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Discussion Starter #1
I have about 70 jugs lined up for the next round of test. This should be interesting. The 445gr SG bullet is a 455gr bullet with Flat Top's 50%ww/50%pb alloy. That'll make it the heaviest bullet I have shot in the 444. It beats the Hamfist by a few grains. We'll be testing the bullet in a water quenched version of Flat Top's alloy (13-14 bhn) and an air cooled version of the same (9 bhn). I will also be shooting the same bullet with my water quenched ww alloy (27 bhn). I weighed the the wqww before loading and it weighed in at 441gr. The bullets that I put aside for testing are usually a little off-weight and apparently this one weighs on the light side, but it shouldn't impact the results one bit. All three are sitting on a mildly compressed load of RL7 (36.5gr). We are looking for a velocity of 1700 fps or better.
Another fun test will be the LeadHead. It has a huge meplat. Surprisingly, it cycles and smoothly with a a full length COL (2.55") I have that one for a point blank max velocity (2200fps ?) and a 200 yard velocity test (1600fps). We will see how hard this brute hits at point blank range, but seeing it at 200 yard velocity will allow us to see how a large meplat on a cast bullet can rate at 200 yards compared to other bullets like the 265 FTX. It's going to be a real eye opener.
Starrbow sent me the LeadHead bullets and he sent me a bunch of 325gr MM bullets. The alloy on this bullet is about 20-21 bhn and it represents a weight of bullet in 444 that I have yet to test. I've tested umpteen 300 caliber bullets and Ranch Dogs 432-350 (365gr with ww), but I have not tested anything in between.
I ran into a box of 30 cal 220gr Nosler Partition bullets that I loaded in my 30-06 to offer some more insight into the terminal performance comparison between our 44 cal bullets and 30 cal bullets. I doubt there are many 30 cal bullets that penetrate deeper than a 220gr Partition.
I might get to run these tests some time this week and I will be getting it all on camera.:driver:
 

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Looking forward to reading the results!
 

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Looking foreword to watching the results! Those 300gr Leadheads were always a sleeper bullet in form, fit and function in the 444, I bought lots of those and the PLain Base .431 in 270gr with the same Meplat for our 1894 44Mags, that 270gr also works really good in our S&W 629's. I do run those 300gr Leadheads slightly faster then Mt is doing, either way that .375 Meplat = Whompability :biggrin:
 

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This is going to be a great test.....different weights.... and different alloys...hard and soft.....fast and slow! The 455 bullets that I sent to mt are just a test, and who better to judge the results than.... mt!!!!

My goal with the 455 grain 50/50, hard or soft is to try to find shot gun slug performance, yet allow for a rifles trajectory and accuracy. These bullets if deemed acceptable would be used for medium game (deer, hog, black bear) in close cover....about 100 yards maximum range....and that is a stretch! I would launch these at 1850 fps in my SG 444 (almost 3500 ft lbs), and would expect maximum expansion and at least 4 jugs worth of penetration at 10 yards. At the velocity that mt will run these bullets (1700 fps), his tests should duplicate the performance of these bullets from my SG 444 ( at 1850 fps muzzle) at 70 to 75 yards or so. My load with these bullets will have an overall trajectory of 2" to 100 yards...and, if they will shoot accurately they should make for a very substantial low velocity (for the SG 444) hard hitting bullet....but, I must await the results of mt's tests before a final decision is to be made.
 

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I have about 70 jugs lined up for the next round of test. This should be interesting. The 445gr SG bullet is a 455gr bullet with Flat Top's 50%ww/50%pb alloy.
Great, now what are you going to use for the second shot? :biggrin:
In all seriousness though, at longer ranges when the velocity gets down in the 1300 fps range, it should penetrate yards.
My quick little napkin calculations put the sectional density at about 0.343, so it might go in a ways :flute:
 

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Re the 220 gr Nosler Partition - I tested that bullet from my .30-06 a couple of years ago. Here's the test, as posted on the Nosler forum:

After much waiting, I finally got to the range to slam this Big Boy of a .30 cal hunting bullet into the infamous water-filled one gallon milk jugs. Was limited by my ammo supply, had only loaded five cartridges, because I only had five empty .30-06 cases! 52.5 grains of Ramshot Hunter, CCI 200 standard primers, WW cases, and of course the big 220 gr Nosler Partitions!

