The 5 Best .44 Magnum Rifles

Best 44 magnum rifles

chris dumm for TTAG


Look, .44 Magnum rifles are some of the best carbines for practical purposes. They’re better for home defense, because you can load them with hollow points. They pack more punch at close range, meaning they’re better both in a home defense role and for hunting. They make one of the best brush guns you can get for most game. And you don’t have to be Dirty Harry (that’s the first thing most people think of when you mention .44 Mag) or into cowboy action shooting to own one.

Additionally, a carbine’s longer barrel gets far more out of these handgun cartridges than a pistol does. Data from Ballistics By The Inch indicates that .44 Remington Magnum gets another 300 fps to 400 fps from an 18-inch barrel compared to the 6-inch barrel of a Model 29, depending on the load.

44 magnum rifle

From left to right: 9mm, .45 ACP, .357, .44 Magnum (Dan Z for TTAG)

There aren’t too many .44 Magnum rifles being made these days which makes them a little more unique and therefore more interesting. Everyone and their brother makes an AR-15; they’re virtually a cliche at this point. The cool thing about a .44 long tun is you can also do the old cowboy thing and load a packin’ pistol with the same loads.

Capacity isn’t outstanding by modern terms; the typical tubular magazine will hold 8 to 10 rounds, but that’s 8 to 10 very powerful pills. Cost can be anywhere from about $700 to almost $2,000, depending on the make/model and, of course, the store you buy it in.

That said, which guns should you look for? Start with these six .44 Magnum rifles and you won’t go wrong. Get ready to see lever-action rifles, because that’s most of the long guns made for the caliber. But let’s face it: They’re a lot of fun to shoot!

First is the Marlin 1894. While you shouldn’t expect custom-shop quality, Marlin makes good workhorse guns with modern features like a hammer-block safety (you can carry with the hammer down without a problem) and a tapped receiver for a scope along with iron sights.

The base model holds 10 in the tubular magazine, has a 20-inch barrel, and comes with a blued finish and walnut stock. Not too shabby for just under $800 MSRP.

Chris Dumm for TTAG

Henry USA, of course, also makes a few. A number of rifles and carbines in the Henry Big Boy series are offered in .44 Magnum (most actually, and plenty in .357 Magnum and .45 Colt as well) so there are a number to choose from.

A good starting point is the Big Boy Classic (that’s the Golden Boy, above) , with Henry’s signature brass receiver and octagonal 20-inch barrel. Like the Marlin, it holds 10 in the magazine and has a side ejection port, so it can be scoped if you prefer. MSRP is $945, but expect to pay much less for the same reason as the Marlin.

The big darn heroes among us may find it interesting to note that Henry also makes a Mare’s Leg in .44 Magnum.

If you insist on nothing but the best in lever guns, Winchester – of course – still makes the Model 1892. This pistol-caliber carbine (one of John Moses Browning’s finest guns) is their only model offered in modern pistol cartridges; the others are offered in the old chamberings like .44-40 and .45 Colt, though they didn’t actually make their rifles in .45 Colt originally.

The 1892 is a top-ejector, so no optics. But you get a 20-inch barrel, blued steel finish with walnut stock and furniture, 10 rounds on tap in the magazine, and Winchester’s attention to fit and finish. MSRP is $1070, but you can expect to pay more like $900 in-stores, which isn’t too shabby for one of the classic all-time American firearms.

ruger carbines

Jeremy S for TTAG

Prefer something a little more modern, a little less cowboy-ish?

There are two outstanding Ruger .44 Magnum rifles worth getting, one of which is in current production, but the other has to be found used…though it’s well worth it if you find one.

First is the Ruger Deerfield Carbine. Inspired by the earlier Ruger Model 44, the Deerfield Carbine (in production from 2000 to 2006) is a semi-automatic based partially on the Mini-14 and partially on the 10/22. It has an open-top receiver (a la the Mini-14) but is fed by a 4-shot rotary magazine (a la the 10/22) with an 18.5-inch barrel and open sights.

If you’ve ever wondered what an M1 Carbine would be like if it actually had some punch, this is it. The Model 44, which has a closed received and tubular magazine, is a bit more common on the used market (it was in production for longer) but parts are hard to come by, so tread carefully.

Josh Wayner for TTAG

However, Ruger DOES still make the 77/44, formerly known as the M77. It was designed by Bill Ruger as a modernized Mauser, though the line was updated to include rifle calibers in the Hawkeye line. This is a bolt-action rifle, with a Mauser-style receiver, 3-position safety and stainless alloy bolt. The rotary magazine holds four rounds, and has an 18.5-inch barrel.

