Thursday, May 08, 2014

Shhhh....It's Range Day

And this time it was out with a rifle that I've had for a bit but not blogged yet for some reason.

This one started life as a basic Ruger 96/44 lever-action rifle in .44 Magnum, a nifty little rifle that Ruger saw fit to discontinue making some years back.
I had to shop around a bit to find one, but when I managed to snag one a couple of years ago, I sent it out to SRT Arms in Arizona and they modified it a bit by fitting it with an integral suppressor tube.
I also added a Bushnell Trophy Red/Green Dot optic to the rifle. It's a nifty little zero-magnification red-dot that offers a choice of four different reticles in both red and green light.

The end result is a rifle that, with the proper ammunition, throws a .44 bullet downrange with the report of an air rifle or .22 short.

With my early test loads using Winchester 231 and 240gr. Hornady XTP bullets, I had it shooting "minute-of-feral-cat" until I ran out of test loads due to my exhausting my supply of Win 231 and my inability to locate any more due to the current hoarding that's still going on.

But now I have a new load, using 300gr. cast lead bullets over Unique powder, and today's test-firing indicated that these start to go supersonic right at 8.5gr. of the Unique, so a bit less powder in the next test batch and I should be right where I need to be to throw these bullets without a muzzle report or sonic crack.

Even with the sonic crack, this rifle can be fired without hearing protection, but without that crack, the report sounds like a loud hand`clap and it's quickly drowned out by the louder sound of the bullet impacting the target downrange.
Yeah, I'm happy with this one. One more batch of test loads to lock in the powder charge and then it's just a matter of adjusting the optic for a 100-yard zero and learning my hold-overs for longer ranges.


  1. Dude. That is sweet. Have I mentioned I have about 5 pounds of 231? Turns out it makes an awesome competition load in .40 behind a 180 grain bullet.

    1. Yes, yes it does. 4.6gr. gets it done for me.

  2. Now why can't some enterprising soul make 10 shot mags for the .44 Ruger rifles????

  3. Anonymous10:48 PM

    How is the recoil?

    1. Nonexistent. The suppressed loads are downloaded to .44 Specials in power. She'll still shoot full-power .44 Mag though, and those'll get your attention, but they won't be quiet.

  4. you have such nice toys!

  5. I've often dreamed of one of the Ruger bolt guns in that caliber set up like that. color me jealous. :)