It is a little-known fact that the first gun in .44 Magnum to hit dealers’ shelves was the Ruger Blackhawk revolver and not a Smith & Wesson, as is widely believed. Since that coup, Ruger has shown a partiality to the big .44 by making it available in a series of newer revolvers as well as in autoloading, bolt-action and lever-operated rifles. This latest, the Deerfield Carbine, again offers the .44 Mag. in autoloading form, but rather than being a refinement of the discontinued Model 44, it is based on the Mini-14 concept. With a gas-operated system, the Deerfield feeds from a four-shot rotary magazine. Its overall length, just short of 37 inches, fulfills the classic description of a short-range woods carbine for deer, despite its hefty 61/4 pounds. During our firing tests at 50 yards the Deerfield functioned flawlessly, with five-shot groups ranging from 1.742 inches to 2.3 inches