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  #1  
Old 03-04-2008, 02:39 PM
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444 Marlin for Browns and Grizzly


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Has anybody here taken a Brown or Griz with a 444 Marlin, or do any of you have first hand experience with someone who has. I am interested in the performance of the cartridge on these game animals.
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  #2  
Old 03-30-2008, 08:15 AM
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Ok! after giving this a few weeks and recieving no answer............Has, or does anybody know anyone, that has taken a large bear with the 405 Winchester? The ballistic data of the 444 and the 405 are near identical, so, that would give a pretty good idea of the performance of the 444.
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  #3  
Old 03-30-2008, 09:08 AM
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Yes Dave Scovill has taken Alsakan Brown Bear with the 405 Winchester and Phil Shoemaker used Daves 405 on a number of differnt speies of game ... Ranch Dog used his 444 Marlin for a one shot kill on Nilgia....

Last edited by jwp475; 03-30-2008 at 10:32 AM.
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  #4  
Old 03-30-2008, 10:08 AM
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jwp475......Thanks! thats the kind of info I am looking for!!! I figure that any cartridge with a proven record (405 Win) compared with another cartridge of similar ballistics (444), should give a fair idea of how the less popular/less used cartridge (the 444) should perform. I have heard nothing but good things about the 405 and its reliablilty record at taking everything on the planet, including Africa's Big 5. Thanks!!!! I would like to hear more!
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  #5  
Old 03-31-2008, 08:46 AM
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Who took Africa's Big 5 with the 405?
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  #6  
Old 03-31-2008, 09:22 AM
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Flat top are you planning an Alaska hunt? If so you'll have a guide with a backup rifle. I'd sure check with your guide service as to the use of the 444. Some of the guides are picky about what a client carries and shoots. The 444 with the right bullets delivers plenty of energy, but I'd prefer something bigger. Lots of folks shot the 338 Win mag along with the 375 H&H during the time I spent in Alaska. I used a Remington 8mm Mag with 220 grain bullets with good success.

Most of the guides I knew up there preferred a client carry a rifle that he could shoot well rather than one of the really big magnums. I've known folks to take browns and grizzly with the 06 and the 444 certianly falls withing that energy envelope.
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  #7  
Old 03-31-2008, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alyeska338 View Post
Who took Africa's Big 5 with the 405?

I don't have a clue about the idenity of anyone taking the Big 5 with the 405, but I did read an article about Olsa Johnson a beautiful woman from days gone by and she used a 405 to protrct her husband as he filmed wildlife in Africa. According to the article a herd of Cape Buffalo raced toward her husband as he filmed and she dropped 2 of the Buffalo and turned the herd with a 405.....
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:28 AM
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Alyeska338; I probably said that wrong, so I will correct myself. To my knowledge, no "one" hunter has taken the Big 5 with the 405....but, in my meanderings on the web, and the reading material I have gone through over the years, each of the big five has been taken with the 405, and, I believe that Teddy Roosevelt, and son Kermit individually had taken some of the Big 5 with the 405. Also, I have a faint memory of Peter Hathaway Capstick writing about Africa's largest game being taken with the 405 ....but, dont quote me on that, I do tend to have "senior moments" from time to time! Craig Boddington and his daughter took Water Buffalo in Australia with the 405.....the fella that owns Midway USA...Larry Potterfield, I believe his name is, did a safari and took lion and Capes with the 405, and I had read of the photographers assistant (thnks jwp475) taking charging Capes with the 405....I also read where he had killed Rhino, Elephant and such with the 405 as well................You know, some very large game has been taken with some very marginal cartridges, and I think the hunters skill with his weapon probably has more to do with it than anything else. Years ago, most folks were very proud of their shooting skills....today in the deer woods around my area, I hear more blasting, multiple repeat shots, and semi auto fire than I do one shot and silence! Kind of tells you something.

Faucettb: Yes, I have been reserching outfitters and have come across some that have caliber requirements....What I have seen from most is 06 or better. But, there are outfitters that guides Blackpowder and Flintlock hunters, and bowhunters as well.
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  #9  
Old 04-03-2008, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwp475 View Post
I don't have a clue about the idenity of anyone taking the Big 5 with the 405, but I did read an article about Olsa Johnson a beautiful woman from days gone by and she used a 405 to protrct her husband as he filmed wildlife in Africa. According to the article a herd of Cape Buffalo raced toward her husband as he filmed and she dropped 2 of the Buffalo and turned the herd with a 405.....
We've also read about Lediboor getting stomped to a greasy patch after tackling elephant with a 405... From JA Hunter's book. Look for the post "Lediboor did not suffer" in the African forum here.

