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Thread: Who makes the best 44 lever gun?

  1. #1

    Default Who makes the best 44 lever gun?

    I have the opportunity to acquire a Ruger 96 in 44 mag in a horse trade. What are your opinions of them when compared to one of the various 92s, 1894 Marlins or 94 Winchester.
    What's a near perfect 96/44 worth?
    I think it would be a great stabble mate for my Savage 99, but was wondering how durable they are.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with the 96/44... not a traditional lever gun but the guys who like them, really like them. My lever guns all have hammers, so the 96 was a little awkward to me- no round in the pipe with the hammer on half-cock like I'm used to.

    Trigger on the one I messed with was the usual Ruger affair. Heavy and creepy- you could fix it but for a .44 carbine it was good enough to bust pigeons on the 100yd berm. I would be easy to stick a receiver sight on.

    If it floats your boat and the price is right- I'd jump on it.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member coop22250's Avatar
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    I don't have any experience with the ruger lever guns but I have had several of the Winchesters and marlins. I like the marlins better than the Winchesters. I had a marlin and Winchester in 44 side by side and the Winchester just felt sloppy compared to the marlin. Sold the Winchester I liked the marlin so much. My 2 cents.

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    That one is probably bout as accurate as the Auto version.

    I'd go with the Ruger BOLT ACTION 44 Mag. 77-44

    I'm guessing it would be more accurate, than most LAs.

    SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Make sure your favorite pistol load fits the mag.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Make sure your favorite pistol load fits the mag.
    Good point. That gun is probably not strong enough for EKC loads.

    I recommend he put some Duct Tape around the Receiver.

    SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  7. #7

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    I've handled and shot the 96 a fair bit. In truth it reminds me more of the old Winnie 88 than anything else. That's a compliment by the way, but there's an attachment to the insight. For me it fairly screams for a scope, while I don't like a scope a the Marlin or Winnie 44's. Just something about the stock configuration and lever throw that makes it feel that way to me. No sense for it, but I've been nonsensical my whole life.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

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    It does have a 1 piece stock, which is spose to be more accurate than a 2 piece.

    Yeah, put a scope on it to develope and accurate load, then replace with a peep.

    SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    Good point. That gun is probably not strong enough for EKC loads.

    I recommend he put some Duct Tape around the Receiver.

    SOTN
    I got some 357s and even a thoity ate not so special. If I wants meese loads I'll get that en out. Besides my short barreled Blackhawk likes them thumper loads. Might not orta shoot lots of them in a Wesson and Smith less you put some red lock-tite on all the screws.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    I got some 357s and even a thoity ate not so special. If I wants meese loads I'll get that en out. Besides my short barreled Blackhawk likes them thumper loads. Might not orta shoot lots of them in a Wesson and Smith less you put some red lock-tite on all the screws.
    If you had a cupla more inches on that barrel, ya wouldn't hafta load it so hot, ta git whatcha got.

    My 357 New Model Blackhawk has a 6.5" barrel and that's fine, but the Old Original 3 Screw with the 4&5/8" was a handy 357 to pack around. A friend had one and I shot it quite a lot. I always thought I'd get me one.

    If you have the same gun in 44 mag. I think it a good choice. They got one with an even shorter barrel, 3,75" I think. That one is too short for me.

    That reminds me, I should get over all my health issues, and practice what I'do do if a bar do what he do. They should have woke up a long time ago.

    SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    If you had a cupla more inches on that barrel, ya wouldn't hafta load it so hot, ta git whatcha got.

    My 357 New Model Blackhawk has a 6.5" barrel and that's fine, but the Old Original 3 Screw with the 4&5/8" was a handy 357 to pack around. A friend had one and I shot it quite a lot. I always thought I'd get me one.

    If you have the same gun in 44 mag. I think it a good choice. They got one with an even shorter barrel, 3,75" I think. That one is too short for me.

    That reminds me, I should get over all my health issues, and practice what I'do do if a bar do what he do. They should have woke up a long time ago.

    SOTN
    Yup mine is 4 5/8ths. They hafta be 4 inches long for deer killing in Ioway lest the warden should throw a tizzy fit. I sometimes carry it tucked in the back of my britches. If I was to have a long barreled rascal it might get mistook for a turd in my drawers.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    Yup mine is 4 5/8ths. They hafta be 4 inches long for deer killing in Ioway lest the warden should throw a tizzy fit. I sometimes carry it tucked in the back of my britches. If I was to have a long barreled rascal it might get mistook for a turd in my drawers.
    Yup. The 4 5/8" is the only Blackhawk I'd own. In fact a pair of them ARE the only Blackhawks I own. Got a longer original Single Six Convertible, but I only shoot it about once every 3 or 4 years just so I can justify it in the safe. I simply don' t like longer SA revolvers including Blackhawks for carry, for some reason. On the other hand those two 4 5/8" Blackhawks (one in 357 and the other in 45 Colt) are worn white in many places from holster wear. They're just so nice to carry on a belt, you hardly know they're there. They've killed just a whole lot of deer as a result too, especially the 45.

