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Author Topic: 44 mag for deer hunting  (Read 4376 times)

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Offline topper158

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44 mag for deer hunting
« on: August 19, 2008, 07:01:00 am »
I was wondering if anyone had good information regarding this caliber for deer hunting.  I always heard that the energy at the target should be greater than 1000 ft./lbs. for deer hunting.  According to Hornady's website they list the ballistics for the 44 mag leverevolution at muzzle 1410/993 50 yds. 1240/768  100 yds. 1111/617. If you want a 100 yd. deer rifle shouldn't it have more 617 lbs. of energy at that range.

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44 mag for deer hunting
« on: August 19, 2008, 07:01:00 am »
 

Offline petemi

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2008, 07:46:27 am »
If I want to shoot 100 yards or more on deer, I use my .308, (first choice),  7mm-08, .30-30, .30-06, or .45-70.  The pistol calibers stay home.  I'll  probably catch flak on this, but IMHO the .44 and .357 are 50 yard deer guns.
Keep both eyes open and make the first shot good.
The growing Handi/Sportster/Pardner/Topper Family:  .22 WMR, .22-250. 223, Two Superlight 7mm-08s and one .243, .30-30,  .308, 32-20, 18 inch .356/.358 Win., Two 16.5 inch .357 Max., 18 inch 38-55 BC Carbine, 16.5 inch .445 Super Mag., .45LC, 16.5 and 22 inch .45-70s, .50 Huntsman SS, .410, 20 ga., 12 ga., 20 ga. Pardner Pump, Versa-Pack .410 - .22

Offline jjas

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2008, 08:09:09 am »
Topper,

The figures you listed are for Hornady's leverevolution .44 mag ammo out of a handgun.

The data for the rifle is

    muzzle              50yards            100 yards
v    1870                 1637                1429 fps
e    1747                 1338                1020 ft lbs of energy

While I agree other cartridges are better suited to long range deer hunting, in Indiana we are limited by law to the calibers we can use.  I'm using a .44 mag and feel quite confident that 100-125 yard is doable. 

Jim

Offline woodchukhntr

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2008, 08:15:07 am »
jjas is right, it is a great caliber in a carbine.  The bullet diameter is bigger going in than many expand to.  It won't take deer in every conceivable case, but neither will the .30-06.  Pick your shots, you should anyway.  In a semi automatic it affords a very fast follow-up shot due to it's low recoil.  Whatever action you use, make the first shot count.

Online coyotejoe

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2008, 08:16:33 am »
Well yeah petmi, 100 at the most. But really, it is ridiculous to set a certain limit as to the exact foot pounds of energy. Shot placement is far, far, far more important than energy numbers. And that is why I'd set 100 yards as the limit for pistol caliber carbines, bullet drop begins to make precise shot placement rather difficult beyond 100 yards. The 30/30 with 150 grain bullets at 2300fps or so shoots flat enough to be an honest 200 yard deer rifle. Short, fat pistol bullets launched at 1700-1800fps just can't measure up at that distance but within 100 yards they are deadly. The .44 mag carries considerably more energy down range than does a round ball from a .50 caliber muzzleloader and i and many others can attest that those are more than adequate.
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Offline PartsMan

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2008, 08:36:41 am »
44cal and bigger rifles are a whole different deal than that guideline was set up for.
If your shooting a 30 cal or less you need expantion and hydroshock to help kill the animal.

With a heavy 44 you just make a big hole in there organs.
They used to kill bison with 45/70 at LONG ranges.

