guns had. Then you can shoot heavier bullets.

The 444 is close to the early express riflles that a 44 cal bore with a 300gr bullet at around 2000fps. They killed a lot of african big game with those rifles.

I thought there was someone in austrailia that was rebarreling old enfield rifles to 444 or maybe it 45-70. I just don't remember.

bergmen
January 22, 2013, 05:25 PM
You may want to double check, but I think that Marlin dropped their 444 lever action last year, so you may have trouble finding a "new" one.

They still list it on their website.

Dan

DM~
January 22, 2013, 08:26 PM
Personally, i'd pick the 358 and reload for it!

Ratshooter
January 22, 2013, 11:20 PM
Here is a good read on the 444 round. This site is very interesting if you are a lever gun buff.

http://www.leverguns.com/articles/paco/444.htm

forestdavegump
January 22, 2013, 11:32 PM
444 shoots more calibers? I dont have a 358. I got the 375 back in the day instead.

andym79
January 24, 2013, 03:42 PM
Well, I have been doing a bit of reading and I think besides the fact the 358 WIN is a lot less common its probably a better choice.

It has a much flatter trajectory than the 444 at 300 yards a 250grainer has around 1900ft lbs and a drop of 11" at 400 yards a 250grainer still has around 1600 ftlbs and a drop of 32".

Whereas for a 300grainer in the 444 the respective figures are 1100 ft lbs and 11" drop and 860 ft lbs and a 60".

To me this means the 358 is probably good for a 100 yards more than the 444.

In fact a 200 grainer from the 358 is not unlike a 30-06 in performance!

opinions?

RPRNY
January 24, 2013, 04:08 PM
Yes. .358 and .375 WIN are both excellent choices. But you seem to have limited rifle options. The .356 Win is the same round, rimmed, and would be an easier rechamber in a rifle if you went that route.

andym79
January 24, 2013, 06:37 PM
This topic has got me wondering why are .35 Cal so unpopular?

The 358 of course has the advantage that bullet don't need to be round nose or flat point as with the 444.

But BLR just don't look like a lever action should!

How reliable are BLR's given their rack and pinion gearing? How hard are they to clean, do you just use a bore snake?

SwampWolf
January 24, 2013, 08:52 PM
But BLR just don't look like a lever action should!

True-maybe he should spend some time looking for a Savage Model 99 or a Winchester Model 88. Those two rifles look like a lever-action should! The .358 chambering, of course, would permit a vast amount of .357 caliber pistol bullets to be used for plinking, varmints and such, for the handloader.

witchhunter
January 24, 2013, 10:52 PM
Consider that the .444 is basically a .44 magnum in a longer case. you are still shooting a .429 pistol bullet. In my opinion (and it is just an opinion), for something that large, you would be better off with a .45/70.

Bio-Chem
January 24, 2013, 11:03 PM
I own a Marlin 444 and my closest shooting buddy owns the .358 Brownling BLR. it's funny people talk about shooting either of these calibers out to 300 yards or further. if you are shooting that far you aren't using either of those rounds. out to 150 yards both are great rifles. the .358 will shoot flatter it's true, and will give you an effective range out further than the .444, but for your stated purposes either will do just fine. I've shot the 265grain bullet out of the 444 and got excellent accuracy out of it. at 100 yards standing, open sights i was on a paper plate every shot. to me this would be about rifle selection, not caliber selection. Do you like the BLR better than a Marlin, or vice/versa?

ExAgoradzo
January 25, 2013, 02:21 AM
HaHa! I was just looking at a Savage and a Win 88 today: I like the hammer look of the BLR and the Marlins, that's what a lever should look like. I guess it is all opinion.

I love my 45-70 Marlin 1895.

Greg

andym79
January 25, 2013, 04:38 AM
It sounds silly to say what a lever action should look like, to me its always been a Winchester 94. Really without the box magazine the BLR actually looks like a lever should.



it's funny people talk about shooting either of these calibers out to 300 yards or further. if you are shooting that far you aren't using either of those rounds. out to 150 yards both are great rifles

True, I always take game at 150 yards or less!

