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Ignoring the issue of shooting one rifle in both the Pistol Cartridge and Rifle Cartridge categories, what's the preferred caliber and rifle for just Pistol Cartridge. The usual criteria apply: accuracy, minimal recoil, sufficient knock-down power (rams), reliability, ergonomics, etc.

I'm inclined towards the Marlin 1894FG because of the pistol grip and checkering and past success with Marlin's, but I've read that there's magazine feeding problems.
 

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Cowboy Silhouette -- Pistol Cartridge Recom

I think I'd be inclined to get a Marlin 1894 CB in 41 Mag. Better BC than a 44 mag with less recoil, and more punch than a 357.
 

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Cowboy Silhouette -- Pistol Cartridge Recom

I started shooting Pistol Cartridge with a 44 mag. It did good but it hit the chickens so hard that they got berried in the berm and sometimes knocked the feet off of them.

I got a chance at a 357 mag and have been shooting it ever since then. I shoot a Rossi 92 carbine with a Lee 158gr rnfp bullet with 5 gr of bullseye. velocity is just over 1200 fps. Groups are about 1.5 inches at 100 meters.

Advantages: Lower recoil, less powder, better accuracy. A 6 cavity Lee mold makes about 250 bullets per hour. I lube with Lee liquid alox and do not size the bullets.

There are other choices but I will stick with the 357. It will take any ram cleanly, even with marginal hits. I even took one from a low shot that glanced up, out of the dirt and hit a ram. If you end up shooting the Cowboy Rifle game, you can do it with a 357 and 180 gr bullets.

The 25-20 and 32-20 work good but are harder to load for, the 32 H&R would do it if you could find one. The Marlin Cowboy 38 is a good choice but are very expensive. The 41 will do it but I would only recommend it if you already have one. It has the same problem as the 44 mag and 45 Colt. You have to load them down so much that accuracy becomes a problem.

Sixgun
 

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Cowboy Silhouette -- Pistol Cartridge Recom

The 357 is fine. I use a Winchester Legacy with the 24" barrel and a fast 125 gr load. It slams the rams and you can use the same sight setting from chickens to rams.

My partner uses a Marlin 25-20 and it is sweet. Knocks over the rams just fine and it is a blast to shoot. It's not hard to load for at all.
 
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