Lever gun advice

LerchessLerchess Senior MemberPosts: 550 Senior Member
With the regulation change here in MI, we can now use straight wall "pistol caliber" rifles for deer in the lower half. This bumps up my need for another lever action. I'm a little torn between looking for a .44 Mag or a .45 Colt.

I have a revolver or three in .44 Mag so I would not need to stock a new ammo, but I don't want to quite rule out .45 either. But it would be my only .45 at this point. I am lazily looking for a S&W .45 for a good price so I'm sure I will end with one eventually. Decisions, decisions.


Oh and the new reg is that the rifle can fire a straight wall cartridge with a case length of something like 1.31" to 1.82". Those lengths might not be exact, but they're pretty close.
«1

Replies

  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,740 Senior Member
    I'd go with the 45 colt as it would be incentive to find that 25-5.
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,454 Senior Member
    With Ohio and Michigan starting pistol chambered rifle seasons, this would be the perfect time for Remington to revive the .357 Maximum....

    They own Marlin and NEF so they could churn out 1894's and Handi-rifles
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,740 Senior Member
    On the other hand a good .44mag rifle/handgun combo is a very nice option with ammo available in every corner store...

    hush you were working on the two birds one stone
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,540 Senior Member
    Wambli pretty well covered most of what I was going to say and as I already own levers in .44mag and .357, a .45colt is on my short list as well. In your case I would say get both.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,040 Senior Member
    I've got a 1894 Marlin in .44 Magnum and it's a great little rifle. Made in 1976, great shape, and quite accurate. I've got a Model 29 as well, but ammo interchangability wasn't an issue for me. So my bases are covered in regards to pistol-cartridge carbines. Were I carbine-less, I'd probably still buy a .44 Mag. Ruger SAs in .45 don't appeal to me, and a Model 25 is way beyond my salary.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,685 Senior Member
    I'm not going to be much help because I have both. I have had .44's for a long while. My first was a 3 screw flat top Ruger that someone liberated from my hunting camp, then I found a 1894 Marlin .44. It will shoot clover leafs at 50 yards and 2" or less at 100. Then came the RSBH hunter and the Vaquero. The SBH is more accurate but the Vaquero is easier to carry. Then the .45 Colt RBH 5", so I had to have a rifle for it; a Winchester 1894AE. The Marlin has a Pro-point red dot on top and the Winchester has a 1.5 X 5 Redfield on top. The bottom line is that I don't have a favorite, get both. Keep yer powder dry........Robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,952 Senior Member
    I have both and like both of them. You won't go wrong with either. With +P loads, the .45 Colt is like a .44 Mag on mild Steroids. Think 275-300 grain bullets versus 240-275 grains at similar velocities.

    Either is more than adequate for deer.



    That's my wife's first deer with a Marlin 1894P (44 mag - 16.25" barrel)

    Luis
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,499 Senior Member
    You might as well go straight to Gunbroker or some such.
    Our law change was rumored last January, and that's when I began looking. Every used lever gun in MI and OH is long gone, or way overpriced.
    The 44s are much easier to find, but the 45s are just cool. Have you considered 45-70?
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,978 Senior Member
    One consideration is if you reload:

    Reloading data is sometimes separate for handguns some say Ruger/TC handgun/Rifle only data. So you could probably find a happy place with a load that would work well in a Ruger sidearm and a lever rifle which is a bit more powerful than regular loads.

    After making such loads mark the boxes clearly and maybe put a line on the head of the brass with a magic marker in red or black so there is no confusion later on if you swap to regular guns in .44 Mag or .45 Colt.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,788 Senior Member
    A friend and I had this conversation on Thursday. While he has a .44 mag lever gun, his has a twist rate is too slow to be really accurate. I do not know a lot about .44 mag lever guns, but the 45 colt has a tradition of being an accurate gun in both revolvers and lever guns. I would go with the 45 colt.

    I think the 45-70 would be great, but I believe it is too long. If the 45-70 were an option that would be my first choice.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,942 Senior Member
    Ruger 77/44. SKA-ROOO that lever action madness!
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • KENFU1911KENFU1911 Senior Member Posts: 1,052 Senior Member
    My idea of a warning shot is when the 2nd bad guy watches his 1st buddy go down....
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,740 Senior Member
    couldn't you post a picture of the 25-5 Ken ?????
  • LerchessLerchess Senior Member Posts: 550 Senior Member
    Thanks for the replies guys! Ultimately the answer is to get both, but I'll have to save my pennies for the second one.

    I think I'm gonna see what I can get for a .44 Mag mainly due to the ammo I already have plus around here .45 Colt is having an extremely slow comeback from the barakolypse which is a bummer. But that will give me time to get a box or two here and there for when I find that model 25 I envision.

    The .45-70 is also one I'd like, but the case length is too long to keep the wardens happy.

    Bigslug, I really like the 77/44, but dang it lever guns are just plain sexy. Who knows though may end up with one if the lever gun market is dry. The 77/44's are easy to get.

    I'll see what I can dig up. I have access to to a Ruger .44 carbine that I can borrow for this season if needs must, but next year I'll need my own.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,942 Senior Member
    Lerchess wrote: »
    . . .but dang it lever guns are just plain sexy.

    No.

