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Hunting 2018
Been out once bow hunting this year. Saw 4 deer, 2 does & 2 fawns. I am going back up Wednesday night and staying until Sunday.  It was snowing there today but supposed to be in the 50's the rest of the week.

And it's a month away from the firearm deer season. I've used my Ruger 44 carbine the last two years and got two bucks with it.  Picked it up about three years ago. After taking my Redhawk to Alaska it kinda got me interested in the 44 mag again.  I knew a friend who had the Ruger 44 carbine and didn't hunt so I made a swap for it. He also had a Marlin 94 in 44 mag which he had cut the barrel to 16". I traded for that one last year but didn't get it ready to hunt in time.

This year however I've been setting it up. I made a leather sling and butt stock cuff/ammo carrier for it. I also bought a new scope (Weaver V3 1-3x20) and mounted it on Leupold low rings. The scope is pretty small and fits the smaller profile. 1-3x is about all I need as most of my shots have been inside 100 yards.  Having a 16" bbl (instead of the normal 20") makes it compact to carry.

[Image: hJey8vH.jpg]

I've found myself leaning to smaller, lighter guns as I've gotten older. This one should work out fine. The 44 mag has produced once shot kills the last two years at 87 and 65 yards respectively. 

Looking forward to seeing what this one can do. I just got everything together today. Will be sighting it in with the scope this weekend.  I shot it with the iron sights at 50 yards last year. The three sight in holes were touching so I know it's accurate.   I've used factory Hornady FTX ammo the last two years but I've put together some hand loads this year to try out. Still have some factory stuff so I can pick the best. 

So it's back to a lever gun for me. I started hunting with a 30-30 Winchester back in the 1960s.  Moved up to a Marlin 336 in 35 Rem in the 70s, then to a Marlin in 375 Win (Big Bore) in the 80s.  I still have all three but haven't hunted with a lever gun for 20 years or so using a Winchester 70 in 308 instead.
I have to ask - what were you hunting with 375?
(10-17-2018, 10:36 PM)Bob Wrote: I have to ask - what were you hunting with 375?
It's not the 375 you're thinking of.  Back in the 1980s Winchester brought out the Big Bore 94 in 375 Win. It was their modern take on the 38-55 which was the old black powder cartridge. It is the same cartridge but with smokeless powder. It is a realitivly low pressure, slow moving cartridge with a big bullet good for deer, bear, elk etc. I (and my son) have taken quite a few deer with mine.

Mine is the Marlin version and like the Winchester is no longer made.
Finally got my Marlin 94 in 44 mag sighted in. I loaded up some handloads for some testing along with some factory loads. Mostly 240 gr JHPs and JSPs. Once sighted in they all shot to point of aim at 25 yards and one ragged hole at 50 yards. I chronographed all the loads as well with both my Ruger Redhawk and the Marlin.

Photo shows the 94 at 50 yards. The white stake just above and to the left of the muzzle is the 25 yard line.

[Image: eQLwpFK.jpg]

Here's an 10 shot group at 50 yards. It was a fun rifle to shoot.

[Image: iLTKPQW.jpg]

And a 6 shot group from the Redhawk at 25 yards. Not too bad since I can't see the front sight anymore. Smile

[Image: 9w3WmY0.jpg]

I was using heavy loads which were rather stout in the Redhawk. The flyers could have been caused by flinching.

The loads I was chronographing included two factory Hornady loads, the 240gr JHP XTPs and the 225gr plastic tip Leverevolution. I also tested two hand loads consisting of 240gr JHP & JSP using 24.4 grs of 296 powder and a 200 gr JHP using 28.5 grs of 296.

The XTP averaged 1422 FPS in the Redhawk and 1702 in the Marlin
The FTX averaged 1451 in the Redhawk and 1753 in the Marlin

The 240 JHP/JSP averaged 1432 in the RH and 1752 in the Marlin
The 200 gr JHP averaged 1502 in the RH and 1812 in the Marlin
And...I've been doing some cross bow hunting. Didn't see anything in three days last week. This week I started to see deer every night. I've also started seeing numerous scrapes that weren't there last week. I saw a 6 pt buck Thursday night. Not close enough to shoot but it's encouraging to see fresh sign and deer.

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