This time, we bring you a collection of the best .44 Magnum Rifles you can find.
Many of you have heard already about the mighty .44 Magnum as the round in Dirty Harry`s strongest handgun. Ok, actually, it was the strongest handgun that was in production at the time Dirty Harry was made, and it has long been eclipsed by other handguns in other calibers. One has to just take a look at the .500 Smith & Wesson Magnum or the Magnum Research BFR in .45/70.
However, we have not come here today in order to discuss handguns even if we do talk about a handgun caliber. We are looking at rifles chambered in .44 Magnum. While there are stronger cartridges out there, that does not mean that the .44 Magnum is to be trifled with especially when shot out of the longer barrel of a rifle.
.44 Magnum rifles are well suited for home defense, plinking and of course hunting. They pack a punch that gives them the practicality of a shotgun when it comes to defense. Like the good old shotgun, they are a man stopper and barely ever require more than one round on target to achieve that. For that, they come with less muzzle flash and less blast.
Also, they are very good brush guns. Instead of light rounds going very fast that can be easily deflected by the twigs and leaves in brushes, these slow and heavy rounds punch their way through to the intended target.
Knowing already from the revolver Model 29 what a force the .44 Magnum can deliver, you should never forget, that barrel length plays an important role. The most common barrel length of the Model 29 is just 6 inches. A rifle comes in 18 inches or more. That adds an easy 300 – 400 feet per second to the round.
While the model range of .44 Magnum rifles cannot compete with the AR15, that does not mean that they do not exist. The .44 Magnum has been around for a while and being a revolver cartridge, that has led to the typical cowboy development. That is to have a rifle chambered in the same round as you have in your revolver.
Comparing the .44 Magnum rifles once more to the AR15, you might be a little bit disappointed when it comes to capacity. Typically, the numbers are 8 – 10, while the AR15s bring an easy 30 rounds if not more, depending on the magazine that you use. However, there is something with these numbers you might want to keep in mind. The AR15 is meant for suppression, and this means it needs a lot of rounds that are one for one rather cheap and weak. The .44 Magnum is meant for a one shot solution. This means it comes with a few rounds that are very heavy and very powerful. If you want to compare a .44 Magnum rifle and an AR15, the former needs one hit to reliably down a target, and this hit does not even have to be very good. The latter needs easily 3 hits to achieve the same guaranteed neutralization effect. For you, this leaves you with the option to go for spray and pray with an AR15 or hit and down with a .44 Magnum rifle.
Now, with such a power, there comes a cost. You have to expect a price somewhere in the range of $700 to $2000 if you want to go with the big brother of Dirty Harry`s gun in .44 Magnum, but it is worth it. It actually saves you some money. You do not need an AR15 to wound, a shotgun to stop, and a .357 Magnum revolver to end a target. You just need one rifle in sweet big .44 Magnum.
Did I convince you to go for the big .44 Magnum? Great, then here is the list.
The Marlin 1894 is still in production today, and it is a real workhorse. At a little over $700, you cannot expect custom shop quality, but you get a rifle that goes bang when you pull the trigger. It comes with a hammer block safety. This means, you can keep a round in the chamber and the hammer down without having to worry about an accidental discharge.
Furthermore, the receiver is tapped so that you can install a scope. However, as it is a lever action rifle, you might just go with the real cowboy feeling and use the iron sights. The gun comes as a standard with a 20-inch barrel and a tubular magazine that holds 10 rounds. Also, it has a nice blued finish and a good old walnut stock that makes it look like it was just taken out of the old wild west.
Of course, if there is a Marlin lever-action rifle in .44 Magnum, there is also a model from Henry. This is the Hendy Big Boy series that offers chamberings in this round too. There are also versions in other chamberings, for example in .45 Colt or in .357 Magnum. However, with .44 Magnum, you cannot go wrong.
The Big Boy Classic is a good model of Henry with which you can start, but you might also opt for a carbine. Both come in a blued steel finish, but the classic has a 20-inch barrel as opposed to the 16.5 inches of a carbine. It is a question of taste, if you want more the cowboy action style or a lighter and more handier version. The prices are not that much higher with as of now around $750 or $850 for the classic and the carbine version respectively.
Staying in the realm of lever-action rifles, there might be one more out there. Who knows the times of the cowboys might remember also that there was a company called Winchester that made really good models. Of course, this old company does not fail to produce one variant in the heavy and powerful .44 Magnum, but here again, you might also fall in love with some other chamberings. Those come in .44-40 and .45 Colt, for example.
The Winchester comes in a beautiful walnut stock and furniture and a nice blued steel finish. With a 20-inch barrel, the tubular magazine has enough length to hold 10 rounds of the mighty .44 Magnum. You might get one in a little bit under $900, and this gun is worth every penny. It is an all-time classic of American history.
If you are not that much into cowboys but you do like a heavy hitting round that reliably downs a target with one hit, you can have a rather modern rifle. OK, rather modern is not necessarily modern, but with this model we move from the wild west to the times of the Mini-14. What gun might that be? The Ruger Modell 44.
It is a semi-automatic carbine with an open-top receiver and an 18.5-inch barrel. It feeds from a rotary magazine holding 4 rounds and uses open sights. The downside is that the production ran from 2000 to 2006. So, if you want one, you need to find it on the second-hand market, but it is still worth having one.
Not an semi-automatic, but still a nice rifle is the Ruger 77/44. This is a bolt-action rifle with a receiver reminding you of a Mauser. It comes with a 3-position safety. The 77/44 also has a rotary magazine with 4 rounds and a 18.5-inch barrel. As a bolt-action rifle and with scope mounts in the receiver, it will serve you well as a hunting rifle. You can get it with a blued receiver and a walnut stock or a synthetic stock and a blued or stainless receiver. It goes for a little unter $1000, but you get a lot of bang for your buck with it.