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View Poll Results: Which Levergun Caliber for Home Defense
30/30 25 28.74%
44mag 38 43.68%
a57mag 24 27.59%
Voters: 87. You may not vote on this poll

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Old October 21, 2012, 11:37 AM   #26
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I'd vote .44 Mag for the OP's stated purposes. It's lighter, carries more rounds (than .30-30), great for short range deer-sized game, and can be loaded (typically down) for inside HD "better." The .30-30 in the short (16" "trapper") length can be a real unpleasant boomer and flasher/flamethrower. I also have .357 and it's great, but in the end the .44 is more versatile IMO. I don't use this type firearm to be a rangemeister with, so overall utility trumps most ammo cost considerations. IMHO, it's a popular misconception that .44 Mag--in popular/common loadings--has more felt recoil than the "typical" .30-30. They're different (.44 a comparatively sharper/shorter "cycle") but to me the .44 is a relative pussycat in the field, recoil charts notwithstanding (which is what folks like to quote but which measure force empirically, not felt. Neither is all that fun to shoot all afternoon with "full power" loads, but my nod still goes to the .44 in that department, especially if you factor in a shorter barrel. Weapon selection is crucial with the pistol calibers (particularly for .357). With my choice being Rossi (under a variety of importers over the years), then Marlin. The Win 94s were not designed for the short "pistol-length" cartridges, but seem to do "more ok" with the .44s than .357s, and of course best with .30-30. YMMV and I'm sure folks will chime in with their own good .357/94 reports. A poll of owners would indicate otherwise, if internet chatter is any indication. The 94 just doesn't seem to like the .357, comoared to other chamberings.

Take your pick between Win and Marlin on the .30-30...seems to be about a 50/50 world out there in terms of fans--with adherents on both sides having their own good points. I'm a lifelong Win fan with this cartride, but would not be averse to owning a nice older Marlin 336. Make mine the standard 20" carbine in either for the best compromise of capacity, handling and shooting.

Sum up - .44 16" trapper" in your brand of choice. I have both lengths and would take the 20" as my one and only, but the OP mentioned the shorter lengths for his focus and the trapper .44 is a handy little popper.

Last edited by gak; October 21, 2012 at 12:09 PM.
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Old October 21, 2012, 01:00 PM   #27
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Lot of good responses and as you can see, with pros and cons to all three options, it just depends on what issues are most important to you.

I own a Marlin 336 XLR in .30/30 Win - by far the better choice imo in regards to accuracy and power beyond 100 yards. However, it's not as versatile to me as the .357 Mag chambering of the various Marlin 1894's that I own. I shoot the 336 more often than my Marlin 1895 (.45/70 Govt) because I can afford to shoot it more often. But I shoot the 1894's even more because of the same reason. .38 Special is the cheapest to shoot of them all. Since I like to shoot and I'm not rolling in the dough, these guns get the most range time.

If I had to choose one I would stick with the 1894 in .357 Mag because of it's versatility.

.44 Mag doesn't interest me because it is more expensive to shoot and doesn't offer me anything the others don't and I don't own any .44 Mag revolvers so to me there is no need.
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Old October 21, 2012, 07:35 PM   #28
Join Date: December 22, 2010
Location: Arizona, USA
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I own one of each. Voted .44!
My reason is: 240gr can be very useful. 10+1 rounds and in a lever..... Great.
For HD, .357 would be second.....
The .30-30 is useful as the last choice for HD. For survival, another story.

Proud Ruger & SIG owner in the Free State of Arizona!
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