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Last year I bought a Winchester Big Bore in 444 Marlin.  I love the rifle.  In fact, I used it to harvest a spike buck this past fall with the Remington 240gr. softpoint bullet.

The problem I'm having is getting the rifle to feed my reloads with the Hornady 265gr. JSP.  I'm loading them just under the upper edge of the cannelure and they measure at 2.570", which is the correct OAL for the cartridge.  The Remington 240gr. factory loads are shorter than that spec.

The 265gr. rounds will feed if I really hammer the lever on the downstroke, but they're catching in the feed ramp area, and even this doesn't always work.

Is there something I can do to correct this situation (other than not using the 265gr. bullets)?  Should I try to disassemble the rifle and apply the Dremel tool or not?  

Thanks for any help you folks can give me.

Nazman44
 

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Nazman44

It sounds like a glitch with the cartridge carrier, and perhaps it is just a little short-coupled.   You might be able to cure it, but with this being springtime, and hunting season a ways off, I would simply load a couple of dummy rounds, and ship the gun off with them to Winchester.  Their customer service is still top notch, and I'll bet their turn around time is pretty decent right now being that hunting seasons are largely behind us.  Sending it to them will most likely result in a well tuned action that will give you no more problems in any way!

Sadly, the type of problem you report is not uncommon with the Winchester lever gun of today.   I'm sure that Mr. Gates would concur that Winchester's track record isn't the best anymore with their lever guns.   However, the bright spot is that they have first class people in their customer service center and your gun will be better than new after a short visit to their capable hands.   Too, it won't cost you more than shipping expense to get it there!

My &#360.02 worth!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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I had exactly the same problem with the 265 gr Hornady. I shortened the case to 2.192" (I think) and now they cycle through the action fine, as long as I have them seated to the very top of the cannelure. I have the Win Timber Carbine. I was a little hesitant to do this, as this is the first cartrige I've ever loaded for, but i saw no other way of making it work. The distance from cannelure to the tip for the Hornadys is 0.333". This concerns me, because most of the beartooth bullets are much longer than that. Oh well, I guess I'd just trim the case down some more.
Dave
 

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Naz,

I got a Marlin 444 that has the same deal going on. It is the newer model with the ballard rifling. I just trim my cases back until I can chamber without any force. From what I have learned, Marlin and Win both have short chamber throats. I would just trim em and have fun. From what I have read, your Win is a 50K psi a lot stronger than the Marlin, but I would still hesitate on max-max loads with short cases.

RB in GA
 

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nazman44,
Haven't tried the Hornady 265's yet in my Timber Carbine but both the Speer 300gr. crimped in the 2nd. cannlure and Marshal's 330 gr.GC crimped to an OAL of 2.510" feeds just fine, without having to trim cases.  Let's us know your outcome.  Best Wishes!
 
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