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Thread: 44Mag lever action bullets for deer.

  1. #1

    44Mag lever action bullets for deer.

    Hi guys,
    I have just acquired a Marlin JM stamped 1894 in 44Mag. My main use for the gun is for pigs (boar) for close range, but the property i have got access to has also got fallow, What do people suggest for both, i want to stick with 1 bullet but i'm not sure what weight. I can get 240 XTP's easily not sure if they are any good tho.
    What is the realistic max range for this cal? Is 150yards pushing it for Fallow?
    Before i get jumped on for "better cal's" this is what i have already.2x 243, 6.5x55 and 7x57. 1 243 is a BLR
    Do you need to crimp the projectile?? I'm assuming you need to, but not really that familiar with 44 mag .

    Cheers Wes.

  2. #2
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    Penetration is primary. These aren't people, but boar, so don't put expansion ahead of penetration. Our American members will have more experience and I am sure they'll be along with helpful input.

    Crimp is essential in a revolver with .44 Magnum but whilst you could get away with none (other than ensuring the case neck is reduced back to correct 'spec') in a stack magazine or Martini action in a tube magazine I'd strongly advise it.

    It'll kill at 150... but if sighted at 50 will have 'dropped' a foot to a foot and a half. You'll need to be precise and certain with your range estimation over that distance. A half brick probably has better ballistic properties.

    Last I doubt any safe 240 grain load can make, if its relevant, 2,450 fps in any 20" barrel carbine. So in Scotland it won't be legal for medium deer or big deer.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 19-03-2016 at 16:47.

  3. #3
    The XTP is designed for controlled expansion and penetration. It will work fine for the applications you describe. I shoot them in my Model 29 S&W and the 357 variety in my Model 27 S&W. I purchased them for hunting mule deer and anything with teeth that might view me as a potential snack.

    The 44 magnum loading data is developed around a crimped load. I switched from the standard roll crimp to a tapered crimp when I was shooting 200M Metallic Silhouette competition using a Thompson Center Contender single shot but the resulting accuracy wasn't as consistent as the standard roll crimp. In repeaters, the crimp is essential. A revolver with a light crimp -or no crimp- will have the bullets in the non battery chambers come forward out of the case during recoil with magnum loads. In a tubular magazine rifle they can be dislodged as the stack of cartridges in the magazine slap back and forth against each other under recoil. A good stiff crimp is always recommended unless you are shooting light gallery loads.

    I have never hunted fallow deer, and never hunted killed a deer with a 44 magnum rifle, but I have shot some fair sized deer with a handgun out to 70 - 80 yards. My gut tells me that 125 yards will be a safe range for your M94 carbine.~Muir

  4. #4
    thanks for the reply guys,
    Enfield we dont really have a minimum energy, there is a recommended but thats about it. Saying that everyones view on what is enough is always different, particularly when you dont have a law stating minimum cal.
    I'll put some practice in and have a bit of a play and see what sort of accuracy i can get. if i can hit a 6inch steel plate at 150 with not much hold over that would be that MAX range. if it turn out to be 125 ill still be happy. then it comes down to getting a good stalk in to get with in range if need be.
    im not anticipating any long shots, as i havnt had the need for any yet chasing piggies but its always the way when you have the short range gun a long shot turns up!

  5. #5
    Elmer Keith style SWC if you cast?

  6. #6
    Oldmate you are asking the wrong guys mate if you are looking for a wide opinion as very few of us in the U.K. have or have had a .44mag for deer.

    The problem being that for larger deer by law we have to achieve a minimum muzzle energy and in Scotland a minimum velocity also. While it is just possible to achieve the required ft/lb using a carbine coming by suitable factory ammo or suitable expanding bullets for reloading isn't that common since the pistol ban. Such stuff isn't carried by many dealers over here and has to be ordered in.

    I don't know if you are aware but the .44 has quite a following over here but in target shooting circles where expanding ammo isn't allowed and is in any case is severely restricted by law.

    Saying that I had a .44 carbine conditioned for deer some years ago but I wasn't personally happy with the achievable accuracy from my particular rifle it having a tendency to throw the first round high and left so I never used it for stalking. In any case I would have restricted my shooting to 50-100 yards at most.

    Regarding suitability of the cartridge for boar you might like to do a site search on the subject as it has been debated numerous times in the past and I think that the consensus has generally been that the cartridge would be fine for short range dispatching and hunting smaller pigs where the law allowed but not at all suitable for large driven boar.
    Last edited by 8x57; 20-03-2016 at 10:26.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  7. #7
    I have a .44 Magnum carbine, a Winchester Model 94 Saddle Ring. It is very potent on deer and hogs inside 100 yards. Several hog hunting friends use a M94 or Marlin Cowboy gun or Ruger 44 Carbine for that, but their shots are 10 to 50 yards.

    If you are shooting out to 100 yards, I would recommend the .357 Magnum. It has about 275 ft lbs less energy at 100 yards, but less drop, and half the recoil. Inside 100 yards, it just gets more and more potent as you close the distance, as the .44 Magnum does. Both get to around 1750 fps with heavy bullets.

    The 240-gr Remington CoreLokt ammo is good stuff. So is the Hornady defense ammo.

    I will also add that several friends hunt deer and hogs in thick woods with the .45 Colt, .38-40, .44-40.
    Last edited by Southern; 20-03-2016 at 16:02.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by xavierdoc View Post
    Elmer Keith style SWC if you cast?
    Lyman #429-421 is the Keith bullet weighing 250-ish grains. FWIW: The design/style was actually by a guy named Thompson tho Keith was more than willing to take credit for it!~Muir

  9. #9
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Yorkshireman in Darkest Cornwall
    The XTP's are good as Muir said, although my recommendation is from a purely research based perspective whereas Muir's is first hand experience.

    If you're worried about the bullet not being tough enough have a look at Barnes or go cast.
    Any Questions Feel Free to PM me

  10. #10
    Nosler makes a good one as well.~Muir

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