Revolver hunting round, also good for lever action rifle

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

  1. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    It's not historically correct, but I currently only have one caliber that is dual lever/revolver compatible- .45 Colt.

    Such a set-up includes my blued 1892 Miroku button-mag carbine and my blued 5 1/2" Old Vaquero. The rifle has a 5+1 round capacity and the revolver has a 6 round capacity, so the system matches well to a spare 12 round ammo carrier in my OCD tendency mind. Of course, the rifle is not chambered if on-board a vehicle (game laws and such).
     
  2. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    I have never loaded 38-40 with anything but Black Powder. I do not shoot that Bisley much, and it is proofed for Smokeless powder, but when I shoot it I only shoot it with 38-40 Black Powder cartridges.
     
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  3. savagelover

    savagelover Member

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  4. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    There are contraindications for most any choice, if the hunting application must be considered. I would rule out 45 Colt because of the inconsistencies in the guns and the rarity of guns really suited for loads outside SAAMI specs without being huge hand cannons. 44-40 is a no, because there is no agreement whether the guns and ammo will use .427 or .430 bullets. I think 44 Magnum is good and 41 too, if able to find guns and make or buy ammo. .357 magnum might work, because guns and ammo are relatively plentiful. However, then we would be talking small primers, which are tougher to obtain than large.

    The combo that I happen to own is 45 Colt, set up for Cowboy Action Shooting. If I was a hunter, I would try to source a 41 Magnum levergun to match my NMBH FlatTop.
     
  5. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    IF you want "historically correct", you are pretty much out of luck.

    IF you want a SA / lever actions matched cartridge set, there are several good choices.

    I bought my first in 1980, a Ruger Super Blackhawk and a Browning BL-92, in .44 Mag.
    Several deer and hogs have fallen to each.
    Becoming quite a fan of the matched combo, I expanded.

    A Ruger OM Single Six and Browning BL-22, in .22LR.
    A SS Ruger NM Single Six and 1894 Marlin, in .22WMR.
    A Ruger Vaquero and Henry Big Boy, in .45Colt.

    Ruger Blackhawk in .357Mag and .41Mag, searching for companion lever guns.

    .327 Fed set is on the search list.

    A major want is a .460 S&W set. This could be the ultimate combo.

    My Ruger Blackhawk .30 Carbine is super fun. At present, carried with a Marlin .30-30. Both cartridges loaded with 115gr powder coated bullet. Not a lever, but some day, I may pick up a M1 carbine.

    Another possible, the .45Colt pump rifles.

    You like / want .44-40, go for it.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2022
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  6. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Ruger Blackhawks can take 45 Colt loads much hotter than SAMMI specs, they are not huge hand cannons, and they are not rare. As a matter of fact, the 'original model' Vaqueros (not the New Vaquero) were built on the same frame and had the same cylinders as a Blackhawk, and they could take 'Ruger Only' loads too.

    Here is my old 45 Colt/45ACP Blackhawk that I bought brand spanky new way back in 1975. Although I am not a hunter, if I wanted to I could fire 'Ruger Only' loads out of this revolver. My old Speer manual says 'Ruger Only' 45 Colt loads can be loaded up to 25,000CUP.

    pn6NKZCLj.jpg




    If you want a strong lever gun, look no further than a modern replica of the Winchester Model 1892. Much stronger than the old toggle link rifles such as the Model 1873, modern replicas of the Model 1892 Winchester are regularly chambered for 44 Magnum, and even 454 Casull. A replica 1892 chambered for 45 Colt should easily be able to handle 'Ruger Only' loads.
     
  7. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    I am with you on all that. Problem is, I had a 45 Colt NMBH Convertible with .451 bore and .454 throats on the 45 Colt cylinder. Leaded like crazy. Tried .454 bullets to no avail. From what I have read, it is pretty common knowledge that Ruger can't seem to get it quite right with 45 Colt revolvers.
     
  8. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    If you know your gun and the loads you use in the gun there is nothing wrong with .45 Colt.
     
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  9. Rodfac

    Rodfac Member

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    If you're hunting deer or black bear, I'd recommend a .44 Magnum. Short of the current political induced shortage of all ammunition, .44 Magnum can be bought about anywhere hunting ammunition is sold. I'd guess it's about as prevalent as 9mm in that regard. Too, if you reload, it's possible to tune your loads for many purposes. Medium for practice with both guns, heavy for actual hunting, or tgt level light ones for paper punching or Sunday PM plinking.

    Some here might suggest .357 Magnums, a bit light in my opinion beyond 50 yds with either gun for deer. Other's like the .45 Colt...good if you load or buy "Ruger Only" type loads for the handgun and plenty good enough for deer out to say 75 yds or a bit more. But for my use, a .44 Magnum makes the most sense here in the woods & thickets of northern Kentucky.

    For the long gun, make mine a lever: Marlin 1894's in .44 Mag have been available for years, and have a strong following for their accuracy and strength. They're drilled and tapped for a top mount scope if your eyes demand one, but work as well with a peep or even open sights out to 100 yds or a bit more. Here 'bouts, that's where we kill 99% of our deer...YMMv.

    To match the carbine you have choice of SA Rugers, DA/SA Smith's and a few others. Either will do nicely and can be found on the used gun market easily. In 50 years of shooting .44's, I've never run across one that was shot out...I suppose you could find a Smith that had been hammered for years in competition with heavy loads but for the most part the recoil limits the number of shots the average guy is going to shoot over a cpl decades. For hunting, I like the Rugers in 6-1/2" bbl. lengths for tree stand work; but for back country elk hunting use, I'd pick a Smith for its DA capability when packing out the meat in bear country where toting the rifle becomes cumbersome. Many years ago, found fresh bear tracks in my pack out trail when toting elk quarters...no rifle because of the weight and I'd left my big Smith in the jeep because of the weight up at 9500 feet. The memory still gives me the willies...That six shooter in a cross chest holster rig would have made a difference. So would bear spray...

