Marlin Firearms Forum banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am really wanting to reload with this bullet. I am new to the 444 family and have only shot 2 boxes of the standard 240 gr which I thought was a ***** cat round. However, I have two things to think about right now. First, let me start off by saying I love shooting my rifles and I get a special kick out of the 444 (no pun intended). That being said, my first problem is I can't find reloading data for the BT 290 gr since the people at BT haven't finished their fourth segment on the 444 and I am new to reloading so I can't just jump right in. Any help with reloading data would be appreciated. The second problem I have, which is possibly a good problem, is I have found four boxes of the Hornady light mag ammo for sale. I have read all the good things about this round but I know I would waste them at the range without something to shoot and I got reloading dies for Christmas. Stupid problems I know but none of my friends have the large caliber bug so they don't care. Can someone who understands my sickness help me with either reloading data or another solution. My rifle is a 444SS and I will be hunting whitetail in the woods but the black bear around me are getting more common so I may get lucky one day. Thanks.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,964 Posts
Any load data for a 300gr jacketed bullet will work, like always start 10% low and work up any new load.

What powders are you using?
Is your 444SS rifling Microgroove or Ballard?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My rifle is a micro groove. As far as powders, I guess I will start with a known load/powder combination and work to find out what my rifle likes. I don't have a favorite powder so I am open.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,330 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input. I know where I am going to start with the loads. Did any of you fire-lap your barrels before shooting the cast bullets or is a thorough cleaning to remove all copper deposits good enough? I ask only because the testers at BT did it with their test rifles and appeared to get pretty darn good groups.

Tony
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,330 Posts
TonyAR308 said:
Thanks for the input. I know where I am going to start with the loads. Did any of you fire-lap your barrels before shooting the cast bullets or is a thorough cleaning to remove all copper deposits good enough? I ask only because the testers at BT did it with their test rifles and appeared to get pretty darn good groups.

Tony
My 444's ARE NOT fire-lapped. They are plenty accurate just as they are. As for what to load, start w/41gr H4198 & work up in ½ gr increments; (that's what I did in developing my load).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I really didn't want to lap the barrel but I just want to get good accuracy and a good round for the rifle. It is old enough and I figure there has been enough rounds down the barrel to do the same as lapping. I hope to be reloading for it soon. I will keep in touch. Thanks for the input.

tony
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,073 Posts
You can also call Marshall (owner of BTB) and pick his brain. He is a very approachable guy and has always been happy to answer my questions about any of his bullets and loads that might work best for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
Lapping a barrel IS a way to good accuracy along with tuning/bedding the rifle and bench prepping the ammo. "Accuracy" also depends on WHAT you mean by accuracy and what you think "good accuracy" actually is...1/2" groups at 200 yds or 2" groups at 50 yds.

Lapping a barrel just knocks off the roughness left after machining on a NEW barrel . It is no more than a quick way to "wear" a barrel down a bit and polish the throat. If the barrel cruds up after a few shots then starts spraying bullets everywhere including behind you. then maybe a lap job would help greatly.

You can do lapping in several ways, fire lapping, lead lapping or with some 320-600 grit on a tight fitting patch wrapped around a nylon cleaning brush and stroked in the throat area about twice as many times as you stroke down the barrel...do half a dozen strokes, clean, put on a new oiled patch and push it down the barrel slowly...you can feel where the tight/rough spots are...mark them and do a few more strokes. The 320-400 grit cuts the metal, but the 600 is more of a polish.

I also use Flitz polish the same way...25 strokes, clean, check, another 25 strokes...etc...fire off a few lead bullets and check the bore, clean to see how quickly the crud comes off...crank off a few jacketed bullets...same as firelapping without the grit or normal shooting...it isn't rocket science. I stop the Flitz at 200 strokes or before...100 to 200 is usually plenty no matter how rought the barrel/chamber is.

Remember lapping is "WEARING OUT" the barrel...so to speak...you don't want to overdo it.

This is for CUT RIFLING...you don't have to bother so much with with button or hammer forged barrels as they are usually smooth as a baby's butt, EXCEPT for the chamber and throat where machining takes place.

There is lots of ways to lap barrels and many ways to do it and the information is all over the net.

Slathering on some 600 grit in oil all over all over the working parts and cycling the action a dozen times then clean wel. The will also help slick up the action and the shiney spots or where the bluing is worn off show you where the wear points are so you can polish those points...makes ANY action work slick as glass. ;D

H and IMR 4198, AA2015, RL-7, RL-10X, RL-15 H322, H335, IMR 3031, Benchmark, and Varget are all good powders for different weights in the 444 including the 290 gr. Hodgdons online load data is chocked full of good load data, and so is many of the other powder makers reloading sites.

