Loading up 357 or down 44

Discussion in 'Lever Action' started by upnorth73, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. upnorth73

    upnorth73 Member

    I am a very happy owner of 1999 (serial starts with 99) 1894 in 44mag. Great gun, cycles smooth and am thinking of getting a trigger from Wild West guns, but am very happy with the gun.
    I have been thinking about getting my son a 1894 in 357. My question is, I am also thinking of doing some reloading for the 44. Would I be better off getting him a 44 and doing him some lighter loads or go 357 and as he gets older start really loading these up.
    Hope this question makes sense. Cheers, Adam...
  2. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporting

    Welcome to the Marlin Forum upnorth73 !!

    Depends on the rifles primary mission...would a .357 do it,

    or would it take a .44 Mag to seal the deal...in which case you

    could go with light .44 Specials till he grows up.

  3. upnorth73

    upnorth73 Member

    I guess the main type of hunting where I am is pigs. A 357 will do it, but a 44 would do it much better.

    That said I am not huge into hunting although I'd enjoy the odd trip (haven't been for years), so he hasn't even been out. I guess I was figuring he would grow into the 44. But if a lightly loaded 44 is terrible for accuracy I will just get a 357.
  4. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum and I have to agree with SHOOTER13.
    You'll have to make the choice based on needs.
    With that said, I previously owned a Browning mod. 92 chambered in 44 mag.
    Bought it at a gun show and purchased a box of Cowboy Action Re-Loads before I left the show. Actually, they were cheap and I wanted the brass. When I got home, I shot a few rounds just for fun. They were super soft with very little felt recoil. As I remember, it was kinda like shooting a 410 deer slug.
    I would think that the 44 mag. would give you a wider range of loads where the .357 would be limited on the higher end.
    Sorry, I didn't check them for accuracy.
  5. duster066

    duster066 Well-Known Member Supporting

    I had a similar choice to make. I've owned a 357 single action for about 30 years. A year ago I bought a 44mag Blackhawk to upgrade my bear defense round. When I decided to go cowboy action shooting I had to make a decision and the rifle purchase would determine that choice. The 44 is a much better bear round, but the odds of a successful follow up shot (with the Blackhawk) at close range were proving to be not so good. Because I wanted a pistol/carbine combo to reduce hunting load out weight and cowboy action complexity and because I figured my odds with a bear were better with two or more 357 hits vs maybe no 44 hits I bought a 357 rifle. If a common pistol/carbine ammo is not an issue for you, or you have no need for a bear defense gun I'd think the 44 would be a better choice. I like my M94 so much in 357 I would buy one in 44mag in a heart beat if a deal comes along.
  6. upnorth73

    upnorth73 Member

    Well took my son out for a shoot a few days ago, had a ball.
    Rather than take him to the range like I normally do, we went out to A hunting reserve, just for target practice. It was mid week so very few people around and we set a few paper targets up and some eggs on golf tees. Don't know how many people have shot eggs with a 22, but they are very visual and great for getting the kids excited.
    Anyway I took my marlin 44 out as well to coach him through a few shots and I think I answered my own question about 44 vs 357. I'm a biggish guy and didn't think to much of the recoil, I gave him 2 shots. One with my hand between his shoulder, and the stock. The second without, while he was definitely excited it also hurt him, not upset, but I think with time it would intimidate him.
    I think I'll get him a 357 and load the hell out of it when he's ready. Later when he's older we can look at a 44 or 30-30 or what ever we decide. Plus in the meantime 357 is a lot cheaper to feed.
    Thanks for your input guys.
  7. 1894

    1894 Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a wise choice upnorth73 .
    An early ( when starting out and moving up in recoil ) flinch is something that is very hard for a shooter to undo down the road.
    A 357 with 38 spcl loads sounds like a great start for your son IMHO .
    That 357 outta a carbine seems to be just one of those calibers that REALLY steps way up with that extra 14" + of barrel .
    Easy and fun plinking to start and then a solid ( often underestimated ) performer on deer , hogs , even black bears if he decided to pursue hunting.
    Just my opinion given freely and with a self addressed stamped envelope I'll send you my .02$ back.
    I got thumped hard by the 1894 in 44 mag my dad gave me when I was around 9 years old. Crisp trigger touched off before I was ready . Didn't fire that rifle for a year after one shot.
    By the time I was 10 , Dad lined up a 20 ga shell and said you've shot a bunch of full rounds of skeet with these right ? yep . 12 ga shell and you've shot a bunch of full rounds of trap with these right ? yep . Set the 44 mag case down next and asked if I wanted to try it again .
    It was no biggie then , but that flinch persisted every time I moved up in recoil , especially when shooting off a bench as opposed to standing on my hind feet.
    Again all just my 2 cents worth , given freely . ;)
  8. 1894

    1894 Well-Known Member

    And since you are reloading , a set of dies for 38 / 357 are not all that expensive :cool: