View Full Version : 44 magnum carbines

July 3, 2007, 02:51 PM
Ok, so I was at Bass Pro the other day looking for some 45colt and 44 mag ammo and saw several different lever action carbines in the meantime. Everyone of them was chambered in 44 mag to my initial dismay. After thinking about it though I kinda liked this and thought this could be a neat gun for my dad's next birthday. My question is this, what does a rifle to do a 44 mag's performance as compared to my 7.5" Redhawk? Does the extra barrell length allow you to get a farther shot pulled or do the ballistics of the round pretty much remain the same?

July 3, 2007, 03:16 PM
In a carbine or rifle you gain some velocity which will be around 350fps up to 400fps more than a handgun. They are pretty sweet short and medium range deer hunting guns. Especially if your keeping shots under 100-150yds max.

July 3, 2007, 03:19 PM
Also I think a lever action .44 mag would be an ideal hog hunting gun.

July 3, 2007, 03:21 PM
I imagine that, with handloads, the 44 mag in a 20" carbine is gonna do as well as 30-30 out to 100 yards.

Make sure to load the 300gr bullets over a full charge of H110 and you should be fine for anything smaller than an elk (and even for most elk in a pinch).


July 3, 2007, 05:34 PM
The .44 mag IS the perfect hog/close in deer gun. Light, quick to point and reload, and plenty of stoping power. I would put some peep sight or a no to low power halo scope on it. What is the price tag on it?

July 3, 2007, 06:06 PM
...a 44Mag Henry Rifle.

( I matched it with a 44Mag Ruger Vaquero 5'5 ( old style )

It's so Beautiful.

My Heartbeat jumps EVERY time I hold it in my hand:D

It's so perfect it's ridiculus. Perfect shoot EVERY time. 100 yards @ 1 inch

Got it cuz I can hunt up to including an Elk here in the State of Utah.

I like to hunt with a rifle like this and not a 30-06 with a scope the size of Texas and shoot an animal from 1-2 miles away. The Henry does an outstanding job within 400 yard, but best within 100.

July 3, 2007, 09:07 PM
I had a Winchester 94 in .44 mag and that was one sweet little lever gun, believe me. It had a 3x9 side mount on it and it would put 3 shots in an inch all day at 100 yds. I was using Fed brass, RCBS 240 swc gascheck, CCI 300s and 18.5 of WW 630. The bullet had to be seated all the way in and crimped over the front driving band to feed from the mag. Sure wish I had it now. I don't miss the kick with full power loads though. It only weighed about 6 lbs without the ammo.

July 3, 2007, 09:36 PM

Marlin 1894 GG 16.1 in. barrel, .44 mag.

July 4, 2007, 09:54 AM

Big Boy .44 Magnum

Model: H006

Action Type: Lever


.44 Mag /.44 Special

Capacity: 10 rounds

Barrel Length:

20'' octagonal with 1:38rh rate of twist

Length: 38 1/2'' Overall

Weight: 8.68 lbs.


Straight-grip American walnut


Adjustable Marble semi-buckhorn rear with white diamond insert and brass beaded front sight


Solid top brass receiver, brass buttplate and brass barrel band

Price: $879.95*

Details: Octagon barrel

Big Boy .357 Magnum

Model: H006M

Caliber: .357 Mag/.38Spl.

Price: $879.95*

Big Boy .45 Colt

Model: H006C

Caliber: .45 Colt

Price: $879.95*

*The price shown is the manufacturers suggested retail price. Please contact your local Henry Dealer for a price quote. Most dealers offer some discount from the MSR price. To find a dealer in your area, click How To Buy >

Are you a fan of our nation’s Wild West era? Do you go all out and participate in the growing sport of Cowboy Action Shooting? Are you one of the many thousands of avid big-game hunters?

Nod yes to any of the above, and you’re ready to step up and grab hold of the new Henry Big Boy .44. It’s big, brutal, and beautiful. Henry rifle owners were inquiring when we’d look back to our historical roots and our designers did just that. The result is the first American made .44 Henry lever action featuring a solid brass receiver since the original Henry rifle of 1860.

The adventure and romance of America’s Old West are imbedded in its distinctive 20'' octagon barrel, straight-grip American walnut stock with brass buttplate and brass barrel band. The solid top brass receiver features side ejection. The overall length is 381/2'' and this powerhouse weighs in at 8.68 lbs.

A nice 19th century touch is the use of a fully adjustable Marble semi-buckhorn rear sight with white diamond insert and brass beaded front sight. The .44 is the cartridge that was said to have “killed more game, big and small, and more men, good and bad, than any other in existence.” Our tubular magazine can pack ten of these powerful bruisers. The .44 Mag is a serious hunting tool, and has proven itself time and time again on all of the world’s game. We trust the Henry Big Boy .44 will soon become a favorite of big game hunters due to its handsome looks, rugged reliability and proven knockdown power.

