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  1. #1
    noproblem5671 is offline Member
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    Rifles in handgun calibers

    I'm thinking about picking up a Marlin 1894 in a handgun caliber (.357 or 44Mag) because it would work for outdoor range, hunting and indoor range that only allows rifles chambered for handgun ammo.
    I'd like to go .357/.38 because the ammo is a least somewhat reasonable in price and I already stock it for my revolver. Marlin doesn't seem to have balistics data on the web and the ammo sites only test it based on handgun usage. I'm just concerned that effective range might be a little short, but if an 18" barrel would take the velocity up to around 2000 fps or better it might do the job for deer hunting.

    Is that asking too much?

  2. #2
    Baldy's Avatar
    Baldy is offline Senior Member
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    Your not asking to much as the .357 will take deer. You just got to hunt harder and get in closer. I would perfer a .44mag as it has a better record for clean one shot kills. Most deer in my area are taken within about 75yds and either one will do the job. I still like nothing under a 30-30 for deer myself.

  3. #3
    Shipwreck's Avatar
    Shipwreck is online now HGF Forum Moderator
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    I used to want one of those. That exact model. But, after trying one in the store, I decided that I should probably stick with semi auto. I suppose that once U get used to it, working the lever action isn't bad. But, I found it more awkward that working a pump on a shotgun.

    I'm not a huge taurus fan, but they make a 357/38 rifle with a pump instead.

    Also, I did lots of reading on the other forums. Apparently, for reliability, U should stick with the 357 rounds. It seems that many people have feeding issues when they try the 38 ones.

  4. #4
    Nastynewt's Avatar
    Nastynewt is offline Junior Member
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    Marlin 1894

    Quote Originally Posted by noproblem5671 View Post
    I'm thinking about picking up a Marlin 1894 in a handgun caliber (.357 or 44Mag) because it would work for outdoor range, hunting and indoor range that only allows rifles chambered for handgun ammo.
    I'd like to go .357/.38 because the ammo is a least somewhat reasonable in price and I already stock it for my revolver. Marlin doesn't seem to have balistics data on the web and the ammo sites only test it based on handgun usage. I'm just concerned that effective range might be a little short, but if an 18" barrel would take the velocity up to around 2000 fps or better it might do the job for deer hunting.

    Is that asking too much?
    Ive used th Marlin 1894 44 mag over 30 years it has killed many deer. this is the only pic i have of my 1894 was taken this year

  5. #5
    noproblem5671 is offline Member
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    Thanks all.

    Thanks for the feedback. I'm still doing some thinking and research. If I pick up the lever action the 44 Mag might be a good compermise. The ammo is still cheaper than most other hunting loads. I think .357 would do, but there is a substancial difference in power between .357 and .44 mag.
    I'm still considering other alternatives in rifle calibers and a good shotgun can be versitile weapon, but there is something nostalgic that I like about the old west style guns.

  6. #6
    Snowman's Avatar
    Snowman is offline Member
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    Check out this link. This guy thinks that the .357 rifle makes for the perfect "starter gun" for deer. While I don't have any personal experience with the gun, I certainly agree in theory. If it were me, I think I'd go with the .44 for hunting. I'll bet that .357 is a fun shooter though.

    http://www.gunblast.com/Winchester-Ranger357.htm

  7. #7
    jody johnson is offline Junior Member
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    Either one should be quite satisfactory....

    I shoot both, but always seem to reach for the .357...

    If that proves to be your choice, you might want to stick with soft points if you carry factory loads...

    A buddy and I carry th' .357 in east Texas woods n' west Texas brush...it's a fine companion, suitable for about anything that walks or crawls.

    And, also, as you noted, quite tame AND fun indoors when loaded down...
    Last edited by jody johnson; 02-04-2007 at 12:45 PM. Reason: sp

  8. #8
    noproblem5671 is offline Member
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    Thanks again

    I might just go with that .357. That gunblast.com link was helpful

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