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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm pretty strongly convinced about the comparisons often made between 45/70 & 444. According to some sage advice from long time reloaders, you can do with a 300 grain bullet in the 444 what you can do in the 45/70 with a 400 grain bullet. So, that brings up the question about using 400 grain Creedmore style cast in the 444 for long range work. Does anyone here use Creedmore style cast bullets in the 444? Would FlatTop's Safari Upgrade allow Creedmore bullets to cycle or would my 444 become a single shot for Creedmore bullets?
 

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I get spitzers to work in my 45-70's, but it requires me to feed them one at a time. You would need to adjust your length(COAL) based on how it would fit in you particular chamber however. Takes a bit of doing but it's one way to get a long bullet to fit!
 

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I'm pretty strongly convinced about the comparisons often made between 45/70 & 444. According to some sage advice from long time reloaders, you can do with a 300 grain bullet in the 444 what you can do in the 45/70 with a 400 grain bullet. So, that brings up the question about using 400 grain Creedmore style cast in the 444 for long range work. Does anyone here use Creedmore style cast bullets in the 444? Would FlatTop's Safari Upgrade allow Creedmore bullets to cycle or would my 444 become a single shot for Creedmore bullets?
Rimrock: Exactly what bullet do you want to use....what is the length of the bullet....a photo would sure help. Also, is this bullet to be intended for long range target shooting or hunting?
 

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I designed this bore-rider for a single-shot (Handi-Rifle) a few years ago. It was intended to be a hunting bullet that had enough of a meplat to be noticeable in terminal performance, but a small enough meplat to minimize (or completely negate) nose-shearing so common to wide meplats and harder alloys. If I were to change the design again, I'd opt for at least a .275" or .300" meplat.

The mold has had a few revisions, and I'm not 100% certain which version is pictured. But, the latest version ends up at 437 gr using an alloy of WW+2% tin with a Hornady gas check and Carnuba Red for lube, and results in a COAL around 2.950". Deep-seating significantly reduces case capacity, and is not recommended. To get this to work in the Marlin 336 family or Win 94 family would take a significant amount of action work. I don't have hands-on experience with them, but I've been told that the Browning B86 and Win 88 would be better candidates for the long COAL.

mt_sourdough tested a couple of these in one of his Marlin 444s, and actually had to seat deeper than expected, to keep from jamming the rifle when the nose hit the rifling. Of course, engraving in the rifling is the point of the bore-rider design, but it's much easier to deal with feeding and extracting loaded rounds in a single-shot.


I was able to achieve 1,950 fps in the H&R, before the scope rings couldn't handle the recoil any more. It was, admittedly, a fairly stout load in a very light rifle (6.3 lb I think); and the Handi-Rifle doesn't have the best stock design. So, it was also pretty hard on the shooter.

I do intend to continue working with that bullet, but I haven't been able to cast any more in quite some time (2 years, or so), and I probably won't be able to break the casting pot out for some time to come (many other projects going on, and...... twins on the way :shot:).


 

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0.700" from nose to top of crimp groove.
The bullet's OAL is 1.200" without a gas check, resulting in about 0.515" in the case.

Here's a copy of the original drawing. Other than the change to standard lube grooves, not much is different. Tom (Accurate Molds) cut the mold VERY close to my dimensions, making only minor tweaks due to his equipment limitations.

 

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Yea, that .428" makes for a rather tight bore ride in my '07 444SS with 22" 1/20 Ballard barrel. Might be what you need to make it work though. Bore rides can be quite puzzling.:hmmmm:, In fact, I ended up seating it as a standard preband bullet.
 

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Franken; The Safari 445 grain bullet that mt_sourdough designed as the heavyweight for the SG 444 modification is 1.180 long (including GC) and depending on alloy weighs in at 445 (WW) to about 455 (50/50 WW/pure lead). The nose to crimp is .550 (like all the other SG bullets).....The COL of the SG is 2.750. I can push the 445 to 2100+ fps.

As far as the perfect "all around" bullet weight for the SG, I believe that about 400 grains is perfect....for an OEM 444, I personally like the 325 grain LCMNGC from BTB, but any bullet around the 300+ grain weight would be my choice for the OEM 444.

There are limits to every firearm, and in my opinion 2.750 is the "ideal" COL length for a modified Marlin. Yes I can go further, but that would require modification to the action proper (receiver), and I feel that is a no-no. The SG maintains the strength of the OEM rifle, and that is a big plus.

