We’re the first to profess our affection for .44 Magnum-chambered wheel guns, but what about those long guns? There’s plenty of love to go around for quality .44 Mags of any form, and let us tell you, there are some delightful carbines, levers, semi-autos, and single shots out there. 

Many of these are, after all, the original pistol caliber carbines. Whether partnering with your exiting sidearm for a killer combination or branching out to something new, you can’t go wrong with any of these.  
 

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For our purposes today, we’re looking at current-production .44 Mag/.44 Special-chambered rifles with which we’ve had personal, positive, hands-on experience. But we’d be remiss not to mention a handful of discontinued choices, all from Ruger, and each with its own remaining cult following. 

They are the Ruger 77/44 bolt action, 96/44 lever action, and a pair of semi-automatic carbines in the Deerstalker and Deerfield. Shooters, hunters, and collectors continue to stalk used listings for these specimens, and like the others on this list, we’re confident they’d remain prime sellers if they were still built. 

Henry Repeating Arms Big Boy

Henry Repeating Arms, the “made in America or not made at all” brand, catalogs more lever-action rifles than any other company, bar none. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Henry offers no fewer than a dozen Big Boy lever carbines and rifles – and a jaunty Mare’s Leg – in .44 Magnum. How to choose? The short answer is that buyers can’t go wrong with any one. 

Collectors gravitate to the glitz of a Brass Side Gate or Case Colored variant, while hunters seeking duller, more weatherproof finishes often prefer All Weather, Steel, or even the blacked-out, threaded-barrel X-Model. The .44 Magnum carbines, some with standard loops and others large, wear 16.5-inch barrels, while the rifle lengths are 20-inchers. Whether hunting, plinking, or defending, the Big Boy will be ready. 
 

Marlin 1894 Classic

When we started writing this piece, the gun world was still awaiting a refreshed version of Marlin’s sleek 1894 lever gun under Ruger guidance. Well, our wish was fulfilled in mid-summer 2023 as our 1894 Classic specimen arrived. Not only is the .44 Mag-chambered lever gun lovely, but its tight tolerances and slick action indicate mechanical quality. 

Of course, we’ve been pleased with early Marlin original versions of the 1894 as well, and while there were marked quality control issues under now-defunct Remington’s time with the Marlin brand, it’s difficult to be disappointed by an 1894 and its unique flat-top, side-ejecting design. 
 

CVA Scout V2

It’s not terribly often that one finds inexpensive guns that are also darned good shooters with impressive triggers, but that’s just how Connecticut Valley Arms’ Scout lineup can be described. The single-shot rifles – and handguns – can be had in .44 Magnum. Most wear a 22-inch barrel, and some are fluted, threaded, and fitted with a brake. 

The most budget-friendly models are matte blued with basic black synthetic stocks, but we prefer paying a few bucks more for the stainless barrel and takedown configuration complete with optics rail. We’ve tested no less than a half dozen Scout and Scout V2 rifles and handguns, and every one has put out stunning accuracy. Best of all, they certainly won’t break the bank. 
 

Henry single shot

Henry’s Single Shot, like CVA’s Scout V2, is a break-action one-shooter. Coming in at a considerably higher price point than its counterpart, the USA-made Henry can be had in either Brass or Steel, both with American walnut furniture and fine attention to detail. 

The .44 Mag singles wear 22-inch round barrels, the same extended length as the Scout V2, and longer than any of Henry’s own .44 levers. Henry’s single shots represent the most cost-effective entry point into the brand’s centerfire long guns and continue to prove that the single shot market is alive and well. 
 

Winchester 1892

The John Browning design brought traditional handgun chamberings to the lever-action repeater market. The originals were not chambered in .44 Magnum – since the round didn’t exist at the time – but they surely are now. Though the platform is a classic one with deep western roots, Winchester has revamped the design for modern machining. 

In fact, at the time of this writing, the company is offering five 1892 variants chambered in .44 Magnum: Carbine, Short Rifle, Large Loop Carbine, Deluxe Octagon Takedown, and Deluxe Trapper Takedown Case Hardened. Each shows off sweet walnut stocks, steel butt plate, full length magazines tubes, and the traditional looks of the original 1892. 
 

Win with a .44 Magnum


No matter the rifle or carbine, firing the .44 Magnum – or its gentler .44 Special sibling – will prove a joy. Not only is felt recoil less in a long gun, but both ballistics and terminal performance can see a tidy increase through those longer barrels as well. 

If that’s not enough, we’re pleased to see ammunition companies loading factory “handgun” rounds specifically for long guns, including Federal Premium’s Hammer Down, a zipped up .44 Magnum offering. Whether hunting, plinking, or channeling a little Dirty Harry, the more .44 Magnum firearms – and ammo – the better. 
 

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