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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally living up to my name, i have bought a .444 s with micro grooves. I have also ordered a Lee C430-310-RF mold. Then i read in wikipedia that the .444 marlin with it's micro grooves should use .431-432 bullets, with hard lead. So no i am thinking if i can't use the mold after all? Lyman has a sizer in .431 i am speculating on using this one using bullet bumping to increase the size to .431
 

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The reason for the larger size supposedly it to make up for a larger throat in the 444 S ad SS micro grooves and there is a lot of data to support that conclusion...BUT...I just put a 444 S barrel on my 336 and throated it for seating bullets out farther AND for a bit of "freebore" ALA Weatherby.

The throater from 4D Reamers measured 0.430" so if the above is actually true, then I just changed that by the throating job. I just started load developement and my 265 gr BT 0.432" sized bullet stuck in that throat section...but they shot OK so far.

When I firelapped the bore that throat section opened up slightly but I haven't tried to measure it yet.

The bottom line is...SLUG YOUR BARREL...to find out for certain what the size is...THEN...develop a load with a bullet that shoots well and forget all the rest. The proof of the pudd'n' is how it taste to YOU, not what it tastes to the rest.

The bullets from that mould might also cast larger so measure them BEFORE you decide on a sizer die.

There is TONS of information on the web, some of it is excellent and some not so...but that information should be used only as a BASIS to start the development process...NOT as precise data...you HAVE to use YOUR rifle's measurements to make decisions not what someon else's rifle came up with...

LUCK
 

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The SAAMI spec for a 444 Marlin barrel is 0.430". If you assume using a cast bullet then I think you'd want it sized to 0.431" which I think you said your equipment does. That's where I'd start at least, shy of slugging the barrel.

Slugging the barrel would probably get you to a final answer in the shortest amount of effort, though.
 

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An unscientific poll here shows that probably 90% on Marlin 444 casters end up using a .432 sizer for best results. Lee can make them special order for about $20.
 

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I kill several deer each season with the Lee 310 sized .429 pushed by 40 grs. of H4198. My rifle is a 444P topped with a Leupold 3x10x50 vari-x III. Accuarcy has not been an issue. Mine is ballard rifled.
 

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Ranch Dog linked above sells the proper Lee push through dies on his web site. His good service is legendary here as are his molds and sizers.
 

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One thing me and others have found using the Lee 310 is that our Marlin MGs have a very short lead and that projectile must be deep seated to stay off of the lands.
 

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Marlin came up with the 444 to fill the void when winchester discountined the 71/.348. The marlin mores powerful. Even the 240 grain Remmington ammo has shot clean thru 3/8" cold rolled steel plates, which is slightly tougher than a kodiak bear. ;) Let the bear beware 8)
 

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I've used the Lee 430-310 since it came out in both my 444 and 1894's. I just simply don't size, lube only, since they fall from my mould at a tiny fraction over .432". I've had very good success with it, but as mentioned earlier, you have to seat it a bit deeper in a factory throat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Doubletap said:
I've used the Lee 430-310 since it came out in both my 444 and 1894's. I just simply don't size, lube only, since they fall from my mould at a tiny fraction over .432". I've had very good success with it, but as mentioned earlier, you have to seat it a bit deeper in a factory throat.
Seems like this is the way to do it :)

BTW i got another tip, that is to put a few small pieces of foil tape on one side of the mold. This will make the bullets slightly larger, and then
down size to .432". However then i have to buy a custom sizer from lee on .432
 

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Frodo said:
An unscientific poll here shows that probably 90% on Marlin 444 casters end up using a .432 sizer for best results. Lee can make them special order for about $20.
I kept hearing the .432 size mentioned, so I decided to just fallow the beaten path on this one. I have achieved sub-MOA with my cast bullets pushed near the upper end of the velocity for given bullet weights. Things can get as complicated as you want, but I preferred to keep it simple and I am tickled by my results.
If it were me, I'd link to Ranch Dog's sight and get the Lee .432 sizer.
 

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Both of my lapped 444 XLR barrels (1-20 twist) measure .4300 at the chamber end and .4295 at the muzzle....and they both shoot .432 bullets very well. I would shoot .432's in your Marlin. As was stated above, this is almost a standard diameter for the 444 using cast bullets whether it be a Microgroove or Ballard barrel, and many have had excellent success using this bullet diameter.
 
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