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#627927 - 11/02/05 Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
jbd619 Offline
New Member

Registered: 11/02/05
Posts: 1
Which of these two .44's is better, especially for shooting bullets over 300 grains? I am looking to buy one of them so comments on accuracy, reliability, etc.. is welcome regarding either gun.

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#627928 - 11/02/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
bearmgc Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 05/07/05
Posts: 2677
Loc: Near Grasshopper Glacier WY
Had the Ruger, couldn't find a bullet that it liked. Never got a good group in the 2 years I owned it. Aluminum receiver I think. Now have a Marlin, heavier, but solid construction. Haven't found a bullet it doesn't like. 2-2 1/2 in groups at 100yds consistantly- works for me.


Edited by bearmgc (11/02/05)

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#627929 - 11/05/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
WetDog Offline
Member

Registered: 06/17/05
Posts: 103
Loc: Washington's Wetside
I have not tried bullets over 300 grains but don't really see the need. Even a hollowpoint 240 grain bullet will bust right through a deer and leave two large holes.

My Marlin likes 240g. Montano Gold either HP or SP with Hornaday XTP next and Speer FP and Remington SJHP pretty close. At 100 yards 3" is pretty common with open sights.

http://www.grovestreet.com/jsp/onepic.jsp?id=1066975

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#627930 - 11/06/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
260Remguy Online   content
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 12/19/02
Posts: 17441
Loc: NE
I don't like the geometry of the Ruger's pistol-grip, so that eliminates my interest in any of the Ruger 96s.

Jeff

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#627931 - 11/06/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
Cariboujack Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 02/14/04
Posts: 9538
Loc: Alaska/Idaho
I am a Ruger man generally. I have NEVER heard positive coments on the model 96 and wouldn't have one. I do however have the Marlins in 22, 357, 44 Mag, 45 Colt, and some Rifle calibers. The 1894 is a shooter as are Most Marlins. I shoot both the 240 grain white box Winchester SP's and the 300 grain Federal Premium Cast Core. Haven't done any 100 yard shooting as my eyes don't quite cotton up to that but at the shorter ranges you can shoot the center out of the target.
_________________________
NRA LIFE MEMBER
GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS
ESPECIALLY THE SNIPERS!
"Suppose you were an idiot And suppose you were a member of Congress... But I repeat myself."
-Mark Twain

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#627932 - 11/09/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
mike7mm08 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/07/05
Posts: 945
I have a Ruger 96. The stock leaves a bit to be desired but this rifle is extremely accurate. It will shoot anything I put in it. It seems to have a slight preference for 255 hardcast and the nosler 250 partition. With a two power scope I can group about an inch at 50 and just under two at a hundred. It handles well and you cannot argue the convience of a box magazine. Action is very smooth and quick.It requires only about half the movement to cycle the action than any other lever action I have used.

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#627933 - 11/09/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
mcarr Offline
Member

Registered: 09/25/05
Posts: 31
Had a Ruger 96. Mine was also very accurate with the 250 gr Nosler Partition. In my opinion the weak point of the rifle is the plastic magazine. I broke two, one during a hunt, which rendered the rifle a single shot. Also, 300 gr bullets don't fit well in the mag.

I love Rugers, but by all means, get the Marlin.

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#627934 - 11/09/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
mike7mm08 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/07/05
Posts: 945
Well i guess it could be a problem. But the likely hood of breaking all my mags in one hunt in very small. See one mag goes in the gun then one in each front jacket pocket, if I can do all these in during the course of one hunt I would just give and go home. As far as 300 gr bullets go there is an option. Cast performance makes a 300 grain hardcast, the crimpimg groove is positioned as such that the overall length is the same as the 255 they make and it will function just fine.


Edited by mike7mm08 (11/09/05)

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#627935 - 11/09/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
mcarr Offline
Member

Registered: 09/25/05
Posts: 31
I bought mine used for $259. After the mags broke I traded it straight up for a NIB Win 94 BB .375. Yes, I got a screaming deal.

I don't know how much they want for a new 96 now, but if the price is comparable to the Marlin, the Marlin is a lot more gun, IMHO.

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#627936 - 11/09/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
mike7mm08 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/07/05
Posts: 945
You got a great deal on the 375. I have two and love them. I have seen them going for a high as 6oo a piece. I also have two marlins in 375 as well as two savage 99s, seeing a pattern here. I will agree that the marlin is a great gun. But I don't think they should even be compared to the Ruger. For what it is the ruger is a great gun. But not a great lever action.