Offline Swampman

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2008, 09:33:17 am »
Many elephants and cape buffalo have fallen before the various .44 Magnum handguns with a single shot.  I expect a .44 Magnum carbine would kill a whitetail deer.
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Offline canon6

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2008, 12:14:57 pm »
Now you guys know that as of late all of the whitetails are bullet resistant, to anything smaller  that a  700 Nitro Express  ::)
The 44 mag in a carbine will realibily kill any deer alive, within the cartridge and shooters limitations.Meaning range and ability.    Doug.
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Offline dpe.ahoy

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2008, 12:19:57 pm »
I have taken deer at more than 100 yds with the 44 mag in rifles, and have never had another caliber kill any quicker.  Whoever picked 1000 ft lbs as the minimum hasn't got a clue on the effectiveness of big holes in vital organs.  That's my opinion.  DP
Handi's:22Shot, 22LR, 2-22Mag, 22Hornet, 5-223, 2-357Max, 44 mag, 2-45LC, 7-30 Waters, 7mm-08, 280, 25-06, 30-30, 30-30AI, 444Marlin, 45-70, AND 2-38-55s, 158 Topper 22 Hornet/20ga. combo;  Levers-Marlins:Two 357's, 44 mag, 4-30-30s, RC-Glenfields 36G-30A & XLR, 3-35 Rem, M-375, 2-444P's, 444SS, 308 MX, 338Marlin MXLR, 38-55 CB, 45-70 GS, XS7 22-250 and 7mm08;  BLR's:7mm08, 358Win;  Rossi: 3-357mag, 44mag, 2-454 Casull; Winchesters: 7-30 Waters, 45Colt Trapper; Bolt actions, too many;  22's, way too many.  Who says it's an addiction?

Offline Badnews Bob

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2008, 02:19:33 pm »
.44 Mag is very good at dropping deer out to and beyond 150 yards, So is a .357 carbine. the problem is with the rainbow trajectory gotta know where she hits at that range, I don't so I won't shoot past a 100 with mine. And let me tell ya they drop right now if you hit them where you are supposed to.
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Offline LaOtto222

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2008, 02:48:26 pm »
There is just some thing about a large diameter bullet moving relatively slow that just seems to knock game dead real quick. I am from Indiana where we were only allowed to hunt deer with shot gun slugs. Then they opened it up to archery and then muzzle loaders. Yep, I go back a ways, I even remember when you could not even hunt deer in Indiana, that was before 1964 ::). Recently they have opened it up to straight walled cartridges of 1.650" or less. With the exception of arrows all of these have some thing in common - slow moving, large diameter lead with rainbow trajectories (relatively). There have been lots and lots of deer killed in the state with these type of fire arms. There really is not much difference between a saboted muzzle loader projectile and a 44 Mag. Just about the same velocity and diameter bullets. If you think a 50 caliber muzzle loader is enough, then a 44 mag is enough. As has been mentioned, you have to hit 'em where it counts with an appropriate projectile, period. Even a 12 gauge slug will not make a clean kill if you do not hit them in the appropriate places. I recall a "gut" shot deer with it's tongue hanging out and running like there was no tomorrow, they never did find it. It died a slow death some where. >:( I personally can not see much advantage to the "pistol" cartridges over a muzzle loader, except they are much easier to load, and can have multiple shots/reloaded quicker. Good Luck and Good Shooting
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Offline ShooterSATX

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2008, 03:42:49 pm »
I use from .223, .243, .270 &.308 to 44 Mag for my hunting rifles...I have a decent little collection.

This can be a sore subject with some but here is my 2 cents:

   As stated before, the smaller bullets require speed, expansion and energy to do enough damage to bring these animals down. The 44 Mag doesn't need much of any. A 30 cal bullet, even after expansion, leaves a smaller hole than the 44 Mag does when it hits. Although it is a heavier bullet, travelling much slower than the afore mentioned rounds, it relies on impact shock and mild penetration to do what the other rounds can do for a good kill.

   It does have it's limitations...I'd say 150 yds max. But it will do anything my .308 will due at 100 yds.

   Put it like this; if you were going to be shot at 100 yds and had to choose the caliber being used, let's say 30 cal or 44 Mag, which would you rather NOT be hit with? Agreed, a kill shot is a kill shot! But what if it wasn't a clean kill shot...which would leave a bigger hurt on you?