The Henry Big Boy .45 Colt is also offered for you cowpokes who do Cowboy Action Shooting. The Big Boys have the smoothest actions of any centerfire lever action rifles on the market today. They work beautifully to give you competition shooters a leg up in any event you take part in.

Take a close look at the Henry Big Boys. Cycle their actions a few times. We’re confident you’ll be adding one – maybe both – to your gun collection.

Large Loop Levers are available for the Henry Big Boy. Item BB-23L - $50.

You can mount a scope on the Henry Big Boy by purchasing a Henry Cantilever Scope Mount. Item BB-CSM - $27.50. (Gunsmithing required for installation)

"Just a note to say in the last 2 months I have purchased a Golden Boy and a Big Boy. I has shot them both and I am pleased beyond my highest expectations. Thank you for producing such high quality and accurate firearms."

Cleve Atchley

More letters from Henry Big Boy owners »

Henry’s brass-framed Big Boy outshone Winchester’s Trail’s End nearly everywhere: accuracy, smoothness, and trigger function.
Read the review»

Winner of Outdoor Life's 2004 Best Rifles and Shotguns

The Henry Big Boy received the highest score ever given to a centerfire lever action rifle in Outdoors Life's Annual New Gun Test. "It's slick, trouble free operation also helped earn it the best score ever given to a rifle of this type. Henry's Big Boy .44 Magnum lever action charmed the rifle team with it's smooth cycling, good looks and nostalgic configuration"

July 4, 2007, 02:37 PM
My Marlin 1894 LTD-SS .44mag Only 351 built. :)


July 4, 2007, 03:34 PM
RE the Henry, I think you'd be just as pleased for 1/3 to 1/2 the price with a Rossi 92, preferably pre safety (06) for all distributors but LSI which has always had the silly/ambiguous thing. The gun is trimmer of design than the Henry (or Marlin) and though Henry started it all with the, uh, "Henry," to me is more reminiscent of the "old west" to boot--particularly Hollywood's take on, John Wayne and all that--having been built on the famous Winchester 92 (stronger successor to the famous 73 ). EMF and LSI are currently unique in offering the Brazilian-made 92s in 44 Mag--Navy Arms does not; other option is a used Interarms era Rossi. Doesn't take a (traditional) scope worth a darn, but in this ilk a scope seems out of place and counter to the idea of a handy pistol-cartridge carbine to me anyway.

July 4, 2007, 09:51 PM
I am sorta partial to my Ruger Deerstalker in 44 Mag. I get around 1" + groups with loads that push the max. I also had a Winchester 45 LC in a model I can't remember,, either Wrangler or a Trapper with a very thin barrel that would shoot into just over an inch with some hot loads. Sometimes rifles shooting pistol bullets are amazingly accurate.

July 4, 2007, 09:56 PM
I would agree. The Ruger Deerstalker is the newer magazine fed .44 Magnum semi-auto. A gun that would be hard to improve on. Same exact size as my Ruger 10/22. Lay them on the bed side by side and they are hard to tell apart. Kicks like a .243 Winchester. If you need more than 5+1 rounds of .44 Magnum at once, you are doing something wrong!

Really great design. In some ways it reminds me of the M-14. But once I took it apart it reminded me more of the M1 Carbine.


July 5, 2007, 09:31 AM
The Henry was the one I was actually looking at and they only wanted $649.00 or thereabouts for it. There was also a Marlin for a good bit less than that there. I've been reading up on these a lot and I may have to start putting some money away each week for this. After hearing that extra 350fps number I'm about sold on one of these. Now it's just a matter of which one. I read an old article about a Marlin 44 online and it was pretty convincing. I really liked the look of that henry a lot however. Not sure if it's worth the extra $$ though.

July 5, 2007, 11:54 AM
Buy both of them!

July 5, 2007, 01:34 PM
Yeah, one for me and one for him then we can have a turkey shoot! I think the next gun for me is most likely going to be a Python. He's not as big on revolvers as I am.

July 5, 2007, 01:52 PM
I can't say enough about my Ruger Carbine in .44mag. Very accurate to 100yds and very little kick for such a hard hitting round.

July 5, 2007, 03:05 PM
I imagine that, with handloads, the 44 mag in a 20" carbine is gonna do as well as 30-30 out to 100 yards.

Make sure to load the 300gr bullets over a full charge of H110 and you should be fine for anything smaller than an elk (and even for most elk in a pinch).


Really? What handloads are you shooting? I remeber going through this and finding that the .30-30 had a good coupla hundred Ft-lbs Ke @100 yds over the .44.

This isn't to detract from the beauty of a good .44 carbine - I was just wodering where you got those ballistics.

July 5, 2007, 05:04 PM
Just that the 44 mag has enough velocity to expand and still go through most meduim game. Plus, it makes a bigger hole.

KE doesn't kill critters unless you're using dynamite......


