I have a little confession to make. I’ve never been a big fan of AR rifles. Now—wait a minute— I’m not knocking them and think everybody that wants one should own one. I’m just saying they never have really suited me. You see, I grew up shooting rifles that had wooden stocks and, quite frankly, most of them had levers, too.
Along in the early 70’s, I picked up a Marlin 1894 carbine, in .44 Magnum. We shortened the barrel and added a receiver sight to it. This became my companion on drug raids, stake outs, and felony apprehension assignments. It was a nice gun, but something was missing.
All of that was corrected in the early 80’s, when I had a chance to buy a Browning Model 92 carbine, also in .44 Magnum. The Browning was nearly an exact knock off of the Winchester Model 1892 carbine and I like the trim, less bulky feel of it.
My friend, gunsmith Ed Collett, shortened the barrel to 16 inches, so that it would be easier to manage in a car. Even then, the Mod. 92 still held nine rounds. And, when those nine rounds were 240 gr hollowpoints running at about 1500fps, I figured that was adequate for just about any job. Ed also removed the rear sight and installed a Williams Foolproof receiver sight in its place. The whole thing was exactly what I had expected it to be, short, powerful, and accurate.
My .44 carbine was my constant companion during the years that I was Chief Deputy and later Sheriff of Crockett County, Texas. Crockett County being somewhat of a gun culture, nobody thought twice about the sheriff pulling a lever-action carbine out of his car when things started to get dicey. Hell, what would you expect a Texas sheriff to be carrying?
The last time that I fired my .44 carbine for serious purposes was not long before I retired. A punk out of San Antonio stole a Mercedes and was running west on I-10. We chased him up one road and down another until I got tired and figured that we were fixing to see a bad wreck in the very near future. I can tell you that five or six 240 gr hollowpoints will do some amazing things to the front end of a Mercedes. It did, in fact, obtain the thief’s immediate voluntary compliance.
So I’m all for people owning and shooting AR’s. Heck, selectors and suppressors are okay with me, too. But I believe I’ll just stick with this old .44 carbine. We seem to suit each other.