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Chowder
July 8, 2012, 12:15 AM
Hi,

I have a marlin .44 mag and just mounted and bore sighted a Leupold VXII 2-7. This is the first rifle I have owned that I installed a scope so I had some questions on what distance to zero this set up. I have been told that 100-125 yards is as far as I should be hunting with a .44 mag but does that mean I should zero at 100 yards or something shorter to be more versatile. I am not completely new to firearms but until now it has always been recreational shooting not hunting so any advice for a proper hunting zero would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

SteelChickenShooter
July 8, 2012, 02:28 AM
3 inches high at 80 yards is a good setting for a 44Mag rifle.
My use is for deer hunting and that setting yields the best MPBR for me using either Remington or Winchester 44Mag hunting loads.

Chowder
July 11, 2012, 09:14 PM
3 inches high at 80 yards is a good setting for a 44Mag rifle.
My use is for deer hunting and that setting yields the best MPBR for me using either Remington or Winchester 44Mag hunting loads.

After some experimenting and some trouble bore sighting I finally Got it shooting decent at 50 yards. This weekend I plan on more practice and getting it dialed in.

As for having it shoot 3 inches high at 80 yards what is the reasoning behind this? I found a ballistics chart online and if I was reading it correctly would that mean I would have a zero at 125 yards? Of course bullet weight and Load would effect this also. I have been shooting federal 300 grain castcore.

http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/9083/img0108fn.jpg

SteelChickenShooter
July 12, 2012, 03:36 PM
I may not know what "zero" means. I might confuse it with "scope setting". The 44 Mag hunting rounds are pretty good out to 100 yards plus a bit more.
My club has a berm at 80 yards. I know if the bullet hits 3 inches high there, it will fall to be "zero" someplace downrange. Therefore, if set as I describe, you should not be more than 3 inches high or 3 inches low over the useful range of the round. Plenty good to be in the vital zone if you have a well placed shot. In my case, I don't reload. I use new factory loads from either Remington or Winchester, 240 grain soft points. If using a heavier load, something like 3 inches high at 65 or 75 yards would be close. The 240 grain bullet has a little longer range than the heavier bullets.

Hook686
July 13, 2012, 12:08 AM
http://www.handloads.com/calc/index.html

This is a ballistic calculator that lets you plot trajectory based upon bullet diameter, weight and muzzle velocity. You can play around with sight in range and observe projected trajectory. I suspect sighting in a 300 grain .44 magnum with a muzzle velocity of 1400 fps might work out to about 100 yards. This ought give the + or - 3 inches out to about 120 yards. The .44 magnum drops off pretty fast after 100 yards. Good luck.

Chowder
July 13, 2012, 02:00 AM
I may not know what "zero" means. I might confuse it with "scope setting". The 44 Mag hunting rounds are pretty good out to 100 yards plus a bit more.
My club has a berm at 80 yards. I know if the bullet hits 3 inches high there, it will fall to be "zero" someplace downrange. Therefore, if set as I describe, you should not be more than 3 inches high or 3 inches low over the useful range of the round. Plenty good to be in the vital zone if you have a well placed shot. In my case, I don't reload. I use new factory loads from either Remington or Winchester, 240 grain soft points. If using a heavier load, something like 3 inches high at 65 or 75 yards would be close. The 240 grain bullet has a little longer range than the heavier bullets.

When I say "zero" i am thinking when I align the sights on the "bulls eye" at that range the grouping will be as close to that point of impact as possible. What you are saying now makes sense for a hunting "zero" as it can be versatile for various ranges.

http://www.handloads.com/calc/index.html

This is a ballistic calculator that lets you plot trajectory based upon bullet diameter, weight and muzzle velocity. You can play around with sight in range and observe projected trajectory. I suspect sighting in a 300 grain .44 magnum with a muzzle velocity of 1400 fps might work out to about 100 yards. This ought give the + or - 3 inches out to about 120 yards. The .44 magnum drops off pretty fast after 100 yards. Good luck.

Thank you very much for this link. I do not own but can borrow a chronograph and this should be VERY useful in planning where I want my rifle zero to be.

Of course I am always willing to take more advice from far more experienced hunters for how I want to set up my optics but I'm sure this will be a useful tool.

slow944
July 13, 2012, 02:53 PM
With the 1:38 twist rate on the 44mag it will be hard to stablize the heavy 300gr bullets. I shoot the 240HP thru mine and they work very well for 100-125yds. I like the scope you have on top.:D

Chowder
July 13, 2012, 08:11 PM
With the 1:38 twist rate on the 44mag it will be hard to stablize the heavy 300gr bullets. I shoot the 240HP thru mine and they work very well for 100-125yds. I like the scope you have on top.

Thanks, It is the first optics i have ever bought and so far I'm very happy with it. I have heard that it will not stabilize 300gr bullets but so far it seems to be doing fine. When I get back to the range and shoot at 100 yards if I cant get it to group well enough I will go with a smaller bullet. I am not an expert shot by any means so theoretically if my 1 1/2 inch group at 50 yards becomes a 3inch at 100 with my current shooting ability I would say its stabilizing enough for its purpose. I plan on using this for a black bear hunt this spring or next fall so I want as hard a hitting bullet as possible.

Hook686
July 13, 2012, 09:40 PM
Some Marlins stabalize 300 grain, some do not. Mine does fine with 300 grain Hornady XTP/HP rounds. The jello shooters at

http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=19887

http://www.tacticalforums.com/cgi-bin/tacticalubb/ultimatebb.cgi

really like the 300 grain bullet.

bamaranger
July 14, 2012, 06:15 PM
I've hunted .44 carbines for a good long while, initially my Dad's M94-.44 and now two old model tube feed Ruger autos.

I zero them on at 100. Come back and shoot them at 50, see where you're at with ammo and sights of your choice. That said, with one exception, all the deer I've taken with a .44, and my Dad too, were under 50 yds, some WAY under.

I like your choice of the Leu 2-7x, it is one of my favorite little variables. Don't have one on a .44, but on another rfle.

NOt all .44's were bored 1-38. The new Ruger auto, and the Ruger 96 lever (both discontinued by Rugers new bean counters) were both bored 1-20".

As long as you hunt cover and terrain within its range, a .44 carbine will be a good deer killer.

jmr40
July 14, 2012, 06:37 PM
With most rifles I'd zero at 100, but 100 is just about the limit I'd shoot at game with a 44. Mine is zeroed at 50 and is only a couple of inches low at 100 yards. I don't like to have my bullets hitting higher than my line of sight at the ranges I'm most likely to shoot. I find it much easier to hold over on rare long shots than having to remember to hold low on more common close range shots where the action may happen fast.

SteelChickenShooter
July 14, 2012, 09:32 PM
I agree about a Leupold 2-7scope.
That's what I have on my 44 Magnum rifle.
In my case, where I hunt, I can expect a little more than a 100 yard shot.
So I like a setting using the MPBR rule for a particular round if I have a scope with a single crosshair.