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Here is the way I look at the value of the 444: It is priceless in two respects. As a large bore lever gun hunting rifle, the 444 has the best overall balance of all things considered.....power, balance when loaded, portability, trajectory, accuracy, and ease of shooting (low recoil factor)....therefor in that respect it is priceless. Secondly, as far as the market is concerned, the 444 to my knowledge is no longer being made. Those of us that have and use one, and appreciate its performance will doubtfully ever let one go. With the minimal amount of 444's on the market that are for sale (which kind of tells you something about the performance of the rifle), the cost has gone up considerably over the years, and with no more being made, the cost will most likely go higher.

Lever gun shooters are a very savvy lot, and the 444 is a highly touted and respected cartridge. You will see other cartridge big bore lever guns for sale all the time, but the 444's are far and few between...there is good reason for that. I would suggest that if you have one keep it...if you dont, now is the time to buy.
 

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Tom; Remington has "killed" a lot of cartridges that have been "standards" over the years...the 450M, the 444 and the 35 Rem to name a few. When they continued production of the 45-70 in lieu of the modern design of the 450M on the updated (strong) Marlin lever gun platform, it was then that I questioned their business plan motives......... As it stands now, it looks like Remington did nothing more than let the bean counters decide the fate of the chamberings that they were going to offer, and because the 30-30 and the 45-70 had the big sales numbers, thats what they decided to go with....it was all about making a quick buck and nothing more. History, tradition, and some very good proprietary cartridges (444 and 450M) were thrown out the window in favor of sales................its really too bad!!!!

I guess in a way, Remington did us a favor though. The value of the 450 M, the 444, and even the 35 Rem will continue to increase..........I have see 444's for sale for 900 to 1100 dollars on some sites, and the sellers are getting the asking price for them!!!!! Remington's "new" production Marlins have had grave issues which makes the old JM's worth more as well. So, thanks Remington.....by your greed and poor quality workmanship, at least I have something that is worth almost twice as much as I paid for it.
 

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Tom; When it comes to 444 brass, I wish that some on here would start annealing.....I have the same rounds that I used for my testing (which was brutal to say the least) with the SG 444 and I still use them to this day. The Remington cases had a bit over 44 firings of hot SG 444 loads through them when they became a bit hard to resize...the were getting brittle....so, I annealed them, the primer pockets were just fine...tight, and now I use them for my heavy brush loads for deer hunting with my Safari 445 grain 50/50 WW/pure lead water quenched 444 "slugs" at 1880 fps. anyway, the cases are just as good as they were when I first started shooting them.....I have never had a case mouth split, an impending head separation...or a loose primer pocket....nothing! even with hot loads, I just dont see that Remington 444 cases can ever be worn out, as long as they are annealed ever so often, and kept in good shape.

As far as 35 Rem cases, that is a different story for me. I get about 8 to 9 reloadings out of a lot in the SG 35 at max loadings (Safari 260 bullet at 2450fps). I have reduced that load to 2385 fps so I expect a few more reloadings, but I am sure not much more than that. I have made 35 Rem cases from 308 Win's and they seem to work well, and when I find some new Rem 308 cases on the shelves I will buy them and turn them in to 35 Rems. The 308 web and case walls are a bit thicker (about 25 to 30% than the 35 Rem cases), but, after a load adjustment I think they should last a lot longer than the 35 Rem OEM cases and I should still be able to get my 2350 fps minimum velocity for the Safari 260 grain bullet. I have not been able to find any 35 Rem cases on the shelves for quite some time, so its time to move on the "Plan B".

It seems that every time a manufacturer drops a cartridge from production that cartridge gets harder and harder to find....regardless of how many of those rifles are still in use....so, I would suggest annealing the 444 brass, and looking for alternatives to form other cartridges in to the cartridge that has been discontinued or where production may be limited. American ingenuity will triumph!!!
 

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Mike T. The 30-30 is legend, and I really dont think that cartridge will ever die. That is the best choice that anyone can make as far as ammo availability, etc. Some day when the funds are available, I am going to pursue a Safari Grade 30-30 modification, just like I did with the SG 444 and the SG 35 Rem. I think that a high power 30-30 would really be a cool one to have, and although OEM COL's will shoot very well in the SG modified rifles, to get the most from a SG 30-30 modification, well, it would be a reloaders proposition. Here is a photo of the SG 30-30.

The 45-70 is also a good choice....so many out there that if they stopped making factory ammo there would be a revolt!!!!:biggrin:
 

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That's an impressive looking round you posted! I can't imagine having the time or patience to do work like that! At age 66, for me, the best place to find Patience is at the local Hospital!
Anyway, reloading looks like it can be fun and if done properly I would say a sense of accomplishment would be part of the process.

I love my 30-30's. There is usually enough factory ammo available that I can pick and choose. Federal Blue Box is what me and my guns refer and I buy it up when I can get it.


Mike T.
Mike; I am the same age as you.... been reloading since I got my first press and equipment when I was 15 years old... and, I am still using that same equipment today! Reloading equipment will last a lifetime if taken care of... it is a a very interesting and self satisfying hobby, and well worth the initial investment that offers big savings in the long run.
 

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..................Ah! Safari Grade coffee!!!! There is nothing like a cold crisp fall morning...sitting in the woods..... with my trusty Safari Grade 444 by my side, and a hot thermos cup of Safari Grade coffee in my hand...that is when life is at its best..........the ultimate power sitting beside me...the ultimate power keeping me alert. The deer have no chance.....poor things!:biggrin:
 
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