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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
Trying to find a bullet that will work well in both my .44 mag S&W 629 and the marlin 444 (which I hope to be getting soon). Wanted to know if a .432 diameter would cause a lot of leading in the 629. I was thinking of getting the beartooth .432 300gr bullet to be used in hunting bear and deer i for both my 629 and the 444. Anybody have any experience with this bullet or the 290 grn bullet?
 

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Piney Woods Moderator
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I use several cast bullets of .432 diameter in my 44 mag rifle and pistol and my 444 Marlin. This seems to be the best diameter for 44 cast bullets. I have used the BTB 280 and 290 grains in both guns but have settled on the Ranchdog 265 gr LFN as an all around bullet. I also use the Hornady 265 gr JFP in both 44 and 444 with good success.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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The Beartooth offering best for the .444, my opinion, is the 290 LFN. Whether that will chamber in your Smith at 0.432" is something you'd have to check. In a Ruger - most likely in my experience. Smith.... maybe....
 

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Since you say you haven't gotten the Marlin yet, why not wait and see what the bore size slugs out to? That will tell you what bullet size to use and whether it may or may not be compatible with another arm insofar as diameter is concerned.

In my own experience, Marlin .44 barrels tend to run a little oversize. You very well may need a .432 bullet.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all for the advice. Sit and wait sounds good. I have read in other posts that barrel diameters can vary.
Anybody use a powder that can be used in the 444, 30-30, 30-06, and 45/70?
Would H4895 give me good hunting loads ( deer, bear, elk) in all of these calibers? Or is there another powder that is better for all 4?
 

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cali-newbie; I shoot the 44 mags (Smith, Ruger) and the 444 Marlin. I use different bullets for different purposes, but my go to 444 bullet is the 325 LCMNGC that Marshall makes. This will most likely be a bullet that is used with my Redhawk in conjuction with 444. My Blackhawk likes just about any bullet that I put through it. My Smith is too fragile for the heavyweights at max pressure. Like Mike said, I think that a 290 for the 444 and the "Smith" would be a great combination, although I would keep the 290 in the Smith at 1000 fps or so, as a close range back up load, and that weight bullet and load wouldnt tear the fragile Smith up. My powder choice for the 444 is H322. I have found it to be very forgiving of temperature extremes, and is very easy to meter and load. It gives excellent ballistic uniformity/accuracy in my 444. As far as powder, bullet, and load combination for either gun, only some research and testing will prove what works for you.
 

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Anybody use a powder that can be used in the 444, 30-30, 30-06, and 45/70?
Would H4895 give me good hunting loads ( deer, bear, elk) in all of these calibers? Or is there another powder that is better for all 4?
H-4895 should work fine in all the calibers you mention. Hodgdon has plenty of data for H-4895 in each application. However, when choosing one powder for dissimilar applications, keep in mind that it may not be the best choice for each caliber.
 

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That's what I thought to mention when I saw the question. You can make the 4895 work in them all, but it will be best in the .30-06 and the .30-30 will like it with 170 grain flat points. The straighter cases have too much bullet cross-sectional area relative to the chamber size for that powder in most instances. Only if you use the heaviest bullets will it make it to starting pressures in them without resorting to a lot of charge compression. Something like H4198 will be much more satisfactory in the .444 and .45-70, giving higher pressures and velocities as needed.

Regarding bullet diameter, I usually find, as Marshall says in his technical book, revolvers will be most accurate with bullets 0.002" over groove diameter. They also lead least with that, IME. The same seems to be true in most lever action rifles I've played with. Accuracy is generally lower either side of that. Fortunately, since you have a loading press, you can get the inexpensive Lee sizer for 0.430" that goes on your loading press and just run your Beartooth bullets through it before loading revolver rounds. Those bullets are pretty hard and will spring back out a little after going through the die, and that will likely be close enough to .431" to keep the Smith pretty happy.

Worst case, it is pretty easy to open up one of the Lee tools with some wet/dry paper on a split dowel, or to lap it open by embedding one of the bullets with some 320 grit lapping compound and running it through over and over. Either way, you'll need to stop and check progress with a good bullet once in awhile, but you'll get there.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Varget may work in all of them - I have used it in 3 of the 4. But you really do need a faster powder for the .444 till you get to the real heavy bullets.....
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Great advice guys. My second choice was H4198. I would really like to get down to just 2 calibers for every thing from self defense to hunting. I'm going for the .357 and .44 diameter bullets. .357 mag for SD and for the 35 remington and .44 mag for handgun hunting hunting and the marlin 444. That way I only have to buy 2 caliber bullets to buy (not necessarily the same weights and bullet configurations.. Any comments would be great on choosing these two calibers.
 

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Not bad choices. The only thing that gets left out of the equation currently is something for long range shooting. You may not have opportunities for that where you are? If you do, the .35 Whelen is an option that stays in your caliber bin. Some of the Sierra 225 grain SPBT's and enough 748 and you can put a hurt on things to 600 yards.
 
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