Pistol Caliber Carbines

This is a discussion on Pistol Caliber Carbines within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Being a revolver loving son of a gun it's only natural that I have an interest in revolver caliber carbines. Specifically I really want a ...

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Thread: Pistol Caliber Carbines

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Pistol Caliber Carbines

    Being a revolver loving son of a gun it's only natural that I have an interest in revolver caliber carbines. Specifically I really want a lever action rifle chambered in either .44 Magnum or .357 Magnum. I've read some things recently that suggest to me that you do in fact get some truly impressive performance out of these catridges when they are launched from a rifle as compared to a handgun. I even saw where one tester found that the velocity of a 125 grain .357 Magnum load actually exceeds that of .30-30 out of a rifle barrel. That's not to say it has as much energy of course, but I remember the comparison was surprisingly good. I didn't think the pistol caliber would perform that well because, well, it's a pistol caliber.

    I've planned to try to make one of these my next acquisition. The reasons why are plentiful. For one I already have handguns in these calibers and everything I need to maintain and clean one; all I would have to buy is the rifle and possibly a case for the rifle. For another these type rifles are usually around 36 inches long, which is a great size because it would be compact enough to store behind my truck seat. For another I like lever action rifles and I want one.

    Also, around here, we don't really have too much in the way of large wildlife and people hunt with .30-30 and iron sights all the time. Where I come from you have to basically snipe the deer at 400 yards and you'd better be using a powerful caliber with a pretty good scope.

    I've read up that people actually hunt certain species of bear with .44 Magnum. That surprised me slightly.

    The first decision I'm having trouble with is should I get the .44 Magnum or .357 Magnum chambered rifle first?

    I am leaning somewhat towards the .44 Magnum. I browsed somewhere that the rifling on most barrels of lever action carbines in this caliber is a 1 in 9 right hand twist I believe. Supposedly this makes it difficult to shoot any load heavier than 240 grains accurately for some reason. That in itself I guess doesn't bother me because my only .44 WMR wheelgun is not really rated for anything hotter than a 240 grain load and I would want interchangeable ammunition. I also reason that the .44 Magnum can do anything that the .357 can do but not vice versa.

    However I can't deny that the .357 chambering might actually be more practical. Honestly I can't think of any wild animal around here that would be able to withstand a well placed shot from a handgun in this caliber so a rifle should make it a moot point. I also carry .38 caliber revolvers pretty often. The thought of being able to stuff a box of .38 Specials in there and have spare SHTF ammunition for both the rifle and the handgun is might appealing.

    Of course I actually would like to have both but I must get one first.

    The other thing I am wondering is what manufacturer and model to go with. I'm partial to Marlin but I am not adverse to a Winchester/USRA or whatever you want to call them. I also like Ruger rifles. I have to admit the stainless steel Marlin is an appealing thought as I like stainless steel finishes both for their appearance and their durability.

    I'm not going to get terribly worked up about this. I'm going to strut around and look for a real deal because I don't just need it all that badly. I haven't even finished the Popper yet. I think I'll wind up buying new because I don't see these types of guns used very often.

    But I think I would benefit from having it and I think it could be another good tool in personal security. For one thing a gun like this is so much more low profile than other choices, for another if you choose your ammunition carefully it's very reliable, and with practice you can actually let loose a pretty consistent barrage of fire if you wanted to.

    I know we had a thread on the Marlin 336 before, but does anyone have a rifle like this in a handgun caliber as I have described? Would you hesitate to use it for an all purpose gun as well as a defensive one? Any experiences with any products?

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Caliber will be tough choice i want one in 44 kind of want the Ruger Deerfield carbine.. Wish Ruger made a 357 carbine also Rugers have been good to me if

    I was gonna buy a lever gun it would be a Marlin but the Pump pump if its still made looks kind of sweet

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    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Wink

    That's part of my problem Bud... there's a lot of choices and all of them are good!

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    Post Bad, Bad, Thief QKShooter !!!

    I stole this article off the web for you.
    I just slapped my own wrist really hard!

    I can't think of anything more Ideal than a Stainless Marlin in .44 Mag.


    Marlin's stainless .44 Magnum
    Guns Magazine, Oct, 2003 by Charles E. Petty


    In the eastern half of the country there are plenty of whitetail deer and lots of guys who hunt them. For the life of me I've never been able to understand why super magnum rifles are so popular there. To be sure there cam be some long shots but most aren't. Of course there's no way to be really precise about this, but from my own experience I would wager the majority of deer in the east are taken at ranges of 100 yards or less. That's why the .30-30 lever action rifles from Marlin and Winchester are still standard equipment. You simply do not need a .300 Ultra Mag.