A few hunts, either way, do not make or break a cartridge. The 280 Ross was a wicked killer on all matter of African big game until a Brit got eaten by a lion after wounding it.
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  #10  
Old 04-03-2008, 03:10 PM
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Flat Top,

The long term (I have been away since childhood) Alaskans and your guide can help with specifics about current practices.

Marshal that owns BTB is the one to ask about .444 bullets and loads. I think that his work on the round is very impressive, and is well written-up here on the website.

I will just add the caveat that the old stories that are sometimes great reads come from a time when fewer choices were available, and attitudes toward personal risk and ethics toward the game were different. I think that they were more near right about risk, but very wrong on the hunting ethics side.

I have been reading Charles Sheldon's accounts of Alaskan hunting in 1904-06. He used a .256 for all his hunting, including the large bears. He and his party shot what they found with little regard to sex or age and did not often follow-up the wounded. He was not some yahoo either, but an important naturalist in association with the biological survey then being done. Different times.
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  #11  
Old 04-03-2008, 04:21 PM
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Fireplug: I do hope to do Alaska within the next few years...I am not getting any younger, and if I am going to do it, it will have to be soon! I will definately go with a guide service, and a back up. I will not take the big bear lightly!!!! I have talked with Marshall on a few occasions...good guy, seems to really love what he does, and his attitude is contageous!!! I ordered his fire lapping kit, and have some of his 325's being made up and shipped. He comes highly recommended by some of the best in the business. In the long run I am better off using Marshalls proven products!!!.................Yes, I agree, things have changed especially on the "ethics" front. I think now-a-days we have a lot more "respect" for what we hunt...primarily, because most of us do not hunt to eat...we are "sport hunters"!!!! I have always believed that its not getting the game, but how you get the game that matters. I have passed on a lot of "marginal" shots, and am not afraid to wait for the right shot. If I dont get the trophy, there is always next seaon! It seems, for me, that hunting is more about the "whole experience" rather than bringing home a trophy. I dont hunt from tree stands, or ground blinds, or over bait (which where I hunt is illegal...although some do it). I just like to keep everything as simple as I can, and over the years, I have worked hard to sharpen my hunting and shooting skills, so i can get in close and get just the right shot to put the game away. Its a challending way to hunt for sure, but it would kind of be boring, for me, any other way.
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  #12  
Old 04-03-2008, 05:04 PM
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Alyeska338; I was over on the African Hunting Info .com website doing some cartridge comparisons...anyway, they have a fella...a noted authority on African game and cartridges giving disertations on each of the cartridges used over there. It amazed me that some of the largest most powerfull cartridges are only considered to be potent at POINT BLANK RANGE!!!! This is from a fella that has done this kind of work his whole life...over there!!! Some of the lesser cartridges are potent for the same large game animals, at distance. The 405 is not even mentioned by him, but, he does mention lesser cartridges ballistically, that evidently seem to get the job done..................If you ever hear that Flat Top got flattened by an Elephant, it was because Flat Top was too darn close to it, and didnt get out of the way....not because Flat Top was carrying a 444, or whatever!.....................and, you are 100% correct "a few hunts either way do not make or break a cartridge"! Again, I still believe that its the hunter, his skill as a marksman when under pressure, his mettle, that makes or breaks a hunt. I have also heard of hunters carrying the biggest and the best for the job, that got themselves into a scrape, not because of what they were shooting, but because of thier inability to handle the situation. So, in my estimation, the caliber is important, but the hunter is the "most important" part of the equation...........Anyway, I am going to try to hunt that post up that you spoke of...should be some interesting reading! I am sure I will learn a great deal! Thanks!
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Old 04-03-2008, 05:37 PM
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Alyeska338; Well, I must say, that it seems to me that the caliber (wish I knew which 450 caliber it was) wasnt the problem that caused poor Lediboors demise, as much as it was his own stupidity!!!! Hunting without a PH......and worst yet approaching a downed animal immediately after it was shot...heck, I wont do that with any animal...even a squirrel.........let alone an Elephant!!!!! Wild animals are called that because they are! A wounded animal, one that has not expired, regardless of its size can be something to reckon with! A buddy of mine used to pick up squirrels right after he shot them....he lost his finger tip! The squirrel eventually died, but he did get his licks in on my buddy!................I will bet that old Lediboors was all wound up for the hunt....proabaly got elephant fever, a case of the heebie-jeebies....blew the shot, and then made the most fatal mistake of all, ending his illustrious career as a hunter!
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  #14  
Old 01-13-2011, 02:16 AM
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ive hunted with the 444 here in alaska and always felt undergunned so i put it away to be a project gun. its a short barreled gun and handles very nice but just lacks the horsepower needed i feel for that once in a lifetime situation where the sudden power and stopping ability is needed. i know a fella that didnt have the horsepower and lost a leg in the jaws of an enraged grizz that him and his partner stumbled onto while moose hunting a few years ago.

