pistol/levergun combo


August 9, 2008, 09:37 AM
I have a .44 mag and was about to buy a .44 mag lever-actin saddle gun for since I travel grizzly country fairly often.
I've read some things lately about the S&W XVR (.460, .454, 45LC) revolver that really caught my attention. However I can only seem to find a lever gun in .454, which is OK.
My question, if anyone can help, is how much will I really gain in opting for the .454 pistol/rifle combo versus the .44 mag combo?
My main focus is for protection with possibly some short-to-midrange hunting.

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August 9, 2008, 09:45 AM
Several companies make leveraction in .45 Colt. Marlin 1894 is one of the better ones. ON the 44 vs. 44 mang don't know.

August 9, 2008, 09:48 AM
from what I've seen the .454 ammo may be cost prohibitive when compared the the .44mag. not sure since I only have 44's no 454's
Marlin makes/made a great 44mag camp gun, one of my favorites for heavy tree country

August 9, 2008, 09:50 AM
Since you will be buying a new rifle for use in grizzly country I'd suggest an 1895 MarlinGuide gun in 45/70.

August 9, 2008, 09:52 AM
I chronographed my 44mag Marlin 1894 last weekend. With a 240 grain Sierra HP and 24 grains of H110 it averaged 1830 fps. I hope this helps your decision.

August 9, 2008, 10:21 AM
Since you already have the .44 handgun why not get a leveraction in the same caliber? Sure the .454 will offer you more power but at the expense of now buying another handgun plus a leveraction rifle. Not cost effective in my books.

August 9, 2008, 11:05 AM
Well according to the Winchester website the Supreme Platinum Tip Hollow Point line of bullets weigh in at 260gr for the .454 and 250gr for the .44. The .44 was fired from a 6.5" barrel and was measured at 1250fps and the .454 is fired from a 7.5" barrel and measured at 1800fps.

If you can afford the ammo without sacrifice, can handle the recoil and for some reason only want one pair I would go with the Taurus Raging Bull or Ruger Super Redhawk in .454 and a Marlin lever action. I would not mind having a nice pair in .44 or .357 for what its worth. Heck if you can afford to shoot factory .454 with any regularity then you can probably afford a few extra "just because" guns.

If I were worried about grizzlies I would rather have a nice 45/70gvt lever action and a lot of practice.

August 9, 2008, 11:07 AM
My Combo is a S&W 629 Classic 5" and a Marlin 1894SS in .44 mag. The stainless pair i smy favorite.

I'm also looking to create a .357 mag combo with a S&W 586 4" and a Marlin 1894C.

August 9, 2008, 11:35 AM
I picked up a .44 mag Winchester Wrangler (16" barrel). I couldn't think of a handier saddle gun.

August 9, 2008, 12:16 PM
IMO, the dearth of carbines in the newer S&W "X"-frame cartridges has as much to do with dimensional issues as it does with handling the extremely high pressures they generate.

IIRC, both the .500 and .460 are long enough OA to pretty much preclude running them through a M-92 or Marlin M-94 action, while the .454 Casull isn't.

Both of those actions are relatively strong, but with operating pressures at or near 60,000 CUP the S&W rounds probably far exceed what either could be made to handle safely on a regular basis, too.

A "beefed-up" 336 action might not either. Even the .450 Marlin stops a good deal short of 60K CUP, and it's about the most potent thing ever offered in a production LA carbine or rifle that I've ever heard of.

Since the market niche for the big S&W handguns is so narrow, I doubt that there's enough potential demand for a "companion carbine" to justify the expense of designing and manufacturing an entirely new design for the breed.

There are several revolvers offered in the .454 Casull. Ruger, Taurus, Freedom Arms make at least a couple of models each. Compared to the "X" frame S&W's they all appear relatively petite to me.

IMO, your most practical caliber option in a sidearm/carbine combo right now would be the one you mentioned: .44 Magnum. I don't know for sure if the carbines can feed some of the newer heavy bullet loadings well, as OAL is critical and there isn't a lot of leeway in the design envelope to play with.

IMO, practically speaking either would serve your purposes about as well. You'd have more options in both revolver and carbine with the .44, and full-goose ammo might be a good deal easier to come by for it in most places.

Both have about the same effective game weight and range limitations and, within those, I doubt that most creatures could tell much difference given similar bullet mass and placement.

If the most likely predators to run into during the course of my daily life had two legs and/or generally weighed-in at under 400 lbs, I wouldn't feel too uneasy armed with either weapon in either caliber.

If I had to go somewhere that running into something with the size and proclivities of a grizzly was more than a remote possibility, I'd carry the biggest, baddest revolver I could tote AND an 1895G/M - both loaded with the stoutest ammo I could handle.

And if I could only take one, it'd be the carbine: every day, every time. In that kind of situation, my psychological comfort is gonna trump my convenience and physical comfort, period.

YMMV. Big bears don't live where I do, and I don't go where they do, so it's easy for me to hypothesize.

Old Grump
August 9, 2008, 12:20 PM
454 can chamber the 45 colt so the versatility is there, its more powerful than the 44mag, suitable for deer hunting. Easily reloaded.

August 9, 2008, 04:28 PM
I have the .357 combo in a Mod.92 & a 686.

August 9, 2008, 06:01 PM
I considered buying a lever action that would use the same ammo as my .44 Mag revolver.

But I looked at what problems the revolver and rifle should "fix".

I concluded that within 50 yards or so, my .44 Mag Ruger Redhawk with hot loads would create the same results as a rifle for black bears and smaller predators.

But what about larger threats? Hot .44 Mag loads shot from a rifle are comparable to 30-30 ammo, not enough for defense from grizzly or moose.

I decided to buy a rifle with significantly more power than a revolver. So, I bought a Marlin 1895 in 45-70. This way, I have tools that provide a larger span of solutions to potential threats.

sean m
August 9, 2008, 09:27 PM
If you go to the acrhive at Gunblast.com Jeff Quinn did a report on the Puma 92 in 454 it was about 5 years ago. The velocity and energy tables were in the article for both the handgun and rifle.

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