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Self-Defense .44 Mag. Carbines: Ruger, Winchester, and Marlin

Winchester’s Model 94 Trapper edged out the Marlin 1894 and Ruger’s semi-auto Deerfield. Even compared to dedicated defense carbines, we’d be comfortable with the Trapper.


The Winchester Trapper landed the most accurate groups when combined with the 300-grain Hornady rounds.
When it comes to choosing a defensive weapon, there are as many choices as there are applications. But how about a firearm that is more powerful than a handgun, more controllable than a shotgun, and easier to handle than a full-sized rifle? Add economical to buy and feed as desirable characteristics, and you have our choices for this test.

We recently got three handy carbines, two lever actions and one autoloader, chambered for .44 Magnum. Why .44 Magnum? Because for most people, the .44 Magnum creates too much recoil in a handgun, but is not nearly as punishing when chambered in a shouldered weapon. Yet the .44 Magnum has plenty of…


 
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