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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to decide on which rifle to get. I really want to get a lever-action rifle. I'm leaning towards a .357mag but I've been told to go towards a .44mag. I handled a Marlin 1894 in .44mag and I really like how it felt.

What do you guys think? What caliber and rifles should I look at? I don't hunt yet but i would like to hunt eventually and could potentially use this rifle for hunting, maybe deer.
 

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Are you looking at just pistol cartridges? For deer? A 44 Mag, or a 45 colt with hopped up hand loads. The 38-55 can be handloaded up as well. And there is always the 45-70, 444, and whatever other super new cartridges have been dreamt up.
 

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I've killed deer with the .357 and .44 magnums. The .357 in a carbine will take deer out to 100 yards. The .44 carbine will do it out to 125 yards effectively. If you want to bear hunt then go with the .44. But for deer only I kind of like the .357 in a Marlin or a Winchester carbine. The .44 will kill deer farther out than 125 but it gets alittle tricky trying to rainbow it in there.
 

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I actually wish the .41 mag had been successful. I think that gave the best of both worlds.
 

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I have a few lever action and single shots in handgun cartridges. They make fantastic deer rifles. And also inexpensive rifles to shoot if you have to rely on factory ammo.

A 357 in a rifle is completely different than a 357 in a handgun. And if you buy factory ammo it can be cheap to shoot with 38 Special loads. So the 357 has the advantage in cost of operations.

Personally I like the 44 magnum better for hunting. But it will cost more to shoot.

IMO the 357 nor the 44 magnum is limited to 100 or 125 yards. But after 100 yards the 44 magnum is a much better choice. But I have no problems extending 44 magnum to easily 200 yards and beyond. You just have to know your rifle.

I also like the 45 Colt in a lever action. You can push a 255 grain bullet pretty hard and do terrible damage to deer. Even with zero expansion you have a 1/2" hole going in.

Personally I have shot deer with my 44 magnum out to about 225 yards. You really have to know your equipment to do that. But you are suppose to know your equipment. I shoot only cast bullets that I cast in my lever actions. That is how I can shoot it so cheap. I can reload about 1,000 shells for $100. You can't beat that. And when you put a few thousand rounds down your 44 magnum lever action a 200 yard shot will not scare you at all.

Below is a picture of one of my 44 Magnum's in a Marlin 1894. That Marlin 1894 is tough to beat. Along with a Low Wall in 45 Colt. And you would not believe me if I told you how far I shoot that rifle. Tom.



 

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If you don't hunt now, by all means get the 357. You can shoot cheap ammo including 38 specials in it. It is a pleasure to shoot. It will handge exactly like the 44 you checked out as it is basically the same gun (barrel is just a little heavier).

The marlin 357 is a nice gun to shoot with and makes a respectable walk-abound groundhog gun.

I've killed deer witht the 357, 41 and the 44 mag. With proper shot placement the deer woould never know the difference.

The 41 is very nice, softer recoiling than the 44 and more powerful than the 357 (just what it was designed to be).

I found my 44 Marlin carbine a little light for wild boar , and went to the Marlin 375 win lever for thick cover boar hunting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow those were some quick responses. Thanks.

Yea the principle reason for staying with pistol cartridges is cost and if I ever get a revolver again Id be able to use ammo for both. And while I'm not hunting yet, I'm sort of leaning towards the 44mag just because I like a little bit of recoil. But would a Marlin 1894 be a good lever-action rifle to get in 44mag? What do they go for about $550-600?

What kind of game could the 44 effectively take down? I'm not going to get this rifle then go out the next day and go get the biggest game out there. I'd really like to start on small game then work my way up.
 

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hog wash stetam. get back in the basement LOL

Pistol cart's in rifles are nothing short of adequate, and in some cases do dang fine work of the intended game. as with all calibers, know your limitations, know you rifle, shoot often, and practice proper shot placement.

I personally would LOVE to have a 44mag lever gun with a matching set of wheelguns to carry. nothing wrong with having one caliber and knowing how to make it work!
 

