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Old July 1, 2011, 07:04 PM   #1
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Deer Rifle

Some time ago I posted a question in the rifles section about selling off one or two of my firearms in order to raise money to buy a new deer / woods rifle likely to be some sort of 44 Mag. Now I have to seriously consider my lack of funds and responsible spending against my desire to buy a new rifle. How do you guys resolve these internal debates? Do you buy and then are well pleased, or do you spend the money with buyer's remorse? I have to consider and I have to ask for advice because I wonder if a 44 Mag rifle, at close range in the brush or woods, would be any different than taking a deer with one of my rifled barrel 20 gauge shotguns with a high quality sabot slug?
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Old July 1, 2011, 08:57 PM   #2
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"I wonder if a 44 Mag rifle, at close range in the brush or woods, would be any different than taking a deer with one of my rifled barrel 20 gauge shotguns with a high quality sabot slug?"

I'd go with the 20 gauge and do a fair amount of sight-in and practice...
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Old July 1, 2011, 11:06 PM   #3
big al hunter
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I just got a rifled shotgun for deer hunting to use instead of my 44 mag handgun. More energy and similar accuracy, but easier to hold on target in hunting situations. Both are limited as to effective range. I would not get anything other that the shotgun unless the range is over 150 yards or so. Then more than a 44 mag is called for. Say a 243 win or 308 win. 7mm-08 something along those lines. For what its worth I have heard more stories about shotguns knockin em down in there tracks than any other gun. And i have tracked some shot with 44 mag that went a long way with a well placed shot.
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Old July 1, 2011, 11:23 PM   #4
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I can attest to the effectiveness of a 20ga. using Federal Vital Shok Tru Ball Slugs.
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Old July 2, 2011, 07:10 AM   #5
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Good question, and let's look at this rationally.

The Federal 20 gauge rifled slug (chosen at random) launches a 3/4 ounce (328 grain) slug at 1600 fps. At 100 yards it's still carrying 831 fpe, but (and this is a big But), what we're talking about is a .61 caliber ball of lead.

That's pure muzzleloading velocities and folks have been killing animals with those ballistics for hundreds of years. When a 61 caliber lead slug hits something, it's going to leave a mark. It will probably punch all the way through, leaving a big hole that lets out lots of blood.

If you step up to a sabot slug, the ballistics will improve somewhat.

Back in the '80s I hunted and competed with muzzleloading rifles and when I'd show up at the camp with my front-stuffer, I'd get ribbed about it. I reminded them that I didn't care if my bullet expanded, that I was starting out with a ball about twice the size of theirs. Their .27 caliber whiz-bang bullet had to expand to twice its size to get to the point where my .54 caliber ball started out. I didn't need expansion, I just needed to hit the deer.

Yeah, that 20 gauge slug will do fine in the deer woods. Buy a couple of boxes of your preferred ammo and get some practice time. When deer season rolls around, you'll be fine.

Now I have to seriously consider my lack of funds and responsible spending against my desire to buy a new rifle.
We're in a tough economy and we're all pinching pennies. I remember as a young man starting out, making a family, trying to keep kids in groceries and tenny shoes. You know the right thing to do. Take care of what you need to take care of. New toys will come later.
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Old July 2, 2011, 12:46 PM   #6
T. O'Heir
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"...desire to buy a new rifle..." It have to be new? Buying a used rifle isn't like buying a used car. It takes a great dea lof abuse to damage a modern commercial rifle.
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Old July 2, 2011, 12:59 PM   #7
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If I had both I would prefer a shotgun with slugs to a .44 Mag. If I lacked funds I would consider it irresponsible for me to buy a .44 Mag rifle when I had a good shotgun.

The internal debate boils down to whether or not I have the money when considering other requirements and long term objectives. In essentially all cases the answer becomes obvious.

Ecclesiastes 12:13  ¶Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
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Old July 2, 2011, 02:25 PM   #8
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"brush gun" "knock down"
Are you shopping for myths or do you just want to hunt deer?
Any of the many-many deer calibers will do you just fine.
I would use your personal wants and likes as the guiding factor.
BTW, the heavy and slow slug has long ago been disproven as a 'brush buster'. It just ain't so.
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Old July 2, 2011, 03:21 PM   #9
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Buy one of these, if you can find one. Ruger Deerfield .44Mag.

I have tried to post a picture of the Deerfield but I have already posted it in the Ruger M1 Carbine thread and it won't let me repost the same photo..
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Old July 2, 2011, 03:30 PM   #10
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Your shotgun is perfect for close range hunting. It sounds like you want a .44 Mag Rifle and you are just trying to justify purchasing one. My advice Sir would be to be honest with yourself.

Last edited by TX Hunter; July 2, 2011 at 04:01 PM.
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Old July 3, 2011, 01:15 PM   #11
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The 20 ga is a great short range hunting tool. The 44 would be fun but your not gaining anything, When I want a new gun I save, no matter what, I wait till I have the cash,no debt ,no regret. Plus it gives you time to think about your choices, and refine just what your looking for.
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Old July 3, 2011, 01:47 PM   #12
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You will have no real advantage with the 44 mag rifle vs. the 20ga. rifled slug. For the lever action rifle to have an advantage, you would have to go to a rifle cartridge ie: 30-30, 45-70 etc.
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Old July 3, 2011, 02:26 PM   #13
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Sell the .44 mag and get a .30-30... Longer legs than either the .44 mag or a 20 gauge slug...
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Old July 3, 2011, 03:35 PM   #14
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I agree, .30-30 sounds like the ticket for you. Marlin 336 to be exact, used if need be.
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Old July 6, 2011, 03:45 PM   #15
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One of the mags recently ran a great article about 20 guage slug guns...either Filed & Stream, Outdoor Life, Guns & Ammo or Petersen's Hunting (I have a lot of subscriptions )

With the new slugs, they are pretty darn accurate, out to 200 yards. Their best grouping was with Remington (the ones with the green clear plastic tip). Not all guns are the same, so you have to test fire it yourself. My Savage 12 guage hates those rounds, but is a tack drive with Hastings Laser Accurate 2 3/4 slugs, so nothing beats time at the range testing diff rounds.

You are fine with the 20 guage, if you put in your time.

I know this is not what yo were hoping to hear, so you could always just say to hell with responsibility and follow my moniker: "GET IT!!!"
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