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There are .44 mag rounds that are like artillery. There are also powder puff loads. Look for something that says "Cowboy" on it for the lighter stuff, usually lead (not jacketed) bullets.
 

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I shoot both the 357 and the 44 mag out of Rossi 92's. My go to load with the 44 mag is a 240 gr hard cast with 9.0 gr of unique. Recoil is very manageable even with the steel crescent butt plate. And I have had major shoulder surgery in the past and still shoot a 40 round match with it at times. Mine has the 24 in octagon barrel and added a tang sight for stretching it out to 200 yds. One in a carbine I think would be the ticket for your dad. Plus as said also here you can manage recoil by using 44 specials or bear stomping loads.
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Discussion Starter #23
No quality issues with the Rossi's versus say a Marlin? I love the 336 but the Rossi's are much more affordable.
 

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Like the gentlemen said, there are Cowboy loads that are pretty soft. Hodgdon has a good list of light loads.
Reloading for it is a breeze. A variety of powders and bullets are available that work well.
Rossi quality has been bashed, but I've never had a problem with mine. Marlins seem to be very good and actually, the Marlin design is arguably better than the Winchester design. I just prefer the John Browning look and feel.
Pistol can go soft to hot, just like a 357 since you can shoot soft 44 Special.
Put 5 44 Mag bear loads in the tube, top off with 3 or so lighter porcupine loads. Shoot a porcupine and top off - if needed jack the soft loads out in 2 seconds and go serious.
 

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The handle on a .44 mag hand gun makes a big difference. You're gonna get muzzle rise and kick no matter what. With one grip, it'll feel like getting hit in the web of the hand with a baseball bat. With another, it'll be more of a satisfying push (with the same load). Barrel length makes a difference too. 4" good, 6" better. 3" makes for a flame throwing beast.
Hand gun rounds are highly over rated, especially .44 mag. .44 mag is good for dear. Because of the low velocity, it won't bloodshot a lot of meat. It will work for hunting black bear as well. But if it is coming at you, it might get you before it knows it's dead.
30.30 works great on deer and black bear.
If you're hunting an animal, the advantage is yours. If an animal is coming at you, the advantage is hers/his. For defense against moose or a sow black bear, I'd be comfy with a 12ga with slugs. That will take care of porquipines as well. Hopefully, he's not eating them.
 

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savage 99 308
 
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I had read all the bad rap about the Rossi before I bought the 44. It was one of the last made in Brazil before they moved the operation to Florida. My 357 is a newer one and made here. I can find no difference in either. I did change out the magazine spring and follower in both. The original follower is plastic and spring mild steel. I also added a coat of dark walnut stain over the original finish on the wood. There is a site that sells some upgraded parts for them as well.
The group I shoot silhouette with has a mix of Marlins and Henry's they all can have there little quirks. I was originally looking for a Marlin but the price of the older JM's kept me away. They were running about $300 more than the Rossi and hit and miss on condition.
I see the Savage 99 in 308 mentioned here as well. Another option if you like nostalgia.
 

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I've fired both full house .44 Magnums and something closer to a Special and never had an issue maintaining control.
Another thought in the .357 vein is .327 Federal. Has a fair amount of punch and there are several other shorter .32's that will work in a revolver (.32 H&R Magnum, .32 S&W Long, .32 S&W).
I've always wanted to add an SP-101 in that caliber to the stable.
 

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SKS? Solid and reliable. Power wise on the 7.62X39 par with a .30-30 but has a ten round mag in a semi-auto carbine. Ammo ranges from really cheap (comparably) to still not too bad for high quality rounds. Lots of history if your Dad would like that.
 
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rifle for your father? sounds like a good trade
 
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