Revolver hunting round, also good for lever action rifle

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Onty, May 10, 2022.

  1. Onty

    Onty Member

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    My apology if I started this thread in wrong sub-forum, but I decided to do it here because if cartridge is good as hunting one in revolver, it should be also OK in lever action rifle.

    I was always fascinated how old folks used 44-40 Winchester as universal cartridge for revolvers and also in lever action rifles. Here is the statement I found very interesting:

    "In both law enforcement and hunting usage, the .44-40 became the most popular cartridge in the United States, and to this day has the reputation of killing more deer than any other save the 30-30 Winchester."


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.44-40_Winchester

    As we all now, things changed dramatically in firearm industry since 1873. We have today so many powerful cartridges for revolvers that could also work very well in lever action rifles.

    Anyhow, please let us know what is your favorite cartridge for revolver and rifle, why did you chose it, preferred loads, and experience in general. Also, I would like to see not just standard rounds, but some wildcats too.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2022
  2. bigmike45

    bigmike45 Member

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    I love my Scoped Ruger Redhawk and Henry Big Boy Brass, both in .41magnum.
    RugerRedhawk41mag7Small.jpg

    Henry_.41mag_Carbine.jpg
     
  3. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Buffalo Bore makes some serious 180g. .357 magnum cartridges that would work well as a hunting round in a revolver or lever action.

    1375 fps from a 4" revolver, 1850 fps from an 18" lever action.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2022
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  4. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    If this were a poll, my vote would have to go to 45 Colt. I realize that there were no historical rifles chambered for 45 Colt, but there are now, sooooooo......
     
  5. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    44 magnum and 45 colt are the most common choices.
     
  6. Fyrstyk

    Fyrstyk Member

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    445 SuperMag. I have a DW revolver, and a T/C Contender single shot rifle in the caliber.
     
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  7. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    Well, the one I use the most is a Ruger .22 lr / .22 mag. Single Six and a Marlin Model 39 Centenial.

    The other that I use a lot is a Ruger .45 colt Blackhawk and Marlin 1894.

    But I actually carry the .45 colt and an 1895 GS in 45-70 more.
     
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  8. dh1633pm
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    dh1633pm Contributing Member

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    I guess I could do either 44 Mag or 45 Colt. Now I just need a pistol in both those calibers. Working on it. If you want a 44-40 combo, I say go for it.
     
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  9. Weflyfast

    Weflyfast Member

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    44-40 will never smack game like a 44 mag or modern 45.....but really fun to shoot!
     
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  10. Weflyfast

    Weflyfast Member

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    Wanna be really different and old school....38-40!
     
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  11. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    I had a Rossi 92 in .45 Colt and I carried my Ruger Vaquero (original config.) 7.5” when hunting. Unfortunately I never took a deer but the Hornady Leverevolution .45 Colt round out of either one was very accurate.

    I also have 2 - .357 Magnum lever guns. A Winchester 94 Trails End and a Marlin 1894. The Winchester is accurate as heck with several 158 grain factory loads. I haven’t really tested the Marlin for that as I bought it for Cowboy Action shooting. I also have 3 revolvers to choose from in .357 but I would take my GP100 if I were to use my Winchester for hunting. Which I may do once I move back east and get away from this armpit of a state. I live in the Peoples Republic of CA now. But not for much longer.
    I wouldn’t hesitate to use .357 on white tail with the right bullet out of that 94.
     
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  12. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    Longtime fan of lever gun/revo combos; .44 Mag has been the most used. My load does nearly 1400'sec in a 6" 629 and nearly 1600'sec in a 16" Marlin 94. Took a bunch of deer with both the carbine and the revo; never had to track a deer.
    As an alternative, .45 Colt works well in both, tho' the revos can be a little less sturdy (Rugers excepted). What will likely be the last deer I'll ever take was done with a trapper .45 Colt carbine with a tang sight.
    Pistol Caliber Carbines are both a good idea and entertaining.
    Moon
     