The receiver has scope mounts machined onto the receiver, but also has iron sights as standard. There are three models, two with synthetic stocks (blued or stainless receiver) and a walnut-stocked model with a blued receiver. The base model (blued with black synthetic stock) lists for $939 and the other two for $999.

All of these would be excellent candidates if you had a yen to add some .44 Magnum rifles to your collection. For deer hunting or hog hunting in thick timber, all would be excellent choices, but also make very serviceable home- or self-defense carbines as well.

Did we miss one you think merits inclusion? Sound off in the comments!


  1. avatar L says:

    one that doesn’t shoot a pistol caliber

    roast me

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      No need to….. you’re obviously baked.

      These guns are serious in fun and utility. I’ll take one over a shotgun any day.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:


      With respect to home defense and deer hunting, I would take a repeating rifle in .44 Magnum over any shotgun, every time.

      I can reach out farther with my .44 Magnum rifle than a shotgun when I am hunting for deer.

      A 180 grain, 0.43 inch diameter bullet exiting the muzzle at 1,600 fps or better will immediately drop every human being on the face of the planet.

      Any .44 Magnum rifle will be FAR quieter than any shotgun.

      And any .44 Magnum rifle will not recoil anywhere near as hard as a shotgun.

      1. avatar Graye says:

        I don’t know how old this thread is but I have had one of the Ruger Deerfield 77/44’s for somewhere around 20, 25 years now and have taken a good many deer with it and, if it had been my first deer rifle, I never would have had to waste time and money on the other 7 or 8 rifles I tried before I ran across it. I am a little recoil shy and my first rifle, a .270 packed a little more punch on the shoulder than I cared for, my lever 30-30 wasn’t all that accurate, nor was the mini-30, and my Rem 7MM-08 (which I still have) got the job done but it was a little heavy and the stock was a little too long for my short arms. Then I ran across the Deerfield in a local pawn shop and, as they say, the rest is history. It has an appetite for the Hornady .240 grain XTP but it gets the job done nicely. The last deer I took with it , a high shoulder shot at about 45 yards , dropped like a rock and never got up. Can’t speak for anyone else but in my opinion, the 77/44 Deerfield is one of the finest deer rifles ever produced.

        1. avatar Willie wolfe says:

          Anything other then a Japanese made Winchester. Come back to America where u belong. Was gunna buy one but wouldn’t have a Japanese American gun!!!!!

        2. avatar BigBen says:

          The Ruger 77 is a bolt action and is not a Deerfield. The Ruger 99 Semi Auto is the Deerfield.

        3. avatar BigBen says:

          Willie Winchester following WW2 has made no small amount of turds. There quality was off and on even in the 50s. The early Winchesters were of outstanding quality.
          These Japanese rifles seem put together pretty good. Too bad they have a goofy safety and rebounding hammers.

      2. avatar Stuck in NJ says:

        You said, “Any .44 Magnum rifle will be FAR quieter than any shotgun.
        And any .44 Magnum rifle will not recoil anywhere near as hard as a shotgun.Any .44 Magnum rifle will be FAR quieter than any shotgun.
        And any .44 Magnum rifle will not recoil anywhere near as hard as a shotgun.”

        This is only true of 12-gauge shotguns and heavy 44 Magnum rifles.
        Lightweight 44 Magnum rifles kick like a mule.
        20-gauge shotguns, even firing slugs, have a lot less recoil than lightweight 44 Magnum rifles (yes, I’ve shot both, and the 20-gauge firing slugs had much less recoil than the lightweight 44 Magnum rifle, a CVA Scout 44 Magnum).

        1. avatar Jayson says:

          Have to agree. I have a .44 Mag, 24″ barrel, chunky 1892 clone that all that is true for. I also have a 16″ barrel, lightly built carbine that when I put a stout load down the barrel it really jumps.

    3. avatar Stan Neubert says:

      .44 magnum is not a pistol cartridge, it it a revolver cartridge.

      1. avatar Brandon says:

        Do you not realize that a revolver is a type of pistol, just like a semi-auto is a type of pistol? Look up the definitions of a word before you try, and fail, to correct someone.

        Here’s ya a link, since you are obviously too lazy to even bother:

  2. avatar DrewR says:

    I can’t speak to the Deerfield, but shooting the Model 44 without a scope felt like getting punched in the cheek on every shot due to the shape of the stock.

  3. avatar jwm says:

    Not a bad option in a place like CA where we are saddled with mag and other restrictions.

    1. avatar L says:

      Is that what you’ll say when in 10 years we have an article titled “the 5 best black powder muzzleloaders?”

