.44 magnum semi-auto carbine suggestions?


October 17, 2010, 07:02 PM
My wife and I are warming up to purchasing a few firearms as part of a deleted -- <Sam>-hits-the-fan kit, including a 12g shotgun for me, and some kind of rifle/carbine for her.

We live in Los Angeles (technically just outside of LA), so engagement ranges would never be very long, 100 yards should be more then sufficient.

I'm thinking a 44 semi-auto carbine would suit our needs well, letting her put a heavy round on target with better precision then a load of 20 guage buckshot, and less kick then a 44mag revolver.

Any internet research I do, however, keeps turning up references to carbines that aren't in production anymore, or lever/bolt action weapons.

Can anyone suggest a good .44mag carbine that's currently in production to serve as a starting place for our research?

Naturally we'll experiment with some various weapons and calibers before we buy, but it would be good to know a bit about the market before we start.


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October 17, 2010, 07:09 PM
I have never heard of a .44 Mag semi auto carbine, are you sure they exist?
(EDIT:Then I found one, but yes discontinued, http://www.chuckhawks.com/ruger_deerfield.htm also the mags for it are only 4 shots)
With a little practice a .44 mag lever action would be fast.

October 17, 2010, 07:12 PM
the only semi auto i can think of is a ruger, dotn remember the model and its not still in production. Marlin makes a lever action 1894 in 44mag and i have nothing but good things to say about marlin, but i dont have a 1894. Henrey makes a lever action also the big boy. best of luck on choices.

October 17, 2010, 07:24 PM
i have the Ruger Deer Field in 44 mag. they made this gun twice, once in the 60's (i think) and once again more recently. As far as i know it is no longer in production but i'm sure you can find one used in good condition (the one i own is the early version).

The gun is basically an oversized 10/22, and let me tell you its bad ass! With a 4x scope you'll have no problems hitting your target at 100 yards with a 240 grain round!

Al Thompson
October 17, 2010, 07:39 PM
Uh, Brian, the first ones had a magazine like a shotgun, second edition used the 4 round magazine. There was a lever action (2nd edition, magazine fed) which is almost as fast as the semi-auto. Both are nice rifles and well suited to your needs. The Marlin is nice, but the Ruger is faster to reload with the magazine if your shooting more rounds than the Marlin holds.

Be aware that the .44 Mag in a rifle has more kick that you would think. It's not horrible, but it would be best if you could try one first.

IMHO, the .357 carbines may be a better bet.

October 17, 2010, 08:40 PM
Al, you are correct the one i have has a bottom feed, internal tube magazine similar to a shotgun.

I tend to agree that a .357 may be better for a SHTF carbine.

October 17, 2010, 08:48 PM
I would echo the suggestions for a levergun in .44 mag, or .357 mag or even .30-30. All of those considering the severe gun restrictions in your area. You might also consider going with an AR-15 that complies with CA law via a "bullet button" and other necessary oddities, if funds allow.

Even if you can find a good used .44 semiauto, the leverguns give you more (in many cases) ammunition capacity, comparable rate of fire considering recoil, and more flexibility in ammo choice.

October 17, 2010, 08:52 PM
whats wrong with a .223 or 7.62x39
There are more platforms available in those calibers, and they will be easier to find.
an AK or SKS has manageable recoil
and Mini 14 or AR 15 has practically none..
when it comes to something you will rely on with your life, a rifle is better, thats why I have one.. the pistol caliber carbines will prove less reliable in the long run.
plus, if you have a rifle size package, take advantage of a rifle round. unless it's only for fun.
another point of this edit..

Carbine listed, 4 rounds
AK47 30 rounds, ten for you little californians.
AR15 30 rounds, also ten for you.
Mini 14 20 rounds, is that allowed?
SKS 10 rounds I think.
all can be reloaded faster than the carbine due to the magazines and stripper clips.

October 18, 2010, 04:40 AM
I may go with a rifle-stocked AK, but I'm exploring options right now.

I have limited faith in the "bullet buttons" at this point, if only because the DOJ need only get a wild hair up their butts and start confiscating the weapons, then comes the lawsuits, and I'm left without one of my weapons for the duration of the NRA's legal assault.

The fact is, if I'm pulled into court for shooting someone, I'd rather it be with a weapon that looks like a hunting rifle. The average Californian really does believe that a pistol grip is somehow a mark of the devil...

October 18, 2010, 07:28 AM
I own two of the old model Ruger Carbines in 44 Mag and I am quite found of them. Ruger came out with a new model carbine several years ago but dropped them for lack of sales or whatever. Both make good but rather stiff recoiling PD rifles and are available fairly reasonable on the used gun market. However, bear in mind that Ruger no longer has spare parts for their original carbine and if you do break a part, you will be SOL if you can't fix it yourself. I would strongly suggest you purchase a Ruger Mini -14 in 223 and set it up anyway you please. This would make a much better PD firearm for you and parts and ammo are plentiful.

