My daughter hunts with her great-grandfather's Winchester Model 92 in 44/40. It's a great old gun and she got her first deer with it 2 years ago.
I use the 200gr Hornady XTP bullet and started out loading IMR4227 for a muzzle velocity of ~1750fps. This is a snappy load, but recoil is still mild and the bullet performance was excellent at 70 yards, with her deer.
Since then, I have loaded a milder, 10 grain charge of Unique, under the same bullet. It gets closer to 1500fps, with a little less kick. This is a fun load to shoot and has my kids pretty excited about how "cool" lever-action rifles are!
The interesting thing is that both loadings have the same POI, at 50 yards, and the difference in drop at 100 yards isn't significant. So, my question is: Do you think it's worth having the extra 250fps out of this cartridge, when used for deer hunting at 75 yards or less? Would you go to the trouble of keeping the heavier loads separated from the plinkers, or just stick with one or the other, for everything?
EDIT: I have also noticed that H110/W296 or Li'l Gun could be used to get the 200gr XTP up around 1800fps, with pressures still under 25,000psi (only safe in certain guns), but I don't like the idea of driving the XTP that hard, in case a very close shot presents itself.