This is a big ol' heavyweight .30-06 cartridge - decidedly nose heavy when picked up:


Test platform was my ancient M1917 .30-06 with the original barrel bobbed to 21", topped by a 6x Leupold. The rifle has earned it's keep and then some. These loads shot low and left compared to my standard 165 gr load. Interesting. Muzzle velocity is 2380 fps. Hardly blistering, but it's a middle of the road load from a short barrel. Recoil was mild. I didn't do any serious accuracy testing. I did line up 12 jugs at 25 yards, just in case...



Immediate aftermath of the shot:


The Nosler was recovered from the 7th jug. It had dented the off-side of that jug, almost, but not quite, making it into the 8th water jug. Recovered weight is 137 grains, and it measures .477" in diameter now.








There was some speculation that it would penetrate even deeper, but I just didn't know. It looks, not surprisingly, like an expanded Nosler Partition.

To put the penetration in perspective, let's compare it with some other results we've posted, slamming bullets into the jugs:

.458" 350 gr Swift A-Frame @ 2040 fps = 7th jug
.458" 405 gr Remington SP @ 1330 fps = 8th jug

.375" 300 gr Nosler Accubond @ 2550 fps = 7th jug (Gerry)
.375" 300 gr Hornady BTSP @ 2521 fps = 6th jug
.375" 260 gr Nosler Accubond @ 2650 fps = 7th jug
.375" 235 gr Speer SP @ 2700 fps = 5th jug

.35 Whelen, 250 gr Partition @ 2450 fps = 7th jug JD338
.35, 250 gr Speer SP @ 2580 fps = 7th jug (Rovert)

.30, 200 gr Nosler Accubond @ 2800 fps = 6th jug
.30, 165 gr Nosler Partition @ 2750 fps = 5th jug

It all makes the penetration into the 7th (almost into the 8th) jug look pretty good. Re the retained weight - well heck - the Noslers do seem to shed a lot of weight from that front half. They've always been famous for that, and for the rear section continuing to penetrate. Looks like another good big game hunting bullet to me.

Dad used to always keep a box of 220 gr Winchester Silvertips around - just in case he wanted to go bear hunting again I suppose. This is the first time I've fired 220 grainers from the old .30-06 in a long time. They appear to go together quite well. I'd hunt with the 220 gr Partition!

Guy
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I might have had time to get it done this afternoon, but I realized that I lost more than a camera during this past hunting season. It appears that a duffle bag has gone AWOL. I'm thinking both my cameras (including my water proof camera), some of my favorite knives and other stuff was in that duffle. I had to head into town for a waterproof camera. I don't think it is a mystery why it needs to be waterproof. Along the way, I hit-up the recycling center for 7 more jugs.
The 220gr Nosler test is much appreciated. Thank you M700. I do enjoy comparing my results with others. In most cases, others results confirm my own, but on a few occasions, it raises more questions. 7 jugs is less than I would have guessed as is the final weight. Then again, 6 jugs is the deepest penetration I have yet to get with a bullet from the 30-06 (Barnes 180gr TTSX and 200gr Speer Hot Cor). I guess 30-06s aint no good.:biggrin:
 

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I think that anywhere from 4 to 7 maybe 8 jugs is about right for most of the high velocity, light bullet, center fire cartridges. Its only the big boys that can penetrate 432 jugs at will!!!:biggrin:

mt, I saw you on here and I thought "he got the testing done"! I almost fell over myself trying to get to this thread! Am I anxious? Naw!:flute:
 

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I know these bullets have'nt been tested yet, But, really what's it gonna take for the .444 to make mainstream if for nothing else--it's extreme flexibilty?
The .444 has been a great cartridge since introduction, particularly when coupled with high quality bullets. It's never going to be "mainstream" for the same reasons as the other big bore, flat-point lever guns... It doesn't look good, or necessary, to the average deer hunter.

