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Old July 28, 2014, 09:23 PM   #1
USAF_Vet
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.444 Marlin vs .44 Magnum

So I've been wanting a .44 Mag single shot rifle for some time now, and a local mom & pop has a pair of H&R singles for under $250 each. One is in .44 Magnum, the other is .444 Marlin.

My experience with .44 magnum is limited to revolvers, and I've never shot a .444 Marlin.

How well do they perform out of a rifle? Gonna mostly be used for deer and the notoriously evil paper plate.

Eventually, if I go with the .44 mag, I'll get a revolver to go with it. Not sure if anyone even makes a .444 Marlin revolver.
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Last edited by USAF_Vet; July 28, 2014 at 10:52 PM. Reason: title typo
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Old July 28, 2014, 10:19 PM   #2
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In simple terms, the .444 Marlin is a longer, nearly twice as powerful .44 Magnum.

The original factory loads even used the same 240 grain bullets.

But nearly 1,000 FPS faster, and nearly double the energy & recoil.

The thing is though.
They kick like a stud mule on crack.
Worse it seems to me then a 45-70 with twice as heavy bullets.

In my opinion, the .444 Marlin is Way Overkill for deer, and doubly so for target shooting.
And at over $2.00 a shot for factory ammo?

No Way I would buy one if I didn't reload.
And even then?

I still would never buy one!

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Old July 28, 2014, 10:21 PM   #3
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I had a H&R 44 mag a couple years ago. I mounted a 4x scope on it. It was accurate enough for deer at 50 to 75 yards with the right loads, and hit like a hammer. I had to trade it in order to get my marlin 44 mag. The only proble with the 44 mag is that H&R puts it on its sb1 frame. You are limited to shot gun and pistol caliber barrels. The 444 marlin uses the sb2 frame and it will handle most calibers. You can send in the receiver and have additional barrels fitted to it.
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Old July 28, 2014, 10:28 PM   #4
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Ah, I was wondering what a .45 magnum was so I read the thread.
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Old July 28, 2014, 10:57 PM   #5
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The SB2 Frame was one reason I was considering the .444 in the first place.
Can the .44 mag chamber in a .444 Marlin like a .44 special can chamber in a .44 mag?

If I ever manage to draw a bear or elk tag, the .444 would be used in either of those cases as well.

Really, I just want a massive earth shuddering shoulder thumper. I think the Magnum would be a little more practical, especially in a pistol combo (although Magnum Research does offer a .444 Marlin single action revolver) but the SB1 frame is a drawback since I do eventually want to fit other barrels.
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Old July 28, 2014, 11:05 PM   #6
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44

I was told yes but the jump from the bullet will hurt the group. But you would have to try it to see . I would think it will be ok it the same case as all 44s
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Old July 28, 2014, 11:06 PM   #7
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The 44 mag cannot be shot safely out of a 444 Marlin chamber, its diameter is too small to seal properly. If you had a custom barrel chambered in 444 Schafer Magnum (no relation) you could shoot it, 445 Supermag, 44 Magnum, and 44 Special. 444 Schafer Mag is essentially a 444 Marlin turned down on a lathe to 44 Mag base dimensions.

Also, you can get a 444 Marlin BFR from Magnum Research. A 444 Schafer would be cooler though.

Last edited by 25cschaefer; July 28, 2014 at 11:11 PM. Reason: Add coolness
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Old July 28, 2014, 11:31 PM   #8
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I pulled the trigger on a 444 once. I immediately put it down and walked away. It's a really good round on paper but it's not your standard freezer filler either. It would be too light for dangerous African game, too much recoil for North American game. It resides in that realm where some folks go when a little too much is just enough, so for realistic purposes in North America that means polar bear, moose, or grizz. If I were after those 3 I durn sure ain't packin a single shot.
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Old Yesterday, 12:30 AM   #9
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contact h&r and ask if you buy a 444 marlin,can they fit a 44 mag barrel to the frame.get a 12 gauge bbl while the rifles there also.
i did this same thing with my magnum research bfr 45/70.spoke to customer service
about the 45/70 with the additional 350 marlin cylinder.they are glad to work with you.got a price on what the whole thing would cost and sent a bank check for the special order.
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Old Yesterday, 07:43 AM   #10
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I have a TC Contender barrel (rechambered by SSK) in .444 Marlin....it's a brute! My dad and I used to shoot metallic targets with it. Even though the trajectory is only slightly better than a football, it had no problems toppling the rams.

As mentioned, you cannot fire a .44 Rem Mag in a .444 Marlin chamber (well....you can but you'll probably get a good blast of gas in your face).
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Last edited by Fleetman; Yesterday at 09:47 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 10:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Can the .44 mag chamber in a .444 Marlin like a .44 special can chamber in a .44 mag?
Allow me to join the chorus of "NO!"s.

The 444 chamber is tapered. It won't support the base of a 44 Mag. Don't do it unless you like picking hot brass out of your teeth.

The 444 is a good deal more powerful than the 44 Mag. Recoil of a 444 is manageable in a lever action Marlin. Recoil of a 444 in a light Handi-rifle would be brutal.
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Old Yesterday, 11:52 AM   #12
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The first centerfield rifle I bought was a 444 Marlin in the late seventies. The round never let me down on deer,hogs,and turkeys. Never had to track anything I shot with it. The 444 does have considerable recoil,and in a Handi-Rifle,may be too much for some people. If you reload,the round can be loaded down to reasonable recoil levels for target shooting and practice. The round,for me anyway, has shown very good accuracy,and is one of my favorites. Just keep a shoulder pad in your range bag when you take it to the range. And a bottle of aspirin for when you get home.
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Old Yesterday, 02:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Not sure if anyone even makes a .444 Marlin revolver.
The Magnum Research BFR:

http://www.magnumresearch.com/Firear...nch-Barrel.asp

Quote:
Ah, I was wondering what a .45 magnum was so I read the thread.
It doesn't apply here, but the .45 Winchester Magnum was chambered in the AMT Automag IV and the LAR Grizzly. Roughly the ballistic equal of the .44 rem mag.
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Old Yesterday, 03:41 PM   #14
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and also chambered in tc contender
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Old Yesterday, 03:50 PM   #15
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.444 Marlin vs .44 Magnum

I have a 444 Marlin in a Handi and have had a 44 mag Rossi lever gun. The Rossi was crap, so it doesn't really bear on the cartridge in a rifle. For a sub 100 yards deer gun the 44 Mag is as good as any.

The 444 Marlin is a whole greater order of cartridge and a great deal of fun. As to recoil, full power jacketed loads have a MBPR of 215 yards with 265 grs and will take elk at anything under 200 yards reliably. Not really a long range round but a VERY effective 200 yard gun, ie at least double the 44 mag. I also find it a great cast bullet cartridge and in the Handi find 280 - 300 gr loads over a full case of Black Powder at 1400 - 1550 fps delivers 2 - 2.5 MOA with very acceptable recoil. GC cast over 4198 or 3031 is a little punchier but will tighten to sub 2 MOA. I can't imagine much in NA that wouldn't fall to 325 grs cast .432" at 150 yards.

I have enjoyed the 444 in the Handi so much that I will soon acquire a 1:20 twist Marlin lever gun to go with it.

If you reload, the 444 is extremely versatile and uses the same bullets as your 44 Mag. If you don't reload, the 44 Mag may be a better choice.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1406668484.949623.jpg

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Old Yesterday, 05:23 PM   #16
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I have Marlin .444 and yes I have fired .44 mags in it. Six inch groups at 50 yards were the best I could get with a very good reload (2 inch groups out of a Browning '92). Reloading required more power on the sizing die. Case life suffered.
The long and short, yes you can shoot 44 mag in a .444 marlin but it is not a good idea. The .444 is an easy to reload. High and lower power and shot shells make it my go to in BIG bear country.
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Old Yesterday, 08:01 PM   #17
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If you hand load consider the .444, you can load down to .44 mag velocity for plinking, reserving heavy loads for hunting. Casting your own bullets for plinking can dramatically reduce the cost per round. If you don't hand load get the .44 mag.
The .444 is a hoot to shoot, a buddy bought one when they first came out, putting 20 rounds down range was my limit for the day.
The .444 was designed to take elk, bear, and deer in timber, it is probably a bit much for your needs, but if the price is right, it will be fun.
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Old Yesterday, 08:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
The thing is though.
They kick like a stud mule on crack.
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Old Yesterday, 08:21 PM   #19
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I also have shot 44mags in a .444 Marlin and NO I didn't have to pick the brass out of my teeth...

I didn't care for the .444 round shot out of a Marlin, it just had too much felt recoil, but I have a "combo gun", 0/U 12ga/.444 Marlin and I like it a lot, as it manages the recoil much better.

There's a lot of power difference between the .444 and the 44 mag., (read velocity) so for hunting, you have to use tougher bullets in the .444, otherwise you will shred bullets, even on deer sized animals...

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Old Yesterday, 09:02 PM   #20
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I also have shot 44mags in a .444 Marlin and NO I didn't have to pick the brass out of my teeth...
Let me clarify. I don't guarantee that the case will rupture, there's just a good chance it will. It's a foolish thing to do, period.
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Old Today, 07:02 AM   #21
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I strongly agree it's a foolish thing to do. Last night, after following this post, I inserted a .44 Rem Mag in my .444 Marlin barrel...it is very obvious it is not the correct round for that chamber. I can envision a case blowing very easily. Just because a case hasn't blown YET doesn't mean it won't at any firing. I'm certainly not condemning anything anyone does but this particular practice appears to have the potential for some serious issues.
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