Lever Action 44 Magnum?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Huntolive, May 9, 2020.

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  1. Huntolive

    Huntolive Member

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    Hello Gentlemen
    considering adding 44 lever gun to my collection.As many know, I shoot 44 mag revolvers so have ammo. Not looking to add calibers. Only other Lever gun I have is 1895 SBL 45-70 Gov.

    First what do you think of that caliber: potential for deer &hog/ all-around fun Lever Action Gun?

    Second which should I get?I'm not looking to pay more than $800.
    And Not looking for a gun to put on the wall. I want a hard-working, maneuverable woods and truck gun. Basically I'm looking for a Chesapeake Bay Retriever: handsome hardworking American but not a show gun.
    Considering: Henry H012rcc 16.5" carbine
    Henry H012AW All Weather 20"
    Henry H012BB Steel 20"
    Rossi 920441693 R92 16"
    Open to any others that are not more than $50 more expensive
     
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  2. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    They work very well on deer , with the flextip load out to 150 yards : stick with Marlin or if you can find a Browning B92 jump on it.
    https://www.gunbroker.com/item/867002876
     
  3. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I've had a couple of Marlin 45-70's in the past. They are gone and I still have the Marlin 44 mag. In reality the 2 rounds overlap some. I feel the 44 mag is as good or better and a lot cheaper to shoot until you get to the really hot 45-70 loads. They make some hotter 44 mag loads too. You can load 45-70 hotter still, but by the time you get to loads on that level there are better options in my opinion. You'll be fine for deer, bear, or hog at any range you can hit one in the vitals. The arched trajectory starts to be a challenge beyond 75 yards and they aren't known as tack drivers so 75-100 yards may be the realistic limit.

    And I'd hold out for a used Marlin in my price range.
     
  4. Huntolive

    Huntolive Member

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    Okay thanks
    At one of the Henry's is there something wrong with them where the Marlin is that much better?
    And does it matter if it's a JM stamped Marlin or doesn't that make any difference in 44?
    Is the JM stamp thing just more of a big deal in 30 30s?

    Also, Really Only 75 yards?
    I can shoot my 8 inch 44 magnum revolvers 75 yards accurately!
    Maybe I should just save my money for 45-70 & 44 Magnum ammo:thumbdown:
    So the 16 inch barrel doesn't really do anything for velocity or distance?
     
  5. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    I have had my original Marlin 1894 for more than 30 years.

    I added a sling, removed the OEM rear sight and replaced it with a Williams 5D, wrapped the bottom of the lever with paracord (easier on the backs of my fingers) and have always shot American Eagle/whitebox/generic 240gr JHP ammo and it is very accurate in my rifle.

    I have probably shot 500-600 full-power rounds thru that rifle and very few of them were at paper.

    Most of the critters that I can recall shooting with it were groundhogs and if I spotted one within ~125yds and I had something to lean/rest on/against I was always confident of hitting him.

    O'course, the newer 1894s probably do not sport MicroGroove rifling, so ... <shrug>

    Enjoy your new rifle, whatever you choose! :)
     
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  6. George Dickel

    George Dickel Member

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    I shoot a .44 mag lever gun in metallic silhouette. The .44 does drop quite a bit especially when you get beyond 50-60 yards and that is why nearly all silhouette shooters use an adjustable tang sight. In silhouette you know the distance to the target so a shooter will determine sight settings for the fixed distances and set the sight for that distance before shooting that line of targets. Hunting doesn't have fixed distances, you have to estimate hold over and that can be a bit difficult with a round that has a high trajectory. I normally shoot my .44 in the pistol cartridge class which has a 100 yard maximum distance but I have shot in the centerfire rifle class which is 200 yards maximum. The elevation setting for 200 yard is quite a bit more than my 50 yard setting. I believe you will be disappointed in the .44 Mag for the type shooting you are wanting to do.
    I know you don't want another cartridge but a lever gun 30-30 will work much more efficiently for the shooting you mention.
     
