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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought a Marlin 444 SS(JM Stamped Barrel) and I'm looking to head out to the range in the next few weeks and see how it shoots.

For all the Reloader's and off the shelf ammo shooters out there- in shooting your 444, tell me what you have had the best success in shooting consistent groups with your Gun.

Any and all thoughts would be helpful-this way I can get a general idea on where to start, and then work with it over the next few months figuring out what it likes.

Thanks-
 

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My first question would be Ballard or MicroGroove rifling?
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Microgroove Rifling/Barrel-

Has there been any discussion or threads on here over the years that show different performance using different loads and bullets? Maybe that will provide a starting point as well.
 

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If there is anyone that can answer your 444 questions it's Starrbow!
 
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Ok the best cast bullet from mouse to moose is the BTB 290 4 inches high at 100 is back on at 200yds
I personally have harvested cow elk thru both shoulders and a very nice buck in my signature thru the right front shoulder out the rear left quarter both DRT and next to no meat loss at all. The trajectory is excellent and penetration is second to none.
I use R-7 at 50gr which is over 2000fps and less than 1 inch groups at 100yds
Copper the best is the 265 Hornady FP factory loads or 47gr of H-4198 with the 265 FP
Again my personal thoughts
As far as cast in Ballard vs Micro dosent mattrer size both to .432
 

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Microgroove Rifling/Barrel-

Has there been any discussion or threads on here over the years that show different performance using different loads and bullets? Maybe that will provide a starting point as well.
Do a search and read all you can, there are lots and lots of decsussions on loads for the 444, I only shoot MicroGroove and have worked up a few loads, I only use Reloader #7 in all my 444 loads, I haven't found a better powder.

The 1-38 MicroGroove will shoot any jacketed bullet made accurately, hardcast bullets up to 360grs as long as they are at least .432.

The key to shooting any jacketed or Hardcast bullet accurate in a 1-38 MG is velocity, my mantra for the MG 444 is: "Velocity is your Friend"
 

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Buy the April, 2014 issue of the Handloader magazine, there is an article in it titled "Cast Bullets for Micro-Groove Rifling" by John Haviland and "Bullet, Bore and Groove" by John Barsness that may be of interest to all who use cast bullets.

Jack
 

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I'm with Utah Trapper, the 290grain BTB (Beartooth Bullets) shoot very well out of my .444. I use BTB in my .45-70, .444 and .338 MX and they all shoot very well.

Chief
 
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Trip 4s,


If you want to shoot BTB's offerings you better order them now. Last I heard BTB is still filling orders from 2013.

If you want a bullet to penetrate and not expand the Barnes Busters at 300 grains work well. I get under 2" @ 100 yards with a well worn 1971 444S using R-P brass, Ramshot Xterminator, Win LR primers.

If you want expansion then the Barnes XPB 225g 44 cal bullet works well. Using I4198, I cleaned out the chest cavity of a whitetail with one of these. I know these are pistol bullets but Barnes tech support told me they are good for upwards of 3k FPS (I asked this question in regards to a 44cal Wildcat rifle a friend and I built). I am working with cast HPGCs right now but I will probably switch to the XPBs and use them for deer this fall.


BB
 

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Maybe a better question to ask is,
"Is there a bullet that does not work in the 444?"
So far, everything I've tried has worked, everything but the factory Rem 240 load has worked especially well.
Some have taken a bit of work to find the most accurate load, but it's satisfying when you do.

Pick a bullet appropriate for the job/speed, and have at 'er.
 

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I've had good performance from the 265 FN Hornady. Solid performance all the way to big moose. These days I am starting to work on large meplat 280 to 300 gr hard cast. It really appeals to me that my bullet factory is behind my house and not subject to odd production schedules and cross border supply routes.
 

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Here's my currrent T-4 load -- RanchDog 265 cast, CCI large Rifle primer, R-P brass, 41.3 grains H 4198, but I need to find another RanchDog 350 mold.
 

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I've used 240grn XTPs over IMR 4198 for years with great results. I can consistently hit a milk jug cap at 100yds with that combo. I did buy some RL7 recently to try out though.
I will say I have used this on deer only. This bullet is obviously not a penetrator it is an expander. I have seen it drop a deer in its tracks inside of 100yds and not come out the other side. My dad shot one at close range a few years back and the bullet actually bounced back out of the entry wound after tearing up the heart/lungs.
 

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Like I have said here before, 265gr. Hornady #4300 Inter-lock bullets work best for me in my '76 MG 444S. 42.0gr. Charge of H-4198 gets the chrono clocking the bullet at 2110fps, and 5-shot groups that all touch at 100 yards. Deer-DRT.
 

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I have been using the following reload since 2006; it kills deer, elk, and black bear superbly................
• Remington® Case trimmed to 2.215"
• Remington® 9½ Large Rifle Primer
• 45.0gr H4198 Powder
• Beartooth® 290gr LFNGC (296gr total weight) Boolit
• COL: 2.570"


Please note that this load is safe in both my 1966 444, and 1988 444SS rifle(s). I have used this load for 8 years and it is safe in my gun(s). THAT DOES NOT MEAN IT WILL BE SAFE IN YOUR GUN(S)! I advise you to start at 41.0gr of powder and work up in .5 (½)gr increments. My load IS NOT SAFE if loaded in Hornady® brass!

Shooting from the bench with this load I can place 3 shots into 1¼"at 100yds consistently.
 

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David, is that sized at .432"? DP
 

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Starr:

Just looked at mt sower dough test with Barne Buster 300gr bullet its 1981fps seemed to carry significant energy for a very long penitration. Would this suggest that slower heavy bullet might also be effective? Although the bullet had no mushroom, i am think the energy dissipated in the wound channel would be leelthal with good shot placement. Have you tried the slower heavy bullet approach?
 
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