After talking to people here with experience of camel hunting thr recommended calibers seem to be .338 Win. Mag. and .375 H&H

RPRNY
January 25, 2013, 03:07 PM
If you want a lever gun (an excellent choice) and for some reason don't want 45-70 (which will stop a bus at 150 yards) then here's another thought: the Winchester Model 71 in .348 WCF. These are current catalogue, but not sure if available in Oz.

For comparison:

.358 WCF (better than .35 Rem…)
180 gr (12 g) SP 2,700 ft/s (820 m/s) 2,914 ft•lbf (3,951 J)
200 gr (13 g) SP 2,500 ft/s (760 m/s) 2,776 ft•lbf (3,764 J)
250 gr (16 g) SP 2,200 ft/s (670 m/s) 2,687 ft•lbf (3,643 J)

.375 WCF (the modern big brother of 38-55)
200 gr (13 g) JFP 2,223 ft/s (678 m/s) 2,194.12 ft•lbf (2,974.83 J)
200 gr (13 g) JFP 2,419 ft/s (737 m/s) 2,598.09 ft•lbf (3,522.54 J)
220 gr (14 g) JFP 2,029 ft/s (618 m/s) 2,010.66 ft•lbf (2,726.09 J)
220 gr (14 g) JFP 2,236 ft/s (682 m/s) 2,441.85 ft•lbf (3,310.70 J)

.348 WCF (one of the most powerful rimmed cartridges ever in a lever gun)
150 gr (10 g) 2,890 ft/s (880 m/s) 2,780 ft•lbf (3,770 J)
200 gr (13 g) 2,530 ft/s (770 m/s) 2,840 ft•lbf (3,850 J)
250 gr (16 g) 2,350 ft/s (720 m/s) 3,060 ft•lbf (4,150 J)

.375 H&H (The minimum requirement for elephant hunting in several countries)
200 gr (13 g) JFP 3,195 ft/s (974 m/s) 4,534 ft•lbf (6,147 J)
235 gr (15 g) SP 2,964 ft/s (903 m/s) 4,585 ft•lbf (6,216 J)
250 gr (16 g) SP 2,835 ft/s (864 m/s) 4,463 ft•lbf (6,051 J)
270 gr (17 g) FS 2,694 ft/s (821 m/s) 4,352 ft•lbf (5,901 J)
300 gr (19 g) SPBT 2,645 ft/s (806 m/s) 4,661 ft•lbf (6,319 J)

And, a stout 45-70 lever gun load (Marlin Guide Gun)

300 gr JHP 2,275 ft/s (693 m/s) 3,449 ft·lbf (4,676 J)


The .375 H&H is a serious big game round and the minimum for elephant in several African jurisdictions. It will take down a camel. It will take several donkeys end to end. It just seems a little much. Furthermore, rifles chambered in .375 H&H (there are no lever guns so chambered) tend to be somewhat pricier than other options and will be only bolt action, singles, or double rifles.

If the Winchester Model 71 in .348 WCF is available there, it would be my second choice, after the round that just about exterminated the North American bison, the 45-70, available in several Win and Marlin options and, for those who like more risk, the Rossi.

For an interesting read on the 45-70, the results of the Sandy Hook Trials 1879 (not to be confused with more recent and tragic events) may be edifying. Big and slow makes big giant holes.

http://www.researchpress.co.uk/longrange/sandyhook.htm

brnmw
January 25, 2013, 03:15 PM
The intended game are camels, donkeys and wild horses!

Then I hope you find the nearest restaurant.

Camel I would not shoot unless it spit on me or smelled really bad.
Donkey I would maybe shoot if it would not shut up.
Wild Horses too beautiful to contemplate.
Of course you could be just kidding I suppose....

natman
January 25, 2013, 03:21 PM
Consider that the .444 is basically a .44 magnum in a longer case. you are still shooting a .429 pistol bullet. In my opinion (and it is just an opinion), for something that large, you would be better off with a .45/70.