The Handi offers all sorts of opportunities for bullets like yours, but unfortunately the Marlin is limited. For the OP, I would suggest a specially designed bullet offering the nose profile suitable for long range shooting while maintaining a length that will allow max powder charges to be used....at a weight that will carry well to the longer ranges. Also the OP needs to remember that the nose needs to fit a profile suitable for a tubular magazine.

rooterpig has designed some very nice long range cast bullets for his 444.....and, they kill like nobodies business. They are much more aerodynamic than the popular wide meplat bullets, and are suitable for tubular magazines.

Here is a photo of the Safari 310 (which I do not use), the Safari 410 (BTB....this is the standard for the modification), and the Safari 445 (designed by mt.....this would be my close range stop any living thing bullet).
 

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It's 4:44. (My time zone, anyway.)

Sorry. I had to.
 

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Rimrock -
The bullets discussed thus far in the thread are pretty much all that I know of, being used in .444 Marlin, that even somewhat resemble a long range bullet.

And... Here's a link to the basic design of my bore-rider in Tom's catalog: 43-425M.
It looks like he tweaked it for another customer, before he posted the updated version with standard lube grooves. ('Cause I never had him cut one with a .427" bore riding section, and I always specified a .402" GC shank for a tighter fit.)

Although I know Tom had sold several more of those molds (at least 4) as of last year, I must point out that....
That design seems to run out of lube in my barrel. No matter what I tried, I got indications of insufficient lube capacity. So, I wouldn't recommend THAT version of the bullet.
 

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This basic question comes up around here every now and again. Past discussions of Quigley shoot, long range dingers and similar notions in connection with the 444 have been quite intriguing to me. I think it would be cool to hear people discuss this topic.
First, if you are looking to run a long 400gr bullet, you'll need a 1/20 twist rifle. A guy could make such a bullet around 350gr to use in 1/38, but if you are using slower velocities, you wont have much oomph for longer ranges if you go much lighter. My opinion anyways.
I like the idea of using the shorter LVR brass to allow a longer nose length and less bullet stuffed in the case for the 400gr (plus) bullets, but the bullet could be used in short brass or full length.
So first question is how much weight do you want to use? Do you want something super heavy to push at lower velocity (1400fps) like the originals? I am 100% confident that a guy can push a 465gr bullet in a 1/20 twist rifle.
The reason why I am asking these questions as to what other's opinions are, is because such a bullet could be made and I am curious of different peoples ideas.
 

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From what I have seen from Marshall and his design of the Safari 410 bullet...from mt and his design, the Safari 445 bullet, and from my own work with the 35 cal Safari 260 grain bullet for the SG 35 Rem in the Marlin 336, is that a heavier (than the norm) bullet is feasible but the length needs to be within the confines of the allowable length for the twist rate being used.

When I designed the Safari 260 bullet I wanted as much weight in as short a bullet as possible. To do this I increased the length of the driving band, maximized the ogive, shortened the nose, and, increased the width of the meplat, and, limited the size and depth of the lube grooves. This allows for a lot of weight in a short package. My only concern (as Franken had discussed) was the limited amount of lube in the small, limited number of grooves of the 260 bullet...but rooterpig turned me on to Veral's Soft Blue Lube....which is just perfect for the purpose.....so much so that I use it on all of my bullets.

Another plus with the heavy for length bullet design is that it affords greater case capacity, and a shorter COL. So far the 260, just as the two 44 cal SG bullets that I shoot in my SG 444, have been nothing but superb in overall performance.

The photo shows that a specially designed purpose built bullet can make all the difference in COL and performance as well. The bullet at the top is a Speer 250, next is the Safari 260...10 grains of weight more, and much shorter. Next is the 260 at seating depth for the "short" SG chamber, and at the bottom is the new SG 310 for the SG 35 modification...still shorter than the Speer 250.....and, the length of the 310 still comes in under the maximum length for the Marlin 35 Rem twist rate!

In the SG 35 the 260 in the "short chamber" modification will move along at 2350+ fps.....the 310 at 2250+ fps. The "long chamber" modification will send the 260 down the tube at 2450+ fps. For the 35 Rem this is more than outstanding performance, and it could not be accomplished without these purpose built bullets. These two bullets which were designed as hunting bullets for the Marlin lever gun, will give exceptional performance to 200, 225 yards or so, which is well within the accepted range for the rifle.

