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Old April 3, 2013, 12:25 AM   #1
Join Date: March 14, 2013
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Ruger .44 mag Carbine

I have always wanted to take this gun out deer hunting but have never done it. I personally love the way it shoots. im dead on at 100 yards. (where i hunt cant shoot much past that anyways) so heres the question: Have you used this gun deer hunting and what were your thoughts/opinions.
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Old April 3, 2013, 12:34 AM   #2
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the gun itself i havent, but 44 mag through a rifle barrel is roughly a 2000ft/lb cartridge at the muzzle but poor ballistics coefficiency will cause it to drop like a rock at longer ranges, id say 200-300 yards max
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Old April 3, 2013, 01:26 PM   #3
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yeah i knew it wouldnt be very effective long range, which is why i want to use it because some spots i hunt are pretty thick cover and wouldnt be shooting to far. but i dont want a nice buck to come in and hit it good then to find out i wounded it. But within a hundred yards i would think it would have plenty of knock down power for a deer.
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Old April 3, 2013, 01:32 PM   #4
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Took down 3 deer with my deerfield last season. All were less than 100yds and used Hornady Leverolution ammo and none took more than 5 steps. I plan on using it when i get back stateside for hogs with the same ammo. Now get out there and shoot something!!! lol
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Old April 3, 2013, 02:13 PM   #5
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I got mine just about two weeks ago so can't say but remember this, It is a deer and a 44 magnum. I do not expect them to go far.
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Old April 3, 2013, 02:39 PM   #6
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If I were deer hunting with a handgun I would use a .44 magnum. Around here the deer tend to come out of the woods 50 yards or less away.

That being said with a Ruger .44 magnum carbine, you have a longer barrel, and a longer sight radius.

If you can be accurate at 100 yards, you can take a deer with it where you want to be hunting.
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Old April 3, 2013, 03:27 PM   #7
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200 yards is really pushing a 44 mag. At ranges of about 50-75 yards it is probably a better deer/black bear killer than a 30-30. Beyond that it fades fast. My experience is with a Marlin, but my brother had one of the Rugers for a while. The Marlin is no tack driver, but it was a target gun compared to the Ruger. With either we ran out of accuracy about the same point we were running out of performance. It may have the theoretical energy to kill farther out, but I wouldn't take a shot at over 100 yards with mine, and would prefer 1/2 that.
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Old April 4, 2013, 06:35 PM   #8
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The following will give you an idea what the 44 mag is capable of out of a long gun.
Luckily Speer used a Ruger carbine for the test. I don’t have a Ruger semi carbine right now but I did. I found it to be inaccurate and didn’t keep it long. Right now I do have one of the newer Ruger 77/44 which I can recommend highly.
I haven’t taken a deer with it yet but I have shot the gun at 100 and 150 yards. At 100 the groups with a good bullet will hold 3 inches on a bench with sand bags but at 150 they opened up a lot to well over 10 inches. This was done with another person shooting the same gun.
If I needed the food I would take a shot at a deer to 150 since I know how much to hold over but 100 is about all I can recommend.

44 mag 240gr ballistic coefficient .165
Ruger carbine
Calculated for 1700 fps with 0 @ 100 yd
Muz = -1.5 bullet drop, 6.42 1540 Ft LB energy
50 yds = 1.2 bullet drop, 1494 fps 1180 Ft LB energy
100 yds = 0 bullet drop, 1361fps 921 Ft LB energy
150 yds = -6.2 bullet drop, 1172 fps 732 Ft LB energy
200 yds = -18.8 bullet drop, 1061 fps 607 Ft LB energy
250 yds = -39.0 bullet drop, 996 fps 525 Ft LB energy
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Old April 4, 2013, 07:40 PM   #9
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Hey and welcome.

I have two of the older .44 carbines, the tube feed models. You don't say if yours is an early tube model or the newer magazine fed version. Inside 100 yds, a .44 mag carbine is plenty of deer gun.

I've shot enough deer with mine to feel very certain of that. My rifles are not very accurate, and using lighter bullets seems to help, but I cannot recomend a light slug .44 round in good conscience. The .44 is a better killer with heavier slugs, if your rifle will s hoot them accurately.

BTW, my Dad had a .44 Win '94 and killed a number of deer with it as well.
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Old April 4, 2013, 07:43 PM   #10
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I own one of the original Ruger 44Mag Deerhunter carbines, which I inherited. Likely from the 1970s.

I do deer hunt with it; I installed a set of Williams peep sights on it. I used to shoot competitively with peep sights so I prefer them on all guns I do not scope.

This is not a gun mean to shoot 200-300 yards. I typically care a smokeless powder muzzleloader for anything over 100 yards; the Ruger is for closer shots when the deer run up on me or I am still-hunting.

This past season I was still-hunting a creek bank bordering a corn stubble field; it was the only good crop food source around so I figured there would be some deer bedded around it. As I neared one end a doe and her two large yearling winded me and bolted at about 30 yards. The larger yearling cut across at ~40 yards, and I easily rolled it with a pass-thru of the lungs. I drew up on the second yearling as the doe took the straight path away from me, but it was too small so I eased off and let it go. I figured the doe was gone, but she made the fatal mistake of stopping dead broadside 140 yards out to check on her offspring. I took a careful aim, holding a bit high (I had practiced a lot out to 150 yards) and broke the shot. Even at that range, the bullet did good damage through the chest and managed to just poke a hole to exit.

They are great guns. Mine is as accurate as one can shoot with iron sights. One thing to remember is that these are gas-operated guns, so they will not cycle properly if you shoot 44Mags intended for pistols out of them (fast powder). This gun was originally gifted to another family member, but he could not get it to cycle and after several years gave it to me and told me that it was mine if I could make it work. After researching the issue I loaded up a strong load with a slower powder (H110) and the gun has yet to fail to cycle a single of the hundreds of rounds I have fired since.
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Old April 7, 2013, 04:10 PM   #11
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I'm well pleased with mine. It's zeroed to be accurate using Winchester and Remington 44Mag hunting rounds. I have a small Leupold 2-7 scope. While I did enjoy shooting the same rifle in 357Mag, the rotary magazine for that rifle didn't work. I sold it off to let the next user deal with it and replaced it with the 44Mag. It's a sweet little shooter packing a good hard punch. And this is my ideal deer camp fire rifle. I really like the small size compared to the larger heavier long action rifles. Naturally, it's a 100 yard or less gun and it's a favorite.
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Old April 7, 2013, 04:47 PM   #12
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Do not use plain lead slugs in the Ruger gas carbines, they can foul the gas port and eventually effect cycling. I would think they would strip and lead the barrel badly too, due to higher velocity from longer tubes.

Regards 200-300 yds with a .44 mag, forget it. Oh yeah, they willl carry that far, and have enough punch to be lethal, but the trajectory will be akin to mortar fire.

As noted multiple times, the .44 carbine is a 100 yard rig. Zero it on at 100, then come back to 50 to see how high your rig shoots closer in.

I would try and shoot 240 gr and up slugs, the lighter bullets are really not ideal deer loads.

If yours is an old tube feed model, write back and advise on accuracy. My two older rifles are pretty lame.
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