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  #1  
Old 08-30-2006, 06:40 AM
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A "Rimless" 444 Marlin...


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An excellent cartridge for bolt action rifles can be made by necking up 6mm Remington brass to accept a .429 to .430 diameter 44 caliber bullet! I have built several rifles on both Remington and Ruger actions for this would and from the customers that report back, it is one of the best "brush" guns out there...

I call this round the 444-Rimless as it is basically a rimless version of the 444 Marlin and is loaded using regular 444 Marlin dies and 444 Marlin loading data. To keep from splitting the necks on the 6mm brass, it is first expanded to 30 caliber, then annealed and then is fully expanded to 44 caliber. The case is then full length sized in a 444 Marlin die and then loaded the same as you would a regular 444 Marlin. The 6mm case is also trimmed to the same exact length as that of the 444 - 2.225"...

I started building guns for the 444-Rimless several years ago at the request of many customers wanting a close range "sledge hammer" round for use in their bolt action rifles as they did not want to shoot anything in lever action or automatic for. After a couple days thought to what these guys wanted, I chambered a barrel for one of my 98 Mausers to the new round, loaded up several different bullet weights and loads and headed to the range. Both feeding and extraction were flawless and accuracy was as good as could be expected from a large caliber round. All 3-shot groups at 50 yards were one ragged hole and most groups at 100 yards were 1" or less. I will admit that the barrel I used on my own gun was a bull barrel that measured 1.200" straight with no taper...

After all testing was completed, I started making phone calls and writing letters to all those whom had expressed an interest in a bolt action "brush gun". Well, after a full month going by and not hearing from anyone, I forgot about the project and moved on to other things. In the second month though, things really took an upward swing. In a 3-week time period, I took in 23 rifles to be built for this "new" rimless 444 Marlin round and everybody was happy. I even sold my HEAVY Mauser that I had built to a hog hunter in Louisiana...

Before anyone asks, the reason for going to the rimless version of the 444 Marlin had to do with the fact that nobody wanted their bolt face opened up accept the 444 Marlin and not have a "standard" size case head if they ever wanted to rebarrel the gun again...

I thought this might give you guys something to ponder over while you're sitting on your deer stands this year or slipping through the woods in places where you could barely see 50 yards in front of your nose. For deer, hogs, black bear or even elk or moose, this is a neat "little" round for use in small carbine rifle....

DAW
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  #2  
Old 08-30-2006, 06:52 AM
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Sounds interesting, but what I can't understand is why you would base it on the 6mm Rem instead of a case that starts much closer to the end result, like 8mm Mauser, or even .30-06 (shortened to 57mm of course)? That is since the 6mm is merely a .257 Roberts necked down, and the Roberts is just a 7x57 Mauser necked down.
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:38 AM
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Just wonder what does it headspace on?
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:58 AM
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ALK8944,

I started with the 6mm Remington case because I already had 1,000 rounds of brass since I was already shooting a 66 Ackley Improved...

I eventually settled on using both the 30-06 brass and 35 Whelan brass. Guys with the short actions just trimmed the brass down to 2.225" and the long action guys left the '06 case full length. Some guys have even opted to go even shorter for the Remington Model 7 action and based them off the 308 Winchester case....


faucettb,

this cartridge headspaces off the case mouth. Case length must be exact when loading for this round to prevent possible misfires. I shoot a Remington 700 short action in this cartridge now and over 500 rounds later, I have yet to have a misfire and shooting Remingtons 240 gr. JHP bullet, I can consistantly clover leaf 3-shots at 100 yards from this little 6 1/2 pound gun....

DAW
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  #5  
Old 08-30-2006, 11:25 AM
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When done on chopped 30-06 brass there is a little more meat at the case mouth for headspacing.

http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthr...&page=0#985283
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  #6  
Old 08-30-2006, 11:57 AM
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Headspace does not really seem to be an issue because of the relatively tight chambers....

