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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband and I are looking for a intermediate recoil Barnes 225 XPB load for our 444 Marlins (22”) to hunt deer. We live in CA and need to shift to lead free bullets. We’ve had great success with 280gr Swift A-Frames at ~1700fps for intermediate range deer hunting (<100yds) using AA5744. Essentially this gets us between the recoil/performance of a 44 Mag Carbine and 444 Marlin rifle full power load. Quite frankly, a major or boutique ammo company should load for this intermediate range or 444 Marlin(-) hunting. Super sweet for shooting comfort and good .44 cal bullets drop deer at this vel/range. We keep it simple and the powders we use are H4895 and AA5744. We’ve looked online, on Hodgdon site, Lee Modern Reloading, etc, and can’t find load information on this sweet spot 444 Marlin(-) for Barnes 225 XPB at ~1850 in a 444 Marlin rifle. An assist on where to look for 225gr XPB H4895 or AA5744 loads or any help appreciated.
 

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The information you are looking for may simply not be out there. It could very well be, that you will have to figure this out for yourself. Would suggest using a chronograph and start at the lowest recommend powder charge for that powder. Work yourself down a grain at a time towards the desired velocity, checking the cases for pressure, and stopping if signs of the case not expanding to a reasonable degree becomes readily apparent. You probably will be able to get where you want to go, if reached check to insure load is accurate enough for the job. Powders on the faster side of the recommended 444 powders for this bullet style and weight will likely give the best results.

A chronograph is highly recommended for this activity, since simple extrapolation of load data below a recommended load, or using a slower powder in a shorter barrel will frequently give unexpected results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
H4895 and AA5744 are such versatile powders it is surprising there isn't published Barnes 225 gr XPB data.
 

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Have you checked with Barnes? I know they are not the same since the buy out by Rep. They used to have all kinds of loading info. Good Luck, you will figure it out. You can always start with the pistol loadings and work up carefully from there.
Have a great day.
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've found load data but all above 2100fps. I'm looking for about 1850fps too keep recoil down. Also, I haven't found AA5744 or H4895 data which I think will give me reduced fps I'm looking for. Also, once I get H4895 data the Hodgdon website has guidance on reduced recoil load development....
 

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My husband and I are looking for a intermediate recoil Barnes 225 XPB load for our 444 Marlins (22”) to hunt deer. We live in CA and need to shift to lead free bullets. We’ve had great success with 280gr Swift A-Frames at ~1700fps for intermediate range deer hunting (<100yds) using AA5744. Essentially this gets us between the recoil/performance of a 44 Mag Carbine and 444 Marlin rifle full power load. Quite frankly, a major or boutique ammo company should load for this intermediate range or 444 Marlin(-) hunting. Super sweet for shooting comfort and good .44 cal bullets drop deer at this vel/range. We keep it simple and the powders we use are H4895 and AA5744. We’ve looked online, on Hodgdon site, Lee Modern Reloading, etc, and can’t find load information on this sweet spot 444 Marlin(-) for Barnes 225 XPB at ~1850 in a 444 Marlin rifle. An assist on where to look for 225gr XPB H4895 or AA5744 loads or any help appreciated.
As you live in CA the approved lead frree bullets is :
https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting/Nonlead-Ammunition/Certified


2 other makers on that CA list :
https://www.lehighdefense.com/all?a...ype,bullets/f6-caliber-cartridge,42944-magnum

https://cuttingedgebullets.com/shop/cutting-edge-bullets/handgun-bullets?caliber=72

Cutting Edge doesn't list load info.
However the powders you stated have info for 240 gr.

for H4895:
Take Aim at Rifle Reloading Data | Hodgdon Reloading

for AA5744 (in the load guide) :
Load Data « Accurate Powders

As you had used Swifts the cost of these offerings shouldn't seem that bad

Hope this hrlps you towards your goal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The Cutting Edge Bullets .429 200gr Hand Gun (HG) bullet and their .429 210gr and 250gr Maximus bullets are very interesting bullets for 44Mag and 444 Marlin hunting. No factory ammo loads available. Wonder how the CE 200gr HG and CE 210gr/250gr Maximus bullets will perform on whitetail from a 444 Marlin.

