Joined: June 12 2004 Location: Washington Posts: 6528
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Posted: November 17 2018 at 3:24pm | IP Logged
Our friend Brian Pearce, a long-time fan of the lever action rifle, has a good article on the 444 Marlin, with over 300 handloads tested!
It's in Handloader magazine. Avail on newsstands now, the December 2018 edition.
I'm impressed. He goes back to the roots of that iconic Marlin cartridge, and takes it all the way up to a current prototype with a 22" 1:20 twist barrel. Brian is a serious lever-action aficionado with excellent hunting cred on big game.
If you like the 444 Marlin, and are interested in an updated look at that very serious hunting cartridge, this is something you ought to read.
It's a caliber that has always intrigued me, not sure why. When Marlin introduced it, they chambered it in Micro Grooved barrels with twists that would only handle bullets up to 265 grains or so because those were what were available for .44 pistols. Obviously, that handicapped the cartridge.
It's probably a lot better now. Still, never could understand wanting one when a guy could have a .45-70 in most of the same guns. I'll probably own a .444 someday, seems just about everything turns up in the hands of a serious gun nut sooner or later.
__________________ "The secret to happiness is freedom, and the secret to freedom is courage."
The original factory load for the 444 was Remington's
240 gr. bullet that was reported as having been the
same as that loaded in their .44 Mag ammo.
Complaints came in that these bullets were very
destructive on meat at the 444's higher velocities and
on larger animals penetration was very lacking.
This brought on the design of the 265 gr. bullets that
were made especially for the T4.
I have the T4 in an H&R Handi rifle and have worked a
little with it. The problem with Marlin and Handi
rifles is their groove diameters are usually at least
.431"-.4315". This means it usually takes a cast
bullet of at least .432" to get good accuracy. Most T4
shooters suggest a hardcast bullet for use in the
There is lots of good info on Beartooth Bullets
website. Marshall Stanton is very familiar with the
From my limited shooting of the T4 I can tell you if
you are a recoil junkie, then the T4 cartridge is your
__________________ "Please Mr. Custer.......I don't want to go" Larry Verne
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