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Discussion Starter #1
I am curious as to how popular the 444 is in the land where the game is much bigger and tougher thanin my middle Tenn. area.Actually, I don`t suppose the 444 is practial for my area but I really like the gun and caliber and I was curious about it`s use in Alaska.
 

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Coldfingers or FA18CUB and others may have a better handle on what's "popular" up here, as Coldfingers guides and I think CUB shoots quite a bit at a range that is visited by more folks than the worn out gravel pit I shoot in, but to be honest, I don't know anyone that shoots the triple 4. I haven't visited too many of the gunstores in Anchorage or Fairbanks lately, but don't recall seeing any on the shelves (though I really wasn't looking for them). I'm not sure why. I do know several folks with 45/70's, a couple of 450's and Wild West's 457 Magnum. I don't mean to turn this into a discussion of which is better or if there is any difference, but seems like the triple 4 would be at home here just as well as the others. I know folks are using some heavy 45 loadings in these other rifles, but don't see why the 444 wouldn't work perfectly well on moose, deer, bear. I suspect there's just not enough publicity about it. I actually have some friends down around your neck of the woods (southern middle Tennessee) that shoot the 444 in pine thickets and oak ridges and don't feel overgunned one bit :p .

I'm sure there has been a lot of game taken up here with the 444, but I just don't know any of those folks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Alyeska338. Thanks a lot,actually.the Triple 4 is not all that popular inthe lower48 for the time it`s been on the market but at least it`s still on the market and that says a lot.Again,thank you, and how about sending some cool weather down here.
 

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Fall is definitely here TAP, though there's no Termination Dust on the mountains here in our little valley yet (there's plenty of permanent snow, but no new fresh stuff). The alpine is turning gold, orange and red and really contrasts against the granite gray, snow white and spruce green. Fall is definitely my favorite time of year. The Aspen and Birch are beginning to turn also. The fireweed topped out about 2 weeks ago and the cranberries and blueberries are beginning to over-ripen on the bush. Hunting season is in full swing for sheep, goat and moose and I'm nursing busted ribs. Oh well, could've been a lot worse.

Like I said before, I can't imagine anyone feeling undergunned up here using the 444 for moose or bear if using proper loads. It would appear be an excellent rifle/cartridge combo for hunting moose in the thick stands of spruce/hemlock, alder, willow and devil's club jungles that are so dominant here along the coast.

I'm not exactly positive, but think FA18CUB may have a Marlin 444, so he is probably a great source of info on it's performance on game.
 

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I know that FA18CUB guy, and he does have a .444. Got because he didn't like the Marlin Guide Gun, to "blocky" handling. The Win. M-94 is much nicer. Don't know anyone else with a .444 up here. Hope to get something with it this year.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
444

FA18Cub, Thanks for the come back.Please keep us posted on the performance of that Win.By the way, what area of Alaska are you going to be hunting?
 

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Just a thought............

Something that has crossed my mind before and I thought that it might explain why the .444 hasn't been popular in Alaska.

1) The 1 in 38" twist that was standard on the original Marlin .444's which didn't work well with bullets above 300 grains. And, very few bulllets above 300 grains available, even in cast offerings.

2) The original 240 grain JSP offered by Remington was rumored to be a bit "soft" for the .444 as it was the same bullet that Remington used in .44 Magnum pistol loads. I've seen it mentioned by Ken Waters in print that he wouldn't trust this bullet for more than deer and black bear.

Seems like if I lived in Alaska or was going to hunt Alaska and was intent on taking a Levergun, my two choices would be a 45/70 or a .444 Marlin. In the 45/70 I would have choices from 300 grains to 405 grains in bullet weight in factory loads, plus a whole slew of options if I were a handloader. The .444 Marlin (until fairly recently) would pretty much limit me to the 240 grn JSP or the 265 grn JSP with the ability to handload giving me the option to use 300 grn bullets. Seems like the 45/70 would have been the better choice until just recently when Marlin changed to Ballard rifling with a 1 in 20" twist and Winchester came out with the .444 (for a short time) with a faster twist barrel.

It will probably take a while for the .444 to become more popular than it is now, but maybe with the newer rate of twist the newer guns will be able to serve a wider range of purposes.

