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I'm a new reader to this post and the info is superb. My question has to do with the loads posted for cast bullets for the 444. The velocity seems high, does this have to do with the fact that a jacketed bullet creates higher pressures? Have been looking for a premium 300 gr+ bullet for my 444 and had decided on trying the 300gr barnes original until I found Marshall's website. I'm sure I will be placing an order soon. I hunt elk in SW Colorado and I love my triple 4. It is the Marlin 444 ss 22in tube.

(Edited by fasteddy at 5:26 pm on Mar. 7, 2001)
 

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Fasteddy,

The real answer is that lead bullets create less friction as they ride down the bore. Pressures drop because less energy is required to push that slug. Your powder charge doesn't have to work as hard. In addition lead bullets generally take up less room inside the cartridge case so there's more room for powder. This allows for an even bigger advantage when higher velocity is required.

You've come to the right place for information on the 444 as well as some super bullets for your elk hunt.
 

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What MT says is absolutely right!  A good, hardcast, gas-checked bullet at the velocities the .444 turns in will have a lower friction coefficient that a jacketed bullet of similar shape and weight.  Also, as mentioned, a cast bullet of 300 grains will have a shorter overal length as a general rule than will a jacketed 300 grain bullet, due to the difference of the specific gravities of the two manufacturing components for the given bullets.

Now, beyond velocity differences, let's take a look at performance.   You don't own a .444 because you want a glorified .44 magunum... if so you would have purchased a Marlin 1894!  Most, if not all, jacketed bullets being produced today are specifically engineered for the velocities generated by .44 magnum handguns, not even .44 mag carbine velocities, let alone the ponies unleashed by the .444 Marlin.  Take these bullets that are designed for maximum impact velocities of 1400-1500 fps and stoke your .444 with them, you are looking at some very effective varmint rounds!   Those bullets will fragment on large game, and in many cases never even reach the vital organs.

A quick note here, a good friend of mine that was at one time an Air Force Survival School instructor for the winter survival training center, who lives not far from us across the state line into Washington, had a friend of his come to his ranch for a go at a white-tail buck this fall.   The fellow came armed with a .444 Marlin and some 240g Jacketed bullet handloads.  Less than a half an hour after going into his deer blind, a respectable white-tailed buck appeared, ready to be guest of honor at this chap's dinner table.   At  forty yards the gentleman centers the 4x scope on the buck's shoulders, as it was quartering towards him, and pulled the trigger.   The buck wheeled, and not breaking stride ran full throttle for cover.   Well our visiting guest proclaimed that he didn't know how he could have missed the deer!   My Survival School instructo friend calmly replied that the deer was hit and they would track it in the new snow... no problem!   Well, to make a very long story short, no blood was found until over 200 yards from the place the deer was shot, and if not for good tracking skills, that buck would have been chalked off as a missed deer.  The two men tracked this deer for three hours, then, after losing the track amid a myriad of other deer tracks, and only a spot of blood the size of a pinhead being found on the snow every 30-40 yards, they enlisted the help of the family dog to trail this buck.   Finally, after over another hour with the dog, and some fancy figure eight backtracking by the buck and about four total miles of travel after being hit with the mighty .444's 240g jacketed missile, the deer was found expired trying to cross a large log.   A post-mortem showed that the bullet fragmented on impacting the left-front shoulder, and even failed to break the shoulder bone of the near side shoulder!   What killed the deer was a piece of bullet fragment about the size of a .177 caliber airgun pellet that had penetrated high into one lung.  The deer finally succombed to the wound, probably due to the constant trialing and dogging in the moderately deep snow.   Had the deer been left alone, it is had to tell what would have happened, but were it not for the tracking skill of an ex-survival school instructor and his dog, that deer would have been lost.  I'm not mentioning the maker's name of the bullet that fragmented, but rest assured that the bulk of jacketed .44 caliber handgun bullets will perform the same... remember they are engineered, many of them to perform also down to .44 special velocities!

Now, enter a good hard cast gas-checked bullet with a wide meplat... it will penetrate like no tomorrow, and leave a golf-ball sized wound channel from any angle.... even on water=buffalo! (see our field performance pages)  You've got a great gun, load it up with bullets that will do justice to it's capabilities and you'll never look back to the myth of jacketed bullet terminal ballistics superiority!

God Bless,

Marshall
 
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