You can shoot pistol bullets in a 444, but you certainly don't have to. There are plenty of tough .429 bullets out there.

StrawHat
January 25, 2013, 03:29 PM
Consider that the .444 is basically a .44 magnum in a longer case. you are still shooting a .429 pistol bullet. In my opinion (and it is just an opinion), for something that large, you would be better off with a .45/70.
A 300 grain 45 caliber bullet is superior to a 300 grain 43 caliber bullet????

RPRNY
January 25, 2013, 04:01 PM
A 300 grain 45 caliber bullet is superior to a 300 grain 43 caliber bullet????

45-70:
300 gr JHP 2,275 ft/s (693 m/s) 3,449 ft·lbf (4,676 J)

Yes, a 300 gr .458" bullet at 2,275 fps is far better than a 300 gr .429" bullet at 1,400 fps (.44 Mag), especially when one needs to reach out past 100 yds.

But, really not much better than the 300 gr .429" bullet at 2,000 fps from a .444 Marlin ;)

Until you look at energy (3,449 lbs/ft 45-70 vs 2665 lbs/ft for .444). They are both going to shed energy fast given very similar bullet design, so the edge goes to the 45-70 which will hold energy longer. At 100 - 150 yards, it's probably more academic than practical, but the point is that the 45-70 even with its old fashioned 19th century trajectory will drop 600 kilo camels at 250 yards. I wouldn't try that with the .444. YMMV.

eldon519
January 25, 2013, 04:58 PM
StrawHat,

As someone stated earlier, it is just hard to find .44 caliber bullets that are meant to stand up to 2000 fps impacting a densely-built game animal since they are typically designed for either .44 Special or .44 magnum velocities.

.45-70 shoots .458" bullets which are distinct from the .451-.452" bullets used in pistols. You can shoot bullets intended for .45-70 power levels or you can load it with bullets meant for big game African power levels like .458 Win Mag, .458 Lott, .460 Weatherby, etc. Regardless, these bullets are going to hold up better for the purpose on tough game.

Granted if you are just going to shoot hard-cast, non-expanding bullets in each, .444 Marlin and .45-70 is kind of a six-of-one, half-dozen of the other. I like the options posed by the .45-70 myself.

Alaska444
January 25, 2013, 05:13 PM
Hi,

I am looking to buy a new lever to add to my 30-30 and 22.

I am considering a 444 or 358!

As far as I know the 358 has better ballistics, but is limited in that its only available in the not so affordable BLR (Savage 99 in 358 being rare)

A second hand Marlin however in 444 would be a lot more affordable!

How accurate can a 444 be at say 150 yards?

Thoughts 444 VS 358?
I LOVE my Marlin .444 rifle which is my favorite rifle ever.

How accurate is it, I can shoot a 1.5 inch group with my Skinner sights at 100 yards. It is flatter shooting than a 45-70 and in such is accurate out to about 200 yards. You may want to check out the Hornady superperformance loads that they have updated.

http://www.hornady.com/store/444-Marlin-265-gr-interlock-FP-Superformance/

Folks need to get updated on criticism of the .444 and the so called "pistol" bullet argument. The current loads from Hornady and Buffalo Bore are not at all pistol bullets and are plenty capable of doing the job. My woods bullets are from BB.

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=156

DM~
January 25, 2013, 05:43 PM
45-70:
300 gr JHP 2,275 ft/s (693 m/s) 3,449 ft·lbf (4,676 J)

Yes, a 300 gr .458" bullet at 2,275 fps is far better than a 300 gr .429" bullet at 1,400 fps (.44 Mag), especially when one needs to reach out past 100 yds.