Just a few thoughts on the subject and there may be other reasons that the triple 4 hasn't been too popular in Alaska but I thought I'd just weigh in with my 2 cents.
 

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I agree with Dutch, but if I were carrying either of two (45/70 or 444) it would be a strictly handloaded affair with premium hard cast bullets that Beartooth Bullets can supply!!! :p

I do believe the 444's factory offerings are with a rather soft bullet from the reports I've read. Just like with the 45/70, proper handloads using the proper bullet would be the ticket.
 

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Alyeska-

You read my mind! I was looking at the BTB 355 grn and 405 grn offerings in .44 caliber when I got the e-mail notice about your response.

I've been thinking that the 405 grn could match a handloaded 405 grn 45/70 in terms of power. I think I'll pop over to load notes and see if there are any loads posted for this bullet.

It should give the same results on game as a 405 grn 45/70, right?
 

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FYI...........

There are several loads posted for the BTB 405 grn .444 bullet on loadswap. Fastest load gets 1837 fps out of a 22 inch Marlin with RE-7 and Winchester primers.

Just in case anybody is interested.
 

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As far as the numbers go, a .45-70 always beats a .444. As Marshal has said many times, I don't think any animal will be able to tell a difference. As far as the factory rem. ammo, I plan on shooting deer,caribou and if luck a moose this year with it. I am useing some 355 gr Beartooths loaded to around 1850 fps as backup. I just want to see the diffence in wound channels on the game. So whether its moose or caribou, I will try and put two into it. One of each. Deer I just plan on shooting once. So I guess I will have to take two!
 

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You guys have it down:

Marketing: The .444 was developed in the 60s as a "super .44 magnum," the ultimate eastern woods rifle: deer, bear, and it adds moose over your old levergun (30-30). Because of that focus, Remington and Hornady 265 JSPs were created. They, and pistol bullets, were the only bullet around for a long time for the .444.

The 45/70 was developing it's backwoods handloader status at the same time (early '70s on) and it overshadows the .444 on ultimate power, history and availability/standardization so folks have gone for it in bigger numbers. Makes sense.

The .444 is a cool rig, though -- it's a modern "Express" cartridge. A modern .405 or .450 Express. Not quite a long, slender "panatella", but close enough. I'm hoping Ruger comes out with a No. 1 in it someday, though I'll probably have to build that one myself!

Regards,

Charlie
 

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I agree that the Win Timber Carbine is slimmer and less "blocky". I looked at both and bought the Win about two years ago. The heavyest bullet I have used is 310gr and the rifling stabilizes it well.

I wanted a 45-70 also but preferred a longer barrel. Had one of the limited editon Winchesters from Davidsons in my hand but the price was too steep(24 or 26" barrel,octagon). Last weekend found a Marlin 1895 LTDV 45-70 24' barrel, oct to round. This time the price was right and it came home. Much thanks to a wonderful wife who gave into the puppy dog eyes and "I can't live without this" whine I emitted. It will get a work out with some 425 gr Hammerhead cast slugs from a Ballisti-cast mould, this weekend.

Bigfoot
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Bigfoot

What did you push that 310 gr. bullet with and was it a BTB?I have been using 53 grs. of RL-7 and BTB`s 290 LFN and am very pleased with the accuracy as I have not shot any game with it yet, but hunting season is just around the corner.That is a Marshall Stanton load by the way.
 

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The 310 gr are from a Lee mould. They are hardened by dropping them into a bucket of water from the mould. I am using IMR 4895 ( got a deal on 8lbs of it ). They can be pushed to 2000 fps. In my Winchester they are accurate and penetrate like crazy. I haven't killed anything with them so far but plan on some southern hogs in the near future.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Bigfoot

What are you sizing those 310s to or are you using them just as they fall from the mold?While I have you,do you know the size of the meplat on that bullet? Thanks a lot, Tap
 

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The meplat measures .320. They are barely touched by a .430 sizing die. I know this is a Lee mould but they do work and that big meplat should be effective.

They have to be seated shorter than the crimp groove on the bullet. The OAL to function through my Win Timber Carbine is 2.515". I use a Lee factory crimp die although a regular crimp die should work.

Bigfoot
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Bigfoot

There is nothing at all wrong with Lee molds and I have several,I just don`t have the 310 you are speaking of.Thanks for the info and good shooting. Tap
 
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