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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can get my hands on a 336 in .444 for a great price. Its local, with only a box of shells through it, older but mint.
Just wondering how this would be for white tail, black bear and moose? I don't want overkill or something that will take my shoulder off with every shot and was wondering what the pros have to say. I was looking for a .35 or .44 but like i said this one popped up local. is this a "handloaders cal" or will I be fine with hornadey leverloution?
thanks.
 

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Re: 336 in .444?

Get it. It isn't a 336, it is a 444. Marlin upgraded the 336s for the 444. It is perfect for what you want to hunt and factory ammo is available as is custom ammo that is good enough for anything walking this continent.

Overkill - do you mean as in dead, or just dead, or really dead or dead right there, or wobble a few steps and then dead, or fall over and kick a few times until it's dead? The 444 will not kill'm any deader than anything else, they are just dead. Overkill is like overpenetration - if it kills'm then they are dead - is it overkill if you kill'm dead? If it penetrates, is it overpenetration if it goes on through?

The 444 is a absolutely great caliber and even one of the earlier models should shoot jacketed bullets better than most hunters can shoot. If you want to shoot cast slugs you will have to lap the barrel for heavy cast slug accuracy.
 

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Re: 336 in .444?

I've had several 444s over the years. With hard cast 300 grain lead bullets at 1800 fps they will kill anything that walks on this continent. ;D That includes your shoulder, which is why I no longer own one. If there is an over kill issue, it is recoil. :eek:
 

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Re: 336 in .444?

Recoil :
Well yes it does*, depends what you are used to. If you hand load you can bring it down to less then 44 Rem Mag performance.
I'd stick with the Hdy 265 gr FN for everything. IMR 4198 is the powder to go to.

*Like most big bores, it is more of a push then a slap. Watch for eye relief if using a scope.
 

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Re: 336 in .444?

Scatterbrain is right, you can certainly load the 444 down to 44 magnum levels but to be honest, the only time shooting one bothers me is when I shoot from the bench. A full box of handloads will do that though.. however, when I touch it off in the field I know it but it isn't any bother at all.

I load my 300 gn Beartooth slugs to 2300'/sec, from my 20" rifle or at least that is what they were clocked at from the same length barrel on a Marlin. I load the Beartooth 335 gn cast gas checked slug to about the same even though it gains some from the 26" tube on another 444 I have. I have, but have not yet shot the Beartooth 405 gn slug. Now that should be interesting.

One of our Greybeard members turned his 444 into a black powder 43-70-405, or thereabouts. Fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: 336 in .444?

Thanks for the info, I am waiting to hear back onmy offer and is the price is right I will take it.
I am just about to start getting into handloading and was wondering;
-what load would i use to get it down to that of a .44?
-what are some "light'er" .444 loads could i use on whitetail?
-what would be a good factory load i could use? I am not hunting waterbuffalo so I am not trying to get the max out of this cal, just want to get the job done, so want a good flying and hitting round that wont be to hard on the sholder?

thanks again
 

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Re: 444?

In random:
A top 44 Rem Mag will produce approx. 1800 fps with a 240 gr jacket bullet form a pistol powder like H-110 or WW-296( 18 " barrel)
This would require approx 24 to 25 gr of powder

The starting velocity for a 444 Marlin with the same bullet is 1900 fps from a 24" barrel using rifle powder like IMR 4198, RL-7 and similar.

This would require approx 33 to 35 gr of the fastest two powders listed.

Lyman#48 lists 33 gr of XMP 5744 as a starting load for a 240 gr Speer producing 1624 fps from an 18" barrel, this is less then the top fps from a 44 Rem Mag. but you do need a bit more powder.

You can go On-line for a recoil calculator program and by knowing the weight of the rifle you will get a free recoil figure in ft/lb to compare


Going into a cast bullet setup here is some general Info

44 Rem Mag 18 1/2 barrel 250 gr.GC bullet

Minimum load 5.0 gr Bullseye = 910 fps
Max load 17.5 gr Blue Dot= 1655 fps


Marlin 444 with a 22" barrel 250 gr GC bullet

Minimum load 700X 9.5 gr = 1175 fps
Max. load Unique 17.0 gr= 1590 fps

This is just a small sample of what can be done with cast bullets



The above info was taken from the Hornady 7th Edition for jacketed bullets and Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook for the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: 444?

Thanks scatter brain!
Hopefully my next posst will have a pic of the gun!
 

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Re: 444?

The .444 is a great levergun cartridge and in the Marlin it is highly accurate.
 

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Re: 444?

