44mag or 444 marlin ?

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44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by bigrich » 10 May 2023, 7:33 am

i've a hankering for another lever gun . i like my 357 rossi 92, 24" oct barrel . great accurate plinker , probably okay for smaller game . goats, roos and smallish pigs with factory hollow points . but i'm liking the idea of a stainless 20" 44 mag . :D
unfortunately with no pistol powder about, factory ammo is it . price wise it won't break the bank . but then i got thinking , 444 uses obtainable fast rifle powder with available 44 projectiles . i could load "soft" load, or full boar with 300gn plus grains in the 444 . would be devastating on pigs with 265/300xtp's at pig ranges . or is it overkill and 44mag will do it fine .

thoughts on this fellas :unknown:
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by bigpete » 10 May 2023, 8:45 am

bigrich wrote:i've a hankering for another lever gun . i like my 357 rossi 92, 24" oct barrel . great accurate plinker , probably okay for smaller game . goats, roos and smallish pigs with factory hollow points . but i'm liking the idea of a stainless 20" 44 mag . :D
unfortunately with no pistol powder about, factory ammo is it . price wise it won't break the bank . but then i got thinking , 444 uses obtainable fast rifle powder with available 44 projectiles . i could load "soft" load, or full boar with 300gn plus grains in the 444 . would be devastating on pigs with 265/300xtp's at pig ranges . or is it overkill and 44mag will do it fine .

thoughts on this fellas :unknown:


Just remember,its a legal requirement to use a scoped rifle for shooting roos....
Seriously if pigs are the biggest thing you'll shoot a 44 mag will be better,plus you can fit more rounds in the tube mag which imo is the only thing a lever action has going for it. If you're worried about peno load it up with 310gn pills.
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by bigrich » 10 May 2023, 9:09 am

bigpete wrote: If you're worried about peno load it up with 310gn pills.


that's the issue with 44mag , no adi2205 powder :cry: . 444 i can load for . but i reckon your right, 44 mag would be plenty . rossi 92 is light , maybe red dot it

444 marlin + scope not so light . or as cheap in purchase price . brass, dies ,ect . it all adds up to more than a rossi .
it's just that 444 thumps . and sounds cool :D
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by bigpete » 10 May 2023, 9:30 am

bigrich wrote:
bigpete wrote: If you're worried about peno load it up with 310gn pills.


that's the issue with 44mag , no adi2205 powder :cry: . 444 i can load for . but i reckon your right, 44 mag would be plenty . rossi 92 is light , maybe red dot it

444 marlin + scope not so light . or as cheap in purchase price . brass, dies ,ect . it all adds up to more than a rossi .
it's just that 444 thumps . and sounds cool :D


I have 2205 :) ;)
I also had a rossi 92 in 44 mag,absolutely deadly accurate little thing too. Was tempted to scope it just to see how accurate it could be.
But in the end I decided I lost bugger all using a bolt action
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by bigrich » 10 May 2023, 10:04 am

bigpete wrote:
bigrich wrote:
bigpete wrote: If you're worried about peno load it up with 310gn pills.


that's the issue with 44mag , no adi2205 powder :cry: . 444 i can load for . but i reckon your right, 44 mag would be plenty . rossi 92 is light , maybe red dot it

444 marlin + scope not so light . or as cheap in purchase price . brass, dies ,ect . it all adds up to more than a rossi .
it's just that 444 thumps . and sounds cool :D


I have 2205 :) ;)
I also had a rossi 92 in 44 mag,absolutely deadly accurate little thing too.


rub it in pete ......specially the 2205 :roll: :cry:

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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by straightshooter » 10 May 2023, 11:02 am

I have owned a 444 Marlin and then a 44 Magnum marlin since the mid 70's.
The 444 is in reality a 44 mag on 'roids.
I have used a 44 Mag on really big pigs at 50 to 60 meters with excellent results but I doubt whether it would be humane to use on really big and tough game such as Sambar.
In my experience the ideal situation for a 44 Mag is sitting on a dam at dusk in scrubby country when a bunch of pigs turn up. You can get away a lot of shots before the pigs realize what's happening and try to escape.
I have now settled on just one load for the 44 Mag, a 180 grain Sierra JSP and Blue dot powder although I have tried others.
I have shot and experimented with the 444 a fair bit and found the best powder for 240 gn and 265 gn loads to be Reloder7 although I have tried 4227 4198 2400 3031 BM2 and even cordite with other projectiles. For some reason full power 300 grain loads of a bench seem to generate more recoil than I can handle.
Even though there is plenty of muzzle energy available the 444 is still only a 150 meter rifle when used on heavy game.
The Marlin large action is quite strong but due to the modest amount of metal around the chamber it woud be foolish to exceed tested loads from powder or projectile manufacturers. Same applies to the Marlin 94.
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by mickb » 08 Jul 2023, 9:07 pm

Sraightshooter, I dont know anything about sambar but have used 44mag on donkeys and brumbies up north. A 44 carbine runs about the same energy as a 454 casull revolver and the yanks use that for moose and grizzly no probs.