    Just no.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,045 Senior Member
    I got a Ruger #1 in .460 S&W that I will eventually be using for myself. I have a 77/44 in lay-away that will wind up as either the wife's or one of the kids'. I also have dibs on a stainless Marlin 1894 in .45 Colt when it becomes available. Ruger also made a lever .44 mag and the Deerfield Carbine. I want one of each eventually.

    Those will give you something to think about. That and the up and coming .452 Jerm.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,662 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    No.

    Just no.

    Don't listen to the lever gun bigot.

    I'd go with the 44mag. Get an older marlin, put a 1-4 scope on it, and start hunting!
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • KENFU1911KENFU1911 Senior Member Posts: 1,052 Senior Member
    Weatherby wrote: »
    couldn't you post a picture of the 25-5 Ken ?????





    This for back-up
    My idea of a warning shot is when the 2nd bad guy watches his 1st buddy go down....
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,740 Senior Member
    KENFU1911 wrote: »



    This for back-up

    Is it easier to shoot with the Magna's on ?

    That looks like a nice set :up: thanks for posting it
  • KENFU1911KENFU1911 Senior Member Posts: 1,052 Senior Member
    Weatherby wrote: »
    Is it easier to shoot with the Magna's on ?

    That looks like a nice set :up: thanks for posting it
    The Magnas need a tyler t grip....theres gotta be one around here.....I need to get off my butt and have Herrett carve a set of Troopers for me......
    My idea of a warning shot is when the 2nd bad guy watches his 1st buddy go down....
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,685 Senior Member
    Lerchess, Make sure to read the new regulations carefully. Indiana changed their regs a couple of years ago to allow any straight wall pistol cartridges, .357 or larger. I sent my grandson, who lives there, a model 94' Rossi .357, and a box of 158 grain SWC, cast out of pure linotype, over a max load of H-110. I don't expect he will ever recover a bullet from a deer he shoots with it. Keep yer powder dry.........Robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,802 Senior Member
    If they have a length limit in those states, somebody needs to come up with a 44 Maximum or something right below that legal length. Even a 45 short mag of some flavor, which I'm surprised they don't have yet, with the interest that's shown in 45 Long Colt. Is that maximum length in Michigan shorter than a 45-70?
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,045 Senior Member
    The regulation says,
    A .35 caliber or larger rifle loaded with straight-walled cartridges with a minimum case length of 1.16 inches and a maximum case length of 1.80 inches.

  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,045 Senior Member
    For example:
    45/70 is 2.10" (no go)
    .460 S&W is 1.8" (good to go)
    44 mag is 1.285" (good to go)
    44 Special is 1.16" (good)
    45 Colt 1.285" (good)
    .357 Magnum 1.29" (good)
    .38 Special 1.155 (no go)
    444 Marlin 2.25" (no go)
    50 Beowulf 1.65" (good)
    .500 S&W 1.6" (good)
    .450 Bushmaster 1.7" (good)
    .458 SOCOM (No good-- bottlenecked)
    .452 Jerm 1.8" (good)
    .30 M1 Carbine 1.29" (length good, but too small of a caliber)
    .357 Maximum 1.605 (good)
  • KENFU1911KENFU1911 Senior Member Posts: 1,052 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    For example:

    .452 Jerm 1.8" (good)
    (good)

    ???????????....did I miss sumthin
    My idea of a warning shot is when the 2nd bad guy watches his 1st buddy go down....
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,045 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    For example:
    .450 Bushmaster 1.7" (good)
    .452 Jerm 1.8" (good)
    Scratch the .452 Jerm. I cut down a .338 Win mag to 1.8" and it is a bit too tight to jam through a .460 S&W die properly. I also tried it with a 30/06 case-- it doesn't work good at all for .454 bullets, but it works damn well in .429!

    The .450 Bushmaster does the same thing as I envisioned for the .452 Jerm, has a .308 case head, but is .1" below the legal length. I wanted to go the full 1.8". So if you want a bolt rifle in the shotgun zone in Michigan, I would get a .308 donor action, buy a .454 barrel and have it chambered in .450 Bushmaster. Brass and dies are readily available. Butt-- There is still the option of the .430 Jerm-- A 30/06 case cut down to 1.8" and sized through .444 Marlin dies-- chambered in a .308 type action.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,046 Senior Member
    Jerm,

    Did you know the .444 Marlin prototype cases were made from raw .30-06 brass (rims untrimmed, pre-bottleneck)?
    Overkill is underrated.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,045 Senior Member
    So I am definitely on the right track with that one. Cool.

    Edit-- The .44 AMP was based on the .308 Winchester case.
  • LerchessLerchess Senior Member Posts: 550 Senior Member
    What's the consensus here on Rossi lever guns? I hesitate to buy guns from down that-way, but I seem to recall hearing some good things about them.

    Doing some checking around, the .45 might be a little more available. I checked the gunbroker and prices seem a tad higher than what I was hoping for. I put in a few bids but no luck.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,499 Senior Member
    Lerchess wrote: »
    What's the consensus here on Rossi lever guns? I hesitate to buy guns from down that-way, but I seem to recall hearing some good things about them.

    Doing some checking around, the .45 might be a little more available. I checked the gunbroker and prices seem a tad higher than what I was hoping for. I put in a few bids but no luck.

    I'm hesitant, too. That being said, I handled one a couple weeks ago. It was pretty nice. Fit and finish were decent, and the action was smooth. I couldn't find any major flaws. It seemed on par with Marlin quality, not quite Henry quality. They make one in 454.:devil::devil:
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.