Favorite handgun cartridge for a carbine

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Scearcy posted this 20 June 2017

I have been bitten by the lever gun bug. In part I caught this bug because Marlin currently has rebates on many of their rifles. My question is not about brand, however. Since I have never  owned a rifle in a handgun caliber, my question is actually about caliber. There are rifles available in 45 Colt, 44 mag, 41 mag and 357 mag. I reload for all of these except the 45 and I have several hundred 44 special  and 41 mag cases on hand. This is to be a fun gun and there is very little chance I would use it for deer hunting. Reasonable accuracy is important and small game hunting is certainly a possibility.

I am sure that several of you have much more knowledge than I. What would you recommend?

Jim

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drone posted this 2 weeks ago

357 mag all day long, I have a newish Rossi R92 and it is just so much fun to shoot.

I stopped reloading 38 sp cases as I found a load for the 357 with an OAL of 1.55 with 158 grn TC bullets, comes out the muzzle at about 1100 fps and is so accurate. It's much cheaper to load for than a 44 or 45 and I use S&B small rifle primers which are less costly.

I have some 308 win palma brass on order for SR primers and that will be even cheaper to reload for with 120 grn 32 cal bullets sized down to 309 at 1100 fps, this will feed my browning blr, 8 grns of 2400 will do the stunt or 5.6grns Universal as an alternative.

Bullets lubed with donkey snot.

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Ed Harris posted this 19 February 2021

The H&R .44 Garden Guns and prewar small-action .410s are perfectly OK with standard-pressure factory-level .32 H&R Magnum. 

If you go for a higher pressure round over 30,000 like a .30-30 you'll probably want to bush the firing pin. John did on both of mine.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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cfp4570 posted this 19 February 2021

I wish I had used a 308 barrel for my 32 long, just for better selection of bullets. Mine is built on a Green Mountain 7.62x39 blank, .312 groove 1 in 9.5" twist. It's only 19" long, but with the Lee 312-185, it's still pretty quiet. The fast twist barrels make for a really versatile rifle. I have a rabbit silhouette target that is 95 yards from the window of my shop and I can usually ring it every time with that slow, heavy bullet.

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mashburn posted this 19 February 2021

Ed,

The .308 barrel that I have came off of a Contender carbine. It is a heavy straight 30-30 barrel It was cut off right in front of the under lug locking system. I guess someone just wanted a under lug, what a way to get one. It is 20 something inches long, I can't remember the exact length because I haven't looked at it in a while. I thought about a .32 H&R Mag but I don't like to put my face and eyes down behind something that I'm not sure about it's strength. I have oodles of 32 mag brass, guess I'll cut some of it off.

Thanks for the info.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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RicinYakima posted this 19 February 2021

Android's are ugly for working on the net!

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Ed Harris posted this 19 February 2021

.308 barrel, for some reason cannot edit on Android phone after posting and autocorrect is. a bugger all.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ed Harris posted this 19 February 2021

The .308 barrel works great for a .32 S&W Long. Mine was fabricated from a pulled-off M1 Garand barrel cutting off at the gas port and behind the chamber neck, being turned down to finish at 18 inches to make a very light 4-pound walking gun. I have been thoroughly delighted with it.

Finally got to  desktop to edit!

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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mashburn posted this 18 February 2021

Hello Ed,

I've built several hunting caliber rifles on H&R's, but never a bunny rifle. I stock them with custom wood & I do my own metal and wood work, when finished  they don't much look like an H&R or Handi  rifle.

I have a little pre war H&R .410 that I have been thinking about making a ,so called, bunny rifle from. The cartridge that I would like to use is a .32 S&W Long. I have a good .308 barrel but not a .311 barrel. The little .410 was brought into my shop for repairs about 18 years ago and I haven't seen the customer since, so I guess it is mine.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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BigMan54 posted this 18 February 2021

Yep, 

An oldie but a goodie

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Ed Harris posted this 18 February 2021

I will share a brainstorm I've been thinking about while watching the snow...

Not as a repeater, but as an addition to the Bunny Gun options.

I sold my 1944 Inland M1 carbine because I had a good offer and I found it less interesting in that my Ruger revolver in that caliber was more accurate than the GI carbine.  I would still like some sort of rifle to use the carbine ammo I have hoarded, for recreational steel shooting purposes, and as a walking companion for the Ruger revolver.

In the past John Taylor did a rimless extractor for my .45 ACP Bunny Gun barrel which had a rim seat cut into the barrel so that it could also use .455 or .45 Cowboy Special rounds.  I was thinking of having him do the same thing with a barrel chambered for the .30 Carbine cartridge, but also having a rim seat cut into the rear barrel face so that it would headspace and eject .32-20 rounds.

All of my .32-20 brass is Starline and trimmed to 1.28" so the case lengths are the same.  The .30 M1 chamber is a bit larger at the mouth and is straight tapered with no shoulder, but is no issue.  The greater neck clearance will permit loading larger diameter .314" bullets in .32-20 brass or normal .308 jacketed bullets in carbine brass.

Green Mountain has 8-inch twist .300 Blackout barrels in 25-inch length in normal .308 groove.  I plan on using one of these and having John rethroat the .30 carbine chamber to permit seating #314299 bullets out long, and with a compressed case full of IMR4895, IMR4064, RL-15, or Varget it should make a nice subsonic blooper. I would also have the option to load .30-30 jacketed bullets at decent velocity which should approximate a .32-40 rifle. 

