.444 vs 45-70 vs 30-30

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Aussie_hunter, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Aussie_hunter

    Aussie_hunter Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking at getting one of these three calibers but I'm unsure what to get. I will be using it for pigs and goats in thick bush and thick swamp, I'm also thinking of putting a red dot sight or should I leave it open sight or do you have other optic ideas I'm not keen on a magnification scope. Iv shot a 30-30 before but I haven't shot a .444 or a 45-70. I'm leaning towards the .444 I'm not to keen on the 30-30 but i thought I'd see what advice use could give me.
     
  2. Gary Kaney

    Gary Kaney Well-Known Member

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    I've got a 444 it's probably the only reason i've never bought a 45/70 that i've always kind of wanted. It's a fun caliber to shoot. I shoot the Hornady 265 flat nose bullets. I've never taken anything with it past 225 yds.(mostly whitetail) That's with open sights. Get a JM not a REM. The REM's are junk. Getting s JM means buying used.
     
  3. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    I like the .444, I've had lot's of fun with a 45-70, but prefer a bit more case capacity with a .458 to go with generally heavier bullets. If one can be found a Model 94 is a bit handier in .444. I just put an Burris Fastfire on a 96/44, hope to get it out this week, but fooling about with it in the house I think it'll be great until it needs a new battery. I probably should have spent more to begin with, but it's a start
     
  4. Mike 338

    Mike 338 Well-Known Member

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    I like the 444. For potential longer ranges, the Hornady Leverevolution ammo/bullets are good but for serious thumping, I load up 330 grain Beartooth hardcast bullets. Having said that, a 45-70 will do all that and more but I still like the 444.
     
  5. Mike 338

    Mike 338 Well-Known Member

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    Amen
     
  6. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    Somewhere in the back of my safe is a 30-30 lever gun that's unfired! I have two .444's and a .450. All Marlins. The 45-70 never done much for me, but if you like them then so be it. The .444 shoots much flatter than most folks realize. Will drop a 300+lb. boar dead in his tracks erffortlessly. I have not shot any of the "leverultion ammo" in any of mine, so have no comment there. But a factory loaded Corbon is really a beast in them!! In the .444, stay away from the 240 grain hollow points, and they are thin jacketed and tend to come apart. I like the 265's and 300 grain solid nosed bullets from Speer. Corbon does a 330 grain bullet, that generates some serious recoil in the .444. I used to carry this load when I went on fishing trips up in the Bear Tooth Wilderness, but now take the .450 (very serious recoil) , but I fell safe with it. I can get similar ballistics out of the 45-70, but the loads are pretty hard on the action.

    Now what you want to be looking for is a good used Marlin built lever action (not Remington!!). The Winchesters are not as stout. Your choice of sites is up to you, but if shots are 100 yards or less the red dot is a good choice. You want something that has a lot of eye reliefe!! The best bullet I've shot in the .444 is the Barnes 275 grain bullet. They'll print sub 1.30" groups without much trouble, and have heard of a couple that shot MOA groups (mine won't). The downside is that most .444's don't like cast lead bullets (no biggie for me as the velocity will cause massive leading in the barrel).
    gary
     
  7. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Agree Marlin likely stronger than the Winchester, but the Marlin feels more than the listed 1lb heavier to me. Especially if one gets into the Timber model with 18.5 inch barrel ported. Agree stay away from 240 HP, and the 275 Barnes is a great choice. The 300 Barnes is a bit more of the same, though I've only shot those in 44 mag rifles.
     
  8. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    never seen the 300 grain barnes bullets! I like the Speers, and they come with the correct canalure. I have a guide gun in .450 that's ported, and the blast is almost scarey! I'd love to have a guide gun in .444 that's ported, but think they only built them for a couple years. Wish they'd have done the Marlins in .405 Winchester.
    gary
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  9. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

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    Although all 3 choices you mention will do the job, and the .444 is probably the best of the three, I think there are better choices for what you want to do. If you want a lever-gun extraordinaire, I would suggest a Browning BLR in .308 with a scope in the 1.5-6x24 range. This would give you a much larger choice or loaded ammunition and components than any of the cartridges you are considering, plenty of knock-down for close-shots while having the capacity for longer-range shooting should the opportunity present itself.
     
