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Joined: 12/15/2003
Posts: 6
444 Marlin

I had a question about the 444 marlin. How good is it?? My friend wants to buy a used one and was wondering about it's affectiveness. It would be used from anything from whitetail to big game like elk and maybe even bear.. I have heard that it wasn't a very good cartridge. right now he is using a .270 and wants something bigger. Any info or insight would be great. Thanks.

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Location: Wisconsin
Joined: 12/08/2003
Posts: 134
444 Marlin

It really isn't designed to be a do-all cartridge. It will kill almost anything at close range, but once you get out past 100 yards, the energy drops off dramatically, and the bullet drops considerably. If all of your shots will be in close, it is pretty handy, but that may not always be the case. The .444 loses energy so fast, that anything past 50 yards, in most cases, the .270 has regained the energy lead. Don't get me wrong, that big hunk of lead will still impact with some power, but it may not be enough, and it's harder to hit accurately when allowing for drop is an issue. The 270 shoots a lot faster and drops a lot less, and holds its energy a lot longer. The .444 is a neat round and is great at what it was designed for, but it is not a do-all round or a suitable replacement for a .270.

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Location: Nebraska
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 72
444 Marlin

This might help these are the ballistics for both callibers. I got them From Remington.

270 Win.

Remington Express 150 grs Soft Point Core-Lokt®

VELOCITY (ft/sec)

at 100 200 300 400 500 yards

2504 2183 1886 1618 1385

ENERGY (ft-lbs)

at 100 200 300 400 500 yards

2087 1587 1185 872 639

SHORT-RANGE¹ TRAJECTORY

50 100 150 200 250 300 yards

0.3 0.8 zero -2.4 -6.7 -13

LONG-RANGE² TRAJECTORY*

100 150 200 250 300 400 500

2 1.8 zero -3.6 -9.4 -28.6 -61.2

444 Mar.

Remington Express 240 grs Soft Point
VELOCITY (ft/sec)
at 100 200 300 400 500 yards
1815 1377 1087 941 846
ENERGY (ft-lbs)
at 100 200 300 400 500 yards
1755 1010 630 472 381
SHORT-RANGE¹ TRAJECTORY*
50 100 150 200 250 300 yards
0.2 zero -3.2 -9.7 -20.8 -37.8
LONG-RANGE² TRAJECTORY*
100 150 200 250 300 400 500 yards
2.2 zero -5.4 -15.4 -31.4 -86.7 -180

[ This Message was edited by: Zippy240sx on 2004-01-08 12:50 ]

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Joined: 12/15/2003
Posts: 6
444 Marlin

Well shoot, it looks like he aught to stay with his .270. Any suggestions to something else other then the 444? Like maybe a 450 marlin or 416?

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
444 Marlin

It really depends on what he's looking for. If he wants something that will work like the .270, but be bigger, then I'd recommend the .30-06, .300 Win Mag, .338 Win Mag, or something like that. If he wants something more like a handy, short-range, lever-action gun then the .444 would be fine for that.

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Joined: 12/15/2003
Posts: 6
444 Marlin

Well he's actually looking for a caliber togo hunting in colorado. Bear, Elk, along that lines. I have a 338 win mag and he doesn't really like the recoil.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
444 Marlin

Go to the elk forum to see all the debate about whether a .270 is enough gun for hunting elk. I don't want to restart that debate, but I will say that a lot of elk have been taken over the years by hunters with .270s.

My personal opinion is that the only game animal you can hunt in Colorado that I might hesitate to hunt with a .270 would be moose.

If he still wants something bigger, and is only thinking Colorado hunting, then a .30-06 would be adequate. A .300 Win Mag would be plenty.

bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
444 Marlin

I wouldn't throw away the 444 marlin completely. Looking at the data Zippy posted, if your friend intends to stay within 100 yards, you could say that with a 240 grain bullet your going to be ok with elk. There's better, but there's worse too.

Look at the numbers. True the 270 at 100 yards has 38% more velocity, but the 444 has 60% more mass. So the marlin has 22% more momentum at 100 yards.

Like Mr. Vension said the 444's pop drops off fast.

If your friend doesn't like the 338's recoil, recoil pads and muzzle brakes will help. The brake will increase muzzle blast (noise) though.

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Joined: 01/23/2004
Posts: 12
444 Marlin

I have hunted successfully for years with the .444 cartridge. If the setting is wooded, and the range limited...it is a superb cartridge and has never failed me...even to ranges as far as 220 yards. Generally however, if it is an open area, and ranges are possible beyond 200 yards...take the .270.

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Joined: 01/23/2004
Posts: 12
444 Marlin

You would be surprised by the way, how taking two inches off of the barrel benefits the balance and handling of this rifle...without any dire effect on the balistics.

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Location: "on loan" to San Diego
Joined: 01/17/2004
Posts: 20
444 Marlin

With due respect to all:
Re: Zippy's research (apples vs oranges)as far as bullet weights are concerned.

90 grs difference!

I'm also concerned that the coefficients(Are you sure that one of the Soft Points isn't a Pointed Soft Point?) are different too due to the fact that most of the older.444 guns were lever actions and most lever action rounds tended to have a more rounder nose due to both jamups and prefires. Ask anyone who has had a Model 1894 pre 64" Win 30-30 RIFLE and shot the heck out of it.

I've seen Remington Core Lokts discussed on this site many times and one time during an Elk forum I know it was'nt the correct Core Lokt that was referenced.
I've shot Speer,Hornys,Silvertips and Core Lokts as handloads and factorys in the Winchesters and Remingtons when I could'nt obtain the loose bullets from my supplier when I still had the equipment to reload centerfire rounds. Alas, I only have 2 shotshell reloaders from the past. I borrow a CFire press from a friend when the time allows now to make some PET loads.

As Mr. Millon and Bitmasher usually do the ballistic commentary so I'll let them continue but in closing re: choice of rifle, I'll state what I FEEL should be your deciding factors in choosing your weapon(THOUGH OFTEN TIMES OVERLOOKED AS A GROUP. They are as follows:

1)YOUR NON BENCHREST marksmanship skills
2)YOUR HUNTING EXPERIENCE in GENERAL
3)YOUR hunting skills re: the SPECIFIC game
4)YOUR STALKING skills
5)YOUR physical condition or LIMITATIONS
6)TERRAIN: DISTANCE, brushy, mountainous
7)SIGHTS: open or scope
:cool:Quarry: Dangerous(Bear,Rutting Moose)or..
9)Bullet selection (reloads or factory)
10)Will be using this rifle on more that one type of game and in more than one type of terrain.

With all the modern knowhow that is available to the shooter now(i.e. porting, muzzle brakes and gel kickpads, some folks can shoot the larger flatter shooting magnum calibers and hardly notice a difference especially on the deer/elk size loads and even with some shorter barrels they can still "REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE")

Remember that as HUNTERS, WE have the RESPONSIBILTY to KILL our quarry in THE QUICKEST AND MOST HUMANE WAY POSSIBLE.

WE MUST KNOW that we can KILL our quarry BEFORE we pull the trigger. DON'T hope we can kill them, KNOW that we can. Know that we can place those bullets where we need to in whatever situation we get ourselves into.

BE SAFE AND HAVE A GREAT HUNT

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