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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking of sending a 22 inch .444 Marlin Handi barrel to JES Reboring, to be converted to a 45-90, 45-110 or 45-120. Any thoughts on performance of the 45-120 in the 22 inch barrel?
I know some will say, "why would anyone want something that stout in such a small package"? "Do you know how hard it will kick"? "Do you know the cost per shot"? Yes, it may not be the most practical, but I want one. It can't be worse than my Ruger no.1 458 Lott or 505 Gibbs.
Input on performance of the 45-120, 22 inch, would be greatly appreciated. If the 90 or 110 would be a better performer, let me know...and why.

Thanks,
Hosscat
 

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Since the intent of the .45-90/110/120 was to get more velocity and range than the .45-70 when they were all loaded with black powder, kind of like your .444 over the .44 Mag, I would say it depends on your intended use. If would say that this only makes sense under three conditions. First, you just want a .45" bullet instead of a .43", second, you intend to load this with black powder, or third, you just want the older historical caliber. With BP, you will need the larger case for the same of more powder space to gain more velocity, but if using smokeless, the Handi is strong enough to match (or exceed) the performance of a BP loaded .45-120 with the same bullet weight, so the longer case is not needed. If you want a .45 instead of a .43, I would just trade your barrel for a .45-70, or sell it and buy a .45-70 instead. Now if you just want the .45-90/110/120 calibers, then by all means do the conversion. I almost forgot, the same applies if you want a twist different than what H&R used, in which case your project also makes sense. So if this is purely because you want to be different, I think it is an excellent project idea, but from a practical standpoint, I hate to say this, but, it just doesn't make sense.

If I may ask, the Cadeuce you're using as an avatar, you wouldn't by any chance be an HM (8404) like me, would you?
 

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The 45-120 is a great cartridge for those of us that like to have a boomer around for stopping any thing.My varmint load is a 350 gr bullet loafing along at 2600 or so fps.The bullet hits with authority being in the 5600 lb energy class .I have not had the chance to use it on a charging T REX but since it does such a good job on other like size creatures (Texas Armadillos)I have no doubt it will work :)
George
 

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Just a little thought for you to consider.
Nothing wrong with your idea except the cost and when finished,
except for the wow factor you have really gained nothing over what you already have.
By this I mean the 450 Marlin you are getting.
They advertise about 2200 or a little more in a short barrel so
you would have to hand load the 444, 45-70-90-110-120 just to match factory ammo.
Of course you could buy some really hard hitting ammo like Garrett or Buffalo Bore or PMC
in 45-70 and get that kind of performance but at a heck of a cost dollar wise.
If you had a longer barrel it would make for a closer match ( factory ammo to factory ammo ).
I am getting ready to ship a BC barrel in 45-70 off now to have re-chambered to 450 Marlin
for two reasons.
One, just to have something a little different and two, to get the performance I am getting out of my
45-120 without having to hand load all the time.
Just something to think about.








LONGTOM
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I already have a bc 45-70 and the short barreled woods model 45-70, was trying to think outside the box. I admit, thinking outside the box is getting harder and harder... too few brain cells and too many irons, in the fire.
I would like a long range powerhouse, you know the type, one that will knocked down a full grown elephant three counties over. Here in WV, we have a lot of rabid full grown elephants, that are constantly getting into people's trash, just trying to do my part. ;) Give me some direction, I am open to suggestions, as long as I have the components available, I would consider anything unique.
I do like the old classic cartridges, I also like wildcats, I like monster cartridges (WOW size), I like to reload, tinker and create (when time permits).
I suppose my main goal of this project is to produce a large bore long long range small package rifle. If the 45-120 is not the best for the job, then what would be?

Thanks,
Hosscat
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lonegun1894,


Yes, NEC HM-8404. I did corpsman school at Great Lakes (in the pre Fort Sam era), then Fleet Marine training at Camp Johnson. Later on I did Combat Swimmers Training at Little Creek and then onto Combatant Diver School at NDSTC, Panama City. Those were the days, young and tough...now I'm all busted up and old (funny how that works).


Hosscat
 

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If you want big and into odd stuff then check out some of the NITRO CARTRIDGES.
They will get your attention for sure!