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  7. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    While I've never owned one I checked out all the Henries available and I found them to be somewhat of a parody of a traditional hammer lever rifle. The JM branded Marlins were before Remington took over and started retraining new employees :( . Maybe they got it right finally, but they are currently shut down :( The pre safety Marlins were higher quality than any others finish wise. The Browning B92 , made in Japan but out of production a few years now we're the best Winchester 92 clone ever produced. You can buy a used one in your budget range if you can find one. The Rossi 92 s are ok but the quality is a crap shoot like the Remlins. Both don't have great warranty service. I too would suggest a .30-30 Winchester, the 94 Winchester format works great with it ! I recommend you get an Angle eject or XTR or pre 1964 one. Everything after WW2 till 1964 are sweet , the later 70- late 80s XTR are nice too
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
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  8. Huntolive

    Huntolive Member

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    Thanks for y'all's advice
    I've decided I do not want a 30-30 so I'm either going to get the 44 Magnum lever action or just stick to my 1895sbl 4570 governor.
    So what specific model should I be looking for in the 44?
    also should I even consider a 357 lever action of course I do shoot a lot of 357 revolvers and how does the 357 range and killing power on deer and hogs compared to the 44 Magnum in the lever action.
    Yes I am a bit disappointed at the limited range of a 44 Magnum in a rifle.
    My understanding is that the 4570 Governor is good for a solid 200 yards is that correct?
     
  9. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    I have two Marlins and while they are fantastic shooters, I would choose the Henry. If nothing else for the proper twist rate. For whatever reason, Marlin is still clinging to the 1-38" twist and that makes anything over 300gr useless. In my opinion, an accurate .44Mag rifle using deer-appropriate loads is easily a 150yd gun.
     
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  10. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

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    I like my Marlin 1894, but I'm in tight brush around here, rarely see a shot over 75 yards...
     
  11. hossfly

    hossfly Member

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    I bought a new Marlin 1894 in October and I've kicked the tires on it pretty good with 240 grain bullets in both Magnum and Special loads. On a CALM day, with a scope on the bench I get around 1 and 3/4 3 shot groups pretty consistently at 100 yards with one load. Hornady XTP with a typical load of H110.

    I've since taken the scope off and I use it to plink with with 44 specials with cast bullets. The Oregon Trail .431 SWC's shoot pretty good. Good enough to have fun with. Casts under .431 do NOT shoot well.

    All and all I would say the 1894 meets your criteria. Certainly accurate enough to hunt with up to 75 yards...or even more. With light loads you can plink inexpensively too. As has been said, don't expect to win benchrest competitions with it, but it wasn't even intended for that.
     
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  12. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Save money and get the Rossi
     
  13. littlelefty

    littlelefty Member

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    I was able to hold the Henry steel in both 20" and 16", as well as a Marlin 1894 at a LGS. The Henry steel 16" is the one that came home with me; it balanced the best for me and I personally don't have issue with the loading tube. I reload and use it for making big holes in paper, and I intend to hunt deer with it.
     
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  14. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I have an 1894 Marlin 44. It is a stainless JM model. My particular rifle is fussy about bullets. I use .432 280 gr Beartooths now and can manage 2-3" groups at 100. For factory ammo it used to shoot Hornady 300 gr XTP rounds the best with a 5" group at 100. After I recrowned and re headspaced it now shoots 240 gr American Eagle best with 3-4" group at 100 and the XTPs look more like a buckshot pattern. The crown was poorly executed from the factory and was not made concentric with the bore. The headspace measured .016" and I tightened it up to .005". So there was some factory issues even with a JM gun.

    I am still playing with it but just today I went to the range with it and shot several 2 and 3" groups with the American Eagle 240gr JSP. That is pretty promising. I like that bullet and would like to use this ammo if it will keep shooting decent groups like that.

    The 44 mag rifle is a 125 yd gun at least. True, its trajectory starts nosediving after 75 yds but it hangs in there a little longer.

    The Henry is an interesting option with 1:20 twist. If I can find an All Weather or X for fair money I may dump my Marlin in favor of it.
     