But, really not much better than the 300 gr .429" bullet at 2,000 fps from a .444 Marlin ;)

Until you look at energy (3,449 lbs/ft 45-70 vs 2665 lbs/ft for .444). They are both going to shed energy fast given very similar bullet design, so the edge goes to the 45-70 which will hold energy longer. At 100 - 150 yards, it's probably more academic than practical, but the point is that the 45-70 even with its old fashioned 19th century trajectory will drop 600 kilo camels at 250 yards. I wouldn't try that with the .444. YMMV.

A 45/70 300 grain bullet has an SD of .204 BC .206

A 429" 270 grain bullet has an SD of .210 BC .193

You can push the 270 grain out of a 444 Marlin at 2,250 fps, and with equil bullet construction for both, i bet any animal shot at 250 yards won't know which bullet hit them and will have equil penetration, perhaps with the .429" having a slight advantage...

BTW, my Speer #14 doesn't show a load for the "lever" 45/70 with a 300 grain bullet above 2,001 fps.

DM

Alaska444
January 25, 2013, 06:36 PM
45-70:
300 gr JHP 2,275 ft/s (693 m/s) 3,449 ft·lbf (4,676 J)

Yes, a 300 gr .458" bullet at 2,275 fps is far better than a 300 gr .429" bullet at 1,400 fps (.44 Mag), especially when one needs to reach out past 100 yds.

But, really not much better than the 300 gr .429" bullet at 2,000 fps from a .444 Marlin ;)

Until you look at energy (3,449 lbs/ft 45-70 vs 2665 lbs/ft for .444). They are both going to shed energy fast given very similar bullet design, so the edge goes to the 45-70 which will hold energy longer. At 100 - 150 yards, it's probably more academic than practical, but the point is that the 45-70 even with its old fashioned 19th century trajectory will drop 600 kilo camels at 250 yards. I wouldn't try that with the .444. YMMV.
Sorry, how about 1000 kg American buffalo with a .444, I guess you wouldn't try that either, but in fact, the .444 is not a slouch my friend. Go to the link and then look under reviews.

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=156

Some of the modern .444 factory ammo is a very reliable big game rifle. I own it as my go to woods/bear rifle. I use the BB 335 gr at 2025 fps and feel comfortable with whatever is up here in the Idaho woods.

For those that handload, folks are pushing the limits of the .444 up to 4000 ft-lbs of muzzle energy. Yes, the .444 is a real load and stating the 45-70 is better is not the argument to use at all. The .444 is a flatter shooting, more accurate round that packs plenty of punch WITHOUT the recoil issues of the stout 45-70 loads.

Great gun, love it and glad beyond all measure that I went with the .444.

RPRNY
January 25, 2013, 07:21 PM
444 Fanboys, time to untwist your knickers and take off the rose colored glasses. I was completely objective in my comparison of thee two rounds, and cut the 444 some slack by going with a 300 gr load. I can't find any 400gr + data for the 444...

I do apologize however. The 300 gr at 2275 fps was data for a Handi Rifle.

A Marlin only load in Lyman 49 is 300 gr at 2038. Lyman maxes the 444 300 gr at 1838. As you failed to note, I said above, "not much difference".

We get it, you LOVE the 444. But the 45-70 starts where the 444 ends, at 300 grs. Add another 105 grs and you get to the 45-70 wheelhouse - at 1800 fps.

Nothing wrong with the 444. The 45-70 has the edge for big giant animals like camels (I can't believe we are having this exchange in any event, fairly surreal).

Enjoy the 444 Marlin. It's the greatest. Nothing else can touch it. Ballistics tables lie in a giant global conspiracy to undermine the greatest cartridge that ever was....;)

Relax, it's not like you're getting a commission on 444 Marlin sales, right?:scrutiny:

Alaska444
January 25, 2013, 08:54 PM
444 Fanboys, time to untwist your knickers and take off the rose colored glasses. I was completely objective in my comparison of thee two rounds, and cut the 444 some slack by going with a 300 gr load. I can't find any 400gr + data for the 444...

I do apologize however. The 300 gr at 2275 fps was data for a Handi Rifle.

A Marlin only load in Lyman 49 is 300 gr at 2038. Lyman maxes the 444 300 gr at 1838. As you failed to note, I said above, "not much difference".