I plan on using my 44 this year to take my first deer of the season...maybe I sound a little biased...ya think!

Offline OBXPilgrim

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2008, 05:52:34 pm »
And I'm sure the guy that came up with the energy numbers would never consider bowhunting - and he may possibly doubt an arrow has ever killed a deer!

Offline topper158

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2008, 06:32:16 am »
Thanks for the info guys.  That is what I was looking for. I had only hunted deer with a 270 and a 12 ga. and agree strongly with correct shot placement.  I  just didn't want to buy something that wasn't going to be effective at 100yds that's about 90% of my shots. Sounds like most real world experience says it is.

Offline xhare

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2008, 08:56:37 am »
Max or near max 44 magnum loads fired from a rifle have about the same velocity at the 100-125 yard range as the same round fired from a revolver does at the muzzle.  Trajectory becomes the limiting factor before velocity does in 44 magnum rifles.  Bullet choice is very important as well.  Many hollow points open up at slower revolver velocity and so may not penetrate well at rifle velocities.  With conventional bullets, I would stick with 240 grains or larger, preferably soft points.  Hard cast flat noses are excellent choices if they are accurate out of your firearms (make sure they are sized correctly for your bore).

Offline Ranger J

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2008, 01:11:56 pm »
My Deerfield is sighted in at 50 yards as that is about the distance I expect to see deer.  I am sure it would do the job at 100 but in brush where I hunt that is not likely.  Go with the 240gr SP.  I would probably be shooting this rifle this year if my 45/70 Handi wasn't so much fun.

RJ

Offline petemi

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2008, 01:17:42 pm »
There really is not much difference between a saboted muzzle loader projectile and a 44 Mag. Just about the same velocity and diameter bullets. If you think a 50 caliber muzzle loader is enough, then a 44 mag is enough. As has been mentioned, you have to hit 'em where it counts with an appropriate projectile, period. Even a 12 gauge slug will not make a clean kill if you do not hit them in the appropriate places. I recall a "gut" shot deer with it's tongue hanging out and running like there was no tomorrow, they never did find it. It died a slow death some where. >:( I personally can not see much advantage to the "pistol" cartridges over a muzzle loader, except they are much easier to load, and can have multiple shots/reloaded quicker. Good Luck and Good Shooting



I don't shoot sabots in my .50.  I shoot 470 gr. T/C Maxis with two tripple seven pellets behind it, and when I smack a deer, it is down..  I guess I'm missing something.  I can't understand the facination of hunting deer with the smallest possible load.  I don't believe in blowing them away with a .300 Win Mag, but I do believe in knocking them flat where they stand.  And, I don't like to mope around trying to figure out if my tinker toy gun is up to the job.  The hand gun caliber rifles stay home during deer season.  Why even consider them if you don't have to.  I've got a lot more competent rifles to use.

The other thing is, I don't give a crap about how big an entry hole is, it is the exit that counts if the deer doesn't drop.  The entry will fill up with hair and stop bleeding in 100 yards.  The exit is where you'll find the blood, and lead you to the deer.

I guess I'm old and cranky, but I don't chase wounded deer any more.  I don't like looking for tell-tail blood on rain soaked autumn leaves, wandering around the woods in the middle of the night with a flashlight.  I use rifles made for killing deer, and I don't touch the trigger until I KNOW the deer is dead when I do.  And, if you want to carry that one step more, I don't shoot any deer any more that I can't drive to.  I'm too damned old to drag 'em.