      1. avatar jwm says:

        If the muzzle loader is a 12 pounder, yes.

        1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

          Was thinking about canister shot for that exact scenario. Replacing the drywall and repainting is fine but I worry for the door…..frame…..porch. Eh either way fire department will respond first from that much smoke

        2. avatar jwm says:

          Safe. My son is a carpenter. I’m going to have him install gun ports with shutters in my house. Block, tackle, rope and a couple of powder monkeys and I’m ready.

      2. avatar Steve Eisenberg says:

        Later: “The Five Best Blocks Of Stone”

      3. avatar JasonM says:

        “The best five pleas to make to stop a murderer.”

      4. avatar burley says:

        No need to worry about that: not only will user comments will have been done away with by that point, but any publication about self defense will be verboten.

  4. avatar Lance F says:

    Ruger #1, cva break action, and a few other single shots.

  5. avatar Southern Cross says:

    I wondered at the start if the Ruger 77/44 would be on the list. Didn’t Ruger make a 96/44 version of the 96/22?

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      They did and now they don’t.

  6. avatar Mark N. says:

    Yes, I’d like a lever in .44 mag. but it has a bit too much of a punch for home defense. Meanwhile, I will stick with my Winchester in .45 Colt with a 24″ barrel that holds 13+1. It is a pussy cat with standard or cowboy loads, but packs a real punch with hand loads. Between you, me, and the lamppost, I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of a 250 grain lead RNFP. And 300 grain bullets are available.

    1. avatar rosignol says:

      …but what if the intruder takes cover behind your refrigerator, gun safe, or that engine block you’ve been working on?

      1. avatar Alex in Oregon says:

        Then you pull out the Super Red Hawk with some Little Gun powder loaded 45 Colt that will push a 250 grain bullet 1400+fps from a 7.5″ barrel. Would love to see what that load would get out of a rifle that could handle the pressure.

      2. avatar Joe82 says:

        500 s&w with Barnes solid copper. Expensive but will stop whoever and whatever.

    2. avatar Jayson says:

      I have a great load for a .44 Mag 300 grain lead bullet.

      1. avatar Gweru says:

        Jason, will you share your load data? Gweru

  7. avatar Mark N. says:

    Rossi also makes an 1892 lever gun in various calibers, plus there are aftermarket solutions to slick up the action with a short stroke lever. As an added bonus, it is true to the original design, and lacks the rebounding hammer and safety of the Winchester/Miroku rifles. (Not that the safety is bad, but it mounts right where you would put a long range Creedmore sight. The rebounding hammer leaves one with a very heavy trigger pull.)

    1. avatar Squiggy81 says:

      Was kind of wondering why the Rossi wasn’t mentioned. They look a little cheap in stock form, but a little tru oil and some time makes them shine up nicely. I would guess they’re one of the lighter rifles in that caliber, which doesn’t help recoil, but still a ton of fun.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:


        My father purchased a Rossi lever-action rifle in .44 Magnum. It functions flawlessly with certain types of ammunition and it will NOT function at all with other types of ammunition — which I have heard from other sources as a fairly frequent problem. That being the case, I would not list Rossi lever-action rifles as one of the best rifles in .44 Magnum.

        For reference my father’s Rossi rifle seems to function flawlessly if the bullets are a bit rounded. If the bullets are quite flat (similar in profile to hardcast lead bullets with large, flat meplates), it will NOT feed them.

        1. avatar Davis Thompson says:

          I’ve shot every type of ammo through mine, zero problems.

          My Henry Big Boy in .357/.38 special is terrible with the smaller caliber. A call to Henry customer service confirms this. They state you have to use the ammunition with the heavier bullets, but after much experimentation I found it’ll reliably cycle PMC .38 special and not much else.

          With .357 it’s flawkess. Just expensive to run.

          Interesting how two buyers can have different experiences.

        2. avatar Toni says:

          sounds like it simply needs a little gunsmithing to get it up to spec same as some of the base model 1911’s no matter the caliber

        3. avatar uncommon_sense says:


          I did take my dad’s rifle completely apart to look for any obvious defects and to make sure that everything was smooth/polished. I did not find any obvious defects and it still chokes on cartridges that have big, flat bullets. I am definitely not a gunsmith, though, and perhaps a gunsmith could easily fix it as you suggested.

          For the short term, I am fairly happy with the fact that it feeds 180 grain hollowpoint, 240 grain Keith (semi-wadcutter), 240 grain semi-jacketed softpoint (Winchester brand specifically as their bullets are more rounded than others), and .44 Special 200 grain round-nose flat-point loads.