I still ask myself on a daily basis though whether I should get a 444 marlin anyway : D

Another option in the 444 is getting someone to rebarrel an enfield or another bolt action. The smith could long throat, seat bullets out, run higher power levels.
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by yoshie » 09 Jul 2023, 5:56 pm

I have both. The 444 just leaves bigger holes, but holds 5 less in the tube. I use the same bullets in both. 240g XPTs and and hard cast gas checks. 2205 for the 44 and 2206H for 444. I'm a big fan of the 444, if you can find one at a good price jump on it. Cases can be hard to find tho.
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by bigrich » 09 Jul 2023, 7:09 pm

straightshooter wrote: For some reason full power 300 grain loads of a bench seem to generate more recoil than I can handle..


yeah , i've heard they can be quite stout in the recoil department :D

444 really is overkill for what game i come across , and as much as i fancied a 44mag , not being able to get powder to load for it killed it for me .
i ended up getting a 30-30 94 win instead :roll: :lol:
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by straightshooter » 10 Jul 2023, 8:58 am

I'm a little surprised by your comment as a 44 mag in a rifle will work OK with quite a wide range of powders but with reduced velocities compared to what the optimum powders deliver.
These days I suppose a lot depends on what you have squirreled away.
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by bigrich » 10 Jul 2023, 9:34 am

straightshooter wrote:I'm a little surprised by your comment as a 44 mag in a rifle will work OK with quite a wide range of powders but with reduced velocities compared to what the optimum powders deliver.
These days I suppose a lot depends on what you have squirreled away.


if i can't get 2205 or 2400 to run a 44mag on, it's not worth it . at least with a 30-30 powder and components are easy to get :unknown: and it's a bit more flexiable than 44 for my uses . :thumbsup:
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by Oldbloke » 10 Jul 2023, 7:49 pm

This is the current reality.

IMHO, if you can't reload it with AR2208, don't buy it. So far, it's always been available.

Might be boring but you will be out hunting.
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by in2anity » 11 Jul 2023, 10:03 am

Oldbloke wrote:This is the current reality.

IMHO, if you can't reload it with AR2208, don't buy it. So far, it's always been available.

Might be boring but you will be out hunting.


Never a truer word. 06H must be flowing elsewhere I reckon. Not to mention 5.56mm, I think much 7.62x51mm military ammo runs on 06H doesn't it?
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by bigrich » 11 Jul 2023, 3:35 pm

Oldbloke wrote:This is the current reality.

IMHO, if you can't reload it with AR2208, don't buy it. So far, it's always been available.

Might be boring but you will be out hunting.


your right there . most of my rifles run on 2208 or 2209 , BM2 for my 223 :thumbsup:
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by in2anity » 11 Jul 2023, 9:50 pm

bigrich wrote:
your right there . most of my rifles run on 2208 or 2209 , BM2 for my 223 :thumbsup:


23gr bm2 under the 69gr smk #1380 is probably the most popular 223 service load. 08 in basically everything else. Love your taste bigrich!
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by mickb » 11 Jul 2023, 11:35 pm

on a slight tangent 44 can also run on 2207 and Reloader 7, just not very fast. More like 1200fps or equal to olden day 44-40 loads. Harvesting powder from cheap shotshells would also work, but low power again. Neither is good reason to get into a 44 of course if you dont have other options. More a last resort for those of us who have one .
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by jpsauer88 » 04 Aug 2023, 9:33 am

I could point out if your reloading 300g atleast you have available rifle powders for use.

Secondly, you can always download to 44mag velocity with cast projectiles and AR2205. adi has sent me data for this.
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by bladeracer » 04 Aug 2023, 1:32 pm

jpsauer88 wrote:I could point out if your reloading 300g atleast you have available rifle powders for use.

Secondly, you can always download to 44mag velocity with cast projectiles and AR2205. adi has sent me data for this.


But where do you get AR2205 these days? AR2207 is easier but still not what I consider readily available.
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by Tassiebloke » 04 Aug 2023, 5:38 pm

i'd say go for the 444 if you reload. mainly because it's propelling the same projectile as the 44 mag at faster speeds and you can use normal rifle powder to reload. been years since i saw pistol powder at my local shop. but if you don't reload, go the 44 mag.
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by jpsauer88 » 01 May 2024, 4:49 pm

bladeracer wrote:
jpsauer88 wrote:I could point out if your reloading 300g atleast you have available rifle powders for use.

Secondly, you can always download to 44mag velocity with cast projectiles and AR2205. adi has sent me data for this.


But where do you get AR2205 these days? AR2207 is easier but still not what I consider readily available.



The powder i foudn most accurate with 300g was 2206H (there is data for 2208 as well)
I got 2080fps with a 300g Hornady XTP out of my marlin. Amazing accuracy, actually the best of any other load (inlcuding 240, 225XPB and 265 FTP)

i used max charge, which is actually a low pressure charge of 50grains of 2206H as per ADI manual. A very easy to come by powder, 2208 produces same velocity according to manual, never tried it myself.
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by mickb » 27 May 2024, 6:56 pm

Originally the recommendation was for 444 marlin being we still have rifle powders. Wonder if that is switched around now we are short on large rifle primers? 444 marlin would be brutal to feed without reloading, $4+ per shot for factory ammo.
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by bladeracer » 27 May 2024, 7:24 pm

mickb wrote:Originally the recommendation was for 444 marlin being we still have rifle powders. Wonder if that is switched around now we are short on large rifle primers? 444 marlin would be brutal to feed without reloading, $4+ per shot for factory ammo.