    And if the .30-30 is king of the east-coast deer cartridges, can the .44 Magnum be far behind? Outside of handgun hunters who use it extensively, there are several handy lever action rifles chambered for the big .44. Both Marlin and Winchester have offered them for years.

    Stainless Advantage

    This time though the new Marlin is made of stainless steel, I have been witness to the stainless revolution--that's really what it is--since way back in 1965 when S&W introduced the Chief's Special Model 60. It was a huge success because the idea of a material that required less attention was obviously appealing. Some folks inferred that "stainless" steel was rustproof. That never was the case, and even today stainless guns are better called rust resistant. They still need care, you just don't have to be so afraid of rain and snow.

    It was a long time before S&W saw much competition in the stainless market. One reason was because the older stainless alloys were very difficult to machine. But over time alloys improved and the shops learned how to work with stainless with the same ease as they had with carbon steel. Probably the next big advancement came in barrels as custom gunsmiths began to install stainless steel barrels in varmint and target rifles. The final step in the evolution was when rifle actions were made of stainless.

    Now we have a stainless steel lever action Marlin Model 1894 SS, and this just may be the ideal woods rifle. The material is the main thing to distinguish this model from other Marlin .44s. It's compact with a 19.5-inch barrel and straight grip stock with 14-inch length of pull. These dimensions fit most folks and I found the little carbine to handle with ease.

    The stock has nice straight grain with checkering in the grip area. There is a rubber butt plate which can't really be called a recoil pad, but doubtless softens things a little. Not that recoil is a major issue with .44 magnum in a 6.5 pound carbine. The forend has equally nice wood with a large area of checkering. It is wide enough to be comfortable without getting in the way. In keeping with the likely use, sling swivel studs are installed. The receiver is drilled and tapped for scope mounts.

    Making The Most Of The Magnum

    I've heard some debate about the suitability of the .44 Magnum for big game hunting in terms of both power and accuracy. Neither of those arguments hold much water. Since its debut in 1956, the .44 Magnum cartridge has been the darling of handgun hunters and has taken just about every game animal in the world. All the carbine does is make it better with improved velocity and accuracy. The cartridge has proven time and again that it is capable of superb accuracy and those who claim that it isn't may be blaming the cartridge for shooter errors of trigger control or flinching.

    In full power loadings, the big .44 can be uncomfortable in handguns but those concerns are virtually eliminated in a shoulder fired weapon. The M94 definitely has some recoil and it is proportional to the intensity of the load. Hot 300-grain loadings give you a pretty good thump, but more customary 240-grain factory loads feel very moderate. The carbine makes things better in the accuracy department too, for 1 inch, 50 yard groups are common with the standard iron sights and would doubtless be much smaller with a scope.

    During the course of testing the Marlin was fired with .44 Magnum ammunition ranging from 185 to 300 grains in projectile weight. All functioned through the magazine tube without incident. And just because you can shoot magnums doesn't mean you have to. Several cowboy style .44 Special loads were shot for fun and the little Marlin is a formidable plinker with those.

    The instruction manual tells us the action will function with ammo from 1.535- to 1.610-inches overall length, but this one worked just fine with some cowboy loads that were a bit shorter. There is the obligatory warning about not using pointed bullets in tubular magazines. In a way, it seems surprising anyone would use them--since we know that pointed things make primers pop--but it will rain your day if a tube full goes off. I've seen the results and am glad I wasn't there.

    The mechanical stuff is pretty standard for Marlin rifles. It weighs 6.5 pounds, and holds 10 rounds in the full length tubular magazine. There is a hammer block safety that has become a standard feature on new lever action designs. Trigger pull is an average 5 1/2 pounds, with just a little creep.

    Just Plain Fun

    This is one of those guns that tends to grow on you. It is an eminently practical hunting rifle but also a bunch of fun to shoot. The .44 Magnum chambering makes for a very versatile little carbine because you can shoot, and shoot well, everything from cowboy action level .44 Special loads all the way up to the hottest magnum levels with bullets from 185 to over 300 grains. After the work was done I had lots of fun shooting the little Marlin with modest .44 Special loads. Soda cans at 75 yards jumped smartly when hit with a lumbering 240-grain chunk of lead. Did I mention this little carbine is a lot of fun?.

