Shooters Forum banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,429 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The .44 Mag. Max. project is well underway now. The final reamer drawings are done and they should be in sometime during the next 2 months. My friend Steve found eight new Marlin 20" .44 Mag barrels for the Marlin Mod. 336 (to be rechambered). One Marlin 336 has now been converted and is waiting on the reamers. A Remington Mod 788 is also in the works. The .44 Mag. Max. is about half way between the .44 mag. and .444 Marlin.
Anyone interested in this new cartridge can reach me at "[email protected]"
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
176 Posts
Hello James,

Is your .44 Maximum shorter or longer than the .445 Supermag? Either your new round or the .445 in a handy little "Trapper" carbine would be a very handy thing.

Fireplug
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,429 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Fireplug.....I will not give out the finished cartridge specs until I recieve the finished and named reamers, but........the basic case is a shortened .444 Marlin holding approx 35/37 grs of IMR 3031. It is not a pistol cartridge, except maybe a TC. It is designed around a converted Marlin 336 action. The Remington Mod 788 in .30-30 Win also makes up into a nice woods bolt gun when rebarreled with a .430" barrel. The ideal bullet weight is 265 gr Jacketed or hard cast. The BTB 265 LBT and the Rock Island 265 TCW are perfect in the cartridge. The barrels that were made for the Marlin 336 in .44 mag are perfect for the conversion of the 336 to the .44 Mag.Max. Yes, it is longer than the .445 and holds more medium burn powder.
Best Regards, JCG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,648 Posts
This reminded me of an interesting project that was reported in the Fouling Shot a few years ago. A fellow from Sullivan Illinois had Clymer grind a reamer that was for a straight wall version of the .444 Marlin case, shortened 1/16".
With the straight walled case he could shoot .44 magnum ammunition without overworking the brass. He reported that the long jump did not help accuracy when using the .44 Magnum cases.
His throat had a three degree included angle and it shot cast bullets very well.
The rifle was an H&R Topper and his best load was the Old West 320-gr. GC bullet ahead of 38.0 gr. of IMR 4198 for 1880 fps. He reported 1" groups at 50 yards using a receiver sight.
Mr. Gates, I believe your cartridge may be a better solution to the short/light, "fast action" rifle than Marlin's Outfitter or Winchester' s Timber Rifle. We also have a .45 Colt Trapper that, for several reasons, does not meet our "goals". It is very difficult to balance case capacity with "ideal" bullet weights and desired velocity/energy. Reduced muzzle flash and noise are desirable in a short fast action rifle that will be used in low light conditions, on multiple targets and especially when hunting with others. We are watching the reports on the .480 and .454 lever guns with interest. I don’t need bear protection, just a fast swinging little rifle that delivers between 1700 and 1900 foot pounds of energy. My Guide Gun and Timber rifles deliver but they are not very efficient
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,429 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Slim.....You picked up on some facts that are overlooked most of the time...the relationship of bullet weight/burn rate of the powder/Expansion Ratio (barrel length vs bore diameter)/pressure limits/recoil.....all of which need to be considered in a cartridge design. The .444 Marlin was designed around a 240 gr jacketed bullet and due to its throat design, its full potential (case capacity) can't be reached. The .44 Mag's small case capacity does not allow, within pressure limits, the full potential of the heavy bullets.
However, The .44 Mag. Max. was designed from the ground up to give the full potential of the above relationships. A 18"/20" .430" barrel's Expansion Ratio is perfect for a bullet weight of 265/300 gr. Its overall length with this bullets fit well into most lever guns. The throat and leades are designed to handle these longer cast bullets.
Only time will tell........Best Regards, James
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,948 Posts
Jim I too am interested in this new set up your posting about here. I have long been a fan of the 44 mag ever since Bill Ruger came out with that little carbine of his years ago. Critics said it wouldn't hold up....Poppy Cock! I killed many a dear with that little woods gun in past years.

