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I've been pouring over the ballistic charts and also doing google search after google search (.444 Marlin vs ?) and I think I've come to the conclusion that the .444 Marlin represents the best of the big bores available in a lever.

I looked at the .454 in the foreign makes as well as the Marlin .44 Mag and also .357 Mag, but none seem to reach out to long range like the .444 Marlin. I used to have a .357 Marlin and it did fairly well to just over 100 yards, but I need RANGE! Sure, the .45-70 puts up a valliant fight and the almost unobtainable .450 slightly outpaces the .444, but when it comes down to it, the .444 wins out as the best combination of short and long range performance as well as availability.

For reference I've been deer hunting the past year with a .223 carbine, .357 Mag revolver and old faithful; a .30-30 Marlin 336. I've owned scads of rifles and magnum handguns and killed deer with about every legal means. But...I've never owned the .444 Marlin. Sometime before summer's over, I plan on changing that.

So what am I missing in my comparisons? Any tips on what to look for? Best ammo? I'm thinking the Hornady LE stuff looks like the most avialble and best choice anyway.
 

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I want a 444 also......
 

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Factory ammo does restrict you some, but Handloading opens up the whole thing! If you get a 444 I would suggest Handloading. With Handloading you get to make premium ammo for cheap!
Your really not missing anything, the 444 has a lot going for it and it has a lot to offer in performance
when loaded right, with a Hardcast 350gr bullet we get an avarage of 2060fps out of a 22" barreled model, not to shabby for a brush gun! Mild to Wild, what's not to like!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Factory ammo does restrict you some, but Handloading opens up the whole thing! If you get a 444 I would suggest Handloading. With Handloading you get to make premium ammo for cheap!
Your really not missing anything, the 444 has a lot going for it and it has a lot to offer in performance
when loaded right, with a Hardcast 350gr bullet we get an avarage of 2060fps out of a 22" barreled model, not to shabby for a brush gun! Mild to Wild, what's not to like!
Glad to hear the .444 excells when hand loaded. I've been meaning to get back into reloading for awhile. I got out of it after a house sale and a out of state move a few years back. I just didn't have room, so I sold off my reloading equipment. Factory ammo will have to get it done for now.
 

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If I owned an OEM Marlin 444 I would shoot only one load.....a 300 grain wide meplat hard cast bullet at 2200 fps. This load duplicates the original 405 Winchester load, and the 405 Win has taken every game animal in the world. For "any" North American game animal, this load would reign supreme...just as the original 405 Win load did. As far as the rifle itself, I would find a nice preowned JM 444 with a 22 to 24" barrel. The 1-38 Micro Groove, or a 1-20 Ballard twist barrel will both shoot the 300 grain bullet at the above mentioned 2200 fps with excellent accuracy in either twist with those barrels lengths..........Reloader 7 powder would be my choice for top end performance and accuracy.
 

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What are you missing? The big:biggrin: my 444 puts on my face every time I shoot it.
Purchased one of these this past Nov., and what rr11 said. Thats what I call it now, the BigGrin gun. Any way I shot a doe two days after it arrived useing the Hornaday 265 FTX, 135yds, wow was what I thought once I walked up on it. Devasting is a good word. I have since bought a mold thats a 300 grainer, but actually drops closer to 320, will be working on a load for this for the upcoming deer season.
Good luck in your search. And we like pictures so when you do get one post a couple, please.
 

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In factory ammo I prefer the rem 240s over the hornady gummys. They hit much harder. If you want to up the anty in factory ammo I prefer the buffalo bore ammo, any of their offerings are outstanding factory ammo. But handloading really brings the best out of the 444.
 

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For a heads-up, the Grizzly ammo advertised as containing Hawk bonded bullets (275gr and 300gr) are actually containing Speer 270 Deep Curl and Speer 300gr Unicor. So basically the Grizzly ammo containing 270gr and 300gr bullets are virtually the same thing as the bonded 444 ammo from Buffalo Bore. Both are using the same bullets and have nearly the same muzzle velocity. At MidwayUSA, they have both and the Buffalo Bore is a few bucks more at Larry's Place. The Grizzly ammo comes in cool plastic boxes that you'll keep after you've run through the rounds.
Both Speer bullets mentioned are proven performers in the 444 in terms of both accuracy and terminal performance.
 

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What StarBow, Flat Top, and mt sourdough said. In any ones opinion on the 444 Marlin section of Marlin Owners the 444 is the cream of the crop. Truly the mouse to moose and bigger gun. Shootin hogs, Deer, moose, elk, even the big bears. 45-70 owners will try to tell you theres is the best but don't listen to them. They are just jealous of the 444,s velocity advantage and range of boolit weights also. And our loaded rounds are longer too. Eventually you will probably want to handload the 444 to really bring out the capabilities of this round. Trouble is right now everybody wants one and Marlin isn't making them so when you see one pounce on it immediately. I forgot bison also.
 

