View Full Version : Opinions on scope for Ruger .44 carbine

December 3, 2011, 10:52 PM
Hey all! I'm looking at getting my son a red dot (or similar) scope for his Ruger .44 carbine. We're planning on doing some deer hunting trips next year to a friends property in VT, where the shots are 100 yds and under, due to the fairly thick cover. My question is:

Is there a reasonably priced (under 200$) scope and mounting system for the Ruger that can stand up to some fairly stout loads? My buddy shoots 260gr. handloads out of his .44 Carbine that have proven EXTREMELY effective, but, are downright brutal, recoil-wise. I want to make sure that, regardless of the loads my son will fire, that he has a system that will hold a zero and not loosen up and, that the scope itself can handle the recoil energy. I was just thinking about an extended eye-relief slug-gun scope, but, since the shots are well under 100 yds, I figured he would be more comfortable with something that he can acquire his target with and fire quickly. Plus, since he is your standard "Medal of Honor" and "Battlefield" Playstation gamer, I KNOW he would appreciate actually having a red-dot sight like his games do. I know, I know...its not the same, but, if he's able to focus better on his sight picture and have a good peripheral view around his target, so much the better, IMHO.

Also, for those who own a Ruger .44 carbine, what loads have you found work well for deer, as well as target/practice ammo?

I thank you guys/gals in advance for your responses!

December 4, 2011, 07:08 AM
Obviously the picture is not of your exact rifle but the idea you are getting at is the same. That is a .35 Rem with a Aimpoint Micro in a Scout Mount. Now the Aimpoint is way over the $200 you mention but there are a whole bunch of options out there that accomplish the same thing. ( The Bushnell have a lifetime warranty! We've got 3 of them mounted on other rifles/rifled shotguns...)

As for recoil...... On of the guns we have a Red Dot on is a T/C Contender in .44 Mag. which I am sure jumps as hard as the Ruger rifle......never a problem.

The Scout Mount ( which I admit I avoided for years because of how odd it looks ) is truly intuitive to use. If you mount the sight as far out there as possible you can shoot with both eyes open and the dot just seems to hang in space.

In fact we were at the Shot Show a couple of years ago where we saw one of the high end European makers of African Double Rifles displaying a rifle with the Red Dot ( it was a Micro ) mounted at the tip of the barrel. Looked like it'd be prone to get banged about but I will say that it was the most intuitive sighting system, maybe even a little better than a peep.


December 4, 2011, 08:03 AM
I would second the Bushnell option. I use a Weaver Classic 2.5 standard scope on my .357 handi-rifle but I certainly could see the red scope being a faster scope in cover.

December 4, 2011, 11:33 PM
pretty slick system for my son's rifle! I think I may go with that unless I get some other options.....I figured the scope mounts and the scope would handle the recoil,but, I wasnt sure. Keep those replies coming!

Tom Matiska
December 5, 2011, 11:55 AM
Dots have some advantages, but they can't help the unaided eyeball count points or pick a gap through small branches.

Considering Vermont has antler restrictions and you said heavy cover, I'd go for a fixed 2.5 or 4x with wide field of view, depending on how good your kids eyes are. Maybe a low power variable if dad's old eyes ever want to borrow the kid's gun.

December 5, 2011, 03:11 PM
I agree Tom....I've had several of these guns.....I sold my last one last year....It had an old Redfield 2 3/4 power scope....It was perfect for that gun....

December 5, 2011, 08:30 PM
What the guys said about viewing heads where antler restrictions are in force is a true consideration. If binoculers are not something you care to carry, or a monocular ( what I like )........well keep in mind that most Red Dots have no magnification.

Leupold makes a 1.75 EER, (extended eye relief) that can be mounted on a pistol or on a Scout Mount for a rifle.

Keep in mind though that untill you get to about 3-4 power there's not a lot of help in seeing the horns.

December 5, 2011, 08:46 PM
I have a Nikon Pro-staff 2X7 on my Ruger 77/44. Most of the time in the woods it's set on 3 or 4 power. 7x is nice for the range and shootin' at squirrels. Parallax is @ 75 yards, and it's very bright and very clear. It also fits your sub $200 requirement.

