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444 marlin black powder

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Evans

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I've got a marlin 444 .Its first year production. I think 1964. Bought it from a federal park warden years ago when I was a kid. He bought it from a provincial game warden who took it from some elk poachers in a different province and then sold it to him in Ontario at a game warden convention.
Anyway it makes a good saddle rifle when your not really expecting to do to much fancy long range shooting. I used it when I was guiding moose hunters or when in grizzly country but not really expecting to see a bear. Haha last few years I was always packing my 300 magnum over where we rented because there was always bears but thats another story.
I used to always load it with 265 grain hornadys in front of a stout load of 4198. Pretty accurate but not a lot of fun to shoot for extended time at the range. I'm lucky because I have a range set up 40 yards from the house.
What I did was I loaded it up with cast bullets. They are 205 grains from an old Lyman 42798 mould that I had for a 44/40. There is enough room in the case for 60 grains of ffg which gets compressed about 1/8" when I seat the bullet.
I fired one 5 shot group at 50 yards. Prone position with no rest or blocks to help. 2.5" group. Remember this is with iron sights and I'm not a young guy anymore and I need new glasses. The bead on the front sight pretty much covered up my approximate five inch circle target. Rear sight is an old Lyman ghost ring.
More testing will be required but I have lots of black powder and wheel weights laying around and not a whole lot of other use for them. Its a pleasant load to shoot with no recoil. Basically its turning the gun into Winchester's old 40/60 that I think they used to offer in the 1876 model.
 

leanin' H

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Well first of all that is a great old rifle and it tickles me to see ya working up a load for it. Sounds to me like it’s grouping pretty awesome right away. Best of luck to ya as ya dial it on in. Be some good grizzly medicine
 

Mountain Cowgirl

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I used 40 grains Pyrodex in my 30 30 Winchester. It didn't foul the barrel-like black powder. Some local outfit was casting repurposed wheel weight bullets with an added silver content. They claimed it boosted the velocity. I always liked the sound, smell, and smoke of black powder in lever-action cartridge guns. It just seemed more old west to me. I enjoyed using Pyrodex in my Colt 45 also. I burned a lot of boxes of those old black powder blanks when I took a short job playing girl gunslinger for a narrow-gauge railroad. I got a lot of respect because of my fast draw and later after the high noon shootout when I went into the old restored saloon to play dance hall girl/waitress, I took in more tips than even the cuter girls. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

Evans

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I used 40 grains Pyrodex in my 30 30 Winchester. It didn't foul the barrel-like black powder. Some local outfit was casting repurposed wheel weight bullets with an added silver content. They claimed it boosted the velocity. I always liked the sound, smell, and smoke of black powder in lever-action cartridge guns. It just seemed more old west to me. I enjoyed using Pyrodex in my Colt 45 also. I burned a lot of boxes of those old black powder blanks when I took a short job playing girl gunslinger for a narrow-gauge railroad. I got a lot of respect because of my fast draw and later after the high noon shootout when I went into the old restored saloon to play dance hall girl/waitress, I took in more tips than even the cuter girls. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
I'm just going by memory here and my memory isn't that great. I used to be right into guns years ago but then I really didn't have the time. Used and carried them but didn't play or practice much. But I used to do a lot with original black powder cartridge guns years ago. Haha thats why I have all this black powder and lead kicking around here.
I remember that I used to get better results with real black powder than with pyrodex in guns that were originally designed for black powder.
I'm wondering if the faster 1 in 12 twist of your 30/30 was giving you fouling problems? I used to have a 32/40 but that had a slower twist. 1 in 16" if I remember right.
I always use magnum rifle primers with black powder. My theory is less fouling with the hotter ignition.
That marlin even though its for smokeless has a really slow twist. I think its like one in twenty eight or thirty eight or something. Thats why I'm using the short lightweight bullets.
I have 2 pre ww1 winchester thirty thirties. One rifle and one carbine. I've also got a ww2 flat band. They all shoot cast bullets really well but I never tried black powder with them.
What kind of Winchester and colt do you have?
I have always wanted a real colt SAA but it just never happened. I've had a third model dragoon, a couple of 1860s and a reproduction of a 1875 Remington but never a 73 colt.
Haha I'm thinking my eyes wouldn't be good enough to use the sights on one now. I need to get new glasses.
When I was thirty I could shoot just as good with iron sights as I could with a scope but not anymore.
I'm still not all that crazy about scopes. They just wouldn't look right on the kind of guns that I like.
I used to have 20/20 vision. Then 15/20. Now I dont know what it is. I can see elk or cows a long ways away but everything up close is blurry. Haha I'm going to make an appointment at the eye place.
 

Mountain Cowgirl

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I'm wondering if the faster 1 in 12 twist of your 30/30 was giving you fouling problems? I used to have a 32/40 but that had a slower twist. 1 in 16" if I remember right.


What kind of Winchester and colt do you have?
I sold off all my Winchesters and Colts. The last to go were my 22's, the model 94 Winchester, and Colt Frontier Scout. I even sold my best homemade muzzleloader.

The fast twist may have added to the fouling problem, but I can't say it fouled much worse than my 1 in 70 muzzleloader barrel. One reason I used Pyrodex was safety being a propellant rather than an explosive. It did foul a lot more than smokeless powder and it seemed to me to foul less than black powder. Experts more knowledgeable than me say there isn't any noticeable difference in fouling or corrosion between BP and Pyro. The last time I shot any BP or Pyro was about 1988 and my memory may be faulty, so take what I say with a grain of FFFF. :LOL:
 

webfoot

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I used 40 grains Pyrodex in my 30 30 Winchester. It didn't foul the barrel-like black powder. Some local outfit was casting repurposed wheel weight bullets with an added silver content. They claimed it boosted the velocity. I always liked the sound, smell, and smoke of black powder in lever-action cartridge guns. It just seemed more old west to me. I enjoyed using Pyrodex in my Colt 45 also. I burned a lot of boxes of those old black powder blanks when I took a short job playing girl gunslinger for a narrow-gauge railroad. I got a lot of respect because of my fast draw and later after the high noon shootout when I went into the old restored saloon to play dance hall girl/waitress, I took in more tips than even the cuter girls. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
Did you do shoot outs in Sumpter? I don't get up there often but happened to be driving through town last spring and there was a shoot out going on in the parking lot by the dredge.
 

Mountain Cowgirl

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The Sumpter train didn't have the shootouts back when I lived in Baker County. I worked with the group in Colorado where I grew up that did the shootouts in Silverton when the train arrived. I did shoot in Sumpter with a black powder group once for Sumpter Valley days. I sure wish I had kept that buckskin dress that I made and tanned all the hides. Some lawyer's wife offered me $1500 for it so I sold it and had hopes of making another, but that never happened. Photo of my handmade with hand tools rifle. Its 54 cal round ball propelled by 120 grains of Pyrodex powder won me the 250 yards clanger challenge and first prize, a handmade Snake River rattlesnake hatband. :sneaky: Once that band was donned on my 100X custom beaver hat shaped with my family's crease, rattlesnakes and beavers feared me hahaha ... not! It didn't even put fear in the drunken guys at Miners Jubliee. I am still peeved and looking for the coyote that stole that hat right off my head at Joseph Days, over 40 years ago. Still a punishable crime in my book. My knife is still razor-sharp and the blood-stop powder remains uncaked. :mad:
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Evans

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MC that is such a pretty rifle.Its everthing about older style rifles like yours. Its beautiful. The lines, the balance, the way they hang when you bring them up to your shoulder. I bet the set trigger is sweet as can be. Lots of character and style there.
 

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