And,....if you doubt all of this works......come take a look in my freezer!
Keep both eyes open and make the first shot good.
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Offline PeterCartwright

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2008, 05:22:17 am »
I've only shot two deer with the .44 mag.--both with a 7.5" Super Blackhawk.  Neither of those deer was over 50 yards (about an average distance for my style of "woods hunting".  Both were taken with handloaded 240 gr. Hornady XTPs (which is a wonderful hunting bullet!)  Worked fine.  Neither bullet recovered (i.e. through and through).   I can't imagine that a bullet designed for deer, fired from a 20" carbine wouldn't be fully up to the task of taking ANY deer @ a hundred yards or a bit beyond.  Deer simply aren't that difficult to kill, providing one can reliably perforate the "boiler room".

Lots of you have shot more deer than me.  I've taken something more than 50 and less than 100.  I've used 6.5X55, .30-30, .35 Rem., .30-06, .338 WM, .44 Mag., .45 ACP and .45-70.  Frankly, given similar shot placement, I haven't been able to tell a great difference in how quickly the deer died.  Some were DRT with the lowly .30-30 and some ran up to 50 yards after being shot with the .30-06.  So far as I'm concerned, I expect deer to run a ways after a heart/lung shot.  When it doesn't--that's just a bonus.

Provided you find a load that works well in your .44 carbine, go forth and fill your tag with no worries!  (Then, post pictures and tell us all about it).

Offline LaOtto222

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2008, 05:32:10 am »
The original qustion was "I was wondering if anyone had good information regarding this caliber for deer hunting" referrig to a 44 Magnum rifle, specifically a Handi, since it is a Handi forum. Trying to put this into perspective, I have made a comprision to muzzle loading rifles, a popular and wide spead fire arm for hunting deer.

I picked loads with simular properties, one in a muzzle loader and one in a 44 carbine using identical bullets. I know there are other combinations that will get you different results in both fire arms, but this is as close as I can get for a comparision.

Let's look at facts

240 gr. Hdy. XTP 50/44 Three 50 cal. / 30 gr. 1691 fps
240 gr. Hdy. XTP 50/44 Two 50 cal. / 50 gr. 1801 fps (max load)

taken directly off of Hodgdon's site for triple seven

240 gr. XTP
H 110 - 24.8 grains for a velocity of 1800 fps (max load)
WW 296 - 25.0 grains for a velocity of 1800 fps (max load)

out of a Ruger Carbine with 18" barrel

taken directly out of Hornady 7th edition.

What does this mean? If you think taking deer with a muzzle loader using saboted bullets is enough get the job done (and many do), then a 44 Magnum using identical bullets is enough to get the job done as well. No emotions; no gut feeling - just facts. If you do not think a muzzle loader is enough with the loads listed on Hodgdon's site, then a 44 Magnum will not get the job done either.

My feelings are if you have a muzze loader I can not see any advantage of getting a 44 Magnum. If you do not like to mess with smoke poles, then a 44 Mag is a good aternate.

 
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Offline Saloon slug

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2008, 07:18:00 pm »
+1 to what LaOtto222 has to say.
A .44mag with a heavy WFN bullet with as heavy of a powder load that your rifle will shoot accuratly will do the job on any deer 100 yards or less as long as the shooter does their part.

The biggest factor is shot placement. A bad shot is a bad shot a big bullet only makes a long slow death a little shorter.
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Online Graybeard

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2008, 06:43:41 am »
Comparing all the many deer I've shot with a .44 magnum (all with handguns) to all the deer I've shot with various centerfire rifles and bottle necked cartridges the deer shot with the .44 magnum on average died quicker and closer to the spot they stood when shot. I'd say it might be adequate for deer.


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Offline Spanky

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2008, 02:22:53 pm »
I have taken deer at more than 100 yds with the 44 mag in rifles, and have never had another caliber kill any quicker.  Whoever picked 1000 ft lbs as the minimum hasn't got a clue on the effectiveness of big holes in vital organs.  That's my opinion.  DP
And I'm sure the guy that came up with the energy numbers would never consider bowhunting - and he may possibly doubt an arrow has ever killed a deer!


