The .44-40 ain’t no slouch either… the old charcoal burner has probably accounted for more deer than the 30-30 could dream of. And out of the stronger rifle actions, you can shove a 200g bullet around 1,800 fps… that will put a whompin on your ass! :)

Plus, the .44-40 runs in both the SAA and the ’73 Winchester… a handy thing. Of course, you can get Italian repro’s that chamber the .45 Colt these days, so meh…

Of course, if you wanted to Go Big, grab a 1886 or ’71 Winchester in 45-70 or 50-110… or a ’76 in 45-75 or 50-95. Single shot flavors, you’ve got your Sharps and your Remington Rolling Blocks… I would go with the Remington if you held a gun to my head and made me choose. Doesn’t have the romance of the Sharps, but lock times are faster, etc. The No. 1 action is a beastie. Rebarrel it in something like .45-120 and you can thump things really, really far away… or 50-90 if you like (there’s no real difference between the 50-90, 50-110 or the 50-140 except bullet weight and powder charge… they all use the same case). Those big Sharps 50-90 cartridges make the 45-70 look downright puny… :) Shooting a deer with one would be the definition of overkill… but at least you wouldn’t have to dress it out after you shot it.

Edit: Your advice is sound re: the big revolver cartridges. But modern designs, well… except for the .44 Mag, they really don’t offer those old cartridges as an option, ‘cept every once in awhile they’ll make a special run or something… I got a S&W Mountain Gun in .45 Colt. Not the strongest design – not nearly the strength of the Colt Anaconda or a Model 29 Smith – but good enough. Hell, Elmer Keith developed the 44 Mag using an old S&W 5 Screw in .44 Spl, and those held together just fine…

And let’s be frank – the newer designs just don’t have the looks and romance of the old charcoal burners…

One of the most handsome rifles of all time. 1876 Winchester Saddle Ring Carbine… this one’s a repro, but so what? The genuine article costs about 8 grand when you can find them… and they ain’t nearly as strong, given their 19th century metallurgy. But it is one handsome rifle…

The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1

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