        4. avatar Rimfire says:

          Yes, it’s not cool about using the .38 specials in .357 until AFTER you buy the gun. The owners manual discusses that to some degree ( the fussy feeding issues with .38) Would be nice to know in advance, right?

    2. avatar Jayson says:

      I have Rossi 1892s in both .44 Mag and .357 Mag. Terrific guns that trouble free and good in Cowboy Action Shooting or just shooting for fun.

      1. avatar Ronald Dunne says:

        The Rossi is a lightweight, handy little carbine- much handier than than one would think with a 20″ barrel. Not much recoil either, even with my seriously magnum handloads… I bought it a few years ago when “Interarms” logo was still on the box. Have never used it for anything other than plinking, but some do hunt successfully with them…

  8. avatar LarryinTX says:

    Winchester 1892 carbine pictured, currently only produced in .357. I’m currently shopping for one or I wouldn’t know. The “short rifle” is in .44 currently, and production may change. As in, there is no reason the carbine could not be .44, that is just not what they’re doing right now.

    1. avatar Rimfire says:

      That’s incorrect LarryinTX, the Winchester 1892 IS available in carbine form in .44 Magnum, I just ordered one from my LGS. I tried my friend’s carbine and had to get one for myself. The action is so smooth and the fit and finish are levels above the competition. His was very accurate with both Winchester and Hornady loads.

        1. avatar rosignol says:

          Are they selling off existing inventory, or are they still actively making them?

          I’ve wanted one for a while, but have been prioritizing semiautos because of some state-level initiative Bloomberg Stuff. If they’re going out of production permanently, might have to re-prioritize.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Rimfire, link no workee other than providing a pic identical to the one I got goggling Winchester to look it up, where that pic is above a description of the 1892 carbine including the fact that it is .357 only. As I said, it also links the 1892 “short rifle”, similar but clearly not the same, which is .44 only.

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Forgot to click the box which allows edit. Rimfire, it would be interesting to discover which shows up at your LGS, please let us know! Not sure what the difference is supposed to be, both are 20″ barrels, 1892 levers, but details are different, one has barrel band, other does not, but has foreend cap. Seems weird.

        4. avatar Rimfire says:

          Larry, your reply caused me to worry, so I stopped by today at the LSG shop. He did confirm that the SKU is for the carbine, not the short rifle. Should have it in my grubby paws within a week or so. I much prefer the looks of the carbines as well.

    2. avatar Matt in SC says:

      Picked up a new Winchester 1892 Delux Trapper Takedown in 44 magnum last month. 16″ barrel, holds 7 in the tube and weighs 5.7lb’s if I remember right. It was still on the Winchester website as of a few weeks ago

  9. avatar Jon in CO says:

    I absolutely love the Henry All-Weather in 44. To me, that says modern. Chrome, black, 10+1, what’s not to love?

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      It’s ugly. And you load it like a tube fed 22.

      1. avatar kahlil says:

        the tube fed has its advantages and disadvantages, don’t like it don’t buy a Henry as there are other options out there. I personally like it as it allows me to quickly load my rounds when silhouette shooting – I constantly can load faster than those with Marlins. I also like that I can unload the rifle without having to cycle the action.

        1. avatar Specialist38 says:

          Guess you don’t have reason not to love it. To each his own.

  10. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Well, I don’t know if I would say it is one of the best rifles in .44 Magnum, I do have an H&R Handi-rifle in .44 Magnum that gets the job done. I also have the equivalent Rossi rifle which is nearly indistinguishable from the H&R. Both have taken BIG deer at 65 and 72 yards respectively — and made BIG holes in said deer.

  11. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    By the way I want to emphasize how fantastic lever-action rifles in .44 Magnum are for home defense. The longer barrel makes their blast considerably more quiet than any other firearm platform except for carbines shooting 9mm or .40 S&W. Of equal importance, that long barrel boosts velocity as the author stated in this article. Thus a full-charge load with a 180 grain hollowpoint bullet will leave a 20-inch barrel up around 2,000 feet-per-second, which is 1,600 foot-pounds energy at the muzzle! That will be utterly and totally devastating to any human attacker, and most animal attackers as well.

    In fact I would argue that a 180 grain, 0.43 inch diameter hollowpoint bullet leaving the muzzle at 2,000 feet-per-second is actually too fast for human attackers as it would probably blow right through them and have plenty of residual velocity to seriously injure/kill bystanders beyond the attacker. I am thinking that 1,600 feet-per-second at the muzzle is plenty fast. And it would help reduce muzzle blast and preserve your hearing.

