.44 Shotshells from CARBINE vs. small game?


July 23, 2007, 07:52 PM
I have scant faith in the ability of handgun shotshells to take out much of anything bigger than a snake. But I'm wondering if anyone has experimented with the pattern and velocity of .44 shotshells out of a carbine. Specifically, i'm wondering if there's enough of a velocity gain to make them viable squirrel medicine inside say 10 yards. I'd like to get some feedback before trying them on the critters.

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Big Daddy K
July 23, 2007, 10:17 PM
Patters = app. 1" per ft. So at 6" you should have a 6" patteren etc. Not good for small game. Mabey snakes and mice.

July 24, 2007, 11:57 PM
No experience with shotshells out of carbine, but lousy patterns beyond about 4 yards with .45 Colt out of 7.5" SRH. Rifling in long barrel seems to really swirl out the shot. I got tighter groups with .45ACP shot loads out of Glock 36 than I got out of SHR ...

July 25, 2007, 08:06 AM
Even if it worked, would you want to pick #12 shot out of your meat? This assumes that you are hunting for food.

There are better choices.

July 25, 2007, 09:34 AM
IIRC TC used to make a 44 hotshot round that was suposed to be pretty decent. Because of its length, it had to be shot from a break open single shot. Might be worth researching.

July 25, 2007, 01:51 PM
Well, the twist in a Marlin 1894 .44 is just a hair over half as fast as the twist in a Ruger Super Blackhawk. That might pattern a bit tighter.

I think the snake loads use 9 shot. If you load your own with 7.5, it will work better on small game, if the pattern stays tight enough. 6 shot is devastating on cottontails, but you'd have to make sure you can fit enough pellets. You could also try buffered loads -- normally used for bigger shot in 12 Gauges, but same principle might work for 6's in a .44.

Don't know about the twist in Winchesters, Pumas, or whatever else might be floating around out there.

Note that the recent .410 Winchester and Marlin lever actions didn't last long in the marketplace. Maybe people didn't want yet another oddball gun, or maybe they didn't work so well. But in your case, you could try it yourself without spending more than $10.

July 25, 2007, 02:36 PM
Loading my own sounds like an interesting possibility. I could increase the shot weight and jack up the charge. But how do you do it? Does anyone sell components for .44 shotshells?

July 25, 2007, 03:26 PM
Speer/CCI sells the components.

Do a search for "shot capsules" or ".44 shot capsules" at your favorite vendors.

July 25, 2007, 04:05 PM
If you have to hunt squirrel with shot out of a pistol, get yourself a Contender and a super 14 .45/.410 barrel and don't attempt anything beyond 25 yards. I have a 10 inch barrel and beyond 20 yards, forget it. I prefer the .22 barrel, myself. I can take squirrel with head shots at 50 with it. the TC only is as good as it is because it has a choke that stops the rotation of the shot string. Shot loads from a normal handgun are worthless. I'd rather use bullets for snakes, let alone squirrel.

July 25, 2007, 05:11 PM
Maybe I should explore some light special load. My only interest is to have something to pop off incidental ptarmigan and other small game while being able to carry the carbine for bear protection. I've got a little outing planned for late next month.

July 25, 2007, 05:15 PM
That's a good-sized bird, isn't it?

What you need is a drilling!:D

July 25, 2007, 05:18 PM
You know, a drilling is actually not a bad idea. If I had it to do over again, one of those CZ combination guns in 30'06 over 12 ga would have served me better for actual real life uses than almost any other firearm I've bought. Virtually all the hunting I end up doing is incidental to something else, or done as the opportunity arises. Though I'm not saying I've jumped out of the truck to chase bunnies into the woods--I'm not saying that. Even if I have.

A combination 12 ga/ 7.62x54R and .22 LR would be about perfect. I just need to find some obscure old German gunsmith with a big mustache and a feather in his cap to put it together for me.

July 25, 2007, 05:24 PM
I have a .357 carbine I have hot magnum and light .38s for. Then, SOMEbody here uses a contraption that takes a nail gun cap or something and a round shot of proper caliber for squirrels out of his .30-06 and claims it's deadly accurate. Vern, was it Vern???? I looked that thing up once on the net, not expensive, and sounds effective. Be kinda neat shootin' squirrel with my .308. :D

July 25, 2007, 05:46 PM

Have you seen these things?


I saw one at the store (black/nickel version) and it kinda reminded me of a South American druglord. But the walnut/blue version wouldn't raise any eyebrows in the field, and it would be an easy-to-carry "incidental" gun that could handle slugs for bear defense and shot for small game and birds.

It's cheap, too. Comes in 12 (7 lb.) or 20 (6.5 lb.).


A really nice thing about a break action is that it's really quick to load, unload or change loads. Makes it perfect for an incidental or multipurpose carry gun.

July 25, 2007, 08:10 PM
No experience to offer in .44 shotshells but in 9mm they look the same out of a carbine as they do out of a handgun.

July 25, 2007, 10:27 PM
Maybe I should explore some light special load. My only interest is to have something to pop off incidental ptarmigan and other small game while being able to carry the carbine for bear protection.

Me, I'd just take along my 20 gauge side by side Spartan coach gun. It tosses a very effective 40 yard pattern and I can load a shot load in one barrel with an approprate choke and put the cylinder choke in the other barrel for the slug. The thing's accurate even with just the bead for a sight out to 50 yards. I can put 'em into a 3" bull at the 50 yard line at the range with slugs. I always load my slug in the left barrel/rear trigger and the shot in the right barrel/front trigger because when something flushes my first instinct is to go for the front trigger.

I don't have bear down here but sometimes carry my shotgun this way when walking my place in case of a hog or in deer season might jump a deer. The 20 would work out to 50 yards on big stuff with a foster slug, a breneke would be better and extend range a little. I have a 12 gauge double with fixed chokes, but that little 20 is handy, quick, and light on the shoulder. and I like the choice of chokes. That gun cost me $299 back last fall, handy and versatile. Come first of September, I'll be shootin' dove with it. :D Right now, it's in my bedroom loaded with two rounds of #3 buck and the IC/Cyl chokes installed.


July 31, 2007, 09:11 PM
SHot Shells in a revolver ? Gun writers say the shorter the barrel
the less disruption to the shot. pattern - fwiw.

I recently got some .45 ACP shotshells by Reeds Ammo & Research

150 gr. #12 Shot
150 r. #7 1/2 ( 110 count )
The 110 count is the R.A.R. description I assume is
the count of individual shot and it is lightly nickle plated
which R.A.R. claims to not damage rifling as much as lead.

I need to get to the range with some large enough targets to pattern
these at 3 yeads/5 yards/7 yards and further for the #7 1/2 until I find
the limits. I saw some shot shells cy CCI on the web and it said it was
#9 shot.

Until it proves me wrong I consider the #12 shot for use in camp by a lake
so when you have consulted long enough with Jack Daniel and/or Jim Beam
and the clouds of Mosquitos are driing you nuts - know the optimum range to take em critters out! Just make sure to fire away from camp preferably towards the open shoreline WHat!?

I grew up in Central Washington - Columbia Basin Irrigtation Project Lots of food for rabbits - the HS mascot was Jackrabbits. My first revolver was
a S & W M18 4 inch Bbl. Adj Sights. The .22 shot shells didn't do much so I carried .22 LR solids. Great for headshot on cottontail.

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