We get it, you LOVE the 444. But the 45-70 starts where the 444 ends, at 300 grs. Add another 105 grs and you get to the 45-70 wheelhouse - at 1800 fps.

Nothing wrong with the 444. The 45-70 has the edge for big giant animals like camels (I can't believe we are having this exchange in any event, fairly surreal).

Enjoy the 444 Marlin. It's the greatest. Nothing else can touch it. Ballistics tables lie in a giant global conspiracy to undermine the greatest cartridge that ever was....;)

Relax, it's not like you're getting a commission on 444 Marlin sales, right?:scrutiny:
Nope, just tired of the false reviews against a great caliber that has a commanding bark at much less recoil. No one disputes that the top end loads for 45-70 exceed the max loads with the .444.

The folks that hand load do push 405 gr at quite high velocities. One data source noted 1837 fps for a 405 grain hand load. Others claim even higher velocities for this 405 gr load. Not a shabby figure at all. Certainly not max 45-70 but the 45-70 ain't no .458 either.

http://www.beartoothbullets.com/tech_notes/archive_tech_notes.htm/28

witchhunter
January 26, 2013, 12:06 AM
Sorry, didn't mean to bag on the .444, just noted that he was going to use it on very large animals. In my opinion, the .45/70 is a better choice due to it's larger case capacity and better bullet selection in larger weights. Nothing against the .444, just offering another option.

DM~
January 26, 2013, 12:12 AM
Nope, just tired of the false reviews against a great caliber


Exactly, in fact i already told the OP to get the 358, so why am i being called a 444Fanboy??

BTW, i stand by that origional post!

DM

GooseGestapo
January 26, 2013, 07:39 AM
How many of you have actually SHOT 300+gr bullets from your .444 ???

And does it have the 1/38" twist w/micro-groove rifling ??? of most .444's...Especially those made in the '60, '70's, and early '80's.

REMEMBER; THE ORIGINAL POSTER IS IN " AUSTRALIA"....... AS IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE.....

Where he's at VARMITS ARE REALLY PESTS.... As in that they will attack your car, eating the trim moulding off of it. And if you happen to be driving down the road when they decide to run where your car is, they will destroy your car.... And possibly you in it !!! Ever seen a car "stomped" by an angry large "ungulate"....??? Think a Moose with a BAD ATTITUDE !!!

Camel's DO SMELL BAD !!!!!! AND DON'T JUST SPIT, EITHER !!!
DONKEY'S are call "JACK-ASSES" for a REASON !!! (or, if you have ever been around donkey's, you know what being a "jack-ass" means !!!
And if you've ever had a herd of wild horses get on your spread, you know, again, what a "wild jack-ass" is...

Also, "down-under" it can be extreamly difficult to get reloading components, and firearms.... There isn't the plethora of Marlin firearms available. Hence, He'll be "BETTER" OFF with a .45/70....
Sorry, I've just spent too much time over at ...marlinowners.com and dealt with too many .444 owners who've never shot a .45/70.... I'm not "slighting" the .444, but there IS a reason that the .458Lott, .470 NE, .505Gibbs, ect are more popular in Africa than the .444....
Sometimes Bigger IS better....

Elkins45
January 26, 2013, 08:02 AM
Question for the OP: do you handload your own ammunition?

Alaska444
January 26, 2013, 03:21 PM
How many of you have actually SHOT 300+gr bullets from your .444 ???

And does it have the 1/38" twist w/micro-groove rifling ??? of most .444's...Especially those made in the '60, '70's, and early '80's.

REMEMBER; THE ORIGINAL POSTER IS IN " AUSTRALIA"....... AS IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE.....

Where he's at VARMITS ARE REALLY PESTS.... As in that they will attack your car, eating the trim moulding off of it. And if you happen to be driving down the road when they decide to run where your car is, they will destroy your car.... And possibly you in it !!! Ever seen a car "stomped" by an angry large "ungulate"....??? Think a Moose with a BAD ATTITUDE !!!

