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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a serious itch to buy a 44 mag lever gun, probably a Marlin 1894 pre remington take over. I know there are better suited guns, better ballistics and the whole thing. But this is the gun I want, to match my revolver, reloading purposes, nostalgia, etc. Out of a rifle like this, the 44 mag has about 20 to 30% more power than out of a handgun.

My question is, do you think it would be irresponsible to take this gun on a bear hunt? I am familiar with the short coming of the 44 at long distances, even out of a rifle, and would limit my shots to 100 yards.

Again, I know there are better calibers suited to the task, but lets limit the conversation to this caliber. Assuming good shot placement, and range restrictions put in place, do you think this would have enough power to ethicaly/morally take on a bear hunt?
 

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if you have the willpower to not shoot anything more than about a 30-40 yard standing broadside bear. i personally wouldn't do it because so many times bears are moving, in brush, further than that, etc and i want as much oompf as possible. but in theory, a 44 through the boiler room would kill a bear. but at 100 yards there ain't much energy left.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here's the ballistics from buffalo bore. This is the ammunition I would most likely use, and the ballistics are for a 1894 Marlin in 44 mag, the gun I want shooting a 270 grain bullet. I think at 100 yards, your still talking more than enough power. Even at 200 yards, theres a lot of power.

Muzzle
1800 fps
1942.1 Ft/lbs of energy

100 yards
1459 fps
1277 ft/lbs of energy

200 yards
1196 fps
858 ft/lbs of energy
 

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I would have no issue with that rifle. If you are hunting bears where you should be, you won't be taking a 100 yard shot anyway. I am a handloader though and would definitely be loading up some max 300 grain loads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Kudu, I agree. My only issue is that from what I've heard, the 44 mag rifles don't have fast enough rifling to stabilize really large bullets. People say that when you start getting at the 300 grain mark, accuracy with these rifles suffers due to the twist. Thats why I noted the 270 grain bullet for ballistic purposes.

Now, I can't speak to how true this is as I don't yet own the gun and haven't got to mess around with it at the range, but it was brought up by enough people that I think it merits some thought. When I actually get the gun, I definately will load some of those big boys up and test it for myself. Assuming it still shot accurately, I'm with you.
 

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I had a few people tell me that they had trouble getting 60 grain bullets to shoot well out of their .222's, but I got a good, accurate load worked up. Heck, that's the fun part of it. Good luck with it. BTW, when I went to Maine, a guy shot his bear with an 1894 in .44 mag and had no trouble at all.
 

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I may also carry my 44mag rifle next year. Winchester 94 22" barrel.

I plan to shoot Hornady 300gr XTP HP bullets out of handloads that I have not checked for accuracy. May change. I recommend good 240gr, 265gr, 270gr flat points, or any 300gr.

A 44mag rifle has as much velocity at 100 yards as the handgun has at muzzle. A 44mag handgun is considered plenty of power for anything in North America in the handgun hunting world except grizzlies where it is entry level. A rifle has significantly more power.

Choose bullets wisely as the impact velocity will be between a 44mag handgun and a 444 Marlin. The bullet must stay together and expand unless it is a wide metplat hard cast.

Energy is noteworthy but not everything. Also note momentum. Comparing momentum of the 44mag to popular rifle chamberings will be an interesting find to someone who has not done so before. Momentum = mass x velocity. The momentum of a 300gr 44mag rifle load is the same as a 150gr 3006 load. A 3006 firing a 150 gr Partition or Barnes will kill black bear well.

If I know I will be hunting where my shots will be close range, I will be carrying my Win 94 44mag with XS ghost ring sights.

I have not killed a black bear with a 44mag, but I have killed one with a 300WSM.
 

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NJP158 said:
Kudu, I agree. My only issue is that from what I've heard, the 44 mag rifles don't have fast enough rifling to stabilize really large bullets. People say that when you start getting at the 300 grain mark, accuracy with these rifles suffers due to the twist. Thats why I noted the 270 grain bullet for ballistic purposes.

Now, I can't speak to how true this is as I don't yet own the gun and haven't got to mess around with it at the range, but it was brought up by enough people that I think it merits some thought. When I actually get the gun, I definately will load some of those big boys up and test it for myself. Assuming it still shot accurately, I'm with you.

I've stabilized 300 grain bullets out of a Winchester 94 44 mag Trapper with the slow twist. Whoever told you that doesn't know.
 
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