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Now that it's legal to hunt deer with a 357 Mag, or larger pistol caliber rifle here in Indiana, I'd like some input on what's out there. I'm familiar with Marlins 1894, and know of the Ruger 96/44, but what else is out there? How are the 96/44s as far as reliability, and accuracy? I appreciate any info provided.
 

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I'm familiar with Marlins 1894, and know of the Ruger 96/44, but what else is out there?
Let's see here... Winchester made their now discontinued '94 in .44 mag. Ruger had a slick little .44 autoloader called the deerfield carbine, sadly no longer in production last time I checked. Puma sells a repop Winchester '92 in .454 cassul (SP?). That's all I can think of right now. You might check with the companies that import Italian reproduction lever guns too. I'm sure there are some made in modern pistol calibers.
 

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Hunting carbines

The .357 and believe it or not the .44 mag, are both very under powered for deer hunting. Neither of these cartridges performs the same when shot from even a carbine barrel vs its pistol counterpart. At best they would be very short range guns (read inside 50 yards). You are better off going for a Winchester 94 or Marlin 336 in 30/30.
 

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The .357 and believe it or not the .44 mag, are both very under powered for deer hunting. Neither of these cartridges performs the same when shot from even a carbine barrel vs its pistol counterpart. At best they would be very short range guns (read inside 50 yards). You are better off going for a Winchester 94 or Marlin 336 in 30/30.
Would a 44 mag do better if handloads were used?
 

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The .357 and believe it or not the .44 mag, are both very under powered for deer hunting. Neither of these cartridges performs the same when shot from even a carbine barrel vs its pistol counterpart. At best they would be very short range guns (read inside 50 yards). You are better off going for a Winchester 94 or Marlin 336 in 30/30.
Sir with all due respect,Horse Hockey! There have been loads of animals killed with both calibers from handguns in those calibers for years including black bear. both the .357 and the .44mag. gain substantial FPS fired in longer barrels of the carbines, both with the proper bullet (and that's important ) will break both shoulders and exit easily. and Your correct they arent long range calibers But 50 yds max. Come on now, i wouldnt be worried to take a 100 yd shot with either and have BTW with a Marlin .357 and a 158gr. HornadyXTP FP ! Proper bullet selection is key ,You cant expect success with a light 125 gr.HP at anything but a perfect broadside double lung shot. pick a good med.to heavy weight SP bullet 158-180 gr for the .357 ,250-300gr for the 44 loaded on the warm side, shoot straight and you'll be filling out your tag.
 

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I must agree with RUshooter.The .44 Magnum and .357 Magnum are very viable 100 yard rifles for deer hunting.My remarks are based not on theory but on personal experience.I have killed deer at ranges of up to 125 yards with both and these were all one shot kills.

Stan
 

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If you get a 357 or 44mag it might be possible to rechamber to 357 max or 445 super mag which is just about the max length allowed. If you can get a T/C contender or encore rifle in those calibers it would be easy to do.

Rad
 

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Ive killed both whitetailed deer and black bears with my ruger 44 autoloader,no problem long as you aim right. I have or had a neighbor that used to drag out his .32 lever action every deer camp and killed one most years,and I mean .32-20 not the .32 special he had a matching set ancient revolver and rifle using the same round,And the venerable .30 M1 carbine is a decent deer gun with a good soft point hunting bullet.I expect the .480 ruger would drop a deer effectively also but havent had a chance to try it on them or the .500 S&W.
 

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Common guys...

Its not what ya hit them with, its where.

How accurate is your .44 or .357?

Ive downed plenty of Caribou with my Ruger Blackhawk, up to 100 yards away, no problem at all, and most went straight through..the GP100 did just as well.
Elmer Keith was way ahead of us on this.
 

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Common guys...

Its not what ya hit them with, its where.
.
How Sooooo very true! It always amazes me to see the one day a year hunters out with there newest extremely short ,fat,wide supper de duper death ray magnums with the 10-60x80mm scope that the gun rag's claim you need to kill a little 150 lb whitetail ,and where is joe rambo bambi killer hunting ? in a stand of thick pines that you can only see 50 yds max.!!!:D probably the best thing as most of these type can only hit a deer at that range! I'll take my old model 600 in big and slow 35.Rem and a old 2.5 weaver scope anyday.
 

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it doesnt take much

I think my first three deer where killed with M1 carbine. And I have seen two killed with .22 rimfire. Now I'm not recommending a .22. I would however like to shot one with 25-20 the 25 cal version on the 32-20 which I have in a Rifle. This wont happen allong as I live in Ohio shotgun state. I alway hunted woods and never shot over 100yd at a deer

Handload for accuracy first. if you cant hit the killzone at the 100 yd range leave it at home.

Growing up a neighbor kid had a autoloading carbine in 44mag. no recoil worked fine. cant recall the make sorry.
 

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My Grandpappy hunted whitetail deer with a Mod '94 in .25-35 Win. quite a bit back in the 50's and 60's, and wishes he had one now. I hunted for a time with my Uncle Cecil's .44mag Marlin lever-action, and was confident in its ability at ranges less than 100yds. I also plan on pistol hunting with a .357mag (with an 8 3/8" barrel, if I can ever find one) before my life is over.

It's funny how folks have no problems hunting deer with a .310" 123gr JSP moving at 2,200 fps from an SKS, but they wouldn't think to hunt with a 158gr JSP moving at 1,400 fps from a .357mag or a 230gr JSP at 1,000 fps from a .44mag. Chuck Hawks has some interesting thoughts on the matter that I think are well worth reading.
 

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FWIW, the Ruger Deerfield is still produced: http://www.ruger-firearms.com/Firearms/FAProdView?model=6301

I don't have any experience using pistol-caliber carbines for hunting. My Winchester '94 in .30/30WCF is about the same size of said carbines, so I didn't see any real advantage in changing. Still, in the dense forests of where I live, a lot of fellows like a .44 Magnum and I can't say it's a bad choice in the least.

Take care.
 

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Nothing wrong with the .357 Mag, .45 Colt or .44 Mag!

Yo Gents,

Spot on! I've killed deer out to 70 yards with a .357 Blackhawk and inside of 50 yards with a .357 Single-Six and SP101. I have also shot Impala and Warthog in Africa with the same two double action .357s. Add the .45 Colt and .44 Mag and you can add more deer, wild pigs, Impala, Warthog and a Bushpig.

Both cartridges rate improved ballistics out of carbine length barrels, particularly with hand-loads. I have an old Rossi Puma in .357 that I shot several does with years ago. I wouldn't hesitate to use that carbine out to 100 yards with the right loads, particularly when my eyes were younger!

You simply have to be disciplined enough and practice enough to know exactly what shots you are or are not capable of making and then stick by your capabilities. Nobody wants wounded game getting away to die a lingering death due to a wound caused by reckless shooting. Know your weapon and your own ability! You owe it to the game you hunt!

Warmest regards,

JPS
 
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