July 6, 2007, 06:37 AM
I have a Henry .44 Mag lever rifle. I love the look of it, and the feel of it. I do not love the .44 Mag cartridge. I like to shoot, and when I go to the range, I want to shoot a box of ammo. I was pretty bruised and abnged up after a box of .44 Mag, and I will probably never run another .44 Mag through that rifle. I switched to .44 Special and I can shoot a box of that comfortably without any problem. I should have gotten the same rifle chambered in .357 Mag / .38 Special because then I could probably have handled shooting a box of the Mag loads. I don't hunt, so I can't debate the .30 WCF vs. .44 Mag at 100+ yards thing, stopping power, etc. I can tell you that I zero'd the rifle at 50 yards, then tried to shoot at the 100 yard target backstop at my range, and the shots were hitting close to the ground, not even making it onto the target paper. Someone posted a ballistics chart for the .44 Mag cartridge on one of these forums and they pointed out that there's an expected 8 inch drop or something like that, might have been more, when the rifle is zero'd at 50 yards and you hit a target at 100. So, for real close in hunting, maybe this would work, but I'd think that the difference in point of aim vs. point of impact at 25, 50, and 100 yards would make it hard to zero the rifle at a particular distance and then actually hit a game animal at some other, albeit close, distance.

July 6, 2007, 07:42 AM
You might want to try a wearable recoil pad. A padless rifle doesn't distribute the recoil very evenly nor spread it out over time. The 44mag out of a rifle is a -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- cat, but you have everything working against you. Also try shooting it from a standing position.

roy reali
July 6, 2007, 07:47 AM
Look at the sectional density of bullets for the .44 magnum and bullets for the .30-30. This is a number that is often ignored.

July 6, 2007, 10:44 AM
I can tell you that I zero'd the rifle at 50 yards, then tried to shoot at the 100 yard target backstop at my range, and the shots were hitting close to the ground, not even making it onto the target paper. Someone posted a ballistics chart for the .44 Mag cartridge on one of these forums and they pointed out that there's an expected 8 inch drop or something like that, might have been more, when the rifle is zero'd at 50 yards and you hit a target at 100.

"Someone posted a ballistics chart for the .44 Mag cartridge" means just about squat in regards to accuracy, IMO.

What weight bullet? 180gr? 240gr? 300gr? Are these cheapo loads using a minimal amount of fast burning powder (resulting in a bullet around 1000fps), or are these loads mixed up using slower burning powders designed for about 1400fps from a handgun?

Here are rough guesses from a piece of software called PointBlank regarding two different types of .44 ammo. One uses in inexpensive and less powerful powder pushing a light bullet, another is optimized for long-barreled revolver and carbine applications using a mid-weight bullet. The difference in drop is amazing between the two, but it is very realistic to find either load commerically available in a store.

As you can see, the difference in drop between the two is staggering for a 50 yard zero and iron sights 1/4" above the bore. One comes out with almost 7" of drop at 100 yards, the other only has 2.5" of drop at the same distance. If your 50yd zero was done with "hot" ammo like the first graph, then you plinked at 100yds with ammo in the second graph (or specials for an even more dramatic effect), you very well could end up in the dirt... or at the very least missing paper.

July 6, 2007, 11:53 AM
Cool program you got there. :)

July 6, 2007, 04:08 PM
My shooting was done with Remington 240 gr .44 Mag loads, and then repeated using Winchester USA, 240 gr, .44 Mag loads. No difference, really, between these loads. With the rifle zero'd at 50 yards, the shots taken at a 100 yard target were not even on the paper. I do not see how the average hunter could use this cartridge/rifle for hunting.

As for the recoil, well, maybe I'm a wimp. I had been shooting a box of WWB .44 Mag rounds, and by about the 30th round, my shoulder hurt like hell. I was shooting from a standing position, with a t-shirt on. When I got home, after somehow getting all 50 rounds in the box fired off through the rifle, I looked in the mirror and my shoulder was black, yellow, and blue for a week. The butt end of the Henry Big Boy rifle is brass, with a sharp edge to the end plate. The end plate is curved, but what I found is that the curved part does not rest evenly against the shoulder. Instead, the side edge of the curved end plate, ie the sharp edge, is what makes the most contact with the shoulder. After the first few rounds, I laughed to myself and said the same things I've read here, "What recoil?", and "wow, this nice heavy rifle absorbs all the recoil," etc. But after the 15 or 20th round, I could feel it, and by th 30th, it was painful to fire the rifle.

My point is that if you like taking a box or two or six to the range and shooting, you can't do that with the .44 Mag. Maybe you could hunt with the .44 Mag (assuming you rarely pull the trigger), but then the bullet drop becomes a major issue.

July 6, 2007, 05:00 PM
Yeah, you want at least a flat-butt if not a rubber end when shooting full 44 mag out of a 5 pound carbine. Those 180 grain powder puff loads would be a different story.

If hunting anything bigger than blacktail, I'd want the 300 grain bullets (like the XTP from Hornaday) and a full charge. The sectional density on those is reasonable......