need help picking woods guns


Revolver Ocelot
August 28, 2009, 11:58 PM
I am planning on buying 2 firearms for when I'm out in the woods/hunting. I was looking at a single action revolver and a lever action rifle.

trouble is I can't decide on caliber, I was considering any of the following

45-70 rifle and 45lc revolver
44mag on both
44mag rifle and 44special revolver
357 on both

I don't plan on using scopes on either.

I'm open to any advice and recommendations

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David E
August 28, 2009, 11:59 PM
Since you're asking, then the .357 would probably be the best choice for you right now as far as handgun.

Do you reload? Are there bears in your area ? If so, are they a real problem ?

A .357 rifle makes sense, but is a little light for deer or bear. Then again, are you only afield during deer season?

If so, then a .44 lever gun makes sense for deer or bear, but the 45-70 works very well for them also.

If you reloaded and if bear were a problem or you really want a deer gun, then a .44 combo would be a good choice.

Revolver Ocelot
August 29, 2009, 12:01 AM
ahh I understand now, well I am out on occasion but nowhere near as much as I am during deer season. For some reason it would seem to me the a 45-70 would be much more at home without a scope then a 44mag would be, would my thinking be correct?

David E
August 29, 2009, 12:06 AM
I'm implying that, since you're asking, your skill level and/or experience level may not yet be ready for guns that kick more than a .357

No disrespect meant.

Besides, a very strong case can be made for the .357 as a 'general purpose' woodsgun. Deer gun.......not so much, but heavier 180 grain loads from a rifle fired accurately should do the job just fine.

August 29, 2009, 12:09 AM
What are planning to actually use the guns for?

David E
August 29, 2009, 12:09 AM
.44 mag lever gun is a 150 yd gun, the .357 rifle, closer to 100.

The 45-70 can be effective much further out.

Revolver Ocelot
August 29, 2009, 12:23 AM
What are planning to actually use the guns for?
deer, and general wandering around the woods.

david, i understand where you're coming from, I've fired plenty of rifles but have only owned 2 where I could fire them continuously (unlike hand guns where I have over 20 of them) so I still have plenty to learn however I don't anticipate the recoild being to much of an issue.

August 29, 2009, 12:34 AM
I wouldn't choose any of your options. Pistol cartridges are not ideal for whitetail. Unless you plan on close encounters the 45-70 is not ideal for whitetail either.

Two questions:

Geographically speaking, where do you hunt? What is the farthest shot you may experience?

August 29, 2009, 12:38 AM
If deer is the only thing you are going to shoot, then it does not matter if your rifle is a 44 mag or 45-70.

David E
August 29, 2009, 12:41 AM
deer, and general wandering around the woods.

.357 is lighter, .44 mag is heavier. This means the guns, ammo and kick.

If you reloaded, then the .44 has the edge, as you can always load it down. But the .357 is very versatile in factory loadings.

Since you own over 20 handguns, are any of them .357's or .44's ? If so, what are they?

August 29, 2009, 12:44 AM
I'm just not terribly impressed with pistol calibers in rifles, and for multiple reasons. The CD on them is all wrong for maximizing ballistics at rifle velocities, nor are their cases designed to even do that.

.30-30 seems to work real well as a lever gun caliber.

August 29, 2009, 02:38 AM
I also would not overlook the 30-30, and all three pistol calibers are great ones. If calibers really have to match (for reloading convenience I'm guessing?) I think 357 mag, 44 mag, or 45 colt would all do fine. I guess I am partial to the .357 myself...

August 29, 2009, 02:44 AM
You hit the nail on the herad, Oro!

My choice would be a .30-30, probably a Marlin, and a Ruger Blackhawk in .357. You're covered up to and including bear level firepower, though admittedly a .30-30 may be a bit light for a pissed off bear! But effective, never the less! Both are compact, easy to carry. A good combo.

Revolver Ocelot
August 29, 2009, 12:04 PM
well my preference is for the 45-70 45lc for a number of reasons, however I wonder if they are worth they trouble as the ammo is near impossible to find and I am not setup to reload either one.

I considered the 30-30 but as mentioned earlier ballistics are rather close to the 44mag (which I would want both in as ammo is easier for me to get then 357 and I would beable to load for both guns easier)

and lastly the 357 whioch is my favorite round, however as much as I like it I don't know how easily I would take down a deer with it, so as cheap as it would be to shoot I don't know how well it would serve the intended purpose

August 29, 2009, 12:24 PM
.45-70's expensive. I recommend the .44 Mag combo. Why? More readily available, cheaper, and .44 has taken down plenty of deer--ask the various handgun hunters. You can always load .44 Specials, if you'd rather, and have .357 Mag performance from a larger projectile.

But, if you're already sitting on a large stock of .357 Mag ammo, and really don't think you'd ever have occasion to need the .44 (no bear, etc), a well-loaded .357 CAN take down deer with the right load and shot placement. But, if taking game is a huge consideration, I would still say the .44 combo would be best.

Whatever you get, post pictures!

Revolver Ocelot
August 29, 2009, 12:55 PM
seeing the direction the current poll is going and the addition of an option I find interesting I am stsarting a new poll, please continue the discussion there :)

August 29, 2009, 03:28 PM
lever action & revolver both in 45lc

Two Cold Soakers
August 29, 2009, 10:08 PM
You need a rifle round for the rifle, IMO.

Revolver Ocelot
August 29, 2009, 10:24 PM
olease visit here, the conversation continues here

August 29, 2009, 10:28 PM

I prefer a rifle round in a pistol:D .308 win T/C Encore but for your choices like the other thread. I vote for the .44 mag combo here in NE Kansas where most shots are taken well inside 100 yards. In Western Kansas better get something with a little more reach.

August 29, 2009, 11:52 PM
Hello friends and neighbors// I was in the same fix a few months back. Wanting to only carry one type of ammo for rifle and pistol.
Having fired 357.mag pistols, I realised any load sufficent in my rifle for deer was probably not going to be fired in my pistol.//// Having carryed a 44.mag pistol adding a 44.mag rifle was too heavy.///

I narrowed my choices down to carrying either a long barreled (7 1/2" or longer) 44.mag pistol w/ scope.(I had previously carried a Ruger Redhawk 44.mag 7 1/2" without scope)///Or a 357. mag 6" barrel and a 30.06 rifle

The 357/30.06 combo is what I use now and IMHO is most versatile .

To stick with your choices I vote 44.mag/44.mag

August 30, 2009, 08:26 AM
I voted 44 mag/.44 mag but, personally, I'd go with a double action revolver. It may save your life one day, being able to go "bang, bang, bang" really quickly. A Redhawk?

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