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Plays best, alone
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Discussion Starter #1
Maryland is close to going to allowing straight walled cartridges for use where it was only muzzle loader or shotgun for deer hunting. I'm trying to decide which one to go with, so would appreciate any input good or bad on what you would choose or not. Some choices are going to fit the AR platform, but this will be a strictly deer hunting arm and I want to keep it bolt or lever actions please.

There are other choices, but narrowed down, which would you choose or one you would stay away from? (no particular order) Hunting area would be dense woodlands and mountains, remember this is replacing rifled shotgun and ML. Likely never over 150 yds. Thanks.

350 Legend
444 Marlin
450 Bushmaster
44 Magnum
45/70
 

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+1 on .44 Magnum, but if possible you want a rifle barrel with a 1 in 20 inch twist to stabilize heavier 300 grain bullets. In the more common 1 in 36" twist you are effectively limited to factory loads with 240-grain bullets.
 

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45-70 is always a great choice. What platform are you going to use? I have a contender with a 21" 357 Max barrel. Great round and nice carbine. I had the barrel made by TC in their shop. I'm not a 44 mag fan. I could be tempted to do a 454 casull in a carbine though. I'm also not a lever action fan. A bolt action 45-70 is a fantastic choice.
 

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Considering the choices, and the area, I would definitely go with the .350 Legend.
In an AR of course.

I have used the .44 Mag, .45 Colt, .45-70 and watched the .444 Marlin in action.
I don't have any leverguns anymore. Just fell out of interest. Were I in brown bear territory (which I am) I would consider a .45X (Bushmaster/ Socom) because of the compactness of the package and the weather resistance of the package.

Not knowing Maryland laws, I cannot say that any of my choices are legal.
But if I were forced to play by some BS rules, I would probably take a Remington 760/7600 and convert (rebarrel) a .308 to a full length, straight wall case that uses a 265gr .429" bullet.
 

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reluctant sinner
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45-70 and 44 Mag ammo can be found almost everywhere. As a forager, both can take shot or less powerful loading. Heavy handloads with big bullets in the 45-70 in a strong action can be brutal to the less acclimatized shooter.

I think the 450 Bushmaster could be a good forager in an AR if you load for it.
 

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Plays best, alone
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Discussion Starter #7
I'm leaning 350 Legend in a RAR, but also considering a lever 44 Mag. Just not sold on the new cartridge. Not eliminating the 444 Marlin or 45/70 but both are a little more than I need for Maryland deer. Just looking for some advice. Doubt I would ever get a chance for bear, unless it was a blackie in self defense. We don't have a hog population to speak of, kinda hope it stays that way. Mostly for the sake of our farmers.
 

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Shill for the Federal Gov
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45/70 for me. Had an old Trapdoor springfield in it....just fill the case up with pyrodex and you're good to go.

I would do a newer HR trapdoor springfield in the same.
 

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I have a 450 BM and shoot just over moa with Barnes 275 grain bullets from a 16” barrel. I also have but haven’t had the chance to shoot a 50 beowulf. Both are straight walled and legal for Michigan deer hunting.
 

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Swirl Herder
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I have the 45-70 and the 38-55 and the 375, all marlins lever rifles.
Yeah. I have Marlins in 44Mag, 30/30 and 45/70.

Love them all but the 44Mag has a shorter receiver and much bigger mag than the other two.

All the Marlins shoot well offhand.

I'm leaning 350 Legend in a RAR, but also considering a lever 44 Mag. Just not sold on the new cartridge. Not eliminating the 444 Marlin or 45/70 but both are a little more than I need for Maryland deer. Just looking for some advice. Doubt I would ever get a chance for bear, unless it was a blackie in self defense. We don't have a hog population to speak of, kinda hope it stays that way. Mostly for the sake of our farmers.
Get the 44Mag Marlin (ideally an older second hand one might be best).

44Mag out of a rifle kills things better than the on-paper ballistics would suggest. I think that is because most 44Mag ammo and projectiles are designed to work at both handgun and rifle velocities. When soft/hollow point ammo gets shot out of a rifle, terminal performance is pretty explosive. If you want deeper penetration, there are good projectiles for that too - that go deep and smash any bones in their path.

44Mag levers are good hunting rifles out to 100 yards (or even a bit more if you practice enough to pick the hold over correctly).
 

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old gunsel
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Lever action, Model 92, 44 Mag, or 454 Casull. Model 94 in 375.
TC Contender, 44 Mag, 444, or 445, 375 Winchester, 357 Max (I’d prefer) or 41 Mag.
45-70 in about anything, I’d prefer the Ruger #3, but that’s just me.

I once saw an 1885 Winchester in 40-50 Sharps Straight,
.401 caliber, cases formed from 30-40 Krag.
Looked like fun, but expensive.
 

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Start up the rotors
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I went to the range two weekends ago with a guy that has an AR in 350 Legend. Pretty cool little round, and I guess they make quiet rounds for suppression lke the 300BO, but I think it's an answer to a question we don't have in KS (no ammo design requirements on hunting).

If I was having to make a choice, I think I'd go 45/70, mainly because I have one already...
I also have a lever gun in 357 which would be fine for 200 yards or less, but use the right ammo.
The 44mag is an interesting choice. Cheaper than 45/70, but again you're in pistol caliber world, yet still enough for most deer shots. I need to get a 44mag lever gun.

Is 30-30 not considered a straight wall cartridge there? If not I guess all around choice I might pick the 44mag.
They all sound good though, get them all! :thumb:
 
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Plays best, alone
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Discussion Starter #16
Is 30-30 not considered a straight wall cartridge there? If not I guess all around choice I might pick the 44mag.
They all sound good though, get them all! :thumb:
Unfortunately the 30-30 is not straight walled. I have a Win 94,and some other rifle calibers too that can be used in part of the state just not as close to where I live. Choosing a SW cartridge lets me hunt closer to home with something other than a shotgun.

Cool idea to buy everything, but not gonna happen.:D:
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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My choice is 44 mag. I rebarreled an older Marlin 1894, with a 1:20 twist deep cut rifled octogon barrel.
Then modifed the load ramp to accept a 1.750" OAL cartridge.
The result is it shoots Sierra 300g JSP hand loads (m.v.1600 F/s) to 3" groups at 175 yds.
Btw, I fitted a Winchester 94 with a 20" long, 445 super mag barrel, that produced a m.v. of 2000 f/s with the same bullet.
 

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I'm not much of an AR fan so can't help you there. But like a few others I would recommend the 44 mag. I have killed one deer with mine and seen several others killed with a 44 mag by my bud. With soft point 240gr bullets it destroys a deers insides. Just about like a bottle neck rifle round. It is impressively effective round. More than you would think for a pistol caliber rifle.

My choice is 44 mag. I rebarreled an older Marlin 1894, with a 1:20 twist deep cut rifled octongon barrel.
Then modifed the load ramp to accept a 1.750" OAL cartridge.
Hick I like what you did and would like to do the same to my 44 mag Marlin. Did you do the work yourself or did you have someone do it for you? If someone did it for you please list who it was. I may have that done to mine.
 
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Bear Fighter
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I would recommend the 444 Marlin (essentially a double length .44 Mag), but only if you're a handloader. There are only two manufacturers of factory ammo now -- Remington Cor-Lokt and Hornady LeveRevolution (which is a shorter proprietary case for the FTX bullets) -- so you're pretty limited with factory choices.

I've seen more .45/70 choices than 444 Marlin!

I think if you're going to keep it under 200 yards, a .44 Mag lever action would be suitable. If you want an AR platform, that opens up a whole 'nother can of worms.
 
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