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Discussion Starter #1
I am having trouble with bullet selection for my Winchester.
The LBT 260 WFNGC and 280gr WFNPB will not enter the magazine due to the wide meplat. They are a crush fit in the rifling and show good promise for accuracy.
I can open the action and drop a cartrige on the lifter, by closing the action the round is pushed into the magazine. When the action is cycled the round will feed.
The 17 3/4 in barrel looses a little velocity. 40.0 IMR 4198 puches the 260 gr blt at 1905 fps.

I have tried the Lee 300 gr. WFN and it will not enter the mag. either.
What about the Marlins? Will they feed the big meplats?
 

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I was thinking about buying a Black Shadow 20" Winchester 444, but you have me worried about not being able to use the cast bullets.  Could it be a problem with your rifle only?

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I dont know if this is rifle specific.
The Lyman 429421 and 429422 feed like water when seated to the top drive band. The 429422 is 2.530 oal, 40.0 IMR 4198 gets 1948. The 429421 is 2.560 oal and gets 1933 fps with 40.0 IMR 4198.
Both shoot well and feed like they are greased. I would like a little heavier bullet.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Tom, If you see this I figured out my feeding problem.
My bullets are not Beartooth! They are from Ballistic Advantage in Abilene Tx.
The meplats are wider and the distance from crimp groove to meplat is longer.
I got them from a local custom reloader and he said they were optimized for handguns.
I had never really looked around the Beartooth sight much. But now I have been looking at bullet dimensions in the catalog.
I need some Beartooth bullets with a slightly smaller meplat. I have looked all the past postings on the lever action forum.
I am a long time .307 and .356 owner and am new to the .444. The .307 and .356 have not presented this problem.
Slim
 

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I have a Winchester Big Bore rifle in 444.  I found that when I load the Lee 310 gr lead bullet and crimp at the crimping groove the overall cartridge length is too long and will not feed into the magazine.  To solve this I just seated the bullet a bit deeper and crimped the bullet.  This is quite easy with the Lee factory crimp die.  It is the neatest thing to come along since a shirt on a pocket.  

I like the Lee 310 gr 44 cal bullet it has a nice wide meplat and should do the number.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Bill, Thanks for the seating info. One of the best thing about the whole Beartooth sight is that the reloading information generaly has OAL and primer information attached.
I like the Lee, loaded single shot in my rifle it shows good accuracy potential and just fits the throat of my barrel. It sure boils the dirt when it hits the backstop!
 

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I've killed 5 deer this season with my .444p. A 310 gr. cast(lee) pushed by 40 grs. of H4198=1904 fps from my gun. I had to seat them a little deeper for positive feeding and they work great. That big flat bullet really nails them to the ground. It line bores straight through from any angle. I've put 528 rounds through my amrlin with NO ill effects. My first timber carbine fell apart at 450 rds. and winchester replaced it. For lots of shooting and longivety the marlin is a better .444.

PS winchester is discontinuimg its line of .444's
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You must be from Texas! Texas and Alabama are the only places I know of that have enough deer for extended seasons and large bag limits.

Interesting that you have found 40.0 gr. of IMR 4198 a good load also. I get 2,018 through my Timber rifle. Interesting that 42.0 gr. of IMR 4198 behind the 310 gr. Lee gives only 2.032 fps. Just not enough expansion room. I have not tried ball powder but I'll bet it makes a pretty good fireball!

I like the Winchester Big Bores, they feel light to carry. I prefer the .356 for all around use. These short ported barrels are awful! The muzzle blast is dangerous.
Why is Winchester dropping the .444? I have a lot of bad news on Winchester quality lately. I guess I have gotten lucky - no problems so far.
 

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I hail from southwest south carolina. Our deer season is 4 1/2 months long. No limit on bucks and very liberal limits on does. I've killed 10 so far. Am eating lots of homemade jerky and summer sausage.
Winchester has also discontinued it "pack rifle" series of mdl. 94's. Don't know why yet. Could be slow sales or the rifles are not holding up to lots of shooting.
 My dealer told me today that browning is also trimming its firearm line considerably.
 Could be shooters are breathlessly chasing the new line of short magnum rifles & cartridges and leaving the "old" standbys alone.
 
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