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Discussion Starter #41
RIF; First off: I have not over charged or over loaded any ammo....I dont know where you came up with that! Secondly, I sure hope your camper thing works out.......have you ever considered a tow behind, you know, a trailer....I hear that some of them are pretty nice....all the comforts of home.
 

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Thanks for the PM, Flat Top...I guessed some of the mods like the throat job and possibly a barrel lap or the bore coated with a slick material to lower friction, plus reduce the bullet bearing surface...like NorthFork or Barnes bullets.

I didn't know the other mods were "owned" or proprietary as the "action lengthening" process is/has been done by a number of leversmiths. I would be interested in if the lever was modified to push the bolt farther back...I can get a 2.86" case to extract by holding down the hammer and pulling the bolt backwards, but unless the carrier and/or carrier rocker is modified, 2.73" is about it as far as feeding goes on my rifle but you can gain about 0.050" more length there.

You're right on about what that extra case volume can do by seating the bullets out, using correct powders and working up the loads.

I'm not so patiently awaiting my barrel arrival next Monday, contacted 4D reamers and they have a throater with a 1.5° taper, dug around the shop and garage and found some 320 lapping compound I used to use to lap finished chambers and the Beartooth 265 bullets arrived just a little while ago, so I'm moving forward at least.

Starrbow...you may well be right about the breech block staying intact or the locking bolt not shearing off, but it is certainly NOT moot when a Marlin comes apart no matter if the breech bolt stays put or not or the barrel/receiver junction ruptures because hoop pressure expanded the chamber and the square threads failed from stess risers.

That it DID happen and WHY it happened are the important facts.

If you calculate what 90KPSI is in CUP, roughly 72KCUP, the fact that what happens if you screwed up trying for a few extra fs should give a wake-up call to anyone playing fast and loose with the safety rules...it's STILL IS A DESTROYED RIFLE AND INJURED HUMAN BEING. It doesn't take much of the faster burning powders to jump 10KCUP, all you have to do is look at the reloading books, it's all there for the viewing.

I have several military actioned wildcats I build whose receivers are proofed in the 45KCUP randge and I KNOW they will handle more pressure, but I DON'T load them beyond their rated pressures...if I want more whack I reach for a larger caliber in a higher rated receiver, it makes more sense to me and all the other arguments fall on deaf ears.

The Marlin is a fairly stong action, but it has a pressure rating by Marlin and the factory ammo is loaded to specific SAAMI specs. I've never had a rifle come apart by following SAAMI specs for ammo or receivers, but I sure have had a few hiccups when I pushed the envelope just a bit too far...but not far enough to become a statistic.

My question would be HOW DO YOU KNOW what the pressure actually was? The only way to know woud be to run a lab test on a similarly loaded round, otherwise it is just a "guess and by golly" thing. I've been at this game too long...I believe very little of what I see, even less of what I hear, and only1/1,000,000th of what I read on the net... :eek: ;D ::) unless I see factual, reproducible data.

LUCK
 

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Sorry to hijack the thread but I would love to hear what wildcatting and other experiences you've had NFG. I find it very refreshing to hear someone speak with years of experience and knowledge (which has been obvious by your posts about this topic).
Would realy like to hear about your life and times, if you could be bothered of course!
Aussie.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
NFG; I deal in safe and sensible firearms modifications. My Safari Grade 444 modification produces the power of a number of historically "proven" large dangerous game cartridges, and, with the right bullet the SG 444 would take anything that the cartridges that it compares to ballistically have taken....everything from deer to elephant. This modification does not weaken the original factory strength of the action and uses all factory supplied parts. I have a design on the drawing board that will allow for a 3.000 COL.........but, I ask myself why, when this SG 444 modification will do it all. It just doesnt make sense to pursue this modification any further just to gain a few more fps, and the 3.000 would drive the cost factor sky high....a little more bang for a whole lotta bucks. I might try the 3.000 in the future as a personal project just to say I had been there and done that, but, for the average hunter wanting an increase in power for reasonable cost the SG 444 is the ticket.

Keep us posted on your projects...Its always interesting to hear what others are doing!!!
 

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Part and parcel of wildcatting or "improving" any cartridge/rifle involves a certain level of risk and anytime you "fiddle" a firearm - i.e. rechamber to to an "improved version" or barrel and chamber a non standard cartridge, throat for a non-SAAMI length and so forth you go "outside the envelope". As long as the risk is on the low end and accomplished in a safe and sane manor I think it is the way to the future...EVERY wildcat I ever worked with involved risk...FOR MYSELF and NOT for ANYONE else, and pretty much involved pushing the limits to see where the limits are...unless you know WHERE the danger point lies you can't make definitive decisions. I didn't push it for ego sake or to blow smoke online, strut my stuff, "my dog's bigger than you dog" etc.

