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Old October 24, 2009, 07:25 PM   #1
longspurr
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hornady 444 bullets

In trying to load the Hornady 265gr FTX bullets in 444 cases I’ve run into a serious snag. Hornadys website says they will NOT work with my older 1 in 38” twist barrel. This is the bullet with the plastic nose for better long range performance.

They also do not list any data for this bullet in other cartridges like the 44 mag.
It took 4 phone calls to find these bullets – I was asking for Hornady 265gr bullets. These are the only bullets of this weight within an hours drive- I had no idea they would be the new plastic nose variety.

Should I walk away from a box of bullets I bought today – 34.95+tax. Or can I make these work in my 444?? My thought runs to cutting off the plastic nose so the length is the same as the 265gr flat point Hornady sells. Use the same 265gr loading data and I have a workable combination??

Will this work when it hits a Bambi? Will the expansion be about the same as the FTX bullet – just loosing the better exterior ballistics of the pointy nose?
Your opinions please.
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Old October 24, 2009, 07:57 PM   #2
Farmland
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I suspect you bought the .430 44 CAL 265 GR FTX #4305. I don't have my loading book near by right now but these may be for the for 444 Marlin only. If some one has a load book from Hornady they may be able to give you a faster answer.

I do know that this same style of bullet for the 45-70 requires a shorter case than normal to function in a lever gun. I do not know if that is the same case for the 444 or if it even makes a difference in another style of action.

That is the best I can tell you at this time.
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Old October 24, 2009, 08:32 PM   #3
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444

This bullet can only be fired from 1-20" Twist rifles, approximately 1998 build
date. It will not stabilize properly from older 1-38" Twist rifles.
Loading FTX™ bullets requires some specialized techniques in certain
cases. To achieve a high ballistic coefficient we had to lengthen the
ogive, or nose, of the bullet. Sometimes this requires that the cartridge
case to be trimmed shorter than the suggested .010" under SAAMI Max
length that we recommend for conventional bullets. Follow prescribed
trim lengths exactly as presented in the FTX™ data for optimum results.

Bold Numbers are Maximum loads

IMR 4198 35.6 gr. 36.6 gr. 37.7 gr. 38.7 gr. 39.8 gr. 40.8 gr. 41.9 gr.
VIHT N-120 35.9 gr. 36.9 gr. 37.9 gr. 38.9 gr. 39.9 gr. 40.9 gr. 41.9 gr. 42.8 gr.
H 4198 37.2 gr. 38.0 gr. 38.8 gr. 39.6 gr. 40.4 gr. 41.2 gr. 42.0 gr. 42.8 gr.
AA 1680 34.2 gr. 36.4 gr. 38.6 gr. 40.8 gr. 43.1 gr. 45.3 gr. 47.5 gr

MAX. CASE LENGTH: ��������� 2.075"
CASE TRIM LENGTH: ��������� 2.065"
BULLET DIAMETER: ����������� 0.430"
RIFLE: ���������������� 444 MARLIN
BARREL: ������ 24", 1 IN 20" TWIST
CASE: �������������������� HORNADY
PRIMER: ����������� WINCHESTER WLR
BULLET: �������������� 265 GR. FTX
MAXIMUM C.O.L.: ����������� 2.600"
SECTIONAL DENSITY: ����������� .205
BALLISTIC COEFFICIENT: ������� .225
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Old October 25, 2009, 02:38 AM   #4
longspurr
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Farmland
Yes, the info you posted is what I read on Hornady's website. That set me back on my heels - because my 444 is a 1 in 38" twist barrel. I'm looking for a way to use the bullets - or throw $35 into the trash.

So will cutting off the plastic nose so the length is the same as the 265gr flat point Hornady. Use the same 265gr loading data and have a workable combination for the slow twist barrel??

Will this work when it hits a Bambi? Will the expansion be about the same as the FTX bullet – just loosing the better exterior ballistics of the pointy nose?
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Old October 25, 2009, 02:59 AM   #5
HiBC
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It might be that these bullets are not a workable choice for your older 444.

