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Thread: 444 moose/bear loads

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Default 444 moose/bear loads

    Curious if anyone has loaded a 444 for moose/bear? I have 270g Gold Dot Soft Points and 300g Hornady XTP's. Would either of these be sufficient for moose/bear (grizz) out to 150 yards?

    My one and only kill with my 444 was a moose at 80-90 yards with factory loaded 265g Hornady Flextips. I have not ballistically done my homework so I don't know if the 265's are sufficient for grizz out to 150. Any thoughts?

    Tim

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    I load a 330 grain Beartooth sized .432 with 55 grains of H335. Gives me 2000 fps chronographed out of my 16.5 inch Marlin barrel.

    The Speer God dots will over expand at 444 velocities. The Hornady 265's hold together better. But the hardcast 330's are the best.

    The micro groove barrel handles them just fine at these speeds and sized to .432.

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    Moose are easy to kill and a front shoulder shot should put it down where it stands. Brown bear don't give up so quick but a heart lung shot will kill it in a minute or two. Killing an unsuspecting bear is a lot different than trying to stop a charge. Make a well placed shot and wait. Oh, yeah. Don't jump up and down and holler "I got him" as he might not be all the way dead yet and just a little ticked off.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack49 View Post
    I load a 330 grain Beartooth sized .432 with 55 grains of H335. Gives me 2000 fps chronographed out of my 16.5 inch Marlin barrel.

    The Speer God dots will over expand at 444 velocities. The Hornady 265's hold together better. But the hardcast 330's are the best.

    The micro groove barrel handles them just fine at these speeds and sized to .432.
    That's what I'd like to do; sling a 300 grain bullet at 2,000 fps.

    Guess I wasn't paying much attention to bullet diameter. Will hard cast bullets lead-foul my barrel versus using a jacketed bullet, or is that even an issue?

    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    That's what I'd like to do; sling a 300 grain bullet at 2,000 fps.

    Guess I wasn't paying much attention to bullet diameter. Will hard cast bullets lead-foul my barrel versus using a jacketed bullet, or is that even an issue?

    Tim
    The issue with Marlin barrels is the fast twist micro groove rifling and the bores being oversize in most cases.

    This leads to poor accuracy with long heavy bullets. A factor of the shallow micro groove not gripping the undersized bullet. This is especially the case with lead bullets.

    The solution is to make sure the bullet can engage the groves in the barrel all the way and to push it fast for maximum stability. The combination of speed and proper sizing allow the micro groove barrel that is optimized for 240 grain bullets to shoot 300+ grains very accurately.

    The Beartooth 330's don't lead the barrel at all. Very clean.

    This bullet will handle Moose and even an angry bear just fine and you likely will not find the bullet as it will exit.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Jack. I should mention that I'm shooting a Marlin XLR with 24" barrel. I like the 444 for some reason and I would like to get another one some day.

    Just curious, what are you loading in your 444 for plinking?

    This is my first attempt at handloading for the 444 and I was going to load 240g jhp for plinking, along with 270 & 300g for hunting. I checked out the Beartooth website, good stuff, lotta bullets to choose from.

    Besides the 330g, do you have another bullet recommendation from beartooth for either the 444 or even 44 mag (rifle & revolver)?

    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    Thanks for the info Jack. I should mention that I'm shooting a Marlin XLR with 24" barrel. I like the 444 for some reason and I would like to get another one some day.

    Just curious, what are you loading in your 444 for plinking?

    This is my first attempt at handloading for the 444 and I was going to load 240g jhp for plinking, along with 270 & 300g for hunting. I checked out the Beartooth website, good stuff, lotta bullets to choose from.

    Besides the 330g, do you have another bullet recommendation from beartooth for either the 444 or even 44 mag (rifle & revolver)?

    Tim
    If you have the XLR with the new Ballard rifling you're golden shooting heavy bullets. My previous comments were in regards to older guns with the Microgroove.

    For plinking I just use whatever jacketed bullets I have handy.

    With hardcast bullets I don't like pushing them much beyond 2100 fps as the lead can only take so much and at these speeds the bullet will deform on impact. With the 24 inch barrel 21-2200 fps with the 330 grain will be easy to achieve. As I said I'm hititng 2000 with a 16.5 inch barrel. This is the reason I dont' use lighter lead bullets in the 444 as the velocities get out of hand. I know others do but that's my take on it.

    The only other serious bullet I've used is the 280 grain Swift A-Frame. It's a hollow point and expands big time. But the partition keeps the rear intact even at 444 speeds. Not a Bear bullet in my book but it's worked on Moose just fine.

    However, ever since workiing up the 330 grain load a while back I have stopped experimenting. It's perfect for me.

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    Thanks for the insight. I'm new to it and hoping to find a good moose/bear load to settle on. I will try the 330g this summer. For now I'm going to shoot up some 300g and 240 since I have that on hand.

    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    Thanks for the insight. I'm new to it and hoping to find a good moose/bear load to settle on. I will try the 330g this summer. For now I'm going to shoot up some 300g and 240 since I have that on hand.

    Tim
    Hey Tim.

    Here's a place every Marlin owner should have bookmarked. Amazing sight with a TON of info on the guns & cartridges.
    Even a section just for you .444 guys!
    http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Thanks, Vance. WORLD of info on there. I'm bookmarked and memebered-up over there. I used Slackjaw as my username (my Bristol Bay handle); can't be any worse than tccak71!

    Tim

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