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Discussion Starter #1
Owning a 300 win mag, one thing I have read about recently is using larger bullets at slower speeds to greatly extend barrel life.

Of course a 444 isn't traveling as fast as a 300 win mag, but still moving fast for a big bore. Is barrel wear a concern on 444s? If so, do they benefit from using relatively larger bullets, like 335's?
 

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It's a non-issue.
Unless you overheat the barrel from continuous fire, and keep shooting for an extended period of time, you don't need to worry about it.

A 444 barrel will be ruined by cleaning rods long before it is shot out. (Unless terribly abused and overheated.)
 

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There is a guide that might help you.
"Overbore" is the ratio of bullet area to case volume in grains.

The 300 Win Mag is 0.308 and 90.4 = 1213
The 444 Marlin is 0.429 and 69 = 477

The rule of thumb is overbore > 900 is the onset of barrel wear.

Overbore Article
 

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Barrel erosion is usually caused by 3000 + velocity in a relatively small bore. I've seen 220 Swift barrels burn out in as little as 1000 rds. I have not seen that happen on guns in the 30 cal or larger bore size.
 
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Velocity plays a part, but heat is the universal factor.
The reason so many varmint barrels get shot out so quickly is because the shooters just keep banging away (at the range or on a sod poodle colony) until the barrel is so hot that they can't see through the mirage coming off the barrel, let alone touch it.
At that point, the throat is toast. All it takes is one time. It just gets worse from there.

I had a .220 Swift that always had heat managed. It did well for me and had a high round count. Long story short, I rebarreled the rifle because I was tired of the brass prep necessary to keep a .220 Swift running. A professional "pest control" guy in Montana bought the barrel and ran it on is primary rig (identical to my own). He got back to me a few years down the road, so we could estimate actual round count, because he put a lot through it and it was still good enough for a coyote's vitals, out to about 450 yards. Our estimate in the end? About 9,500 rounds.
Heat kills. Heat management is vital with hot cartridges.

The most extreme barrel burning case that I've ever seen was with a guy that I worked with who was new to centerfire rifles, and his brand new, shiny .223 WSSM. 180 rounds were fired continuously in one range session. The wooden stock was starting to char by the time the shooter stopped. Accuracy had gone to absolute crap. The barrel melted itself to the carpet in his trunk, even after a 20+ minute cooldown.

The next time he took it out, it was shooting shotgun patterns.

We bore-scoped it. The throat was completely gone. It looked like a recently dried lake bed, with massive fissures, chunks missing, and a terrible surface throughout. The rest of the barrel was badly heat crazed, with some bits missing here and there.
I figured that he had significantly harmed that barrel at about the 60 round mark, ruined it by 100 rounds, and then just kept pounding nails into the coffin for the rest of the session.
180 rounds, and he had to buy himself a new barrel.
He learned one important thing, though... Heat kills.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A lot of good info here. Thank you all. That overbore article is good. Explains a lot. I am brand new to the 444. Wanted one for a long time. I've been reading a lot on the different offerings. All I've got so far are the 265 grain Marlin anniversary rounds. I was watching Paul Harrel on youtube and he was talking about his handloads for his 444. I may get into hand loading, but definitely haven't made that leap yet.
 

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Yes--the enemy of barrel life: High velocity with small bore lrg capacity cartridge, Heat soak by high round count with no rest to cool down, improper cleaning with poor low quality cleaning rod (worst is multi-section steel military issue rods, improper powder type selection.
 

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Your 444 should last a long time.

I've worn out several barrels on 308/7.62mm and 30/06 match rifles in National Match competition as well as an AR 15 barrel used in match competition.

My 30 caliber barrels lasted about 4,000 rounds on average in NM competition. The NM course of fire is usually 80 rounds, 40 of which are fired as rapid fire in four 10 round strings. 2 X10 at 200 yards and 2 X 10 at 300 yards. Barrels get pretty hot in the summer doing that. If shot slow fire, I'm sure the barrels would have gone at least 5 to 6 thousand rounds.

Your 444 will probably never see that kind of shooting.
 
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