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I was visiting a cousin last week when he walked into the next room and came back with a gun case in his hand. He said open it , it's yours if you want it. I pulled out this Marlin 444S. Now what can a person say to that, but YES and THANK YOU. So for last last few days I have been dong alot of reading on this sight,and elsewhere. I have a moose hunt coming up next Sept. and I can't decide to reload or go with the factory stuff. Some reads say that for moose the bullet weight needs to be over 300grs. can't find them in factory loads. I like to get close so I don't expect the shot to be over 100 yds. maybe 150. Hopefully closer. Killed my last moose at eight yards with a long bow.
Will any of the factory stuff, fill the bill or should I just start rolling my own. Barnes has what they call a buster and Beartooth has all kinds of bullets but I never loaded casts before. Also this is the micro groove. Is that a one in twenty ? Any light you may shed.

Godspeed
 

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Piney Woods Moderator
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Your cousin is obviously a nice guy. The 444 is a super round. The Hornady 265 FTX load is an excellent load for this gun if you are buying over the counter ammo. The Hornady 265 gr JFP is one of the best bullets for this gun in my opinion for handloading. Several companies make a jacketed 300 gr bullet for handloading that will take anything on the N American continent. You will never be undergunned with a 444.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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The Beartooth 290gr. LFNGC is probably one of the best .444 bullets around. If you haven't yet, dig through Marshall's .444 articles in the tech notes. I believe that's the bullet he has used on both elk and moose.

Good luck!
 

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I haven't ever hunted moose, but I find it hard to believe that the factory Hornady leverevolution in 265gr ftx would not do the job. I would not be afraid to take it on a moose hunt.
 

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I personally have never hunted moose, so take it or leave it, after reading several reviews of ammo people have used or reloaded, I'd be a bit afraid about not getting the penetration with the FTX on this sized game. I would think a soft point or lead flat nose would guarantee better getting through the heavy bones on a moose if one were hit. Here's one possible thought:

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=382054

If hit well in the boiler room with no rib/shoulder strikes, the FTX would certainly not have a problem in my opinion, but I'd be concerned if a bone were struck. The soft point would almost certainly retain it's form better if that happened. Just my 2cp though. 8)
 

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you can also look at small custom ammo loaders, like buffalobore or grizzly, both load heavy 444 ammo, but nothing like taking game with your own handload.
 

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Nice gift! I've probably harvested more game with my .444's than all my other big-game rifles combined! It's a great cartridge within it's range limitations.

For years my go-to bullet was the .432"-330gLFNGCDCG and with it I harvested pickup loads of game. Then a few years ago I drew my once in a lifetime Idaho moose tag, and I wanted to make the harvest using my Triple-Four, and did some serious long-range load testing, as most of our moose here are harvested in glacial basins above or at timberline and shots could be on the long side for the .444 cartridge. In my testing I found that nothing beat the .432"-290gLFNGC bullet either for trajectory or long-range accuracy.

Suffice it to say that this bullet, when loaded with 53.0g H322 and a WLRP in Remington brass has become my do anything/everything load for the .444 Marlin. When sighted 3.5" high at 100 yards, this load will shoot to point of aim out at 225 yards.

Performance on game? When I harvested my bull moose here in Idaho the shot was at 215 yards, and when I touched the Triple-Four off, my hunting partner asked me how I could have missed! There, hanging in the morning sun was a three foot high plume of granite dust from hitting the granite boulder behind my moose. Upon inspection the bullet broke both shoulders, took out about eight inches of spine, and still left a golf-ball sized divot in the granite boulder behind the bull! Since then it has been my single go-to load for everything. In the lower 48 states, what would need more killing than a bull moose?

Two years ago that same load took the biggest bull elk of my hunting career, a bull taken opening day here in Idaho on public land at about 85 yards, he scored 376 B&C and went down literally where he stood and had a two inch exit wound on the off side hide.

Good luck on your moose hunt, and you'll be pleased with the performance of your new lever rifle!

God bless,
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey thanks guys for all the replys. Sorry I took so long to get back but I just returned home from New Orleans.
I have been reading as much as I can find. One things I can't get down is all these letter discription of the bullet. I do know some,but Marshall mentioned a 330 gr. LFNGCDCG. Is there a legend someplace to explain them?

Godspeed
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Long Flat Nose Gas Check Double Crimp Groove.....
 

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Congrats on the 444 Marlin. I hope to add one to my little safe one of these days. Good luck with it, hope you get onto some moose! I am sure they will be impressed. Scotty
 

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What he said...

I haven't ever hunted moose, but I find it hard to believe that the factory Hornady leverevolution in 265gr ftx would not do the job. I would not be afraid to take it on a moose hunt.
When my XLR 444 was new to me in '08 I shot my moose with the above mentioned round. One shot at 90-100 yards is all it took. Being new to handloading I hadn't developed a load for my 444 yet.
 

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I'm in canada right now hunting, :D not for moose(birds) but I was up north of calgary yesterday and we saw a big black *** moose on the side of the road right at dusk (gravel road, it let us drive right up to him about 20 yards before it made tracks into the spruce.. I've got a 444 and I'd love to get a crack at a moose some day.. I'd also vote for a tougher bullet than the leverevolution bullet, I'd use a 300 gr solid hard cast or soft point jacketed..projo.. B2B
 

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I have used the 265 gr Leverevolution factory loads to shoot whitetail and hogs. It was very accurate and had good trajectory for mid range shooting. I was disappointed in that the jackets tended to separate from the lead cores at times. Once was a whitetail buck at 50 yards. The jacket separated and was found under the skin of the off side shoulder but could not find an intact core and it did not exit. However everything that I shot with it died very quickly. I managed to hit a coyote at 225. I switched to Marshall's 290 gr LFN and have been satisfied since. The trajectory at mid range over 125 yards is not as good however. Try some of both and make your choice. Good luck with your hunt.
 

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Suffice it to say that this bullet, when loaded with 53.0g H322 and a WLRP in Remington brass has become my do anything/everything load for the .444 Marlin. When sighted 3.5" high at 100 yards, this load will shoot to point of aim out at 225 yards.
And I bet it doesn't kick a bit :)

Seriously, will that bullet stabilize in the older 1:38 barrels?
 
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