Graybeard Outdoors banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,861 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The .350 Rem mag case has been wildcated up ( .366, .375, .416, 458) and down (.264, .284, .308, .323, 338) , but I've never heard of necking one up to .429" (i.e. 44 caliber).

One problem would seem to be the lack of suitable heavy jacketed bullets. I think 400 grains would be about optimal, but you'd have to cast or swage them yourself. A 400 grain .429" gas checked cast bullet at 2,000 fps would be a cool load.

Does anyeone else have any thoughts on this one? Is it worth doing or should I just stick to .416" or .458" for which suitable jacketed bullets and cast bullet molds already exist?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,439 Posts
I agree that .44 cal wildcats based on any case have never been popular because of the lack of suitable bullets. It is probably not worth doing. Marlin's introduction of the .444 back in the 60's only managed to breathe new life into the almost dead .45-70, once the shortcomings of .44 bullets at rifle velocities became apparent.
The .416 sounds like an interesting project.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,748 Posts
Ramrod said:
I agree that .44 cal wildcats based on any case have never been popular because of the lack of suitable bullets. It is probably not worth doing. Marlin's introduction of the .444 back in the 60's only managed to breathe new life into the almost dead .45-70, once the shortcomings of .44 bullets at rifle velocities became apparent.
The .416 sounds like an interesting project.
Ramrod, I don't think the 45-70 was ever close to dead. It has always been a strong and well sought after round. I think the 444 came to play because something new was needed to get the power up compared to factory loads. Most 45-70 factory loads are loaded for the old Springfield trap doors and the other gun that can't handle much pressure. The 444 at that time was pushing a 44 cal bullet faster and flatter than the factory loaded 45-70's. :)

lgm270, I would say just stick to .416" or .458". :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
.350Remington Wildcat

You might check on SSK's wildcat, the .41Whammy. It's the .350 necked up to .411. J.D. started it out in the XP-100s, but says it's fine for the Encore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
For a good .429 wildcat, consider the 429 express, aka the 444 rimless. It's a 30-06 blown out straight, headspacing on the mouth. It's an interesting cartridge that I came up with a few years ago, and built initially using a short, slow twist carbine barrel. I later rebarreled with a longer, heavier, 14 twist douglas barrel to use heavier bullets. A few years after I built mine, I corresponded with Ken Howell about it, and he had done essentially the same thing earlier than me. Only difference is his cartridge is about .25 inch shorter. It's in his book on cartridge conversions.

It's a cheap wildcat, as you can chamber with a 444 marlin reamer, and use standard 444 dies. When you chamber, cartridge length is not critical, as you simply trim the brass to a zero headspace in the rifle after the chamber is completed. I fireform the brass by using the claw extractor to hold it against the bolt face, and then trim to length, size, and chamfer the mouth.

Mine is made on a mauser action, and it's an excellent hard hitter. It pushes a 300 grain bullet at 2400 fps, at a pressure of about 50,000 psi.

It feeds and functions fine in an unmodified mauser. I lengthened the chamber from the 444, as the 30-06 brass will let you do that. I have a 444 reamer without a rim cutter, so I can chamber any length that i want.

It's been a fun rifle to build. I'm completing a custom stock for it at the moment. I made it up from a whittled down military stock, many pieces of scrap wood glued on, and a lot of bondo. It'll be sent off to the stock duplicator to do in heavy, straight grain walnut. The rifle was sighted with a 4 leaf express sight and the stock was designed for a very straight comb dropping towards the front, to reduce felt recoil. I added a european style cheekpiece to help locate my face precisely in relation to the sights, and added a functional pistol grip. It was interesting to experiement with the stock until when I bring it up, it aligns the sights with my eyes flawlessly every time. I've fired it quite a bit, but the bondo wood interface is starting to show some cracking, so time to get the real stock made up.

Best of luck,
dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,861 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Dave. Thank you for your very imformative post. I remember reading something before on this web site about a rimless .444 based on a .30-06 case. I think the creater called it the .444 Mauser, chambered, as it was, in a milsurp M-98.

Apparently you load the full length of the .30-06 case which is 2.494 as compared to .2.225 for the 444 Marlin. Do you have any unual problems with split necks, etc., resulting from blowing out a .308 case neck to .430?

What kind of fire forming loads do you use?

What barrel length?

Personally I was contemplating a ctg. length of about 2.225 and would make cases by using a .444 Marlin Trim Die and hacksawing off the excess brass. Granted I would have less powder capacity, but I don't think that's necessarily a problem. I'm not trying to squeez out every last fps, given the limitations of cast bullets anyway, but just to have a nice, big bore .44 cal rifle.

I was considering a 22 " barrel. I can shorten it to 20" if I want.

Do you crimp the bullets? Does this effect headspacing?

Do you have any problems with leading with this caliber?

What practical uses does this caliber have, in addition to being an interesting project?


It strikes me that your round is kind of a lengthened .44
Automag. The .44 Automag was a proprietary handgun round for the now discontinued Auto-Mag pistol, a rotary bolt, recoil operated semi-automatic pistol offered in ".44 Magnum" ie. the .44 Automag. Would .44 Automag dies work in loading your wildcat? Just wondering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,861 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Dave: A follow up on 400 grain .429 jacketed SPs. There are not any. Beartooth makes a likely looking 405 grain cast, Gas checked bullet. but nobody makes a Jacketes SP in .429 heavier than 300 grains, which is a little short on sectional density for me.

