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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
My father has hijacked the Win M94 30-30 I recieved as a Christmas present many years ago as a house gun. My parents live in a remote area but unfortunately crime has found its way there. I have offerered a few handguns and a shotgun but he has gravitated to the lever rifle. The other day I saw a Browning (Japan) model 92 in .44 in a gun store at a not to bad price, and thought perhaps it would be a better house gun. Mainly thinking of recoil with the Cor-Bon defensive ammo as opposed to the 30-30 and also over-penetration. The 30-30 has already shown itself capable against feral dogs, a rabid skunk,and has been used to "ask" midnight visitors to depart.
What do you all think of the .44 lever action as a home defense gun?
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I suspect that pentration & recoil would not be reduced a whole lot going from .30-30 to .44 mag. However, if he is in a remote area then this is less of a concern, in my opinion.

A rifle in a pistol chambering will hold more ammo, that is one good point in it's favor.

I'm thinking a .357 M92 would be a good choice also.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I did not explain well, it would be used with Cor-Bon 165gr. defense loads @ 1300fps (from a pistol), which should offer less recoil/penetration than a 170gr. @ 2000fps or 150gr. @ 2200fps 30-30.
Magazine capacity is not a concern, my 20" 30-30 will hold 7 rounds of Federal 150gr. Flatpoints in the magazine.
 

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I think it's a pretty good idea. Personally I prefer a pump-action 12 gauge but there isn't much those .44's won't stop that may threaten hearth and home. I would not want to be on the receiving end.
 

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I agree with the pump shotgun, I had provided a 20 guage pump (recoil, remember) but when my father attempted to take care of a rabid skunk with it, he forgot about the slide release needing pressed in if the shotgun was cocked and had to give up and grab his Springfield '06.
 

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I would have no qualms about using my reproduction 1873 Winchester lever-action rifle in .44-40 caliber as a house gun.
The .44-40 may not look like much on paper (200 gr. flatnosed bullet at "only" 1,100 feet per second) but that big, flatfaced slug has a lot of "slap" to it.
If you reload, might I suggest that you load with a 200 gr. flatnosed lead bullet over 8.5 grains of Unique powder in those .44 Magnum cases.
This will roughly duplicate the old .44-40, and won't penetrate as deeply as the .44 Magnum.
If you don't reload, then I would go with the 20 gauge and more training to avoid any more fiascoes.
The 20 gauge is, in my mind, about the ideal "house gun" shotgun cartridge. Its recoil is less than the 12 gauge, blast is less, but a load of No. 3 buckshot (20 pellets of .25-caliber) can ruin your whole day.
I'd load the shotgun with No. 3 buckshot, leaving the last shot as a slug.
The reason being, if the buckshot hasn't stopped whatever, you may need that slug. The slug is also more effective against barricades and auto bodies (an aggressor may be shooting at you from inside or on the other side of a car).
The buckshot load doesn't have excessive penetration, so you don't have to worry about neighbors in a nearby house, but will certainly put a man down.
My house gun is a Remington 870 Youth Model in 20 gauge. This is a very small, light shotgun with interchangeable chokes. I originally bought it to hunt grouse in thick cover in northern Idaho, but here in the Utah desert it now serves defensive duty.
If I need more firepower or longer range, then I'm in over my head and it's time to retreat and take cover with my Ruger Mini-14 and 30-round magazine.
 

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Andy - You can always try using .44 specials in the M92, they won't over penetrate and are about the same as those 44-40 loads that Gatofeo spoke of. If you handload you can load the .44 mags down to .44 special performance and not have to worry about feeding problems. Otherwise I'd go with the .357 in the Marlin or the Browning. I would also mount a red dot sight on it to make it easier to aim in low light and it'll make those "midnight visitors" sit up and take notice when that red dot finds them.. :D
 

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Andy,

Your dad will be well-armed with this combination. I used to handload very similar loads (180's @ 1250 fps) for use in a couple of Smith & Wessons, so I know the recoil won't be a problem. Add in the fact that we're talking about a short, fast handling carbine and I think your folks will be safe from anything short of an assault by the USMC.
 

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I think you're in great shape. I doubt very seriously the corbons will have any over-pentration issues, as they were designed not too from a handgun barrel-When that load first came out, Corbon call their "urban" load.

A well thought out, and close to ideal selection in my opinion.

Be safe.

S.R.
 

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Whitehunter,
I believe you will be well armed against vermin discussed. I occasionally pull out my Marlin 1894 in 41mag loaded with Silvertips for defense when I get the itch. (1911 in 45 is also with reachin and CAR-15/870/FNFAL in safe). I would go with the Specials if the function reliablely through the 92. The Special will reduce the muzzle noise significatly indoors and still have the power. Another opion would be to have a set of electronic ear muffs if using anything high velocity.

