Few of our pure woods rifles qualify as suitable
for hunting all big game from deer to elk and moose with factory loaded
ammunition. The Marlin Model 336 (or Model 444 as it is called) in .444 Marlin
is one that does. When loaded with Remington 265 grain factory load (now
obsolete), the Marlin is perfectly capable of taking down moose and elk at
When in 1958 Winchester discontinued the Model 71 in .348 caliber, no lever action rifle was available in a caliber more powerful than the .35 Remington. In 1964, Remington filled that space in the factory cartridge lineup with a stretched version of the .44 Magnum. Since the cartridge was designed due to a request from Marlin, what might otherwise have been called the .44 Super Maximum became know as the .444 Marlin.
Despite its confusing name, the .444 Marlin is loaded with a .429" diameter, same as for the .44 Remington Magnum cartridge. The 240 grain bullet is an excellent choice for deer, but for bigger game the Hornady 265 grain round nose is the best bet. A number of powders work quite well in this cartridge with IMR-4198, IMR-3031, H335, W-748 and Reloader-7 at the top of the list.
It has been said that when a cartridge fails to gain enough popularity to become available in more than one rifle or to be loaded by more than one ammunition manufacturer, its chances of survival are indeed slim. The .444 Marlin is proof enough that one exception to this particular rule does exist.
Source: Hodgdon Data Manual, 26th Edition
* From my personal experience in handloading
this cartridge for a .444 Marlin with a 24" barrel, I found that
the best with both the 240 grain Remington bullet and the 265 grain
Hornady bullet. When loading cast bullets
for this cartridge because of the Micro-Grooved barrel, cast bullets should
be kept to under 1000 fps to reduce lead fouling, while cast bullets with
gas-checks can be loaded to higher velocities. Both
Alliant 2400 and
Unique work well
with 240 Lead SWC.
to Rifle Cartridges
** Additional Info on the .444 Marlin
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