Won another raffle, help me decide!


Ike R
November 2, 2010, 12:34 AM
Bought 2 tickets a while back for a fundraiser for a cancer patient at 15 dollars each.

Prize's where a 357 mag revolver, a 20 gauge Pump, and a Marlin Lever Action in 30-30. Well I went to pick it up today and in the box was not a 30-30 but a 357..the FFL is a good friend of mine and asked me if I would rather have it, the 30-30 or a .44 mag he has on display lol. I told him I would rather not have the 30-30 (not a big fan of it), and asked him to let me think about it.

So I have until friday to choose, deer season opens Saturday

Plan on useing it as a brush gun, open sights, for shots with-in 100 yards on Hogs, and deer. How would the .357 and .44 mag stack up against each other out of the 20 inch barrel? What kind of accuracy can I expect with each at out to lets say 150 yards? My only experiance with a Pistol Cartridge in a rifle is out of supressed SBR's in 9mm and 40 cal.

I do own a ruger blackhawk in .357 already, I do not own a .44 mag.

On a side note this is the second gun I have won in 2 months so I started playing the lotto =)

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November 2, 2010, 12:42 AM
Congrats, Hope the luck continues! I'd pick the .357 so it will match your handgun ammo.

Jonny V
November 2, 2010, 12:47 AM
I wouldn't trade your luck for a license to steal. I have a 44 lever gun, and it's enough for deer or pigs. With the 44, you have the option of using the hard-core ammo from Garrett or Buffalo Bore. That gets you to a power level the 357 just can't get close to. I use the white box Winchesters for plinking, they don't kick too bad, and I keep the brass for when I get some 44 dies I can start rolling my own. Accuracy seems pretty good. You're not going to win Camp Perry with it, but hey, it's a lever gun.....

November 2, 2010, 01:01 AM
My very uneducated opinion is that the .357 is enough for deer and pigs if you can get close and if you can put your shots where you want them, but that the .44 would be better in that situation. I personally do like the good ol' .30-30, so that would be my choice for your application, but that's just me.

I will say that I own a .357 lever gun and it is a dee-light to shoot. There isn't hardly any recoil with .357's loaded up, and with .38 specials loaded its like shooting a rim-fire. I personally would feel more comfortable with shots under 50 yards on the game you mention. But, with that being said, for a jack of all trades and master of none gun, that would be my choice. I can put both .357 and .38 bullets into a paper plate all day long out to 50 yards, and if you think about it, that's pretty darn good with either cartridge. I just have never tried the .357 out to 150 yards, so I am not in a position to argue for or against it in that situation though I can't imagine that accuracy or bullet performance at that range are anything to write home about. As mentioned, one big benefit for it is that it has the added bonus of matching up to your Blackhawk.

November 2, 2010, 01:13 AM
get the .357 it will be cheaper to shoot with 38 special, and cheaper to load for if you start.

Brian Williams
November 2, 2010, 07:11 AM
Get the 357, 180gr LRNFP over 15 grains of Lil'Gun is an impressive load and will do in a deer within 150 yards.

November 2, 2010, 07:42 AM
Look at the Buffalo Bore site for the 357.

You will be impressed.

I'd keep the 357 without a second thought.

Plus you can start shooting today.

November 2, 2010, 07:45 AM
I own a lever gun in both .44 Mag and .357 Mag. I enjoy both, but the .357 edges out the .44 in the fun-factor department. It would still be a very hard decision to make if I had to choose just one.

If you do choose the .357, I would highly recommend shooting Buffalo Bore Heavy Ammo. This is the most powerful stuff you can run down the barrel, unless you roll your own. Buffalo Bore's 158gr .357 ammo actually gets into 30/30 energy levels from a 18.5" or longer barrel.


November 2, 2010, 08:12 AM
I own a 30/30 and a .44mag lever gun, so I'd pick the .357. Of the two I own, I'd pick the 30/30 over the .44 for hunting, because it is better suited for shots past a 100 yds, when they present themselves. Congrats on your win.