I like the idea of a 400 grain .429" JSP. The closest I was able to find were bullets for the .404 Jeffrey manufactured by Swift (A-frame) and Woodleigh. They are .423" diameter. A bit undersized. The 400 grain bullet has a SD of .319. That's more like it. Go to the Swift web site and take a look at that 400 grain sptizer A-Frame. Very cool looking.

Is it feasible for me to swage a 400 grain .429 JSP?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
I just typed a long and technical reply, with the balistics, powley calcs, etc. and it got lost on trying to post it. I'll try again later.

Basically, I said that the 444 marlin case is capacity challenged with large bullets, and you need a lot of capacity to get a fast enough powder to burn in the large straight case.

The availability of bullets is tough, but I'm satisfied with the 300 grain sierras, and don't use cast, as I can do that with my 45-70, 45-90, 40-65, 50 alaskan, or 50-110.

I'll try to repost when I have more time to retype. Next time, I'll copy and save before hitting the submit.

dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,861 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Dave: Thanks for the effort. I have done the same thing (lost text). I am gratful for your response and look forward to reading more of your very imformative prose.

Best,
LGM270
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
LGM270,

Hi, I know this was an old post but I just came across it. If you or anyone are interested, I built a 44-350 Mag 23 years ago. I call it the 44-EAW. It is a great deer gun. And now that Hornady brought out the 265 gr flex tips I am going to get it out of the gun cabinet, dust it off and start working with it again. This gun has been in my gun cabinet for 20 years. So when I saw the new tips it got me interested in it again.

I'm thinking about building this caliber rifle again so if anyone is interested, you can contact me for more information.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,256 Posts
Bikerbeans and I have built a couple of longer more powerful 44 cal. wildcat cartridges. The first was the 44 Bodeen, This was a 9.3 x74 R blown out to 2.875". It is almost exactly a 444 Marlin that has been lengthened as it has the same rim, head diameter and the case mouth just longer. Then the second version was the belted Bodeen, this version uses the 375 H&H case blown out to 44 cal. If you can imagine this is like a 458 LOTT with a 44 cal. bullet.
Both of these we built on a H&R handi rifle and are fine cartridges, being a single shot the length is not a problem the belted Bodeen would work in a Long action bolt gun that would handle a 375 H&H.
Bikerbeans has found a 341 gr. swaged jacketed bullet to work very nicely and there are molds for 400+ gr. cast bullets in 44 cal. and I think HAWK makes some long heavy jacketed bullets.


jedman
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
22,493 Posts
look at the JDJ wildcats. the 35 cal and bigger are based on the 444 case. the smaller ones I believe were based on the .225 case. Lots of really big game were taken with these rounds.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
407 Posts
I read an article on the 30-06/44 back in the 70's. It was called 44 Alpen, the gun mag was Guns.
The man really liked the round, IIRC he said it was good for deer sized animals as well as big bears.
Seems he had a thumbhole stock on it.
Sounds great too me also and with new bullets, it should do good.
safety first.
HM
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,030 Posts
Personally I was contemplating a ctg. length of about 2.225 and would make cases by using a .444 Marlin Trim Die and hacksawing off the excess brass.
with a trim die, you can make then any length 444 and longer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,030 Posts
I just typed a long and technical reply, with the balistics, powley calcs, etc. and it got lost on trying to post it. I'll try again later.

dave
I have started using word processors to write out long posts, saving as I go, then cut and paste into the reply box.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,526 Posts
IGM: The 444 is pretty incredible all by itself, once you step out of the reloading box that limits you to 300 gn jackets
.429/.430 slugs. Yes, it might/would be cool to open up the 350 Rem to 43 bore but you can currently get what you are looking for, a 400 gn slug at or near 2,000'/sec in the 444. Marshall Stanton of Beartooth Bullets has conducted some incredible research and load development in the 444 using Veral Smith's LBT bullet designs. I have some of the 405 gn 444 slugs from Beartooth and they are a incredible looking chunk of gas checked lead.
I have used other Beartooth slugs for the 444, up to the 350 gn so far and they are amazing. Mine clock to near 2300'/sec from a custom 444 and right around 2100 in a 20" bbl, although the 20" bbl really prefers the 300 gn gas checked slug at 2300'/sec. I've shot Elk and hog, big hogs with those slugs and never recovered any. You can order cast bullets to whatever hardness you want and not bother with looking for a jacketed slug. I went the same route you did and wound up going with Beartooth loadings using the LBT bullets simply because I could not see any improvement in either effect or accuracy using jacketed slugs, once I firelapped my 444s as per Beartooth and Veral Smith.
And btw, my 444s prefer cast slugs sized to .432. .429 dia jacketed gives ok accuaracy of under 2" at 100 yds but the .430 dia jacketed drop that to about 1-1.5" at that distance. The Beartooth slugs shoot to within 1" at that distance. HTH.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,047 Posts
Hawke bullets makes 400 grain jacketed .429" bullets, I have a box of 50 waiting for testing. A friend and I built a wildcat called the 44 bodeen belted, it is made by blowing out a 375 H&H case to a tapered no shoulder cartridge, basically a 429 Lott. I have pushed 340 grain jacketed bullets past 2,500 fps and currently working with 450g LWNGCs bullets >2,000fps. Cartridge has a water capacity just over 100 grains, so enough to get your attention in a 7.5 pound handi rifle.

BB
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top