DAW
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2006, 01:49 PM
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DAW,
I've only just raised a question on this cartridge at 24hour as Ken Howell built it and called it the 425 Rimless Express (also ... 44Whelen, 429Express, 429OKH). I'm EXTREMELY interested in building one on a sporterised M17 action. Would you mind answering whether you had a reamer specifically built for it ... or did you use a 444Marlin reamer? If the second ... what do you do at the case mouth to form a definite stop for headspacing on? How did you hold cases back in the chamber to allow them to fireform when using a Rem700 type action, I assume in a Mauser action the extractor claw held the case against the bolt-face? You mentioned a 308Win length case ... how was that chamber cut? I've got a squillion questions IF you dont mind answering them as gunsmiths in Australia think your pulling their leg when you mention this kind of cartridge. One 'smith will build it for me ... but I need to do the research for him before he'll contemplate it.
Cheers...
Con
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Old 08-30-2006, 04:19 PM
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I'm not so sure I would want a high pressure rifle cartridge that has only the case mouth to headspace on. With the cost of reamers all about the same price I think I would much rather have done something on one of the belted cases such as Marlin did with their 450 Marlin. I think this is why we don't see many rifle cases made to headspace in this manner.

With all the trouble the 35 Whalen and 40 Whalen went thru even with a small shoulder to headspace on I'd sure be careful with this cartridge.
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  #9  
Old 08-30-2006, 04:31 PM
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I always thought Walt Melander did this first. Walt has at least two heavy bullet molds in the NEI catalog specificly for this cartridge. He wrote about in The Fouling Shot many years ago and in another magazine whose name excapes me at the moment. The cartridge worked out very well and he ended up building several rifles for it. Walt used .30-06 cases to form his brass.
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  #10  
Old 08-30-2006, 07:17 PM
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I had a reamer built for this cartridge back in 1984 if I'm not mistaking. Records indicate that I've cut just over 400 chamberings with this particular reamer. Two thirds have been on the 308 length actions and the other third on 06' length actions as well as a couple of Ruger #1's...

Most reamers are ground with a "taper" just in front of the case mouth leading to the freebore section that the reamer cuts before the leade angle cut on the reamer. My reamer cuts "square" instead of tapered and as such, this square section is what stops the case from going deeper into the chamber when a round is chambered. This is why it is so important to make sure all of the case lengths are trimmed to the EXACT same case length. Example: two weeks ago I rebarreled a Ruger M77 for the full length 06' case necked to the 44-06 as it is now called and the customer told me he had 100 rounds of Lapua 30-06 brass and that he had measured the length of all 100 rounds and the "shortest" one measured exactly 2.497". John sent me that case and I necked it up to accept a .430 bullet diameter and trimmed it just enough to square the case mouth and came up with an overall case length of 2.489". I called John and gave him this measurement and advised him to trim all cases to 2.489" and be EXACT with his case trimming after all cases were opened up to .44 caliber. He told me that he wanted the chamber throated for Hornady's 300 gr. XTP so when I cut the throat, that bullet will very lightly contact the lands when seated to the first cannelure per his request. I loaded and fired the one case that he sent me five different times with the following load:

CASE: Lapua 30-06 necked to accept a .430 diameter bullet and trimmed to an exact length of 2.489"...

PRIMER: Winchester WLR

POWDER: H-4895 / 56.0 gr.

BULLET: Hornady 300 gr. XTP seated to first cannelure...

VELOCITY: 2,362 fps. - 25" barrel...

With cases trimmed to the correct and chambered, they come to a dead stop on the square shoulder of the case mouth and cannot be driven deeper into the chamber during firing. There is a maximum of .002 headspace between a chambered round and the bolt face and as such, this virtually eleminates the possibility of ever having a round not go off when the trigger is pulled....

