Ok, firstly, Cabelas rocks... I found one of their Pine Ridge scopes set up specifically for .444 Marlin, and it was on sale.
And not only that, they shipped ASAP without a hitch. All I need now are rings and time to zero it in.
Yes, I know that's a lot of scope for a .444, but the aperture is huge, the reticle is set up with ballistic marks, and field of view should be outstanding since I'm leaving it in 3x permanently. Did I mention it was $50?
Now, the dejected sighing part. Yesterday I called the company responsible for sending me the ITM AK74 receiver, since it has been squarely a month. This time, I got someone reasonable, who said it left on the tenth. Wha? So I scour the boxes at the range, and find one from the initials of the company, with nothing close to my name on it. Pop it open; there it is... one receiver, stamped, pre-finished, looks to be well hardened, says 7.62 on the side.
Yeah, they sent me the wrong one, and thanks to some jerkoff telling me it'd be weeks before it arrived, it's now well past the point of no replacements available for months. I'll be keeping it anyways... a $60 AK receiver is still no poor deal, even if it's not what I wanted. But dammit, no receiver for the '74! My options are to either make a plate or guides for the 74 mag in the 47 receiver, wait until 74s show up again, or bend a 74 flat up and make my own. None are terribly attractive options.
At least I got word that the RIA pistol is only a week or two off, and I should have an NEF rifle very, very soon. The only thing left to wait for will be the two el-cheapo NcStar scopes that are on backorder. Oh, and the PPsh41 kit arrived yesterday too.