The MIGHTY 444 Marlin


Range Officer
Staff member
Oct 30, 2004
Orchemos sale of his 444 prompted me to post this.

I think is is a sleeper cartridge that can do anything on the North american continent from rattle snake to sage grouse to squirrel, rabbit to prairie dogs etc on the small game to Brown bear in the alders. Here are some ideas.

I've been shooting the Triple-Four for a long time now. Now, for those not comfortable shooting ammo other than that head stamped correctly for their

firearm, you can try loading some shot-shells in regular .444 brass.

Here's the process and the recipe: Size case, prime and expand case mouth as per usual procedure.

Charge with 14.0g H110 or W296 powder, or 13 gr Lil gun then insert one Winchester AA410 one-piece

shotcup into the case (a very nice fit by the way, and the shot cup totally prevents shot contacting the

rifling in the bore), then pour in 1/2 oz (220 grains) of #7 1/2 shot, topped off by an overshot wad, then

use a roll crimp to hold the overshot wad in place. (a .44 caliber gas check may also be used over the

shot column, but tends to distort patterns)

The overshot wad is made by using either a .44 mag or .444 Marlin case as a punch to cut the wad.

Deprime a case, and use a 5/16" drill bit to drill out the primer pocket, then place the mouth of the case

down, on the material to be cut for a wad, and strike with a non-marring hammer to cut wads. Cut four

or five in sequence, then insert a piece of wooden dowel or stiff wire through the hole where the primer

pocket has been drilled out to remove cut wads from the brass case.

For overshot wads in this application (and for .44 mag and .45 colt shot shells) I've found nothing better

than plastic automotive antifreeze and used powder containers! The plastic seems to be just the correct thickness and

stiffness, and the predominantly flat sides to these containers yield a high number of overshot wads!

Too, the plastic is waterproof as well.

In finishing off your homemade .444 shot shells, use some fingernail polish (any color) to seal the area

where the brass roll-crimp comes over the plastic over-shot wad.

This should help you garner some grouse with your levergun!!!!

here is mine made up

300 grain Sierra 55.5 gr of h335 2130 fps

300 gr bear tooth cast same load as above

Tell me what kodiak can take the above? Also the fun you can have with the shots= loads is crazy!!
That is really cool. Lots of options with that cartridge. The shotshell idea is really novel.
I can't wait to mess around with one.
I've only messed with the .444 in wildcat form as the .375 JDJ. There is plenty of case capacity to make it a very versatile cartridge. However, I've tried to really like lever action rifles and they just aren't my forte.
Yep the 444 gives up little if anything to the 45-70 for most purposes, and those lighter pistol bullets give good options for younger shooters or those that just don't like much recoil.
I just got my first 444 this spring. The CVA Elite Stalker in stainless. Power to spare for sure. According to my chronograph I get the advertised muzzle velocity of 2400 fps with the Hornady Superformance 265 FP load. At 265 yards it still has more power than a 44 magnum revolver at the muzzle. People who claim its only a 200 yard rifle are exposing themselves as mental midgets.
Yes sir very familiar with those articles. BTW this is a 1:38 twist microgroove.
I got a 444 this past winter and look forward to deer hunting with it this fall. I know it will hammer them if I do my job.
Been a while since I've shot the 444. Going to have to drag out the Marlin after reading this.
Welcome aboard, snookntarpon. Your handle might suggest that you enjoy fishing on the salt chuck.
Very cool round.
I want a 444 Marlin barrel for my T/C Contender hand cannon.
Talk about a WT deer crusher!

I have fired one of these in the Marlin Levergun years ago. The kicked resembled that of a .30-06 with heavy loads in my opinion. The thing I remember being most impressive about this caliber is the size of bullets it could fling. The owner was my boss at the time, one of the old time rancher types. He owned a .30-06 and a .270 for long-range hunting but whenever we went to the woods for elk, the .444 went with us.

He preferred that 265 grain Hornady Factory load since he was not a handloader. I never saw him have to shoot one twice.

I too feel as FOTIS said, this cartridge is a real sleeper that is very capable.
Love my 444! It goes everywhere I go when hunting.


  • image.jpeg
    2.6 MB · Views: 3,149