After I got a chrono and all the neat software many years ago I checked ALL my wildcats to see...some didn't even reach standard published velocities and some were well beyond. New powders were available and I worked over all the loads. I "tossed" two of those that didn't measure up to reality and rebarreled one to another wildcat and one to a standard. The chrono is a perfect de-lier. Hahahahahahahah

I don't post my load information for ANY of my wildcats or modified standards even though I know the loads are safe IN MY GUN, because there is always someone who might use that data incorrectly and get hurt.

I built a 50 cal Rigby cartridge based "wildcat" a couple years ago, probably my last, using all the modern available tools to arrive at a safe rifle and ammo...all the predictive software, the cartridge design programs, the pressure data for the receiver, the barrel steel, the brass specs, bullet data, hard learned not-so-secret-anymore secret knowledge and available commercial cartridge data. It is safe with my loads, it produces velocities to rival some of the alreadybeendone, larger wildcats, but I won't share with anyone...some of the good ol' boys that like big bores would just HAVE to push it and therein lies the fly in the pie.

After reading your posts Flat Top, I have no doubt that you are just as concerned and safe in your work as I am, but, as you can see and read, your information has already been interpreted in a different light, and others have there own interpretation of the facts...no diss or flame intended to anyone, it is the same on every forum I ever visited, and it's just human nature to confront and strut.

I think a 3.00" COAL in a Marlin would be going just a little bit TOO far and basically be a new receiver, bolt etc.. It would be pushing it in a Win 1895 or 1886 and I don't think there is a market for it except for a few. Look how many models have been lost already. The levergun market has always been been small for anything except the 30-30, look at the whining over the smack of a 45-70.

If I were to redesign a levergun receiver I would go for case DIAMETER rather than case length. Look ath the WSM or 505 Gibbs case. Design a receiver that would handle a Gibbs case at 65KCUP and you would have something VERY special...but WHO would have the hair to shoot it is another story. ;D :eek:

I would really like to see some data from a ballistics lab on your loads or some case expansion data on the various bullets and powders, but it doesn't really matter. Two of the Labs only charge $5 apiece for pressure testing last time I checked. Once my barrel gets here, it will get the throating, barrel lap, MB treatment and I will develop my ownd data. I might submit an article to Marshall at Beartooth or at least talk to him, I'm not sure...once information is published, even on the web, it is there FOREVER and can't be retrieved or deleted...even online forum "stuff". If you did go commercial you would have to do that anyway to be smart.

Aussie...I've been at this so long, read and did so much I don't know what is "mine" or what came from others and got all mixed up, heck, I might be lying like a rug an not even know it. :eek: :( :-X You'll just have to search for my moniker, I post in response to a particular thread on many forums and don't try to remember what I said. Sometimes I come across a post from years ago and can't remember it...old age and moving on keeps me in the present for the most part. About all I CAN say is the information I present is as true as possible from my perspective, and has a basis in fact and experience. But as I constantly say...DON'T BELIEVE A THING YOU READ ON THE NET...unless you can prove it to yourself emirically and safely.

LUCK
 

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Discussion Starter #46
NFG; I know what you mean. About three or four years ago I brought up this idea on this very forum (and others), and was ridiculed extensively by the "naysayers". I just decided to leave the forums and concentrate on this project, and three years or so later...wah-ya!!!.....the project is not only complete, but has been a total success! There will always be those that "just dont get it", and that is fine with me, but just think of all the "wildcat" cartridges, firearm modifications, etc, that have made the shooting industry what it is today. Many of those same "naysayers" most likely have a cartridge or rifle in their gun cabinet that was derived from something that wildcatters and gun builders did years ago....and they dont even realize it!

The 3.000 is easily doable, although much more involved, and, the standard Marlin receiver and factory parts can be utilized. The simplicity of design of the Marlin action really lends itself to modification, and offers a lot to work with! Even at 3.000 the 444 cartridge would still be a bit below its optimum bore capacity, so, it would be a very efficent cartridge.

As I have said in previous postings, the pressure of the Safari Grade 444 modification is well within the safe zone, due to the fact that this modification offers much more than the limit that I had set for my goal (I have been there and done that, and even at those loadings, there were no issues. This inpart increased the safety parameter of the modification), but, if you would give me the name of the labs that do this kind of thing (I tried H.P. White, but they were not interested at the time), I would gladly send them some samples to test. It would be interesting to see the results and add them to my data. Regardless of that, you are correct, I will not pull a trigger on anything I believe is unsafe, and I "surely" wouldnt be sharing the results this project with anyone if I thought that there was a danger involved. My accuracy with this modification in my rifle, using the 405 grain bullet, came in at 2160 fps for 4197 ft lbs, a Taylor KO of 54, and a Thorniley SP of 237. That is substantial power for just about anything one would care to hunt with a lever gun, and I really see a need for no more, and besides, the weight and design of the Marlin seems to be well suited to this kind of power. It is easy to control, and, there is not much barrel rise, so followup shots can be made fairly fast. I would liken the recoil to that of a 3" 12 gauge shot gun. All in all its a nice balance of power, controllability, and portability, and, offsetting that balance for a few more fps would really ruin what has been accomplished.
 

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Tom Armbrust is one...I lost his URL in a computer crash...the others are gone also but Google will find them. I found them not buy looking for ballistics labs but by looking for pressure testing or by information found on other forums and asking for links. I was checking last year for someone to test my 12GaFH 1000-1300 gr casT lead slugs for use in my NEF 12Ga Ultra. Accurate Reloading has some good stuff in the Big Bore and 12GaFH, wildcatting, gunsmithing, reloading links. 6mmBR and Benchrest forums are good for information also.

Yeah...the world is full of naysayers...many of them don't know squatdoodly, many are misinformed, many just don't want to go into the great beyond...doesn't matter what "they" say or think, we all have our own comfort zone and it's OK for them to feel comfortable and for you and me to go where we go. A hundred years from now WHO will care? ???

How do you get around the carrier length limit without chomping off about a quarter inch at the rocker end???...I understand the carriers for the 45-70 and 450M are the same and my 336 is supposed to be interchangeable with them also...and the rocker end is the limiting point...2.73" MAX and that is just barely clearing the mag tube. I can't see gaining any length without redesigning or milling the rocker and trimming the carrier back by at least 0.250" TO GET TO 3.00"...AND moving the bolt backwards a bit also to allow for ejecting a loaded round. How did/do you do it??

I would REALLY like to know the length of a 45-70/450 carrier from front end to rocker to compare with my 336 carrier.

You wouldn't happen to have that measurement would you?

Now if you single load a 3.00" round and fire it there isn't any problem...I've been known to do things of that sort to get the "extra pizzazz" for the first shot anyway, not only in leverguns but also in bolt guns...I have loads for my 458 American SMLE that are longer than the 3.07" magazine length(actually closer to 458 WM length at 3.30") that are loaded top end for the first shot...also loads for most of my other rifles with magazine limitations. I don't do it much anymore. If I think I need more whackdoodle I just grab a bigger shooter. ;D But it was something interesting to do.

I will explore that possibility once again with this new barrel as I wil throat at least 0.500" or slightly more.

I would be VERY interested in getting a 3.00" COAL in the 444...or ANY cartridge available for the Marlin. That would give a boost to case volume and open up a few more powders.

The problem is...it being useful only for bullets over 1" long which might cause a big problem with 1/38 twists...not so with 1/20 twist. For my application 300-350 gr <0.850" bullets" is about max which means 2.8" with a 0.300" bullet seat depth, which I can get with a little judicious milling of the carrier and rocker, maybe, but that comes later on when the rest of the pieces and parts are sorted out...I have a Wild West Bear Proof ejector coming. Maybe it can be fiddled enough to allow a "pull on the bolt" manual ejection. I won't know that until I get that part in hand.

I'm still exploring what I can do with the lever...maybe a little gob'o'weld metal in the right spot will force the breech block back far enought to clear 2.8" without upsetting any of the timing...time will tell.

What is and isn't useful is always a matter of degree and desire. Not everyone is an experimenter at heart, and many don't see any point to it. As is and with available ammo and reloading components the 444 is plenty medicine for most people and I won't argue with that.

I just was never satisfied with the status quo...I GOTTA HAVE A LITTLE MORE, BIGGER, FASTER, MEANER, but without the macho BS. ;D :D :eek: 8) Hahahahaha

LUCK
 

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For those that are interested, the Safari Grade 444 story was posted by Dawei in the "One Humongous Sticky" (bottom of the page) on the 444 Forum. Let me know your thoughts if you read it.
Flat Top i found you listed in the sticky. no link to the articles though.
merry christmas
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Flat Tops 444 Rifle Modifications
I thought that I would include my two articles on my 444 modifications. These two articles show the start (Peashooter 444), to finish (Safari Grade 444), process that I followed to obtain maximum performance in my 444 Marlins. I hope that some of you find the process interesting, and as always, your comments and opinions are welcome.
 

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Flat Top i found you listed in the sticky. no link to the articles though.
merry christmas
************************************************** ***********
Flat Tops 444 Rifle Modifications
I thought that I would include my two articles on my 444 modifications. These two articles show the start (Peashooter 444), to finish (Safari Grade 444), process that I followed to obtain maximum performance in my 444 Marlins. I hope that some of you find the process interesting, and as always, your comments and opinions are welcome.

If you go to the very bottom of that thread, you'll see two attached documents that you can click on to view Flat Top's articles
 

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Discussion Starter #53 (Edited)
Nitro; Something happened!!! go all the way down to the bottom of the page (below the bullet test photos) and right over where Dawei signs off there are two PDF links..........that is where they are now! Here ya go Nitro, Rider51....I got them up in this post. Read the Peashooter first...it sets the stage for the Safari Grade 444 article.
 

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Flat Top,
I have read the articles in the past. I really appreciated all of the information and work that you have done!
I still do not find a link to them in the Humongous sticky, I have scrolled all the way to the bottom.
I may be blind and dumb LOL. I am getting older for sure!
 
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