    ACCURACY test RESULTS

    Load Velocity Accuracy

    CCI Blazer 200 gr. JHP 1,778 1.35"
    Federal Classic 220 gr. MC 1,892 1.06"
    Winchester 240 gr. JHP 1,838 0.93"
    Winchester Supreme 250 gr. Partition 1,759 0.85"
    Pro Load 200 gr. .44 Special JHP 1,187 1.41"

    Accuracy results are the average of three five shot groups at 50
    yards from benchrest with iron sights. Velocity is the instrumental
    average of 10 shots as measured with a PACT Chronograph.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The Marlin Firearms Co.

    [203] 239-5621

    www.marlinfirearms.com

    COPYRIGHT 2003 Publishers' Development Corporation
    COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group
    Last edited by QKShooter; July 31st, 2005 at 06:48 PM.
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  6. #5
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    Euc - I have a Win94 in .357 and a Marlin 94 in 44 Mag. The Marlin is one with micro-grooves and so that tends to preclude use of cast bullets so - not used a whole lot but - nice to shoot.

    The Winchester is a shorter barrel, Ballard rifling and in that I use my fave .357 gascheck 158 SWC load - it shoots very well for what it is - at 100 yds probably managing most shots within 4 to 5". Not a real grouper but very adequate.

    Both currently have red dots but if my eyes were better I'd fit ghost rings - possibly the ideal IMO for sights.

    I forget whether Savage does a .44 Mag lever - if they do (probably) I'd have a serious look at that too.

    Biggest downside for me is loading - fiddly!!!





    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    Ok Euclid

    It's a Rare Blue Moon when can I ever catch p95Carry making a boo-boo but, the Marlin 44 has Ballard rifling.
    Now You've Got
    The Ruger
    The Marlin
    And The Winchester all suggested to you.
    What are ya going to do now????

    You don't get the Ruger...you offend Bud.
    You don't buy the Marlin ~ you kick my tushy.
    You don't buy the Winchester...you insult P95Carry.

    What To Do - What To Do!
    You had better buy all three.
    Last edited by QKShooter; July 31st, 2005 at 07:07 PM.

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    Heck Euc - get 'em all - and we'll all smile!
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Gonna have to Buy um all Euc

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    Oh I've got the answer to that one.

    Ha! I guess I'll just have to get all three eventually!

    You guys are the best market research in existence

    I actually do want at least three lever guns I can think of... I'll probably cover all the brands by the time I am done.

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    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????

    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????

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    I am a very big fan of pistol caliber carbines. I have a Ruger PC9 that uses the same mags as my P95. I like being able to use the ammo in pistol and carbine. I know that there is an argument against using a long gun in pistol caliber, but there are also very good positives to it as well.

    I would suggest you get the levergun in the caliber of revolver that you carry most often.
    Shooters' Legacy

    Special sections for S&W and Ruger

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    Years ago I owned a Marlin .44 mag. It was a great fun gun and I shot it alot. One day I decided I wanted a .357 Magnum pistol and a trade was made. I sure wish I had the Marlin back.

    Lots of people around here use them for deer hunting and lots of blackbears have been whacked with them.

    Id rather have a .44 than a .357. While the .357 is really marginal for deer hunting, the .44 is no problem. Here, deer season may also be beer season. Lots of beer are killed when deer hunters just happen to be in the right spot at the right time...Ive done it myself.

    As for cast bullets, the Marlin shot them just fine. I used a 240 Keith SWC loaded with Accuarate Arms No.5 powder that was moving at a sedate 1200 FPS that was very accurate and showed no leading at all. With a good solid rest the iron sights would keep them in an 8 inch circle at 100 yards all day long. Plenty good for deer or bear and about all my eyes could do without a scope.

    The .44 would make an exellent truck or 4 wheeler gun. Simple, rugged and accurate and if need be quick to top off when shooting. It ever it was used for defense, that .44 would leave a big hole that hit hard.

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    HG - did you size those bullets over size? I only have a .429 sizer die but folks have suggested the micro grooves are no prob if you size bigger. .430 I guess.
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    VIP Member Array CLASS3NH's Avatar
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    Prsonally, I like the Marlin (side feed, side eject) easier to place optics on it, should you desire that option

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    My 45/70 with micro grooves shoots Lead jsut fine i tend to find the micro groove thing a myth but i also have gone just little larger with my lead bullets 430 452 459 ya get my point

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