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Introduction, a Pair Ruger 44 Magnum Carbines

How to Disassemble, Clean, and Reassemble a Ruger 44 Magnum Semi-Auto Carbine.


The Ruger 44 Carbine is a great little gun.
This original Ruger 44 carbine makes an ideal deer rifle, out to 100 yards or so.

A brace of Ruger 44 Magnum Carbines. The one on top was my first deer rifle, and it has served me well for many years. These rifles were meant to use jacketed flat-nose bullets, and 240 grains is the ideal bullet weight for hunting.

Photo by Russ Chastain, all rights reserved
Way back around 1962 or so (sources vary as to just when), a young firearms manufacturing firm called Sturm, Ruger, and Co. introduced its first long gun - the Model 44 Carbine. Originally, this compact gun was called the Deerstalker, but a lawsuit by fellow firearms manufacturer Ithaca soon put a stop to that. Henceforth, the gun was simply called the Ruger 44 Carbine, Model 44, or some variation thereof. Early examples bearing the Deerstalker name have become collector's items.

Curiously, though Ruger named the gun the Model 44, I don't believe they marked any of them with that name. Every one that I've seen has been stamped "Ruger Carbine .44 Magnum Cal." in two lines, on the left side of the receiver. (Note: These guns are not to be confused with the newer Model 99/44 Deerfield Carbine, which I consider inferior to the original.)

To say this little rifle is extremely handy and effective is putting it mildly. I know this from much experience, because this is the gun I started deer hunting with, and it's the only deer rifle I owned for about two decades. Between Dad and me, we have taken more than twenty deer and at least seven hogs with our carbines, in addition to all kinds of smaller game. And the best part is, we never lost one that we hit.

These rifles are compact, light, handy, and deadly on game, but like any machine, they require some maintenance. Normal cleaning of the bore is the easy part, and naturally the gun should be wiped down with an oily rag from time to time. It should be pulled from the stock at least once per season, and after each time it's exposed to wet weather.

With long use, thorough cleaning of the gas port and piston will be required, and this article will help you accomplish that.

I have chosen to use two guns in this article, a very early one and another of more recent manufacture. I was very careful to keep track of the parts for each gun - you don't want to mix up these parts. In most cases, you should only have one gun apart at a time.

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