    Regardless of your exact load, 8 or more rounds of .44 Magnum in a lever-action rifle is a seriously formidable firearm platform for home defense.

    Perhaps even more importantly, THE EDIT FUNCTION IS BACK!!!

    1. avatar rosignol says:

      ….will it go away if we go back to razzing the authors over typos and grammar?

    2. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

      “Perhaps even more importantly, THE EDIT FUNCTION IS BACK!!!”

      I’ll believe it when I see it…

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “Perhaps even more importantly, THE EDIT FUNCTION IS BACK!!!”

        Not with the latest Firefox, it isn’t…

        1. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

          …or Chrome.

          That’s kinda cruel getting my hopes up, dude…

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Geoff PR,

        Below the comment box, below the fields where you type your “Name *” and “Email *” and “Website”, there is a little box that you can check with the caption, “Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.”

        If you check that box, the Edit function magically appears. Also, you don’t have to keep typing your name and e-mail address on any additional replies in that article.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          But you *do* need to continuously make sure that box is checked on every post, and even then it occasionally drops off so you can start again. An improvement.

    3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      I wouldn’t worry to much about over penetration from a 180gr SJHP at 2000fps. Higher velocities often get less penetration and more expansion. That 180gr, which has about the same SD as a 125gr. .357 slug, will probably blow out to a couple inches in diameter at those speeds.

      Also, if you get the hot stuff you can get over 2000ft/lbs ME out of a 20″. Of course that Bufffalo Bore stuff ain’t cheap though.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Also, no edit button here. Maybe it depends on what browser you’re using?

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Did you check the box?

      2. avatar rosignol says:

        …are 44 mag lever-actions strong enough to take Buffalo Bore? Last time I checked, the hot loadings had a very very specific list of ‘approved’ guns.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Hmm… their 340gr hard cast +p+ load appears to be a no go in lever guns. However their 240gr ‘deer grenade’ (+p) just says it won’t cycle in a Henry Big Boy because it’s too long. They’ve got two different Marlin 1894s that net ~1900fps with that. They have two 180gr loads (medium cast HP and SJHP) that are not +p and they both net 1950-2000fps out of an 18.5″ Marlin 1894.

          One thing about the magnum revolver cartridges is that the full power (non +p) loads are quite a bit more powerful than the Remington/Winchester/Federal/Hornady stuff. Although I’ve never seen a +p load for .357 magnum.

  12. avatar Arandom Dude says:

    I don’t spend enough time in gun stores to know if Marlin has substantially upped their game in the last couple years, but last time I got the lever gun itch every Marlin in the store was a complete POS. I wouldn’t pay $500 for one, much less $800

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      The most recent copy I saw was pretty nice. Wood isn’t what it used to be but what gun is.

      The barrel and sights were straight and the finish was uniform and deep.

  13. avatar enuf says:

    Would love to have a Ruger 44 carbine. The major stopping points are price, they are all collectible now it seems. Also capacity, four rounds. Bill Ruger was a fine gun designer, I own and admire a number of his guns. But his hang-up on ammo capacity was always a sore point, one that lessens the attractiveness of some of his most interesting designs.

    1. avatar LazrBeam says:

      5 or 6 years ago I was out in a rural area of my county. I passed an out of the way gunshop and decided to check it out. As I walked in, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a 10/22 hanging on the wall along with other long arms. I took about two steps and realized that maybe it WASN’T a 10/22. I stopped, did a left face, and as I approached the rifle I about fell out. It was a very, very nice Ruger .44 Mag carbine. Needless to say, after checking it over, it was immediately given a home. Why Ruger is not making this model now, it would be nicer with a rotary mag with a higher capacity, is totally beyond me.

      1. avatar enuf says:

        Couldn’t agree more, Ruger should consider bringing it back with a new magazine design. Add capacity, I’d buy one.

        1. avatar LazrBeam says:

          You know, I betcha that if Ruger DID come back out with this gun with the standard rotary mag that before too awfully long after market increased capacity rotary mags would be on the market much like those 25 round mags for the 10/22 came out. Heck, I’d buy one of those rifles, too if Ruger came back out with it. They do handle well and they’re a hoot to shoot although it’d be more fun with more shootin’ before having to reload.

      2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        The only downside I’ve seen with the Ruger .44 Carbines has been their triggers. They’re rough, heavy triggers as they come from the factory.