Is it good? You bet!

It looks like a hard-kicking, rainbow-trajectory hold-over from a bygone era. I happen to like that... :biggrin:

Guy
 

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Lever Guns aren't to mainstream for hunting anyway, reguardless of caliber. But! I ain't mainstream either! While I do have other bolt guns for matching the firearm to the task, my 223's, 22-250, 25-06 all have rolls that my Leverguns don't fill well! But, yes the 444 is a well versed firearm that excels in almost everything I ask of it! Then throw in the 444AA (SG) and it opens up even bigger dreams of critters to hunt. One has to put the power of the AA in perspective, right now I'm at 2250fps with a 350gr Hardcast bullet, Flattop says 2300, now, a 416 Remington Magnum launches a 400gr, .416 bullet at 2400fps, the 444AA just isn't too far behind at 2250fps, And that's from a Lever Gun! If fate and luck has it's way, maybe someday I can kill some Jugs with mt!
 

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Starrbow - you need to figure out how to get something BIG in front of that .444 Marlin of yours.

Yukon/Alaskan moose. Grizzly. Brown bear. Elephant. Cape Buffalo. Something more worthy of the power you're wielding.

Guy
 

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The SG modification (AA for the MG barrel Marlins) will produce over 4000+ ft lbs of power....TKO's will range into the high 50's......and (one of the real reasons I love this modification) the trajectories do not look like the Golden Arches of Mickey D's! In my SG 444, the Safari 410 grain bullet (BTB) at 2160 fps (4246 ft lbs, TKO 54) will maintain a 5 1/2" or so overall trajectory to 200 yards. That is a central mass kill zone shot within 5 1/2" to 200 yards....a superb trajectory for a "large" game rifle pushing that kind of power.......heck, thats a good trajectory for medium sized (deer) game.

As was mentioned before, 444 owners, be it OEM or modified, can "tune" their loads to do just about anything that could be asked of a hunting rifle. With bullet weights ranging from 180 to 450, the sky is the limit! The 444 is not just a "big game" rifle...it can also be an "all game" rifle! Did I mention my 444 shot shells.............If I could only keep one rifle of those I own, the 444 would be it.....just too much versatility to give up!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Nope. Not yet.
I saw an opportunity yesterday, but then I realized I need more saw horses. I have destroyed many a saw horse under the front of the table.
Some of these bullet tests may need a full compliments of jugs on the table. The 445gr SG waterquenched WW bullet might go 18 jugs.
I also need a memory card for the camera. I'm going to get all those ducks in a row today and then try to do the testing tomorrow or Wednesday.
 

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I totally understand mt!!!! I was there!!!!!

I got to witness the test rigs (and the cameras) being destroyed by the testing of the Mighty 444's and the SG 444................the ol 444 abuses everything it hits....or even gets near to!!!!! Every time we would launch a shot into mt;s test rig (and I would say that it was a solid set up), the whole thing rocked...you could almost actually see the pressure waves from each shot trying to rip the test rig apart!!!

Well, mt your tests are well worth waiting for....so that we will do....wait.
 

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I think we should appeal to the forum mods to get a sticky of the testing mt_sourdough has done for the T-4, then we can burn a bunch of copies and send to all the big time ammo makers just to see if we could get a little better choice of commercial ammo for those who choose not to reload for this test rig destroyer AND get FlatTop's SG conversion turned into a factory option.
 

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rimrock; I like all your ideas except one....I would NOT want my SG modification to be attempted by the factory...they have messed everything up too much as it stands!!! Nope, I think I will keep this one to myself.....and do it myself. Otherwise your ideas sound great!!!:congrats:
 
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