    The 357 is puking a 155 cast SWC @ 1k, while the 45 is burping a 255 cast SWC @ 750, basically the factory spec load. The 45 is lots easier on the ears and no bright flash, yet with younger eyes would drill deer to 50 yards with ease. Somehow that "hotter" 357 load is lots tougher to hit with out that far, whether stumps or deer bodies. Bud has one in 44 Special that is the same way. Never had one built like he did, so my 44 Special launcher is an old 4" Smith DA, but it has the same gentle efficiency and killing prowess as the 45 Blackhawk with it's diet of "factory" loads of 240 SWCs @ 750.

    Ah, nostalgia. Haven't dinked a deer with any of them in over ten years, since I started doing my hunting with traditional muzzleloaders. Probably oughta peddle the lot of them, but our son-in-law would lay down on the ground and throw a hissy fit. He's on his good behavior so he can inherit it all. And that's a good thing too.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

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    I yam confirmed, then.


    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  14. #14

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    I ended up passing on the Ruger 96. The original offer no longer stands so I'm no longer interested. Don't ya hate it when someone makes a horse trade with you and then when it comes actual time for the swap they decide to hold out for more. This particular guy has been after a side by side Ithaca 20 ga that I have for the last ten years. It was going to be his until he decided to sweeten the pot in his favor by $200. He will never see the opportunity to own the Ithaca again and I'll be content with a Rossi 92(one with the barrel screwed on straight).

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I'd pretty content to hang on to and Ithaca SxS and wait for another 96 to trundle along. They were never that popular and finding one on GB at a reasonable price shouldn't be all that tough.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    I ended up passing on the Ruger 96. The original offer no longer stands so I'm no longer interested. Don't ya hate it when someone makes a horse trade with you and then when it comes actual time for the swap they decide to hold out for more. This particular guy has been after a side by side Ithaca 20 ga that I have for the last ten years. It was going to be his until he decided to sweeten the pot in his favor by $200. He will never see the opportunity to own the Ithaca again and I'll be content with a Rossi 92(one with the barrel screwed on straight).
    Zackly my reaction to the jerk. And I'd make sure other potential victims hear about it too.

    My way of thinking (and showing my prejudices), the Ithaca 20 SxS is so much more gun, he should have been adding boot in your favor rather than showing his hiney like that.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Zackly my reaction to the jerk. And I'd make sure other potential victims hear about it too.

    My way of thinking (and showing my prejudices), the Ithaca 20 SxS is so much more gun, he should have been adding boot in your favor rather than showing his hiney like that.
    Yup I felt like I was doing him a favor. Think I'll just give the 20 to one of my grandsons then when dickweed comes back having reconsidered. I can tell him its gone and he done missed his chance. He might cry...don't think life has dealt him enough disappointments.

  18. #18

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    Tell him that train left the station the minute he raised the stakes, and he'll never see another like it. Much better to keep that sweet Ithaca in the family anyway.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Some Ithaca SxS 20ga are worth 200.00 bucks and some a few thousand or more,just depends on model and grade. I would guess if EKC owns it that its a five hundred or better gun.A plain NID in 20ga field grade will bring fifteen hundred,Flues in 40% shape two to three
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Some Ithaca SxS 20ga are worth 200.00 bucks and some a few thousand or more,just depends on model and grade. I would guess if EKC owns it that its a five hundred or better gun.A plain NID in 20ga field grade will bring fifteen hundred,Flues in 40% shape two to three
    This one belonged to an uncle and we weren't real close. He decided to to turn grandpa's farm sale into a sale for everything he wanted to get rid of. This is one of the good ones but uncle let it set in a guncase in his trunk for too long and it got a bit of rust on it. It cleaned up good but not good enough to be the $1500 dollar gun you were talking about. I have kept it around because I was close to uncles daughter...my cousin and she was standing next to me at the farm sale and said I would like to have that 20 for Joe(her son still in diapers then...1982) so I bought it and told her it was hers when she came up with $150. Joe turned out to be a glue sniffing circus clown so he won't get it!

    My son and I just went together on a Drahthaar pup for bird hunting. I figure one of my 6 grandsons will hunt with it.

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