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Discussion Starter #1
Just spent the afternoon shooting the breeze at the gunshop and just as they were closing down, I noticed a new Marlin on the rack I hadn't seen before. I only had a few seconds to look it over but it was just long enough to get me interested. Some of the attributes that stood out to me were....

-Squared lever
-Texan straight-comb stock
-18.5" ported barrel
-Very clear and complete JM rollmark on the left side just ahead of the receiver
-Pristine bore with Ballard style rifling
-Great fit and finish of the wood furniture, lacked checkering
-Forearm was capped, not banded like the two 336's I own
-Crossbolt safety...doh!

I didn't have enough time to commit the serial number prefix to memory so I really have no idea how old it is...also they were shutting off the lights so I couldn't read the model rollstamp on the side of the barrel. They were asking $425. A few days prior to my visit, someone had traded it in along with 2 sets of RCBS 444 Marlin loading dies in exchange for a revolver. Is this rifle worth jumping on? I have a weakness for Texans...I've been hankering for something with a little more umph than 30-30 win and was eyeballing a 338ME.

~ Jech
 

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Well, if it is a 444P I would jump if it looks clean. They are wonderful rifles. It is an "Outfitter" which is identical to a Guide Gun, 18.5" barrel and all. Did it look like this one? I paid a bit more for mine awhile back but it is worth every penny to me.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
I don't specifically remember a recoil pad on the butt...no scope, rings, mount, or sling. The front side hood was absent but I would have done that myself even if it was there :p

The biggest difference between the one I saw and your picture was the absence of checkering on the stock and forearm. This is the same shop that I got my '67 336 Texan from (pics and story here: http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,89273.0.html). I talked them down $50 from $400 on that one so I have hope I can haggle a little on the 444 too...
 

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If you have a hankering for a big bore Marlin, jump on it! Some may say the 45-70 is better, don't you believe it. If that were true, I wouldn't own two 444P's and only one Guide Gun, it would be reversed. ;) ;D DP
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've never loaded for a cartridge stronger than 30WCF in a rifle or 357 magnum in a handgun. I cast all my own boolits, ne'er a bullet passes through my bores bearing those nasty "full-length gas checks". Does 444 Marlin lend itself well to the art of casting? My Lyman's 4th Ed Cast Bullet Handbook has little for this cartridge but the small paragraph about it only talks about how bad MCG barrels (lol!) and that a 1600fps limit should be imposed. Such is foolishness I say! Besides, this rifle has deep-cut Ballard rifling...
 

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The 444 is the reloaders dream. As far as cast bullets they fly very well out the end. Others with more experience than I will soon chime in. For that price I would JUMP on it. S.
 

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Cast out of a 444 you bet! Check out RanchDogs web site for some great molds.

Check out Beartooth bullets for an extensive amount of info on the 444 and his line of cast bullets. Marshal has some great info in his 3 articles on the 444. Most reloaders have found that the key to
cast in the Marlins is the proper size. Ranch Dog and Beartooth both address this in their info.

I passed on a 444P a few months ago and am still kicking myself. I may try to find another XLR and cut it down.

Good luck on getting them down a few more dollars.

Ken TN
 

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Jech, why are we still talking about it? :-\ I would be standing there with my nose pressed up against the glass like some kid looking at toys in a toy store when the crew came to open the store. Come on Cowboy, go get the rifle or you will regret it. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Anybody want to buy some of my lead stash to help me generate funds? ;D ;D
 

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Jech is the one with the good deal sitting under his nose. Not me! I am just trying to help push him over the edge. ;D
 

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Dang what was I thinking, I guess the idea that a conversation was still on going instead of Jech camping out on the door step of that gun shop got me all confused ???....I will fix my original post.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Had another chance to stick my head in the door and get a better look at it today. It's a 444P and does in fact have checkering on the furniture. The serial number began with "01" so my understanding says that it was made 1999.

The good news is that they took it off the shelf for me...bought my '67 336 Saddle Ring Texan from them too so I have a good relationship with them. The bad news is my gun fund still owes a couple hundred bucks for the custom Colt M1991A1 I picked up not too long ago. Not a snowball's chance of convincing SWMBO that I need another gun so soon >_<

I wonder if they'd let me help out around the shop on the weekends to pay for it...
 

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Now guys, ya know it's hard to dicker the price lower when the man comes to open shop and finds ya with yer nose flat against the glass and drool runnin down yer chin. ::) Gotta at least let the guy get the key outta the door before ya push him outta the way to get inside. ;D DP
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah I played my cards right and talked them down $50 when I bought the '67 336...kinda botched this one didn't I! ::) Since then, I've started spending the majority of my saturday afternoons in the back shooting the breeze with the old timers and helping the gun smiths out with the easy stuff. Just this past weekend, I traded a handful of 45auto cast boolits from my Lyman 452460 in exchange for a new recoil spring and an improved mag release button for my Colt.

It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside to know that there are still places where a little time spent, a few stories exchanged and a helping hand lent is sufficient payment for good quality work.

~ Jech
 

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Any chance they would let you do a Lay Away plan? It would be a shame to see this one slip buy ya.

Ken TN
 
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