I stopped by the pawn shop on the way home. I haven't been there in several weeks and they'd been weighing on my mind. Something told me that there was an interesting rifle in the racks, and I wanted to check on the status of my .30-30 Handi.
The counter guys told me that they'd called five distributors this morning and hadn't had any luck finding the Handi. Their main distributor has 30 of them on backorder. I don't know what the problem is in filling an order of .30-30s, but hunting season is coming.
However, they had one rifle in the rack that piqued my interest for reasons I don't understand. This is a Ruger Model 77/44. It's a bolt action Model 77 chambered for the .44 magnum cartridge. I've got dies and brass for that caliber, but I'm trying to understand the niche of a bolt-action .44 magnum. It's marked at $529.00 and I can get them to shave several dollars off that price, but the question becomes, do I want the rifle? I don't currently have any .44 magnum revolvers, but I've got plenty of .357 magnums.
It might make a good grandkid rifle and it would be a nice companion piece to a Ruger Blackhawk. The irons would suffice, but a low-power scope would make it shine. It's a lightweight, blued, walnut stocked rifle and seems to be in pretty good shape. The price seems right, and I could dicker with them.
**UPDTE** I've talked myself out of that rifle. The .44 magnum is a pistol cartridge, suited to revolvers and lever guns. A bolt action in that caliber is a niche rifle that I don't have a niche to fit. As unique as it might be I don't really see a use for it that justifies the expense.