Sold For: $2,853
Model: 444 First Variation, First Year
Serial Number: AA29137
Year of Manufacture: 1965, C&R
Caliber: .444 Marlin
Action Type: Lever Action with Three Quarter Length Tubular Magazine
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “The Marlin Firearms Co. NEW HAVEN, CONN., U.S.A. / EST. 1870-MICRO-GROOVE BARREL-MODEL-444 MARLIN”. The left side of the barrel at the receiver is marked with a circled “JM” proof. The lower tang is marked with the serial number.
Barrel Length: 24”
Sights / Optics: This rifle is mounted with a “U” notch folding rear sight with a white-triangle aiming reference point on the notched plate which can be adjusted for elevation which is dovetailed to the rear of the barrel. The front sight is a brass beaded blade which is dovetailed into a serrated ramped riser that is screwed to the front of the barrel. The front sight is currenlty installed with a protective hood. The top of the receiver is drilled, tapped and filled for scope mounts and the left side of the receiver is drilled, tapped and filled for a receiver sight.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece smooth walnut with a satin finish. The buttstock has a straight grip, fluted monte carlo comb, and a brown vent-rubber Marlin buttpad. There is one barrel band that secures the forend, the band has a sling swivel and there is another in the toe line. There was a Marlin bullseye in the belly, but it is missing. There are a few light compressions and scrapes. The defects are mainly on the right side of the butt. There are a few spots of lightly thinnd finish on the butt and some litte marks of white pigment noticeable on the rear of the comb and a tiny one on the left side. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 13 7/8” from the front of the trigger to the back of the recoil pad. The recoil pad shows light wear and has remained pliable. The stocks rate in about Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: The rifle is blued. The top and underside of the receiver and the upper and lower tang have a matte black finish. The trigger is gold plated.
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the Micro-Groove rifling is sharp. There are scattered small patches of surface erosion.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 93% of its metal finish. The receiver has a few little rubs on the polished portions. There are some light scuffs and spots of thinning on the matte portions, the most noticeable is on the top tang. There is standard operational wear. The lever has a couple scattered nicks. The barrel has some few little scuffs and marks into the finish, the most noticeable defects are spots of finish loss on the top just in front of the forend. The barrel has a bit of finish loss at the muzzle. The mag tube has a few little marks into the finish and a few hardly noticeable spots of frost. The barrel bands have a bit of thinning. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are crisp. Overall, this rifle rates in about Fine overall condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The lever locks up well and the hammer has a half-cock safety position in addition to a lever safety. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included are a tan leather sling and a hammer spur extension. The sling has some light scuffs, some creases, and a few spots of discoloratio, in about Fine condition.
Our Assessment: Created in 1964 as a joint venture between Marlin and Remington, the .444 Marlin cartridge was developed to fill the space left after .45-70 lost popularity in the United States. Able to push a 240 grain projectile at 2,400 FPS, the cartridge can be used for even the largest game North America has to offer. It has an advantage over the .45-70 in that it was designed for use with smokeless powder, not for black powder. Aftre the cartridge was completed, the Model 444 was released in 1965 and is just like a 336 with strength upgrades to handle the potent round. This is a first variation with the hooded raised front sight, straight grip stock, and a 24” barrel. This rifle would be great for hunting or for a Marlin collection which doesn’t yet have a .444, especially because it was made in the first year of its short six year production history. The rifle is in about Fine condition and shows little signs of use. Please see our photos and good luck!
CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable? (THIS SECTION DOES NOT APPLY TO OUT-OF-STATE RESIDENTS): This C&R rifle CAN be transferred in California. All C&R firearms must be transferred through your local dealer OR at our Simi Valley location; we cannot ship directly to a C&R holder in California. Out of state residents can disregard this section – your local laws apply.