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I have read all of the loads listed by Marshall and they are real powerhouse loads but was wondering what are some safe reduced loads near or just above the level of the .44 mag.I just bought a 444p and added a wgrs-336 firesight to it and wanted some lighter loads any help would be appreciated.
 

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CB~ Welcome to .444 shooting !:D Im slightly puzzled :confused: as to why you would buy the mighty .444 Marlin and than want to reduce it to a .44 Mag :eek:

Recoil ?? I have used heavy loaeded 325 gn GC bullets that kick hard ans really make to smile ! On the other side of the coin i have found 200 gn jacketed even pushed fast do not kick, when i say do not kick i mean you could shoot all day with out pain ! Unlike those 325 grainers !

Hope some one will help you with the reduced loads you are looking for. Best of luck with your new .444, im sure you will love it like the rest of us :D

Regards Englander
 

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7-10grains of unique with a 240grSWC.........Marko
 

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Hi,

In my Timber Rifle these loads have worked very well with little recoil and a muzzle blast that is acceptable to a shooting partner.

Lyman 429421 30.0 gr. IMR 4227 1615 fps
40.0 gr. IMR 4198 1933 fps

Lyman 429640HP 40.0 gr. IMR 4198 1965 fps

Lyman 429244 40.0 gr. IMR 4198 1948 fps

The HP bullet is a real winner. I seat all of them to work through the magazine. On the -421 and the -244 I just seat them over the front drive band.
My barrel is only 17 3/4". Very little recoil and good accuracy to 100 yards. These are used primarily at 50 yards and less on garden pests and clay birds thrown up on a dirt bank.
 

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Hodgdon's Reduced Loads For 444?

Check the loads over at the Hodgdon Web Site. You can (safely) reduce H-4895 loads to 60% of the max loads listed. Read the summary on this link below:


http://www.hodgdon.com/data/youth/index.php

While they don't list a "Youth" load for the 444, they do list the 30-30 and lots of others for comparison and they explain how to reduce their hunting loads of H-4895.

BTW, their hunting load with H-4895 is a compressed load, so there's lots of room to drop down and remain very safe... It's a slow-burn powder.

Should work great with cast bullets at much reduced velocity!

GOOD LUCK!
 

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Hi,

I was playing with my chronograph this weekend and was shooting up some old pistol bullets. These were commercial cast bevel base SWC bullets sized to .430".
16.2 grains of Alliant Unique gave 1495 fps from my Timber rifle. The noise and fuss are quite manageable with the reduced muzzle pressure.
These loads gave a considerable extreme spread (above 100 fps) due to all of the air space. At 25 yards they were fun to shoot and the plinking accuracy was just fine. Just the thing for practicing working the action and acquiring multiple targets. Now if I just had a running deer target....
 

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Check the loads over at the Hodgdon Web Site. You can (safely) reduce H-4895 loads to 60% of the max loads listed. Read the summary on this link below:


http://www.hodgdon.com/data/youth/index.php

While they don't list a "Youth" load for the 444, they do list the 30-30 and lots of others for comparison and they explain how to reduce their hunting loads of H-4895.

BTW, their hunting load with H-4895 is a compressed load, so there's lots of room to drop down and remain very safe... It's a slow-burn powder.

Should work great with cast bullets at much reduced velocity!

GOOD LUCK!
Dusting off a really old thread to discuss the same topic. I have a peep-sighted 444P and will be using it in a few weeks to hunt deer in the Adirondacks. I plan to use REm 240 JSP and have just started experimenting with loads.

I wish to find something in the range of 1700-1900 fps, and have H4198, IMR 4198, IMR 4895, and some pistol powders like Unique and 2400. I would appreciate any suggestions if you have them. I'll post results as I get into this project.
 

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Many 444 Marlin shooters on this board. I believe the 240-grain bullet is the best compromise for deer. I have not shot deer which weighed over 180 pounds on the hoof with the 444 marlin cartridge so I cannot speak of its performance on big deer.
The 270-grain Speer Gold Dot bullet is an excellent compromise between weight and bullets which will open up readily on light-bodied deer while retaining a good amount of weight for penetration.
I have killed a good number of cull deer with the 240-grain Remington bulk bullets and they perform very well on 125- to 130 pound deer.

Your velocity goals for the 240-grain bullet in the short barrel are easily met with a variety of powders. From my 17.5” barrel Winchester these are good loads.
54.5 grains of IMR 4064 1,845 fps
53.0 grains of IMR or Hodgdon 4895 1,875 to 1,895 fps depending on the brand of powder with Hodgdon a bit faster than IMR.
53.0 grains of IMR 3031 1,901 fps
56.0 grains of IMR 4320 1,929 fps
39.5 grains of IMR 4227 1,978 fps

If you want to push the 240-grain bullets a little faster:
47.0 grains of Hodgdon 4198 2,108 fps
52.0 grains of Hodgdon 322 2,109 fps.
54.0 grains of Hodgdon Benchmark 2,119 fps.


My go-to load for the 240-grain bullets is 49.2 grains of Hodgdon 4198 which gives me 2,257 fps and excellent accuracy. This is a loud load and it gives me a good tongue of flame up through the ports on gray days.

For good plinking and practice loads using Alliant Unique and 240-grain cast bullets:
16.2 grains of Alliant Unique 1,495 fps

Using IMR 4227
30.0 grains of IMR 4227 1,615 fps
 

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Thanks William, those will be great help as I proceed.

I shot a few groups this afternoon with IMR4198 39, 39.5, 40, 40.5 gr. My best group was <3" at 50 yds with 39.5 gr, but I saw a pattern in these groups. Two shots are very close and one is 3x distance away from the others.

