44 Magnum Rifle Versus Revolver

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks, 1 day ago

This is a good video, worthy of reviewing his data.

You pick up a nontrivial amount of velocity with the rifle compared to the revolver.

I recently read a comment by Matt Bracken.

I think a good case can be made, especially in the thick southeastern hills and woods, for a scoped levergun/revolver pairing in 44 or 357 mag. Going from a 4″ revolver to a 16″ rifle barrel boosts .357 and .44M velocity by better than 25%, and the steadier or rested rested scoped rifle is going to give better real-world accuracy results as well.

The velocity boost for 22LR is not as great coming from a longer rifle barrel, the payoff with a 22 rifle is it’s very quiet, especially with subsonic ammo, because the powder charge is practically spent, and there just isn’t much muzzle blast left over.

I think a good case can be made too.  But I prefer to wait until Henry designs and distributes a side-gate loading .44 magnum rifle.  They have them already for select calibers.  Paired up with a .44 magnum wheel gun, that would be a great combination.

What are they waiting for?


Comments

  1. On November 15, 2019 at 12:48 am, BRVTVS said:

    A few remarks:
    1. A good resource for knowing what you gain by adding barrel length is http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/calibers.html.
    2. Using a low pressure round, like a 158gr 38 special in a 357 rifle with a full length rifle is reputed to have the same advantages of being quiet as one finds with a 22. (Can anyone with real world experience confirm?)
    3. There are already lever actions with side loading gates. Marlin quality was spotty for a while, but most reports seem to indicate that it’s back. There are also offerings from Winchester, Chiappa, and Pedersoli.

  2. On November 15, 2019 at 2:20 am, Nosmo said:

    I don’t know what’s taken Henry so long to discover/figure out side gate loading. It allows easy ‘topping off” when end-tube loading doesn’t.

    RE: lever rifles – I’m waiting for someone to design a simple, sturdy folding stock for lever guns; a Trapper configuration rifle with a 16″ barrel and folding stock would make a very portable and convenient package. Probably require a redesign of the rear section of the receiver to accommodate, though, and practially speaking, it couldn’t be much shorter than the back end of the lever.

    A side gate loader, 22″ (threaded) chrome moly barrel, Wild West Guns ghost ring sight package and a compact 4X scope with QD rings on a receiver rail (Leupold used to make a great one, their web site shows a 4X x 33MM FX-II, don’t know how it compares to the “old’ one) would be a terrific tool in both .357 and .44. (Stainless and synthetic furniture makes it “all weather” but CM holds up better and has a slight edge in accuracy).

    For social work in “slightly non- or semi-permissive” environments, I’ve long recommended 2 or 3 20″ bbl ever rifles in .44 mag – 11 rounds on tap, ghost ring sights, 4X compact name brand scope, zero it at 125, effective to 240, .429 projectiles instead of .223, shoot one while the other 2 are being reloaded. Cooper used to recommend 16″ bbl Trapper levers in .357 for NYC residents.

  3. On November 15, 2019 at 8:44 am, bubba said:

    Winchester 1892 in .44 mag or .357 mag. I’d love to have an 1892 in .41 mag too.

  4. On November 15, 2019 at 8:47 am, June J said:

    I’m also wondering when Henry will expand the side gate caliber offerings.
    As it is, I’ve yet to actually handle any of their side gate models, so production definitely should increase,

    I’m going to have to try suppressed 22lr ammo in my 10/22 next time out.

  5. On November 15, 2019 at 10:25 am, BRVTVS said:

    @Nosmo

    Winchester and Chiappa both make takedown models of the model 92.

  6. On November 15, 2019 at 10:32 am, Frank Clarke said:

    .44Mag lever-action rifle? Does the PDRNJ allow manufacture of such weapons of war?

  7. On November 15, 2019 at 10:34 am, Herschel Smith said:

    @BRVTVS,

    Isn’t Winchester made in Japan? Or did FN pull manufacturing back into the U.S.?

  8. On November 15, 2019 at 11:24 am, BRVTVS said:

    @ Herschel

    I believe you are correct. Winchester lever actions are now made in Japan. I’m not sure about their other products. They’re reputed to be well made, but expensive with a lot of unwanted lawyer mandated safety features.

