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Well, a 3-9x would fit if you used high enough rings. Medium or high would depend on how big the objective bell is on the particular scope you want to use.
But you're talking a 100-125 yard round meant for deer, hogs and other medium size game. A 1-4x would be plenty, and be lighter and more compact. And for close in shots, 1x would be better than 3x. I shot many deer on my brother's place in Texas when I was younger with his .44 carbine, all I had was iron sights then. But If I was to do it now, I'd put a short piece of rail on the receiver and mount a Burris FastFire III with 3 MOA dot.
The dot is super fast to pick up for running shots or low light, whereas a cross hair will not be.
Unless you were to get a small variable scope with lighted dot like the Leupold Mark AR, it has a lighted green dot in the middle of the crosshair. They are close to $400 though, not sure you want to spend that much. The Burris FastFire is $230. If you want to go lower yet, the Bushnell TRS-25 is around $100.
Might not be what you were wanting, but I hate to see people put a bigger variable on a nice handy carbine like a Mini-30, Lever 30-30 or a .44 Auto carbine. I doubt you will ever need 9x on a short range "brush gun". A dot or low magnification optic is plenty.
 

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I agree with sandog, a 3x9x40 would be too much glass for that handy little carbine.
Leupold makes a 1x4 HOG scope that would be perfect on your Ruger .44. Nikon makes one as well. I've seen the Nikon's at around $279, the Leupold HOG scope for $229.
 

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I just placed a Williams peep sight on mine, and it will shoot 3" groups at 100 yards all day. In fact I do believe that is ideal for whitetail deer. Remember to use only the 240 grain rounds for best results.
 

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I agree with sandog, a 3x9x40 would be too much glass for that handy little carbine.
Leupold makes a 1x4 HOG scope that would be perfect on your Ruger .44. Nikon makes one as well. I've seen the Nikon's at around $279, the Leupold HOG scope for $229.
Exactly!
 

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Folks that assert that a 3-9x40 is too much scope for a 44mag carbine typically have never fired such a rig, or are stuck in an archaic perspective that 44mags are only effective as 30-50yrd brush guns.

3-9x40mm will be just fine on your Carbine.

Check Ruger's scope ring chart. If your "44 Carbine" is a Ruger Deerfield Carbine 99/44, then high rings were shipped with the rifle originally, and fit up to 52mm objective bells. If your rifle is a 96/44 Leveraction carbine, then it shipped with Medium rings. Medium rings only fit up to 42mm objective bells, which means it'll only fit the thinnest of the thin 40mm scopes. Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40mm has a 50.3mm objective bell, Leup VX-1 3-9x40mm have 45.7mm objectives, Redfield Revolution is 45.7mm... If your "44 Carbine" is a Marlin 1894 levergun, then medium rings (in most brands) will fit a 3-9x40mm scope (may have to remove, or at least fold the rear sight to fit).
 

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I agree that a red dot sight would be a better choice. I have a 5 moa Pro-point scope on my 1894 Marlin, 44 magnum that works well. That was installed about 15 years ago, but today I would opt for Millet 3 moa red dot for less than $100.00.......robin
 

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Yes. A .44 carbine is good for more than 30-50 yards, but 125 is about it. A 3-9x would be good on a .270 or 7mm mag. But is overkill on a .44 mag.I shoot peeps on my Marlin .45/70 and 12ga. Slug gun and can shoot 3 inch groups no problem, even with my aging eyes. A red dot would be sweet on a .44 Auto carbine.
 

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I won't go there!
You could kill deer at 300 yards and beyond with a .44, but it doesn't mean you should.
I hope neither of you EVER recommend 357mag revolver for hunting of deer at all then - a 44mag rifle has more energy at 400yrds than a 357mag at 75yrds, and is traveling about the same speed at 225-250yrds as the 75yrd 357mag - with about 50% more bullet weight.

