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Discussion Starter #1
On an earlier thread there was a discussion on the viability of shooting .44 mag ammo out of a .444 marlin.

The answers seemed to be - yes it is possible and would be sufficiently accurate but would ruin the brass due to the wrong head size.

In that same thread it was mentioned that the .44-40 has the same head size as the .444, but the bullet diameter is too small to get any accuracy.

Now it may just be cabin fever from the current sub-zero temps here in NH this weekend that brought this idea on....

But would it be possible to fire form .44-40 brass the accept the .429 diameter .444/.44 bullets - in effect creating a low-cal .444 - 40 or .444 special round?
 

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Funny you should bring that up, as only a few days ago I was discussing with a friend what I thought would be an interesting wildcat.....A .444 Marlin case cut off to be in between a .44 Mag and .444 Marlin...super simple chambering job using a .444 reamer run in for the distance and a set of cut off reloading dies. Action????? Best Regards, James
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That sounds like an interesting package as well.

I was thinking more along the lines of having an easy to roll, accurate plinking round or varmit killer to get more use out of the big bore when the large animals it was meant for are out of season.

After looking a little more into components, you could probably skip the fire-forming and just start with new 44-40 brass and expand the neck enought to stuff a .429 or .430 bullet in.

Just have to start on the low-end of 44-40 loads and work up from there.

Without going crazy with pressure, I can't imagine stuffing anything into the 44-40 case that would damage a .444 marlin or winchester lever.

Experts please do not spare any comments or ridicule if I am way off base here.
 

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WHAT ABOUT THE .445 SUPER MAG?

Just an idea here to throw a little gas on the fire. How about a H&R single shot .44 Magnum reamed out to accept the .445 Super Mag cartridge. You could shoot light .44 Specials, medium .44 Magnums, and heavy .445 Super Mags. All out of the same 22 inch barrel. The fully loaded .445 might come close to the ,444 Marlin in terms of performance. This setup would also save the hassle of modifying cases.

Any comments good or bad I'd like to hear members ideas as I've been kicking this one around for a while.
 

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No reason it couldn't be done. The NECK of the .44/40 case would b a good representation of how much slack would be in the sysem...fire the .44/40 and the case comes out without the neck...so the neck represents the amount of space between the bullet and the chamber...a good bit of room for a .44 bullet to get a little cock-eyed before it found rifling at the end of the chamber.

With cut off .444 cases, wouldn't have that problem as the brass walls taper and as the case gets shorter, the brass gets thicker. May well be thick enough at 1/2 its length to hold the bullet securely..may even be a bit too thick...but it would still show that the brass thickenss as the difference in bullet size and chamber size, and still have the same "wander arround room" before hitting rifling.

Probably not a drastic ammount of accruacy loss, would probably still group about as well as the average handgun, so could be a useful load.

I just loaded .444 cases, full length, with light loads. Would cycle though the action like any other round.
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You probably don't need to know this, but the .444 case a rimmed .30-06 head. NO real difference in dimentions between a 30-06 (or 243.308, etc) head and a .444 head other than the little semi-rim. The little semi-rim is what headspaces the .444,
 

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Wait a sec. What about chamber errosion. We are talking about a lot more than the .1"+- difference between a 44 Spcl and .44 mag or a .38 and .357, or a .45 C and a .454 C. It would seem to me that even with mild loads, if you did a lot of shooting with them, you could ruin a perfectly good chamber. There is around an inch of difference between a .444 and a .44. Wouldn't it make a lot more sense to just download the .444? The start load for the .444 is well below the max load for a .44, so why not download and avoid the chance of ruining a chamber?
 

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Erosion will be a factor. Perhaps not a measurable amount with a small amount of shooting, but it will slightly roughen the area foward of the short case and make extraction a bit more difficult (and forever mark the brass). Take a good bit of shooting to get it to where it was actually "jugged", but not nearly so much shooting to whee it is rough enough to leave a ring.
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Had an ugly old (very old..small framed no-name .410 built near 1900) .410 Single shot and wanted to use it for short range shooting and occasional dog training. Discovered that the old gun will take .45 Colt cases (which is more or less a 44/40 blown out straight...they worked just as well). NOt with ball loads, but with home made shot loads. Quiet enough to start a puppy, patteened well enough out to 12-15 yards. After a few long sessions, noticed that no matter how well I cleaned the chamber, it was a bit rougher ahead of the short case. Didn't make a difference to plastic .410 shells, but it would hav emade brass cases a bit more difficult to extract (and I did use some .444 cases as full length .410's).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
How far can you download the .444 before running into problems with too much empty space in the case?

Would you need to use some kind of filler between powder and bullet?
 