LONGTOM
 

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I have two Handi .45-70s, a standard 22 inch and a 16.5 shorty. Pushing a .405 Remington at 1950 fps is about all the fun I can endure. Sorry, but I will never have a 90, 110 or 120. I don't see any point to going longer for more expense and discomfort when my two rifles will drop anything in North America and most African game.

Pete
 

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Well, I can't give you any performance figures on the 45-120 with a 22 inch barrel. :( But performance wise I think the guys are right. The only real reason for a 45-120 nowadays is to have something different and the "WOW" factor. That and getting high velocities at lower pressures.

The way I look at it, part of the wrapping for such a "different" cartridge includes a rifle with a longer barrel. And I like long barrels! :) 'sides, in a Handi you can have a longer barrel and still have a short rifle OAL. For that reason I had the BC barrel used for my 45-120 cut to 28 inches.

The fact is that in the future I will probably use, mostly if not exclusively, loads easily attainable in the 45-70 with a 22 inch barrel for any shooting I do with that rifle. But by golly! If I ever get to go to Africa that bad boy, stoked with cartridges loaded to the hilt with powder and topped with 350 gr. spritzers, will go as my "plains game" rifle! I've got my 50-140 for the big stuff! :D
 

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RT8 said:
Seems like it would be WAY cheaper to sell the 444 barrel and buy a 45-70 barrel and have it rechambered, rather than having to have a bigger hole drilled through a 444 barrel.

Well DUH! Of course Rob's right! I think most of us here did the rechambering from 45-70 to 45-120 ourselves! With all the 45-70 that were made there is no way I'd have anything rebored/rerifled to .458!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I will already own the entire rifle (444 marlin). I have an aversion to extra components; if I have a stock set I must make a rifle, if I have a receiver I must make a rifle, if I have a barrel I must make a rifle...it's an addiction and a compulsion all rolled into one. The total cost of turning the 444 into a 45-120 or 90 or 110 would be $225.00. If I buy a new barrel to have rechamberred I will have to put a new receiver under it and a new stock set behind it. I believe that cost will be on my side, if I send the barrel for reboring???? Now, if there are some generous kind-hearted souls out there that would be willing to donate the necessary components for a 45-120 build, that would be a different story :D .
 

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hosscat said:
Now, if there are some generous kind-hearted souls out there that would be willing to donate the necessary components for a 45-120 build, that would be a different story :D .

Sorry ol' hoss... I already gave my extra 45-70 barrel to a member who wants to make a ML out of it. :-\
 

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hosscat said:
I will already own the entire rifle (444 marlin). I have an aversion to extra components; if I have a stock set I must make a rifle, if I have a receiver I must make a rifle, if I have a barrel I must make a rifle...it's an addiction and a compulsion all rolled into one. The total cost of turning the 444 into a 45-120 or 90 or 110 would be $225.00. If I buy a new barrel to have rechamberred I will have to put a new receiver under it and a new stock set behind it. I believe that cost will be on my side, if I send the barrel for reboring? ??? Now, if there are some generous kind-hearted souls out there that would be willing to donate the necessary components for a 45-120 build, that would be a different story :D .
IDK how much a rechamber on a 45-70 would be, but I've bought several used 45-70 rifles for under $200. Then you still have the 444 AND the 45-Something
 

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A Its your gun, your choice, right or wrong.

B Sounds like you have .45-70 already.

C My advise, get a good 300 - 320 grain mold and play with the load in the .444 until you are happy with it and leave it as a .444.

D If you want one of the more powerful variants, I'd think it would be a lot more reasonable to ream out an existing .45-70.

If in doubt, remember A, your gun, your money, your choice.

(Buying guns is one thing, that only takes money. Tuning a cartridge to a particular rifle and yourself. That takes a bit more, and IMO is more fun, but your mileage may vary)
 

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Nothing like the Big 50-140 as far as the WOW factor when you set a box of those
big, long cartridges out on the bench at the range and everyone looks at
you like you just let your pet cobra loose or something!
The only problem is, I end up letting everyone else try it and then I have to go home and reload them again!!!
Might get to actually sit down and have a real range section one day
if I can ever catch the range empty!!!






LONGTOM

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if you need to clean out the public range,
fire a few nice nasty muzzleloader loads.
that usually gets me a few snide remarks
as they're loading their gear and leaving
 
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