DAW
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  #11  
Old 08-31-2006, 04:46 AM
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DAW,
What sort of velocities do you get out of your Rem700 short-action is this chambering? Would you also mind commenting on the dimensions of your reamer? I probably need to sleep on this and it'll become clear ... but a 444Marlin reamer has no freebore, it goes straight into a 5deg throat after the case mouth. Your reamer would (I'm guessing) have a case mouth diameter of around 0.455", then a square shoulder to a freebore section of diameter of 0.432ish (?) which would be pretty short and then into the 5deg throat to the pilot ???? Which I assume means that my 'smith with a 444Marlin reamer is basically looking at grinding the "square shoulder and freebore section" into an existing reamer and viola a rimless 444?!?!
Cheers...
Con
PS. Bit disconcerting hitting the Shift key and 444 and getting $$$ ... hope that's not a bad omen.
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  #12  
Old 08-31-2006, 01:12 PM
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Con,

the BASE DIAMETER my reamer cuts is: .468

There is NO rim counterbore on the reamer...

Reamer is designed to cut a "square" shoulder at the case mouth...

There is no throat section on this reamer as I do all throating after the complete chamber section is cut. My throaring reamer cuts a 1 1/2 degree lead angle at a diameter of .4300. The depth or free bore section is cut based on the bullet weight, type and length of bullet the cxustomer is planning on shooting. If one is going to shoot hard cast 320 gr. bullets or something like the Hornady 300 gr. XTP, it would naturally have a longer free bore section than one that just wanted to shoot bullets of 240 gr. weight or less...

CASE MOUTH DIAMETER is: .454

My Remington 700 short astion that I built in 44-08 will push the Remington 240 gr. JHP bullets to just over 2,300 fps. from it's 21" stainless steel barrel. This is not the highest velocity clocked from this barrel but it is the most accurate....

DAW
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  #13  
Old 09-01-2006, 02:18 AM
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Thanks DAW,
That information is very much appreciated. Do you use the same reamer/throater to cut short and long chambers? Also ... why do you cut a freebore to suit the customer's projectile choice ... is that just a nicety offered to customers or is it some other reason? Me personally ... I'd like the option of testing the cartridge with 180gr through to 300gr projectiles but admit I'd settle on the 265gr Hornady.
Lastly ... those velocities quoted for the SA Rem just make me feel plain good! They certainly wont bounce of anything! What case length do you use for the Rem700 SA ... might cut some 30/06 down this week to calculate water capacity and get a mate to run the numbers through QuickLoad using teh 265gr Hornady. I'm only sorry I'm on the other side of the world and unable to send you the work to do for me.
Cheers...
Con
PS: I'm happy to continue this conversation on your forum if you'd prefer, or via email.
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  #14  
Old 09-01-2006, 05:40 AM
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Con,

since I run on the small side of base diameters to keep the cases from bulging at the base, I have one reamer for the 308 length 444 and another one for the longer '06 length 444 chamberings. I do use the same throater for all my 44 and 444 cartridges...

There are a couple of guys that have me throat specifically for Sierra's 180 gr. JHP and feel that if the throat is cut for one of the longer 300 grain bullets, they feel that this long freebore section will cause accuracy problems with a bullet that has to "jump" that far before it contacts the rifling. I have tested this myself and a shorter throat does lend itself to better accuracy...

Speaking of the 265 gr. Hornady, I have several hog and black bear hunters that have the "throating" set up specifically for this bullet. Me personally, I like this Hornady bullet as well as SPEER's 270 gr. Gold Dot for wild hogs because of their tough construction for deep penetration...

I have settled on an overall case length of exactly 2.000" and have begun switching over to the Lapua brass in 308 for this specific chambering. I like the strength and quality of this brass and once I finish sizing, trimming and loading these 100 rounds that I have, they will last for a very very long time. I have even used Remingtons Nickel Plated 30-06 brass cut back to 2.000" for use in my Remington and it does make for a "cute" little round. I actually use the nickel plated cases for my hog loads and the regular brass cases for heer hunting and that way, it's easier for me to keep my loads seperated as I'm always looking for a load that is just a little bit better than the one before it...

I'm hoping to get my hands on some of Hornady's "pointed bullets" like what they are loading for their 444 Marlin lever action rounds because of their better ballistic coefficient. In the longer '06 version, this would make for an honest 300 yard round! Everything else though does do very well out to a full 200 yards as far as accuracy and bullet performance on game is concerned. I like the Remington 240 gr. JHP because of the massive wound channel and destruction it creates. The bullet has never exited on a deer and that little bullet just makes a mess of everything it comes in contact with. I would change bullets though if I were hunting BIG deer but since I am more of a meat hunter instead of a horn hunter, I prefer to stay with the smaller deer for better eating...

