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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 8/9/2003 5:50:27 PM EST
Do you like it? How is the weight and handiness? Is it reliable? It is more accurate than it's ill-fated cousin, the Mini-14?


Link Posted: 8/11/2003 8:08:19 AM EST
I don't have a deerfield, but I do have a 1969 deerstalker. This is the long lost .44 magnum parent of the 10/22. While I love it's light weight, excellent handiness, and beautiful wood (yes, Ruger did used to put good wood on their semis - compare an older Mini 14 to a new one to see what I mean) it has it's downsides too.

Most directly applicable to your question is the satan-inspired front barrel band. You can't properly clean the gun without removing it, but the point of impact changes every time you reinstall it. Furthermore unless you tighten the band to a point where it is obviously putting stress on the barrel, it will move off the stock to the front under recoil. Speaking of recoil, this is a tube magazine system with a big, heavy op-rod that introduces a significant sideways recoil movement in addition to a pretty stout muzzle rise. YMMV if the deerfield has a rotary or box magazine.

Bottom line - it's a really nice field gun for medium game within 50 yards. Legendary Ruger reliability and durability apply. Equally legendary Ruger semiauto rifle weak accuracy also applies. I'll never sell mine.

Link Posted: 8/12/2003 2:48:21 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/16/2003 10:41:39 AM EST
Does Ruger or anyone else make a 10 rd mag for it yet? When they do I`ll grab one.
Link Posted: 8/21/2003 8:39:06 AM EST
So Bob, did ya get one?

Link Posted: 8/21/2003 8:45:52 AM EST
Not yet, I am actually leaning towards a Marlin levergun in .44 mag at the moment.


Link Posted: 8/22/2003 6:19:11 AM EST
Another excellent choice. I recently got my first Marlin (in .30-30) and it outpreforms my pre '64 Winchester model 94 in all areas except looks.

Link Posted: 8/22/2003 7:46:55 AM EST
I am looking at a 1894P which is the ported 16.25" barrel. Sort of a "Guide Gun" lite. There is a used one in a local shop that I have not looked at yet. I need to find out if it is microgrooved or ballard cut. I would prefer the ballard cut so I can use lead.


Link Posted: 8/22/2003 8:42:07 AM EST
Oh, yeah, that reminds me of something Fenian's linked article talked about. My previous understanding was that all Ruger .44 mag barrels had a 1 in 20 twist. But as the article points out, they used a different rate on some of the deerstalkers. This may explain why mine doesn't seem to like projectles under 230gr while my much newer redhawk shot 185gr loads to point of aim right out of the box. Be sure to check the Marlin's rate and satisfy yourself that it will shoot your (I assume hunting) load of choice. I've had good experience with Winchester "white box" Q4240 240gr JSP. Kills pigs dead.

Happy hunting!

Link Posted: 8/22/2003 11:16:16 AM EST
Major problem with the Ruger 44 carbines is they will not handle 300Gn ammo.

The 300Gn loads is where the 44 mag really shines.
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 11:34:01 AM EST
Hmmm... I can't say I've ever tried. Factory or hand loads? Is this an OAL problem?

Link Posted: 8/26/2003 6:01:58 PM EST
To those that were following this thread. I found a new in box Marlin 1894P (.44 mag) which has been discontinued along with the .444 Marlin version of their guide gun series. It seems the 45-70 version outsold the .444 and the .44 mag versions combined.

I got it for under $400.00 delivered, which I thought was pretty good.

Thanks for all the input guys, It has been interesting!

Link Posted: 8/27/2003 1:22:14 PM EST
Bob, I think you made a great choice. I have the Marlin 1894CL in 357 mag/ 38Spec. It has a 18" barrel. Shoots great, used it as a starter gun for my kids. I was interested in the 1894P that you picked up for my youngest son now that he is ready to hunt deer but found a Winchester 94 trapper in .44 Mag used for $200.00 dollars last spring in excellent condition. I could not pass it up because of the price but you got the better gun. I am still interested in hearing opinions about the Deerfield if anyone has any first hand experience. My oldest son hunts with my original Ruger .44 mag carbine. Great gun but hard to unload. MIKE.
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 1:44:05 PM EST

Originally Posted By mike103:
Great gun but hard to unload. MIKE.