De Oppresso Liber
 

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Well, Andy, if you want your old 30-30 back for sentimental reasons I can understand that. The Browning/1892 clone wouldn't be such a hot substitute, in my opinion...I've seen a lot of those that suffer case separations on every third shot...and while it would be an 'easy' gun to shoot, it's debatable if it's more effective for stand-off and response to goblins behind cover or in a vehicle than the .30 would be. For a 'house' gun, I'm a heretic...the handgun rules. Bumps in the night need a response which includes a flashlight in one hand. So...a one-hand gun is better. Better too, to hold a person at gunpoint while you speed-dial for the Sheriff.
I go with both, being an old pessimist and belt and suspenders guy who wants to be ready for anything in my rural retreat...my rifle behind the door is actually a pair...a .357 for small stuff and a .45-70 for elephants, dinosaurs, trolls, dump trucks and marauding bears. No 'scopes on these rifles, and no red dots that have batteries that are invitations to Murphy to fail JUST when needed most. For a defensive rifle, a ghost ring is good enough.
The handgun is a magnum revolver, powerful, easy to handle quickly, OK to leave loaded and ready for long periods without spring fatigue and the other ills that autos are heir to.
For those who can afford just one gun for everything, the shotgun is about the best you can do.
 

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The 44 mag lever gun is the one my sister chose from 8 different weapons I offered her when she moved to Hawii, and the local authorities don't mind it one bit. Its the ported Marlin guide gun, with 16 inch bbl and 8 round mag. A small dose of Universal with 180 gr Hornady XTPs clock 1500 fps. Generates 5.6 FP of recoil, and is devastating.

I tested her on all of them, and she did the best with the Hi-Point 9mm carbine with 10 shot clips. It is light enough for a female to shoot one handed, thanks to the pistol grip, and the bolt is racked from the left side holding the weapon by the pistol grip in your right.

Blue Dot drives 124 gr XTPs 1550 fps for 660 fpe with no failures in 500 rounds. Pretty much the equivalent of a hot 357 Mag, which has a 96% one shot stopping rating, and BEATS the 210 gr 44 Mag from a revolver by 5 points!

Recoil is 3.8 FP in ths 4.5 pound carbine. She can hit an 8.5 by 11" sheet of paper 10 times in 5 seconds at 25 yards, and so can my 14 year old daughter. Ammo is available everywhere and 100 rnds of ball can be had for $10 at Walmart for practice.

This rifle can be had with a laser for $200 new, and in my opinion is the best choice for home defense for those with limited experience. Pumping and levering just don't make it, and if you arn't using a clip, you must store any gun loaded to truely be prepared.

It was second choice because of the way it looks, and that is a consideration in restrictive states like Hawii.

However, when your life is at stake and things are scary and confusing, there is no substitute for the ability to start shooting, and to keep on shooting as fast and as long as you can. The 9X19 in a 16 inch bbl is deady and downright discouraging if you are on the wrong end of it. It matters little whether the defender is a marksman or a housewife.

Sorry to get carried awat gents, but I really like this carbine for this application.
 

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Friends, I can "second the suggestion" for the .44-40's usefulness as a house protection cartridge! I have a LOT of friends who also can verify the usefulness of the "old west" round. It is powerful and effective for the intended purpose, yet it's not going give over penetration. It is truly a wonderful cartridge, and some gunwriters of late have extolled its praises. One of the problems is, there aren't a lot of modern firearms that are manufactured for it. So, the 44 Special, downloading the .44 mag, and the 45 L.C. are viable options. Over penetration is an important item to consider with any weapon that will be used for home protection. The aforementioned cartridges will as a general rule, avoid that possible mis-hap.

Most sincerely,
Timberwolf ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Some of the reasons the .44 and .357 in a lever rifle are so attractive to me are that both calibers are available in effective and available factory loadings in heavy bullet powerful loads AND light weight loaded down rounds, and you can also use .38 special or .44 special with effective bullets and even lighter recoil. You don't have that flexiblility with an automatic rifle/carbine and you dont have so much flexibility with the .45 Colt in factory loads. Besides, if you had to use a carbine for defense, would you rather sit in a civil court and watch to the deceased family's lawyer hold up your military looking gun or your "old west" gun? Remember that most people in the US know nothing about guns they have not learned (?) from TV.
 

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I tend to agree with Andy's assertion that depending on where you live, jurists may make your life more miserable depending on what style of firearm you used in a defensive shooting. Not only that but with Hi-Points specifically I know several people personally and via the 'net who have purchased them and all have had problems in relatively short order. I personally think anyone would be much better off with a used lever than a new Hi-Point.
 

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I don't own a Hi-Point carbine, but have several in of their pistols in 9MM and .45 ACP. Before I'll keep any autoloader it has to fire 600 rounds without any malfunction. With the four 9MM Hi-Points and two .45 ACP Hi-Points I have bought, I've kept them all. A friend bought one in 9MM and had problems that we traced to the ammunition - it would not function reliably with Federal American Eagles. I tried the Federals in one of mine and they didn't work there either. His gun works just fine with any other brand of ammo he has tried.
All of mine get at least 100 rounds a month through them and I have yet to experience any difficulty.
I really like the Hi-Points. Not fancy, but, for me at least, they have proven to be very dependable.
DC
 
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