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Thread: .44 Mag Rifle?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master DonMountain's Avatar
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    .44 Mag Rifle?

    I've been using a Ruger Redhawk in .44 Mag for deer hunting for maybe 20 years, and now am considering purchasing a .44 Mag rifle for woods hunting deer. Our 18 year old has a hard time handling the handgun, but wants to shoot the 320 grain LBT gaschecked boolits in a "woods" rifle. Does anybody have some ideas on good rifles for this? We looked at some lever actions and the Ruger mini bolt gun at the NRA convention in St. Louis. But looking at the guns doesn't say much about their ability to shoot cast lead boolits. Especially from the mold I already have.

  2. #2
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    Reload3006's Avatar
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    I have a Ruger Deer field Carbine. I have never shot Cast out of it as Ruger admonishes you not to. I also have a Rossi M92 lever that is a very nice carbine in 44 mag. My son has taken several deer with the Ruger using 240gr Boolits I have swaged myself also with Hornady XTPs and Nosler JHPs They are deer slayers. I have really good luck with Cast out of my Rossi and I used to have a Browning M92 in 44 and I am still kicking myself in the rear for ever letting that gun go. It was very accurate and trouble free. The only thing I don't like about the Rossi is the safety system on it .... I just dont think it belongs on a lever action rifle like the M92

  3. #3
    Boolit Master TCFAN's Avatar
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    I am probably not much help but the Marlin 1894's have a bad rap about handling heavy boolits. My Marlin is a 20 inch cowboy and it shoots the Ranch Dog 265 and the 285 gr. boolits just fine for deer hunting.Just got to keep them fat at around .433 and push them hard.I have never tried any heavier than the 285 RD......Terry

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I have a Winchester 94ae that shoots Lee 240gr bullets better than I could shoot them, Not much recoil as you could imagine.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master DonMountain's Avatar
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    Winchester?

    I thought Winchester went out of business? My wife uses an old Winchester 94AE in .356 Winchester successfully every year on deer. Do they have deep enough rifling to shoot cast boolits? A friend of mine had one of the other makers lever actions with real shallow rifling and it wouldn't shoot cast lead boolits no matter what he did.

  6. #6
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    Don

    With that 320 gr cast bullet in mind you'll want a rifle with a faster twist, probably 20" or faster. Most older Marlins and New Haven Made Winchesters do have a twist that fast. Many have accuracy/stability problems with 3100 gr bullets. Suggest some research to determine if any lever guns have the twist and can take the OAL cartridge length to feed. I think the Ruger bolt gun has the twist but OAL is limited by the rotary mag. It may be that you'll have to consider another bullet, a lighter weight shorter one.

    Larry Gibson

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    I have the ruger M77 bolt gun in 44 mag.

    the magazine really limits bullet choices. 300gr ones barely fit and only if I seat them deep.

    The 320's I have shot out of it don't do very well, they seem to have a stability issue past 75 yds or so.

    I would look for a good lever gun that you may perhaps be able to seat the boolit out a bit farther and have it still work the action.

    Personally, for deer, the 240gr wt area is just fine for me.
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    I have a Winchester Legacy with a 24" barrel that just loves the LEE 310gr. Everything you want it to do and then some, my problem is it shoots better than I can free hand it. That's one rifle I'm never getting rid of.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonMountain View Post
    I thought Winchester went out of business? My wife uses an old Winchester 94AE in .356 Winchester successfully every year on deer. Do they have deep enough rifling to shoot cast boolits? A friend of mine had one of the other makers lever actions with real shallow rifling and it wouldn't shoot cast lead boolits no matter what he did.
    The 356 in a BB 94 win ha great rifling for cast boolits.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  10. #10
    Boolit Master DonMountain's Avatar
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    .44 Mag guns

    Quote Originally Posted by MT Gianni View Post
    The 356 in a BB 94 win ha great rifling for cast boolits.
    I have never shot cast boolits in the 356. Maybe I will have to find a mold for that one too. But my wife seems to always shoot deer at extended ranges since it has a scope on her 94AE rifle. So I never thought about buying a mold for it and just loaded j bullets for it. But this time I am looking to buy a boolit shooter in 44 mag, preferrally for the heavy 320 grain boolits that I have a mold for.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master lead chucker's Avatar
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    I have a cva scout 44 mag it likes to shoot any thing you feed it. It has a real nice trigger and a very solid scope mount. It has a 1-20 twist. It was about $300.00 up here in Alaska. I also have a ruger 77/44 but like mentioned before you are limited on over all length if you want to use the magazine.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    I have a 96/44 that shoots 240 gr. cast very well but it too has the rotary magazine.

  13. #13
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCFAN View Post
    I am probably not much help but the Marlin 1894's have a bad rap about handling heavy boolits. My Marlin is a 20 inch cowboy and it shoots the Ranch Dog 265 and the 285 gr. boolits just fine for deer hunting.Just got to keep them fat at around .433 and push them hard.I have never tried any heavier than the 285 RD......Terry

    I also have a Marlin 1894 in 44 Mag. All I shoot out of it is 300 grain WFN GC over 19.5 grains of 296 I get 1600 fps. Its has modest recoil, very accurate, and gets the job done real nice in the field. as TC said, I drop them at .433 and life is good.
    Last edited by doubledown; 04-29-2012 at 08:19 PM. Reason: getting old

  14. #14
    Boolit Master JIMinPHX's Avatar
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    Once upon a time, many years ago, I bought a .44 mag semi auto rifle, thinking that I could use it to hut deer in PA. I then found out that PA did not allow the use of semi autos for that purpose. I was also later disappointed to find that my plinker loads would not cycle the action. In hind sight, I would have been much happier if I had bought a lever gun. A buddy of mine has one of the marlin .44 levers. I like it a lot.
    “an armed society is a polite society.”
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  15. #15
    Boolit Mold
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    The Marlin 1894 in 44 Mag is an excellent choice. However, you will find (as with any gun) that you can't tell the gun which type and weight of bullet to shoot accurately. It will tell you what it will shoot accurately and the only way to find that out is to run different weights and shapes of bullets, with different powders and charges, through it at the shooting range. When all the bullets all go through one ragged hole, that's the one.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I can not see any need for a 320 grain bullet for eastern woods deer hunting. Try to steer your son to a more practical 240 grain it is more than sufficient.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master







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    Just my 2 cents! My Marlin 44M shoots the 310 lee just fine and accruately, however for lead economy, am prone to the 265 RD.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Man 44deerslayer's Avatar
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    I have remington 788 in 44 mag love it shoots all cast Boolits light or heavy shoots best with Lyman 421429 mold

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check