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Thread: .444 vs. .45-70



  1. #1
    Sidewinder
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    .444 vs. .45-70

    The local gun show is coming up in March and I was thinking it might be time for a big bore Marlin. To date, I'd thought that it should be an 1895 of some configuration in .45-70, but after checking Hawks ballistics and recoil webpages, it seems that the .444 puts out more energy with a good bit less recoil than the .45-70...

    I'd ruled out the .450 Marlin a while ago after watching some videos of guys shooting that round and reading the recoil tables. I live in Virginia, and having a big bore is merely for fun, not for bears. That cartridge looks brutal to shoot.

    Other than ammo availability and variety (I'm not a reloader...yet) and the need to go with a 22" barrel, is there a compelling reason to go with a .45-70 (I was already leaning toward the 22" in the 1895 anyways)?

    Night Wasp
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    Wrangler
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    This is a hot topic here. In a nutshell there is no real difference in yout hunting field. I have used the 444 for years and am happy. Without reloading the 444 is a dandy deer cartridge. I feel it is the best balance of power and recoil.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night Wasp View Post
    The local gun show is coming up in March and I was thinking it might be time for a big bore Marlin. To date, I'd thought that it should be an 1895 of some configuration in .45-70, but after checking Hawks ballistics and recoil webpages, it seems that the .444 puts out more energy with a good bit less recoil than the .45-70...

    I'd ruled out the .450 Marlin a while ago after watching some videos of guys shooting that round and reading the recoil tables. I live in Virginia, and having a big bore is merely for fun, not for bears. That cartridge looks brutal to shoot.

    Other than ammo availability and variety (I'm not a reloader...yet) and the need to go with a 22" barrel, is there a compelling reason to go with a .45-70 (I was already leaning toward the 22" in the 1895 anyways)?

    Night Wasp
    Hey NW,

    The bullet selection for 45/70 is wider, and readily available. If you were to acquire a 444 with a 1:38 twist, you would need to use higher velocity projectiles. Of course, with a 240 JHP at velocities in excess of 2,000fps., deer are DRT. Pretty much the same as with a 45/70, using a 350gr cast @ 1200fps. Bottom load, for 45/70.

    This thread should see some active discussion, in the next few days. LOL

    Later, Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night Wasp View Post
    The local gun show is coming up in March and I was thinking it might be time for a big bore Marlin. To date, I'd thought that it should be an 1895 of some configuration in .45-70, but after checking Hawks ballistics and recoil webpages, it seems that the .444 puts out more energy with a good bit less recoil than the .45-70...

    I'd ruled out the .450 Marlin a while ago after watching some videos of guys shooting that round and reading the recoil tables. I live in Virginia, and having a big bore is merely for fun, not for bears. That cartridge looks brutal to shoot.

    Other than ammo availability and variety (I'm not a reloader...yet) and the need to go with a 22" barrel, is there a compelling reason to go with a .45-70 (I was already leaning toward the 22" in the 1895 anyways)?

    Night Wasp
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night Wasp View Post
    The local gun show is coming up in March and I was thinking it might be time for a big bore Marlin. To date, I'd thought that it should be an 1895 of some configuration in .45-70, but after checking Hawks ballistics and recoil webpages, it seems that the .444 puts out more energy with a good bit less recoil than the .45-70...

    I'd ruled out the .450 Marlin a while ago after watching some videos of guys shooting that round and reading the recoil tables. I live in Virginia, and having a big bore is merely for fun, not for bears. That cartridge looks brutal to shoot.

    Other than ammo availability and variety (I'm not a reloader...yet) and the need to go with a 22" barrel, is there a compelling reason to go with a .45-70 (I was already leaning toward the 22" in the 1895 anyways)?

    Night Wasp
    My preference is the 444 Marlin®. Factory ammunition is available from Buffalo Bore®, Hornady®, Remington, & Wisconsin Cartridge® to name a few. You can get 240gr, 265gr, 270gr, 300gr, and 335gr. If you want a "Do it All" load, from mice to moose; get Hornady® Superformance® 265gr JFP (SKU: 82453). It's the "Gold Standard" in 444 Marlin® factory ammunition performance..........
    Hornady® 444 Marlin 265 gr InterLock® FP Superformance®
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    Night Wasp I came here over a year ago with the same question I've shot them both and you can't go wrong with either one...

