View Full Version : 444 marlin shot shells revisited...

Magnum Wheel Man
January 5, 2011, 09:45 AM
any of you guys want to chat about loading .410 equivelent loads in 444 Marlin cases ??? I shoot alot of .410 & am currently building a new truck gun for skunks, using a Thompson Contender & a 10" 44 Hotshot barrel & choke... I've just not got the space to set up to load shot shell regularly ( at least yet ), so my local builder, friend & mentor & I have been talking about doing the .410 loads in 444 Marlin cases, so I can load them using my cartridge reloading equipment that's already set up... any comments

January 5, 2011, 11:39 AM
What type of wad does that take? Also need a over-shot card?

Magnum Wheel Man
January 5, 2011, 11:46 AM
I'm looking at using very heavy non corigated card board, over the powder, & a scrap of leather wad over the cardboard, then the shot, ( I did a search of 444 shot shells & found a posting from 5-6 years ago, that the OP said he used a shot cup... I haven't tried to see if a shot cup fits, but assumed it would be too tight ??? ) EDIT... as per my buddy, the shot cups are too loose, & from what he has heard, it's not recommended to use them...

thought about annealing the case mouthes soft, & just doing a crimp over heavy card stock, instead of the normal glue used on an over the shot card on brass case shot loading...

maybe even a copper gas check could work forr 44 or 45 caliber lead bullets ???

BTW... the hot shot barrel is interesting, it's still rifled, but has very shallow rifling... it has a very deeply straight rifled screw in choke tube, designed to crush the Hot Shot shot capsules... my barrel is ported, & we are trying to decide if I need to cut the ports out with loose shot ??? may even drill out the choke tube to lightly engage a 40 caliber round ball, since I won't be needing to crush Hot Shot capsules ???

I'm also looking at doing light 444 Marlin loads... probably with a jacketed bullet, since my rifling is so shallow, it was suggested that cast bullets probably wouldn't be that accurate out of my barrel ( the 444 marlin with factory loads is just a shade hotter than the Contender is supposed to be subjected to ) ... we are chamering the 44 Hot Shot chamber to 444 Marlin, but will stamp the barrel 58 Gauge, but it should be safe for 444 shot & light / mid handload using the 444 cases & a 44 mag bullet

January 5, 2011, 12:12 PM
Use a 410 shotcup. You will have to cut it own. Use a 44 cal gas check and crimp it in place.

Assuming you are going to try to fire these in a 44 Mag chamber, you will have to base strip the brass because 444 has a .470 head size, and you will have to cut the brass to fit the chamber. Too much work. To make 44 Mag shotshells, use 44 Mag brass, 8 gr of Unique, cut a shot cup to fit into the case and leave about 1/16", fill the shotcup with shot, and crimp a 44 or 41 cal gas check in place. No glue needed.

Magnum Wheel Man
January 5, 2011, 12:15 PM
going to rechamber to 444 Marlin & restamp the barrel 58 Ga.

January 5, 2011, 02:59 PM
I think you're working way too hard on this, how many skunks do you anticipate encountering? Instead of worrying about the various wads required, have you considered a pre-made .44 shot capsule like those made by Speer? Fill with your shot of choice, snap on the over-powder wad and you're ready to go.

Magnum Wheel Man
January 5, 2011, 03:07 PM
maybe... my father in law loaded alot of 38 S&W shot loads using the Speer shot capsules... I was never impressed with their killing ability beyond snakes & sparrows... he never did load the 44's though when he died, he had a box of 44 shot loads

I already have the barrel, & the 444 cases, my builder already has the 444 reamer... so I'll probably follow through with this build, loading & & patterning...

actually if things work like I'm hoping, I cold deepen the rim on the other guns chambers & shoot these 444 shot loads in my other .410's... I bought my wife an older NIB CZ Cottentail folding single in .410 for her birthday last year ( her dad was Czech, so the shotgun is special to her ) & I'm getting sick of paying more for .410 shells than I do for 12 ga shells

January 5, 2011, 03:26 PM
>I'm getting sick of paying more for .410 shells than I do for 12 ga shells I hear you. In another thread, I ran the numbers, and ounce for ounce, a .410-bore (1/2 oz AA target load) costs 2-3/4 times more than a 12-ga (1-1/8 oz AA target load).:eek:
Yet, the .410's are way cheaper to reload. ;)

February 18, 2011, 10:35 AM
Are you still working the 444 brass loads. I have a 444 Marlin rifle I load for. I also just got a derrenger 45Colt/2 1/2 410. I have read 13 grains of 2400 with whatever shot???? Im in the process of buying some shot.
In playing around I cut a 3 inch 410 open. Put a large pistol primer in the 444case, added the powder from the 3 inch 410 cut the cup off of the 410 wad and used the over powder wad and filled the 444 case with the #7 shot, it held all but a couple of the pelets. I cut a plug from a primmer box using a sharpened 454 case. added the overshot card and roll crimpet it in with the 444 die and added bees wax to the end. Im just toating those around for now, they lok and feel good. Its a 3 inch stuffed in the less than 2 and 1/4 444 case. Im not sure about it yet.
I hope to hear from you on how you have come out with this. I have H110, 2400, clays and other powders I understand should be fine but have proven loads for the 444 case. I have plenty 444 case and just would like to cut the wads and add the powder and shot and seal the end and shoot ever how many I want to make! I have plenty of the 410 shot guns around here to play with but they fit perfect in the derringer and I have shot plenty hot 45 colts out of it so the 410 shouldnt be an issue.

