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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm using the 280 gr WFN G/C bullet in the 444. I shortened the cases .1" to allow the shell to chamber as the bullet was contacting the rifling which prevented the Lever from fully locking up. This is due to practically no throat in this rifle chamber. In effect I created a .1" throat. They feed terrific also. This bullet has a long bearing band ahead of the crimp groove and I didn't want to seat it as deeply as was required to make it chamber. All bullets were firmly but not crushingly roll crimped.

I started with IMR 4198(all I have at this time) and charge weight data for the 300 gr. Hornady Jacketed bullet as the seating depth was the same as the 280 LBT in the shortened cases. With the listed Max load of 43.1 grs. of IMR4198. I'm getting almost 2200 FPS (2190 Avg) with an extreme spread in the single digits.(7 fps) Preliminary accuracy testing is literally one ragged hole at 50 yds. from a bench rest and using a Williams Peep site with the stock front sight blade. (Marshall is right about extreme spread) Bullets are sized .430" and are about 21 BHN. This is in a circa 1981 444S with a 22" Micro-Groove barrel. No apparent leading at all. (LBT Blue lube) Cases look fine after firing. Winchester LR primers were used.

I'm going to experiment some more with possibly increasing the charge weights but I'm considering being thankful for what I got here as the bullets are generic sized and not really matched to the barrel. (Haven't slugged it yet) They may strip if I push them harder as I'll bet the groove diameter is closer to .431. I can't get over the accuracy now.

My feeling is with the design of this bullet's long bearing surface, that it is a great contributor to the accuracy potential of this slug.

It was a lot of fun to experiment with the shortened cases in this rifle. I'll slug this barrel before going further though.

Looking forward to shooting trials over longer distances and some further charge weight experimentation.

That's all for now. And remember, your milaege may vary.

Regards


:cool:



(Edited by Contender at 9:44 pm on Mar. 28, 2001)
 

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Interesting development!  Makes the crimp groove work!  No reason not to do that, as with the straight walled case there's no problem with 0.1" too short a case!

The more I shoot the 280 WFNGC in the .444, the better I like it.   Were it not for the moose and griz around here, it might well become my favorite load for the .444.  great fun, and pleny of power for virtually anything.   Doesn't have the 200 yard trajectory of the 290g LFN or 330g LFN... but then not everyone stretches the .444 to those limits either!

Keep us posted on your load development .   Seems the .444 has quite a following.... wonder if we should make a category for it?

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #4
Marshall,

It never ceases to amaze me how popular this particular cartridge has become!

I remember when I bought this rifle back in 1981 and virtually nobody heard of it around here. One my buddies thought I had rocks in my head for buying it!

Say what criteria especially do you look for in approaching a max load with this particular cartridge? I may fire a factory load and see what the max case diameter is ahead of the case head for instance.

What's your opinion on this?



:cool:
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Contender,

A brief note of thanks for passing along this experiment using shortened cases. I'm hoping to start work with the new 265 grain WFNGC soon and will pass along data as it becomes available.

(Edited by Bill Lester at 5:56 pm on Mar. 30, 2001)
 

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Contender,

Sounds like you have a good thing going there. I recently purchased a 444 and look forward to playing around with loads for it.

Marshall,

Please set up a forum for the 444. That would be great, as it is the only rifle I'm serious about reloading. I really enjoy reading all the posts and gleaning all the knowledge of others who are experienced reloaders.
Thank you.

Ray C.
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #8
Guys,


Found some loads for the 444 with AA2200 powder of which I have a goodly amount. They list a load also for the Hornady 300 gr. XTP so, I'll use it with the 280 WFN in the next batch with the shortened cases.

I'll keep you posted.

Lotsa fun work to do! Man, I love this new range!


Regards



:cool:
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #9
OK Guys,

Shot up another Test Series with AA 2200 powder this time and the 280gr. WFN G/Ck bullet.

Again used the loads for the 300 Gr Hornady XTP bullet, this bullet is the same depth in a full length case as a 280gr WFN is in a shortened case when they are side by side. Good starting point for load development.

Again with the listed max load of 52 grains of AA2200 I get about 2200 FPS over the chrono, (2195 FPS Avg) out of a five shot string. This load appears to also be potentially very accurate however I didn't persue this end of the game as I was a bit pressed for time today and it was threatening rain at the range. I was able to hit a can someone left on the earth berm at the 100 yd mark though.

The extreme spread at the max listed load was within 20 FPS with two shots registering the same velocity.

Muzzle flash was a sight to behold but was not distracting to me. The barrel ran cooler with a greater number of shots than the IMR powder before noticable barrel heating.

Cases came out with no noticable high pressure signs.  Powder density at max loading was just passed the base of the bullet when seated but resulted in very minimal compression if at all. (No extra seating effort or popping bullets) Bullets were firmly roll crimped.

All in all, I'd say this is a very worthwhile powder to use in the 444. Seems to burn quite completely with minimal to no residue/unburned granules left in the barrel. Winchester LR primers were used throughout.(Non-Magnum) Also again no leading whatsoever from the WFN 280.

Now I'll take these two loadings with the two different powders and do some tweaking but honestly I'm quite satisfied now. Will do some accuracy testing also when I get back to the range.

I see that Redding is now making Profile Crimp Dies for some of the straight-walled rifle cases but, sadly not the 444 Marlin. Perhaps some phone calls could be made to Redding Customer Service demanding equal representation. :biggrin:


Thats all for now and remember, past performance does not guarantee future return.



:cool:
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Contender,

Unfortunately according to the Natchez Shooter's Supplies ad in the May issue of Shooting Times,
AA 2200 is no more. What supplies exist now will be it.
They're selling 8 lbs. for &#3644.95 this month. Maybe you should stock up since it looks so promising.
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Bill,

I think Wideners has 8 pounders for 74 bucks including shipping and HazMat charges too.

I bought 16# of the stuff about a year ago anyway. Although that price is inviting from Natchez. I'm starting work with it in the 35 Rem too.

Regards


:cool:
 
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