It might be that cutting the tips off,they still won't work,and then you have scrapped your $40,as no one will be interested in them.
However,if you had to work that hard to get them,someone else has a newer 444 that would happily give you your $40 for the full box of unmodified bullets.
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Old October 25, 2009, 04:02 AM   #6
impalacustom
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Hmm they work in my micro grooved Winchester. No cutting the tips off will not get you back at the same length as the regular 265gr bullet. The FTX's have a longer bearing surface than the regular bullets. You also have to trim you cases shorter than you normally would or you will have all sorts of issues.
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Old October 25, 2009, 09:03 AM   #7
longspurr
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"my micro grooved Winchester"
I didn't know anyone but Marlin did micro grooving?

I've loaded 2 bullets. The first per normal - and finding out This Doesn't Work!
The 2nd bullet in a trimmed case to see how short it needed to be to cycle in my Marlin. I found a OAL of 2.57" will work. On line I see 2.54 as normal OAL for normal bullets.

Then I read the Hornady note about not working in a 1-38" barrel.

I have a second possibility of loading these for a Marlin 44 cal cowboy rifle. I believe It has a cut rifled 1-20 twist barrel. But that brings up the problem of load data for the 44 and this bullet. Hornady does not list any data on their web site that I found. I know I would be back to shortening cases for this bullet (or maybe using 44 spec cases?)

At this point I think I will load 5 in shortened cases of the 444 and see how they work.
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Old October 25, 2009, 09:06 AM   #8
Farmland
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I figured you read that but I thought I would post it to help others who might be searching for an answer get the information quicker.

I didn't know if you saw that or not. I don't know if cutting the tips off would make it a less effective bullet. I would suspect it would work to kill a deer with not problems. However the point I was trying to make was the seating of the bullet. I do know that the case needs to be shortened to operate in a lever gun. From what I have discovered in the 45-70 if the case is the normal length then the shell will no cycle.

What I don't know is if you use a standard case in a 444 will the bullet fit in the chamber of your gun. I know if you have a lever it will not cycle.

Some people are using these bullets successfully in their black powder guns with some nice results.

Honestly it is $39 not a large investment. You can certainly sell them on this site or somewhere else. You can experiment and try loading one in a 44 case as a dummy round and see if it fits the chamber. You could load one up to the same specs starting at min load data for the 265 flat nose and see how it actually performs in you barrel. However I see no reason you can not use the load data for this bullet.

I am guessing you have an older lever action 444 and the only real problem or question is how exactly will the bullet perform in your barrel. The other is that it appears that you need to use a shorter case than standard.
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Old October 25, 2009, 09:13 AM   #9
goldfacade
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I recently bought a box of these for my micro grooved Marlin 444ss. These will not group with any consistency whatsoever. The smallest
I could get was ~5". The largest was ~8". Also the brass is on the same length as the Remington 240gr stuff. I had one get stuck in the loading port, and it was a bear to remove.

I suggest steering clear of these rounds and use the Hornady light magnum or the Remington offerings. Buffalo Bore, CorBon and a few others make loaded ammo also, but it is pricey.
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Old October 25, 2009, 09:00 PM   #10
longspurr
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Well, I decided to experiment. Cutting the tips off with a knife was easy. Seating them without a special seating die is a nightmare. Lost 1 case - bullet not straight, and 3 bullet tips crushed in offcenter trials. All this to get 6 loaded rounds.

I changed to a slower powder for this test. Visually 46gr of 3031 is about to the bottom of the 256gr bullet with no crushing. Hornady says this should be about 1900 fps. Ken Waters says 49gr of 3031 with Hornadys 265gr bullet tested 29000 PSI.

100 yds gave 3 shot groups of about 2". This is the same as I was getting with a Hornady 240-XTP load. 43gr of H4198 is Hornady tested at 2100 fps.

The 265gr bullets shot about 6" below the 240gr loads.

The cases were all standard length for these loading. If I can get a seating die for these new bullets I will bump up the powder & try them on something with hair.
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Old November 13, 2009, 07:52 PM   #11
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444

WOW! I guess I'll stick with Bear Claw hard lead.
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Old February 16, 2013, 01:11 PM   #12
mtrvl
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Absolutely DO NOT cut off the tips and then fire them in a lever gun.The purpose of the tips is to cushion the primer of the round in front, in a tubular magazine. If you cut the tips off you might have all of the rounds in the magazine go off at once............not good.
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Old February 16, 2013, 02:09 PM   #13
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yep sticking with my 330 grn bear tooth
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Old February 16, 2013, 04:55 PM   #14
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Zombie thread.
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