I've Got A Lever Marlin .444 And I Want To Make It My Bear Gun...what Kind Of Scope Would Work Best, Ammo, And Whats A Good Max Range To Zero In At???
I've got one and love it, but I'm not sure it would be my first choice for hunting bears, as opposed to carrying for close range protection. It simply won't deliver the kind of punch I want past 100 yards. Inside that range where I would use it, I don't feel the need for a scope.
If you're determined to take a bear with it, I'd only use 300-grain or heavier bullets while recognizing that the 444 case capacity is really diminishing as you go up in bullet weight. In my book conventional pistol bullets are way too lightly built, so I use Hawk 300-grainers with the .035 jacket. A hardcast 320 would probaby be just fine, but at an even greater loss of case capacity.
Good scope=1X4X20 Leupold.
Good bullet= 325 grain Beartooth hard cast with gas check. The 444 will launch this bullet at 2300 FPS. I have run this very bullet lengthwise of a Moose at 60 yards with a starting muzzle velocity of only 1720 from my 12" Contender barrel chambered in 430 JDJ.
Good zero range=75 yards.
This link has the best 444 info and comments I have ever seen:
Marshall (I'm not the Marshall who wrote the article)