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
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
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.
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!
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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.
en aka Savage
Marlin 444 XLR
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My sentiments exactly; for the same reasons. The 444 will cover all the distance I'm comfortable shooting!Originally Posted by VerySavage
David ("Feo, Fuerte y Formal")
CW3, US Army (Ret)
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.
Founder (Member# 1) of Team 444 Marlin®
: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: :!: :!: