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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I dont have much to report (been fighting extremely cold temps...the chrono will not give uniform readings below freezing!), but, here is where I am at so far. The first time out to the range, I loaded up some test rounds. I started at well below SAAMI max charge for an unmodified Marlin 444, and came up in half grain increaments to a velocity of 1800 fps with the 405 grain bullet.....this is just about what an unmodified Marlin will top out at with this weight bullet. This gave me a fps gain per grain indicator. I tested the feed and function of the SG and it loaded, cycled, and ejected the long 2.700 COL cases with ease. I adjusted my scope, and then got down to the business of recording "baselines" to judge my future work on (case stretch, and expansion data, primer condition and ident carachteristics, minimal bolt thrust measurments, etc.). The next trip to the range consisted of using two powders and again recording all the above data...I took the velocity of the 405 grain bullet up to 1900 fps on this trip. The two powders that I was using were both giving uniform fps gain per grain readings through the chrono. This helped me choose a suitable powder to take the 405 up to my intended goal of 2150 fps. To this point I have experienced no issues. I am all loaded up and ready to take this project to the next step, and when the weather breaks I will get it out to range and I will have a report for you after that.
 

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Great! Keep the reports coming.
 

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...will do Starrbow. I am in the middle of the winter doldrums...we have a good snow storm coming in today, and while hunting in the snow is always a real treat, trying to develop loads especially using a chronograph is a real PITA! Well, winter wont last forever, but, right now I could sure use a break...I want to move this project along!!!!
 

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Yea, we got about 7" and it's still snowing, and I have to work tonight, the drive into work will be intresting!
 

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I have been watching your project with great interest, I am a lot like yourself, If you want something and cant find or buy it you make it.
I want a 219 zipper and cant find one so I am going to make one. I will probably get a bit of flack about it but that is fine.
I dont have that much time left to wait around to find one, I want to shoot one. Plus I like my shop and playing around with rifles, It,s better than sitting in the house and arguing with the better half. Go for it my friend. Steve!! ;D
 

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What powders are you working with? DP
 

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What weight is your rifle? What do the heavy bullet 1800 fps kick like compared to a hot loaded 265-300 grain bullet?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
dpe.ahoy; H-332, H-335, RL-7, so far.........standard powders. If you want to shoot the 405 I would recommend RL-7, or Varget for a non-modified Marlin. These two in an OEM Marlin will get you between 1700 to 1800 fps with the 405 grain bullet. My gun is modified, and I will not give out load data for fear that someone with an OEM Marlin will misconstrue a posting on here and get into trouble....dont want that to happen!

Canuck Bob; My rifle weighs a bit over 8 pounds as it stands now. I have never shot light bullets in my 444's, but, my 16.5", 6 pound "Peashooter" with a 325 grain bullet at 2263 fps (this is also a "modified" rifle) produces a recoil factor of 48 ft lbs @ 23 fps..........The Safari Grade 444 with the 405 at 1800 fps produces a recoil factor of 29 ft lbs @ 15 fps...not all that bad. To compare both of my guns to a stout recoiling Marlin....45-70 in a 7 1/2 pound rifle with a 525 grain bullet at 1550 fps would be a recoil factor of 40 ft lbs @ 19 fps. When the Safari Grade 444 project reaches my goal of a 405 at 2150 fps, the recoil factor will be 42 ft lbs @ 18 fps. I have found that recoil is only a factor when working up loads or sighting in off the bench. Even in the case of the hard hitting (at both ends) "Peashooter", shooting off hand or from hunting positions is not all that uncomfortable.
 

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Did you go into the mods on your build of Peashooter? I'd like to learn more, can't do anything myself, my talents lie in other areas than working on gun. Much cheaper fo me to pay to have it done than pay to have it fixed and then pay to have mods done. :-[ DP
 

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Hi Flat Top. I did a search of posts and could not find a description of the work you did to lengthen the OCL of your 444. Would it be too much to ask for you to pm (email) me with details of what all is envolved? Did you do all the work or 'smith it out? Any info or suggestions would be greatley appreciated. I have a plan for a custom rifle and was told by many it was impossible. After reading your post about the Safari and lengthening the OCL, I think mine is absouletly doable. I want to start with a 444, lengthen OCL, and re-barrel to 375-444 (375 JDJ). The prob has always been the length of the loaded round. Even if I could get to 2.65" OCL, I could have a reamer made and shorten & reform the brass to fit. Please pm or email. Thanks 30calpal
 

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Thanks for the attachment Flat Top. I gotta save that for future reference. The statement about how well it would work in a single shot has me thinking about my H&R 444 Marlin. I don't need no stinkin 45-120 to walk with the big boys. ;D Thanks again Flat Top. DP
 

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Discussion Starter #17
dpe.ahoy; The H&R would be an easy mod, if the action could withstand the abuse.....throat the barrel and you are good to go with the Safari Grade 444 2.700 COL. A buddy of mine has an H&R Buffalo Gun, and asked me how far I could increase the 2.700 mod in an H&R in 444....I told him I could increase it to 2.850 (now, the length of the bullet becomes the limiting factor)....which would put it in the .425 Westley Richards ballistic range (a 410 grain bullet at 2350 fps...5010 ft lbs). I dont know what your rifle would weigh, but, the accepted suitable weight standard (recoil/control) for the 450-400 NE (the 2.700 COL in my Marlin) is about 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 lbs....That is where I am trying to put my SG 444 weight at. Well, its not a done deal yet...still more testing to do, so, dont get your hopes up until I find out exactly what this modification will do....when the weather breaks, I will be at it again.
 

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Flat Top, the H&R frame for the centerfires is fine for 25-06, 270 Win. ect. so should stand the abuse fine. Weight would be an issue, might have to load the stock to get the weight up to an acceptable level. Not lookin for detached retinas. :eek: DP
 

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Thanks for the reply Flat Top. I don't want to encroach on you too much, but I would like to ask a couple more questions. First, I'd be glad to exchange email addresses for ease of communication. I promise not to give yours out to anyone. Mine, [email protected] I'm a lawyer.
Second, from your description I can say I'll probably pass on the custom gun build. Like I said, I have a 45-70 Guide for heavy stuff. What I really want is to get all I can from the 375 Win and I can do this well within the budget I have planned. I'd still like to 'lengthen' my 336 action so that I can easily use the 'long' 38-55 Starline brass with the bullet loaded out to almost touch the rifling, which in my new barrel with be 1:20 twist. Could I persuade you to do the mods to allow my rifle to function with 2.66 rounds?
I'll rebarrel later. Thanks
 
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