.444 Marlin, though now a forgotten cartridge, was once a cherished part of any hunters hunting kitty. The .45-70 cartridge now hogs all the headlines. .444 Marlin is a big cartridge, good enough to make a big hole in its target.
.444 Marlin was first used with the Model 444 rifle manufactured by Marlin. However, Remington had originally designed the .444 Marlin. Records suggest that Remington did it for Marlin as part of some contract. The cartridge was launched commercially in 1964 under the Marlin brand name for lever action rifles.
.444 Marlin is very effective with factory loads. It can shoot a light weight bullet with a very straight trajectory and a good speed. This is where it beats .45-70 cartridge. Between the two, experience hunters say that if one is good at handloading then the .45-70 should be selected. Otherwise for factory loaders, a .444 Marlin is the most preferred cartridge. The pressure standard for .444 Marlin is 44,000 CUP.
.444 Marlin was based on a case which measures 2.105 inch in length. It resembles .44 Remington Magnum Revolver in many aspects. It can shoot a 240-grain bullet from a .444 Marlin rifle with a speed of 2450 feet per second with about 3000 ft. pounds. energy packed in the shot. Hornady offers the 444 in their Light Magnum line with a 260-grain bullet, the maximum bullet speed would be in the range of 2300 to 2400 feet per second, depending on the rifle and external conditions. This shot would have about 3200 ft. lbs. of energy. However the speed and the punch drops significantly at about 100 yards. The speed reduces by about 40 percentage while the energy reduces to about half of the initial level. Using more then 275-grain bullets with a .444 Marlin cartridge is not advisable. This is because of the relatively slower rifling system used in the cartridge. H335, RL-7 and H322 are some of the recommended powders to go with .444 Marlin.
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