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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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.44 mag vs 45-70

I was reading some posts (on another forum) where members were discussing whether a .44 mag carbine (1894 Marlin) or 45-70 (GG) would be a better choice for defense against bears (and other predators) on a ranch in Montana.

I've got a bit of experience with both rifle types and several years ago I decided that I wanted a Marlin 1894/.44mag myself. Nice rifle and plenty accurate for my needs; carry in the woods, deer and hog hunting. I found, though, that it was a bit lacking when I got an opportunity at a really large hog.

I ended up selling the .44 and bought a Marlin .375, which is pretty much the exact same size rifle-wise, but a good bit more powerful, IMHO. For the record, I now also own a GG in .450M. Anyway, I decided to take a picture of the rounds mentioned in the original post, simply for comparison purposes as I was pretty surprised that some claimed a .44 carbine would be just as effective as a 45-70. That's not my opinion, by the way....lol.

The picture below is a .44 mag 270gr load @ 1700 FPS flanked by, at left, a 400gr 45-70 @ 1900 FPS and a 325gr 45-70 @ 2050 on the right.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 03:08 PM
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Perhaps a 444 vs a 45 70 might be a better debate?
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 03:17 PM
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Maybe even a 38-55? I have one in a win 94 Frontiersman model. 375, 38-55, 444, 45-70 all pretty cool bullets.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Two more great straight-walled rounds, the 38-55 & .444 . I do not own a 38-55, but do own the "souped" up newer version, .375 Win and like it a lot. I hunted with it for the very first time last season and it does it's job very nicely.

I also own a .444 and it's one of only a couple rifle I have that I use, or can use without a scope. My .444S wears a peep sight and is ridiculously accurate with it, even with these old peepers. Both my 45-70s are scoped as are my .450s.

This is somewhat funny, I guess, since the .444 would actually be more suited for scope usage, figuring most of my hunting. But the .444S came with the peep already mounted and my 1895 is new enough that Marlin had already stopped tapping the receiver for those sights. If it had been tapped, I would have pulled the old switcheroo and made the 1895 peep-sighted and the .444 scoped.

The .375 also came with a peep sight, but the original front sight was too low, causing the rifle to shoot higher than I wanted, so it nows wears a good old Weaver V3.

There's just something about those straight walls that's cool!
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