        If Ruger cleaned up the trigger a bit, they’d be a pretty popular rifle, IMO. They’d be a heck of a nice truck gun, for example…

  14. avatar Wally1 says:

    I would like to have a Ruger 77/44, but not for $900.00 purchase price. I am sure it is a fine rifle, just not at that price when I can get a CZ 527 carbine in 7.62X39 for less than 7 bills. Then again, I never ever had an issue with a Ruger bolt rifle, that’s why I still own every one I ever bought. Maybe a used one in a few years.

  15. avatar E says:

    The ammo cost is a bit much but fun never the less. I have a Browning 92 I love

  16. avatar Aaron Walker says:

    Why NOT just purchase a Hi-point 10mm Carbine? Its been well received and tested by numerous YouTube gun gurus…If I could in my STATE. (Re: Socialist Utopian police-state) So NO…I think muskets are still ok, after an extensive months long UBC/Permit process….Maybe….Then there’s still sticks and stones….

  17. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    I had a 16″ 1894 .44 mag years ago. A 16″ 336 30-30 at the same time. The 30-30 is more useful. The whole “carry the same pistol caliber as your carbine” argument notwithstanding. I carry a .22 LR handgun with my 30-30. My scout rifle. All my center fire rifles. I ain’t a cowboy on the range. If I’m throwing to my shoulder, chamber it for a rifle caliber.

    1. avatar joel says:

      I’ve shot a lever 30/30 and a lever .44 mag in the same shooting session. inside of 50 yards, the .44 is the better overall caliber. recoil was essentially the same to me. and the .44 has more rounds.

      But a 30/30 is an excellent caliber out in the real world. and hits hard a lot farther than any pistol caliber.

      when i get around to buying another lever gun or two, they will be in .22 and .357 I want a couple of .22’s for my boys and the .357 will be for me. 🙂

    2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      I prefer handguns for a first line of defense home weapon, but the weapon I would retreat to if the SHTF is a Marlin 336BL (18.5″) loaded with Federal 125gr SJHPs. At 2500+fps they’re going to leave one hell of a mark. I keep a scoped AR-15 in that room if things get really crazy though.

    3. avatar kahlil says:

      Forget pistol caliber carbines, upgrade to a rifle cartridge pistol. This one chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, while only single shot, will do the job.

      Of you could carry a 45/70 lever with a 45/70 BFG Revolver to keep caliber simplicity.


      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Do they make one in .260?

        1. avatar Kahlil says:

          Not sure but the website might have some info. My LGS has one of these chambered in .243 so other calibers are not out of the question.

  18. avatar Unrepentant Libertarian says:

    One nice feature of a .44 mag. is that you can shoot .44 special in it to do some cheaper plinking.

    1. avatar C M says:

      44 special is more expensive than 44 magnum because of the lack of demand. Or, that’s what Paul Harrell said in his video that came out today. I generally take whatever he says as close to gospel as it gets.

  19. avatar 22winmag says:

    I’ve read enough of this author to see he is clearly losing his noodle.

    All kinds of talk about carbines and home defense, yet everything shown is an 18 or 20 inch barreled standard RIFLE with not even a mention of the countless shorty versions, shorter LOP models, and so on.

    Only a senile fool would state compare a 44 Ruger to an M1 by saying “If you’ve ever wondered what an M1 Carbine would be like if it actually had some punch, this is it.” The muzzle energy the 30 carbine really isn’t that far off, and the 30 will out penetrate 44 with its higher velocity and much smaller frontal area.

    “They’re better for home defense, because you can load them with hollow points.” Better than what? What exactly can you NOT load hollow points into?

    “They pack more punch at close range, meaning they’re better both in a home defense role and for hunting.” Again, packs more punch than what?

    Just more low value crap instead of reasoned writing.

    1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

      Yet, you read it.

      1. avatar 22winmag says:


        How else can you critique an article and an author?

        Sure, instead of a public comment, I could have written a letter to the editor, but that’s not the point.

        Regarding the substance of your response, I’ll take it as being in agreement with my assessment.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Uh, 18 to 20″ barrel lengths are carbines. Too many people focus on AR-15’s as though they were the only rifles in the market. We’ve had carbines vs. rifles going back to the Civil War.

      A “standard” rifle barrel length is (and was) 22 to as much as 32″ “. The M-14 had a 22″ barrel length. The 1903 Springfield was a 24″ barrel length. Some Sharps rifles had 34” barrels. Previously, a “carbine” was a shortened barrel rifle meant for use by mounted soldiers, ie, the cavalry. An example from the past: Springfield Trapdoor “rifles” had a barrel length over 32″, and the “carbine” length had a barrel length of 22″ or so.

