Ruger .44 carbine (Deerslayer) Should I?


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soonerfan85
December 10, 2012, 04:15 PM
I have a chance to purchase a Ruger Deerslayer (.44 mag carbine) that's represented as being in very good condition. The picture I've seen of it appears to be very nice. Seller had been asking $700 but has dropped the price to $550. This is in local classified ad so it'd a FTF transaction. Only reason I didn't buy it yesterday is I'd have to drive 2 1/2 hours to go get it.

I have no need for a rifle in .44 magnum, but then again I have no need for several firearms I've purchased in the past. BTW, this is supposed to be a 1961, first year for the .44 carbine.

Any Ruger collectors out there care to comment on why I should or should not "pull the trigger" on this one?

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RPRNY
December 10, 2012, 04:25 PM
At $550, you should pull the trigger on it. This is not a particularly collectable/valuable rifle, but, as I recall, this was Ruger's first long gun and it being marked Deerslayer is somewhat notable (Ithaca issued a cease and desist on trademark infringement in {1962?} so there weren't huge numbers made before it became the .44 carbine.

Who doesn't NEED a .44 carbine? It's a must ;)

SlamFire1
December 10, 2012, 04:50 PM
I have seen some ridiculous asking prices for Ruger 44 Mag Carbines from the 60ís. I never bought one so I donít know if the rifle function and utility justify the price.

As I recall the magazine capacity is five or four rounds, which is not much compared to the ten in my Marlin M1894.

Parts will be a problem, they are always a problem for discontinued rifles if you break something. There are fewer parts for firearms made in limited quantity.

Let me say, if you want it and the price is good, go for it. If I had a pile of surplus cash and nothing better to do I would get it. When I had to spend my money prudently, I bought a Marlin lever action in 44 Mag and still think it was an excellent choice.

WardenWolf
December 10, 2012, 05:06 PM
Rugers typically run forever. The only thing they'll ever need is the occasional spring job. I'd say go for it. A semi-auto .44 Magnum carbine is a great snag.

soonerfan85
December 10, 2012, 05:35 PM
I'd buy it primarily as a collectible. I'd rather find a used Marlin 336 in .44 mag as a shooter. Like was said, the carbine only holds 4 in the box magazine. Think I'll pass as I've got a couple of other safe queens and don't really need another. The 336 in .44 mag would make for a fun hawg gun.

Thanks guys

Welding Rod
December 10, 2012, 07:59 PM
I had an original 60s vintage. I think the serial number was 2,xxx.

Had a great trigger from the factory. I wish I never sold it. I was a lot of fun to shoot.

IIRCC it used a tubular magazine. I don't think the box mag was used until the 2nd gen gun came out many years later.

If I was spending your money I would buy for $550, unless it was beat.

CraigC
December 10, 2012, 08:07 PM
Kinda simple really. Buy it if you want it, don't if you don't.

That said, these were very well made rifles. Which is part of the reason for their demise. They were all milled steel, the receiver cut from a solid billet. They were expensive to make and Ruger probably didn't make any money on them. It wasn't until later that Ruger designed a new rifle compatible with investment casting.

stan rose
December 10, 2012, 08:09 PM
Get it, if you don't enjoy shooting it you can get your money back by selling it.

6.5x55swedish
December 10, 2012, 08:10 PM
At $550 I would pass. They are not that hard to find and 550.00 is about an average asking price. My brother bought one off of a gun shop last fall for $350.00 and that was a deal worth jumping at, but 550.00 not so much. They are also expensive to shoot with ammo prices averaging about a buck per round.

CraigC
December 10, 2012, 08:20 PM
They are also expensive to shoot with ammo prices averaging about a buck per round.
Everything that is not a 9mm, 38Spl or .223 is expensive to buy ammo for. That shouldn't keep folks from enjoying firearms chambered in other cartridges.

http://www.midwayusa.com/category/reloading-supplies

Strange Bob
December 10, 2012, 09:15 PM
I like them and that price seems pretty good to me. I've been trying to find one locally in good shape ... I prefer the tubular feed too.

Pull the trigger on it!

Probably a great zombie rifle too!

DM~
December 10, 2012, 09:16 PM
I've had one for years and years, shot a few bucks with it... I've been thinking of getting it out and limbering it up.

BTW, why would i need 10 rounds? If i can't get it done with the first couple, it's not going to get done!