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The only thing missing is your 444!! Welcome!

Mine has been my go to for 4 decades. The 444 is a special cartridge because of its uniqueness. As a gun nut you will be happy. I also like slightly unusual cartridges like 32 Special, 32-20, Hornet, and 303 Brit.

I can speak highly of the 265 FN Hornady bullet. It does anything I need. I recently started messing with cast and bought a 285 gr wide meplat bullet for trying. If the Swift A Frame 285 or 300 partition bullets were available here I would load them for grizzly country camp rifle duty. In reality a hard cast 300-325 wide meplat would be a DG bullet pushed hard.

I only breezed through the posts but one thing you might miss is that the 444 comes in a slow twist micro-groove barrel or a faster twist Ballard barrel. If you are very adventurous real heavy weight bullets, 400+, can be loaded in the fast twist. They hit like a Buick and kick to match. Around here some folks consider 265 grain bullets as reduced load hunting and 240s as varmint bullets, lol!
 

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After a successful season last fall of utilizing the 240 grain Remington factory fodder, I will be running some of my new reloads through the chrony next week. It's my first attempt at reloading for the Triple 4. I am hoping for around 2400 fps with the 265 grain Hornady and respectable hunting accuracy.
 

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What StarBow, Flat Top, and mt sourdough said. In any ones opinion on the 444 Marlin section of Marlin Owners the 444 is the cream of the crop. Truly the mouse to moose and bigger gun. Shootin hogs, Deer, moose, elk, even the big bears. 45-70 owners will try to tell you theres is the best but don't listen to them. They are just jealous of the 444,s velocity advantage and range of boolit weights also. And our loaded rounds are longer too. Eventually you will probably want to handload the 444 to really bring out the capabilities of this round. Trouble is right now everybody wants one and Marlin isn't making them so when you see one pounce on it immediately. I forgot bison also.
Funny. I only read this type of "mines better than yours" "ford Chevy" in the 444 section :).

You will be pleased with any true marlin big bore rifle.

I love the 444 because it's chambered by marlin but please don't be so mean to the 45-70. I really would love to own a marlin 1895GS 444. Oh wait! Marlin only made that in the 45-70:/. Must of been because it was a lesser round:(

BTW I'm just stirring the pot a little so please no more hate mail guys. It's your scooter you don't have to justify riding it to me lol
 

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To say one is best or better is purely speciation and opinion, best for me may not be best for you, yes one could use the math to say one is better, but the math is just rhetoric, always has been always will be. There is no real world way to prove one way or the other, which is best! Best for me is the 444, it was the first Modern Marlin Big Bore I got, over thirty yeas ago, now, if I would have gotten the 45-70 first, maybe my best may be different. My Opinion is based partially on emotion, the rest fact, what I know about the 444, is from my own hard core testing, what I know about the 45-70 is from my hard core testing as well. The results are I own 5 444's (my wife has a 444 as well, so 6 in the household) Zero 45-70's. Nothing against the 45-70, in general, I'm against folks whom think the 45-70 is best or better then the 444, and who try and shove that down my throat. That's what doesn't set well with me!
 

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I am ignorant about much of this but I have a few questions. Is not the 45/70 NOT offered in the stronger 336 action as the 444 is? How about the 338 mx cartridge? And how does the 348 winchester compare to the 444? I think the very strong 336 action and the ease of mounting a scope on that platform make a marlin 444 a good choice for my fading eyesight.
 

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Yes the 45-70 is based on the 336 action, because of that there is a weakness to the action that can be exploited by the Black Powder era, case capacity of the 45-70. The 348Winnie IIRC pushed a 200grain bullet 2500fps, most every old timer I talked to in the west just swore that the 348Winnie was the cats meow for Elk! The 444 pushes a factory 240gr bullet around 2300fps, I can't see why the 444 should not surpass the 348Winnie in all aspects of it's intended uses. I do believe that's why Marlin and Remington together came up with the 444 in the first place, to fill the gap the 348Winnie left when they ceased production of it.
 

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I don't know as much about big bores as most here do. But I will say after months of research (I mean obsession level OCD research) I settled on and purchased a .444. In ohio we are allowed to start using straight walled cartridges to hunt with this year. The list of serious candidates for use was limited for me to .44 magnum, 45-70 and .444.

I picked the .444. In large part after speaking to my Dads buddy who is the ultimate rifle guru in my book having hunted dozens of big game species on all five continents with dozens of calibers. Of the three I listed he said the .444 is a no brainer if you are willing to handload.
 
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