Thinktank on 444 bolt action

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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by Billo » 26 Mar 2024, 8:08 am

mickb wrote:thanks Billo I didnt know you were involved. Bloody hell mate, 444 safari's, 500 A2, 500 SW you are into all the cool stuff.

Getting back to my first question, would love to know the easiest bolt action to convert. If anyone has a tikka and wants me to send half a dozen 444 marlin dummy rounds to test the magazine situation let me know.


Hey mickb I do love the big bores, I dont see myself playing with anymore anytime soon, thou I havent owned a 338, 375 or 40cal so still a few options left. :thumbsup:
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by bigpete » 26 Mar 2024, 8:50 am

bigrich wrote:
mickb wrote:thanks Billo I didnt know you were involved. Bloody hell mate, 444 safari's, 500 A2, 500 SW you are into all the cool stuff.

Getting back to my first question, would love to know the easiest bolt action to convert. If anyone has a tikka and wants me to send half a dozen 444 marlin dummy rounds to test the magazine situation let me know.


my opinion , FWIW , tikka is tooo damn light . i had a 9.3x62 sako 85 grizzly that i ran hot handloads in . and for the record it had a lot of freebore . so i was seating a lot further out for more powder capacity . and it wasn't bad to shoot cause it had a dense walnut stock and a bit of weight to it . a lighter rifle woulda been punishing . horses for coarses mate , but old school big game rifles were built at least to 91/2 to 10lb so they weren't too brutal on the shooter .
P14's have a bit of weight ,and have been done in 444 . hint ;) just my 2 cents ......


You mean not light enough....
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by Wyliecoyote » 27 Mar 2024, 7:49 am

You are not going to get a Tikka plastic magazine to feed rimmed 444 Marlin cases reliably. If at all. The action i would use and have done so for 45/70 is Ruger 77 Mark 1. The short action will do for 444 Marlin up to 2.9" OAL. Ideally a donor Swift action as the rails are most likely already tuned for rimmed cases.
No idea why anyone would muck around with old relics of dubious metal hardness qualities that may or may not drill and tap for scope mounts. Or become hand grenades.
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by bigrich » 27 Mar 2024, 12:08 pm

Wyliecoyote wrote:No idea why anyone would muck around with old relics of dubious metal hardness qualities that may or may not drill and tap for scope mounts. Or become hand grenades.


Plenty of smith’s have no issues using Mauser 98 actions for custom builds. P14’s M17 are even more over engineered than the Mauser. My own competition rifle in classic caliber at my local big game comp is a martini 303 . I came in second last year. Not bad for a 1880 made rifle with open sights
How much is a swift action out of curiosity ?
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by Wyliecoyote » 28 Mar 2024, 7:58 am

bigrich wrote:
Wyliecoyote wrote:No idea why anyone would muck around with old relics of dubious metal hardness qualities that may or may not drill and tap for scope mounts. Or become hand grenades.


Plenty of smith’s have no issues using Mauser 98 actions for custom builds. P14’s M17 are even more over engineered than the Mauser. My own competition rifle in classic caliber at my local big game comp is a martini 303 . I came in second last year. Not bad for a 1880 made rifle with open sights
How much is a swift action out of curiosity ?


Not a question of if you can, the question is of why? I thought the point of this exercise was to get the 444 to above old lever gun pressure limits and into the area of big game hunting rifle? That is why i would recommend the Ruger action as the work is 95% all done for you. A customer comes to me with modern action, barrel and cartridge choice, he gets it in a couple of days and for the barrel fitment the cost would be around $250. To mess with the rails a bit to get it to feed into the chamber may or may not be required. He or she brings in a action as you suggest, i decline or i put it off to get other stuff done or say same ridiculous cost hoping it goes away. It is for this reason i worked only on Fclass and BR rifles. Many other smiths have gone the same route as old guns take time for which most don't want to pay for and even after that unforeseen issues arise.
It is as simple as this, if you wish to bring a cartridge into the modern era you need to do it on a modern action. Taking a cartridge like the 6.5 Creedmoor and putting it into a mauser or No 4 action and expecting it to perform at 65k psi is common place isn't it? There is no reason why the 444 in a good modern action couldn't go there and i know that a Ruger action can do it, has integral ring mounts, claw extractor. Basically all the traits needed for a dangerous game rifle in probably the strongest action made of its era that can work with rimmed cases. But like i said, i only worked on Fclass and BR rifles and if i were to do a 444 it would be without the rim.
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by bigrich » 28 Mar 2024, 8:13 am

A ruger action sounds great to me . I was replying to your inference about using a swift action. As for the older actions Norma used an ancient 96 Mauser action for proofing their loads up until quite recently I believe. 98’s and M17/14’s are stronger again. A modern ruger action would be a fine choice. If money was no object a custom double rifle wouldn’t be a bad thing to my taste. Straight walled cases don’t generally generate as much pressure as bottle necked cases. I learnt that playing around with 45-70 in a marlin. A Enfield is a practical thing as long as it’s the stronger latter models and you don’t go silly. Horses for coarses . The final say comes down to mick as to what he wants out of this project.
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by mickb » 28 Mar 2024, 4:32 pm