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Pretty darned far, with no filler. According to Lyman #47, you can load a 245 gr. lead bullet down to (start load, no filler) to 1200 fps. The .44 Mag, maximum load (rifle) 245 gr. bullet is 1680 fps. In fact, Lyman shows that particular bullet being driven faster out of the .44 magnum than it can be pushed out of the .444 (1680 max in .44 and 1620 max in the .444). Ain't that a whoopin'. Looking at a 240 gr jacketed bullet, the .444 start load minimum is 2032 fps, max is 2341. The .44 magnum with the 240 jacketed is minimum at 1344 and maximum at 1779. Again, both out of rifles. Just looking in the Lyman 47 manual, too lazy to go through a bunch of them, if you want down loads, better to stick with the lead bullets. That makes sense. Some of these figures do not seem to make since, but that is what #47 shows. I do want to note that the start and max load data is not with the same powder. I am just listing lows and highs of a particular bullet in a given cartridge.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Big bore, thanks for the info. I will look further into downloading .444 brass instead making up mongrel .444-40's.
 

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Big Bore and flatlander,
Here's a link to a good piece on the theory and practice of downloading rounds to 'popgun' levels.

http://www.gmdr.com/lever/pistolpowi.htm

Richard Lee also has a formula in his reloading manual for 'reduced loads'.

Cheers,
R2
 

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Hi Exflatlander;

I'm with the fellows that said to download the 444 rather than erode your chamber.

I also suggest doing lots of reading about downloading as there is a nasty phenomenon that can occur when leaving too much empty space with certain powders.

Also, I've had good results with Accurate XMP5744 developing very mild loads. Accurate has a toll free number for tech support... you really ought to talk to them, the answer you're seeking is probably there.

Regards,

Jerry.
 

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Rrusse11 said:
Big Bore and flatlander,
Here's a link to a good piece on the theory and practice of downloading rounds to 'popgun' levels.

http://www.gmdr.com/lever/pistolpowi.htm
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This topic (.44Mag in a .444 ) keeps sprouting up in various places and at various times, and so far the consensus always seems to be that it is a bad idea due to differences in case sizes. If the goal is to shoot reduced loads, just shoot reduced loads!

Case in point:

A year ago last November I picked up a used .45-70. Since then I have devoloped 18 different loads for it, all but 2 being full-house loads. Costs for the full-house loads vary from $4.46 per 20 to $92.25 per 20. (No, that is NOT a typo - $92.50 is for Speer Tungsten African Grand Slams.)

But by far the cheapeast, and arguably the most fun loads are the two I developed using load data from www.gmdr.com. (Thanks, Greg!!!) Both of these loads use 13.5g HS-6, a CCI 200 primer and Oregon Trail Laser-Cast bullets. The 300g Laser-Cast loads run 1167fps and cost $2.52 per box of 20, while the 350g Laser-Cast loads run 1091fps and cost $3.08. Both loads are extremely consistent and accurate.

Of course, if you don't handload, loads like these are a great reason to start - whether for the .45-70 or the .444.
 

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44SandW said:
ok wait, now im confused. Aren't the .444 marlin and the .445 supermag both big .44's? so whats the differnce in the two?
Taper.

The .444 case starts out at .4698" (call it .470") at the base and tapers to .453" at the case mouth (these are OD readings). .44mag. is .457" at the base...the super mag is listed as .455".

So while all of them ae about the sameOD at the case mouth, the .444 is a lot larger at the base...will let the .44mag. or .445 super mag. case swell about .012"
 

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44SandW said:
ok wait, now im confused. Aren't the .444 marlin and the .445 supermag both big .44's? so whats the differnce in the two?
The bullets are the same diameter but the head and rim sizes are different. The revolver cartridges are onl .452 inches while the .444 Marlin is .470 so the pistol case which is thinner and weaker to begin with would have to Stretch to seal the chamber.m
 

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exflatlander said:
..........But would it be possible to fire form .44-40 brass the accept the .429 diameter .444/.44 bullets - in effect creating a low-cal .444 - 40 or .444 special round?
Exflatlander, James Gates is sorting out a .44 Mag MAX cartridge based on the 444 cast cut down to 1.8" length for a Marlin 336 in 30-30 - with a .44 Mag Barrel fitted. It's basically halfway between the .44 Mag and 444 Marlin case size - 1/2" longer than the Mag & 1/2" shorter than the full length 444 Marlin.

He's aiming for a case capacity of about 36-38gr and best suited for short carbine length barrels with 265gr-300gr bullets.

Check the previous threads here for more info! BTW - the 445 Super Mag is basically a 444 case cut to 1.6" overall length.

GOOD LUCK!
 

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Hello All.......I did offer and do some chambering for the .44 Mag. Max. (.44 Mad Max) before I got so busy on this Terminator slug business. All were the NEF in .44 Mag. Some time back there was a lot of talk about shooters wanting a caliber midway between the .44 mag. and .44 Marlin. It looks like that's all it was talk!
As for the conversion of Marlin 336's and Remington 788. Both are nice. It helps to make cases for these out of .356 Win or 307 Win hulls. The rims on these are the same thickness as the .44 Mag and .444 Marlin, but match the bolt faces, etc of the Marlins in .30-30.
Best Regards, James
 

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I know this is an old thread but, i am going to trim some 444 cases to 445 length, and use some starting 445 loads. I have tried the 44 mag in the 444 but you get case bulging just ahead of the rim, 44 spl don't seem to have any problems just the mags. I was thinking it was due to the higher pressure.
This would also be legal in indiana for deer, another reason for doing it.
 
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