I keep seeing these ads for lever action rifles chambered for 44 and 357 magnum. Of course theyre legal for deer hunting. But how practical are these rifle calibers. If I want a lever action deer rifle there is always the classic 30-30. So what are the 44 and 357 rifles good for at over $800.
44 and 357 rifles
I think you would be surprised at the effectiveness of those two calibers within 75-100 yards. Keep in mind, you will get significantly more velocity and energy than out of a 16" rifle than a 6-8" revolver barrel. Also, many states have straight wall cartridge restrictions that do not allow the .30-30 Win, .35 Rem, etc. to be used because they are 'necked' cartridges. I have a Smith & Wesson Model 27 revolver in .357 Mag with an 8 3/8" barrel that has killed deer at 70 yards with a pass through using 158 gr. JSP bullet at ~1250 fps. I'd guess that same load in a 16" rifle would be around 1700-1800 fps. Last year I bought a 350 Legend that smokes most straight wall cartridges, except maybe 450 Bushmaster, in effective range. It is a legitimate 200-225 yard rifle, 450 Bushmaster is probably capable of 250-ish with the right load, but with a lot more recoil. My 350 Legend is like shooting a .223 / 5.56 when it comes to recoil, but shoots a 150 grain .355 bullet at around 2300 fps. I think where a .357 / .44 lever rifle would shine would be on hunting in thick woods or if you wanted a short, light rifle to carry on deer drives as a driver. Again, very capable deer rounds within 75-100 yards.
I'm guessing it's if you like the caliber ..I do and hv an older Ruger lever 44 and a Rossi single shot...have taken many deer..not long range