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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wonder would any of you guys consider hunting for deer with a 44/40 lever action, if so what sort of loads would be needed.
Failing that, would .223 be plausible, and what sort of loads would be needed.

oh yeah this is hunting in very thick brush, ya know ferns, vines and wait a bit bushes.
 

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223 is a bad brush cartridge, it is known to deflect and in rare cases even shatter in brush. Not sure what deer you hunt in Australia, but in the US deer are too large for 223 to be considered a sufficient cartridge by most, though it is legal in some states like mine. I read that in Europe, the deer are much smaller and 223 is just fine, but still not good in brush. I know nothing about 44-40, but if it's as powerful as a 44 Rem mag or not much less, maybe as much as a 357 Rem mag, then it's probably OK for our deer and just fine if yours are smaller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I beleive the deer I'll be after will be red deer, and I know what you are saying about the .223, even a blade of grass will put them off.
Odds are I won't even need a gun, picture newbie me crashing about in the scrub, however miracals have been known to happen.

My mate who is going to take me out shot a royal double six last year, very nice head indeed, he was crouching down under a tree, having a drink from his camel back, when out of the fog came this deer, Ricky couldn't beleive it, 10 yards with a 30-06, deer never even knew what hit him.
 

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I'm not familiar with red deer, but for comparison, last year there was a terrorist in the US who fired a 223 caliber rifle from concealed locations at civilians. I believe one of them was a child, and that he/she survived due to the low power of the 223 round.

The 223 was designed to wound, and to do so with a flat trajectory and at relatively respectable distances. It was also designed with the fully automatic M16 rifle in mind, so many of its design attributes relate to that weapon system. Some critters would be killed by something that would only wound a human, but unless red deer are very small, say sub 70lb, I'd go for something bigger. And if you're going into the brush, well, you know about deflection.

I just now did a search on red deer and they seem to be relatively similar in size to our whitetail, if not larger, perhaps more like our mule deer. 223 is frowned on for them, as it will likely merely wound them and cause a slow and painful death. In the USA, the flat shooting 243 Winchester is generally viewed as a reasonable minimum for deer, with the 25 caliber 257 Roberts and 250 Savage even better. Others go up to 270 Winchester, then 7mm calibers like 280 Rem, 284 Win, and 7mm Rem Mag, while many many many, including me, see no point in going below 30 caliber unless you're small, female, or have some disability or long term injury or condition. In Pennsylvania, lever action rifles in 30-30 Winchester are very popular. An even better brushbuster is 35 Remington, which is more powerful altogether but sacrifices range for weight. The Marlin 336 is probably the best deal in those calibers.

Now I must admit I'm an armchair hunter who reads the stories of others and thinks he knows something. But I've heard enough that I like to think I can say something helpful.
 

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I looked at Ballistics on 44-40, and it seems roughly equivalent in energy to the 357 Remington Magnum, which people here use on deer with success. Being as the bullet will be heavier and slower, that means more momentum than the 357, meaning more knockdown, and better brushbusting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks mate, you have been very informative indeed, although it is still 3 or 4 months till deer season I'm getting pretty darn pumped ;0
yup I think I'll take the 44/40 and see how I go, or I might just go out and buy a 7mm rem, just cause I can.:)
 

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I'm curious, were red deer imported to Australia for hunting purposes, or are you travelling out of your continent?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yup, you got it right, there are many species of deer in Australia, all of them imported for hunting, although there is now a lot of deer farms, where they are bred for meat and antler, it is not a large industry, but if you can get into it apparently very profitable. Feral deer cause a lot of problems to farmers and cattle graziers, and most people a very accomidating when you ask to hunt on their properties.

in the early days of settlement in Aus, the rich settlers imported many different animals for sport, Foxes, pheasants, rabbits, pidgions (sp) and deer. And almost all of them have impacted the enviroment in different ways, and none of them good I'd say, and because they are ferals there is no bag limit or permits needed to hunt them.
 

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FWIW ****, the 44/40 has taken literally thousands of deer here in the U.S. It was a very popular cartridge in the late 1800's and was chambered in both rifles and revolvers using black powder. While it's considered pretty weak compared to more modern cartridges it was considered a very competent performer in its day. Also, the lever action rifle makes an ideal brush gun. Good luck on your hunt!
 

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NOT MEANING TO PREACH BUT SHOT PLACEMENT IS THE ANSWER. .22 ARE USED BY THE NATIVES IN ALASKA FOR EVERYTHING. BUT AGAIN SHOT PLACEMENT AND IN MANY CASES 10 FEET OR LESS. MY LAST BUCK WAS WITH A .223. ONE SHOT AT THE BASE OF THE SKULL FROM BEHIND. I WON'T TRY AGAIN AS I USE A DIFFRENT CAL OR FIREARM EACH YEAR. MY BEST COMBO TO DATE IS THE REMINGTON 760 IN 257 ROBERTS.

DANA
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, I'm thinking that being sneaky is gonna be harder for me to do than to actually shoot one of these funny looking goats, thanks again guys for the info.
 

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****...when I shot my deer this past December, using a Rem 400 30-06, the round went forward, I went backward and the deer went down.:jaw: Man...that gun does kick. That's why I previously had a recoil pad installed.:nod:
 
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