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  13. NeroM

    NeroM Member

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    Big fan here of a revolver cartridge in rifle, often a lever action.
    Cartridge makers and handloaders often talk about a cartridge's "efficiency", which I think of as foot pounds of kinetic energy per grain [fp/gr] of powder. Typical rifle cartridges often have 45-55 fp/gr, pistol cartridges in carbine often 80-90+ fp/gr - that is efficiency. Plus, with range limitations, many are surprised at how effective these loadings are on the game we actually harvest most often [deer & hogs]. Used them for training my guys when they were growing up, as their guns were easy to handle - my partner too. While our woods seem to become more compacted by suburban encroachment, the pistol cartridge carbine is often a more effective hunting tool in these settings - less report and cartridge range.
    My group is below....
    at bottom Ruger SA in 357 Mag with corresponding Marlin carbine. 357 is probably most versatile in a carbine. I do optimize loads for each firearm and the need - for example light loads subsonic for training and small game to 180 gr LBT at 1850 fps for deer.
    next up is the 44 Mag combo- got the 44 Marlin rifle as a first big game hunting rifle for one of my sons, turns out my partner really likes it too - don't mess with her deer rifle. I do hunt with and shoot the Ranch Hand a lot - it is surprisingly easy to carry and effective is thick brush. 44 Mag revolver is a Taylor Uberti, really like the Army grip. Again, adjust loads to needs.
    Last of the group - probably my favorites, 45 Colt M92 Winchester carbine and S&W M25, hunt with these the most. The carbine is easy to carry - have some spicy loads that make a large hole and penetrate very well. In M25 have primarily two loads - 250 gr PHP around 900 fps for small game and uninvited guests; a 255 gr tier II load at approx 1050 fps for hunting. The effectiveness of these loads continues to amaze me.
    IMG_2200.jpg
     
  14. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    I am waiting on the new Marlin 1894 in .45 Colt with improved twist to go with my Blackhawk .45 Colt. My other matching set is my Single Six (SS) with Magnum cylinder and my Winchester 9422M XTR.
     
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  15. Onty

    Onty Member

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    Yeah, I was thinking about "spicing" 44-40 and 38-40. See what Lee Martin did with 38-40 https://www.singleactions.com/files/3840WinchesterArticle.pdf . As a matter of fact, 38-40 Blackhawk could be still found on the market. Otherwise, custom revolvers with five bore cylinder could be made, and there are number of excellent smiths to do that. The problem is I am not aware of any lever action rifles in 44-40 and 38-40 that will take high pressure loads. However, there is always possibility that somebody could slip high pressure 44-40 or 38-40 rounds in one of those rifles made for black powder, with catastrophic consequences.

    For further discussion, I would like to refer to thread https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/revolver-for-handgun-hunting-another-view.903836/#post-12255542 , where I posted crucial information from Terry Murbach that bullet Lyman 454424, lunched at 1100 fps, will go right through any large animal in North America. In that respect, if we have 41 caliber bullet, with about same meplat and weight as 454424, launched also at 1100 fps, the effect will be the same.

    Now, if we are talking about noted bullet for revolver at 1100 fps, using it in a rifle, my guess is that bullet will go no more than 1200, 1250 fps maximum. Certainly not something that I would like to use beyond 50-60 yards. In that respect, 38-40 high pressure loads Lee Martin developed are way more appealing. If 200 grains bullet goes from 6.5" Blackhawk 1400 fps, from a stout rifle should go about 1600 fps. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I have feeling that 38-40, 200 grains at 1600 fps, will work on a deer at 100-120 yards?

    Searching further, I stumbled upon 410 GNR for revolver, developed by G. Reeder (454 Cassul, necked down on 41 caliber). Reeder makes statement that 410 GNR is capable of taking Cape Buffalo and American Bison, with recoil less than 44 Magnum

    https://reedercustomguns.com/revolvers/ultimate410.htm .

    More here:

    pp410a.jpg

    "The 3rd of our 41 caliber wildcats is our 410 GNR - the 2 cartridges on the right. This one took 4 large buffalo in a 5 month period. One American Bison, one Australian Water Buffalo and 2 Cape Buffalo. 3 of the 4 were taken with one shot each with a 255 gr. LBT. This is a 454 Casull case neck down to 41. It puts a 255 gr. LBT bullet out at 1900 fps and does best in a 5 shot revolver or Encore barrel."

    http://104.251.121.5/information/GNR_cartridges.htm

    Getting 255 gr. LBT bullet out at 1900 fps from 5 shot revolver with 7.5" barrel looks IMO somewhat optimistic, but even 1500 fps from 6.5" revolver is quite formidable. In that respect, 255 grains at 1900 fps from a rifle looks possible and it's something that will certainly knock down deer or a hog up to 150 yards. Considering that we have on the market a number of 454 Casull revolvers that could be converted to 410 GNR, and at least one 454 Casull rifle, Rossi "Puma", at least we have firearms that could be converted to 410 GNR or something similar.

