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Yojimbo
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Posted: 1/25/2006 10:29:20 PM
[Last Edit: 1/26/2006 6:37:06 AM by Yojimbo]
Okay, with all the news about Winchester going under I'm getting a strong urge to pick up a 94 Trapper in either .44 or 30-30.

I envision this gun to be a hiking/trail gun for protection against two and four legged predators and the ability to use it deer hunting would be a plus.

One part of me wants a .44 magnum just because it's a big bore caliber with enough punch to do what I need. The extra capacity is nice too as well as the ability to share ammo with my S&W 629.

Another part of me says get the 30-30 because it's a real rifle caliber and will definitely pack more punch than the .44 at all ranges. I also think the 30-30 would be a better deer gun too.

So guys, which one would you get and why?
After all the B.S. is said and done perhaps all I can say is Molon Labe!!!
vanilla_gorilla
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Posted: 1/25/2006 11:08:10 PM
I'm hoping to swing one in 44Mag, but really, that's only because I'm currently big on the idea of shooting the same ammo in my rifle and my 629.
OBird
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Posted: 1/25/2006 11:50:39 PM
[Last Edit: 1/25/2006 11:51:31 PM by OBird]
That's a very tough question that I myself am troubled with.

I don't know if the ammo capacity is a huge deal in this instance...we aren't talking 10-rounders vs. 30-rounders for an AR15, it's just a difference of a couple of rounds in a single-shot firearm. One could also argue that the extra power/range of the .30-30 would make up for the decreased mag capacity.

Personally, I don't know if I would ever trust my life to a .44 magnum if bears are the concern. That's why I own a Marlin Guide Gun in .45-70. But if bears aren't your biggest problem, I suspect the .44 mag (out of a 16 or 20 inch barrel) will be plenty to kill anything else within reasonable range.

The .44 is much better for utilizing a lever action as "the perfect urban carbine" (as one of those famous gun writers put it).

I dunno. It's a really tough choice.
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Faction7
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Posted: 1/26/2006 1:39:07 AM
As a disclaimer, I haven't shot a Winchester 94 in .44 magnum, but I did research them...

A couple months ago I decided to buy a lever-action rifle and read a lot about them before making a decision. I had similar uses to yours in mind, and came to the conclusion that the 30-30 was the right choice for me - acceptable capacity, significant punch, common caliber, etc.

I was able to find a pre-1964 Winchester 94 in great condition except for some cosmetic flaws (scratched stock) and restored it inexpensively. It feels great and very agile, even with a 20" barrel. I preferred the robust feeling of the pre-'64 to the newer ones, despite some of the design improvements (like angle-eject) on the later evolutions. I'm planning on making this more of a scout rifle setup later this year... a 44 magnum won't have the reach to fit this niche if that's a thought for you, but a 30-30 is well on its way there. If you are determined to get the 16" barrel, I'd think that would build a stronger case for the 30-30 since it will still have better performance even with a shorter barrel and justify the weight of carrying a rifle. I like cartridge exchangeability, but I think of pistols and rifles as different animals. Good luck, and check out a pre-1964 94 if you can find one!

-F7
mike103
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Posted: 1/26/2006 8:00:08 AM
I have the Trapper in 44 Mag and the Wrangler, (Trapper with the large loop), in 30-30. I have shot deer with the 30-30 but have not shot anything with the 44 mag. I feel more confident with the 30-30 and was planning to sell the 44 mag before the news of Winchester came out. Now I will keep both. I also have a original Ruger carbine in 44 mag that I have never shot anything with. I will have to use one of the 44's next year.

I would say 30-30 but I would buy whatever is available. MIKE.
imposter
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Posted: 1/26/2006 9:02:02 AM
[Last Edit: 1/26/2006 1:52:54 PM by imposter]
I have the 44 and used to have a 30/30. My 44 is a trapper and I like it quite a bit better. I bought it as a truck/camping gun and it works well in this role. It is short, light and slim, but still has 9 rounds in the mag. My 300 grain XTPs go over 1500 fps at the muzzle. This gives it energy and trajectory similar to a 30/30. It has significantly better ballistics than a 44 handgun. I'm not so sure that the 30/30 packs any more punch than the 44 from a rifle. I'd feel very confident that the 44 in a rifle can handle anything you need it to. IIRC, my muzzle energy is over 1900 ft/lbs, and the gelatin testing that DocGKR has done shows that the 44 with the right bullets has good expansion and oustanding penetration.

