Thanks man! That eases my mind a bit.
And btw I'm super jealous of that rifle .
>>Back story (sorry for the length)<<
I have been hunting one for quite a while now. The ONLY one i saw locally was at a shop on consignment and the guy wanted STUPID money for it. I have seen a couple on GB.com but again i wasnt willing to pay that kind of money+ shipping+ transfer fees.
Flash forward a few months to a conversation i was having with a couple of my gun nut friends. They suggested i tag along with them to the largest gun show in the state. I figured WTH, its a Sat. and i really dont have anything else planned. Why not shoot the day on a road trip w/ friends and wander around drooling on guns and i just might find what i was looking for, in the price range i was willing to spend.
Well, we wandered around for a few hours looking at the wares on the tables and assorted firearms toted by private citizens. (i LOVE gun shows as i always come away thinking "What an AWESOME country this is") My buds traded what they brought, and bought what they were looking for, but i still hadnt seen a my rifle. Plenty of Ruger 10/22s and tons of .44 mag levers in blued and stainless, but no Ruger .44 mag. semis. I was about to despair, when from across the isle, i saw it!! I bounced across the isle, shouldered 4 guys out of the way, picked it up and it WAS a Ruger Model 44.
Then the dickering began! After 10 or so minutes of haggling, I laid out the benjamins. (its amazing how the sight of a handful benjamins weakens even the most stiff haggler) The 44 came to my safe over $200 under budget!! (which was promptly blown on a scope, .44 ammunition, .44 JHP bullets and assorted other reloading gear)
Out of over 100K guns (estimated vendors and private) i found the ONLY Ruger .44mag semi-auto in the house!!
I then went the next day to the local range. I was worried about function and grouping. Even tho she still had good rifling in the bore, i was a bit worried. I mean, she is after all a 44 y/o gun. But it turned out she fired fine and grouped VERY well, the gun shoots better then i do!
She has some "character marks" on the stock, but nothing too terrible IMHO as she IS a 44 y/o gun and has obviously been used and has prolly taken her fair share of game.
Now for some pics. As purchased..."Character marks"...
How she shoots...
(please remember, i wasnt out to dial in totally, i just wanted to get it on paper and see if it would group...i will be mounting different rings and scope and then dialing her in to perfection)