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Thread: 444 Marlin and Brown Bear?

  1. #1

    Default 444 Marlin and Brown Bear?

    We flat landers have a little argument going on concerning shooting the big bears with a 444. I've got three guys that are for it and me alone against it. We're not talking carrying as bear protection but rather going onto the bears turf with intentions of bringing his head and hide back home!

    What do the experts say in regards?

  2. #2


    Would it kill a bear? Yes

    Would it be my choice for brown bear? No

  3. #3
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    Never my choice but can be done. It is a very hot 44mag.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  4. #4
    New member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010


    If I remember correctly most of the .444 Marlin bullets available when it was introduced were too light and got bad reports on game. My buddy discovered a minimum of 265 grain bulllet was recommended.

    My buddy originally swore by his. He made a neck shot on a black bear and it hit the central nervous system dropping it where it stood. All I heard from him the next few years was how great the .444 was.

    Well...he finally shot something else with it, a poor yearling deer, high up on the back, and made a fist sized hole through it. The poor deer ran about 100 yards. My buddy was shocked, and now suddenly the .444 was a piece of crap. He suspected bad ammo, etcetera, and finally read somewhere guys were having similar results with light bullets as I stated above.

    Not to distract from your original question about the .444 but something I have seen lots of arguement on is the placement of the bullet and some feeling, "Shoot them in the shoulder first to bust them up."

  5. #5

    Default My thought is

    if you are intentionally going after a Grizz/Brownie, then I would choose a more "definite" gun/cartridge combination. If you like a lever gun, then a 45-70 would be better at the same range the .444 is most efficient. If a bolt gun would be acceptable, then go with a .300 Win Mag and up, probably a .338 is even a better bottom line. You are going to spend a lot of bucks on a hunt, so why not make sure you have the right firearm, instead of one that might be okay. Your guide would appreciate that too.

  6. #6


    Defensive shooting? I'd take it over any handgun on earth. Easier to shoot well and fast, and suitable bullets are available.

    Hunting our local brown bears? There's not a lever-action on earth I'd use, and I've got an original 450 Alaskan which has it all over the 45-70. Just not enough effective range, and you have to get well over 500 grains bullets to achieve the sectional densities I want.

    But I have a low opinion of handguns in the hands of average shooters, and I'm so conservative about rifle calibers that even the 338 barely meets my criteria.

    Others feel different and they're welcome to do what they want. Just don't expect me to agree or do it their way.


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