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the 44 is ready limited to whitetails and a medium-small black bear. YEP, i'VE HEARD ABOUT THE 22 LONG RIFLE KILLING AN ELEPHANT. I you are investing in an elk/moose/ buffalo THEN invest in an appropiate rifle.

I shot some 300 grainers out of my 44 Marlin, with the Micro-groove barrel they were horribly inaccurate, and the recoil bent the barrel cross-bolt dropping the mag tube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I do have a Remington 760 in 30-06. So I do have another rifle that i could use for hunting. Its shoots well but I just need to get a good scope and sight it in. I've always loved lever-actions and I think that besides a 22lr, a 357 or 44 would be a great gun.
 

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Hunters are shooting MZ's out to 200 or 250 yards. And they are using bullets in their MZ that are designed for revolvers. Or they are shooting 250 to 300 grain bullets with the approx. same caliber size as the 44 magnum or 45 Colt. And they hunt elk and bear all the time with these projectiles. So why would the same projectile-only shot from a lever action rifle be any less effective at the same distance?? Simple answer-it is not. These cartridges are every bit as effective, you just have to look at it from a different perspective.

For example. My 45 Colt shoots a 255 grain bullet that is .452 in diameter with no expansion. That is a big hole. The cartridge is not set up for explosive damage like a high powered rifle. It is set up for slow-deep penetration, and making a big hole going in and out. Just like a 45-70. Would you also say a 45-70 can not kill a deer or bear or elk at 1200fps at the muzzle?? If you say it is inadequate then you are wrong.

A 45 Colt from a rifle can push a 1/2" bullet pretty fast. And will do as much damage to thin skinned animals as a 45-70(close). There is something to be said for a big and slow bullet.

Once you understand that then you are only limited by your own capabilities. Personally I am capable of shooting an open sighted rifle to 200 yards and farther. That comes with a ton of practice. But heck I am not that good of a shot. I have seen guys shoot as good at 600 yards as I shoot at 250 yards with open sights. You just have to get out there and do it.

And when shooting and relaoding your own cast bullets you can afford to put a few thousand rounds down range with your 45 Colt or 44 Magnum rifle. And after you shoot it that many rounds a 200 yard shot will not scare you at all. Tom.
 

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If you have an 06 for hunting, I would strongly consider a .357. I bought a Marlin 1894 3 years ago, and it's become one of my favorite guns to shoot. I can load .38 specials for about $4 for a box of 50, and blaze away, even letting my 8 year old nephew shoot a bit. I have carried the rifle for doe here in NY, but have not had a chance to use it-I'm waiting for a 50-75 yard shot-because of my abilty level with iron sights, not the catridge.

Will
 

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I had a Puma in .357 for a while thensold it. It was for cowboy shooting and really loved cast .38's. When I switched to hot loads, shot higher than sights could go.
 

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If you are going to use open sights - please make sure you find, hold, and shoulder a Winchester 1892 copy - either from Puma or one of the other import dealers. If you are dead set to scope it - Marlin is your brand. I own and use both Winchester and Marlin - I think the 92 Winchester action is superior. A 92 carbine from Puma in 20" barrel would be a great fun gun or behind the pick-up seat gun.

large round count, short lever throw, low recoil, accurate. And you can easily load a 158 to 180 grain bullet to almost 2000 fps with some of the newer powders out there (Lil'Gun). Now we are talking 30-30 ballistics and last time I checked the 30-30 was still considered a pretty good game round....
 

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"I think the 92 Winchester action is superior." right on. I have one in 25-20 with an Oct. barrel. action and handling make it the best Winchester ever made in MO.

If you have a high power rifle, think about the Marlin 29 lever in 22 long rifle. nice gun shoots and handdles well. My son and I were shooting gophers last spring in Montana. 300+ rounds a day, and the 39 killed as many as the target bolt guns...and was a lot of fun 'out west'.
 

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I have the older Marlin I thank its a model 1893 44 mag it doesn't have the safety on it just an half cock with a 1 3/4 to 4x scope love it bough it in the 70es. 23 gr of 2400 with a 200 gr Speer JHP. Its got more deer than any other rifle I own
 
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