So, to the OP, a heavyweight Creedmore style bullet could be a reality, but the design of the bullet....maximum weight for length for the twist being used..... will be the key to long range performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Rimrock: Exactly what bullet do you want to use....what is the length of thlet....a photo would sure help. Also, is this bullet to be intended for long range target shooting or hunting?
Flattop,

Just beginning toconsider. Mostly long range target shooting to start. Ihaven't picked a mold yet. Early investigation and wasi terested if the safari upgrade might allow cycling. Really, I have more questions than answers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This basic question comes up around here every now and again. Past discussions of Quigley shoot, long range dingers and similar notions in connection with the 444 have been quite intriguing to me. I think it would be cool to hear people discuss this topic.
First, if you are looking to run a long 400gr bullet, you'll need a 1/20 twist rifle. A guy could make such a bullet around 350gr to use in 1/38, but if you are using slower velocities, you wont have much oomph for longer ranges if you go much lighter. My opinion anyways.
I like the idea of using the shorter LVR brass to allow a longer nose length and less bullet stuffed in the case for the 400gr (plus) bullets, but the bullet could be used in short brass or full length.
So first question is how much weight do you want to use? Do you want something super heavy to push at lower velocity (1400fps) like the originals? I am 100% confident that a guy can push a 465gr bullet in a 1/20 twist rifle.
The reason why I am asking these questions as to what other's opinions are, is because such a bullet could be made and I am curious of different peoples ideas.
What I am consideringisthe 1r or 2r shape that many in bp cartridge rifle use in the 45/70 out to1000 yards. 45/70 uses about 520grain bullets in this scinario so about 410 or so for the .444. This is a rounded bullet, not a sharp pointed bullet. Iwould useenogh smokeless powder to get to about 1600fps.
 

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What I am consideringisthe 1r or 2r shape that many in bp cartridge rifle use in the 45/70 out to1000 yards. 45/70 uses about 520grain bullets in this scinario so about 410 or so for the .444. This is a rounded bullet, not a sharp pointed bullet. Iwould useenogh smokeless powder to get to about 1600fps.
Sounds like Tom at Accurate Molds can help you more with that one than can Mountain Molds. Mountain Molds program is quite awesome, but it has it's limitations. As in, no roundnose bullets for one.
I would recommend taking the time to study, with dummy rounds, to test your rifle's dimensions and tolerances tolerances at both ports and such. Do any mods to rifle that you might choose to do before you make your final decision on your bullet.
 

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Tom (Accurate Molds) can't do a proper round nose, but he can do a round-flat with a 0.180" meplat.


If I get some time, I might fool around and see about drawing up a few 390-415 gr designs that would be within Tom's machine capabilities. I've been wanting a 390 gr mold for a while anyway (albeit, with a wide meplat for my use).
 

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My solid modeling program decided not to work today, so I don't have any eye candy.

But, I did a few quick calculations based on my 437 gr bullet.

To reduce the weight to 410 gr in Lyman #2 alloy, you'd only be shortening the cylindrical bore-riding section of the bullet by 0.069". That would leave the COAL at 2.881", and far too long for a reasonable modification of the action. (WW alloy actually results in an even longer bullet, to meet the same weight.)

By dropping to 390 gr in Lyman #2, a 0.121" cylindrical section is chopped from the bore-riding portion of the nose. That results in a COAL of 2.829" - still beyond the capability of even Flat Top's SG modification.

The stereotypical long, slender nose of 'long range' bullets just doesn't play well with .444 Marlin action limitations.
It wouldn't really help the ballistic coefficient much, but going to a wider meplat bullet would help keep the weight up and the COAL within reasonable limits.
Tweaking lube grooves and making the bullet as compact as possible could make a small difference, but the round nose profile is the real handicap.
 

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I went and done did it. I have been toying with this idea for a while now, so when this conversation came up I decided to trip the trigger on this one.
Longrangebullet003_zps50257213.jpg
The COL will be between 2.610"-2.620". Its designed so it can be used in standard length brass or the LVR short brass. The Ogive is 0.025" longer than the Sage Country and the same .202 meplat. This is as close as I can get to a Creedmore with the MM program. Oh'yea, it's a 465gr bullet.
 
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