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.357 Mag. For Deer?


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#1 Spirithawk

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:58 PM

In a .357 mag, single action with a 6 1/2" barrel, what would be a good load for deer? Shots would be within 40 yards max as our woods are fairly dense. I'm thinking sollid nose, rather than hollow points, would get the best penetration. Reason I ask is that we can now use centerfire handguns durring the Alternative Weapons portion of Firearms Season. I'm wanting to carry my .357 along with my T/C Encore .50. I like that it has fully adjustable sights. It's pretty accurate shooting .38 Specials but I haven't had the chance to shoot it with .357's yet. Waiting till I decide on a good deer load before buying any. I'm thinking the heaviest grain sollid nose I can find. Any advice?

Edited by Spirithawk, 15 August 2012 - 02:03 PM.


#2 cayugad

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:31 PM

I always shot Winchester 158 grain Jacketed Hollow points. You got extreme penetration and expansion. When I was a police officer we used to respond to car deer accidents where the deer was still alive. At the time we carried the Smith & Wesson 686 .357 magnum revolver. And that Winchester ammo. It used to knock those wounded deer flat. Out to 50 yards with that ammo, if you can place the shot, you might have a tracking job of a couple yards or so, like any small caliber cartridge, but it will end in a dead deer.
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#3 Jeremiah

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:34 PM

I've used 158 grain jacketed soft point a lot for white-tail. But, if I ever was in black bear country (even though still hunting deer) I never considered anything less than 180 grain.

Plenty of offerings in those two rounds from everyone from CorBon to S&B and several in between. CorBon also makes a 200 grain offering I've been interested in trying myself.

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#4 Spirithawk

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:51 PM

Thanks guys. I saw Wally World has the Federal 158 gr. JSP's but if I can find the 180's I like the idea of them. The wildlife area I hunt is getting over run with Black Bears. So much so they are trying to trap them and have signs up to watch out for them. I'll carry my .357 mag while bow hunting there too. They also have been spotting Cougars there. I've found tracks of both just across the road from my house as well so I'm thinking me and this handgun are gonna be pretty good friends from now on. ;) Will have to give the hollow points a try too. I had just heard that they didn't always get enough penetration. Know there's a differance in calibers but I always had great success with hollowpoints on deer in my .44 mag Ruger I use to own.

#5 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:52 PM

As long as you keep your distances in mind the 357 will down a deer. Most any handgun in a big game environment is a short range weapon. I have 0 experience with a 357 except to shoot my son's at the range.
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#6 Spirithawk

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:41 PM

I picked up a 50 round box of Federal Champion 158 grain jacketed soft points today. Couldn't find any 180's. Will try Bass Pro when I get the chance....and a few more dollars in my pocket. ;) Will give you a range report when I get a chance to sight it in. I've got more things health wise trying to hold me back than ever but I'm also looking forward to hunting and plan on having a great time hunting just the same. Plan on taking my first Whitetail with a handgun and another with my new .50 Encore barrel. :)

#7 Fossil

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:26 AM

I've used my 357 in the field for deer in North Dakota...I could usually draw them in at under 7 feet(does for the freezer) and just lay them down with one shot...
Good luck Spirithawk.............
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