444 4 the 1st time!
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Thread: 444 4 the 1st time!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    317

    Default 444 4 the 1st time!

    Well on Thanksgiving day I took my dad's old Marlin 444ss and shot my first Whitetail with it. That is to say this was the first deer I've shot with the 444 Marlin, not the first deer I've shot. It was two first's for me, the first animal I've taken with the 444 Marlin and the first time I've attempted a neck shot. Now the range was rediculously close, say inside 30 feet, but the results were impressive. The deer was a decent mature doe, and she was dead before she hit the ground with nary a twitch. I know a 30-30 or even less powerful cartridges could have done the same given the range and shot placement but it was a good start for my hunting experience with this cartridge. I wish I'd taken a picture but, I plan to do more hunting and hopefully at slightly longer ranges with both it and the 1895 Marlin in 450 Marlin that I also inherited from my dad.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Tucson, Az
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    Nice shooting, enjoy that good venison.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    Queensland Australia.
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    2,312

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    A very effective but underrated calibre here these days.

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    372

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    Congratulations! I sold my Marlin 444 but it was a fine shooting rifle, just don't hunt anymore. Very accurate using my home cast 265gr Ranch Dog bullets with gas checks. I've also shot a TC Contender converted to 444, what a blast!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    pa.
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    my 444 marlin is a 94 Winchester timber carbine, I killed one six point buck with it and missed one. I load a 265 gr Hornady at 2000 fps and it is indeed a killer. I don,t use very often any more.
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  7. #6
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    Nov 2007
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    In my WVA free state mind!
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    Nice..
    "Christís Grace + being constitutionally solvent !"

  8. #7
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    Jan 2018
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    Colorado
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    Here's my .444 story. Back in the 1980s I flew home to northern Minnesota from my residence in Virginia, to hunt with my brothers and two nephews. As I flew from Virginia, I borrowed dad's .444 Marlin from my older brother. He drove to northern MN from south-central MN. He arrived with his Winchester Model-70 .30-06 and the .444 Marlin for me. But, he forgot to bring ammunition. Luckily he borrowed some .30-06 ammo from one of the nephews, but we had to make a trip to town to try to find .444 ammo. There was then only one store in the small town that carried any kind of ammo and as luck had it, there was only one box of .444. With .444 ammo in hand we returned to the cabin in the woods for supper grub. Come opening morning older brother took a folding chair and walked out to set up in a blind, nestled in some tree branches and facing a possible deer crossing of the road. I walked off about 300 yards in a different direction with the .444 and waited for a customer to come along. About 30 minutes later I heard a shot in the direction of where my brother was sitting, I listened but heard no whistling or yelling. Hmmm, maybe that wasn't my brother? It sure sounded like his .30-06. ? ? Well, I decided, I may as well walk up there and check on him. I slowly came around some trees and brush and I saw my brother calmly sitting in his blind. I thought that was a little odd so I ambled over to him to learn what the story was with the one shot. Maybe it was a neighbor's shot. ? I asked him what was going on. Well, he said, a deer took a couple of steps out into the road, he shot, the deer ran, but he thought it missed. Well now, my brother is a pretty darn good shot with that Model-70, and the range distance to the deer was only about 55 yards. No way on a missed shot. I took right off up the road toward where the deer had been. My brother scrambled to get out of the blind and follow. I got to the place where the deer had been standing when it got shot, and the toes of my boots were lined up with the red blood drops in the snow. My brother caught up, walked up beside me and said, "It was right around here when I shot it". I encouraged my brother to look down at the toes of my boots. He saw the blood and then he got excited. I could see where the deer had run and some fresh wood on a felled tree showed that the deer's hoof had knock bark off as it jumped. With my brother following I walked up to the tree and pointed out what I saw, and I directed him to go over or around the tree and pick up the trail on the other side. He walked around the tree and then there was silence. I listened a while and asked, "You see any sign over there in or on the brush?" Silence. "Do you see anything over there?" "Ugh, it's laying here." I got around to the deer's side of the felled tree and there lay the white tail. My brother was in a little state of shock, or buck fever. I told him good going, now get out your knife and gut this thing. There was still a far away look in his eyes as he was working to process what I said. He finally regained his senses and said, "I don't have a knife, I forgot it." Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm. He drove 5 hours to go deer hunting and arrived with rifles, no ammunition, and no knife. Luckily, we are family. :-) OK, no problem, here use my knife. Ughhhh, I don't know how to do it. What, you don't know how to field dress a deer? You have shot deer before. ? ? Yeah, but Richard (the other brother) always does the cutting. Me thinks -- O.K., well, enough with it already, I'll do it. So I field dressed the deer, put a snag on it and dragged it back to camp. By that time it was time for brunch and with that out of the way I hit the woods again with the .444. It's all in a day's work.