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#627937 - 12/05/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
cowchip Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/03
Posts: 30
Loc: San Antonio, Texas
Howdy! I have a Ruger 96/44 and love it. I haven't heard about the mags breaking before reading this post. I don't have any experience with the Marlin 1894. But, if want a "real lever gun" go with the Marlin. But the Ruger is a nice shootin' rifle. Buy both!!!! It's only money. Good Luck.

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#627938 - 12/05/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
Stetson Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 01/24/04
Posts: 6004
The Marlin doesn't do very well with heavier bullets on the micro-groove barrel because of the lousy twist rate. If you want a Marlin and you want to shoot heavy hardcast try to find a Cowboy 2 model with the Ballard rifeling. They no longer make them but there are a lot of new ones still floating around in gun shops. Est $550-600

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#627939 - 12/06/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
NathanaelGreene Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/05
Posts: 128
New Marlin 1894's have Ballard rifling, or so it says on the Marlin site: http://www.marlinfirearms.com/firearms/1894_centerfireRifles/1894.htm

My 1894C's (.357 magnum) have Ballard rifling.

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#627940 - 12/06/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
Stetson Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 01/24/04
Posts: 6004
There are about a gazillion new 1894's out there in gun shops with the micro groove barrel. Just know what your lookin for. In either event the 1/38 twist rate on the new Marlins will never reliably stabelize a bullet over 300 grains. I believe the Cowboy 2 model that Marlin put out had a 1/20 twist rate with ballard rifeling. This is the model you want if you want to primarily shoot hard cast bullets over 300 grains or at least a faster twist rate with the ballard rifeling.

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#627941 - 12/06/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
Cariboujack Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 02/14/04
Posts: 9538
Loc: Alaska/Idaho
My standard 1894SS shoots 300 grain Fed Cast Core's real well. I think somepeople need to slug the barrel to find out what works for their particular rifle but I haven't found what you said to be anymore true with jacketed. Some rifles do shoot better than others whether jacketed or cast. Although that is something that has followed it around for a long time many people don't find that to be the case.
_________________________
NRA LIFE MEMBER
GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS
ESPECIALLY THE SNIPERS!
"Suppose you were an idiot And suppose you were a member of Congress... But I repeat myself."
-Mark Twain

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#627942 - 12/06/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
Stetson Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 01/24/04
Posts: 6004
I'm not sure what slugging the bore really accomplishes. Mine is .432 and oversize hard casts don't shoot any better than standard .430 once you get over 300 grains. You cant change the twist rate by slugging the bore. I guess it depends on the gun and what distance you shoot at. I'm sure there might be a few 44's with a 1/38 twist that would shoot over 300 grains well but I certainly wouldn't buy a new one counting on it. If you only shoot 50 yards then its all a pretty moot point. At 100 things start to open up quit a bit.

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#627943 - 12/09/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
Mak Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 08/16/05
Posts: 513
Ruger could hv done much better w/their gun.
Inspired by Savage 99, but on the cheap. Can be accurate, always is ugly.
Not bad for its intent, no real advantage over Marlin.
Marlin #1 ease of maintenence, quality fit n finish.
Microgroove just fine for JSP/JHP. Ballard preferred for shootin lead pills.
1894 n 96 limited by action length, no real problem for most purposes, if need super heavyweights best get 45-70, 450M, even 444 better choice.
Slow twist no problem if bullet is driven fast enuff.
If need fast twist look at Winchester scout in .44mag.
Good Shootin

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#627944 - 12/20/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
ought6 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 05/08/05
Posts: 315
Loc: Georgia
I never had a Marlin Lever that wouldn't shoot close to or even better than a bolt gun. I've had several Ruger rifles that wouldn't shoot as well as I'd need.
_________________________
(Psa 18:34) He trains my hands for battle, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

ought6


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#627945 - 12/22/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
RLB Offline
Member

Registered: 09/18/05
Posts: 240
Loc: Dallas Texas
forget the marlin or ruger there both great guns but.....if you want t oshoot over 300gr. with ballard riflings then buy a winchester trapper or puma 92....
_________________________
The world ends when you dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. stand it like a man-and give some back..

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#627946 - 12/22/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
Stetson Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 01/24/04
Posts: 6004
You must have some lousy bolt guns! Ive had some decent levers but no way are they going to consistantly shoot sub-moa at 100 yards.
I dont see the trapper as a very good option for 300 plus grain pills. The twist in the winchester is only marginally better than the Marlin and the trigger is worse. Plus your going to loose any extra ooomph by shooting those high end loads out of a super short barrel.

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#627947 - 12/26/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
powderburn Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 207
You should consider -if you can find one- the ruger 44 bolt action rifle M77/44. I've got a stainless one and LOVE IT...can shoot it, extended arm, one handed and hit a deer at river bottom ranges.