I always wished it had more power or push behind the bullet back in those days, thus the reason for my 444 Marlin lever gun, however it is a jarring little rascal that is NOT a lot of fun shooting at the range. I wish my little Ruger auto could shoot this new idea of yours somehow.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,429 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I too have been a fan of 44 caliber rifles and handguns for some time. Those that think a properly loaded .44 Mag. is not a fine game rifle, just have not used it. Both my Marlin 1894P and Ruger Mod. 77/44 has put down hogs and deer, plus some "River Pests"! However, its case capacity id designed around powder burning rates for handguns.
It works in a rifle barrel, but never reaches its full potential. By increasing the case capacity to 35/37 grs of medium/fast burn powders (IMR 3031, Re7, and maybe IMR 4198), we see a marked improvement. With these powders combined with a 265 gr hard cast or jacketed bullet, we have a real powerhouse in a small package. With these powders I think 18" is as short as the barrel should be. The overall length of the cartridge, about as long as a .30-30 Win, makes an ideal conversion for any rifle designed for that cartridge. The major improvement this cartridge gives over the .44 mag is with bullets 265 grs and up.
Yes, the Ruger .44 auto was, and is, a fine little brush gun. Accuracy has been improved with factory offerings at .430" (jacketed) instead of the old .429".....and with hard cast (21/24 bhn) sized at .431". This hard bullets, with gas checks, do not lead up the gas system. No, the .44 Mag. Max. is just too long for the Ruger auto action.
There has been quite a bit of engineering gone into the specs of the .44 Mag. Max. We will just have to see if it takes off in the present market or not.
We are now waiting on the reamers to be finished. Two rifles are in the works now. A short handy Marlin 336 and a heavy barrel Rem. 788. The 788 will be used for accuracy and load development.
Keep in touch and Best Regards To All......James
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
935 Posts
James,
It still sounds great. I can't wait to get one and put it thru it's paces. "Here little piggy....."

Best......... Bill M
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,429 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Bill and All.....The reamers are ordered. The project is well underway. Steve found 8 brand new Marlin barrels, 44 magnum and threaded for the Marlin 336. I am holding 2, one for you and one for John. We are using two for our conversions, with one held back for the future. That means he has three he will pass on at his cost, plus shipping. Cost is around $65.00. All sight slots, etc are done. they are 20" long. After I have tested the cartridge, found if it comes up to what we think, I will send your barrel to you.
Best Regards To All, James
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
396 Posts
44 Mag Max Updates?

Bro' Gates, any updates on the progress of this project? It won't be long before the piggies over in Gulf Hammock will be all fattened up and ready for testing! ;)

If I guess 44 or 45mm case length, is that pretty close?

TIA!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,429 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
.44 Mag Max

You are correct about the acorns.......The trees here in Old Town Hammock are loaded and we should get a good crop in the Suwannee River Swamp also.
As for the .44 Mag Max.....The reamers are in and two rifles are being made up now, a Marlin 336 and a Rem 788. The cae length is 1.80" and made from .444 Marlin cases. It's designed around a 265 gr cast or jacketed bullet using either IMR4227 or IMR 4198. Any action designed for 30-30 is right for a conversion. Any single shot chambered for .44 mag can be rechambered. Hit me with an email at [email protected] and I will copy your note to friend Steve Adams, who is handling the project now. If you hunt Gulf Hammock, where are you located? Best Regards, James
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
396 Posts
Aha! 45.7mm Case Length!

Jim, I'm over in St. Augustine.... Haven't hunted Gulf Hammock in many moons, but it used to be one of my favorites. Seen some BIG PIGS over there in years past. I quit goin' over there after a hunter was fatally shot in the face (by accident) with a shotgun. I really think you guys are onto something with the 336/44 Mag Max conversion.

Lookin' forward to reading your first impressions when you get to burn some powder.

Watch your inbox. ;)

Be careful out there this fall, too!

James Gates said:
You are correct about the acorns.......The trees here in Old Town Hammock are loaded and we should get a good crop in the Suwannee River Swamp also.
As for the .44 Mag Max.....The reamers are in and two rifles are being made up now, a Marlin 336 and a Rem 788. The cae length is 1.80" and made from .444 Marlin cases. It's designed around a 265 gr cast or jacketed bullet using either IMR4227 or IMR 4198. Any action designed for 30-30 is right for a conversion. Any single shot chambered for .44 mag can be rechambered. Hit me with an email at [email protected] and I will copy your note to friend Steve Adams, who is handling the project now. If you hunt Gulf Hammock, where are you located? Best Regards, James
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,429 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
You are correct about Gulf Hammock. The problem I have with Gulf hammock is the latest crop of dog hunters. In the old days dog hunting was my favorite....big camps, standers, dog handlers, etc.....all traditional. But now it's high speed chases with bubba trucks, radios, etc. I almost got run over the last time I went up there by two kids, full of beer, and a engine that had more horse power numbers than their IQ. I still raise and hunt hogs with dogs where legal. I train my dogs to "bay" not "catch". Mallory Swamp is the place for hogs now.
As for the .44 Mag Max.......seems like most people I talk to that have a .44 Mag want a little more and those with a .444 Marlin want a little less. That's not putting down either, as my favorite swamp gun is a Marlin 1894P (now discontinued) and a 265 gr hard cast bullet witha big meplat. Also have friends that swear by the .444......The .44Mag Max is just an midway between the two. It makes up into a nice lightweight brush/walking gun. Best Regards, James
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
396 Posts
Halfway Between 44 Mag & 444!

