You are right a fox ain't very big and yes a .22lr can do a fine job at short ranges if you do your part. Many hunters feel the .22M is ideal for fox out to 100 yards or maybe a bit more. A .22lr shooting CCI Velocitors is about the same at 50 yards. Don't go crossing the .44 off the list. Use a cast bullet load (if using factory ammo think cowboy loads) that has as flat of a point as possible. You'll get an exit every time but shouldn't do any more damage than other centerfires and less than many.
Never really thought of using light .44 loads in my marlin. SWC or round nose .44 specials maybe for coyote? I would like to keep the pelts if I go for them. I currently carry federal cast core in it when camping and those are hitting just under 1600 FPS at 300gr. If I did the math correctly that should be 1600lbs of energy... Might leave those at home haha.
I just did a little searching on .44 specials from rifle barrels and in my tired state worked out some math. First I want to say I am going by advertised velocity and I am still very green in my knowledge of ballistics so any input or telling me im flat out wrong is very welcome.
I found that doubletap 240gr 44 specials run at about 920 FPS but that is with an undefined barrel length, But I am assuming a pistol length barrel. I got the information here www.ballistics101.com/44_special.php
. From what I found .44 special gain roughly 300FPS in a rifle (mine is 20"). If my resoning is correct that would make about 800 lbs of muzzle energy and down to about 600 at 100 yards shooting 2.5 inches high with a 100 yard zero. I use the specs from the SWC kieth type bullet BTW.
So do you think this would be viable for coyotes? or some of the 180gr lighter loads for fox from my 1894? Thanks again for the info I never really even thought a out using it since small bore hyper velocity rounds seem to be the norm for varmint and predators.
For Fox hunting I found a "gold card" and a roll of $100s work best
What about a roll of ones wrapped in a 20