my rifle to go into the thick stuff with is a 375 ruger with a shortened barrel. not fun to shoot but very able if and when the need arises...my other "brush/4-wheeler" gun is a marlin SBL stainless rifle that i load with rcbs 500gr bullets going 1500 fps. another not fun gun to bench but a darlin when it comes to feeling comfy on the trail or snuggled down in my sleeping bag at nite.

nothing will take the place of being aware of your surroundings tho while your in ursulas front room messin around. and try very hard not to stumble on his/her food that they will and do cover with brush and wait nearby to protect from all comers...when stumbled on in this fassion you will NEVER have enough gun along so always bring as much as you can handle...and dont "settle" for a 444 with those little slugs that move rather slowly and are just as liable to really iritate some bear and couse him to go on the war path...other hunters in the area will most likely suffer from such an encounter.

not trying to discourage you from the hunt of a lifetime...just be prepared for what may come. we are not on top of the food chain up here.
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  #15  
Old 01-14-2011, 02:42 AM
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I'm planning to go brown bear hunting in 2012, health permitting. I'm taking "Baby", my 500 Jeffery ...





Chuck
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  #16  
Old 11-09-2011, 02:09 PM
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After reading storys about a 444 and grizzley I would not get one! I was reading a story this AM about a man hunting white tails with a 444 at 10yds or feet a grizzley came at him he fired 2 times put the bear down the bear got up and ran away! next day it was found dead.A 45/70 with 405 hard cast would did a BETTER JOB THEN THE 444.The 45/70 is over a 130 years old and the 444 is more modern but is handicaped by the small bullets DIA.
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  #17  
Old 11-15-2011, 08:42 AM
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Jack; First off, the 444 did the job.........it kept that fella from being eaten! Secondly. that fella was "deer hunting" with a "deer load"....and, it amazes me that the 444 with that bullet did so well. Personally I would not have chosen that bullet or load to hunt deer with in bear territory, rather picking a heavier bullet and a stout load....my signature line says it all!

I chose the 444 Marlin because of its "performance potential" in a Marlin lever gun. My Safari Grade 444 modification can send a 405 grain BTB bullet at 2160 fps (my accuracy load) developing 4200 ft lbs of energy, and a TKO of 54.....and that is not a top end load!!! This load duplicates the 450-400 Nitro Express, and the 404 Jeffery....two "historically proven" large AFRICAN game loads. An unmodified 444 can produce velocities and energy's that can attain 3500+ ft lbs and a TKO of 47, and with the right bullet will easily take any North American game animal.

I have not met an animal yet that when hit with a .429 dia bullet has complained that it is too small, and some feel that the smaller diameter big bores actually offer better penetration. I guess that may be why the .400 class of African large game cartridges have had such an illustrious history. Also something to consider is bullet weight, and again, more African large game has been taken with bullet weights in the 400 range and less, than any other bullet weight...another historically proven fact.....and, the diminutive 30-30, and the 30-06 are the all time large game takers here in North America, last time I looked.

With modern bullets and loads the 444 will get the job done, if the shooter does his part.
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  #18  
Old 11-15-2011, 05:11 PM
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I agree I think the 444 with proper loads will work just fine, in the right hands.. there is no magic bullet or magic guns.. have to do the part about puttin it in there... B2B
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:28 AM
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Flat Top

you know what I think. it's THE BULLET. and the animal doesn't much care what the thing comes out of. weight and construction are the two decisive factors, given proper placement. velocity comes in a weak fourth place. a 405 with soft frangible hollowpoints isn't gonna be a great buffalo-stopper gun. a 405 and a 444 with an indestructible bullet is gonna kill everything it can penitrate to the vitals.

IMO the only thing caliber governs is throw-weight. and that takes us back to bullet performance.

Great topic

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  #20  
Old 11-16-2011, 06:45 AM
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Thats true Griz, it always boils down to the bullet. That is why I designed the SG 444 around the BTB 405. I could also use a BTB 300 or Belt Mountain Punch Bullet as well.........300 grains at 2500 out of the SG 444. I think, that would put anything to rest quickly.
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