If I could find another 77/44/ in stainless I'd trade one of my levers in 375bigbore for it...

What about the Ruger Deerfield carbine isn't that one in 44 but with a better semi-auto action...???

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#627948 - 12/26/05 Re: Marlin 1894 or Ruger Model 96 in .44 Mag???
powderburn Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 207
The Ruger 99/44 Deerfield Carbine

By Carl Swanson







Illustration courtesy of Sturm Ruger.



During the Minnesota deer season of 2000, I got a 40 yard shot at a nice 8 point buck in some moderately heavy brush. The brush deflected the first shot. The deer jumped into a small clearing 50 yards away, not knowing where I was. When I worked the bolt action the deer knew right where I was and fled before I could shoot. I resolved to use a semi-auto for deer hunting the following year.

In October of 2001 I purchased a Ruger 99/44 Deerfield Carbine, chambered for the .44 Magnum. I had never hunted with a pistol cartridge before. I chose the Speer 270 grain Gold Dot factory load because I felt it offered the best potential for the cartridge in the deer hunting application I intended. It offers a combination of sectional density and velocity that seemed to maximize the cartridge's performance capabilities.

Upon opening the Ruger Deerfield shipping container, I was impressed with the protection offered by its construction and the placement of the firearm therein. There were three minor cosmetic flaws on the firearm; a light spot in the bluing on the receiver (small, about 1 cm squared), a small tool mark in the stock, and a less than perfectly contoured forearm nose under the barrel in front of the barrel band. I did not consider any of these cause for a return.

The Deerfield Carbine is based on the Ranch Rifle design but uses a four round rotary magazine instead of the staggered box magazine of the Ranch rifle and Mini-14 rifles. The reason for this special magazine is the .44 Magnum's rimmed case. The basic specifications of the Ruger Deerfield carbine, taken from the 2003 Strum, Ruger catalog, read as follows.

Caliber: .44 Remington Magnum; Finish: Blued; Stock: hardwood; Sight: gold bead front, adjustable aperture rear; Barrel length: 18.5"; Overall length: 36.875"; Weight: 6.25 lbs.; Price: $675.

I chose to use a Burris 2 1/2 power Widefield scope. Mounting the scope in the Ruger rings required the use of the shims provided with the Ruger rings. No problems once the scope was installed.

There is a little scope protector cover provided with the rifle. It is leather and fits around the scope at the position of the turrets. I never needed this with the little Burris scope.

Shooting the firearm at the range for the first time I discovered three things. One, this rifle had a surprisingly decent trigger for a semi-auto hunting rifle. Two, it was a surprisingly accurate .44 magnum rifle at 100 yards. And three, it would quickly shoot its barrel band loose if the screw holding it in place was not tightened such that the sling swivel would not turn.

I subsequently discovered that, after about 30-40 shots, all of the screws securing the rifle in the stock would shoot loose and the point of aim would change about 2-3 inches at 100 yards. No problem, I applied nail polish indexing marks to the screws, and checking these after about 30 shots with tightening as required kept everything on the same point of impact.

One last note: the magazine must be carefully inserted into the magazine well to insure that it does not fall out. Awareness of the magazine latch position is of great importance here. Once the magazine is locked in place there is no problem.

The hasty bench groups run 2.0 to 2.5 inches at 100 yards. Offhand, the rifle holds in a 4 inch circle as long as I can at 100 yards. Also, my rifle shoots 240 grain Remington loads only 2 inches away from the Speer 270 grain Gold Dots at 100 yards. I have fired over 500 rounds through this rifle with no malfunction of any kind.

Removing and replacing the scope never moved the point of impact more than an inch in any direction. As for the aperture sights furnished with the rifle, these are excellent. They offer good target acquisition and quick pointing.

In the field, the rifle carries and handles very well. It shoulders quickly and points true for offhand shooting. As a still hunter, I do most of my shooting from that position. The Deerfield is a little barrel light, as one finds with any short barreled rifle in the offhand position, and after a little exertion it may take a few breaths for the barrel to quit moving around.

My summary of good, bad, and odd points.

Good: Accuracy, dependability and handling. Also, the ability to provide a very good scope or peep sighting platform and the ability to switch between the two as required while maintaining the rifle's effectiveness.

Bad: The Deerfield's screws loosen after a few shots.

Odd: The need for the scope protector.

Overall, I would recommend this rifle to anyone wanting a small, light semi-auto rifle for hunting CXP2 class game at woods ranges. The Deerfield offers reliability, low recoil, and the ability to use the firearm's factory sights or a scope interchangeably and effectively.

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