My technique is to load the magazine with 3, cycle and shoot, deliberately, but not turtle slow. I need to shoot some groups and watch every shot. Maybe stuff is heating up?

This rifle is fairly new to me. I don't have a long history and haven't learned its quirks.

I need to get off the computer and finish my vacation day chores. Will check back after dark. :D
 

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I have not shot the 240-grain bullets with this light loading of 4198. I turned to faster powders for reduced velocity loads.

I don’t recall if your rifle is new or just new to you. My experience with new Marlin lever action rifles is they have tight spots in the barrels which can affect accuracy with jacketed and cast bullets. These tight spots shoot out in time or you can fire lap your barrel. I choose to shoot them out over time as a rule but I have fire lapped barrels with success.
When you run a tight patch down your bore do you feel tight spots near the Marlin name stamp, the rear sight dovetail or the front sight attach point?

The second thing which may cause fliers is bench technique with the lever action. The lever guns require a bit of thinking with regard to bench technique. I use large rectangular targets of black construction paper. - 6” to 8” tall and 4” wide. I aim for the corners and align the cross hairs across the flat and up one side. You can use all four corners of the paper as aim points. Use scrap printer paper as backing with the black rectangle stapled on top.

You are using reduced loads which help with follow though. When shooting the 444 Marlin from the bench I suggest the use of a PAST type pad. With the short, ported barrels, I suggest the use of double hearing protection - plugs and muffs for all bench work - it helps your concentration after ten shots or so, particularly if you are shooting from a covered firing line. The hardest part is to control recoil the same during each shot. After a time you will see shot hit the paper at 50 yards and with a scope and back light you may see them hit at 100 yards.
If things do not get better bed your forearm hand into the front bag and hold the forend. Use a bag under the but and squeeze it with your arm to raise and lower the point of impact. Holding the forearm in your hand helps to handle recoil the same for every shot.

If you are using iron sights keep in mind the Marlin bead front sight is round and this will cause you trouble with side light. When using the round beads I shoot my best when facing into the light, I shoot reasonably well with back light and I have trouble in strong side light.

If you are using a round bead front sight, I suggest a 25” round black aim point for center holding. This will allow you to put the front sight on the bull with black showing around the bead. I am assuming a 15” distance between your front and rear sight which means your 1/16” front bead will cover 15” at 100 yards. Alternately, you can cut the black circle into a crescent moon so you can bring the front sight up into the crescent.

Many prefer a six o’clock hold with a bead sight and this requires more care when aiming from the bench and I still prefer a half round bottom to my target so I can bring the bead up into the target with light showing around it.

Marlins tend to have a heavy trigger pull. Some of my Marlin triggers will support the weight of the rifle if lifted carefully. You can shoot well with a heavy trigger but it requires concentration and I suggest a good lube on the trigger mechanism - a lube which resists cold helps. LPS-1, 3 in 1 oil and Corrosion X all do pretty well in cold weather.

Other factors will cause fliers but bench technique is the primary culprit, canting is next. The lever guns have a lot of drop at the heel of the stock and it is easy to cant the rifle unless you have a reference point to prevent it.
Keep us posted on your shooting. I enjoy talking about sights, targets the loading. Others on the Beartooth Board shoot far better than I do but I am at least, enthusiastic!
 

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Again, good stuff. This Marlin is new to me but was built in 2000. Don't know how much it has been shot, but exterior is in very good condition. I bought it last winter, but am just now starting to test it. I cleaned the barrel well with copper solvent and have put 20-30 rounds through it since then.

My shooting is informal at the farm. I always use a PAST and ear plugs. I typically shoot off the hood of my pickup with a large cushion rest. I hold the fore end in my hand, not resting on anything. I have come to expect 1-2" groups with any scoped centerfire rifle I've owned at 100 yds with similar technique. I understand that bench shooting is preferred, but I have done this for years with bolt and pump rifles and even single shot H&Rs with good results.

I started shooting this gun with a leupold 1x4 scope. My first handloads were in the middle to upper range of IMR 4198 published loads. They did not group well and I didn't enjoy the recoil. For deer in the woods, I didn't need the power so I decided to find something more comfortable. I also really wanted to use peep sights. The sights are well fastened and I put a bit of white paint on the bead.

I'm currently shooting peep at 50 yds. I cover the target with the bead and use a target that enables me to easily see a fringe around the bead at 50 yds. I have not checked the patch-tight spot idea but will do so.

Unfortunately, I won't have time to test any more loads for a few days. I'll post an update when I get a chance to check some more things.

Thanks for the help!
 

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That didn't go well. While dismantling the gun to look for tight spots, I shattered the bright orange, plastic magazine tube follower. :mad:

This project is on hold until after deer season. I'll probably use the 336cs 35 rem that I just found at the gunshow. It shoots factory core lokts into 3" groups at 100 yds with peeps.

To be continued.
 

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Trail Boss

'Bout any bullet with Trail Boss powder. ---pruhdlr
 

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Thanks Mike,
I will do that after Christmas. Fixing projects is for after hunting season. Now is the time for using reliable guns that are familiar.
I sanded the end of the mag tube to a taper and relieved the barrel bedding on the forestock. It reassembles much easier than it came apart. I still haven't ordered that metal follower, but hope to have one before New Years.
I have 3 marlins apart right now. Refinishing the stocks, swapped tangs from a 336CS to the 444P, working on barrel bedding. All the fun stuff to battle midwinter SAD.
 

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These folks have given good advice

I have been loading and shooting cast bullets ahead of a moderate charge of IMR4895 with great results. The .444 Marlin is a potent round. Take care...
Oberndorf
 
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