December 6, 2011, 02:36 AM
It sounds like I have quite a few options to track down.....Thanks for the replies, guys!! BTW, my eyesight is just fine....I went shooting the other night with some old buddies. One of them had picked up an old Winchester bolt action .22 and I had no issues plinking tin cans at 50 and 75 yards with CB caps. I felt like I was shooting a glorified pellet gun (its been awhile since I shot CB caps-you could almost count the seconds before the bullet hits-LOL), but, even with some rather rudimentary iron sights, it was a good time.

phil mcwilliam
December 6, 2011, 03:26 AM
Another vote for a 2-7x33 variable. Nikon & Redfield have 2-7x33 variables for around $150. Rings to suit will be under $50.

December 6, 2011, 12:41 PM
I belong to the Buyers Club on this website AND have a discount coupon....how about these:

Projected Dot scopes:




Variable Power:



ALL of the scopes I listed here are supposedly able to handle the recoil generated by heavier caliber firearms....thanks for the responses guys!

December 7, 2011, 11:08 PM
Which model .44 carbine, old or new?

I have killed plenty of deer w/ 180/200 gr jhp from my old model, and recoil is nil, well considerably less than .240-260 grain slugs. Would be a good youth load. The 200 holds together and penetrats better, but both have yielded very dead deer for me, though some times no exit.

My tbe feed model wears vintage weaver usa base and rings, and a original usa redfield 2-3/4x, conventionally mounted.

Ulti-mak might be a good (only) base for old or new model ruger .44 if you want to go the scout scope /scout dot route.

December 10, 2011, 12:39 AM
Its a late 70's, early 80's model- its used, but, its a 98% gun, so, I think I purchased my son a clean, well-maintained firearm.

I purchased him two different sets of scope mounts- one being the standard two piece set and, a long base weaver style mount. I also picked him up a Burris multi-recticle scope that is designed for 12 GA slug guns, so, I dont think it will have an issue holding zero. That said, I also picked him up some standard Ruger rings for a "traditional" scope, as some members have posted above.

Basically, I'm going to leave it up to his personal preference, as well as his budget, should he want to pick up another scope. I started him off with an iron sighted "Chipmunk" .22 rifle when he was 7, and, in the interim, he's fired everything we could get our hands on, EXCEPT for black powder. So, I know he's not recoil averse- In fact, about 4 years ago, a close friend took us up to his hunting cabin and brought his S&W model 29 along. My son literally fired ALL the .44 Mag ammo he had!! So, I figured if he was THAT interested in that firearm, that I might as well feed that interest.:D

December 10, 2011, 08:17 PM
I have a 94 trapper with 16" barrel in 44 mag I use as a brush/woods deer driving gun. The shots are not long but almost always on moving deer. I use a Bushnell Banner 1 x 4 circle x scope. Set on 1 there is no magnification and I can easily pick up deer or any critter running through the brush. I can even keep both eyes open. I can dial it up to 4 if needed for longer shots. I find it much easier than the 2 x 7 I have on my 308 rifle.

Rich Mc
December 11, 2011, 11:03 PM
I put a 2-7 Vortex Viper on a single shot .357 and love it (have a 100 yd sub 1-inch laod fo 158 gr flat points). The scopes were $150 at the time on SWFA.com.

I have red dots but they always end up with battery problems and show a hazy dot in low light. The scope was in case I could not replace batteries...

A buddy has a hologram deal on his AR - very nice.

December 16, 2011, 01:34 PM
I got a beat up [pre drilled and tapped on the side] 44 carbine for $180 about 10 years ago.

The muzzle got lead fouling, and then split back like a banana peel. I ran into a 44 carbine collector, and he said that was a common failure and there were no barrel sources.

So I got a 444 Marlin microgroove barrel, and cut the rear of the chamber off [thus leaving a 44 mag chamber] drilled a gas hole, and I know have a heavy and accurate 44 carbine. Randy did that work for $80.

Anyway, I have a $100 used Leupold 4X scope on it.

Jack O'Conner
December 16, 2011, 08:17 PM
My Rugger 96 wears a TASCO 2.5X shotgun scope. This combo is deadly!