The .44 Magnum is an extremely popular round for revolvers that is also available for a few semi-automatic pistols and carbines. The round is a very powerful round for a handgun and revolvers as well as carbines chambered for the round are also capable of firing .44 Special cartridges.
Appeal to Survivalists
The .44 Magnum is popular for its power, but also for the ability of .44 Magnum revolvers and carbines to fire .44 Special cartridges, effectively doubling potential sources of ammunition in purchasing or scavenging situations. Due to the availability of carbines such as the semi-automatic Ruger Magnum Carbine (obsolete version), Ruger 99/44 Deerfield carbine (newer version) and lever actions such as the Marlin 1892, Marlin 1894/1894 SS stainless steel and Winchester Model 94 it is possible to mate a pistol and a rifle together to use a common round.
The .44 Magnum combines a heavy flat nosed pistol bullet with high velocity suitable for hunting all but the largest bears in North America. With a light 180 gr. JHP bullet it has a muzzle velocity of about 1,600 fps in a pistol with a 4" barrel, higher velocity in longer barreled pistols and carbines. With a heavy 320 gr. flat nosed bullet it drops down to 1,300 fps in a pistol with a 6.5" barrel, 1,6000 fps in a carbine with as 16" barrel. The .44 Magnum is quite lethal beyond 100 yards but the drop off rate makes it less effective at much longer ranges than that even when in a carbine. The bullet drop at 100 yards is 2" with a 50 yard zero and by 150 yards with a 100 yard zero is more than 6" so it is well favored as a close range "brush gun."