I do not mind keeping this thread over here and if you decide to build a cartridge like this, then let's keep the thread going to see how your gun turns out, if this is something that you can do in the very near future. When cutting the chamber, ask your gunsmith to throat seperately and cut a tight throat with a proper lead angle for best accuracy without a lot of free bore. If he throats on the large and long side, any of the lighter weight bullets may not shoot worth a poot if they have to jump into the lands at a less than perfect entry into the lands...

Anything else, just ask!

DAW
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  #15  
Old 09-01-2006, 07:59 AM
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Mr. White,

I'll throw a twist into the conversation. Your 44-308 (two inch) version is of a size that would work through my Marlin 336. A 2.00" case with a BTB (.429") cast 280-300 grain GC bullet would be ~2.350" (depending on the bullet) which is less than the COL (2.525") for the .35 Rem for which my rifle is currently chambered. The bolt face in my Marlin is somewhat larger in diameter than the 30-06 case. I've compared.

The question now would be what kind of balistics could be achieved at the lower operating pressures suited to the Marlin 336 action.

Speculations???

Lobo in West Virginia
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  #16  
Old 09-01-2006, 09:16 AM
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Lobo,

just "speculating" here since I have never done any lever action rifles to this cartridge. I would say that if you stay around the 35,000 psi. level for the Marlin 336, you should be able to push a 240 gr. bullet to around 2,100 fps. from a 21" barrel...

Let me throw another twist into the conversation. How about a .44 caliber cartridge that the overall length of a loaded round is over 3" in length! My 444 WHITE EXPRESS round is as it based off the full length 9.3X74R case left full length and expanded to accept a 44 caliber bullet. I designed this round back in the late 1980's for use in the Ruger #1 and when T/C came out with the Encore, it was adapted to them as well. This round will push the Hornady 300 gr. XTP in excess of 2,500 fps. from a 26" barrel. That translates to an excess of TWO TONS OF ENERGY at the muzzle and right at 3,000 foot pounds of energy at 100 yards and still over 2,000 foot pounds of energy at 200 yards!!! If I get back into shooting the Ruger #1 again, the 444 W-E would definantly be my choice of calibers for chasing after some of the big deer that they have here in the Adirondack Mountains....

DAW
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  #17  
Old 09-03-2006, 12:07 PM
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Hawk precision bullets makes some 44cal bullets that are Spitzers:
Flat Points
200 grains x .035 FP...........$30.50
240 grains x .035 FP...........$31.50
250 grains x .025 FP...........$30.50
250 grains x .035 FP...........$32.00
265 grains x .035 FP...........$33.00
275 grains x .025 FP...........$31.50
275 grains x .035 FP...........$33.50
300 grains x .025 FP...........$32.50
300 grains x .035 FP...........$34.50

Spitzers (.429")
275 grains x .025 SPZ..........$34.50
300 grains x .035 SPZ..........$36.50
350 grains x .035 SPZ..........$38.00
400 grains x .035" SPZ.........$39.50

.................................................. ...................Marko
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  #18  
Old 09-05-2006, 01:33 PM
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Thank You for the information on Hawk Bullets...

DAW
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  #19  
Old 11-26-2006, 04:28 AM
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DAW,
I hope your still about. I've been giving the 444rimless a bit more thought and have some "problems" to solve. I'd appreciate your help.
1. How are you forming cases for your short version that you shoot in a Rem700? Without the Mauser extractor to hold the case on the boltface, you cant fireform so I'm assuming you've made and are using tapered expanders?
2. Tried running some 2" cased dummies (my prefered length) through a Savage action ... magazine feed is non-existant. How much modification of magazine box/feed rails and follower was necessary to get your Rem700 up and running?
3. Have you stuck with a 1:38" barrel twist or gone faster?
Thanks for any help.
Cheers...
Con
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  #20  
Old 11-30-2006, 06:04 PM
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Marlin 444 lever Evo