      In lever-action rifles, many “rifle” variants of lever actions had barrels that were 22 to 26″, especially when we’re talking about the 1873 and 1886 Winchesters. The “carbine” lengths were usually 20″.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Personally I like 18-20″ barrels, at least in rifle calibers. Seems like you lose too much velocity with a 16″ or SBR yet inside a 3′ hallway they’re still not nearly as maneuverable as a pistol. Once you step outside I don’t see how an extra couple inches of barrel would hinder you in any situation. Yet an 18-1/2″ seems a lot handier than a 22″ barrel. Just my 2 cents.

  20. None more accurate than the old Remington 788 44 magnum.

    1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

      Really! Don’t remember that. Had a 788 carbine in .308 and rifle.223. Both shooters. Mike has had my .308 for 20+ years. Been trying to get it back for almost as long.

  21. avatar BLAMMO says:

    I considered the Rossi Circuit Judge in .44 magnum, but it appears they stopped making them. I don’t understand why.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I thought all “judges” were .410 / .45LC.

      1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        Yes they did make a 44 mag version.

  22. avatar Cloudbuster says:

    If you want to get into a .44 Magnum carbine cheap, look for a used Rossi R92 in .44 magnum. Sadly, they seem to have reduced current production to .45 Colt.

    1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      Looks like I was wrong and they are still available in .44 Magnum!

  23. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Sheriff’s Tip: Lever Guns for Personal Protection

  24. avatar possum says:

    I would probably choose the Marlin. Is the .44 mag legal for Bigfoot hunting, I seen a movie along time ago and that’s what they used when a Bigfoot was tearing up they’re RC. They didn’t get him tho, they just shot holes in their camper.

    1. avatar Aaron Walker says:

      That would be to small for a “😠 Angry Cryptid” that’s between 8ft to 14ft tall and as broad as a truck”! (From so called reports of course!) That would be massive! Need .50 BMG, or Safari Rifle cartridge!

  25. avatar RMS1911 says:

    What no pump guns?
    No lightning clones?
    I demand a great affordable pump gun be made you know when a manufacturer gets around to it if it’s financially feasible. no pressure, no pressure but I demand it.

    1. avatar Toni says:

      yeah on that vein the IMI timberwolf was a good little gun. sad they discontinued it.

  26. avatar Craig in IA says:

    Years back I bought a Win ’94 Trapper (16″ bbl) in .44 mag (sans safety) and had a good smith convert it to takedown. The plans are still available in one of the old NRA gunsmith publications. Makes a nifty little gun to pack around, although back then when ’94s were a couple hundred bucks the conversion cost way more than the gun itself. Put a Williams reciever sight on it with fairly large aperture for woods shooting. Love the little gun. I also have a Ruger .44 carbine from the ’70s and a 77/44 sitting somewhere. That bolt gun was based on the 77/22, not a full sized M77. At least mine is.

    About the time he was divesting himself of Gunsite, Jeff Cooper envisioned and may have actually started an Urban Rifle course using lever guns as a viable home and self-defense option. I think his first advocate was 30-30 but I’m sure the .44 mag would’ve been acceptable. He also felt a good 30-30 lever in the hands of LE would be far better than a lot of their handgun options, this close on the heels of the “North Hollywood Shoot-out”. Today, an AR is fairly common I presume.

  27. avatar raptor jesus says:

    But all my revolvers are .357 Magnum . . . .

  28. avatar James Wilson says:

    So, I’m the only one to catch the Firefly reference? Mind you, I’m pretty sure the line was “big damn heroes”, but close enough.

    Funny, I was just researching 44 Mag lever guns before bed last night…

  29. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Since I already have a 45 long colt hand gun, I would opt for a 45 colt lever gun. And I’m currently looking for one.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Jeez, an 1892 carbine in .45 LC would stupid ROCK! Where do I sign up?

      1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        No collectors guns for me!

  30. avatar daveinwyo says:

    I have the wood model .44 ruger. Sat in the local hardware store since 1974. I bought it in 76 for about $125. Smooth trigger. great deer gun, but low round count. Wife LOVES that gun. Recoil is within her recoil tolerance. And with a moderate scope she is deadly.

  31. avatar jimmy james says:

    Cant shoot a lever gun without dinging my knuckles. The old Ruger M44 is a fun gun and worth having. I know nothing about the newer version that is also no longer made. The 77/44 is pretty neat pistol carbine but just too expensive for what it is and they butcher the bbl by putting a useless dovetail cut on the underside that is supposedly part of a manufacturing process. Really? Gun makers have been making perfectly round bbls for a couple hundred years w/o needing to make a suspicious dove tail cut that serves no purpose and then turning the bbl over so you cant see it.

