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Thread: 444 and Barnes Buster

  1. #1
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    Default 444 and Barnes Buster

    I have a new to me 444 marlin, stainless lever action. It is newer so I think it is the 1:20 twist instead of the micro groove 1:38. I have a box of 300g Barnes buster bullets and have no idea where to start on load data and can't find anything on the net. I have yet to call Barnes, but that is where I am heading next. Anybody have any suggestions here in AK?

    Before it is said, I do not have a 45/70 or 450 and don't plan on getting one. I happened on this gun and would like to play around with a functional load with bullets I already have.

  2. #2

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    No clue, but watch your cannelure position and LOA.

  3. #3

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    Call Barnes and ask to speak with Ty. Have the questions you would like to ask him written down and have a pen and piece of paper handy for note taking.

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    I've been getting good performance with H4198 under the 300gr Hornady in my 444. I would suggest starting with that data and backing off a little then work up. I have seen one of those Busters sectioned and they have a very thick jacket, the guys at the Barnes booth at DSC also claimed they had a harder core than a normal jacketed bullet, so best to start low and work up. One thing is for certain, once you get them moving they ought to be hard to stop, bones be danged.

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    I have heard they are supposed to be tough and there has been a lot of speculation on several other sights about their use in the 444 marlin, but alas, no reports pro or against. Also no load data. The lack of response on this forum suggests the same here in AK. I will repost after I talk with the the people at Barnes.

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    Here is a place to start, look down the page some for the .444 http://www.loaddata.com/members/list...4&caliberid=25 -Edit- Disregard that one, I didn't realize it was a registration required thing. Try the powder manufacturers home pages, here is one to try... http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp

    I love that round, I had it in a Winchester. When you want to play around, load plain 240g half jackets in it, but only load 2 so you don't detonate any in the tube mag(they say the nose shape can detonate a primer under recoil). Makes it cheap and easy to shoot.

    XMP5744 is a decent match for that cartridge, it is a big fluffy powder designed for the big straightwall cases. Works for a large variety of bullet weights, and can work in .44 Mag and such as well.

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    I just got off the phone with Barnes. Their advice is to use other manufacturers load data for lead core 300 grain bullets. No surprise really. I am lean towards H4198 for the temperature sensitivity and good velocity on paper. I will report on everything when I get to the range. There is enough data on the Hodgdon web sight to get me started.

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    I emailed Barnes about load data for the 444. They said use load data for a similar shape and same weight bullet and start at the starting loads. I quite shore you don,t want to go past the max load velocities and charges unless you have the proper test equipment. Jaime

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    I had a good range day and here is my 444 report. I used the Barnes Buster 300g bullets behind 51, 51.5 and 52 grains of N133 out of the speer manual for their 300g hollow point flat nosed bullet. The Busters seated well, I got a good crimp with a Lee Factory Die over the cannelure and the bullet COL was within SAMMI specs. They loaded well. I shot open sight with a rest to 50 yards and was within 2". The factory sights all the way suck by the way. My chrony did not like me today, so I did not get all the velocities. The low charge and the high charge were within 50 fps however. About 2120 for the 51.5g of N133 in a Rem case and Rem 9 1/2 primers. I intend to use this for close quarter work on deer in OR, or on a bear baiting stand. Most likely the stand hence the tough buster bullet incase all Hades breaks loose and there is a DLP situation. I plan to change the sights to the fluorescent kind and put a bigger loop on the lever. I might leave the load as is at 51.5g N133, but then again, I might see what a little more powder will do?

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    Sounds good to me, by the way what length is your rifle's barrel? Best to get yourself a good ghostring or peep sight for that triplefour, those factory buckhorns are terrible, prone to breakage and adjusting themselves.

  11. #11

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    Thanks for the report- You have my attention. I drive 300 Hawks to a little over 2300 in my wildcat, and the Barnes sounds like a good addition to the stable.

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    My rifle is a Marlin 444xlr, stainless with 24" barrel. I got it in a round about way, so I don't really know much about it. My gunsmith though I should chop the barrel. I have not shot it more that 15 times, so I don't know how I like it yet. I do know it is getting new sights.

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