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Today I pulled out some loads that have proven extremely deadly on deer is the past! There's only one jacketed bullet in the .44 that I "know" will expand fully all the way down to 700'/".....that's the 225 gr Speer half jacket HP! It is the bullet we went to, after trying many, when we quit casting our own. I have no idea how many deer it has killed by the many shooers we know. The longest shot/kill I ever made was with this bullet. It's .429" and has a lot of lead exposed! Our load is a full 26 grs of WW296 with WWLP primers. It will go across the clock at 1525/1530'/" out of a 7 1/2" SBH, slightly faster out of the S&W.
As I said before, I mounted a Leupold 1x-4x on the Marlin to test loads. The BTB 250 gr LFNGC and the 280 gr OWC GC will cut cloverleafs at 30 yards, however the Speer just will not cut it! The best I could get out of it was 2"!!!!!!! The SBH will beat that! Why?...It's .429" in the Marlin's .432" barrel! Plan and Simple. I'm sure it's bumping up some, but not consistant! Would it kill out to 100 yards? Most likely, but why use it when the BTB's are so much better. I haven't tried any of the Sierra and Hornady's .430" stuff and most likely will not. This little Marlin's 16 1/2" tube, with the Ballard bore/groove is made for BTB hard cast...believe me! The rest runs last!
Am I pleased with the results? You bet! Either the BTB 250 gr or the 280 gr OWC GC, plus the fothcoming BTB 260/265 gr will move this little rifle up into a class that can not be reached with jacketed!!Those big meplat's knock big holes in meat and the penetration is hard to believe!!!! Will average Joe-Blow believe you? I doubt it! But, who cares! You can fool around with jacketed and soften noses and whatever, but when it comes to making meat, you better listen to this "Old Rusted Lug-nut"! Happiness is a large gut pile!
Best regards, James
 

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James,

Did I make a mistake? This summer I bought a Ruger Lever 44 Mag. Is the Ruger as strong as the Marlin? The more I read your post on th 44p the more I want to trade for one. I wish someone would post somee top loads with actual fps. Have you  any?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hello Tony....As to which is stronger, I don't know. What I do know is Bill Ruger puts plenty of strengh in everything he builds, so I would not worry about that at all. The loads we are shooting are well within the pressure specs for the .44 Mag, either in the pistol or rifle. From what I have heard, the only problem you may run into would be the length that would go into the clip on your rifle. I don't know what the max overall cartridge length for your Ruger is. Maybe some of the members or Marshall would know. As for loads..register in on LoadSwap and look it over. You can rest assured that someone ( or all) on this forum will help iron out an excellent BTB cast bullet for your rifle! I've been shooting the .44 mag since 1956, but only now with these bullets Marshall makes has the killing power reached what it has. BTB bullets are all I will use now. There has been quite a bit of game put down this year with the BTB 250 gr LFN GC at about 1300'/" out of the 7 1/2" barrels. At present it is my favorite bullet, but Marshall is coming out with a 260/265 gr WFN GC that may the the ultimate as far as I'm concered. Hang in there a let the "Think Tank" come with some answers for you.
Best Regards, James
 

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Tony,

The Ruger is limited to using rounds with an overall length of 1.61in, the SAMMI spec length for the 44 magnum. I tried real hard to modify the rotary magazine two years ago to accept the longer LBT style bullets for a friend, but had no luck. Even the wide flat nose profile wouldn't feed properly. The Rugers a fine rifle but is too limited in its range of ammo for my taste.

As far as strength goes, I'd say their even, but keep in mind that you shouldn't try to hot rod the 44 just because your shooting it out of a rifle. Keep your loads within industry standard and be safe. That being said remember that shooting lead bullets will reduce pressures and because the LBT design reduces the amount of bullet in the case you'll be able load these bullets a bit faster than a jacketed bullet of the same weight.

I'll be the first to tell you to trade for the Marlin. Either the standard 20 inch barrel or that sweet little 16 incher, both are excellent rifles. Fast handling, easy to mount a scope if you like or a set of Ashley Ghost Ring sights, and owned by at least three really cool guys on the forum :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good Morning, Tony...When I came aboard this morning I see you a getting some feed back. I see MT had the numbers on the overall length needed for the clip. I think, that beside our likes for the traditional style of the Marlin, that since we can stuff it full of a various length/weight bullets is why we like the Marlin. It is hard for us to tell someone he has the wrong firearm, but I agree completely wih MT when he says go to the Marlin. Of course, and he will agree, that this is based on using the BTB cast bullets also. If you plan on using just jacketed, the new Winchester/Nosler Partition bullet would be great in your Ruger!
Best Regards, James
 

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A good friend has one of the Ruger lever .44's, but unfortunately I've only used it a few times. My impressions of it versus a great deal of experience with several Marlins in five different cartridges may be jaundiced, but I do like the Marlin 1984 better. The Marlin furniture is much more attractive and thinner through the grip, hence for me a better feel and trigger control. The Ruger's plastic butt plate slips about too much for me as well. While certainly a serviceable firearm, I think the Marlin is the better arm. I don't think trading for one would be a mistake.
 

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If I might ask, how much are the Marlins going for? I just bought a 444P last month abd paid &#36400 total for it. My ruger was &#36307 plus tax.
 

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MT,
 I load my Ruger 96/44 to 1.625 O.A.L and with a meplat of .38" without feeding problems.  But yes the magazine is the short fall to this rifle. Along with a twist rate that is limits the maximum projectile size to approx 310gr.
 

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Tony,

You should expect to pay between &#36400-&#36435, depending on local availability and demand. Your 444P was a steal. I paid &#36450 for mine last November.
 

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Quiet 1,

Thanks for your input. I wonder if Ruger has changed the specs on the magazines in the past few years. I know a few folks that called or wrote to them trying to show them the the magazines should be changed. I'd like to think they listened.


(Edited by MT Callahan at 9<!--emo&:0--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':0'><!--endemo-->4 pm on Mar. 18, 2001)
 

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I got out the original Bill of Sale from December of 1981 when I bought my 444S Rifle:

&#36188.21 + Tax

Times have changed!


:cool:
 

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Tony,

Your Ruger should feed ammo loaded with the WFN profile LBT style bullets.   The .432"-240g WFNPB, the .432-280g WFNGC bullets and the new (today) .432"-265g WFNGC bullets will feed just fine through that little levergun.   I have several customers who use nothing but the .432"-280g WFNGC bullet in their little Rugers, and love them.   Be sure to use .432" diameter when shooting cast for the same reasons as in the Marlin.   Groove diameter of .431"+ in most guns and large diameter chamber throats to boot!

I too would opt for the Marlin, but you have the Ruger, enjoy it!  It will not take a back seat in performance using the right bullet.  

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Tony,
I have a Ruger 96/44 also and like it a lot. I've done a little modifing such getting rid of the cresent butt plate and installing a recoil pad, slimming the stock down a bit and put a Williams peep sight on it. Being short and light it works will in the brush here in Western Oregon. I doubt the blacktail I got with it, would have been anymore dead if I'd used a Marlin.
 

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Tony,
Check with your local Wal-Mart they should be able to special order the 1894P from their Marlin supplier -Sports South in LA.  I got mine for under &#36375 tax and all.  Great liitle rifle.  Wonderful liitle brother to my 444P.
 
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