October 18, 2010, 07:39 AM
ruger mini 14 does not have a pistol grip, nor does an M1A.
plus im pretty sure you can't have one there. thumbhole only.

Al Thompson
October 18, 2010, 08:54 AM
The fact is, if I'm pulled into court for shooting someone, I'd rather it be with a weapon that looks like a hunting rifle.

Agree. :) That pretty much spells lever action, be it one of the Rugers or Marlins.

October 18, 2010, 09:03 AM
The deer slayer only holds 4 rounds! And from what I have read they are a pain to clean. Also, you may just want to get a model 29 S&W 44 mag. It holds six rounds and is accurate up to 100 yards. I would go with a AR for what you describe. I think it would be nice to have a rifle round, as they are faster and accurate out to 500 yards (if you are a Marine).

October 18, 2010, 09:08 AM
Lever action, as I suggested earlier.

Ruger Mini-14 ranch if it's legal, which I hope it would be. Ruger has just come out with factory 10 round magazines so you're covered there.

October 18, 2010, 10:59 AM
I've been around the old ruger 44 a while, and it required very hot loads to cycle properly. the new one I was all set to buy until I found not NOBODY made anything but a 4 round mag for it. why oh why ramline or butler creek or eagle or SOMEBODY didn't make an aftermarket 10 round mag for that gun I'll never know. but if they had I would have bought one in a heartbeat.

as it stands now, get a lever gun if you're set on 44mag. it will slow you down 1 second between shots, tops, double your mag capacity, and be more resistant to jams. And it doesn't look scary.

or to save some money, get a 30/30. for whatever reason, the 336 action sells for a lot less than the 1894 action.

October 18, 2010, 11:48 AM
I'd go with the Marlin lever. I have gone with it, having bought one myself and have used it to harvest deer. I have two, one in .357 and the second in .44. I've only harvested deer with the .44, which does a damn good job.

Another advantage of the lever is that you can shoot specials in it for low recoil practice and small game harvesting, then go up to magnums when hunting deer or for self-defense. It's also more lead-bullet friendly than other rifle calibers, so you can also cast your own home-made bullets out of scrap lead, such as wheelweights off of tire rims.

October 18, 2010, 11:53 AM
It would surely work if need be but it's far from ideal. The original .44 carbine was a beautifully made rifle. It was all milled from barstock, which is why it was eventually phased out. It was too costly to produce and its design was not compatible with investment casting. The 10/22 came about a couple years later as its faithful understudy. A levergun would be a much better choice and I have to say that it will not have a measurable disadvantage in the speed department.

October 18, 2010, 01:47 PM
Greyling22: FYI, the old model Ruger Carbines had a fixed 4 round, tubular magazine that loaded through the bottom like a shotgun. The new model carbine had the detachable 4 round magazine that made it much more user friendly. :)

October 18, 2010, 02:01 PM
I know. we've got the old one. I wanted the new one built off what looked like the mini-14 action, but with an aftermarket 10 round mag. what a pig gun that would be. and lets make it stainless while we're wishing.

October 18, 2010, 02:36 PM
A lumbering 230gr. .45ACP slug coming out of a small carbine may not match the venerable .44Mag, but is nothing to complain about IMO. If you want much more than that you may as well go with a true intermediate rifle cartridge such as the .30Carbine (probably the best suited short engagement rifle cartridge for HD situations ever devised), 7.62x39mm, .223Rem., or .30-30Win. with a suitable (HP or SP) loading instead (which isn't necessarily a bad idea).

That said, for short range the big bore (20Ga.+) scattergun is king, there is a reason that nearly every PD in the US issues one as the standard long gun (retaining rifles for long range and armored threats). I would probably just keep the good 'ole 20Ga. loaded with some 3" No. 2 buck (or lighter recoiling 2-3/4" No. 3 buck) and call it good. IMO it is best to leave the slugs for deer season (rifles are for long range, not shotguns...slug or not).


December 17, 2011, 08:17 PM
found this dead thread and i'm surprised no one mentioned the pump-action I M I timberwolf the .357 mag is more prevalent,but the rarer .44 mag pops up periodically,and if you can find the .44 grab it i shoot my .357 on a regular rotation and realize i flunked the buyers I Q test when i didn't buy the .44 also when i had the chance[hind-sight is always 5X5]buy the mini 14 in .223 it would serve you better imo keeping in mind 5.56 is close but slightly different in size but some guns will shoot both it's rumored

December 17, 2011, 08:38 PM
Are M1 Carbines legal in California? Would seem to be a good combo of decent power, capacity, and low recoil.

December 17, 2011, 08:41 PM
Strange they are actually auctioning off a new in box Deerfield on the ruger website

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