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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone here have actual experience comparing the Guide Gun in the ported vs non-ported configurations? I love my GG but those ports scare me for hunting use. My ears ring bad enough as it is without subjecting them to even a shot or two without hearing protection (I know...you'll never even feel it in the heat of the hunt). I see guys displaying their machismo by walking around the range without ear plugs/muffs all the time. Most of them will be deaf at an early age...if not already. Hearing is one of those gifts that you don't really begin to appreciate until you start hearing crickets chirping in the winter, or have to keep saying "huh?" all the time. Loud music doesn't help either.

Anyway, to get back to the subject, do the ports really do that much for recoil reduction? Seems I recall someone around here having their barrel lopped off behind the ports at one time.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Seems to me, lopping of that already short barrel would make it just as loud as leaving it ported.
 

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I can't compare the ported with the non-ported models they make now. I don't even know if you can get the ported anymore (new).

I have fired my ported GG once in the woods without hearing protection. The load was a fast 300 gr bullet (ie Marlin load level). I have got to say that I did not even notice the blast, my ears didn't bleed or ring or any of that. My 1911 is much worse.

I will say that I am sure it did not do my ears any good I'm sure but then no shot does. A lot of what I have read posted on the 'net I believe came from people that had (a) never shot a GG, or (b) only shot it from the cozy confines of the bench under a metal roof at the range. Sean
 

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You might want to take a peek at the tech notes on the .444. I believe Marshall compares the ported and unported version of the .444 which, the way he loads them, is in the same category as the 45-70.

In general, the porting noise issue is overblown, a muzzle break is another issue altogether. Porting pretty much kicks the gas straight up in order to reduce muzzle rise, which is a great thing when target shooting. The muzzle break actually directs some of the gas in a somewhat rearward angle to really help eliminate the actual felt recoil of a rifle. I will NEVER shoot a rifle or pistol with a muzzle brake attached without a bare minimum of ear plugs, and you'd be very wise to follow that lead if you're concerned with you're hearing. Shooting a magnum rifle with a muzzle brake and ear plugs is like shooting the same rifle with no earplugs with the brake taken off.

In shooting a Taurus Raging Bull in .480, which is ported, I don't notice any more muzzle blast than with a unported 44 magnum. That shooting was done on an indoor range with ear muffs and ear plugs, shooting the two revolvers back to back.
 

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IMHO you don't need a ported barrel on the Marlin .444 - mine did not have enough recoil to bother with. However, I have shot a lot of IHMSA competition and some of those pistols generated a lot of blast. My suggestion is to always wear both ear plugs and muffs. There are times when I go home after firing big bore rifles with a mild headache from the concussion of muzzle blast and recoil. Even with all this protection I lost 40% of my hearing while working at a government firing range. My hearing aids cost $6,000 a pair, paid for by Worker's Compensation, and do nothing for the constant ringing in my ears that will never go away. Don't take any chances. I wear plugs even when varmint hunting. Remember when the ringing in your ears stops, if it does,those nerves are dead.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I think changing the angle of the gas blast any way but from it's natural forward motion will increase what you hear from the delivery end. The difference between a break and ports may not seem the same to everybody. All I know is that what I "feel" with hearing protection in place indicates a much louder blast than shooting a rifle without the ports. Bystanders have been in agreement. This is a subjective thing I guess.

I'm just wondering if it's worth ditching the ports but living with the extra recoil.
 

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Bart-

I think that I have seen it mentioned on the Marlin Forum that you can send the GG back to Marlin and they will install a new factory unported barrel at your request.

I believe the price mentioned was $100.

Might be worth the money if the muzzle blast and hearing damage are important to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Dutch4122,

I remember seeing that about the replacement barrel from Marlin. Was just wondering if anyone could shed light on the actual difference before shelling out any cash. Also I wonder if you get your ported barrel back. Probably could be sold on eBay and help reduce the cost.

Maybe I'll move this over to the Marlin Talk site.

Thanks.
 

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I was looking at guide guns the other day and none of them were ported at one shop. I stopped by WallyWorld and they still had a ported .444 The story I got was that new production is without ports but old production with ports is still working it's way through the system.

Eric
 

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I've fired my .444 Ported Outfitter many times on game, and can't see two cents worth of difference in perceived muzzle blast than when shooting under similar circumstances with the standard model .444. I've experienced no ringing in the ears post-shooting under hunting conditions.

I too greatly value what's left of my hearing, and when shooting off a bench, always use both plugs and muffs, regardless of what I'm shooting, just to protect my hearing. However, under hunting conditions and field experience in many types of weather, I've not found any adverse effects of firing my ported Marlin without hearing protection.

FWIW

God Bless,

Marshall
 
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