DM

Legionnaire
December 10, 2012, 09:45 PM
Welding Rod has it right. The original Deerslayer has a tubular magazine. The 1990s vintage Deerfield has a four-round box magazine. Both are fine guns, the earlier being more collectable.

clem
December 10, 2012, 10:02 PM
I have one. It is marked "Deerstalker" and the serial number is #18XX. Which say's that it was made in 1962.
You need to ONLY use jacked bullets in it. Lead rounds will clog up the gas port.

Shoot!? Yes, it does and it works pretty good.

joneb
December 10, 2012, 10:17 PM
Are these Ruger 44 carbines finicky about the load used ? I'm guessing they prefer a 240gr bullet but will other bullet weights work the action reliably ?

MCgunner
December 10, 2012, 10:22 PM
Make for a fun hog gun. :D

Kahr33556
December 10, 2012, 10:26 PM
I had one,sold it 20 years ago because it would not shoot that good 3 to 4 inch groups at 50 yards

saltydog452
December 10, 2012, 11:26 PM
We used one as a camping/companion gun. It didn't produce rifle like accuracy. Neither was the accuracy exactly awful. That was with, I think, 180 JHPs on top of a bunch of H110.

It seemed to suit needs for that purpose, at that place, at that time.

salty

Gordon
December 10, 2012, 11:43 PM
Here is one with the original fiber optic driven red dot sight - the Weaver Qwik Point. Very fast up to about 50 yards after which the 10 MOA dot covers a lot! These guns like 240 jacket ammo and like not so blunt bullet profiles.
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i203/gordonhulme/018-2.jpg
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i203/gordonhulme/019-3.jpg
BTW $550 is top $ around these parts and $450 is more like it

CraigC
December 10, 2012, 11:50 PM
The original Deerslayer has a tubular magazine. The 1990s vintage Deerfield has a four-round box magazine. Both are fine guns, the earlier being more collectable.
I think we finally got the names right. ;)

Ithaca Deerstalker, Ruger Deerslayer and the later Deerfield.

joneb
December 11, 2012, 12:10 AM
I think we finally got the names right.

Ithaca Deerstalker, Ruger Deerslayer and the later Deerfield.

Oh dear ;)

Fremmer
December 11, 2012, 12:48 AM
That's a little high with the cost of gas for a 2.5 hour drive each way.
Screw it, go buy it before somebody else does!

6.5x55swedish
December 11, 2012, 04:11 PM
My point was that it isn't a high powered rifle, it is a rifle (carbine)that shoots a handgun round. And an expensive handgun round at that... Basically an expensive plinking gun.

NeuseRvrRat
December 11, 2012, 04:16 PM
Basically an expensive plinking gun

and an excellent hunting rifle in the woods

Reloadron
December 11, 2012, 04:19 PM
If you don't buy it I'll drive down there and get it! :)

I have owned several and really like those little .44 carbines.

As compared to a Ruger 10/22:

http://www.bearblain.com/images/22%20and%2044.png

http://www.bearblain.com/images/22%20and%2044%20Bores.png

http://www.bearblain.com/images/44%20Ruger%20Name.png

Ron

HoosierQ
December 11, 2012, 04:48 PM
Now I don't have one but it's a gas operated gun. It looks a little complicated to take apart and get back together but look may be deceiving. I'd love one of those but I think I'd rather have a Savage 99 or a Winchester 88...you know, for a somewhat unconventional rifle.

NeuseRvrRat
December 11, 2012, 05:09 PM
field stripping does not appear to be all that complicated

https://ruger-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/_manuals/44MagCarbine.pdf

rondog
December 11, 2012, 05:14 PM
Here is one with the original fiber optic driven red dot sight - the Weaver Qwik Point. Very fast up to about 50 yards after which the 10 MOA dot covers a lot! These guns like 240 jacket ammo and like not so blunt bullet profiles.

Very Buck Rogers looking optic you have there!

Reloadron
December 11, 2012, 07:05 PM
Now I don't have one but it's a gas operated gun. It looks a little complicated to take apart and get back together but look may be deceiving. I'd love one of those but I think I'd rather have a Savage 99 or a Winchester 88...you know, for a somewhat unconventional rifle.
Yes, it is pretty straight forward semi-automatic gas operated rifle. Complete disassemble and reassemble for through cleaning is not at all a difficult of complicated process. I got my first one around '63 from a Lazarus department store my mom worked in, actually she bought it as I was 13 at the time. New, the rifle was about $120. I repaid my parents $30 a month for 4 months.