    I walked down a different road in the woods and found a place where one of the brothers had put up a tree stand for me. I took one look at the location of the tree stand and the lay of the land, and I decided not to use it. It just wasn't right. Walking off about 100 yards I found a large tree, wide enough that my body would be shielded or backgrounded by its girth, depending on a deer's viewing angle. The object being, I did not want to stand out as a human form beside a tree. I wanted to appear as part of the tree. I stood tree-like for about 30 minutes, down wind from a possible deer crossing point. I saw a spike buck poke its head out of the brush about 50 yards away. The deer could not smell me and it was giving me the ol' "hairy eyeball". I held on motionless but was very, very slowly bringing up the .444. The deer kept watching me, I squinted and half closed my eyelids so that I could not blink. The white tail and I literally were engaged in an unblinking stare -- as I slowly maneuvered the rifle. I figured I had him beat so long as we kept our eye contact locked. I don't know how it took but I finally -- as in FINALLY -- got the Marlin up to my shoulder and had the hammer pulled back. I was slowly bringing the scope to bear on the deer when it finally decided to run a little. The deer took 4 or 5 bounding leaps over brush, but it's tail was not up in a flag, it didn't really run, it just kind of bounded like a rabbit hopping over brush. That was what I needed. By the 2 1/2 bound the cross-hairs were tracking the deer. As it came up on the fourth bound I dropped the hammer and the deer disappeared as if it was hit by a sledge hammer. I jacked in a new round and waited; no sounds came from the deer's direction. I picked up a rock and tossed it over there; nothing, no reaction. I walked over and found the deer lying dead. I saw there was no bullet hole in the chest area. Then I found the bullet hole through the neck, in the right side and out the left. Hmmm. That should not have been an instantly fatal shot. I field dressed the buck and explored the wound. I discovered that the .444 bullet had apparently deflected a little from the brush, and apparently had spun end over end, and cut through the deer's wind pipe like a circle saw. In the past I had shot plenty of deer and even wild boar, but I never saw a bullet do damage like that. The deer's wind pipe was completely severed. The Marlin .444 left a good hunting memory with me these nearly 40 years past.

  9. #8
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    Mar 2010
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    Western Connecticut, USA
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    Adler, I enjoyed your story!

  10. #9
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    Apr 2020
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    Lancaster county, PA USA
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    I have a micro groove 444, hits hard and is easy to carry. I don't scope it because I like the fast acting nature and I can still hit things well with it out to about 250 yards.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    great story, adler and a fine cartridge! thank you!

  12. #11
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    Oct 2008
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    'Beachy' Southern California
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    No hunting story, colorful or otherwise! Happily, not a hunter. But my Marlin 444 which I bought new in 1971; small story. Mine, a definite 'like it' or 'hate it' edition. I've moved from one to the other end of the butt stock spectrum with the excuse... 'Seemed a good idea at the time'. A short lived "raised comb", straight grip stock model. Produced I believe about '70 - 72 era in limited numbers. Mine, '71, pix below. I do believe for scope use, it could achieve a superior 'fit', cheek weld. Otherwise... Saw what must have been a pix of one in a scabbard. Looked to be in urgent need of Midwife! If there's one term NOT describing my model, it's "svelte"!
    The 45-70 Model, intro in 1972 largely superseding the 444 in popularity. Other than hard-core users, if there's any kind of general 444 popularity resurgence, good to know. Perhaps ammo less pricey! The 444 itself was a great cartridge and (my understanding) did particularly well with cast bullets!
    Thanks for my own, if mixed, 'memory lane' trip-ops re my only 444!
    Best & Keep Safe!
    John
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails R51-1U.jpg  


  13. #12
    Clyde's Avatar
    Clyde is online now Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
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    Dec 1969
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    East Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by iskra View Post
    No hunting story, colorful or otherwise! Happily, not a hunter. But my Marlin 444 which I bought new in 1971; small story. Mine, a definite 'like it' or 'hate it' edition. I've moved from one to the other end of the butt stock spectrum with the excuse... 'Seemed a good idea at the time'. A short lived "raised comb", straight grip stock model. Produced I believe about '70 - 72 era in limited numbers. Mine, '71, pix below. I do believe for scope use, it could achieve a superior 'fit', cheek weld. Otherwise... Saw what must have been a pix of one in a scabbard. Looked to be in urgent need of Midwife! If there's one term NOT describing my model, it's "svelte"!
    The 45-70 Model, intro in 1972 largely superseding the 444 in popularity. Other than hard-core users, if there's any kind of general 444 popularity resurgence, good to know. Perhaps ammo less pricey! The 444 itself was a great cartridge and (my understanding) did particularly well with cast bullets!
    Thanks for my own, if mixed, 'memory lane' trip-ops re my only 444!
    Best & Keep Safe!
    John
    Nice piece. I think I'd put a "Ghost Ring" receiver sight on it, even though I don't hunt any more. Nice wood and that half-magazine looks just right to me.
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    I bought one in the late 80`s and it had a smooth stock. Really loved that rifle. Needed money, sold it to my brother. He needed money and I couldn`t buy it back. One of my regret selling it guns!! Now, I have a few 45/70`s, so all is good!

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    1,068

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    One atricle in Shooting Times called it Marlin's Mauler years back.

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