You don't have to drop too much velocity from most rifle chamberings to get pressures down into pistol territory so you can use pistol primers.
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by Billo » 27 May 2024, 7:25 pm

mickb wrote:Originally the recommendation was for 444 marlin being we still have rifle powders. Wonder if that is switched around now we are short on large rifle primers? 444 marlin would be brutal to feed without reloading, $4+ per shot for factory ammo.


some Federal 44 Magnum ammo is now $105/20 :lol:
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by mickb » 08 Jun 2024, 12:00 pm

bladeracer wrote:
mickb wrote:Originally the recommendation was for 444 marlin being we still have rifle powders. Wonder if that is switched around now we are short on large rifle primers? 444 marlin would be brutal to feed without reloading, $4+ per shot for factory ammo.


You don't have to drop too much velocity from most rifle chamberings to get pressures down into pistol territory so you can use pistol primers.


Hi mate, the pressures would be the same between 44mag and 444 however Id imagine the issue is they have different brisance( double the powder charge to ignite in the rifle) also different height primers, and different metal thickness in the cup.

I know small pistol magnum/small rifle have cross over capabilities( same dimensions and similar powder charges) but I ran a thread on large rifle/pistol on a few forums and the consensus was it wasnt as good an idea.
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by bladeracer » 08 Jun 2024, 12:22 pm

mickb wrote:
bladeracer wrote:
mickb wrote:Originally the recommendation was for 444 marlin being we still have rifle powders. Wonder if that is switched around now we are short on large rifle primers? 444 marlin would be brutal to feed without reloading, $4+ per shot for factory ammo.


You don't have to drop too much velocity from most rifle chamberings to get pressures down into pistol territory so you can use pistol primers.


Hi mate, the pressures would be the same between 44mag and 444 however Id imagine the issue is they have different brisance( double the powder charge to ignite in the rifle) also different height primers, and different metal thickness in the cup.

I know small pistol magnum/small rifle have cross over capabilities( same dimensions and similar powder charges) but I ran a thread on large rifle/pistol on a few forums and the consensus was it wasnt as good an idea.


Keep your loads down in pistol pressure territory and pistol primers should be fine, although I'm sure there's a safety margin in their design.

Looking at ADI's load data the .444Mar runs at 44k CUP or 42k psi, using rifle primers. Their starting loads are generally in the 30k to 35k pressure realm.
The .44Mag is listed as 40k CUP or 36k psi using Rem 2-1/2 pistol primers.

If the pistol primer can cope fine with 36,000psi in the .44Mag I see no reason for it not to cope just fine with 36,000psi in the .444.
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by mickb » 09 Jun 2024, 3:49 am

mate again it isnt just about pressures, its whether the pistol primer can light up a rifle charge twice as heavy. The brisance of pistol primers is a lot lower than rifles.


I have heard of cast bullet folks using large pistol primers in their rifles but only using pistol powders aka reduced loads off stuff like unique and alliant etc

Also again, the large pistol primer is short for the rifle pocket, it will sit recessed which also I assume mean it may set back under firing as its not supported by the bolt face. Again, not sure what effect this has in real life, but I assume its not ideal to have a primer backing out at high speed. But getting back to the first point I think lighting up the rifle charge is going to be the main drama anyway. Magnum large pistol primers may have more chance..
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by bladeracer » 09 Jun 2024, 9:42 am

mickb wrote:mate again it isnt just about pressures, its whether the pistol primer can light up a rifle charge twice as heavy. The brisance of pistol primers is a lot lower than rifles.


I have heard of cast bullet folks using large pistol primers in their rifles but only using pistol powders aka reduced loads off stuff like unique and alliant etc

Also again, the large pistol primer is short for the rifle pocket, it will sit recessed which also I assume mean it may set back under firing as its not supported by the bolt face. Again, not sure what effect this has in real life, but I assume its not ideal to have a primer backing out at high speed. But getting back to the first point I think lighting up the rifle charge is going to be the main drama anyway. Magnum large pistol primers may have more chance..


It's a possibility. Best way to find out would be to try it. Might be an issue with very slow rifle powders. The slowest powder ADI suggest for the .444 is AR2208, it seems to prefer the faster powders, and especially pistol/shotshell powders. If APS950 is here to stay, and supply is good then that might be the answer. It's a little faster than the old AR2205 so I would imagine pistol shooters are already testing it in a variety of pistol chamberings.

Primers are supposed to be recessed, these will just be a little further recessed. It might be an issue if you have a short striker perhaps.

Bottom line is, if you can't get large rifle primers try large pistol ones, just don't try to push them up to full-noise rifle pressures.
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Re: 44mag or 444 marlin ?

Post by wrenchman » 09 Jun 2024, 10:38 am

I say get them both and have fun
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