    HTH's ... I've long been a fan of six-gun and carbine combination...have them in .22, .357, .41 Magnum, & .44 Magnum...all Marlins for the carbines, and Colt, Ruger, & Smith for the revolvers. Best regards, and greetings from Bluegrass...Rod
     
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  10. Onty

    Onty Member

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    Rodfac, When we are talking about deer and hog, I think that you have a point about 44 Magnum as optimum cartridge for revolver and rifle. Personally, I would go with 41 Magnum, using top load behind LBT 265 (see https://www.mp-molds.com/product/mp-413-265-wnfp-41-cal-hollow-point-mold-multichoice/ ). However, rifles chambered in 41 magnum are scarce, so for average hunter 44 Magnum is better choice. The only issue (please correct me if I am wrong) is that lever action rifles have limit for OAL of the loaded round, that is considerably shorter than what we could assembly using cast bullets with crimp to meplat distance .450" for 44 Magnum (OAL 1.735") or .430" for 41 Magnum.(OAL 1.720").
     
  11. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Marlin DID actually make the M62 Levermatic in .30 Carbine for a few years.:)
    marlin62.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2022
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  12. Savvy Jack

    Savvy Jack Member

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    What does it take to kill a deer? A bazooka?

    The 44-40 is one, if not the most well known cartridge but yet the absolute most mis-understood!
     
  13. gwpercle

    gwpercle Member

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    I would prefer 41 magnum .
    Ruger Black Hawk or S&W model 58 (my avatar) or S&W model 57 would make nice revolver .
    Marlin made a 41 mag. Lever action at one time , a custm conversion on a Winchester model 92 or model 94 would be nice ... Henry now chambers a lever action in 41 magnum and that would also do just fine .

    My second choice would be classic 38-40 . It says 38 but it isn't the bullet is actually .401" !
    If the bullet is .40" why the heck isn't it called ...the 40-40 !!! It don't make no sense to me !
    Lots of Colts , Rugers and Winchesters chambered for this one .

    I don't know why but I was never that excited about the 45 Colt ...it's ok in a single action revolver but seems out of place in a lever action rifle .
    Gary
    Gary
     
  14. Brutus54

    Brutus54 Member

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    I have twice written Henry to please make a lever action in .454 Casull. I have successfully hunted with my Ruger Super Redhawk but would like to have a Henry with me for a longer shot if needed. A revolver and a rifle in the same caliber just seems like peanut butter and jelly, they just go together perfectly.
     
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  15. NorthBorder

    NorthBorder Member

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    Keep writing them. It would be great if they listened.
     
  16. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    I keep asking them for a .460 S&W S, L, LR
    Be able to use .460, .454 Casual and .45 Colt
     
  17. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    I love the .44Mag in a levergun and hope Ruger corrects the absurd 1-38" twist Marlin used.

    The .38-40 can be loaded heavy in any of the 1892 replicas or late model Winchesters. I'm not going to comment on heavy load use in original guns. The problem with the cartridge is none of the available bullets are really suitable. Except the all copper Lehigh WFN. Even at standard pressures, I can get a 180gr to nearly 1500fps out of a Uberti 1873. The little 135gr Sierra is a wonderful varmint bomb at 1600fps.
     
  18. DesertFox

    DesertFox Member

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    Had one! Nice shooting. Sold for outrageous profit.
     
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  19. Rodfac

    Rodfac Member

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    Onty, I'd agree that a .41 Magnum makes for a nice revolver/rifle hunting round within handgun hunting distances but its darned near a cult cartridge nowadays and predominantly a reloader's round. My Marlin 1894 cost me a small fortune and I've hunted successfully for the past 3 seasons here in KY with it, but I handload and use Hornady's 210 gr XTP bullet at ~1700 fps from the its 20" bbl. None of my deer were DRT, but none ran more than 25 yds either. One was shot directly through the heart too. I really like the gun, but it wasn't a sensible choice in all honestly. I've had .41's since the early 70's and have a soft spot for them. Pic below...I added the peep and saddle ring to replace the "safety".

    Marlins can be overall length sensitive but I've not had that problem, e.g. my 336 in .44 Mag will feed and fire Lyman's 250 gr 429421 bullet and the 1894 .41 handles their 225 gr. 410459 as well. Both are Keith type LSWC's with more than adequate meplats IMHO. I don't load heavy for caliber bullets in any of my guns as they're not needed here. The .44 will also feed and fire Ranch Dog's 265 gr WFN gas check with excellent accuracy....~2" @ 100 yds, with a 2.5x scope mounted on Marlin. But I didn't see any improvement on the 140 lb whitetail I shot through the slats with it several years ago. All of the above were through and through shots in the chest cavity. Hornady's XTP's in .41 & .44 do the same...through and through.

    Understand that I'm talking about carbines here, not revolvers for hunting. I like my handguns, carry them daily and when hunting but the long gun is what I kill deer with. The short gun is for follow up if necessary: two car struck deer, and a trio of deer badly hit by people who shouldn't have been in the field. These last were bedded, bleeding out in wild rose thickets where a rifle was impossible to carry.

    Best regards, Rod

    Marlin-41.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2022
  20. Onty

    Onty Member

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    I've heard about Marlin 336 in 44 Magnum, but never had a chance to see one, just 1894. Consider yourself quite lucky.

    Personally, I like Winchester 94, feels slimmer than Marlin. Once I had a chance to purchase 94 Big Bore in 307, on small show, in the middle of nowhere, North Ontario, Canada. Still kicking myself for not taking phone number because rifle wasn't sold that day.
     
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