  32. avatar Jeff says:

    Winning the “best” .44 Mag. rifle award is a lot like winning the Special Olympics.

  33. avatar Mister Mudd says:

    I mainly own pistol caliber rifles in the Magnum flavors. I love my Henry levers but my Chiappa Tayors Alaskan Takedowns go out with me more. I really enjoy my pump/slide action IMI Timberwolves, even if they kick a little harder.

    Oh… the Ruger 10/22 is partially based on the Model 44.

  34. avatar Rod says:

    It is always fun to see the debates concerning which gun (or beer, or pickup truck, or football team…..). If I had to go to war, I’d take the “M4” and a 9mm pistol with big magazine capacity. But I have just as much fun shooting with my Ruger GP100 on my hip and Uberti 1873 clone lever gun, both in .357 Magnum.

  35. avatar nofotomojo says:

    Have a big boy. Not much good to say about it. Its been back to the factory twice. Hardly used since it came back from repair last time. Its truly a jam-o-matic. The replacement Marlin has been great.

  36. avatar Dennis says:

    The Ruger tube fed .44 mag is a joy to shoot. One of the only rifles where a smaller caliber was developed from it’s big brother. The 10-22 is a direct descendant of the .44 mag model.

  37. avatar fun says:

    7) I really like debating and presenting speeches! I find it really fun to voice your opinion and listen to other opinions whilst debating!

    I wish I could do it more often though~ ;w;

  38. avatar Kurt says:

    I used a Colt Anaconda .44 pistol for years and loved it, but felt I missed a few shots because of the kick. I always wanted a lever action so when Indiana allowed rifles I ran out and bought a Marlin 1894cs in .357. Great gun, but my daughter has taken it over. So I went looking for the Ruger semiautomatic or bolt action because I have shot both and they are great guns. In my search, I found a Ruger model 96/44, basically the lever action version of the other two. Just shot my first deer with it and wow! Love the .44 in a rifle, so easy to shoot.

  39. avatar nighthawk says:

    Best home defense weapon- Browning M2

  40. avatar Mark says:

    The comment in the article asking “if you wanted to know what an M1 carbine would be like if it actually had some punch” is out of line. The M1 apparently had enough “punch” to kill who knows how many hundreds of thousands of German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean soldiers. The cartridge might not have as much punch as a .44 mag but it has more far punch than a 9X19mm any day and not many of us would like to get shot by a 9X19! The U.S. military must have felt it had the punch to do the job and many people have shot deer with it, although I’d not go for anything bigger than a Whitetail. Mule deer would be out of the question unless they were standing right beside me. I get sick of the “M1 is a wimpy cartridge” folks, when it’s clear there are many cartridges weaker in ever day use.

  41. avatar Pete says:

    The marlin 44 mag was my wifes rifle, she had no complaints, then it was my son’s first deer rifle. I can only say the 44mag is great, I only wished I had kept it.

  42. avatar Randall Thomas Elliott says:

    I agree with Wolfe, when they are made in the US, I will buy one. Will not touch a foreign made gun.

  43. avatar SAm Ricker says:

    Bought a 44 magnum Deerfield rifle brand new when they first came out,and shot many deer with it.very nice firearm, i will never get rid of this gun,I shoot a Sierra 220 gr. bullet stock no. 8605 very good bullet.

  44. avatar Chena says:

    One of my favorite carry combos in the field is my Winchester model 94 in .44 and either my Taurus M44 or my Colt Anaconda in .44…..I can carry over 40 rounds in both weapons and on my belt…can take most any game in North America, and really helpful if/when you get into a bunch of hogs here in Texas….

  45. avatar Mark Holland says:

    I’ve owned Marlins, Henrys and two Winchesters, all lever actions. The Winchesters were a .44mag carbine and a .45 Colt rifle. Both were not very good or well made guns. The .45 Colt rifle was very fussy about brass, only working with Remington brass, and the .44mag was sloppy, loose, and not as accurate as my Marlin .44mag (an old model 336 with saddle ring). I got rid of both Winchesters and have never regretted it. The Henry’s are OK, but not as good as the Marlins (both old and newer). Wish Marlin would make a .327 mag. I prefer the steel Henry to the brass receiver .357 that I got rid of.

  46. avatar Ronald Dunne says:

    The .44 lever is really a handy little short range carbine.. I have one I purchased to go along with my .44 western-style six-shooter. Makes a nice set. That said I don’t trust it much for hunting except at close range- 100 yards or closer, it’s not really a reach out and touch someone rifle… If I really REALLY want to ka-banga! something, the .45-70 works for me…

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