Wyliecoyote wrote:You are not going to get a Tikka plastic magazine to feed rimmed 444 Marlin cases reliably. If at all. The action i would use and have done so for 45/70 is Ruger 77 Mark 1. The short action will do for 444 Marlin up to 2.9" OAL. Ideally a donor Swift action as the rails are most likely already tuned for rimmed cases.
No idea why anyone would muck around with old relics of dubious metal hardness qualities that may or may not drill and tap for scope mounts. Or become hand grenades.



thanks mate if its easiest aka 95% of the work is done and they can manage a 2.9" COAL that ticks the boxes. So is this is the same action as in the ruger gunsite scout rifle as I heard it pretty much feeds 444 marlin out of the magazine without alteration.

Just wanted to make the disctinction between the 'old relic' actions too as they cant all be lumped together. 98, P14, M17 are TOTALLY different level from the, smle no.4 's etc and shouldnt even be in the same sentence. 14/17's are common choices for elephant guns, 500A2, 505 gibbs, 585 nyati and 577 trex, run up to 60Kpsi.
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by mickb » 29 Mar 2024, 3:09 am

So this is the 444 with the 410 grain custom bullet seated to the cannelure and I belive this makes the COAL about 2.87 inches so I am assuming this will cycle in the ruger magazine coyote mentions. Looks like a real big game cartridge in this guise :thumbsup:

Image

The loading that gets 4000ftlbs is actually seated an extra 5mm more than the above( about 3.09" COAL)....however I reckon Id still get there with 2.86" COAL, stouter load and 24-26" barrel which will add 50-100 fps.( test rifle is 22")

The advantaqe of doing it on the P14 and M17 of course would be the COAL can be a lot more than the Ruger....
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by mickb » 29 Mar 2024, 3:13 am

Billo did you say you were annealing these cases for the fella, looks like the brass above is. What was that for?
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by Billo » 29 Mar 2024, 12:23 pm

mickb wrote:Billo did you say you were annealing these cases for the fella, looks like the brass above is. What was that for?


No I owned the brass, picked up 6 bxs of brand new Remington (1980s production). to lengthen brass life I gave em an anneal before they were fired :thumbsup:
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by mickb » 29 Mar 2024, 2:18 pm

ok thanks mate.

well I am going to shelve this one. bit hard to find a gunsmith atm. have a few mates interested who have also asked some of the good smiths they know but no one real keen. I think smiths either want a basic BOBO job ( barrel off, barrel on) or $5k worth of work to make it worth their while. The craze seems to be long range and precision too, a lot of fellas into building custom in that field. Not complaining of course, this was a rather obscure project from the start.
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by straightshooter » 02 Apr 2024, 8:30 am

What a pity, just as it was becoming interesting.
A couple of days ago out of curiosity I tried a number of factory Hornady rounds with the pointed plastic tipped 265 grain projectiles in a M98.
They fitted in the magazine OK. The feed out of the magazine looked promising but it would require opening out the boltface to match the 444 rim and possibly modifying the extractor to get a definite answer.
The magazine length on a standard M98 is about 3.3" and a Zastava in an unloved caliber won't cost much more than $500.
With that combination and the use of a CH canneluring tool to install a cannelure about 5/16" from the base of the projectile you would be well on your way to realisation.
I don't think any of this would be rocket surgery for a proper gunsmith.
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by wrenchman » 08 Apr 2024, 9:13 am

I can say I was hoping to see it when done
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by mickb » 16 Apr 2024, 10:42 am

thanks for the follow up on that straight shooter, if you know any decent gunsmiths feel free to mention or send a PM. Hey we could get two built mate :) .
My friends and I put out feelers to mostly the safari gun guys, they know their stuff, but most are semiretired/retired or not interested/busy.
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by mickb » 16 Apr 2024, 6:52 pm

On that note fellas, who are the current gunsmiths who can pull on this sort of work? Any younger guys coming up?
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by mickb » 19 Apr 2024, 6:27 pm

Zero?
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by Stoney » 19 Apr 2024, 7:00 pm

Did you try Anthony George? the fella up in the NT. He does a lot of unusual big game rounds.
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by bigpete » 19 Apr 2024, 7:11 pm

He's also extremely full of bovine excrement
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by mickb » 19 Apr 2024, 9:08 pm

What do you mean bigpete. Not a good smith or?
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by bigpete » 19 Apr 2024, 11:51 pm

Let's say I've spoken with him on the phone several times. In the end I had to block his number because he contradicted himself so many times and spoke so much bulls**t I couldn't deal with him.
As for gunsmithing he may well be very good.
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Re: Thinktank on 444 bolt action

Post by Stoney » 20 Apr 2024, 4:11 pm

bigpete wrote:Let's say I've spoken with him on the phone several times. In the end I had to block his number because he contradicted himself so many times and spoke so much bulls**t I couldn't deal with him.
As for gunsmithing he may well be very good.


Sorry to hear that mate. It was just a suggestion, not an endorsement.
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