Now, the Deerfield Carbine is based on the Ranch Rifle design but uses a four round rotary magazine instead of the staggered box magazine of the Ranch rifle and Mini-14 rifles. The reason for this special magazine is the .44 Magnum's rimmed case. It is a totally different Ruger rifle.

The Ruger .44 carbine was originally called the Ruger Deerstalker, whose name was later changed to the .44 Carbine. Actually I think it was the first Ruger center fire rifle in production with the Model 77 line somewhere in the late 60s.

The rifle is a 100 yard rifle and does just fine and for those good and that can figure drop maybe a little more. I liked it because it was short and inside 100 yards excellent in heavy brush where I hunted deer in West Virginia. Follow up shots (when needed) were very easy with no lever to work.

The pictures I posted earlier were the Model .44 Carbine beside a Ruger 10/22. Pretty close in size. The tubular magazine below the barrel holds 4 rounds so you can load 1, chamber it and load 4 more for 5 rounds though I never bothered with more than 4. They do extremely well with 240 grain jacked bullets and I would never consider a 300 grain .44 Mag in one of mine.

Overall, I would jump on another if the price was right. You don't see them very often anymore. For a nice clean one I would give between $500 and $600 in a heartbeat as I like them that much. :)

Ron

chez323
December 11, 2012, 08:31 PM
funny you should mention this, but I'm meeting my buddy on Friday to check out his Ruger 44 carbine. He wants my Ipad 2 (64gb Verizon 3g model) and he's offering it up in trade. From what I've seen/read online it looks tempting but much like you I don't really need one. LOL not that it matters or will deter me. But I'm holding out judgement till I hold one in my hands.

JohnB
December 11, 2012, 10:50 PM
Down in these parts if one shows up for sale it lasts about an hour at most. They bring $500-$600 all the time.

I had one of the original models that I bought used around 1973. Stovepiped every other round. Sent to Ruger and they overhauled it for no charge. After that it was totally reliable with factory loads and hand loads with JHP. It was stolen or I would still have it.

CraigC
December 11, 2012, 11:28 PM
My point was that it isn't a high powered rifle, it is a rifle (carbine)that shoots a handgun round. And an expensive handgun round at that... Basically an expensive plinking gun.
Sorry but this makes no sense whatsoever. :confused:

T.R.
December 13, 2012, 02:27 PM
They're pretty good carbines for medium range work out to approx 100 yards or so. Beyond this distance you should consider a rifle cartridge and not a revolver cartrisdge.

TR

CraigC
December 13, 2012, 03:04 PM
If a revolver is good to at least 100yds, if not 125yds then the rifle will be useful to no less than 150yds.

WardenWolf
December 13, 2012, 03:51 PM
I'll say this: I want one. It looks like a very handy rifle with a lot of short to medium-range stopping power. It's hard not to like something that's the same size as a 10/22 with that kind of power, and legendary Ruger reliability to back it up.

tulsamal
December 13, 2012, 04:05 PM
I've got a whole lot of different rifles to pick from when deer hunting season rolls around. But this year I took the Ruger .44 out with me. In the last ten years, it probably gotten the nod 50% of the time. Very light and handy. As was shown with that photo, a virtual twin to a 10/22. Mine is the later version with the box magazine. When I take it apart, it reminds me of an M1 Carbine more than anything else.

Never used more than one shot on a deer with this rifle. The second is always right there with me tracking the running deer in the scope. I have sort of an internal micro-debate on whether to fire again. About that time the deer falls over.

Gregg

hq
December 13, 2012, 05:39 PM
When I bought mine (the newer Deerfield) I wasn't sure I'd use it much and bought it just because I liked the idea of a semiauto .44 carbine. It's been the deer rifle I've used the most ever since and the funny thing is I can't explain why. It just gets chosen over many other rifles again and again.

I'd buy a tube-fed older model in a heartbeat.

JR47
December 14, 2012, 04:42 PM
OMG, I have the same set up, with the Qwik-Point. I bought the gun in the '67-'68 era. It loves 240 gr Remington SJHP. Mine will hold under 2" at 50 yards.

They are a bit of a pain to detail strip, but rarely need it done. Mine has also put a number of deer in the freezer over the past almost 50 years.

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