As far as trajectory, the 44 is 125 to 150 yard gun. You can probably get another 50 yards or so with the 30/30, but for my purposes that was unnecessary. I liked the extra capacity and the fact that I can use the same bullets as my Redhawk. The last thing I need is another caliber to feed.

I put a 1-3x20 Weaver scope on the Trapper, and the accuracy has been surprisingly good. About 2 MOA with handloads. The trigger is also not bad (5 pounds IIRC), and I like the fact they got rid of the crossbolt safety. Both the 30/30 and 44 kick more than you would think due to the stock design and light weight of the rifles. I bought a little recoil pad from Wal-Mart. The 44 is more fun to plink with for some reason, but I can't put my finger on why.

ETA: changed SXT to XTP.
Yojimbo
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Posted: 1/26/2006 9:11:46 AM
[Last Edit: 1/26/2006 9:12:46 AM by Yojimbo]
Thanks for all the helpful replies! I find that I'm still unable to decide but leaning towards the 30-30.

Imposter,

Do you have links or additional ballistics information on the .44 mag from a 16" barrel? I'd also be interested to see some info on the 300gr SXT you mentioned compared to different 30-30 ammo.
After all the B.S. is said and done perhaps all I can say is Molon Labe!!!
TacticalPenguin
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Posted: 1/26/2006 9:21:17 AM

Originally Posted By Yojimbo:
Okay, with all the news about Winchester going under I'm getting a strong urge to pick up a 94 Trapper in either .44 or 30-30.

I envision this gun to be a hiking/trail gun for protection against two and four legged predators and the ability to use it deer hunting would be a plus.

One part of me wants a .44 magnum just because it's a big bore caliber with enough punch to do what I need. The extra capacity is nice too as well as the ability to share ammo with my S&W 629.

Another part of me says get the 30-30 because it's a real rifle caliber and will definitely pack more punch than the .44 at all ranges. I also think the 30-30 would be a better deer gun too.

So guys, which one would you get and why?




I am not so sure about that, my trapper in .45 has as much energy as the 30-30 (without cowboy loads for either) at 100 yards, and bullet drop is very similar for about the first 300 meters, give or take an inch.

the .44 should be similar, the only downside is that the 94 was not designed for straight walled pistol cartridges, so soemtiems there are difficulties, I had to play with mine, and with a file to get it to owrk right.


30-30 is a great round, adn if you need more than the 5 rounds it carries, you are probably hooped anyways
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Matthew_Q
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Posted: 1/26/2006 11:56:16 AM
GET BOTH
imposter
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Posted: 1/26/2006 12:34:29 PM
[Last Edit: 1/26/2006 1:53:26 PM by imposter]

Originally Posted By Yojimbo:
Imposter,

Do you have links or additional ballistics information on the .44 mag from a 16" barrel? I'd also be interested to see some info on the 300gr SXT you mentioned compared to different 30-30 ammo.


Not off hand, but Federal has a page that allows you to compare various loads here.

Comparing a 170 grain 30/30 and 240 grain 44 Mag in the Power Shok line, the initial velocity and muzzle energies are as follows:

44: vel 1760, ft/lbs 1651.
30/30: vel 2200, ft/lbs 1827

With less velocity the 44 has more drop, but shooting out to 150 yards or so should not be problem.

The 300 grain load I was talking about came from the Speer manual and velocity was verified with a chronograph. I am not sure if that particular load would be OK to fire in a 629 (it uses the second cannelure). The 300 grain XTP is one of the bullets DocGKR said did well in his tests.

The 44 gains about 3-400 fps when fired from a rifle over what it does in a pistol. Unlike most pistol cartridges, the 44 gains a lot of velocity when fired from a long gun.

ETA:
50cal
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Posted: 1/26/2006 12:50:22 PM
I have a 44 Mag. Love that rifle. it has whacked more deer than my Rem Model 7. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I shoot it with 44 Specials every now and again. Nice and cheap to plink with.

I use 240 g XTP's when I reload for it. Death ray accurate with AA#9.
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WolfFox
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Posted: 1/26/2006 1:09:06 PM
With the new 30-30 ammo coming out I'd go with the 30-30.
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M104
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Posted: 1/26/2006 2:10:55 PM
I've found my short lever carbines (in pistol calibers) real practical limit to be about 80 yards. I've got a range set up in my back yard and have tested this pretty thoroughly. (Note: Your results may vary!) But in general, most pistol cartridge loads really start to drop off drastically beyond this. In other words, I can't hit small targets with any of mine reliably beyond that.

