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2339 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Englander
Hello from Scotland

I would love to order a .444p outfitter but in the U.K to be legal for Deer a rifle MUST have a MZ= 2450 f.p.s now in my speer manual the .444 falls short of the magic 2450f.p.s yet on this site ive seen very heavy cast bullets at very impressive speeds indeeed ! Can any one tell me why? these cast bullets should be able to be pushed faster than lighter jacketed bullets ??
.444 is very rare over here but brass is available also Hornady,speer bullets at any rate, any thourghts/advice would be very welcome.

Best regards from across the pond !
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'greater lubricity' is the phrase I've heard, I suppose, in other words, that jacketed bullets are 'stickier' in the bore so cast bullets can often [not always] be driven faster with pressures that are not unsafe; also many of these loads rely on the strong marlin and esp. winchester big bore action that can tolerat upper end pressures...I'm sure there are many others who know much more than I about this, though.
Look at the latest Hodgdon or Lee book.

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Then you can load a little warmer if need be or look at 180gr/AA1680 loads.

Of course lead (as stated above) generally pick up a few fps too.

I believe its simply a matter of a lot less friction in the bore from a cast as opposed to a jacketed bullet.  The speeds that have been produced in the 444 Marlin by some here (Marshall) are quite astounding, to be sure.  
It excites me to be a triple four owner, as this chambering is turning out to be extremely versatile and lethal.

Take Care
The 200grain XTP over AA1680
(starting [email protected]
maximum [email protected]@ 41,300 C.U.P)
I've taken Boar that weighed out dressed at 160kilo's and whitetail that have ranged in weight from 50-120 kilo's with excellent result's!
I worried about too violent expansion or "blow-up" but have had no problem as of yet! I am switching in mid-stream to using 280grain gas-check in all my 44calibre rifles and carbines. Good luck on your endeavor's!

The phenomenon of us here in the States getting more feet per second out of some of our big-bores using alloy bullets as opposed to jacketed bullets of the same weight is due to a lower friction coefficient of the alloy bullet.  This is due to several factors, all of which work together to provide a bit of an edge in the velocity department in these guns.  Bullet hardness plays a role, as a hard bullet, heat treated as our are (BHN 21), aren't prone to obturation from breach pressure, not nearly so much as those of a lesser hardness (commonly BHN 16 and under for many commercial bullets), also we use gas-check design bullets for these high-end loads, which really enhances the velocity/accuracy potential of an alloy bullet, and almost insures no leading provided the bullet is hard, fits the bore well and has a high quality lubricant.  Which is the third leg of this triangle, the bullet lubricant quality we use allows much higher than normal cast bullet velocities, without undue pressure rises and freedom from barrel leading.

Now, about your .444 Marlin prospect in particualar!  The jacketed bullets listed above are excellent suggestions, and if you are looking for cast bullets of a little heavier weight to meet your country's velocity minimum thresholds, you can certainly do it, with a variety of the LBT style, gas-checked bullets, the .432"-250 grain LFNGC, .432"-265 grain WFNGC and the .432"-280 grain WFNGC bullets to be sure, and even perhaps the .432"-290g LFNGC bullet as well... still doing some pretty amazing load development with both this and the .432"-300 grain LMNGC DCG bullet as well.

Keep an eye on the What's New box on our home page of this website for our upcoming Part III, .444 Marlin- America's Most Versatile Big-Bore.  It will be online hopefully by the first of next week.  Will be putting the finishing touches on it and the final load testing this weekend... it should answer many of your questions about higher-velocity loading potential for the .444 Marlin!

It's good to hear from our shooting fraternity from "across the pond"  thanks for posting, and we look forward to hearing more from you!

God Bless,

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Hello from Scotland

It is very clear indeed that i have a lot to learn,but this look's like a good place to start! Thank's for all the input from everyone.Yotebuster im glad to hear the Hornady XTP can handle .444 velocities and do not break-up!
Marshall well done on the excellant .444 articles, i wait with baited breath for part 3 as are many other's i would imagine. It has to be said this forum is a treasure trove for .444 lover's!
Another "crazy" law we must stick to is to be legal for Deer the bullet MUST be designed to expand! Do these Beartooth Bullet's expend?? Are Beartooth bullet's exported to Britain?

