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Effective range on .44 carbine?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 44Dave, Aug 16, 2010.

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  1. 44Dave

    44Dave Well-Known Member

    Sorry in advance if this has been covered before, but I didn't see anything in search.
    So I've been wanting a lever rifle for some time, specifically a .44. Mostly because I just want one. But I do want to make sure it can serve a purpose.
    What kind of accuracy can I expect from something like a Marlin 1894? I plan to put on an XS scope rail with peep sight.
    If I'm doing my part, can I expect at least 4MOA @ 200 yards with a set up like this? Can I expect better than that? I'm betting the rifle itself if good quality, but I'm not sure what the .44 cartridge can do at a long range like that. I could switch to a 30-30 if the 44 won't do what I want it to do.
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    200 yards is pushing it due to the trajectory of a .44 mag pistol bullet.

    They slow down and drop like a rock pretty fast.
    (with a 100 yard zero = 16" drop at 200 - 24" drop at 225 - 33" drop at 250)

    But even a 30-30 carbine with open sights is pushing it for deer at 200 yards.
    The front sight is bigger then the kill zone of a deer at 200 yards.

    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
  3. Bula

    Bula Well-Known Member

    After 100-125 yds, bullet drop gets pretty sketchy. I know mine can do 3-4" at 100yds, but if you need that at 200 you may need to go to something even bigger that the 30-30. I'd say my M94 30-30can do that at 150yds, but much after that is beyond my skill set. Pistol caliber carbines are awesome, but my limit is at about 100yds with either .357 mag or .44mag. I have the Williams FP with target knobs on my .44mag, and the 5d's on my .357 and 30-30, I really like them.
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam


    That is about what mine does too.

    IMO: A 30-30 200 yard deer rifle is a scoped Marlin 336 with LeverEvulution plastic tip spitzer ammo.

  5. 44Dave

    44Dave Well-Known Member

    OK, I guess that's what I needed to know (even if it's not what I wanted to hear :( ) It's what I suspected anyway.
    Thanks guys.
  6. 336A

    336A Well-Known Member

    I have both a Marlin 336A .30-30 and a Marlin 1894SS .44 mag, here is how I employ them. I use the .44 mag when I hunt in the thick stuff where I know shots are limited to about 100yd. It is much more nimble in the hands for this type of work than even the 336. I would not shoot much beyond 100yd due to the fact that the trajectory resembles that of a snagged fishing pole. For accuracy I get 3"-4" groups at 100yd which is another reason I limit this combo to 100yd. IMHO taking a shot at a un-wounded deer much beyond 100yd with the .44 is unethical and one should use their field craft to get closer for the shot. When used within 100yd the .44 mag puts a hurt on things with a quickness, which is another reason I like it in the thick timber.

    When hunting broken terrain where shots can be out to about 200yd the .30-30 gets the nod. In the Sierra reloading manual, Sierra states right in their bullet section that their .30-30 bullets are designed to perform out to about 200yd. I expect that such is also the case for all .30-30 ammunition as loaded by the big ammo makers as well as bullets from other companies. This type of performance does not hinder me in anyway as my longest shot to date has only been 135yd. The one alibi to this is the the Hornady LE ammo which has and will perform out to 300yd as long as the rifle shoots it well. Hope this helps.
  7. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    Figure 125-150yds at the absolute most with standard weight or lighter bullets at maximum velocities. Less for lighter loads and/or heavier bullets. As far as accuracy, don't be surprised if any given Marlin 1894 will shoot 1-2MOA or better with preferred loads.
  8. Asherdan

    Asherdan Well-Known Member

    This is how my standard Marlin 1894 works out with an Hornady 240g XTP handload.

    Range  Elevation  Velocity   Energy
      0 yds    -1.50 in  1762 fps  1654 fpe
     50 yds     2.25 in  1604 fps  1370 fpe
    100 yds    2.75 in  1457 fps  1131 fpe
    150 yds   -1.00 in  1327 fps   939 fpe
    200 yds   -9.70 in  1215 fps   787 fpe
    When I had a Williams 5D sight I was comfortable inside 150. I put a 2.5x20mm scope on and practice out to 200 but work to get inside of that. In reality, everything would need to be spotless for me to stretch out to 200 on game.