I'm just a newbie here, I bought a box of the Hornady 444 lever evo's. and discovered they practically duplicate a wildcat I worked up. My wildcat is called the 44 Marsh, for 44 Marlin Short. I took the 356Win. BB. case, and blew it out to a straight taper 44, with cream of wheat. Using C&H custom dies, I've been loading a custom 330 gr. lead slug, in my converted 94 carbine. I don't understand how Hornady and Marlin can sell a short case 444 Marlin, without explaining that it cannot be reloaded, roll crimped, for a tube magazine, with std. 444 Marlin Reloading dies. It's way too short, in order to make room for the long ogive profile of the plastic tipped jacketed bullet. Any imput here would be appreciated, but the idea of headspacing on case mouths for rifles, is not my cup of tea. The 400 Whelan caused a mess, in it's day. The 307-356 Win. BB cases all headspace on their semi rims, unlike the 220 Swift. With one of the pointy bullets, my 44 Marsh, feeds nicely out of a K 98, box magazine. My idea was to use different rims, read shellholders, to load for various old military and lever actions. A 336 conv. would use the new lever Evo. rim, but just be trimmed back, so only the lower pressure rounds would chamber. Russkie, Smelly's, et al. will use their respective rims, but all trimmed to 308 Win. length. I think the levers will need their max S.A.A.M.I. chamber specs, for reliability. My goal was to split the difference between the 401SLR, and mighty 405 win. when they both were in carbine length barrels. . Thanx and waiting feedback.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW
Con,

since I run on the small side of base diameters to keep the cases from bulging at the base, I have one reamer for the 308 length 444 and another one for the longer '06 length 444 chamberings. I do use the same throater for all my 44 and 444 cartridges...

There are a couple of guys that have me throat specifically for Sierra's 180 gr. JHP and feel that if the throat is cut for one of the longer 300 grain bullets, they feel that this long freebore section will cause accuracy problems with a bullet that has to "jump" that far before it contacts the rifling. I have tested this myself and a shorter throat does lend itself to better accuracy...

Speaking of the 265 gr. Hornady, I have several hog and black bear hunters that have the "throating" set up specifically for this bullet. Me personally, I like this Hornady bullet as well as SPEER's 270 gr. Gold Dot for wild hogs because of their tough construction for deep penetration...

I have settled on an overall case length of exactly 2.000" and have begun switching over to the Lapua brass in 308 for this specific chambering. I like the strength and quality of this brass and once I finish sizing, trimming and loading these 100 rounds that I have, they will last for a very very long time. I have even used Remingtons Nickel Plated 30-06 brass cut back to 2.000" for use in my Remington and it does make for a "cute" little round. I actually use the nickel plated cases for my hog loads and the regular brass cases for heer hunting and that way, it's easier for me to keep my loads seperated as I'm always looking for a load that is just a little bit better than the one before it...

I'm hoping to get my hands on some of Hornady's "pointed bullets" like what they are loading for their 444 Marlin lever action rounds because of their better ballistic coefficient. In the longer '06 version, this would make for an honest 300 yard round! Everything else though does do very well out to a full 200 yards as far as accuracy and bullet performance on game is concerned. I like the Remington 240 gr. JHP because of the massive wound channel and destruction it creates. The bullet has never exited on a deer and that little bullet just makes a mess of everything it comes in contact with. I would change bullets though if I were hunting BIG deer but since I am more of a meat hunter instead of a horn hunter, I prefer to stay with the smaller deer for better eating...

I do not mind keeping this thread over here and if you decide to build a cartridge like this, then let's keep the thread going to see how your gun turns out, if this is something that you can do in the very near future. When cutting the chamber, ask your gunsmith to throat seperately and cut a tight throat with a proper lead angle for best accuracy without a lot of free bore. If he throats on the large and long side, any of the lighter weight bullets may not shoot worth a poot if they have to jump into the lands at a less than perfect entry into the lands...

Anything else, just ask!

DAW
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