Best regard's from acrooss the pond


(Edited by Englander at 2:18 am on July 21, 2001)

As the bullets come from us, at a BHN 21 they do not expand as such.  However, any bullet that we offer you can order at a BHN 12 which will expand surely and with certainty down to 750 fps!  Also, to get the best of both worlds, having the hard bullet for velocity and freedom from leading as well as penetration, yet still get expansion down to the 750 fps threshold, with controlled, limited expansion and deep penetration, try this link for information for soft-pointing our bullets.

I think you'll find it interesting, and it is very simple once you try it!

Yes, we export to any country where it is legal!  The only drawback is the horrendous price of freight!  We'll be glad to help you all we can however, just let us know what you need!

God Bless,

We have some laws against non-expanding bullets for hunting also.  It varies from state to state.  I believe that the intent of the law was to prohibit hunting with military-surplus full metal jacket bullets, as they generally aren't all that reliable on game.  I've never seen a clear interpretation when it comes to cast bullets for handgun & rifles.

Now .... I think that most game wardens here would assume that a bullet with exposed lead will expand.  You have to make some assumptions - otherwise the game departments would have to test each and every single bullet on the market, to determine what was legal or not.  I'd bet that the majority of them keep an eye out for full metal jackets, and let the rest go.

If you tell your game warden (or whatever they're called) that the bullet is designed to expand, how are they going to know one way or another?  It's a lead bullet and most people would assume that it will expand.  I don't think that the game wardens will be carrying hardness testers around in the field.

Also, one thing to consider is that it probably WILL expand - a little, even the BNH 21 bullets.  Not a huge mushroom like a typical soft-point but should you ever manage to recover one (doubtful), I'd bet money that the nose will deform a little, maybe only a few thousands of an inch.  So yeah, in the letter of the law, it DID expand - just not very much.

Anyway it might be a good idea to review the bullets with the game wardens, if you can find one that's an experienced, reasonable hunter (as opposed to one that's just a policeman in a different uniform and knows nothing about practical hunting - hopefully you don't have too many of those).

Or just order some of the softer bullets as Marshall suggested.  Those should REALLY expand at the velocities you can generate in the rifle.

Food for thought, anyway.
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Hello from Scotland

Mike- You guy's do'nt realize how lucky you are ! We have to deal direct with the police  (no game warden's) most police DO NOT hunt even more DO NOT like firearm's in private hand's. The school shooting's in Dunblane (15 mile from me) lead to the Complete ban on handgun's, politic's not sense that was a few year's back, yet the government's own figure's show hand gun's used in crime has INCREASED about 40%.
Beleive me when i say the wriittern letter of the law in enforced blindly. I must ask the police for permission to buy a .444 and they must give me writtern permission on my licence BEFORE i can buy it. If i can not provide a writtern letter from a land owner saying i have permission to hunt on his land and do not belong to a rifle club there is NO WAY any licence would be granted.
Ammo is restricted ie the police say you can only buy 200 round's and only keep 250 round's. Each round MUST be writtern on to my licence and signed by the gun shop owner. Oh yes if you do'nt have permission for land you will only be allowed to buy non-expending ammo. Private owner ship of firearm's has fallen since the law's got even stricter many people just give up due to red-tape/hassle. Every 5 year's when my licence comes up for renewal i have to give the police 4 photo's of my self, 2 letter's of charecter from respected people ie Doctor/Manager/vicar/etc. Who must sign the back of one photo " I CERTIFY THAT THIS IS A CURRENT TRUE LIKENESS OF MR.................." And it must be perfect believe me, once my old boss wrote "TRUE CURRENT" and the police sent it back to me for him to re-write!
This is just a tiny taste of some of our gun-law's

And the moral .... Be afraid of politician's and ignorance..

Best regard's from across the pond

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