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Old May 5, 2013, 10:35 PM   #1
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Just bought a Ruger .44 mag carbine

Came across a Ruger .44 mag carbine, serial number indicates it was made in 1968. Price was $350, so I grabbed it.

I know next to nothing about this gun, so are there any big tips or secrets I should know? I'm not planning on feeding it BuffaloBore, but I would like to know how stout this gun is. Do I need to feed it loads in the .44 special range, or can it take some hotter .44 mag stuff?

Thanks for the info guys.
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Old May 6, 2013, 12:27 AM   #2
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If it is the original Deerfield carbine, which sounds like it is, you can shoot any std .44mag cartridge without any issues. Main thing is that you SHOULD NOT use cast bullet ammo. They are prone to clogging up the gas ports on these rifles. At least thats how it is with the newer generation rifles. I've got the newer version with the drop out magazine and I love it. If you can find any, give the Hornady Leverultion a chance. Mine shoots very good groups with it. As for the specials, I'm not too sure if you can shoot specials through them or not. Never really thought about it. Somebody else would probably know.
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Old May 8, 2013, 09:05 PM   #3
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If you reload, both of mine like 240 gr JHPs over 24.0 gr H110.
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Old May 8, 2013, 09:24 PM   #4
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If you reload for it don't download very much. They like
full power 44 mag. I ran some reloads that were 44 special
power level and mine short cycled and stovepiped.
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Old May 10, 2013, 01:40 PM   #5
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I have two and love both of them.

Use full power 240 grain .44 mags for best result. Anything less might not cycle the action. Anything more might not be stablelized by the somewhat slow twist.

As someone else said, don't use cast bullets as they will clog the gas ports.

Make sure the action is open when you take it out of the stock or you can damage something.

Be careful with the barrel band - they can be hard to find and aren't made anymore. Be careful with the torque on the band as it can press on the barrel when it heats up.

Here is a good site about how to clean it. Don't clean it too much!

Here is where to go for spare or replacement parts.

If you want a light, handy rifle you can install a Williams peep sight. It's easy enough to do at home. I removed the original rear leaf sight and filled it in with a blued dovetail blank. It looks and feels *sweet*!

If you stock gets damaged (or you want something different) Boyds makes a synthetic one. It goes in and out of inventory. It is currently in inventory.

And that's all I know (for now).
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Old May 15, 2013, 02:17 AM   #6
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I've got two, one with a scope, and the other with XS sights on it. Neither really like heavy bullets, due to the slow twist (1-38") as mentioned. MIne don't really like 240's all that much either. I actually get my best groups with 180's, XTP's, which are to fragile at carbine velocities, so I hunt XTP200's. I would really rather hunt a heavier .44 bullet, but the accuracy in my rifles is not there. But at the distances I take deer with the .44's, it doesn't matter all that much about bullet weight or accuracy. Some guys do much better with 240's but not in my case.

Use jacketed slugs, lead of any description may clog the gas port. The rifles are intended for mag ammo and specials are likely a prescription for frustration.

The rifles are very strong, but that does not mean you can hot rod one. Parts are not that easy to find, and they aren't making anymore! I've read several accounts where testing facilities commented back to Ruger just how very tough the receivers on those rifles were! Bill Ruger took one to Africa as a promotional, and shot some medium sized critters there, warthog, waterbuck, and hartebeest and a leopard, etc. A Ruger engineer named Harry Sefried worked with Ruger on the rifle and described them as "damned near indestructible" in "Ruger and his guns" by R>L> Wilson. The action is cut from a block of steel the "old fashioned way". HP White labs tried hard to blow one up and was much impressed with their strength. The book has 6-7 pages on comments on the .44 carbine. Ruger himself was pretty fond of it apparently.

Boomie, thanks for the links and the stock info!!!!!
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:21 AM   #7
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The 1-38" twist should be fine for full steam loads up to 300gr. Might wanna try some 270gr Gold Dots or 300gr JSP's.
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Old May 15, 2013, 01:17 PM   #8
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The gun was made an advertisement/picture --- in gun magazines --- with a white/male African hunter holding his Ruger 44 mag carbine, beside a {dead/standing & tied by ropes by his wrists} mature male silverback gorrilla, with the advertisment boasting that the carbine had enough power to put down a gorrilla. I think that sad picture of the dead silverback, brought alot of negative feedback to the gun industry and Ruger dropped the advertisement.
That rifle hanging on the wall of the working class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."

--- George Orwell

Last edited by Erno86; May 15, 2013 at 01:26 PM.
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Old May 16, 2013, 02:20 AM   #9
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I never have seen the gorilla pic, that would be a turnoff for me. Seems like I recall a warthog though.

Regards twist rate, the 1-38" is about half what revolvers use. I really doubt the tube models would do very well with the big slugs. Heck, mine don't really like 240's!. And 265's were horrific. But, I suppose there's always the possibility in another rifle.

I looked in Boyd's, the only .44 stocks I could find were for laminated stocks, not "synthetic". (to me there's a difference) Some years back I found a site that was selling a fiberglass stock for the old .44's, the outfit was up in Alaska as I remember.

If you like iron sights, I can't say enough good things about the XS sights. Tough, all steel, visible.........not really cheap though.
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