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5 Great Pistol-Caliber Hunting Carbines

Tote less gun and have more fun with these 5 pistol-caliber hunting carbines!

Hunting carbines make toting a rifle around the woods easier. Whether you’re iron-sight hunting at close range or shooting over moderate to close distances, a pistol-caliber carbine has just as much lethality as a rifle for many game species, with less recoil and also less expense.

Here are five pistol caliber carbines that can bring home the bacon, so to speak. Or literally, if you’re hunting hogs.

Winchester Model 1892

Saloca/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA
Saloca/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

The Model 1892 carbine perfected the pistol-caliber carbine concept. Initially, it was much like the Winchester 1870, which chambered pistol calibers of the day like the .44-40 and .38-40.

Today’s 1892 chambers the .44-40, .357 Magnum/.38 Special, .44 Magnum and .45 Long Colt, sending these large pistol rounds screaming out of the 20-inch barrel. The .44 Magnum has the same velocity at 100 yards from a carbine than from a revolver at the muzzle with some loads.

Soft-point big-bore bullets will penetrate brush better than Spitzer rounds and at close ranges are as effective as any rifle round on most North American game.

MechTech Systems CCU

The MechTech Systems CCU (Carbine Conversion Unit) is…a little different from most other carbines. Here’s how it works:

You take a compatible pistol, such as Glock, Springfield XD or a 1911 and remove the slide and barrel. 1911 pistols need the hammer removed as well. The CCU upper slides onto the frame and locks into place, replacing the firing mechanism with its own while using the host gun’s trigger. The magazine feeds like normal and the trigger works like normal.

On top of that, it uses railed forends and an AR-style stock, so add all the AR goodies you want. For the hunting crowd, convert a Glock 20 or other 10mm pistol to make a 10mm carbine. Select a +P load and you basically have an autoloading .41 Mag.

The 1911 platform also accepts 1911’s chambered for .460 Rowland.

Since it isn’t a complete firearm, it can ship direct to your door.

Rossi R92 .454 Casull


This requires fettling about on the used market, but it may pay dividends with the Rossi R92. Essentially, it’s a Winchester 1892 derivative but with one advantage:

Past model years of the R92 chamber the .454 Casull, while the Winchester does not.

That gives the user more range, more firepower and for less money. You can also fire .45 Colt, which can be loaded just as hot as a .44 Magnum.

Ruger Model 77/357 and 77/44


Unfortunately, the Ruger 77 series appears to be on hold, which is a shame as the Ruger 77/357 and 77/44 took the same concept as the Winchester 1892 and put it into a bolt gun.

The Ruger 77 series (not to be confused with the former M77, now Hawkeye rifles) is a rotary-magazine bolt-action series of rifles. Mostly known for plinking and varmint calibers (.22 LR, WMR and Hornet, .17 HMR) but in recent years was released in .357 and .44 Magnums.

Everything good about the lever-action carbines, in a bolt gun. Shame they’re ushering them out.

Marlin 1894

Hmaag/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA
Hmaag/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

The Marlin 1894 is just like a Winchester 1892. The difference is one says Marlin, which means it does the same things, just as well, for half the price. For that you get an American-made lever gun in .357, .44, or .45 Colt. Your savings can be spent on ammo and tags.

Read More About the MechTech Carbine!

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5 Great Pistol-Caliber Hunting Carbines