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96/44 new guy questions

This is a discussion on 96/44 new guy questions within the Ruger Lever-Action forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; I just acquired a 96/44 in very good condition. I've long been fascinated with the little 44 carbines and eventually hope to add an early ...


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Old November 22nd, 2009, 05:33 AM   #1
 
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96/44 new guy questions

I just acquired a 96/44 in very good condition. I've long been fascinated with the little 44 carbines and eventually hope to add an early semi-auto and one of the later Deerslayer variations.

I have some basic questions:
I'm assuming that the Lever gun, since it does not have the gasport of the semi auto should function fine with cast bullets (I have a lot of such made up for my customized 4" redhawk) and tht since it does not have to function within a gaspressure range there should be more latitude in handloading. It that correct?

so far I've only put 50 rounds of AmericanEagle factory 240s through it in casual 100 yd shooting. it is scoped but doubt its ever been fired. It clearly had not been sighted in.

I'm active in ASSRA shooting and more accustomed to higher grade trigger actions. I was appalled at the 96/44 trigger initially and am wondering if anyone has done any guns-smithing on them? I called PowerCustom who does the fancy 10-22 part stuff and they said that "maybe" 10-22 trigger parts might work but they've never worked on any of the .44s. Any thoughts or experience in tuning up the action?

Now the stock------
The Ruger factory stock is----------functional. But thats about it. its a little too short for me and I'm thinking of restocking it with something a little more visually appealing. As I was digging around various websites researching the 96/44 I ran across a picture of one that had been restocked in nice walnut in an international pattern that looked real good to me. Sadly I failed to book mark the picture or the poster's name and now I can't find it or I'd try to contact him directly. Can anyone point me to a source for aftermarket stocks for these rifles?



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Old February 8th, 2010, 05:28 PM   #2
 
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I too just acquired one of these rifles. I love lever guns, but had no idea that this gun even existed until i saw one in a pawn shop. I have having trouble finding much info/parts for it though. I would like to find some more mags.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 06:13 PM   #3
 
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I got a mini-14 butt pad and it screws right on, also gives you more length of pull. Hate to see people butcher up the stocks , especially on the old deerstalkers.
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Old July 3rd, 2010, 09:59 AM   #4
 
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Yes Sir I just scored one of these also, but no one told me they kick like a Missouri Mule either.....Wasn't to sure of the pressure or violent & evil report of that bullet, but I had to "Man Up" a tad to shoot this one.....But still comfy that I did find such another of the model 96's..... Now having this added to the 17HMR & the 22WMR.....

So now that brings up another question, Does anyone else know of other caliburs of these great Model 96 rifles? Of corse they have to be "RUGER ONLY" type to join my little circle!

Peace !

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Old July 3rd, 2010, 02:14 PM   #5
 
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Other than the lack of gas port, also check whether it is polygonal bore or traditional land/groove bore.

Either can work with lead, but the polygonal has more trouble finding a nice relationship with a bullet.

Either way, lead will do no damage that a bore brush wont fix.

As to recoil, its way less than any centerfire .308, 30-06, etc. Only trouble is the short stock might tempt you to have it loose rather than tight against your shoulder.
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Old July 6th, 2010, 06:17 AM   #6
 
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I was shooting my nephew's 96/44 the other day and I really liked it. He has the butt pad extension and it seems to work fine. I didn't find the kick excessive, but he may have been shooting lite loads.

I would love to have one in 41 magnum, just to go with my Blackhawk.
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Old August 5th, 2015, 02:52 PM   #7
 
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I got exactly one shot off with my Ruger .44 magnum model 96...brand new...using Buffalo Bore Deer Grenade...one shot totaled the stock.

I liked the stock...thought it was comfortable...but obviously it is not nearly strong enough.

Anyone aware of a laminated stock for the model 96?

They certainly do kick...but so does my customized .444 marlin and my Marlin .336C converted from .35 Remington to .358 Winchester...but...they just do not break stocks.
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Old August 5th, 2015, 02:58 PM   #8
 
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I shot a marlin 336C in .358 Winchester today...and a .444 customized Marlin...but the Buffalo Bore Deer Grenades kicked a lot more in my brand new model 96. Unfortunately the stock could not handle it...and broke irreparably...after just one shot.
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Old November 19th, 2015, 12:21 PM   #9
 
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Could it be they weren't made for that?

Kind of surprising, considering the punishment their revolvers will take.

I have had no problems, but I have only shot standard loads.
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Old December 5th, 2015, 12:14 PM   #10
 
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Actually, the stock is a cheap birch wood item...not much by the way of quality. I am discovering though, that nobody makes a decent stock for the Ruger 96/44. Macon says they do, but when I ordered it, four months later I contacted them, only to find out that they did not have any of the normal colored laminated blanks left. I personally do not think they want to deal with the 96/44 at all...nor that they care at all if they have my business. I cannot find anyone who handles any stock for the 96/44...though I did find another birchwood stock at gunparts (Numrich)...just not expecting much from it anymore.

Ironically, I asked Tim Sundles about using his +P .44 magnums in my Ruger "deerstalker" style 44 semiauto carbine, and he said it should work well...indeed it does...not the slightest issue.

Birch wood stocks are pathetic...and they really are not particularly decent stocks...cheap junk.

They also are exceedingly slippery to grip...especially with gloves on...but I found a virtually invisible spray that adds some grip to it and is not at all tacky.

Last edited by drdal; December 5th, 2015 at 12:51 PM. Reason: Addendum
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Old December 5th, 2015, 12:54 PM   #11
 
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Do not compare the old Ruger to what is there now...no real comparison. Bill Ruger made and designed some great firearms, but the only thing in common with the newer ones is the name. I personally would never purchase any new Rugers...better off getting used.
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Old December 6th, 2015, 06:25 AM   #12
 
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I had Ahlman's in Minnesota do the trigger job on my 96/44 and it is much improved. It is a fun rifle to shoot.
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Old April 18th, 2017, 01:08 PM   #13
 
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Trigger adjustment is easy on them...but not very useful on a gun that shatters stocks regularly. The stock is cheap wood and the design is poor for use in such flimsy wood. Birch stocks cannot handle the power of a .44 Remington Magnum round, at least not when designed like the stock on the 96/44 is designed. Bill Ruger did it right on the little carbine he designed, but the 96/44 simply is not up to snuff...not from my experience.
I went through three stocks before I got one shot off without the stock shattering.
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Old April 18th, 2017, 01:10 PM   #14
 
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Bud's has them, plus they are all over eBay.
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Old April 18th, 2017, 01:12 PM   #15
 
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I was referring to the clip magazines...was unaware they would put it way down here.
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