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I've heard that the slow 1:38 twist in 44 Mag and older 444's doesn't perform well with heavy bullets. Does anyone have experience with this? What kind of accuracy can be expected from these rifles? I keep thinking abouting getting one, but I am concerned that I would be disappointed in the accuracy. Any input? (My only comparison would be a 444 that I had years ago. The heaviest bullet I tried was 265gr but it would shoot them into a little more than a inch)   Thanks!!
 

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Marshall's pet 330 gr load is used in an old model 444. The current models with Ballard rifling are a 1-20 twist. The microgroove barrels are 1-38. I under stand there are some excellent used gun prices in the Microgroove models. Type 444 in the search function in upper left screen and you'll find a lot of perfomance info on the old model 444.
 

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Of course velocity has a great deal to do with stabilization, whatever the twist is. I found, in the .44 mag Marlin 1894P (with Ballard) that plain base bullets at, or longer than, 0.810" keyholed 50% of the time. This same bullet, out of the SBH @ 1300'/", shot well. These were not undersize bullets!!!! Examination of recovered bullets showed markings in the grooves! Therefore is was not stripping. Many people feel that undersize or soft bullets strip. Under most cases I am inclined to lay the blame more on too long a bullet or not enough velocity for stabilization! Weight has little. if any, effect since this same rifle shoots Contender's 280 gr OWC @ 0.780" long like a house afire.
Best Regards, James
 

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I've heard those assertions that the 1:38" twist barrels won't stabilize heavy bullets in the .444 Marlin... it's pure green bull gravy!   Don't beleive it!

I have an old pre-crossbolt model with the Micro-Groove barrel with that twist that has harvested more game than I can remember, all with bullets over 300 grains, and all those loads shoot into an inch or under at 100 yards if I do my part.

I've even pushed the big .432"-405g WLNGC bullet through this gun with perfect satisfaction and great groups, even to 200 yards!  Although I believe that this bullet is outside the efficiency realm of the .444 Marlin, still it stabilized and shot well out of the 1:38" twist barrel, time and again.

To my notion the most effective and efficient really big game load for the .444 Marlin is the .432"-330g LFNGC bullet when loaded to 2200+ fps using 56.0g H335 and a Winchester primer.

What Mr. Gates says is absolutely right, most stabilization problems are either not enough velocity to stabilize the longer bullets, a problem with bullet diameter (.429" and .430" cast bullets are miserable failures in these Micro-Groove barrels), or a problem with basic bullet design, usually with either an abbreviated or undersize front driving band.   Use a bullet of the right diameter, with a strong front driving band and you'll have little or no problems in your .444 Marlin with the 1:38" twist barrel.

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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I've even pushed the big .432"-405g WLNGC bullet through this gun with perfect satisfaction and great groups, even to 200 yards!  Although I believe that this bullet is outside the efficiency realm of the .444 Marlin, still it stabilized and shot well out of the 1:38" twist barrel, time and again.
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Marshall, with my own jacketed bullets at 400grs, I cannot get stabilization out of the Timber Carbine.  

I'm still awaiting the cast 405gr I ordered from you a few months back to see if the extra 100 fps or so will help.

About what velocity did you see the good performance of the heavies?

-CAL
 
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