November 2, 2010, 09:32 AM
If you want to fool around, get the 357. If you want to hunt, get the 44, it fits your requirements much better.

Sock Puppet
November 2, 2010, 09:35 AM
My vote goes to the .357, if only because I'm a hyge fan of having multiple guns in common calibers.

November 2, 2010, 09:37 AM
Since you already have a Blackhawk in .357, that would be MY choice....only one ammo to stock.

November 2, 2010, 09:54 AM
Are these all Marlins that we're talking about? This is a tough decision. It's a choice between one that you know will be good enough (the .44) and one that MAY be good enough (.357) for the intended purpose.

Personally, I'd go with the .357 for a few reasons. The first is that you already have a wheel gun in .357. It's always nice to have a sidearm that shoots the same round as the long gun. Although .44 mag is pretty common, .357 is more so, from what I've seen. Stores that I've been to have had a better selection of .357 ammunition. As mentioned above, the .357 is very capable with the right ammunition. The 180gr rounds do a good job of penetrating, but I'd keep it to 100 yards or so.

November 2, 2010, 09:57 AM
I'd definately go with the.357. The Marlin will have a 1:16 twist as apposed to 1:38 in 44mag. I've always felt that placement of your shot is far more important than power. I just got a new Marlin .357 and it has the improved carrier for more reliable feeding of 38 specials. More fun to shoot, and much cheaper to shoot. Scott.

November 2, 2010, 10:02 AM
^ Yep, but you can have shot placement AND power, there is no reason you have to choose one or the other. I would go with the 44 mag simply because it is a caliber you don't have. Who cares if the rifle caliber "matches" your revolver. Get a variety, and if it is for deer the 44 mag is superior, although the .357 is no slouch. BTW there is no such thing as a brush gun imo, take care not to shoot sticks and limbs. Anycaliber is greatly affected by brush, ESPECIALLY traditionally thought of brush guns such as the 30-30.

November 2, 2010, 10:05 AM
I have a timberwolf in .357 and have been told it performs similar to a 30-30 out of the 18" barrel. It is fun to shoot but if your serious about knocking down a deer (and its between a 44 and 357) go bigger, there is nothing worse than tracking a wounded deer only to see somebody else gutting it out. I would also assume that if you wanted to go plink with it you could always pick up some 44 specials (assuming they're less than the 44 mags).

November 2, 2010, 10:28 AM
Well you asked, so here's my opinion. Get the lever in 30-30 or .357, then sell it to one of your fellow THR peoples who are less lever-gun fortunate for $100...namely me. :neener:

November 2, 2010, 11:19 AM
It's funny that the meaning of the term "brush gun" came up. The above poster appears to take the term to mean that the round will be less influenced by small impediments in the bullets path. I too have heard theories on this, but in my mind the term "brush gun" describes a rifle that is compact and less likely to get hung up while carrying it in the "brush."

I'm just mentioning it because I just picked up a .357 lever gun with a short 16" barrel for a "brush gun." It's tiny and mighty handy.

November 2, 2010, 10:10 PM
You mean I've been harvesting all these bushes for nothing! I'd go 30-30 in a beat over the others, especially after this season. My mom put down a 100 lb. spike with a 250 gr. and 100 gr. of Seven. The Barnes opened up perfectly, passed through the deer and stopped just under the skin on the other side. Dad finished it off 15 min later wig one to the head (first shot was liver). I hate kills like that.

Mine was a 153 yd. (thank-you, Leupold) double lung, made it 10 yds. and dropped. 150 gr. Seven and 280 gr. bullet.

More velocity and heavier bullet, especially for those longer than you might otherwise take shots.

If it's out of the question, go .44 and buy some new dies. Congrats, again the gun gods have smiled on you.

Ike R
November 3, 2010, 07:09 PM
Really smiled on me, I ended up with a marlin 1895SBL 45-70 Gov , which I then sold to a friend for $900 cash and I am building a new upper for my AR with the money, Not sure if I am going 450 Bushmaster, 458 socom, or 6.8 SPC yet but $900 should cover it easy.

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