  9. On November 15, 2019 at 11:49 am, 404th Fighting Keyboard Commandos said:

    The good old lever action rifle still going strong. No weapon is ever truly obsolete just ask the guy who got hit in the head with a rock.
    Wouldn’t the revolver leave some meat on the bone where the round fired from the rifle would do more damage?

  10. On November 15, 2019 at 12:58 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    @404th,

    Yes. The advantage is having compatible ammunition for both a handgun and a rifle, the one giving more concealability, less weight, and more compactness, the other giving you additional power.

  11. On November 15, 2019 at 2:31 pm, ExpatNJ said:

    Herschel wrote:
    “The advantage is having compatible ammunition for both a handgun and a rifle, the one giving more concealability, less weight, and more compactness, the other giving you additional power.

    Option 1 (good?): Ruger SR22 22LR (or equivalent) and Ruger 10/22. Both .22.
    Option 2 (better?): Beretta 92F (or equivalent) and Uzi. Both 9mm.
    Option 3 (best?): Colt 1911 and a Thompson. Both .45.

    I trust Herschel won’t disagree with my suggested Option 3…

  12. On November 15, 2019 at 3:25 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    @ExpatNJ,

    Option #3.

  13. On November 15, 2019 at 3:38 pm, Bram said:

    Beretta Storm Carbine and PX4 pistol – same ammo and same magazines.

  14. On November 15, 2019 at 4:35 pm, NOG said:

    I would not mind to own such a combo just for the fun of shooting them. However, I am not a fan. For a brush gun I used a AK in the 7.62X39. I does a fine job. I have shot hogs with one and it works a treat. I am not a fan of the “same ammo” for pistol and rifle. If I carry a rifle I want that rifle power. I prep so I don’t have to worry about ammo. I have moved away from my brush area (deep south Texas) to more open country. My needs now are more distance than brush buster, and old age makes a AK too much to manage. Lightweight AR is now the ticket in this household. My pistol is used to get to my rifle that I should have not put down (per Clint Smith). For hunting I prefer my 243 Rem 788. Don’t need anything bigger around these parts.

  15. On November 15, 2019 at 6:53 pm, Matt Bracken said:

    Why .44 at all? .357 out of a Marlin or Winchester will do the job on man or beast in southeast woods, where realistic ranges rarely exceed 200 yards. Beyond 200 yards in the SE, you are a sniper on over watch down a fire break or road or across a field. Tactically, you are going to stay in the more common woods, so incidental contact is 95% of the time going to be at less than 200 yards, IMHO. For all of this, a .357/.38 revolver and .357/.38 lever gun is going to serve you very well.

    For me, personally, in NE Florida, I’m going to be humping one of my .556 ARs, but I would not in any way disparage the guy (or gal) with the .357 lever gun in the SE boondocks. Today, the gun is not LE bait, it’s just a bubba gun, but it will get the job down at under 200 yards against 2 or 4 legged targets. As far as common ammo, I think folks will be finding .357/.38 to feed a revolver or lever rifle long after the .44 dries up. Just in terms of practicality, I think .357/.38 is favored. But I would not argue with a reloader all set up with .44, it’s another great option.

    I think a Marlin .357 wins because they’re available, and compared to a Win, putting a low power scope on top is generally easier.

    At my age, a 3X or 4X scope beats irons any day, on any carbine, lever or semi-auto. With my old eyes, in low light in the woods, irons just don’t give me what I need. It’s all lost in the murky gray background. But put a 3X or 4X on top, and I’m as good as anybody of my fitness level. Better than most, IMHO.

  16. On November 15, 2019 at 7:34 pm, BCE56 said:

    Years ago while shopping for a short levergun I found a Browning (Miroku) ’92 in .44mag. Passed because I wanted a .357, and “Made In Japan” didn’t seem right.
    Ended up with a Win ’94 Trapper a couple years later which is one of my favorite shootin’ irons.
    Miroku is the current maker of Winchester ’94s- said to be of high quality, but now equipped w/ tang safety and not rebounding hammer as early models.
    Chiappa/Taylors has some nice (but pricey) ’92s.
    Quality of Rossi’s ’92 seems hit-or-miss.
    A good bet might be an older Marlin 1894, though I am told Marlin’s quality has improved lately.
    Skinner makes some solid sights for leverguns, also a take-down “Bush Pilot” package that’s worth a look.
    Paco Kelly’s Leverguns website has a wealth of info.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published November 14th, 2019 by Herschel Smith.

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