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Thread: Thoughts on 44 mag bolt action versus lever

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default Thoughts on 44 mag bolt action versus lever

    Just wondering if anybody has any insights on pros and cons of both action versus a lever action. Also does anybody have any particular thoughts on the make and model. Any help would be appreciated
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    I've owned both. Never really mourned the partings with any of the 44 levers. Handy, but so are a lot of other lever guns. Frankly I preferred a 30-30 to the 44, or better yet my Marlin 35 Rem which I still own. I have a 44 wildcat based on the 45-70 case, and if I didn't own that it would be a 444. But the 44 lever just never found a place it could hold in my house.

    But man.... Do I ever rue the day I let that bolt go. It was a Remington 788, a new gun way back in the day I owned it. Scary accurate because I had scoped it, and no slower to fire really than the lever. I tried scopes on the couple of Marlin levers I owned and hated the feel. Somehow the bolt felt just right with the scope. It's groups were about half the size of the levers, even when the levers were scoped. Never saw a ragged hole group with either scoped lever, no matter what I shoved into the pipe. Yet I expected the bolt to shoot ragged holes at 100 and was always surprised if it didn't.

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    If you can find one, the ruger 9644 is a light, fast, quick handling firearm.

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    My "Go'to" survival/walk-about firearm is the Ruger 44/77 because I can have six different type of cartridges with me (if I choose) & weight is 5.2 pounds. It took a fair amount of effort to get the proper Quick-Release rings for 30MM optics. I keep the optic in the backpack while walk'abouting, and if needed it mounts quickly and is dead-on zeroed everytime.........I need to re-paint the barrel a flat FDE
    http://ruger.com/products/rotaryMaga...eets/7408.html

    http://ruger.com/products/rotaryMaga...D&sku=7408-RUG

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    What are the different cartridges you would carry?

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    Some with plastic points, some shot-shells, some 320 gr. HC COR-BON, some Federal "GOLD METAL" Match, some reduced (Cowboy) ammo, maybe "44 Special" Silver-tip 155 gr.Hollow point cartridges. It depends on the season of the year, and the mission objective. Generally only two or three types of cartridges.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike h View Post
    What are the different cartridges you would carry?

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Had a 788 Remington for a while. Shot pretty well, carried easy. It might make a good survival gun unless you were approached my the bigger bears.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    AGL, how does it group? I've got a couple winchester 94's in 44, but can't see at 100 yards very well with my crappy eyes anymore, so getting one with a scope may be in the near future. I suppose I could get glasses, but I'd always forget wear them.
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
    "Swans are a gift" -DucksandDogs
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    The Federal GOLD METAL Match ammo is 7/8" for three shots, ten shots groups grow to 1.5" to 1.625" however it wears a 1.25- 4 power GERMAN #4 reticle. I have to use 6" florescent targets.

    Quote Originally Posted by duckslayer56 View Post
    AGL, how does it group? I've got a couple winchester 94's in 44, but can't see at 100 yards very well with my crappy eyes anymore, so getting one with a scope may be in the near future. I suppose I could get glasses, but I'd always forget wear them.

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    Don't forget the Ruger 44 mag semi auto:

    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=425511701

    A very cool little gun.

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    The goal with this is not to debate other options to a 44. I have a couple of 44 handguns and having a rifle that takes the same ammo is to me the smart thing. I'm talking about reliability, speed, PROS & CONS of one model lever over another or one Model bolt over the other but the main question is

    "BOLT or LEVER" and which make and model of that. Also the reasons that justifies the answer. Is the speed of a lever a better idea or is there a lever out there that "NEVER FAILS" with any ammo you put in it to include heavier CAST. IS the old addage the the BOLT is almost as fast but will never fail at the moment of truth or when your life may depend on it.

    I appreciate the input and please keep it coming.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GD Yankee View Post
    Don't forget the Ruger 44 mag semi auto:

    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=425511701

    A very cool little gun.
    Yes, a very cool rifle. Kind of a big brother to the 10/22. I had a friend out near Dillingham who ended the exploits of several property destroying brownies with his .44 Ruger carbine. They have a good solid feel.

