44 magnum

Discussion in 'Hunting Forum' started by hickracefan, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. hickracefan

    hickracefan New Member

    23
    0
    0
    Hi! I'm looking at getting a .44 magnum lever action for my next deer rifle. I have a .300 WSM for long shots and looking for a close quarters gun. The best places for deer on my property is in some dense areas where shots will be no more than 60 yds. I killed a nice buck this year with my 300 at 40 yds and bullet never expanded and deer ran alot further than it should have. A buddy let me shoot his and fell in love with it and it has great knock down power as it rolled a 140lb deer shooting through brush.

    With that being said, I have narrowed it down to two models 1) Marlin 1894 (orginal or cowboy) 2) Henry Big Boy. I'm considering putting a small scope on it but would like to just use open sights. I prefer the side discharge as opposed to the Winchester's. Anyone have any recommendations or hunt with either of these models?
     
  2. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    9,535
    129
    63
    I had a Marlin and would by it over the others unless you are planning to shoot cast lead bullets. I am not sure if they still have the micro groove riffling which works fine with jacketed bullets but not so hot with lead. For the short range scope look at the Bushnell Banner 1-4X shotgun scope.
     

  3. hickracefan

    hickracefan New Member

    23
    0
    0
    Yeah I've heard a lot of good things about Marlin! I've held a Henry and it pretty heavy with solid brass receiver. Also that brass will reflect any light and potentially scare off game and with my luck it would happen, haha! My buddy swears by Hornady 240gr hollow points. It's pretty brushy where I hunt and those leverevolutions will deflect. But I'm not too experienced with cast bullets and what not and just looking for some opinions...
     
  4. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    9,535
    129
    63
    I used 240 grain flat nosed soft points rather than HP. It was never more than a 100yard gun. You can expect about 400 fps increase in velocity and HP might be too fragile close in.
     
  5. hickracefan

    hickracefan New Member

    23
    0
    0
    What brand of bullet did you use or do you reload? I always wondered about if the HP hit some brush if it would expand before coming in contact with it target? Like any gun, it'll be trial and error to see what load the gun shoots best.
     
  6. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

    1,799
    0
    0
    I have an old Browning Mdl 92 .44 Mag. These have Winchester Micro-Groove barrels. They have a 1-38 twist and will shoot 240 gr cast WW bullets OK. The little Browning is very accurate with iron sights.:)
     
  7. Intheshop

    Intheshop New Member

    210
    0
    0
    JMO,but...the micro grooves have a more narrow load window.IOWs...you have fewer choices on what loads they like.Its that moreso,than outright accuracy.Thats mainly with cast bullets...but would say its also evident in shooting jacketed.Some brrls can have great acc...others,finding that load can take forever?

    The choice of a rifle vs a handgun,when considering terminal ballistics....will,IMO lean twds the rifle.Not so much for any velocity increase,but the window availible for getting bullets to,"do the business".I've killed alot of game with .44 hanguns.....even though I still use HP's,they can be a real frustrating topic.Compared to a rifle,getting a HP to open up at handgun velocity's.....and the keyword is "reliably"...can be a crap shoot.I'd just as soon use a heavy cast bullet with a good flat/sharp meplat.I think they hit harder.Intheshop
     
  8. fmj

    fmj New Member

    3,459
    0
    0
    IMHO i would go with the Marlin. Blued is the way to go for a hunting gun, and they come drilled and tapped for a scope from the factory.

    The Henry big boy has one of the best triggers i have ever squeezed, but are far too bright and shiny for hunting nor do they come tapped for a scope.

    As far as ammo goes i use hornaday 240 JHP sitting on 22gr of 4227. (also have a great load using 2400, just not running down to the reloading room to get how many grains right now) PURE DEVASTATION!! Shoots under 1 moa!! When shooting pumpkins at 50 yards was making 12 guage slugs look puny and insignificant!!

    Now of course this is out of my Ruger M-44 Carbine and not a lever gun...but the load is DEADLY!
     
  9. hickracefan

    hickracefan New Member

    23
    0
    0
    Yeah I feel the Marlin is a better choice! Ive always wanted a cowboy gun and feel there is a little cowboy in all of us, whether one wants to admit it or not. I want a semi light and compact gun for close range and seen a few deer that have taken with a 44 mag a little under 100 yds with HP and you could fit a softball in both entrance and exit wounds...
     
  10. hickracefan

    hickracefan New Member

    23
    0
    0
    One other question about the twist rate of the marlin. I hear people saying the 1:38" is too slow or something? What is meant by that?
     
  11. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

    2,879
    4
    38
    Means it will not stabilize heavy bullets. 240gr is around the limit and not allways great then.
     
  12. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    9,535
    129
    63
    I just checked the Marlin website and the newer 1894 rifles have deep cut Ballard rifling with a standard 1:38 twist. They dropped the Microgroove. Interesting that S&W revolvers have a 1:18.75 twist.
     
  13. hickracefan

    hickracefan New Member

    23
    0
    0
    That's jibberish to me, haha! What does the 1:38 mean?
     
  14. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    9,535
    129
    63
  15. hickracefan

    hickracefan New Member

    23
    0
    0
  16. Triumphman

    Triumphman Active Member

    1,006
    9
    38
    You won't be disappointed in using the Marlin 44mag with 240gr. They pack quite the whallop. My little 44 carries a Redfield Revolution 2-7x33 scope and it's very good for handling that kick.
    DON'T GET ANY. REPEAT. DON'T GET ANY, lever action Marlin from 2008 or newer. This will make that Marlin TOO CLOSE to the timeline that Remington took them over and messed all the lever actions up. The new lever actions are a mess, and that's a shame as Marlin was at the top of food chain with lever actions, but not now. Get something at least from the year 2007 and older(older being even better). You won't regret it for it's reliability, fit and finish or accuracy. Marlin's serial number is how to tell it's date of manufacturer. Don't rely on barrel saying Marlin--Made in ??? or the JM(barrel stamp) as older Marlin barrels were used up, with Remington's takeover. New Marlin barrels will say MR(barrel stamp) on barrel even though barrel still says Marlin on it. It's weird as to how Remington can use Marlin for it's lever actions even though Marlin does not make guns now.
    Del
     
  17. hickracefan

    hickracefan New Member

    23
    0
    0
    That's very good to know! I looked at a brand new one and wasn't really impressed which is why I was considering the Henry too! Do you know what serial number range I should look for by chance?
     
  18. Triumphman

    Triumphman Active Member

    1,006
    9
    38
    Yes. Go to Marlin Owners website and go to "Date of Manufacture" page and look for Serial Number Dates. Then do a printout of serial number/alphabet codes for dates. My 44mag has a starting # of 2202xxx and take this # and start at the year of 2000 and substract 22 from that and you'll get, that my rifle was made in 1978.
    On other hand, my 1965 Western Field 30-30(made by Marlin) has a Serial # starting with AAxxx, and using this serial # it was made in 1965. All Marlin's serial # use this Date of Manufacturer list for all it's calibers.
    Del
     
  19. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

    4,823
    0
    0
    I have the stainless Marlin. I'd buy it again in a heartbeat. It's one of the best lever action rifles I've ever shot.
     
  20. hickracefan

    hickracefan New Member

    23
    0
    0
    Now is your gun manufactured before or after the merger? I was curious how it operated? The one I looked a few months ago the lever cycle wasn't very smooth and lever had some play, a little too much play, from side to side.