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The first 444's had a 24" barrel straight high comb buttstock, round lever, forearm band, that started sometime in 1964, then came the square lever, then in mid 1971 came the 444 with pistol grip buttstock, 22" barrel, and barrel band, and they called this a sporter, hence, the 444S, I don't know when the forearm cap became the norm, but they did this and added a fatter hammer, then came the cross bolt safety and that was the 444SS, for sporter, safety, still a 22" barrel. Somewhere in there they dropped the 1-38 MicroGroove barrel, and went with a 1-20 Ballard, because the Yuppies yelled and screamed that the 1-38 MG can't shoot cast bullets, so Marlin decided to make the Yuppies happy instead of teaching them how to make cast bullets shoot great in the 1-38 MG barrels. Then along came the 444P, outfitter, 18.5 ported barrel, and straight stock, then the XLR came along, stainless, pistol grip stock, 24" barrel.

The All American is not from Marlin, it is a 444SS, that Flattop modified to accept a 2.750 COL cartridge, which gives much greater case capacity, Flattops creation was first introduced in a XLR with a 1-20 twist, and it was called a SG, for Safari Grade, it was created for hardcast bullets of 400+grains. I shamed :flute: Flattop into turning a 444SS with the 1-38 MicroGroove into a SG, to see if by chance it too could get the 400+ grain hardcast bullet to shoot accurately, but! Alas it was not to be, at best 350+ grain hardcast bullet is all it could do accurately. I bought the failed 444SS, and I named it the All American as it will slay anything that roams North America, handily! While I'm still in the testing/ringing out phase, Im sure I can be proud to own such a fine 444.
 

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This is where mine becomes an anomoly?, it's dated '71, has the 24" barrle, barrel band, square lever, but the striaght stock doesn't have the high rise cheek piece??, it's a low rise?, but it lines your eye up with the Lyman peep sight VERY nicely!, if it was modified they guy new what he was doing!, it's flawles, that leads me to believe that it's unmodified?, but I can't say that it wasn't ever changed out for a low combe??
Many people change them out, and maybe at the factory in mid 1971 they had more 24" barrels actions then the high combed stocks, who knows!
 
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