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Discussion Starter #1
Hello from Scotland

I have found a second hand .444 marlin in London, i cant travel down at present so cant see it. The guy says its a model ss and is asking £250 which i feel is fair for such a scarce rifle over here.

It has had an adjustable butt pad fitted and scope mounts but has been re- varnished rather poorly on part of the check piece.

I could re-finish the stock no problem and metal wise it sounds in excellant condition. I believe it has 22" barrel and pistol grip.

*Are there any common faults to watch out for with second hand Marlins ?

* Could a straight stock be fitted ?

*I believe model has a different twist to the newer ballard type ? What kind of bullets would it like ?

*What do you think of this model ?

Value your thoughts.........................

Regards Englander
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Considering what ammunition will cost in your country, it's very doubtful that the rifle has had more than a couple of boxes of ammo through it.  So if it's not rusty, sounds like a good opportunity for you.

Marlin has offered both straight and pistol grip stocks, so I would imagine that you can just order a replacement buttstock from them.  Or if you're handy with tools, just reshape the stock.

There have been several twist rates for the .444 over the years but even the slowest twist has been reported by many people to properly stablize the 300 grain bullets (see Marshall's articles in the Tech Notes section).  So that should not be a problem.

If you get the gun, be sure to ask if there is any brass or ammo with it.  The previous owner may have saved brass, you never know, doesn't hurt to ask!

Do be sure to clean all the copper out of the barrel with Barne's, Sweet's, etc., before shooting any cast.

Hopefully some others can contribute any other tips on buying a used Marlin.

If it's a longer barrel than the "Outfitter" that you were looking for, you should pick up some velocity with your loads.

Given your endless wait for a new one I'd be writing the check for this gun as quickly as I could!
 

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Englander,
    If the bore is good there isn't a whole more to worry about with these rifles unless, as MikeG said, there is a lot of rust or other obvious damage. I wouldn't worry about the stock as it can be easily refinished. The older version will have the slower twist Microgroove barrel but these can be made to shoot just fine.
       As far as the pistol grip, it cannot easily be changed to straight grip since the tang is curved, but I believe you will not be disadvantaged by the pistol grip. It is a very comfortable stock in it's own right. I'd be inclined to pick the rifle up if I were you!             IDShooter
 

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Englander,

Your post:
<!--QuoteBegin--></span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE"><!--QuoteEBegin-->It has had an adjustable butt pad fitted and scope mounts but has been re- varnished rather poorly on part of the check piece.
[/quote]

If this is a true monte carlo type cheek piece, as I suspect it might be, then this Marlin .444 that you describe would be one of the early 1960's guns, right after the gun was introduced.  Some of the .444's produced were of the "T" type model designation and indeed had a full monte carlo style cheek piece on the buttstock.  If this is the case, then the gun will also have a full 24" barrel instead of the common 22" found on other SS model guns in this caliber.  Too, the barrel will be a pre-Micro-Groove bore, having traditional cut rifling.  Also it doesn't have the confounded cross-bolt safety either.  These are excellent shooters, although I find the stock to be uncomfortable when shooting traditional iron sights.  However, with Ashley Outdoors sights, which have a higher sight profile than other irons, it would be an ideal situation, as it is also a great combination if you choose to scope the rifle, the added cheek piece height making it quick to pick up your scope alignment.

As has been mentioned earlier, I doubt that the gun has seen enough use to have hurt it, unless it has been badly neglected somewhere along the line.  It might well be worth looking into.  If it's the model I have described here, there aren't that many of them floating around on the used gun market, even here in the USA.  Interesting you've located one in London!

Let us know what you find!

God Bless,

Marshall



<!--EDIT|Marshall Stanton|April 30 2002,09:57-->
 

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Oh,

You mentioned the possibility of changing out the stock for one of a straight grip.  Yes, it can be done, but requires also changing the lower tang assembly.  The lower tang assemblies are different for the two stock configurations, as the pistol grip stock has a curved rear tang, and the straight grip stock model also has a straight tang.  It's not just a matter of changing wood only!

No, it's not hard, and only takes a short time to swap out parts, but it will involve just a bit more time and money than might be expected at first glance.

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for your words on this subject. I have sent the guy an e-mail asking if it is possible to get a photo, also what markings are on the rifle.

Like you say could be interesting probably a bog standard rifle 22" but you never know ?

Spoke to my gunshop today my Marlin that was to arrive in Febuary in now due June ! So i will have a serious look at this secondhand rifle.

I have a set of ashley sight here waiting for a gun, this one has muonts/rings so i would put a Tasco world class plus 4x44 scope on it to zero and access group size with jacketed and cast bullets.

Will keep you posted......................................

Best regards Englander
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Got in touch with the shop whos selling it for a client. It is a Marlin .444s 22" micro groove barrel. Price down to £200 he has to check with the client to reduce any further. Might get a bargin, as lever guns are NOT popular over here and big bores even less, £150 ? I will try.

Not the .444p i wanted but my 325 grainers would get a boost from that 22" barrel.

No brass or stuff Mike so hopefully it has'nt fired a lot.

I have to call back friday to see if i can get the price down...................... Let you know how i get on

Regards Englander
 

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Englander,

Looking at Col. Brophey's book last night.
In 1971 Marlin reduced the barrel length from24" to 22". At that time they changed to the pistol grip stock and added the "S" to 444. They all came with a recoil pad, though not the adjustable one you are looking at. The target weight for the S was 7 1/2 lb. and 40 1/2".
The Lyman 16B folding sight was standard until 1974 when Marlin switched to the Osborne folding rear sight with ladder.
In 1976 they dropped the barrel bands and added the forearm tip.
In 1984 the cross bolt safety was added and the designation became the 444SS.
A sling and swivels were standard equipment until 1988 when they were dropped and swivel studs were standard.

As a side note I was just looking at a first year of production M-336, 1948. Serial #E36XX. The top of the reciever is matted! It has a non-folding ladder rear sight and hooded bead front. The forend is large and reduces for the barrel band, not attractive but fills the hand well.
There is no trigger block! The lever has a different hinge point and feels very nice. The 1949 retail price was $61.45, a lot of money.
 
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