444 Marlin Ammunition
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History of .444 Marlin Ammunition
In a joint effort to create a cartridge that would fill the gap left by the absence of lever action rifles chambered in .45-70, Marlin Firearms and Remington Arms developed and introduced the .444 Marlin in 1964. It was offered in the well respected Marlin Model 336 lever action rifle. In creating the cartridge, Marlin and Remington designers basically took a .44 Magnum cartridge and extended the case length by almost an inch and topped it off with a 240 grain, jacketed soft point bullet. The bullet used is actually a .429 inch diameter bullet, the same that is used in the .44 Magnum. From there, all similarities to the .44 Magnum end, as the .444 Marlin performs on a totally different level.
The current loadings offered for the .444 Marlin most commonly range from a 240 grain to a 300 grain bullet. These bullets can be found in soft, flat or hollow point designs. With muzzle velocities from 2000 to 2350 foot pounds of energy, the .444 Marlin is well suited for hunting all North American game. One of the more recent developments in .444 Marlin ammunition is the introduction of Hornady's new LEVERevolution. Hornady reports a velocity of over 1652 feet per second with over 1600 foot pounds of energy at 200 yards. This gives plenty of reach and power for the majority of hunters in pursuit of all but the most dangerous game.
With the resurgence of cowboy action shooting, demand for rifles chambered in the .45-70 increased to the point that several manufacturers began producing lever action rifles for this caliber. This in turn caused a sharp drop in sales of .444 Marlin rifles. Even though the demand decreased, the .444 still remains a well respected cartridge among hunters who need a hard hitting heavy bullet that is suited for close, brush hunting shots, as well as longer shots across the woodland clearing.
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