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.44 Magnum Rifles: 6 Top Choices for Hunters and Ranchers

.44 Magnum
Ruger/Winchester/Henry Repeating Arms

These 44 Magnum rifles are perfect brush and hunting guns.

When it comes to iconic American handgun cartridges, the .44 Remington Magnum sits up near the top of the list. Developed in the 1950s and made famous by the giant magnum revolvers in the "Dirty Harry" movies, this round delivers muzzle velocities between 1,100 and 1,600 feet per second with heavy bullets that are ideal for deer hunting or bear self-defense.

Rifles chambered for .44 Magnum cartridges were largely overlooked for anything other than cowboy-style lever action rifles for trappers and backcountry woodsmen for the longest time. However, a recent surge in states in the Midwest relaxing shotgun-only rules for deer hunting has led to a resurgence of interest in "straight wall cartridge" rifles in popular handgun rounds like .357 Magnum or new rounds like .450 Bushmaster. Most guns still made for the round are lever guns, but a few other styles have started to filter through recently.

Depending on the types of bullets used, you can easily get ballistics of 1,400 fps muzzle velocities out of  what was originally meant as a revolver cartridge. That is more than enough for deer hunting purposes. Today we will look at some of the current offerings for rifles chambered in .44 Magnum. These guns are ideal for hunting, defense or just plain fun wasting ammo out at the gun range.

Ruger 77/44 Threaded Barrel

.44 Magnum Rifles

If you live in a state like Michigan like I do, you are likely looking to take advantage of those still fairly new straight wall cartridge laws we mentioned earlier. The Ruger is a good choice for a shotgun zone legal firearm for whitetails. Ruger builds this bolt action rifle in a blued or stainless steel finish variation. If you are looking for a gun to stand up to the elements, go with the stainless for $100 more. This gun features a cold hammer-forged 18.5-inch barrel length with a 1:20 rate of twist. The barrel is also already threaded. The synthetic stock helps bring the weight down to a breezy 5.2 pounds. Ruger also makes a variant with a walnut stock if you are looking for the traditional hunting rifle look. It comes with a beaded front sight and adjustable rear, but you can also add optics via the integral scope mounts. This .44 Mag rifle has a 4+1 capacity through the rotary magazine making it legal for most shotgun zones straight out of the box.

CVA Scout V2 Takedown

.44 Magnum Rifles
Sportsman's Warehouse

For most whitetails and mule deer, most hunters are not going to need a bunch of follow up shots. This round does a good job of dropping many deer in their tracks. That makes the CVA Scout a viable option for hunters looking for something that is easy to disassemble and pack for a backcountry hunting trip. This single shot rifle comes apart with no tools needed, making it perfect to store in a boat, pickup or plane. The Scout features a longer barrel that is 22 inches, stainless steel, and fluted with a 1:20 rate of twist. Because of the break action design, this gun is ambidextrous right out of the box. The stainless steel should stand up well to whatever mother nature decides to throw at you. It comes fitted with a DuraSight scope rail ready for optics. The Scout weighs only 5.8 pounds and comes at a great price point of $369 for hunters looking for a solid gun on a budget.

Rossi R92 Lever Action Carbine

.44 Magnum Rifles
Sportsman's Warehouse

The .44 Rem Mag round lends itself well to lever action designs. Classic-looking cowboy action guns can be a bit pricey. The Rossi is one of the more affordable options on the market at $539. This rifle features a Brazilian hardwood stock and forend. The 16-inch barrel is made of carbon steel. The sights are fixed and adjustable buckhorn. Rossi somehow managed to get the weight on this rifle down to a slim 4.8 pounds, making it easy to lug up and down slopes deep in the backcountry. It also has a larger capacity of 8+1 rounds for multiple follow-up shots.

Winchester Model 1892

,.44 Magnum Rifles

It is hard to go wrong with a firearm that was originally designed by the legendary John Browning. The Winchester 92 has a great look thanks to the blued steel finish and satin walnut stock and forend. This rifle has a generous capacity of 10+1 rounds thanks to the tubular magazine and the rounds will cycle effortlessly through the buttery-smooth action in the steel receiver. This magnum lever action features beaded front sights and an adjustable semi-buckhorn rear for fast target acquisition in brushy areas. The barrel is 20 inches long and features a 1:26 rate of twist for great accuracy out to longer ranges. This gun will put deer and other big game on the ground season after season.

Marlin 1894 Cowboy Blued

.44 Magnum Rifles
Sportsman's Warehouse

Another classic rifle by one of the best-known firearms manufacturers in America. This Marlin will be as at home on the gun ranges as it will the brushy plains of Wyoming and the dense vegetation of the Alaskan backcountry. The tubular magazine gives this big bore a 10-shot capacity and the black walnut stock and blued finish make for an old-time look in a newer rifle. This rifle features a 20-inch barrel with a 1:38 rate of twist for maximum accuracy. It is slightly heavier than the other guns on this list at 6.5 pounds, but that is still an easy-to-carry weight for long hikes into the wilderness. It features an adjustable rear sight and beaded front, but it is also drilled and tapped for a scope mount. This gun is sure to be a hit both on the range and in the deer woods this season.

Henry Big Boy All Weather Lever Action

.44 Magnum Rifles
Henry Repeating Arms

It is hard to argue with buying a deluxe rifle from Henry Repeating Arms, they have this lever gun thing pretty much down pat these days. Yes, I know, the one we are showing in the photo above is the .357 Magnum/.38 Spl model, but their .44 Magnum lever-action rifles have the same look. There were several rifles we could have put on this list, but we decided on the all-weather model and its hard chrome plated steel finish. Perfect for serious hunters who want a tough gun for any conditions. This gun has the classic cowboy look but with a twist thanks to the black polyurethane coating on the walnut stock. It looks rather sharp don't you think? Henry kept this a compact package at just 37.5 inches overall length. The 20-inch barrel has a 1:20 rate of twist. The receiver is drilled and tapped for optics, but it also has a brass bead front and an adjustable semi-buckhorn for hunters who want to keep it old school.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels



.44 Magnum Rifles: 6 Top Choices for Hunters and Ranchers