YUP! It's a really pretty place @ Gulf Hammock, and I was into bow hunting back when I quit visiting... Just too dangerous to go around in Camo with all the idiots around those parts... ;)

When you described the cartridge length, I noted right away the relationship between the Max, the 44 Mag & 444 - right in between the two! I think 44.57mm case length (1.75") would be right at exactly mid-point... CLOSE ENOUGH!

You gotta' bunch of guys waiting for the first range reports!

GOOD LUCK!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,429 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
The requirements I put on this .44 Mag Max were:
(1) An cartridge overall length that would function in rifles set up for the COL of a .30-30 (also due to rim diameter of the .30-30)
(2) That would be in the pressure range allowable for Marlin 336's (since this is a very popular action and can be picked up rather cheap)
(3) One that did not require special dies. (reqular .444 dies work)
(4) A case capacity and Expansion Ratio (Min 16 1/2" barrel) that would allow powders with a burn rate of IMR4227 and IMR 4198 to work.
(5) A reamer design with a slight bullet diameter freebore to flatten out pressure and allow many bullet weights to be used.
With all this in mind, I used the Powley Computer to back into the amount of powder to give me the pressure and velocity I needed. This in turn fed out a powder weight of 38/39 grs.
So, you see there was a great deal of thought behind this cartridge. It will not replace either the .44 Mag or the .444 Marlin.....it's to the .44 Mag as the .357 max. is to the .357 Mag.
Preping the cases is simple.....Cut .444's to 1.80", size in a .444 Marlin die, fireform in the .44 Mag Max chamber, inside neck ream with a .44 reamer, reize in a .444 die, and seat with a .444 bullet seater. Best Regards, James
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
396 Posts
430 Jdj?

pourboy said:
How does it compare to the old 430 JDJ? ==Bob
The 430 JDJ is almost identical to the 444 Marlin - 2.115" case length for the JDJ, and 2.225 for the 444.

This NEW one will be short enough to function in the standard length e36s & operate at standard pressures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,429 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
The .430 JDJ has an case length of 2.115", where the .444 Marlin has a case length of 2.235". Both have a max. loaded length of 2 .570".....the concept of the .430 JDJ was the cut back the case, load with longer heavy bullets.
The .44 Mag Max (case length 1.80") was developed to be an intermediate cartridge betwen the .44 mag and the .444 Marlin. It is based around a 265 gr bullet over 38/39 grs of powder. Ballisticss are good, recoil in rifles controllable, lightweight walking/brush guns.The Expansion Ratio and Charge Weight Ratio for bullets between 240 gr and 300 gr (265 gr is ideal) calls for IMR4227 and IMR4198.
Best Regards, James
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
1,177 Posts
The 445 SuperMag would be interesting to try in a Levergun too I would imagine. (1.610" case)

The 430 JDJ was basically a 444 Marlin case cut back .1 for use in the Contender. It was JD's way of making it a handload proposition from the start thus the responsibility of loading it safely in the Contender became the owners responsibility.

Supposedly at the time it came out, (mid to late '70's) the factory Marlin fodder was on the warmish side or thought to be at the ragged edge to be shooting in a Contender the story goes. Whether it was true or not, I can't vouch for.

The full Marlin is "safe" to shoot in the Contender but shouldn't be hot rodded when handloaded. Others state the 444 should not be chambered in the Contender period. You pays your money and takes your chances and comes to your own conclusions.


Regards
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
396 Posts
Contender said:
The 445 SuperMag would be interesting to try in a Levergun too I would imagine. (1.610" case)

Regards
Alas, the 445 was designed from the get-go as a handgun cartridge, and some of the best performing powders for it (WW) are discontinued - out of production. The 1.8" case size of the Mag Max is right at exactly between the 44 Mag and .444 Marlin - an ideal 'tweener' size cartridge and one a lotta' guys (myself included) have dreamed of for a while. ;)


 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top