The Lehigh Defense .429 220gr and 250gr Extreme Penetrator bullets most likely over penetrate for small and medium game and these 2 bullet options seem designed for bears and large game. The Lehigh Defense .429 160gr Extreme Defense bullet is an interesting bullet for small and medium game. Lehigh Defense actually loads 444 Marlin ammo with the 160gr ED at 2600fps for sale on their website. This 160gr/2600fps loaded 444 Marlin ammo bests 30-30 160gr ammo and matches 160gr 308 ammo. This ammo has less recoil (15lbs range) and I wonder how this loaded 444 Marlin 160gr/2600fps ammo performs on whitetail.

Nice there are good 444 Marlin .429 lead free bullet component options. I think the whitetail woods tree stand hunter is well served with 200gr-225gr lead free options loaded primarily for whitetail out to 150yards. The high metplate of the .429 bullet really shines on the typical weekend whitetail hunts. I wish there were more factory 444 Marlin options (lead and lead-free) tailored for whitetail hunting at intermediate ranges and recoil.

The Barnes 225gr XPB is a proven performer in 44Mag and 444 Marlin. Just hard to find 225gr XPB 444 Marlin load data for a variety of powders and velocities.
 

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I was unable to find any data for this velocity with the 225 gr bullet.

You might want to try the 200 gr bullet at start load speed if you want less recoil. There are two 200 gr bullets by Barnes, one is meant for the 44 Special, the other for the 44 Magnum.

Or, you could get an 1894 Marlin in 44 Magnum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good point on going the 44mag route. The 44mag in a rife is great and my wife and I have had good success hunting whitetail with the 44mag. Something about 44 cal on deer. Factory 44mag ammo was just shy of the fps the 44mag is capable of, but I found it hard to load consistent max 44mag hand loads. Once we shifted to the 444 Marlin, we found these sweet spot 44cal bullet loads that were consistent, accurate, and nice recoil. The 444 Marlin cartridge with rifle powders is more efficient than working the 44mag cartridge.

So instead of staying with 44mag, we shifted to 444 Marlin. Yup, we are shooting 44mag equivalent or 44mag(++) equivalent loads in our 444 Marlins. But, I found, the 444 Marlin case so much more efficient and able to get a touch more velocity with heavy bullets than the 44mag. So, California be damned, my goal is to stick with the 444 Marlin in our 444 Marlin lead free bullet intermediate hunting round quest....
 

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I've found load data but all above 2100fps. I'm looking for about 1850fps too keep recoil down.....
Not sure if I missed something in this conversation, but am I the only one seeing a starting charge of 49.0gr of H335 @ a listed 1891 fps for the 225gr Barnes on the Hodgdon website?




Vooch

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I see the 225gr XPB H335/1891fps load. But it is a minimum and I always have bad luck when I load to a desired min. When I try out the minimum load and find the velocity is too much or accuracy/consistency isn't there I can't load down below minimum to refine the load. So, I'm hesitant to start a H335 load at the minimum and find myself unable to refine down....I'll try the min H335 load if I can't find something else . . .
 

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As for 444 vs 44 on recoil from a Marlin, I'll take the 444 every time. Had all of our levers out a while back, and to me the 44 was a much "snappier" recoil. The 444 may be more when measured on a scale, but to me, it was a much smoother push. Those where a fairly hot 44 mag load of 240gr xtp, and a near factory level load on the 444, with 240gr xtp as well.

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It might be worth calling Hodgdon to discuss running lower powder charges.

I know I've run H4198 in .30-30 cast loads that are published at only 15000 CUP with terrific accuracy.



Vooch

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We are going to experiment with the Cutting Edge 210 gr Maximus lead free. Cutting Edge tech support provided good varied load data options for the Maximus including intermediate range/recoil options for the 44mag(++) to Marlin(-) range sweet spot we are looking for. Little bit of gamble going with unknown Maximus over proven XPB. Will post results.
 

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It does not need to be difficult - lyman has many reduced loads published. Since you are using H4895, you hold the answer in your hand. H4895 can be loaded down 60% from Maximum and acheive your desired 1700-1800 velocity. This is a very simple and popular load.
 

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...I'm quite interested, too, because I've been quite disappointed with 214 grs. only, at .44mag.speed, in my .444 remlin, I'm talking about accuracy, and I thought this depended mainly on the relationship between bullet weight and twist rate...
 
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