44 cal straight wall cartridge opinions needed

Wolf76

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Here's the basic situation. I live in a straight wall hunting cartridge state (1.8" max case length and 35 cal or larger). I already have a 45 raptor, 450 bm, and 350 legend. My wife just started hunting and I'd like to build her something that is 44 cal because the 350 legend is very underwhelming and the big 45s are a bit much. The 44 mag is fine up to maybe 100, but I have shots over 100. So I have an encore and would consider a bolt action build.
What can I build and fully maximize a 44 cal bullet? I've looked at a 445 super mag, but would like brass about .2" longer than normally available.
I'm a reloader, so custom stuff is an option. If I had my way, I'd opt for a 450 marlin cut down with some added taper.
Please help.
 

Wolf76

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I've looked at the 444 and it would need about .4" cut off the case to be legal. But since its rimmed, case length matters little. Great suggestion.

Follow up question to the 444 vs 445 SM. Comparing a cut 444 vs seating a bullet out further/added throat in a 445SM...what would the difference be in terms of velocity?
 

ducky

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Follow up question to the 444 vs 445 SM. Comparing a cut 444 vs seating a bullet out further/added throat in a 445SM...what would the difference be in terms of velocity?

Honestly I wouldn't know I don't own a .44 caliber anything. I've just messed with an Encore in .375 JDJ which I formed out of .444 Marlin brass. So I had an idea on the case length, and know it's easier to trim than stretch a case.

My question for you is, why is the .350 Legend underwhelming? 165 grain FTX at 2200 fps should get the job done on any deer. It's going to have the same trajectory as a 265 FTX at 2200 fps from a .444 Marlin. However, I doubt even seating a bullet long you'll get back to 2200 fps out of a shortened case. The Encore is a pretty light rifle and the .350 Legend with 165-200 grain bullets will recoil a lot less than a 265 grain bullet out of a shortened .444 Marlin case.

I think you'll have better options for bullets in the .350 Legend, Hammer has one they claim you cab get 2500 fps with. If you get a .356 Lee bullet sizing die, you can resize .358 diameter bullets. John Barness wrote about it in the Dec issue of Handloader magazine. He really liked the 180 grain Speer Gold Dot resized.
 
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Tiny Tim

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If true custom is an option, would you be willing to go through the expense of designing a custom cartridge? A longer version of the 445 supermag?
 

Wolf76

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Honestly I wouldn't know I don't own a .44 caliber anything. I've just messed with an Encore in .375 JDJ which I formed out of .444 Marlin brass. So I had an idea on the case length, and know it's easier to trim than stretch a case.

My question for you is, why is the .350 Legend underwhelming? 165 grain FTX at 2200 fps should get the job done on any deer. It's going to have the same trajectory as a 265 FTX at 2200 fps from a .444 Marlin. However, I doubt even searing a bullet long you'll get back to 2200 fps out of a shortened case. The Encore is a pretty light rifle and the .350 Legend with 165-200 grain bullets will recoil a lot less than a 265 grain bullet out of a shortened .444 Marlin case.

I think you'll have better options for bullets in the .350 Legend, Hammer has one they claim you cab get 2500 fps with. If you get a .356 Lee bullet sizing die, you can resize .358 diameter bullets. John Barness wrote about it in the Dec issue of Handloader magazine. He really liked the 180 grain Speer Gold Dot resized.

We've shot a number of deer with the 140ftx and xtp bullets. All of them run off like they weren't even hit. The blood trails were marginal as well. My 45 raptor absolutely crushes them, but at the expense of recoil.
IMO bullets under 2500 fps need a wide mushroom to inflict great terminal performance. The 44 splits the difference literally and figuratively between the 35 and 45 cars.
In a perfect world, they'd get rid of the 1.8" case length and/or bottleneck restrictions. Given what I have to work with, the belted case of the 450 marlin is ideal. BUT it needs a lot of taper and custom dies plus reamers. On a 444 marlin lever gun, the barrel would need to be replaced because the bullet would jump about .4" and be highly inaccurate with a cut case.
I'm finding random obstacles with various cartridges. Even a ruger 77/44 has an issue with the magazine coal if I have it reamed for the 445sm.
 

ducky

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My buddy has been using the .350 Legend and took some deer in OK this fall. He was quite impressed with the 170 grain TTSX on deer at 2200 fps. Of course if you don't like it I'm not going to try and make you like it.

I'd call Mike Bellm (Phone: (541) 956-6938), he could probably help you with what your looking for or at least point you in the right direction.
 

Critter Picker

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When I started shooting the 445 supermag the only way to make brass was cut down 30-40 Krag brass ream it and load it. That being said,the 30-40 brass is designed to work at higher pressure (40,000 CUP) In an Encore you could utilize that pressure. I was shooting a 335 grain cast bullet at 1500 FPS out of a 10" barreled revolver.
 

Muddyboots

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I just finished up load for .357 Rem Max with .358 140gr Shock Hammer that topped 2700. This is in Encore, 24" 1:14tw MGM barrel with Ramshot Enforcer. I haven't drawn blood with it yet but maybe in the 12/12 late antlerless season.
 

G19Jeeper

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Honestly I wouldn't know I don't own a .44 caliber anything. I've just messed with an Encore in .375 JDJ which I formed out of .444 Marlin brass. So I had an idea on the case length, and know it's easier to trim than stretch a case.

My question for you is, why is the .350 Legend underwhelming? 165 grain FTX at 2200 fps should get the job done on any deer. It's going to have the same trajectory as a 265 FTX at 2200 fps from a .444 Marlin. However, I doubt even seating a bullet long you'll get back to 2200 fps out of a shortened case. The Encore is a pretty light rifle and the .350 Legend with 165-200 grain bullets will recoil a lot less than a 265 grain bullet out of a shortened .444 Marlin case.

I think you'll have better options for bullets in the .350 Legend, Hammer has one they claim you cab get 2500 fps with. If you get a .356 Lee bullet sizing die, you can resize .358 diameter bullets. John Barness wrote about it in the Dec issue of Handloader magazine. He really liked the 180 grain Speer Gold Dot resized

I would cut a .444 Martin down to max length and then have a barrel spun up for it either on a single shot or in a lever gun that isn’t sentimental. Then start handloading for it.
 

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