  10. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    I haven't looked in quite awhile, but I just did, the 300 grain Barnes I was referring to apparently no longer advertised. Maybe mine are the last 50 left. It's essentially the 275 a little longer good flat point. We haven't used the 44's much for awhile, but used to load a coffee can full for the kids to shoot camping. Your point about the cannelure being correct is a good one. When the Sierra 300's came out we added another cannelure with the old CH tool, pretty easy but another step. The Sierras a bit hard, the Hornady XTP, a bit soft, but we also have gravitated to the Speers. All worked fine so more of a relative assessment than a dig at either.Hopefully the OP doesn't find this to far from topic intention just to flesh out original answer a bit.
     
  11. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    the Browning BLR is a great rifle, but kinda pricey for what you get. Also if your looking at the .444 or 45-70 the bullet selection is almost always blunt or rubber tipped. Either one works just fine in a tubed magazine. But a 30-30 is another story of course. For me it would be a Savage 99 in .358 Winchester (both are out of production last I heard)

    The nice thing about the 45-70 and .444 is that when you shoot something, it's down right there. But on the othrhand neither one is for the recoil shy. I personally like the .450 much better than the 45-70, but also have come to dread pulling the trigger! Where as the .444 recoil is like a very stiff 3" 12 gauge round. Might also want to look at the .338 Marlin
    gary
     
  12. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I simply have a hard time seeing anyone buying a gun that's no fun to shoot and which doesn't have huge advantages in other areas to make up for the recoil. (A .375 H&H isn't fun to shoot but it stops dangerous game.) This is why I suggested a BLR in .308 as an alternative. An other option, if a large bullet is the goal, is to go to shotgun slugs out of something like a Mossberg 500 Trophy Slugster. Slugs in a modern rifled shotgun will give you 1.5-2" groups at 100 yards with much less shoulder abuse than the guns initially proposed. My slug-gun is good for 200-250 yards.

    On the last guided hunt I was on, my guide carried a .444 lever gun as a charging bear stopper. Before we went out we agreed that if he saw something he wanted to shoot that was out a ways I would hand him my rifle. The dual problems with the 3 guns initially suggested are recoil that makes the guns difficult to shoot accurately & bullets that drop like bricks.
     
  13. CogburnR

    CogburnR Well-Known Member

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    Seems to me that a 45/70 with a 300g loaded at 2000fps ought to kill any of your pigs and goats. I don't think He will be using the 500g Elephant loads that these things will shoot. Bullet drop out to 125-150 yards is not a big factor and if you use iron sights that's about all you will shoot anyway. A ballistic plex scope will allow shooting out to 300yards or so...maybe more

    I have shot groups with my 1895 Marlin Cowboy that you can cover with a quarter at 100 yards. My GBL is a little different kritter but it still shoots pretty well. It is getting a 2-7 Burris ballistic plex.

    I have never used a 30-30 or 444 but I can tell you that if you shoot a deer with a 300g 45/70 you won't have to look far for it and a blind man could follow the blood trail the few yards to where the dead animal with the large hole in it is.

    I guess the point is that you can load a 300g bullet in a 45/70 all the way from subsonic to 2200fps+ or so and tailor it to your needs and amount of recoil you want. Ammo and components are way easier to get at least here in the USA.
     
  14. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    recoil on the .444 using 265 grain bullets isn't all that bad. Kinda like shooting 180 grain bullets out of a 30-06 in an eight pound rifle. Now they are not exactly fun to shoot off a bench, but if your shooting off hand they are not all that bad. Just put the gun tight into your shoulder and sorta lean into it. Let the rifle do it's recoil while working the lever at the sametime. In this position, I'll click off all the rounds the rifle holds without a hitch. The .450 is another story. It'll beat you up silly off the bench, and even with a bunny bag between you and the butt stock (took me three days to finally get it zeroed in!) But I also shoot Speer 400 grain bullets in it. The factory loads are still rather stiff, and maybe a touch hotter than the same bullet in a 45-70. I honestly think the .338 Marlin might be the ticket here. Reduced recoil, and still hit pretty hard.

    As for the .444 on bears. A black bear for sure, but I'm not real sure I'd want to hunt big bears with one. I carried one for several years on my fishing trips, but after hearing about a fishing guide getting mauled by a male grizzley while carrying one I moved up a notch. She was probably using 265 grain bullets, and the 330 grain bullets hit much harder. Still I know that if I hit him at 60 feet with a 400 grain bullet at 1900fps, he's done.
    gary