444 Marlin Pistol - Gathering ideas

Discussion in 'Specialty Handgun Hunting' started by HarryN, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. HarryN

    HarryN Well-Known Member

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    Hi, I am toying around with the idea of a pistol build. You can ask why, but it's mostly for fun. It might also be used for hog hunting rather than carrying a rifle.


    General concept so far:
    - 444 Marlin
    - Bolt action pistol
    - 4-5 ➕ rounds in a box magazine
    - Left hand bolt knob, so that I can hold it in my right hand and operate the bolt with the left
    -12-14 inch barrel with a muzzle break, within legal handgun limits.
    - Mid grip pistol handle for balance, not rear grip like the contender style.
    - Just to be clear, I have seen the single shot, rear grip contenders and savage striker and that is not what I have in mind. Might be wrong, but but not the look I am after.
    - Probably synthetic grips, what ever is optimal for reducing felt recoil.
    - Will most likely hand load it softer than factory loads, as I have a rebuilt shoulder
    - Most likely will use GS custom 444 FN bullet, 444225FN263 or a CEB HG Raptor 200 grain. There are not so many options for states with non lead requirements.
    - Distance - realistically, not much further than 1-2 inches of drop, which I think will be maybe 50-100 yards tops.
     
  2. HarryN

    HarryN Well-Known Member

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    - Even though the distance will normally be pretty short, I would like to have at least 1 MOA if possible for bragging rights if nothing else.
    - High reliability of the action and firing is a big deal.
    - Not sure yet about a scope vs laser
    - Most likely an electric trigger to make the mechanism simple.
     
  3. HarryN

    HarryN Well-Known Member

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    - The BC of .416 bullets is more than double the .429 diameter ( example Gs custom 416330HV120 is at least .35) that a .416 JDJ looks interesting sometimes.
     
  4. HarryN

    HarryN Well-Known Member

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    Looking at actions, and am open to ideas:
    - Kelby Atlas Tactical is an option
    - Available in left hand, short action
    - I don't really care about tactical, but I like the dirt resistance aspect

    Question, is the .532 bolt face the correct size for .444 or too large? It seems like the .444 might be in between these sizes.
     
  5. HarryN

    HarryN Well-Known Member

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    Most of the actions I see on the market look like standard 700 type, 2 lug Remington style, cleaned up and more precise of course.

    RPA had a quad, but seem to be not on line anymore.

    Barnard has 3 lug actions, but repeating versions only up to the .308 bolt face, as far as I can tell.

    Should I be worried about magazine feeding the .444 Marlin cartridge?
     
  6. HarryN

    HarryN Well-Known Member

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    Should I be thinking .450 Marlin instead to improve feeding from a magazine? Ammo availability makes me nervous about 450 marlin.
     
  7. yorke-1

    yorke-1 Well-Known Member

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    You're going to have a very hard time making a center grip gun with a relatively large capacity magazine. I have a mag fed SP in 260 Rem, but it had to be built on a rear grip stock (McRee) in order to use the box mag. I think 2+ 1 is about as good as you'll get using a center grip stock.

    You'll need to handload for the the 444, so availability of ammo for the 450 shouldn't be a concern. The 450 marlin would be a much better case to work with simply because it uses a more common bolt face and no rim. The lack of a rim will make it function significantly better out of a box mag than the 444 ever will.

    Instead of a 416 JDJ, why not a 416/450 Marlin? All of the advantages of the Marlin case over the 444 plus the better bullet selection of the 416.
     
  8. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    As for a repeating hand cannon realistically thinking it is not practical much less needed. If you miss your game with the first shot 99.9% of the time it will not be standing still for a fast second shot. It is also in my experience that trying to shoot something like a deer that is running with a scoped hand cannon is just not ethical. Learn your limitations with your pistol on the shooting range and learn to put that first bullet where it needs to go.

    Are you subjected to some sort of caliber regulations? Reason for the 444?
     
  9. HarryN

    HarryN Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I am somewhat flexible on the caliber, within reason. My filtering process is something like:
    - Start from the bullet selection, and work backwards to the cartridge.
    - I am pretty sure that .50 cal is not allowed in CA, so that sets the top.
    - Hunting in CA is quickly headed for copper bullets only. That pushes up the desire for a bigger bore than I might normally use, at least one size. (example 45ish vs 35 ish)
    - At these velocities (1300-1800) copper rifle bullets won't expand much, and pistol bullets will over expand, so my plan is to use a rifle bullet with a large enough bore to do the job.
     
  10. HarryN

    HarryN Well-Known Member

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    - Bullet selection is pretty much from the GS custom or Cutting edge web site, with a slight leaning toward GS. There are other suppliers of copper bullets, but those two cover a wide range of options, and GS has good load data.

    - The suggestion of using a belted brass case vs a lever action / revolver style is a good one.
    - 450 marlin ammo and brass availability isn't all that impressive. .458x2 on the other hand is routinely made from belted magnum cases. Before I committed to .450 marlin, I would probably want to prove to myself that I could build it by adding an extra brass ring to widen the belt of standard belted magnum brass.
     
  11. HarryN

    HarryN Well-Known Member

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    I have watch hog hunting with .44 rem. Mag rifles, and was really surprised by the marginal results, even with reasonably well placed shots.
    - I looked at lever rifles in .45 ish caliber like 45-70, etc, but they weren't any lighter than my .270 win.
    - .460 s&w revolvers are impressive, but also are not light. I like the concept, but it seems like revolvers aren't that efficient for extracting the power of a big round.
    - I can't hit anything with a semi auto pistol, so I didn't even look there.
     
  12. HarryN

    HarryN Well-Known Member

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    - I considered just one handing a semi auto 20 gauge slug gun at the 20 inch size. They are light in general. Most of them have long barrels, although Beretta has an option.
    - 20 gauge slugs are pricey for what you get.

    - 444 has reasonable availability of ammo and brass, at least compared to some others.

    So, that is how I ended up there, mostly by process of elimination.
     
  13. .30US

    .30US Well-Known Member

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    I've been hunting with a .444 handgun for about six years. I can't give you any advice on the "look" part, as I believe my .444 Contender is one of the ugliest to have existed. However, the .444 in a 14" barrel is manageable and reasonably accurate. Firing factory 265gr. Leverevolution ammo, I've never had a three shot group off a bag stray above 1.5" at 100 yards, nor go much below. It might could do better, but I consider that adequate and probably my limits. For a repeater, unless you were going to build on something like an old Mauser action, I would imagine the case rim would be a hassle to deal with. If you want something that will feed better in a repeater, look at the .450 Bushmaster or .458 SOCOM.
     
  14. .30US

    .30US Well-Known Member

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