    Since I don't like to depend on manufacturers of 41 bullets, I started thinking about 41-454 wildcat that could use cast LBT 265 grains bullets. So, here is my idea of 411 HUNTER:

    MNq15UM.jpg

    I would appreciate comment or suggestion.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2022
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  16. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    Many good options. I would not do 44mag if you want to use lead bullets though as the rifles often have bores which vary from the revolvers and they have been a pain for me to find a common good round between the two in the lead flavor.

    41mag is an excellent choice as is 45LC if you reload. Yes, can buy 45LC ammo but most of it is loaded very mild.
    41mag is great off the shelf, but hard to find so best if you reload also there.

    44mag is great if you stick to jacketed bullets.
    .357 is also a nice option so long as your use doesn't need more power.

    There is the .327 option if you can find a Henry and matching revolver (sorry, part of the .32 mafia here had to chime in :)
     
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  17. Sacramento Johnson

    Sacramento Johnson Member

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    44-40 in a Ruger Vaquero along side a Rossi 1892 or Uberti Winchester 1873 in the same caliber; 200 grain lead bullet with a full case of Goex 3f black powder= FUN!
     
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  18. Gerd33

    Gerd33 Member

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    My BFR 45/70 accompanied me for deer season a number of times. I never had the opportunity to take anything with it though. IMG_4846.JPG
     
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  19. Monac

    Monac Member

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    Does anyone make a lever action rifle in 327 Federal?
     
  20. 27hand

    27hand Member

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    Ive had a Ruger Redhawk in .44 mag since about 82 and always thought about a lever gun.

    The county I live in just permitted straight walled cartridges for deer where shotguns only have been the norm.

    I just picked up a Henry Big Boy in .44, put a large loop lever n it and mounted a Leupold VX1 3x9.
    Range day tomorrow.

    I had plenty of 240 gr IMI so loaded those over some 296, H110 and 4227 .

    I figured it to be a 125 yard gun. I found a Maximum Point Blank Range Calculator which interested me.

    I ran quite a few rounds over a caldwell chrono and got avg 1725.
    The BC is .175 and the target size will be 8 inches as in deer vitals.

    Given that, The near zero is 13 yds, the far zero is 149 yards and the MPBR is 174 yards setting the 100 yard zero at 3.77 inches high.
    I'll see what I get tomorrow if the gun groups decently.
    I removed the Bushnell and put a Leupold on it.

    52043481583_01d1e5328b_k.jpg 2022-05-01_06-53-02 by poofy27, on Flickr
     
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  21. 357 Terms

    357 Terms Member

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    357, 180grn XTP loaded with 14.3grns if VV N110. Close to 1400fps from my 6.5in Blackhawk, and over 1700 from my Marlin 1894 CSS.
    As long as I do my part the results have been spectacular.
    20210626_223139~2.jpg
     
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  22. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    I've taken a different attitude about specific loads for specific guns...I don't do it.
    The .45 Colts all get the Trailboss load (okay, there was one box of 1100'sec hunting loads, but they were kept strictly away from the Schofield...), and the .44s all got the coal scoop of H110.
    Hate to inventory a bunch of different loads.
    Moon
     
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  23. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    Winchester Model 1873, shipped 1887, Colt Bisley, shipped 1909. Both chambered for 38-40.

    pluVijtGj.jpg
     
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  24. NeroM

    NeroM Member

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    DJ....
    Like the 38-40 Bisley!
    Do you currently shoot it ?
    If so, with gunpowder or smokeless ?
    Thanks,
    NM
     
  25. NorthBorder

    NorthBorder Member

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    Henry makes one. I saw one (Golden Boy) at the LGS recently and was really drawn to it. But I passed.
     
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