Camel's DO SMELL BAD !!!!!! AND DON'T JUST SPIT, EITHER !!!
DONKEY'S are call "JACK-ASSES" for a REASON !!! (or, if you have ever been around donkey's, you know what being a "jack-ass" means !!!
And if you've ever had a herd of wild horses get on your spread, you know, again, what a "wild jack-ass" is...

Also, "down-under" it can be extreamly difficult to get reloading components, and firearms.... There isn't the plethora of Marlin firearms available. Hence, He'll be "BETTER" OFF with a .45/70....
Sorry, I've just spent too much time over at ...marlinowners.com and dealt with too many .444 owners who've never shot a .45/70.... I'm not "slighting" the .444, but there IS a reason that the .458Lott, .470 NE, .505Gibbs, ect are more popular in Africa than the .444....
Sometimes Bigger IS better....
I do all the time with my Buffalo Bore 335 gr at 2025 fps. My Marlin has the 1:20 twist. No problem handling up to 405 grain if I hand loaded my own.

Once again, way too much false information on these wonderful guns. Yes, it shoots more than pistol bullets and it can shoot up to 405 gr bullets as well. No, it is NOT the biggest caliber you can get. For it's own purpose, it is indeed a great caliber. I wouldn't trade mine for anything. And while we are talking about it, in Africa, the 45-70 is castigated as much as the .444 here in America. Why, because it can't compete with the .416 Rigby or the other maxed out calibers. I guess that is justice in some ways. You reap what you sow.

andym79
January 26, 2013, 05:20 PM
If you want a lever gun (an excellent choice) and for some reason don't want 45-70 (which will stop a bus at 150 yards) then here's another thought: the Winchester Model 71 in .348 WCF

A good suggestion, but as these are not standard stock in Australia they cost around $2300 landed here!
The BLR is around $1400 and a Marlin in 444 or 45-70 around $1000

Then I hope you find the nearest restaurant.


Actually on the international market, you would be surprised by the demand for camel and horse meat!

Question for the OP: do you handload your own ammunition?

Almost exclusively, in fact I only ever really buy ammo for my 223, my 30-30 and 6.5x55 have never seen factory ammo!

So all three of the cartridges being discussed are versatile. This thread has just added a third option to my deliberation!

Can someone elaborate on the recoil issue of the 45-70 and why its a lot higher than the 444?

Alaska444
January 26, 2013, 08:28 PM
A good suggestion, but as these are not standard stock in Australia they cost around $2300 landed here!
The BLR is around $1400 and a Marlin in 444 or 45-70 around $1000



Actually on the international market, you would be surprised by the demand for camel and horse meat!



Almost exclusively, in fact I only ever really buy ammo for my 223, my 30-30 and 6.5x55 have never seen factory ammo!

So all three of the cartridges being discussed are versatile. This thread has just added a third option to my deliberation!

Can someone elaborate on the recoil issue of the 45-70 and why its a lot higher than the 444?
Depends mainly on the 45-70 load. 45-70 ranges from very tame to more than stout. Recoil is very subjective. I find my .444 to be quite mild more like a 20 ga than anything while others think it is a bit much. What bothers one person, won't bother another.

A friend of mine is about the skinniest person I have seen and he loves the .416 Rigby, .375 H&H. So, recoil is quite subjective, but depending on the load, the 45-70 can get above 40 ft-lbs of recoil energy while the .444 gets a bit above 30 in maxed out loads.

I have my .444 as mainly a woods gun but once I get my Idaho residency hopefully in the next 12 months, I am tempted to use it since most of the moose and elk my friends get are less than a hundred yards. My main purpose for having it is as a bear defense gun. It ain't the top of the list, but with my Buffalo Bore 335 grainers, I feel confident with good shot placement it will stop whatever needs stopping should the situation occur. Not too many large predators in Australia other than the crocs from what I have heard, so that may limit the application to Australia.

