Anyone actually use a .44 rifle?

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by triggerhappy, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. triggerhappy

    triggerhappy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    State:
    IL
    Thinking of getting a levergun this summer. It will probably see just as many coyotes as deer, but would like a deer-gun foremost. I was wondering if people who have actually used a .44mag rifle firsthand felt the caliber leaves much to be desired. I know it's not a long range caliber and will ruin the pelts of a coyote...never are a concern to me. Just don't know if I should step up to a 45-70. (I handload...so I can make "hot" 44s or lighten up the 45-70s)
     
  2. catwacker

    catwacker New Member

    Messages:
    202
    State:
    illinois
    it kind of depends where you plan to deer hunt. i'm sure you realize it's not going to work in illinois. .44 is a good caliber for heavy brush in bear country, but there are alot of better choices for deer, IMHO. the old 30/30 has killed more deer in this country than anything.(excluding .22 poachers). that .44 is really short on range if you are hunting open ground.
    iowa has a high power season now, maybe illinois will follow. i hunt deer with a ruger redhawk .44, but i've never taken a shot over 40 yrds. good luck hunting, and hope your happy with whatever you decide on.
    hornady is loading a flex tip round for lever action. it has the ballistic tip pointed bullet for increased velocity and accuracy, but is safe in a tube magizine. it is available in 30/30, 35 rem., .444 marlin, 45/70, and .450 marlin. the ballistic table looks impressive compared the the usual lever action flat nose bullets . hope this helps
    catwacker
     

  3. slabmaster

    slabmaster New Member

    Messages:
    719
    State:
    missouri
    i have a buddy that hunts with a .44 in oklahoma . he shoots deer thru brush with no problem to 75 yds. if i were shooting in open country and like to reload id try something like a 25-06 . the reloading possiabilities aare vast.aannd you can do every thing from varments to long range whitetail. even elk at 150 yds or less. coyotes and deer at 300 yds is easily doable. the .44 is a deadly round at 100 yds or less though.theres also another fun lever gun round if you can find the gun. its a 250-3000 savage. .25cal loaded in basically what amounts to 30-30 brass.its deadly and fun to shoot.just my opinion.
     
  4. Boogan1

    Boogan1 New Member

    Messages:
    122
    State:
    Carrollton, MO
    My kids all started hunting deer with a .44 lever rifle. It is light, easy for them to handle, safe, and more than enough knock down power. I handload a 180 grain hornady XTP hollow point that has no recoil and isn't even very loud for the kids. My son shot his first deer at 85 yards, heart shot, deer ran about 30 yards and fell over. Daughter shot her first deer this past season at 40 yards through the shoulder, dropped on the spot. I shoot a ruger super blackhawk with a 10 1/2" barrel and open sights and consistently kill deer at 100 yards with it. Boog
     
  5. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    I reloaded 30-30,44 special and 44 mag.for lever and bolt action rifles,and single and double action revolvers. I would be REAL CAREFUL with hot loads in a lever action.Some are not as strong as some of the other actions.With modern powders,you can get faster loads with lower pressures than we used to.Your brass and your firearm will hold up better.The hottest loads are very seldom the most accurate loads anyway.The old bolt action 30-30,s can be found in gun and pawn shops.If you hand load,you can shoot just about any bullet in them.With the lever actions,you are more limited in your cartridge length,be it rotary or tubular magazine.peewee-williams
     
  6. squirtspop

    squirtspop New Member

    Messages:
    968
    State:
    Glencoe, Arkansas
    I used to use a Marlin Model 1894 in the 44 mag. Great brush gun for deer. Range was about 90-100 yards before it started dropping off real fast. Had a scope on it when I first bought it and cousin wanted to shoot it. He said he didn't hold it too tight cause it was so light and when he shot it kicked back and the scope caught him. Gashed him good right above his right eye. Does have some kick. Needless to say the scope came off before it got me. Got several deer with it.
     