I've owned a 30-30 in the past and would guess you could get out to about 125 yds. Possibly further if you've practiced with it.

As far as the 44 mag. I've had great luck with it on deer. I don't think a 30/30 really has anything over it when it comes to stopping ability. 44 mag = Very solid killer. 45 with good handloads should be good too.

IMHO your choice depends on whether you need a little more range.

I'm speaking in generalities here and this is just my opinion based on my personal experience... For what its worth.
buckfever34
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Posted: 1/26/2006 5:09:26 PM
30/30
37% of statistics are made up...
WIZZO_ARAKM14
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Posted: 1/26/2006 8:47:25 PM
30/30.

I like my rifles to be chambered in rifle calibers, personally.

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Ameshawki
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Posted: 1/27/2006 2:39:37 PM
Whatever you do, you best do it quick. Winchester 94's in any caliber are disappearing fast. And the pistol caliber ones have completely disappeared, at least in these parts.

Mine's in 45 Colt. Fun gun. Not what I would call accurate but few 94's are.
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Posted: 1/27/2006 2:47:23 PM
[Last Edit: 1/27/2006 2:48:21 PM by HardShell]
I have both but, frankly, I prefer Marlins in the rifle calibers - especially if I am going to scope it. (I do like the Winchester better aesthetically, though... ).

But I love my "tactical" '94 in .44 - short, light, quick on target, and loads of fun.

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bobbyjack
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Posted: 2/4/2006 11:43:05 PM
One thing one must remember about the lowly 30/30 round is that at 200 yards it has more vel and energy than the Rem 44 mag has at the muzzel!!!

The Mod 94 came out in 38-55 which was necked down to .30 cal(thus the 30/30 was born)!

Don't kid your self the 44 has class,just in the .444 marlin(the only pistol round that works really well in a rifle might be the .45 Colt) and that is still debatable!!

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Posted: 2/5/2006 4:18:24 AM
30/30 why limit yourself with the 44 mag.
Barrelburner
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Posted: 2/5/2006 7:07:22 AM
Mine is in .44 mag, and it is a great gun. I have no doubt that it would drop any threat in the woods around here, but I don't live in Alaska.

I handload for it, using the 250 grain Nosler partition bullet. I haven't shot any game with the gun, but I believe that it would easily stop any black bear or mountain lion.

It has a pretty good kick, though.
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Posted: 2/5/2006 7:45:02 AM
Get the 44
Reloads will be cheeper. 30/30 ammo is very cheep for rifle ammo ,actually reload components will cost almost as much as factory ammo. The 44 has the ability to be reloaded to several different power levels and cast bullets will do most everything jacketed bullets will at much lower cost.
The 30/30 shoots flatter so is easier to hit with at uncertain distances but although the 44 has less power on paper a .429 bullet at carbine or rifle speeds are proven killers with deer sized game.
The winchester 44's will become harder to find fairly fast (after the plant closeing) but there are a bazillion 30/30's out there in the used market,you can always pick one up later .
On the other hand,don't pay inflated prices for a new Winchester, just buy a Marlin.
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Posted: 2/5/2006 7:57:50 AM

Originally Posted By vanilla_gorilla:
I'm hoping to swing one in 44Mag, but really, that's only because I'm currently big on the idea of shooting the same ammo in my rifle and my 629.



That my logic too...that, and the 44 mag out of a long barrel is murder on anything under 100 yards!

I use a Marlin 1894 44 mag lever action as my brush gun for deer! In any case good luck Yojimbo, I like your motivation!
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Posted: 2/5/2006 12:52:57 PM
Everyone is looking at the cartridge, but not the cartridge out of the rifle. I used to own a 94 Trapper in 30/30...note the past tense. The thing was a BRUTE. It kicked worse than a 45/70. It shot out a gout of flame that would make a battleship jealous. Even thru earplugs AND muffs, it shocked the ears. All this was with Winchester 170gr SP "hunting loads". I think I managed to suffer thru a box of them before getting rid of the rifle. I have a standard 94 in 30/30 now and what a difference that 4" of bbl makes.

If you want a 30/30, get a full sized rifle.
If you want a .44 Mag. the Trapper will do. TacticalPenguin makes a good point about the 94 and pistol cartridges. The "94 stovepipe" is well known among the Cowboy Action Shooters. The clones of the 66, 73 and 92 are better suited for the pistol cartridges.

JMO YMMV