Guys get caught up on thinking themselves limited without considering what they're really saying. Plenty of guys will call a 30-06 a 600yrd deer rifle, but will turn around and call a 44mag a 100yrd or less rifle. There's more drop on a 30-06 at 350yrds than a 44mag at 200, and more energy on a 44mag at 200yrds than most 357mag loads have at the muzzle!

If you've never done it, don't give advice against it. If a guy's rifle is accurate, and a shooter can deliver the lead to the right address, the 44mag will put meat in the pot past 200yrds, plenty of distance to warrant a proper hunting scope.

There's no reason NOT to put a 3-9x scope on top of a 100yrd deer hunting rifle anyway, so maybe other folks should focus on answering his questions instead of suggesting he go with a red dot or peep sights.
 

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It's not the energy in question, it's the trajectory. My .45/70 loads have way more energy than a .44 Magnum, but I don't consider it a caliber I would try to shoot a big game animal with beyond 150 yards. Big blunt nose bullets drop like a rock, no matter what caliber or load is in question. If you are off by even a little bit on your range estimation, even my 400 grain soft points at 1800 fps. become leg breakers. I have carried .44 magnum revolvers for 40 years in the Rockies, and shot many deer and elk with them, but limited myself to 50-75 yards or so with the handgun.
Shooting a inanimate targets ? It is great fun, and practice to shoot at several hundred yards with pistol caliber handguns and carbines. But stretching the range to shoot at a big game animal is wrong, no matter how you try to justify it. If you can't get closer than 200 yards to a whitetail, maybe you shouldn't be hunting.
A compact 3-9x on the OP's .44 carbine would not be a bad choice, but I doubt more than 4x is needed, and having the ability to go down to 1x or 1.5x might come in handy on a shorter range game rifle like that. It would seem that several others above will agree with me.
 

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Be elitist if you want, 200yrds isn't a long distance shot. The trajectory of big punkin balls is something to deal with, but it's not rocket science. My hunting load runs point blank range to 150yrds, 14" drop at 200yrds, 30" by 250, less than 3" drop per 10yrds until the last 20yrds.

If a hunter can't estimate range accurately and isn't skilled enough with their weapon to manage drop and drift, maybe they shouldn't be hunting.
 

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"Elitist" is being about the only one I've ever heard of that uses a .44 mag. for 200 yard plus shooting. Most of us would just use a better tool for those ranges.
 

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Using a bigger scope like a 3X9 sort of defeats the whole purpose of a handy little carbine. The OP is from Michigan and from what little I know of Michigan a lot of the deer hunting is in wooded areas where ranges are on the shorter side. The handier you keep the setup the easier it is to carry,quicker into action, lower powers are easier to finding moving deer with and will provide all the magnification one needs for ranges in heavier woods. I have two Leupold 1X4 scopes and used them for years on several different rifles with no problems. These days I hunt more open areas with longer shots and bigger scopes are a lot more appropriate. However don't begin to tell me they are necessary. Hunters for years carried fixed 4 power scopes and did quite well at extended ranges. The concept will still work. I still have my 1X4 scopes on rifles and still use them at times.
 

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It must have been in another thread that I posted a picture of my Rossi lever gun with the 4X Weaver Scout scope I mounted to it. 4X is plenty of power for a carbine in either 357 or 44 Mag.

Well, here it is again:



I call such a rifle a close range brush gun. What you want is quick target acquisition. High magnification power gives the opposite at close range. Low power with a long eye relief is a far better choice.
 

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Be elitist if you want, 200yrds isn't a long distance shot. The trajectory of big punkin balls is something to deal with, but it's not rocket science. My hunting load runs point blank range to 150yrds, 14" drop at 200yrds, 30" by 250, less than 3" drop per 10yrds until the last 20yrds.

If a hunter can't estimate range accurately and isn't skilled enough with their weapon to manage drop and drift, maybe they shouldn't be hunting.
When someone mentions specifics of trajectory of a 44 magnum at 250 yards without mentioning wind drift specifics, it makes me wonder. A big comparatively slow moving 44 bullet could move as much as 2 feet at that range with a mild cross wind.
 
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