  13. #13

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    I will make this very simple........If your life depends on panic feeding a excessively cartridge into the chamber of a lever firearm, you are taking an foolish risk. Can it be done in the calm of a NON-panic environment........Kind'a, Maybe. The elevators were never intended to lift 300+ gr. bullets. When I carry my model 92' I put a 320 gr. HC FN COR-BON cartridge into the chamber, and put pointed nose plastic tipped cartridges in the magazine tube. I would much prefer the reliable feed of the second cartridge even if it is much lighter construction.

    Because of the complex operating system and the harsh field conditions and risk of debris (Seeds, Leaves, Silt, Twigs, etc.) entering the lever action, I only carry my 92' when the preponderance of my field time will be above timberline. But there is no firearm that feels more perfect in the hand than a model 92' or simulator.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Ruger #3 if one at a time is ok and they shoot nice with loads they like. I have shot a Ruger 77-44 that shot bettter than needed for a hundred yard gun. That said at a hundred yards none really out shot my 9 1/2" SRH with 2X leupold.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    Well if it's a holy sh&* moment, a bear is about to eat me I think I would feel most comfortable with a 12 gauge with slugs. But I'm primarily a bird hunter, and I've pretty much been around shotguns since I was knee high to a duck. I'm just looking for something that may be a good round for deer within 75 yards that doesn't destroy a bunch of meat. I think a 44 mag would fit that bill very nicely.
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
    "Swans are a gift" -DucksandDogs
    I am a shoveler's worst nightmare!

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    I think I'd like the Ruger 7744. Because I could mount a scope, AND because I've had several LAs, and never found one that was very accurate at 100 yds. with iron sights, OR, that lended itself to a scope very well .

    As, has been mentioned, it would make a great survival gun if you carried Shot Loads, BUT, it's not so simple as just carrying different loads, etc. They all would need to have pretty much the same POI.

    you might get there, with a power load and a small game load, if you did enough experimenting, and then have the shot shells too. ????

    SOTN
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I'd take a bolt gun simply because every other rifle I own is a bolt gun. I do like levers but I haven't seriously fooled with them in a long time.

    Bolt actions tend to be a little more forgiving in harsh environments as well.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    AGL4NOW.. You do make a good point about the complicated operating. That thought really hadn't crossed my mind. Are you saying that your model 92 is tougher than most and not as subject to the dirty aspects of the field. I like your logic about the light second bullet. This is the info that I'm looking for.

    I appreciate your comments about taking your life depending on it. This is not a gun to hunt bears or to be carried as a primary for bear defense but having a rifle that works with the ammo that I stock for other firearms. Killing a deer sure. A firearm for bear protection would be a secondary mission.

    I don't own a lever gun at this point but was considering it. The Ruger 77/44 is very tempting. I guess that maybe watching those cowboy action guys with a lever is impressive and wondered if that kind of action would work with heavy rounds and bears.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    NO.....Not at all saying that. I love my 92 for hiking in the alpine. But I would not carry it around here where the grass and cow parsnip is 5 feet high right now. I am not hunting. I do a hike nearly everyday, generally starting from the cabin. I don't hike on the trails, and as a result I trip and fall a fair amount because the vegetation is 5 feet high and you can't see the ground (Also I am a decrepit old man). This results in me and the firearm doing a face-plant in the mud or mud puddle, dirt, sticks, leaves, and general debris.

    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    Are you saying that your model 92 is tougher than most and not as subject to the dirty aspects of the field. .

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    (Also I am a decrepit old man). This results in me and the firearm doing a face-plant in the mud or mud puddle, dirt, sticks, leaves, and general debris.
    Do I ever know where you're coming from! Just call me FP, short for Face Plant.

    Great, insightful contributions to this thread. As usual, actually!

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