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My brother in law called the other day and asked me if I wouldn't come over and  put down a steer that had broken a front leg in the mud down in the creek, so I loaded the little Marlin 1894CP that Iv'e been using alot lately in the truck and drove over. The steer had went down the bank of the creek were there was nearly a vertical drop of 5ft, this just showing cattle aren't very cleaver creatures as down the creek around 30 yrd's there is no drop. Anyway about the closest i could get to the steer was 12 yrd's there about, so i put a BTB185gr sitting over 16.5 gr's of 296 through the side of it's head! The steer never moved after that. We hooked a chain to him and pulled him out of the creek to butcher and I examined the damage to the skull. The entrance hole was the size of my little finger, the exit nearly the size of a golf ball! My brother in law said he heard the bullet wiz off after it exited. This bullet exits the bore of the little Marlin at over 1700fps and is a devastating little round, and I'd have no hesitation using it on a deer or similar size game animal!
 

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John,

Nothing like a little "lab work" to gain some confidence in a bullet load combination.

Thanks for the report!


Regards, Ray
 

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John, thanks for your story. It is proof-positive that "low tech" ammo with hard cast, wide meplat bullets can do jobs far out of proportion to their paper ballistics. That handy little Marlin carbine of yours with such loads will do nicely for just about any big game hunting in the Lower 48 as long as the range is kept under 100 yards or so.
 

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John, I have been using an equivalent load - 180 grain hard cast at 1700 fps - in a rossi .357 mag. carbine for some time for hunting feral goats without any complain. even used it twice in feral hogs - they came to the scene uninvited, with unfriendly behaviour. This load is more efficient than old 44.40, and this veteran has harvested a lot of deer. BTW, the steer should be instantly anchored with even a .38 spl from your carbine in the circumstances you described, not with a so dramatic signature...
 
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