Magnum Wheel Man
February 18, 2011, 10:54 AM
yep... still working up a "best" load for my gun... my next will be using a single Nitro card, & a little more shot... will also try some #6 shot that I have, as well as still wanting to try my 3 - .375" round ball "buck" loads...

I'm sure there are many powders that work in the .410... ( I bought a "Load Book" book from Midway that lists all .410, 28ga, & 20 ga loads, to have a collection of .410 loads to look through... & any of those should scale up nicely in the 444 case... I particularly like Lil Gun, as that powder was made initially for the .410, it has the best velocities, & uses less case capacity than alot of the other choices... plus I already had a couple canisters I use in some other small cartridges, like my 22 Hornet...

these are the nitro cards I'm using...


the overshot cards...


the load book I bought...


Magnum Wheel Man
February 18, 2011, 11:06 AM
BTW... here is an update... thread I posted in the reloading section... ( was thinking that was the thread you responded to originally )


March 7, 2011, 11:25 AM
Havnt been on the site. I thouhgt I would get an email if you responded. Just seen you replied. Thanks.
I have been playing with my 444 Marlin brass. Trying to just do it with what I had around.
I started out by taking a couple of 3 inch 410 shells apart. I put a large pistol prime in and added the powder x from the 3 inch. I cut the cup part off of the shot cup and used the bottom over the powder. Pushed it down snug with a BP pistol ram rod. I put the #7 shot from the 3 inch in and removed enough (just a few BB's) to fit an over shot card cut from a primer box using a 454 case sharpened with a de bur. I put a roll crimp on with 444 die. I painted the over shot card with fingernail polish I borrowed from Debbie.
This fired really well with a 5 inch patern at arms length away. Im shooting a 45/410 2 1/2 american derringer. Its just for fun to watch cans jump and with the intent to be able to hit a snake a close range from the pocket. Mostly for fun and conversation. Anyway the round shot well but blew out the over shot card on the second round I had made up an in the derringer.
From there I made a couple with 13.3 grains of 2400. Cut a piece of leather/ vinal? from a spare tire cover with the sharpened 454 case. Put the white part up and black against the powder and pressed in with the ram rod. Filled the cases with shot, removed enough to fit the overshot card crimped with a bit of bees wax over that after the finger nail polished dried.
These shot with a much larger patern, actually more for what I want and hit hard enough to sink most of the shot into the plywood back stop I had behind the targets at a few feet away. This time the second round stayed together and shot well. I shot several of those, they are pretty hot for that little derringer and I noticed the brass bulging in the middle. I am going to try two coats of the nail polish and leave off the bees wax and see if that will hold them together without bulging the case.
Dont have any Lil Gun around but will look for some. I do have some 110 I am going to try.
What are you puting over your over shot card? You are only shooting one at a time, right? I need something to hold but not build up presure to go along with shooting the close to 300 grain of shot out.
Thanks for any inputs.

Magnum Wheel Man
March 7, 2011, 11:40 AM
mine are all single shots... but I'd bet the Nitro Cards ( used over the powder ) used as an over shot card would hold up for your 2nd shot with just the roll crimp... ( though they would take up more space in the case )

my buddy / mentor...( a retired gun smith & tool & die guy ) & I talked about shooting them in the .410 / 45 colt chambers... if you don't resize the 444 case in a 444 die, we thought the cases ( which easily handle 3 times the pressure of the .410 ) would eventually fire form to the .410 chamber... they would then no longer chamber in the 444 chambers though... you would likely have to use a 45 Colt die to get your crimp...

... I'm guessing your not really seeing the buldge from pressures, but rather incomplete fire forming caused from the lower pressures the shot shells operate at

March 7, 2011, 12:13 PM
I'm sorry, I got lost somewhere along the line. I'm not sure of your original intent, were you looking to make .410-bore shot shells from brass, but don't want to pay the high prices for all brass .410 cases; wanting shot loads for a .444 Marlin chambered gun, or both, or what?

Magnum Wheel Man
March 7, 2011, 12:27 PM
my thoughts / uses here are really 2 fold....1st... 444 Marlin used in the 44 Hot Shot barrel for my truck gun... ( this is what I'm currently working on )

but I / we have several single shot .410's regularly used for rabbit & varmint use around the farm... mine... a 16" .410 / 45 Colt Contender barrel with a similar straight rifled choke tube... hers... a CZ Cottontail folder single shot .410... once I'm confident with the 444 cases in the hot shot barrel, I'll start working on the 2 .410's ( I was told though ) that the 444 case will not go into a .410 chamber without either thinning the rims, or opening the rim slot a bit on the guns... so it's interesting that 454's 45 Colt .410 derringer is taking the 444 cases without any modification :confused:

I was thinking if I got to that point... I'd use the 444 cases with the X'ed out headstamps in the .410/ 45 Colt chambers, so "if" they fire formed to the 45 chamberes, I'd not over work harden those, & then I'd use regular 444 cases just mark the boxes "shot" for the truck gun loads...

March 7, 2011, 04:08 PM
I will try the 45 colt die and see if it will roll crimp those cases. Its almost like they are fat in the middle though. Above the head but not formed all the way to the end thats why I thought the pressure was there. No what I mean. I wil measure the cases bu they seem to be bulging in the middle. The derringer is only rifled the last half inch but thats why it wont accept the 3 inch 410 shell and of course this is why I am putting the 3 inch components in the shorter heavy brass. l'll keep you posted but like I said I didnt notice the bulge until I added the wax. The 13.3 grain 2400 load full of shot seems hotter than some of my healthy 45 colt loads.