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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I had my mind made up on getting a 44 mag leveraction, but an old hunter who I respect alot says I can't do any better for a woods rifle than the 35 Rem. I don't really need either, but you know how it is, I want one.  So which would you pick for deer and black bear at typical in the woods ranges? Anyone out there had experience with both rounds? Thanks,  hemlock
 

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No experience with either....but I can read(ballistic tables) and I have trouble swallowing  anyones suggestion that a pistol cartidge is the equal of just about any rifle cartridge. I would go with your freinds suggestion and get a .35 Rem over a .44. But thats just me.  Good luck and let us know!
 

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FA18CUB,
    Ballistics tables lie! Or more correctly, they give you information that is essentially useless as it applies to live game. OK, trajectory is a useful bit of information. But energy figures are nearly useless. At the very least they can be highly misleading.
   Before you think I've gone crackers, let me clarify. Bullets of different construction simply perform in different ways. A 22-250 may have more energy than a
44 mag, but I'd pick the 44 with a hardcast bullet for elk any day! As far as trajectory, a hunter just needs to be aware of his requirements. As for a pistol cartridge equalling a rifle cartridge- in terms of trajectory or energy, no. But in terms of deadness of deer they certainly can!
     As I've said before, I hunt primarily with a 30-06 or 308, but not because a 44 is an ineffective round. It is simply because I want to reach across the prairie or the occasional clearcut. But if I always hunted the woods, the 44 would be hard to beat! Heck, I used to get a deer every year with a shotgun back in Delaware!  ID
 

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Ballistic tables don't lie - people just "apply" the numbers to the living tissue of their game wrong many times. The application of the figures to the game needs to be done with the proper bullet. I figured Hemlock would figure that out. That is, a BTBullet or say Nosler partion or ballistic tip depending on the situation.  If you go with the .44 watch out - a lot of factory loads have no business coming out of a rifle and going into a deer. (which is missapplication of the number!) If you go with the .35 Remington the guessing is gone because there is a very limited demand for the cartridge, thus only a couple loads are available and you can be pretty sure they will work on deer.
 

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Ballistics  tables are simple statistics. Always remember, there are lies, #### lies, and statistics. The information they provide is accurate, and useful. How this information is used, is often misleading. You'll never find bullet construction used in a ballistics table, but the tables would be a goldmine if they included information as to how you could expect the specific bullet to perform at the various ranges. Instead, they give you energy figures, which are misleading at best. Confusing at worst. Both cartridges mentioned here are suitable for hemlocks intended purposes. It is up to the shooter to make certain that the bullets used in these load is up to the intended purpose.
 

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Hey Guys,

I've been shooting a .35 Rem for more than 25 years, using a 180 grain Speer flatnose over IMR 3031 for 2400 fps (a hot load from Speer's Manual Number Nine). It's sighted for a 150 yard zero, and is under an inch high at 50 yards, about 1.5 inches high at 100 yards, and less than 4 inches low at 200 yards.  I can sight dead on at a whitetail or black bear out to 200 yards, and have taken both with my rifle.  At 200 yards you have more than 1000 ft-lbs remaining which is about what you get from the muzzle of a .44 Mag revolver.  The .35 Rem is easy to hand load, and a lot of fun to shoot.  For vermin, I shoot a 158 grain JHP designed for the .357 revolver.  Loaded to 2000 fps, you'll kill and skin a groundhog by pulling the trigger.

El Lobo in NM
 

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Hi there Hemlock,
Personally, I am a big fan of the 44 mag in rifle and handgun.  With Beartooth bullets you can do amazing things with the little (for a rifle) 44 Magnum.  Still in all, let me give you my 2 cents worth.  

At less than 100 yards there is no significant difference in the deer/bear harvesting ability with  proper bullets.  One advantage of the 44 is you have more choices in rifle size and type.  

At 100 to 200 yards, I believe the 35 Rem is the clear leader.  Trajectories are easier to live with and it suffers less from velocity loss.  

If the rifle you want in 35 Rem is just the right size for you and if recoil is not an issue then I suggest the 35 Rem is more suitable for all the conditions you might encounter.  If you want somthing as small and light as possible, get the Marlin 1894P in 44 mag.  Personally though, I think you would be better served by the 35 Rem.  Such great problems to have.  Good luck and let us know how things work out.

God bless........................ Bill M
 

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all things considered, the .44 is STILL a pistol round, the .35 or even the lowly 30-30 is a better choice when hunting big game.
 

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Lotta different outlooks on this topic.  To me, using a .44mag would be like using a blackpowder rifle.  You're using it to limit yourself or match the close-in conditions of pig or woods hunting, etc.  Its pretty well roven up to 100 yards on deer and pigs.  However, you will need to stalk (or get lucky) to be in range of your quarry to get in that range.  Sounds like hunting to me.

A 7mm Ultra Super Mag will kill anything from 3" to 3miles away.   It is technically a far better weapon than the .44 mag.  There is no drop, no lack of power and little concern for the dynamics of shooting is required by the shooter.  Misses are caused by overestimating drop and shooting over the target.  Stalking is pretty much optional and more benchrest skills are used by the successful hunters.

