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  1. #1
    Gun Wizard
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    .444 vs 35 Whelen

    Years ago I bought a M700 Classic 35 Whelen (1988 mfg) to be my dedicated elk rifle. I have taken deer, antelope, elk, and mountain lion with this gun and a Weaver K2.5X scope using a variety of ammo. It is a dependable game getter.

    About 18 months ago I scratched the Marlin big bore itch by getting a .444S (1972 mfg) and put a Weaver K2.5X on it. Last year I took a 5x5 mule deer and cow elk with it.

    Today I took both to the range to begin the tuning process for the coming season. I had about decided this would be the year of the Whelen. (I know, I know that is heresy! :roll: ).

    I sighted in both rifles by firing at 25, 50 and 100 yds. with reloads I already had on hand. My goal for the day was to get POI = POA at 100 yds. for both rifles Later I would work on refining a field zero most appropriate to each cartridge.

    The Whelen's 2.5X scope has duplex reticle and the .444's 2.5X scope has vintage post and crosshair reticle. I expected the bolt action rifle and scope would display a little greater precision based on sight picture alone.

    Two groups is a small sample and differences are surely not statistically significat. But I was a little surprized that the .444 Marlin edged out the .35 Whelen. Keep in mind this was using sandbags and a concrete bench on an established range.

    For 3 shots at 100 yds. the Whelen printed 2.01" and the Marlin printed 1.84"!

    .35 Whelen: 250 gr. Hdy. RN, 51.0 gr. IMR 4895 (not weighted)
    .444 Marlin: 265 gr. Hdy. FP, 46.0 gr. H4198 (weighed)

    Interesting!!! The good news is either one will do just fine when elk season rolls around.
    "Hunt close, then get closer."
    Team .444 -- Member #22

  2. #2
    Tinhorn
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    .444 vs 35 Whelen

    Yeah, I just recently got a 444S that is also a '72 with a 1.75-5x scope and my first 3 shots fired out of it were all touching at 50 yds. I have been very impressed with such accuracy from a big bore.
    f it goes boom, I like it.
    "There are two kinds of land in Texas: land that has pigs on it and land that is going to have pigs on it." -Dr. Jim Clary

  3. #3
    Army Veteran 67-69 Korea Administrator
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    .444 vs 35 Whelen

    Pretty much an equal capacity case. I would guess if you made a .444/06 you couldn't tell the difference. Or if you necked down the .444 to .358 it would be the same scenario. Trick is to use both to the extent they don't get jealous and turn on you. :lol:
    God Bless Our Troops -- Retired Tool & Die Maker -- The center of an Aspirin is the same size as the center of the moon, aim for the center.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator
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    Somewhere in South Carolina again! Charter Member #3 Team 444
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    .444 vs 35 Whelen

    I feel your pain, for years it was either my 350Remington Mag Remington 700 Classic or the Old Marlin 444 for rifle elk hunting................Marko
    Their are only two kinds of people, those who own a 444 and those who wish they owned one,
    and yes folks, denial is bliss!

    Not much has really changed in the world in 2000 years, Christians are still being thrown to the Lions! and
    Satans tool of Deception is still working like a charm, from the time of Adam and Eve, to today!
    Charter Member #3 Team 444
    Member # 379 Team 1894
    Member # 1053 Team 30-30
    Member # 338 Team 39

  5. #5
    Wrangler
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    .444 vs 35 Whelen

    I used to have the same problem deciding between my .444 & my .338 Win Mag, I solved it by selling my .338 Win Mag. The .444 provides all the stoping power I need out to 200 yards & my eyes are geting too weak to shoot further than that anyway.
    --Ken
    en aka Savage
    Marlin 444 XLR
    Ruger M77MkII .260 Rem
    Ruger K10/22T .22 Target Stainless Model
    Norinco SxS 12ga Coach Gun
    Drop by my homepage for a glimpse into my world...

  6. #6
    Site Contributor Extraordinaire & Team 444 Captain Super Moderator
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    .444 vs 35 Whelen

    Quote Originally Posted by VerySavage
    I used to have the same problem deciding between my .444 & my .338 Win Mag, I solved it by selling my .338 Win Mag. The .444 provides all the stoping power I need out to 200 yards & my eyes are geting too weak to shoot further than that anyway.
    --Ken
    My sentiments exactly; for the same reasons. The 444 will cover all the distance I'm comfortable shooting!


    David (
    "Feo, Fuerte y Formal")
    CW3, US Army (Ret)
    09/26/1968-05/31/1990
    Vietnam Veteran - 2 Tours

    Only two defining forces have ever died for you:
    1. Jesus Christ.
    2. The American Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & Marine.
    One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.
    1Cross+3Nails=4Given


    Founder (Member# 1) of Team 444 Marlin®

  7. #7
    Site Sponsor/Site Contributor Super Moderator
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    .444 vs 35 Whelen

    Come on guys you really know this isn't a choice. The only time you have to choose is when you have to decide WHICH ONE OF YOUR 444s you are going to hunt with! :shock:

  8. #8
    NFG
    NFG is offline
    Sidewinder
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    .444 vs 35 Whelen

    :lol: True, true Swany...but what about all the other rifles. A guy could get into deep dodo if he isn't careful and treat ALL his mistresses equally. :shock: :!: :!:


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