    As msharley points out the 45/70 is way more in the bullets offered. Jacketed from 300-500gr. cast start under 300 and go to 570gr no don't let it scare you...My 500gr cast is like a 12ga shot gun, and is Safari grade load. My 350gr Jsp will let you know...@ 1975fps (ain't no bench load)

    (I'm not a reloader...yet) ... well IMO neither of these guns are cheap with factory ammo... Yep your doing yourself a disservice not loading.
    When you start you will save money, increase accuracy, have extreme ammo selection (if you choose the right gun) and gain another big adventure, yes reloading is addictive.

    I would encourage you to venture over to the Marlin rant section...Remlins are a issue We hope Remington is getting their head out... and I don't want to scare you. I want you to know what to look for...because a Marlin is a levergun like no other You can find excellent used or get a Remlin.

    I will through this in 444 guys can correct me but...I think Remington has a stop on some of the 444 (not sure). Hey we are here for you either way you go.

    Another + to the reloading is... you can download to your comfort level If you don't consider the cost of the rifle in your shooting cost... Please
    don't consider the 300-350 you pay for reloading kit. OK Night Wasp JUST ONE MORE HINT just have someone show you a 444 video doing this.

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    team 45/70 #244, team Browning #40

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    A: 444
    B: 45-70
    C: 450
    D: Any of the above

    No matter which one is picked, you will have a hard time finding Quality factory ammo for it, I do not think the Leverevolution is quality ammo! As I browse the ammo isles of any sporting goods stores I come across, most times the Remington 444 240gr ammo is on the shelves, Remingtons 405gr 45-70 ammo, and Hornadys 350gr 450!

    Now there are custom ammo manufactures out their, offering many bullet options for the 444 and 45-70, but their not cheap!

    The Remington 444 ammo is good for deer size game, the Remington 405gr ammo IMHO is also good for deer size game, but the 450 is good for anything that walks in North America!

    If I did not reload I would go for the 450Marlin, no matter where you find ammo, it will be the same and will do it all! I have found that the 450Marlin is not a killer kicking rifle, I have only shot the one with the ports and IMHO that's the one most likely you would find in a gun shop!

    I would order a GBL/SBL type rifle tomorrow if they made it in 450!
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  8. #8
    Sidewinder
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    After having spent a few hours reading the .444 forum last night, I knew I was opening a can of worms. But, I wanted to get a good education on the topic before dropping some money on a big bore.

    The .444 does seem to be a great round, but the 1-38 vs. 1-20 twist and the different bullet weights had me a bit confused. I have a 1960 336 SC in .35. It is microgroove.

    I was thinking the microgroove came after the ballard in the .444, the same way it did in the 336, but apparently the ballard came second right?

    Anyone know what year the ballard started back up? Ideally, I think I'd like a ballard rifled gun that predates Remington's muddling. Anyone have a year range that would cover these two parameters?

    From my reading, it seems that the ballard will shoot both the lower velocity and the higher velocity offerings well while the micro tends to prefer the higher velocity only right (probably a can of worms on this one too) ?

    As for the Remlin vs. older Marlin, I have an opinion on that already. I'm going with a used .444 for sure. My 1960 SC is a solid piece of American craftsmanship. Holding the current offerings from Remington in my hands has caused me to be thankful for the old 1950s and even 1980s Remingtons I already have.

    Thx for your help guys! Can't wait to join the .444 forum.

    Night Wasp
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    Team .444 #429

  9. #9
    Deadeye
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    444 shoots a little flatter and will handle all North American game. If i was going to Africa, I'd go with the 45-70. 45-70 ammo is easier to find. I have both, as others have already said , either one is not a bad choice. Do a lot of research. Find out where u can buy ammo and for how much. The .444 in 240-265 is pretty hard to beat for all around North American game. The 45-70 would make a better elephant gun. Good luck and have fun in your search.

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    We have 2 45-70's at our house, a CB and G. Love them both. After watching the 444 v 45-70 threads from a humorous distance the 444 intrigues me enough to want one. For what we do with the 45's the 444 would do it just fine too. The 22" barrel would fill in the void we have now between 18" and 26" barrels. I haven't studied the 450 much so my impression is that it is designed to be a top end 45-70 but it can be loaded tame too. I tend to stay away from top end anything so the 450 doesn't get my blood stirring much.

    I reload so none of the calibers availability would get in the way. From what you described you will do with it you can pick either one, find a good factory ammo source, and enjoy. In this day of internet sales it doesn't matter what you can find on the shelf. If you can't walk up and grab it just order a bunch online. Online prices are usually low enough to make the freight a non-issue with a multi-box order.

    Jeff
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    Jeff

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