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1977 Marlin 444S

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 357smallbore, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. 357smallbore

    357smallbore Member

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    This caliber has always drawn me in like a magnet. I am going to get this weapon. Anyone own, shoot or have thoughts on it? I reload so ammo isn't an issue. I plan on using it for Hogs, Black Bear and if drawn this year, I will take it Elk hunting.
    I will be using a 265 grn FTX and going peep sights all the way. max yards i'll shoot is 200.
     
  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    what twist is the barrel, a 444 with the fast twist are good for the 240 and up, but the slow twist need lighter then 240 to shoot anything under 240gr going that fast makes for massive bullet failures.
     
  3. 357smallbore

    357smallbore Member

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    It has the micro groove barrel.
    1 in 38
     
  4. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    it may shoot 240s but more then likely 265s won't stabilize.
     
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  5. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Check how much the bullet has to jump before it engages the rifling in the throat. My JM Marlin 336, the bullet has to jump two tenth's of an inch. Marlin was more concerned with function reliability than accuracy.
     
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  6. LRDGCO

    LRDGCO Member

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    I want one too but not the 1:38 twist.Hoping (but not holding my breath) that Henry will get with the program.

    I have an H&R with the 1:20 twist. 325 grs wide meplat soup cans at 1850 fps will do horrible things to a hog and I would happily hunt elk out to 250 yards if I could find a reliable 265 spire tip bullet.

    The later 1:20 twist Marlins seem to go into the $800-$900 range. I'm not there yet...
     
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  7. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    maybe find a cheap 1-38 and rebarrel it, should be less then $300 and you can sell the old barrel.
     
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  8. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    The "non-stabilizing" of 240 and heavier is fake news, at least as far as my 336-444 with the 1 in 38 microgroove barrel is concerned. I have great groups with 265 grain fp, rn, and flex tips. When I recover from knee replacement I'm going to try some 300 grain cast. My gun is the original ugly duckling with the straight grip, Monte Carlo stock and half magazine. My brother got it in the mid 70s.
     
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  9. natman

    natman Member

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    I used to have a 1 in 38 twist 444 and it had no problem with 265s. Try it and see.
     
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  10. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    It IS an absolute falsehood. Try a healthy dose of H-4198 under some 300gr Sierra’s. My 3 shot groups are touching cloverleafs. The 300’s also reduced perceived recoil in my rifle. Made it more of a push like a 45-70.
     
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  11. Scooter22

    Scooter22 Member

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    Yup. I have a mid 70s 444s 1-38 Microgroove. Puts 265 Hornadys in 1 1/4" groups at 100yds with minimal load development. Shooting under sized bullets in them was the problem. Microgroove shoots cast boolits fine also if they are sized right. I'll add all the bad press on the .444 was guys using.429" pistol bullets in them. Do a search of heavy bullets in a .444 Marlin. 1-38 is good up to 320grn cast boolits.
    https://www.beartoothbullets.com/tech_notes/archive_tech_notes.htm/17
    https://www.beartoothbullets.com/tech_notes/archive_tech_notes.htm/19
    https://www.beartoothbullets.com/tech_notes/archive_tech_notes.htm/28
    http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell444Marlin.htm
    http://www.leverguns.com/articles/paco/444.htm
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  12. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Wrong. Old wives tale. See comments below.
     
  13. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    My 1971 microgroove model will shoot the Lee 310 grain cast bullet just fine.
     
  14. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Never trust anyone who doesn’t know the difference between thEn and thAn.
    Most of what he “knows” is suspect.
     
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  15. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

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    Good bullet choice but are we talking factory ammo or handloads ? If handloaded, that bullet requires a case trim length of 2.065" instead of the usual 2.215" spec.. My 10th edition Hornady Handbook gives this as to why : " Due to the longer ogive it is critical that cartridge cases be trimmed to the length specified". I didn't know that until I started loading for my buddies 1970 something 336 in 444 Marlin. We shot some factory ammo he had to get reloadable brass and some of that ammo featured the 265 gr. FTX bullet. Then I was wondering why some of the brass was shorter than others ! Soon found out; and that shorter trim length also affects the loading data because of less internal volume on the shorter case. Just an FYI in case you were unfamiliar with it. Hornady data for that bullet warns of that. My buddies 444 is a real shooter although he prefers a 225 gr. Barnes XPB with 46.0 gr. of H-4198 which has a slight accuracy edge in that particular Marlin. Last fall he alternated between his 444 and 6.5 Creedmoor when deer hunting. The day he filled his tag he was carrying the Creed. I was a little disappointed because I was hoping to see what the 444 out of a rifle would do to a deer. Only 444 marlin harvested deer I've ever seen were taken with a T/C Contender with a 444 Marlin barrel by another buddy back in the 1980's.
     
  16. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    The same holds true for the 300gr Sierra’s in order to crimp in the cannelure. But you don’t lose any case capacity. Set a 240gr bullet or 265 for that matter next to a 300 and you’ll see what I mean.

    When I figured this out, and how well my rifle shoots the 300’s, I trimmed all my brass to 2.065. Had no reason to have the full length brass any longer.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  17. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    If you want to know what a 265 FTX does to deer I can tell you. I shot a decent doe with one a few years ago when I first got my 444S. I shot her at about 60 yards. After I skinned her I could literally put my arm through the entrance, wound channel, and exit. It was dumb how much damage it did. I have pictures of it somewhere. I couldn’t believe it. Neither could my buddy I was hunting with.
     
  18. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

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    I'm quite sure most bullets used in a 444 will drop deer decisively. I don't recall what bullet my buddy used back in the 1980's but his 14" ( IIRC ) T / C Contender was the Hammer Of Thor on deer at woods ranges. No deer ever went far after being hit due to some serious wound channels. Always wondered about the velocity of a 444 from that shorter than a rifle Contender barrel but it seems the deer couldn't tell the difference and none of us owned a chronograph back then. Perhaps this fall I'll get to see what my other buddies Marlin 336 in 444 will do to a deer. He'll most likely be using that 225 gr. Barnes bullet.
     
  19. slicksleeve

    slicksleeve Member

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    My personal experience is that the Hornady 265 grain shoots very well in this caliber. I currently own a 1978 made Marlin in .444. Had a 77 model at one time as well. The other one I have now, I forget the year offhand, but it is older with the 24 inch barrel and high comb stock. I have it scoped, and the 78 model with the 22 inch barrel had XS ghost ring sights. Both shoot better than you would expect with the Hornady 265 grain, not the flex tip, but the regular soft point. I load them with Reloder 7. A very good whitetail bullet. No experience on hogs or deer though.
     
  20. Matt12345

    Matt12345 Member

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    I bought a 77 444 Marlin S last year for deer hunting and have been very happy with it.
    I’ve shot 265 gr Hornady Leverevolution and Super Performance rounds and they both shoot well. I would caution that the Leverevolution rounds (which have bullets that look just like the FTX) require you to either remove the red tip from the first round loaded into the tube, or replace the follower in the gun. Mine would jam on the last round until I found out the solution.
     
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