The faster twist should enable good accuracy with minimum-power "Cat Sneeze" .32-20 loads which are the lowest to exit the rifle barrel.  The rifle should not need a "can" because with subsonic loads from 700-1000 fps it will be quiet enough not to disturb the neighbors.  Report should be like firing a .22 with Eley Sport.

Plan is to machine the muzzle for an M14 front sight, fit a Picatinny 1/2-rail for optic and XS ghost ring peep similar to what I did on the 10x25mm Bunny Gun.  Contour will be the same except to finish 24 inches rather than 22" and having a smaller hole in the end of the barrel.  Something like this:

   

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 18 February 2021

Rereading this causes me to think about either 32-20 or 327 Federal as being right much comfortable for light weight carry and effective down range too.

 

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mashburn posted this 18 February 2021

I'll vote for the 32-20. Very accurate-less powder-less lead and just plain fun to shoot. I have four 32-20 rifles, one of which is an original  92 Winchester,  the other three are a pump action Remington, a 1894 Marline, the one with Ballard rifling and the third being a early Savage Sporter. The revolvers are a original 1907 Colt and a early Colt Army Special. Man this thread has been around a long time.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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Fn1889m posted this 18 February 2021

I realize this is an old thread. But I joined to add - purchased the new model Rossi 44 Mag. Did a complete breakdown and cleaning before I even shot it. Loaded .44 Spl with 429421,7.5 gn Unique. It’s quiet, feeds well, and is fun to shoot. I read that the same bullet in .44 Mag does not fee as reliably. But this has worked very well. I am adjusting the sights for this cartridge at 50 yards with open sights. Set it and forget it. But It is a lot of fun to shoot offhand. I imagine it would still shoot .44 Mag. But I have not tried.

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Mudhen463 posted this 17 February 2021

Having recently bought a Rossi M92 carbine in 45 Colt. The carbine is an excellent shooter. I use a mixture of cowboy loads &Ruger Blackhawk +P loads. The +P loads are accurate out to 125 yards. I find the Keith Lyman 250 grain with a gas check to be outstanding. Cast with my alloy the bullets weight 265 grains over 17 grains of 2400. Very happy with the carbine.

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Rum River posted this 17 February 2021

After re-reading my last post, I thought I'd be a little clearer. (My OCD and all.)

I never found the bullet, I meant the deer weighed 120 lbs.

"Well hell boys. I'd damn sight rather be hung by my friends than by a bunch'a damn strangers."

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Rum River posted this 17 February 2021

I have had a Rossi 92 in 357 for "awhile" now. Didn't realize how long until I looked at my load data just now.

Cool little rifle that with a magazine full of 38 plinkers our youngest son could keep a can bouncing out past 40 yards. With a muzzle-up cleared rifle he'd turn to the peanut gallery and say "If there's a hole in it - I missed."

There was never a hole.

Shot my first cast-bullet deer with that rifle. Federal nickel 357 case, CCI magnum primer, 16grs. H110, 180gr WFNGC bullet. Velocity average for 10 rounds 1757 fps, that string measured 4 1/2" at 100 yards.

Deer was a 6 point at about 35 yards. Basically a head-on shot, it had it's head turned to one side so bullet entered the side of the neck. No idea on bullet expansion as it went all the way through the length of the animal. If I remember right it weighed about 120 after field dressing.

"Well hell boys. I'd damn sight rather be hung by my friends than by a bunch'a damn strangers."

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Eutectic posted this 17 February 2021

In a carbine you can load 45 Colt close to 44 Mag ballistics. However many 45 Colts have oversize chambers. The brass is thin and gets worked excessively. Case life is short, but it is lovely fun to shoot big bullets.

The 44 Mag is great for plinking. Often you can see the bullets hit when 357's just disappear like 22's. No need to load full out as Ed says, lighter loads are better. Most of my shooting is 250 grain bullets at 900 -1000  FS.

I just sold my 357 carbine, it was not used much since I bought the 44 Henry. The cost difference when loading cast bullets is only the powder between 357 and 44, why not shoot the 44??

Searcy, You will like the Big Boy! The 41 is a nice compromise.

Steve

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Mudhen463 posted this 16 February 2021

My new Rossi M92 in 45 Colt shots very well with the Keith semi wadcutter gas check bullet weighting 265 grains. I use 17.0 2400. Its a good 100 yard load. Recoil is not bad at all. 

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Brodie posted this 18 November 2018

Yeah, I suspect that I did by not doing the Cowboy Action stuff.  I just got frightened off by the quoted cost.  That particular MD was an Ass.

  The first time I saw him he started in on me about my weight, and I asked him when was the last time he saw his shoes while they were on his feet.  He got pretty steamed about that.  I don't know why he got so mad I could barely see his shoes.

B.E.Brickey

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BigMan54 posted this 16 November 2018

 

 

 

 

Sorry, thought the reply would just go straight to Brodie.

Brodie,

This popped back up and I read it through. I can understand your cost misgivings.

But only about maybe 10-12% of Shooters care to be truely competitive. The rest are just there to shoot steel, hang out and shoot bull with their buddies. Most of use grew up on playing Cowboys & Indians as kids, watching WESTERNS on TV.

So we finally got to Play Cowboys & Indians with real guns, and Real Rigs.

Cowboy Action Shooting needs a lot of room. So you had to be away, far away. And there was no traffic to speak of on Sat & Sun.

I know of the M.D. you speak off. Stayed away from him myself. He lived near me and busted the Great old STAG GRIPS I had on my M1917S&W, at the old LAPD Harbor Range. Lied about it too. You could always avoid folks you didn't care for by picking another posse. 

You missed out on a Great Deal of Good Comradeship.  And Good Seegars.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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