I've got a Mannlicher 6.5 (kind of a 30-30) and a .270win rifle.  I've hunted with the .270 in our eastern woods, and it's really too much gun for our ranges.  I am more comfortable with it in the Missouri Breaks, though.

The 6.5 MS rainbows too much and isn't accurated enough w/o a scope to shoot it confidently beyond 200yds (or even 175), but I really don't need to and I much prefer carrying the little 6 lb, iron-sighted carbine to the scoped .270 rifle.

There is no question that the modern .270 is a "better" gun.  If I had to have only one rifle, that would be (and was) it.   A little carbine kind of puts a little more "hunt" into the effort.  Some people fish with spinning gear, some use flies.

-Charlie
 

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Go for the BIG HOLE.  Forget the 35 Remington.  At woods ranges (100yds) or less the larger diameter of the 44 slug will literally knock the life out of what you accurately hit.

I have used two rifles to hunt deer the last 23 years.  A .270 Win. and a .44 mag and one hand gun a 44 mag.  I use to be a follower and was influenced heavily by Jack O'Connor.  Lately I've become a convert to the Big Bullet school of thought.  Here's why...

Ive shot 17 deer with my .270,  130 gr @ 2980 fps.
15 were hit in the lung/heart area and all ran from 30-110 yds.  Plenty good blood trail, but they all ran.
2 droped at the shot, 1 was shot in the head and 1 was a direct frontal shot.

At first I was bothered by the deer's ability to run after a lethal hit...after all at the muzzle I had over 2700 ftlbs of energy and plenty of velocity for the legendary "hydrostatic shock".

Then I read a book by Veral Smith ...

I tried the .44 with 300gr LFN @ 1300 fps out of a Ruger SBH.  A whitetail buck at 20 yards simply fell where he stood at my shot.  A high lung shot no shoulder hit.  Big Ole Hole.....  The deer didn't know he shouldn't act that way.  The big slug knocked the life out of him.  I was impressed but not a true advocate yet.

The following year I used a Win 94 trapper in 44 mag.  Due to the longer barrel and no venting velocity went up to 1490 fps.  Another whitetail came to my stand at 30 yards.  One shot a low lung shot and the deer fell where he stood.  I mean that... the deer literally fell down at the shot and didn't move.

A big bullet at moderate velocity with a nice big flat nose puts them down for keeps.

I realize I have only taken two deer with the .44, but the result was exactly the same.

For woods type ranges you will not be disapointed by the .44 Magnum.
 

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Aahh #### - I'll just say it... go for the .35 Remington. IF you recover any bullets (which I doubt will be many) I gaurantee they will have expanded to much larger then .429 inches.  Hand gun rounds are great, but they AREN'T rifle cartridges.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well first off I'd like to say thanks to all who took time to respond here. Good points have been made about both cartridges. I think that either would do the job for "my" style of hunting. In 25 years of hunting I've shot 2 deer over 100 yards away. My average shot is 30-40 yards because I stillhunt or sit in thicker cover. I could hunt the rest of my life with my 30-30 and get along just fine. If I do my part I'll find venison usually within 50 yards or so.  I hunted with a 30-06 for 10 years. It didn't do anything my Marlin can't do( for my style of hunting), except waste alot of meat.  If I talk my self and my finacial aid officer into a new rifle, it will likely be the .44 mag. The main reason would be the ability to drop a pound off the gun I carry, and yet still get the job done. This is my conclusion anyway, I find we tend to get caught up in numbers and statistics for all these different cartridges when the game really won't know the difference if we do our part to place the bullet in the right spot. So thanks again for all your input. If I do end up getting the .44 I'll let you know how it preforms.  hemlock
 

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"What kind of hunting will you do with the gun?"  If you can plan on shots >100yds+, the .35rem walks away from the pistol cartridge.  No contest.

If you're under a hundred yards, they're both lethal.  Both rounds get the job done.

The debate seems to be how many feet the critter staggers before it drops and which side it's tongue lolls -- nothing anyone has been able to completely predict in 100 years of scientific terminal ballistic study.  

(Of course, the intrepid James Gates is, as I write, crashing through Florida's swamps muttering ballistic equations and formulas to his trailing, white-coated research assistant as he plugs 400lb pigs left and right with 280gr .44's at 1760fpm.  It's hard work, but someone has to further science.)

SDs aside, the 300gr .44's at 1600+ fps are doing about the same or better than pre-war 45-70 and 45-90 loads.  And the guns are shorter and lighter. (The Marlin 1894 and Win 92s are prettier than the 336 and Win 94, too).   It's also cheaper to load and plink/practice.

You could get a 30-30 Trapper for this short work (a fine choice, too), but the gap closes and you give up enough velocity that I get a little concerned about jacketed bullet performance (<2000fps muzzle).  

Cast bullets and bottlenecks aren't as good a marriage as the straight cases and big bores.  Since this is a lead slug forum, I would guess that the participants are more of the "big hole; heavy slug" persuasion.  
 
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