Now that never occured to me. Thanks for the kind words. I haven't been this excited over a non-semiauto gun in I don't know how long. At least the guys in deer camp wont look at me like a terrorist with my black rifle.

Link Posted: 8/27/2003 2:16:10 PM EST
Bob, I do not know why but when you try to run the rounds from the tube mag thru the action to unload the gun one will always get turned backwards or length wise and jam the action. Up here in New York, during the last two weeks of November and the first week of December, what we call deer season, it is COLD outside. Especially at the end of the day, when the sun has gone down, your dragging deer, starving, dieing for a beer, been chasing other peoples deer all day, trying to find that last guy who stayed late on stand, when your fingers are numb and your son tries to unload his carbine and the damn thing gets stuck! Very frustrating!

So that is my interest in the Deerfield carbine that has a detachable mag. MIKE.
Link Posted: 8/28/2003 7:37:53 AM EST

Originally Posted By mike103:
...but when you try to run the rounds from the tube mag thru the action to unload the gun...

Um, Mike, I assume you already know this, but for the benefit of our other readers, this is not the proper unloading method. There is a little button at the mouth of the tube magazine, identical to those found on pump action shotguns, that allows you to remove rounds directly from the magazine for unloading. The correct, and safest, unloading method is to remove the rounds from the mag and then work the action once to lock the bolt open and eject the round in the chamber. As you already noted, manually cycling the action doesn't work very well and has a strong tendency to chew up the rounds.

Again, I'm sorry if you already knew this, but I thought it should be said.

Link Posted: 8/29/2003 11:24:26 AM EST
bjt, It so very kind of you to post the proper method of unloading the original Ruger .44 mag carbine. Especially that you assumed that I knew the proper method instead of calling me a stupid F***ing moron like you should have. I have owned the gun of several years, bought it used, so I do not have a owners manual, not an excuse. I only took it into the woods twice. Well just goes to show that big mouth know it all like me have a lot to learn. Thanks very much. MIKE. PS: I already opened the safe and tried the proper method to unload the gun. Works great, what a jerk I am.
Link Posted: 8/29/2003 11:46:20 PM EST
Just an FYI. If any of you have a Local Sports Authority around they are getting rid of their Deerfields. The one here in central CA had theirs on sale for $280 or so, ya'll might want to chk that out. that and Marlin guide guns and some other cool shit.
Link Posted: 9/2/2003 4:49:01 PM EST

I don't think you're a moron or a jerk. You're a fellow carbine owner and I'm very happy I could help you with the unloading problem. I love mine (obviously, since I can't shut up about the silly thing and have completely hijacked Bob's thread - SORRY BOB!) but I also bought it used and don't have a manual. I've learned most of what I know about it from my close personal friends Trial and Error. It's kind of an odd bird as rifles go, and is kind of a cross between a pump action shotgun and a semiautomatic pistol.

Here's another tip that might help your son. Working the action by hand is tricky at best and does not chamber the first round the same way as subesquent rounds, resulting in flyers. To avoid this problem, load the carbine like you would a semiauto shotgun, i.e. lock the bolt open with the magazine empty, place a round in the chamber by hand, press the bolt release to slam the bolt shut, and then charge the magazine. While this won't drive any tacks or win any shooting contests, it may help to improve that critical first shot in a hunting situation.

Link Posted: 9/2/2003 5:17:36 PM EST
Hijack the thread? I think I hijacked my own thread. I started with a Deerfield and ended up with a Marlin. I did not get the one I wanted, but I did find a slightly used version with a Lyman Type 66 peep sight for less money!

Thanks for the info guys,


Link Posted: 9/2/2003 5:56:52 PM EST
bjt, Thanks for the loading tip. I shot the gun on Sunday. I use the Remington Core-Lokt pistol cartridges, 275 grain. They feed well and pattern, I mean group OK. A little expensive at 20-22 dollars for a box of 25. I shot a four pointer in the neck with that cartridge a few years ago when my Remington 742 crapped out. Dropped dead in his tracks. Also shot the Winchester 94 trapper. Used the Winchester Super X 240 grain soft point loads, same as the Ruger 3" or so groups. 11 dollars for a box of 20 cartridges. Good enough for 25 yard shots at deer. Still interested in the Deerfield if the price was right. MIKE.
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