I made up some 444 with 265 cast bullets using the 'youth load' of 4895 using data from hodgdon. At the starting level they are very pleasant and you can shoot the whole box without pain. Haven't shot anything but paper with them ,but, they should do just fine on a deer since they duplicate most of the 44 mag loads which work so well. My normal loads are nearly max of h4198 and a 300 cast. A freighttrain of a load and honestly it is too much for deer. I was looking for a deal on a 45/70 when I found the 444. Been very satisfied with it and don't miss the 45/70 at all.
I shoot most of my cast bullets into a bucket of dry sand so I can recover them. A 44 mag rifle will drive a 300 gr cast to the bottom of the bucket. A 444 will punch the same bullet thru the bucket and blow the bucket apart. Huge difference in power. By way of contrast a factory jacketed load will only pnetrate about 7" into the bucket.
 

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Re: 444?

my 444 is not a marlin, but a winchester timber carbine with a 1x4 leupold scope. with the hornady 265gr bullet with a healthy dose of imr 4198 it is a real killer. eastbank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: 444?

Thanks for all the info boys...keep it coming! this is the one I am "workning on", dosent even have a box through it. I Think I will be "loosing" the scope, your thoughts on that?
 

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Good scope but much too big for the rifle. The mounts look high too. You'll love the .444
 

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I'm with Swampy on that. A smaller scope would be fine and you could possibly use lower rings.

BTW I don't keep any iron sights on my rifles, I wouldn't use them and they clutter up the looks IMO.
 

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Hope the deal comes through for you, the 444 is one hel... heck of a round. I prefer it over the 45-70, just cause I'm off a bit, I guess. If you want to read up on the 444, go over to www.marlinowners.com, and drop down to the 444 section. You will have a few weeks of reading on your new favorite cartridge. If you are going to use cast, make sure the bullet is big enough to fill the throat of your rifle when you seat the bullet in the case, to avoid leading. Like the 444 H&R, the barrels run larger than pistol barrels. The 265gr Hornady FP was designed for that cartridge and is an outstanding performer. There is a post about a gentelman had a Grizzley rush him and his dog, he levered 2 into it at very close range and had pass-throughs on both bullets. For deer, the factory 265 FTX should work well, don't think I would use it on bear or anything bigger. I don't find the recoil of the 444 bad when not at the bench, but off the bench the little Outfitter with the Decelerator kick less than the Outfitter with the factory pad. I have 3 of the Marlins and one H&R in the 444, that's how much I like it. DP
 

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I'd avoid the FTX bullets. They are too lightly constructed & destructive.
 

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I'll go wit Swampy on the FTX bullets - for the 444 you want something that will hold together. For factory ammo I would simply by Remingtons - their 240 gn soft nose will perform just fine on Whitetail, Black Bear and Moose. You can also get the 265 gn factory loads - I think Remington but certainly Buffalo Bore. CorBon also but I wouldn't bother.

For Whitetail and easier shooting loads, I would use any 240-300 gn slug cast to proper diameter (you gotta slug your bore to get the right fit and probably bore lap the rifle too) with Unique, 13-17 gns (your choice based on accuracy).

Interestingly, I believe the barrels used on the Winchester 94 AE Big Bores are Marlin barrels - microgroove and all, so whether you hit the Marlin Owner's site or the Beartooth Bullets site you should get some excellent info. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
thanks scatter, mikey, swampie and ahoy!

so to start I will give the remington 240g soft nose a try for deer and black bear, may try the 265g to see about moose for next year (already got my moose this year).

One thing Mikey mentioned that I am not farmiliar with;
" I would use any 240-300 gn slug cast to proper diameter (you gotta slug your bore to get the right fit and probably bore lap the rifle too) with Unique, 13-17 gns (your choice based on accuracy)."
So this means this I have to try differnt grain slugs 13-17 g? did I mention I am a newbie with this stuff? ;)
 

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Arrgh
I just lost a longer reply to your question.

OK. Mikey wrote two seperate steps into more or less one sentence as far as I understand him.

You need to slug( measure the diameter) your barrel. Common practice although not carved into stone is to seize your cast bullets .001" larger then the slugged value. i.e. a .432 slug would call for a .433 seized bullet.

The powder recommendation is for the powder he mentioned. Make up loads starting at the lowest number of grain, increase them by 1 gr until you get the best group without exceeding the max.

You may need to switch to a different powder or even a different bullet style/weight to get the results you are looking for.


FYI
I'm in the process of trying out 4 different cast bullets with that many powders to get a good hunting load for a 45-70 Govt. having at least 1200 ftlb of Energy left at 100 yards without kicking th snot out of me ;D
 
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