For longer range, I have my .300 WSM Browning BLR which in some folks hands is a very legitimate 1000 yard rifle. If you are considering a BLR, you won't go wrong with it at all since their quality is excellent. I would think a BLR with a high impact but a bit longer range caliber would fit Australia in some ways better than my venerable .444. Our woods here in Northern Idaho are very dense making my .444 a perfect fit. Not sure what kind of terrain you hunt camels and such.

natman
January 26, 2013, 08:38 PM
Can someone elaborate on the recoil issue of the 45-70 and why its a lot higher than the 444?

Sure, the 45-70 with heavy loads shoots much heavier bullets at only slightly lower velocities than the 444. Therefore it recoils more.

Those who advocate the 45-70 state, quite rightly, that it can be more powerful than the 444. What they ignore is that the 444 with proper loads is quite powerful enough for most big game. I would prefer a heavy loaded 45-70 if I had to stop a grizzly charge. OTOH, I wouldn't hesitate to shoot the largest elk (or camel, donkey or wild horse) that ever walked with the right load from a 444. The 45-70 may be more, but most of the time a 444 is plenty enough.

Alaska444
January 26, 2013, 08:57 PM
Sure, the 45-70 with heavy loads shoots much heavier bullets at only slightly lower velocities than the 444. Therefore it recoils more.

Those who advocate the 45-70 state, quite rightly, that it can be more powerful than the 444. What they ignore is that the 444 with proper loads is quite powerful enough for most big game. I would prefer a heavy loaded 45-70 if I had to stop a grizzly charge. OTOH, I wouldn't hesitate to shoot the largest elk (or camel, donkey or wild horse) that ever walked with the right load from a 444. The 45-70 may be more, but most of the time a 444 is plenty enough.
+1 Very well stated Natman, that is exactly the issue. It is also enough to stop a grizzly. I have kept my eyes open for quite while for a bear defense against griz with a .444 and I guess about a year or so a Canadian stopped a large griz with two shots and it went a short distance and died. It did abort a full charge. Here is a thread I started on TFL from that article.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4806109

andym79
January 27, 2013, 07:16 AM
Forgetting the 358 for a moment, between the 45-70 and the 444 the main question I have is as follows! How well does the 444 stabilise bullets over 265 grains with the very slow 1-38 twist?

Does the microgrove make any differences versus a more normal deeper grove!

I know for sure that with a standard 1-38 twist you would be struggling to stablise any over 210 grains!

If the answer is not very well for 300-400 grain range then I am really starting to see the arguement for the 45-70, it is a very versatile round, I know it can stabilise from 290 - 540 grain projectiles just fine!

Just to clarify why I am so keen on using a lever for these pests, I already have a couple of bolt actions certainly not up to the task of taking a camel! I do lever action competions and have had some success with the .22 and .30-30, I am keen on trying my "talent" with another cartridge 'a Big Bore' that I can also use to hunt bigger beasts. If I were to buy a 338 Win Mag or the grandaddy of belted magnums the beloved 375 (I would love one) I would probably only use it two or thee days a year compared with every other weekend for a 358 (not a true big bore), 444 or 45-70 and 375 rifles are not the cheapest! The nearest I would get to a lever in a 375 would be the Ruger No1, but even if it had a magazine who would want to rapid fire 375 H&H?

Granted a flat trajectory would be preferable given the average habbitat of the camel, but the creatures are hardly skittish you can get reasonable close!

StrawHat
January 27, 2013, 08:09 AM
Andy, not to add futher confusion but the more I use my 405 WCF (Winchester 1895), the less I find use for the 45-70. The 405 is everything the 45-70 is and a lot more. A 300 grain bullet at 2200 is normal for the 405 and right in 375 territory. Not sure how common they are in Oz but certainly food for thought.

andym79
January 27, 2013, 03:18 PM
No I have not consider the 405, I would imagine they are very rare in Australia!

The 405 is everything the 45-70 is and a lot more. A 300 grain bullet at 2200 is normal for the 405 and right in 375 territory.

