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Ok, here's my delima, this year, since my birthday, father's day and anniversary all fell on the same weekend, I talked my wife into buying me a new gun...one present for all three! :D So, I've been looking. My 11 year old daughter told me that she want's to go deer hunting this year, so my initial choices were a .243 or a .30-30...something that I thought might be a little easier on her. Well, I was in my local gun shop the other day and noticed a new .444p Marlin. The owner told me that he'd make me a good deal on it if I'd buy it. He's a good friend of mine and business is really tight right now. I'd really like to help him out. :rolleyes: To be honest, I've fallen in love with that gun and would really like to have it. I do reload. Can anyone tell me, can I get this cartridge down to levels mild enough for her, yet stout enough for deer? Where we're hunting, we're only looking at ranges or 50-100 yards. I don't know that I'd feel comfortable letting her take a shot longer than that.

This year she went turkey hunting and shot 20ga 1 1/8oz heavy field loads. We spent several afternoons in the field patterning and practicing without too much of a problem. The ports aren't a problem because both her and I use electronic hearing protection in the field and muff/plugs on the range.

I'd appreciate your thoughts!

Eric
 

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Eric,

I'd say BUY IT! First off, the 444P has been discontinued, and they are difficult to find. Secondly, you can handload that cartridge from 600 fps round ball loads all the way up to moose and grizzly stoppers. A nice load for your daughter would be a 240-265 grain bullet pushed along at around 1200-1300 fps. The 1-20" twist of the Outfitter model will stabilize your bullets very well at reduced velocites, and you'll have .44 magnum performance out of the rifle, that won't kick your daughter in the least, with the ported barrel. Then, as the need or desire arises, that rifle can be used to hunt anything North America has to offer.

Just because a Ferrari will go 220 mph, doesn't mean that it'll be driven that fast all the time. Same's true with the .444. It'll do the grizzly thing, but for most hunting, .44 mag equivilent loads will do about 85% of what you'll ever ask it to accomplish.

Buy the gun! It's relatively light, handles well, is short and managable. The porting will arrest the recoil factor regardless of the level of loads fired through it, and besides.... if you like it, what else needs be said? Also, they aren't making them anymore, and odds are, if you don't like it, you'll be able to get your money out of it most any time you want.

Food for thought.

God Bless,
 

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Eric, I agree, buy it!
My short barreled Winchester Timber Rifle shoots bevel base SWC bullets very well. 16.2 grains of Alliant Unique gets just shy of 1500 fps with good 50 to 75 yard accuracy. The recoil is very manageable. These loads are pretty quiet. Take care with a young person and a ported .444. Those ports can be very noisy. If you shoot from blinds or cover dont forget ear protection.
With lead gas check bullets you can speed them up to about 1900 fps and still keep the noise and recoil pretty managble.
In my pre-teen years I used to shoot a Model 94 year round with light loads. After sighting in for deer season there were a few years when I hoped I wouldnt see a deer! The crooked stocks on the lever guns can push a 60 to 70 pound kid around a bit. When shooting at game I never noticed recoil, but the thinking about kept me a little tense until I put some meat on my bones!
 

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Well, I went and bought the .444P. Walked out the door with a brand new rifle and $350.00 less in my pocket! I can't wait to start playing. BTW, I went the KC, Kansas Cabela's store today for their annual Fall Hunting Expo. My buddy and I walked away VERY disappointed. I went, of course, looking for a bargain on a new rifle. What I found was that even at their "sale" price, they were STILL considerably higher than I have seen the same guns selling for elsewhere. I won't make that mistake again!

Eric
 

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Eric,
I think you will be very happy.
It's hard to be in the gun buisness. There is so much discounting...
Our gun show seem retail plus!
To put your purchase in perspective.... I just bought a new in the box top eject M-94BB in .375 Winchester - I had to give $400.00 for it. I'd say you got a pretty good deal!
 
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