  7. triggerhappy

    triggerhappy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    State:
    IL
    Thanks guys. Larry, rifles are illegal for deer in Illinois...so it definately won't work. (But I'm going to school in kentucky...quite a bit of hills and woods) If I go the .44 (or the 45-70) route I'll go with the newer marlin1894...but I'm on your side peewee, without all the fancy gizmos to tell me what going on inside the chamber I get nervous real fast and wouldn't push the limits very hard. Mainly meant loading heavy 300+ lead cast bullets by the phrase "hot".
    I had pretty much settled on a 45-70 that I would load down for...but then I got to thinking if I'm gonna load a 45 down, why not load a 44 up so I can shoot the cheaper .44 factory stuff?

    I know speed kills, and I've even read some of the experiments about the hydrostatic shock stopping the heart...even when there's no visible damage to it upon recovery. And I believe it, but I think there's merit to the big-slow-crush-the-shoulders-and-watch-em-drop mentality as well.
    I prefer the latter ;)
     
  8. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    I killed my first deer with my grandpa's old .44 mag Marlin lever action rifle. It has a ton of knockdown. Hard to beat in the brush. As long as a guy doesn't go too far over 100-150 yds...there's nothin wrong with the .44. Over that...it's more like lobbing a mortar round...Lol.
     
  9. Gator

    Gator New Member

    Messages:
    1,116
    State:
    Ludowici GA
    I use a .44 mag but only for hog along with a .357 mag but would not shoot at anything over 60 yards or so as they are not built for range.
     
  10. Bigmagic

    Bigmagic New Member

    Messages:
    382
    State:
    Edwards Missouri
    I use to use a Marlin 44 mag lever action. I killed plenty of deer with it but I would go with something that shoots a higher speed bullet especially if you want it to shoot coyotes too. I don't remember the exact muzzle velocity but it's slow compared to most deer rifles.
     
  11. 1stpalindrone

    1stpalindrone New Member

    Messages:
    84
    State:
    Denton, Texas
    I hunt TX brush country and am an avid T/C collector. I've got a variety of calibers including the .44mag and the .45-70gov. Both are excellent for ranges up to 75yrds for me personally. I tend to shoot the .44 more often because of the recoil of the 45-70 w/ a 16" barrel and the fact that it's ported makes it alot louder than the .44, at least from behind. Shells are cheaper to buy or load too with .44. Like the earlier posts though, I feel like the .30-30 and .308 are all around multi animal calibers.. JMO:cool:
     
  12. wpsatisfide

    wpsatisfide New Member

    Messages:
    305
    State:
    Pawleys Island, SC
    My granddad has one and has killed lots of deer with it. He dosnt have the best vision and the gun is top ejecting with no scope, so i dont see how he does it. Anyway I really enjoy shooting it and although I no longer hunt I enjoy it so much I target shoot with it everytime I go to his house.
     
  13. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    Sounds good,but you are still going to have to lube well and stick to slow velocities with lead bullets.If you do not,you will end up "stripping out" with lead bullets.Looking down that barrel and seeing a smooth bore is the easy part.Cleaning until you can see rifling again,is the hard part.I Did it.Being that I am a slow learner,I did it quite a few times.The Ballard rifling in the 1894 is the way to go for lead.You can always buy a box of good jacketed bullets to get your velocity and trajectory up for hunting,if you wish.I am going to give you a tip from a old man.Get you a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun and a bale of straw or hay for a backstop.You can set up safely,just about anywhere.This is a easy,affordable way to practice and stay familiar with a lever action.If you can work a 22 lever action in there,you really have it made.I learned this from a Mr.Holiday who once worked in the old "101 Ranch" wild west show,and learned this from the trick shots.I used a Red Ryder,Marlin 39A and 336.It worked for me.Just practice shooting from all positions as you well might have to when hunting.Best of luck,peewee-williams