I believe Col. Townsend Whelen came up with the 1000 ft.lbs minimum.
Do a little reading on the man and you will find out that he had more than a "clue"

Ever hear of the .35 Whelen??



Spanky

Offline yukondog

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2008, 07:26:23 pm »
44 mag.Handy speer 240 gr. soft point gold dot 3 deer 1 at 25 yrd. through both shoulder's 2nd. one @ 125 yrd.lung shot went about 50 yrd. 3rd. one 1/4 away 75yrd. hit in rump bullet went through body and was recovered from just above heart.Weight of recovered bullet was 219.7 gr. dia. was .680"
an unloaded wepon is equal to the same mass and volume as a rock.

Online Graybeard

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2008, 02:36:29 pm »
Quote
I believe Col. Townsend Whelen came up with the 1000 ft.lbs minimum.
Do a little reading on the man and you will find out that he had more than a "clue"

Dunno if you are right that he is the one who came up with that or not but will say that if so whether he has a clue or not he is full of BS on that point. That 1000 ft. lbs. minimum is the stupiest thing to come along yet and it amazes me how many quote it as if fact when it is mere BS of the first order.


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Online AtlLaw

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2008, 04:40:37 pm »
it amazes me how many quote it as if fact when it is mere BS of the first order.

+1... then they add to that: elk = 1500 ft. lbs. minimum
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Online Doublebass73

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2008, 05:07:39 pm »
I have to agree with Graybeard on this one. It sounds like whoever came up the 1,000 figure arbitrarily pulled it out of the air.
Especially when you consider that thousands of deer each year are humanely killed with arrows that have kinetic energy of less than 75 lbs./ft. Shot placement always beats kinetic energy when it comes to killing.
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Offline cwlongshot

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2008, 05:53:22 pm »
I've done some reading on the man.. BTW, IIRC he didn't "invent" the Whelen, it was merely named after him.  ::)

 I also agree with most of the posts that throw the 1000FP rule out the window. It lacks bullet diameter in the equation. We all know that is a MAJOR contributing factor in "lethality" of a caliber.

 I personally have only shot a couple with the 44. But i have friends who I hunt with who like it allot. I do have much experience with the 45Colt in both pistols and carbines used on deer. With my hand-loads the two calibers are near ballistic twins. The single biggest limiting factor is bullet profile. they are in no way streamlined.  My fav carbine bullet of the heavier SPEER GOLD DOT soft-point.

Good luck with it.
 CW
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Offline jpshaw

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2008, 06:30:00 pm »
 The longest shot I ever made on a deer with a .44 was 140 yards down a haul road with a Marlin 1885.  This was actually measured from the empty case on the road to the entrails on the side by the Forester Tech using their "chain".  I did aim higher then normal but the hit was fairly high also.  It was probably too far for the rifle.  I will be hunting with my Handi .30/30 this year.

Offline PeterCartwright

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2008, 07:40:46 pm »
  I will be hunting with my Handi .30/30 this year.
[/quote]

'Spose I could start a fight by saying something like, "Now THERE'S the perfect deer-getter". ;D  Seriously, the package sure works great!  Plenty of reach for most situations, deadly accurate, completely dependable, no lost meat due to excessive expansion etc....but the .44 works well, too. ;)

Offline petemi

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Re: 44 mag for deer hunting
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2008, 01:29:41 pm »
I guess I omitted the real and obvious reason for leaving the pistol calibers at home.  And, that is distance.  I've shot deer here at home from ten yards to 310 yards, and I'm never sure where they'll show up.  I'd hate to be in a tree stand picking my nose and watching a 10 or 12 point cruise by at 300, holding my .357.  That is why they stay home.  Yes, they will and do kill lots of deer, but it is the same reason my .30-30 stays home.  If it is rainy, foggy, snowing with limited visability, the .30-30 and the .357 get a day in the field.  I hate seeing something at distance I can't hit.
Keep both eyes open and make the first shot good.
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