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  15. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger member

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    I'm for Marlin. Shooting 240g JSP will put a deer down. Won't do a hog any good either. The energy carries good out at distance. I wouldn't hesitate a 100 yard shot open sights.
     
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  16. Glockula

    Glockula Member

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    I have a Rossi 92 16 inch barreled .357 mag. I like it a lot and won't ever sell it so that is a good route. It did have some issues with feeding .38s but it has been a good and reliable weapon.

    That said I have thought about a .44 and I would definitely go with a Marlin. I like the ability to put a scope on it. A fixed four or 6 power would be perfect. I'm sure you could get good out to 125 yards or so. Especially with hand loads.
     
  17. courtgreene

    courtgreene Member

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    I think you should scroll up and read the post about Henry’s twist rate. They are good rifles for other reasons, but that is the most practical reason that they are the most fitting solution to your problem.
     
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  18. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    I have a Browning B-92 in .44 magnum. Love it. It's very accurate. The action is very smooth.

    It's not a looooonng range gun, but for a pistol caliber carbine it's amazing. As others say 100 yards pretty easy, maybe longer if you do the job right.
     
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  19. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    I like marlins, I really do, and the 44mag packs about the same whallop as the 30/30 when it's loaded hot. 44mag Loaded light, it is very pleasant. It picks up a few hundred fps out of a rifle vs a pistol. That said, Marlin really needs to redesign the barrel on their rifling. Needs a smaller bore and a different twist. The 357 is more pleasant, doesn't suffer the same bore and twist problems, and can be quite formidible in a rifle. 44 hits a lot harder though. If you already have a 45/70, the 357 might be more significantly different.
     
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  20. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    Do the Henery's have the side loading gate or do you have to remove the rod to reload them? Marlins have a side loading gate don't they?
     
  21. Sneakshot92

    Sneakshot92 Member

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    The X model Henrys have a side loading gate and their standard magazine tube loading port.
    I'm contemplating picking myself up one in 357 (hopefully) after this corona crap.
     
  22. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    I've owned a Marlin and now a Henry. I like the Henry better. That me. Got to pick the one you like the best.
     
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  23. Huntolive

    Huntolive Member

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    Jack B which Henry did you pick and why do you like it better?
    I've also been looking at the twist rates on the Henry's as advertised and they are saying
    1:38 which I think is the same as the Marlins???
    can anyone please add info on the twist rate issue and if there might be some confusion on this all of the models of Henry's that I listed in my original OP statement are listed as having 1:38 or something like that twist rates and not 1:20.
    Can someone please clarify about the twist rate issue ?

    What about the decision between a 16 inch barrel vs a 20 inch barrel?
    I am not worried about capacity a rounds is fine and a 16 inch barrel.
    The 16in just sounds a lot more handy but would I lose much velocity and knock down power?

    Also if I consider a 357 lever action how much effective distance and knockdown power do I lose? Accuracy?
     
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  24. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Member

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    Owned a .44 mag in Winchester Trapper model. Compact, easy to handle, action not so smooth. Accuracy adequate. Have a Winchester Model 94 in .32 WS. A little more punch - beautiful western appeal, again the action is not so smooth. Own a Marlin 1984 Cowboy Ltd. in 45LC. Smoooooth action but caliber is marginal for deer. Looked at a lot of Henrys. Not fond of the brass. Might prefer the case hardened or all weather (nickel plated). Henry's are a heavier gun. Owners of Rossi's tell me that most need work to make actions fluid. I think the .44 mag would be fine for deer out to 100 yards. My top two choice, as much as I LOVE the Winchester Model 94, would be a Marlin, and yes the JM stamp is important in my opinion, or the Henry. Best of luck in your choosing.
     
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  25. Robert Highhawk

    Robert Highhawk Member

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    Have a Marlin, (Jm), 45-70. Having used 44 magnum in Blackhawks I prefer the 45-70 for big game hunting. It isn’t a long range cartridge but the 44 mag isn’t either.
     
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