I beg to differ here but a 300 grain slug going at 2200 is only just at the bottom end of, not really true 375 H&H territory there is around 1300 ft/lbs of difference! 45-70 performance certainly.

Now you have got me thinking, as I like to try and collect the less common, I am still trying to find a WIN 94 in .356 to do avail down here!

An interesting point though, is why is the 348 considered the most firepower in a lever, when without loading it very hot its a good 500ft/lbs shy of the 405!

Alaska444
January 27, 2013, 04:01 PM
No I have not consider the 405, I would imagine they are very rare in Australia!



I beg to differ here but a 300 grain slug going at 2200 is only just at the bottom end of, not really true 375 H&H territory there is around 1300 ft/lbs of difference! 45-70 performance certainly.

Now you have got me thinking, as I like to try and collect the less common, I am still trying to find a WIN 94 in .356 to do avail down here!

An interesting point though, is why is the 348 considered the most firepower in a lever, when without loading it very hot its a good 500ft/lbs shy of the 405!
You may want to look at the BLR in .450 which is a maxed out 45-70. Starting with their 30-06, you have about 7 or 8 calibers in the BLR that should fit the bill for what you are looking at. I would suspect that you have 30-06 readily available ammo there as well. 30-06 takes large elk and moose here in Idaho every year. Should be enough and in lever.

The .300 WSM has a shorter stroke than the 30-06. Not sure if you have shot the BLR but the bolt coming back at you the first couple of times you shoot it can be a bit disconcerting.

The Marlin can be a bit of beast with jamming so unless you have someone who understands the "dreaded Marlin jam" and how to fix it, the BLR is sad to say more reliable and higher quality than the Marlin. Nevertheless, my .444 is working well, so push comes to shove, I still prefer the Marlin over the BLR, but don't discount your selection of calibers in the BLR.

The recoil in the BLR is a bit of a strong snap, while the Marlin .444 is just a strong push. My son weighs about 150 pounds and doesn't mind the Marlin .444 recoil, but he doesn't like the .300 WSM at all. He didn't grow up in the woods like I did so he hasn't shot as many rifles as I have, but the recoil is different. The BLR also has detachable magazines between 3 or 4 cartridges at a time making reloading easier, but the Marlin holds 5 +1 to start in .444.

You will have to look at how available your ammo will be as well. I don't have any problem finding my .444 ammo up here and I order online as well.

http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/firearms/detail.asp?fid=003B&cid=034&tid=018

ironhead7544
January 27, 2013, 05:26 PM
I have owned a Marlin in .444 and a Winchester M88 in .358 Win.

The 265 gr Hornady bullet was designed for the .444 rifle and has a thicker jacket for the higher velocities. That was all I used in that rifle. Now we have partitioned bullets so more are available. The 265 gr bullet was very accurate and good for at least 200 yards. If you want a standard type lever rifle then this is the one. 45/70 would be fine too.

The Winchester 88 was also a fine rifle, much like the BLR in operation. Good bullets are available in 35 cal and it is easy to make 358 cases from 308 brass. The 358 trajectory is better than any 444 load so if shooting at longer ranges is desired then this is the one to go with.

JMHO

Alaska444
January 27, 2013, 05:53 PM
I have owned a Marlin in .444 and a Winchester M88 in .358 Win.

The 265 gr Hornady bullet was designed for the .444 rifle and has a thicker jacket for the higher velocities. That was all I used in that rifle. Now we have partitioned bullets so more are available. The 265 gr bullet was very accurate and good for at least 200 yards. If you want a standard type lever rifle then this is the one. 45/70 would be fine too.

The Winchester 88 was also a fine rifle, much like the BLR in operation. Good bullets are available in 35 cal and it is easy to make 358 cases from 308 brass. The 358 trajectory is better than any 444 load so if shooting at longer ranges is desired then this is the one to go with.

JMHO
Yes, the .444 is a very accurate 200 yard rifle with high impact.

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