    I hunt like 336A with it, because it fits that niche just dandy.

    Sight in target from a couple years ago at 50 yards, just before humping it in the Manzanita thickets. That years deer was a DRT thing at 85 yards.


    They can be accurate enough, y'know.
  9. engineerbrian

    engineerbrian Well-Known Member

    I guess my Ruger 44 carbine is about same as the other post. It shoots 1" high at 50 yards, zero at 100 yards with 3" groups. You cant a shot past 100yards where i hunt so I really dont know what it does past that.

    You cant go wrong with the .44 mag or 30-30, they are both devastating to deer.:D
  10. mshootnit

    mshootnit Well-Known Member

    I like that lever rifle they are making in Wyoming, Big Horn Armory model 89; 500 S&W I think? I also saw a lever action in my rifle shooter mag that was Uberti special sporting rifle not sure if it was offered in 44, but comparable It was sweet.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
  11. 44Dave

    44Dave Well-Known Member

    I might get the 1894 anyway, just because I want one. The area I'm going to hunt this year should provide me with at least a few 100 yd shots, or closer. I just needed to find out the limitations of the tool. I'll have to burn a few hundred rounds to get familiar with it though. Oh, the torture ;)
  12. Abel

    Abel Well-Known Member

    The Marlin 336 in 30-30 or 35 is alot better lookin' with that scout setup than the anemic 1894. Why limit yourself to the 44 Mag if a 30-30 or 35 will reach out to where you really want to go?
  13. 44Dave

    44Dave Well-Known Member

    Again, just because I want one. Can't help it. Anyway, the only real solution is to get one of each.
  14. Asherdan

    Asherdan Well-Known Member

    Now you're cooking with gas.

    Make sure you drop an 1895 on the list as well, since you're thinking along those lines!
  15. 44Dave

    44Dave Well-Known Member

    I do believe you are onto something.
  16. Teppo Oni

    Teppo Oni Active Member

    180gr bullet at over 2000fps
    id say 200yds easy

    cant be worst than an SKS
  17. natman

    natman Well-Known Member

    Yes, as a matter of fact it can. An SKS is no long range wonder, but it fires its bullets faster than a 44 mag and it shoots spitzers, which are much more aerodynamic than the tuna cans a 44 mag uses.

    Practical hunting range for a 44 mag with conventional bullets is 100 yards. Sure, you can lob one out there further than that, but it requires a LOT of holdover.
  18. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Well-Known Member

    200yds max., 150yds practical range, ideal at 100yds. IMO it is best to add a few thousandths and a bit more nitrocellulose and step up to the venerable .45-70Govt. in a 1895 for 200+yds (though the .30-30Win. will work too).

  19. ms6852

    ms6852 Well-Known Member

    This incident happend for real several years ago in West Texas along the Rio Grande river in or around Big Bend National Park. There were some tourists that were rafting along the river when their raft came under fire from the Mexico side of the border. There was only one survivor the wife of one of the two men who had gotten killed. Back than a Texas Ranger by the name of Joaquin Jackson investigated the shooting and found out that the shooters happened to be some young kids getting high on marijuana. From where the dead bodies were and the young kids doing the shooting were the distance was 300 yards. The rifle used was a 44 caliber lever action. So based on these finding I would say the maximum effective range is 300 yards.
  20. ArtP

    ArtP Well-Known Member

    Dave, I wanted one too and gave in and bought an 1894 about a month ago.

    I think the 30-30 is a better cartridge for hunting, hands down. I chose the 44 in hopes of getting a matching revolver someday and because this gun doubles as a camp defender and the ten round capacity puts it in the assault weapon category, at least in CA.

    I have to agree with everyone else regarding accuracy and effective range. Less than 100 yds, 3-4 MOA. I have mine scoped with a Nikon 1.5-4.5x20. This was after being reminded just how bad I am with open sights - I didn't intend to scope it. The scope I bought is small and weighs only 10 ounces, so I do not feel I ruined the light quick handling attributes of the rifle.

    Loaded with 11 rounds, sling and scope, I come in at 8.5 pounds. Just went on a hike/hunt with a friend with a 10.5# setup. Can you guess who was smiling when we got back to camp?

    I say get it. Wanting one is good enough reason.
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