It's a Winchester
Model 94 with a designation "A", but it looks like a
shortened Model 64. It has an 18-inch barrel, and a little over
half-length magazine tube. It is compact, short and very handy,
and with Garrett's Hammerhead 310-grain Magnum ammo is is
We have known for years that just about
everything in the "Lower 48" states that walks on four
legs has been taken with the .44 Magnum cartridge in handguns.
It wasn't too long ago that it was the "King of handgun
cartridges" in power. With the advent of the .454 Casull
cartridge and the Freedom Arms single-action in 1983 the
.44 Magnum lost its status as the "King", but it did
not lose any of its great power.
The came a plethora of heavy and powerful
handgun rounds, each trying to eclipse the other. Each trying to
take over the handgun hunting market. And unfortunately, as a
result many new shooters were, and are, under the impression
that the .44 Magnum is too light for anything larger than deer
or small black bear at close range - which, as a friend once
said about a Chevy Super Sport we were admiring, "If it had
BMW stamped on it, everyone would want one..." I have a
very good friend who has used his .44 Magnum handgun to punch Elmer
Keith's classic 250-grain load through both sides of a large
Many hyper-power handgun chamberings are bought
these days just so folks can have the latest whizz-bang "Most
Powerful Handgun In The World"...oh, Clint! What you
started with that phrase! But that's all right, it is fun to own
things like that, and that's what we shooters are all about. But
just because the .45, .475, and .500 chamberings, along with
their handguns, are out there, doesn't mean that the .44 Magnum
has somehow become less effective.
I'm not down on our new hyper-power calibers, I
just don't want a generation of shooters coming up thinking that
the .44 Magnum is diminished somehow. If they did, that would
lead them to not try it, or add it to their hunting equipment.
I have said this in print before: my first
choice is not the .44 caliber, it is the .45 caliber, but I own
a number of guns chambered for the .44s, and I enjoy the .44s
very much. I hunt with them, I shoot them at the range, I play
with them, and I occasionally carry one of my heavily-loaded .44
Specials for personal protection. Of all the complements I can
give the mighty .44s, the biggest is this: I am taking them to
Africa in March of 2006. My Winchester Big Bore in .444 Marlin,
my Winchester Model 94A in .44 Magnum, and my Ruger .44
Magnum Hunter handgun are all going with me.
this long wind brings me to the topic at hand: the Winchester
a handgun cartridge as the .44 Magnum remains, when chambered in
a rifle the .44 Magnum attains a completely different level of
power. Where the handguns with heavy .44 Magnum ammo can produce
1200-1300 foot-pounds of muzzle energy, rifles can give twice
that level, with up to 2400-2500 foot-pounds of muzzle punch.
take the absolutely fine Garrett 310-grain Hammerhead
load as an example. From a handgun it is rated at 1350 fps, and
with every 7-1/2" barreled handgun I've used with this ammo
it has exceeded that stated velocity. But let's take the 1350
fps as read - a 310-grain bullet at 1350 fps gives 1255
foot-pounds of muzzle energy; fired in an 18" barreled
rifle Winchester, this same ammo gives 1880 fps for 2433
foot-pounds of muzzle punch. A .30-30 with a 170-grain bullet at
2300 fps gives just under 2000 foot-pounds, and a 150-grain
.30-30 bullet at 2500 fps from the 20-inch rifle gives just
under 2100 foot-pounds. No, I'm not saying that the .44 Magnum
is better than the .30-30...I'm just trying to pull the thinking
about the .44 Magnum out of the "handgun level" and
put it into the "rifle level" where it belongs. Like I
said, from a rifle it is a whole other world of power. Also,
let's not forget that there are a number of ammunition
manufacturers out there who load the great old .45/70 to a top
load of a 300-grain bullet at 1800 fps. Hopefully, I've made my
Winchester 94A weighs in at just 6-1/4 pounds without a scope,
though the rifle is an "Angle Eject" model and is
tapped for scope mounts. The wood is not fancy, but it is a good
grade of straight grained Black Walnut with a semi-pistol grip.
I know many don't like pistol-grip stocks, but I prefer them,
and again this one is a semi-pistol grip so the die-hard
"straight-liners" will find it comfortable.
action is the tried-and-true Winchester Model 94 - this action,
with minor changes, is the same one John Browning designed 112
years ago. The half-magazine tube is stylish, much like the trim
Winchester Model 64s of years ago. The half-magazine holds six
rounds, and if we are in the brush with one in the chamber and
six in the magazine and can't get it done with seven rounds,
then maybe it's time to take up golf.
a slick little addition to the Winchester line, and at
approximately $250 less than a comparable Marlin levergun in my
area of the country. For those .44 Magnum handgun lovers, this
is the perfect rifle to go with their handgun. It reminds me of
wood smoke and campfires, of the sudden snap of a twig in the
dark, and reaching for my Winchester just like my ancestors have
done for more than a century.
more info on the fine Garrett cartridges, go to: www.garrettcartridges.com.
To locate a Winchester dealer near you, go to:
click on the DEALER LOCATOR icon.
To locate a dealer where you can
buy this gun, go to:
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