Start low and work up slow...words to live by. ;D


LUCK
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the good information. I have used some polishing compound on the barrel with a tight mop brush and didn't really feel any tight spots. I tried to be especially diligent around the areas where the dove tails are cut for the sights since that is where is it said to be tight and I really couldn't tell any different from the rest of the barrel. Since I plan on shooting cast bullets and I got two boxes of Remington 240 gr with the rifle in a trade I put twenty rounds down the barrel at a fair pace on two seperate occasions with really good cleanings in between. I had the rifle recrowned when I got it and my gunsmith told me to make sure I get all the copper out of the barrel before shooting cast. He said even a little copper would mess up cast bullets accuracy so I was thinking about the lapping as a way to ensure I got the copper out once and for all, as well as making sure the barrel was even throughout. I seem to have gotten all the copper out of the barrel and the polishing compound may have been enough so I will just work up a load and see what happens with accuracy. The accuracy I am wanting is peace of mind accuracy while hunting. I won't be using a bench in the field so I won't set a number for this rifle and will be happy when I can shoulder it and know I will hit where I am aming. I will leave the MOA, like I can shoot that good off hand or with a field rest, for my Tikka 308 and Rem 204. I think I have all the critters in SW VA covered with these calibers. Except for tree rats (squirrels) but that is another thing altogether. Thanks again. Tony
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,964 Posts
IMHO the foaming bore cleaners are by far the best way to remove copper fouling........Fire lapping is far superior to any other form of lapping, If done right! I live by a simple rule, the less a cleaning rod is used in my firearms barrels the better! I have seen more crowns of barrels ruined by cleaning rods then any one thing!

Marlins are far worse for restrictions under stampings and dovetails, then other firearms manufactures, fire lapping sure helps getting rid of these issues!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,156 Posts
I'm with Starrbow on the foaming cleaners, they work great! If they don't get it all the first time, fill the bore again and go do something else, takes the work out of doing the cleaning. DP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The foam cleaners, Butch's and Sweets is what I have been using. I'll do the foam once or twice depending on what I see and then check it with one of the other cleaners. Once I am satisfied then I just run a patch with Hoppes down the barrel, many patches to dry it real good and a very light coat of oil since I never know when I will get to shoot again. Even though the cleaners are safe I don't like the idea of the chemicals sitting in the barrel. I know it is a different animal altogether but I had a friend give me a muzzle loader that hadn't been cleaned properly and after seeing what could happen to a mistreated barrel I just take those extra steps for peace of mind. As far as cleaning rods I just take care, and my time, while using them to lessen the chance of damage. But now the barrel is clean on my 444 I won't be having that hassle with this rifle again. Thanks to a generous member of this site I hope to be shooting some BT 290s real soon. I will let everyone know the progress. Thanks for all the responses and keep them coming.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
FWIW...I've been using Wipe-out, Patch-out and the Accellerator since it first came out and used it to clean "clean" rifles and really dirty military weapons over 100 years old. It WON'T hurt barrel metal as the chemicals only work on brass, rust and powder fouling...but the "stuff" resulting from the chemical reaction WILL destroy most stock finishes. It is all covered in the fine print.

I've left the foam in really bad barrels for 2-3 days without any problems to the metal...the stuff continues to work as long as there is a reactant product in the foam...I just rotated the rifles 90° every half day or so. Some rifles to 4-5 cleaning cycles to get all the crud out with a brass brush workout between every cycle.

The stuff can be messy so either take the rifle apart or cover well. To be safe I always took the rifles apart...

Once it is clean of copper crap, then I use Patch-out or TM, Butches etc. I have every cleaning product sold in the last 50 years on my shelf but now generally use WO-PO, TM, and Butches depending on how much the rifles get used...AND oil after a cleaning.

I just use alcohol in my muzzle loaders to clean then a couple of Wonderlube 1000 patches afterwards. Never had a rust/crud problem with my 3 smokepoles.


LUCK
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think I have a handle on the copper with the 444. My 308 is a breeze to clean but the 204 is a beast. If you want to learn patience with copper fouling get a 204. But I will put up with it with little complaint because the 204 is sweet to shoot and is a tack driving fool. I can't wait to hunt this year with both the 444 and 204. I solved any issues with my ML by shooting Blackhorn powder. It is clean burning/less smoke, very easy to clean (usually about 5 or six patches) and seems to be more accurate than other powders I have used. You just have to tweak the powder charge, I started with 100 grains and it felt like getting hit in the jaw (usually 7 rounds = headache) but when I went down to 90 grains it became a ***** cat with just as good accuracy. And I used my old sleeves as preloaders for my charges so I can carry several with me.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,330 Posts
Let's get back to the original intent of this thread, which is reloading with the Beartooth® 290gr LFNGC Boolit please.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top