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.