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 Post subject: .357 For White Tail Deer
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:08 pm 
Blackhawk

Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:40 pm
Posts: 750
Anyone use, or have used a .357 for white tail deer? What bullet did you use and what were the results?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:27 pm 
Hunter

Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:06 pm
Posts: 3045
Location: Kansas City, MO
I have taken deer with my 6” Security Six. 158 gr XTP. For a close shot .357 works with a lung shot. I would rather use my .45 Blackhawk, tho. But, .357’s will do the job.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:04 pm 
Blackhawk

Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:01 am
Posts: 718
Location: Hibbing ,Minnesota U.S.A.
Working on a 200 gr magnus bullet. So far looks good with 12.4 gr 296.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:27 am 
Hawkeye

Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 8:11 pm
Posts: 9462
Location: missouri
158 grain HP factory loads worked fine. Truthfully, I don't feel that a non-expanding 357 bullet is a good choice but that's just my opinion.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:58 am 
Ruger Guru

Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2002 1:01 am
Posts: 37734
Location: Lake Lure NC USA
This type of discussion is common.

Can the .357 be used for deer hunting? Yes,,, it can.
Is it the best choice? That depends.
In general,,, other calibers will perform better, when a margin of error is desired.

A proper bullet design, combined with a proper bullet placement,, it can be a fine deer hunting tool.

But we are dealing with flesh, blood & bone. Combined with an animals desire to live, and all the dynamics that go along with that.
A deer has a "thin" skin when compared to many other critters. And the muscle mass is larger than some, and smaller than others. Combined with bone structure,, again, it's a subjective subject.

As a Hunter Safety Instructor,,, I teach "Ethics" as part of the class. I also teach a bit of anatomy so people know what is necessary to humanely kill a deer with one clean shot.
And I also say; "But NOTHING is a guarantee, even if you do it all right."

A .357 is often touted as a great SD caliber,, when combined with a 125 grn JHP or a JSP bullet. A human body is DIFFERENT than a deer.
Most folks agree on a few things necessary for a clean, one shot quick kill when hunting.
Complete penetration.
Quick death causing damage to internal organs.
And if bone is encountered when it's shot,, the bone must be broken to where the bullet can continue on the proper angle to cause such damage.

Basically we are asking a lot out of such a small item.

The angle of the bullet path. The ability of it to do all that's necessary w/o fail. And the reaction of the deer to it's injuries.

I prefer a good quality hand cast bullet for revolver hunting. I match the bullet to the game & what I hope will be a well placed shot. Ideally, the bullet is able to enter a spot where it doesn't encounter any bone (between ribs for example,) hits the lungs and heart, and exits with a big enough hole to allow for quick blood loss.
Ideally.
Now, reality. Often, a bone is hit as a bullet enters, and as it exits. Ribs, shoulder blade, leg bone all MAY be impacted during entry. And the same is true for when it exits.
The bullet needs to be hard enough to completely penetrate all that,, AND exit with a large enough hole.
And it's desirable to have the bullet nose soft enough to where it expands some,,, without coming apart, to cause more internal damage.

So, with all this,, it's fairly impossible to have one bullet to be a perfect choice for all variables. And that's not just for the .357.

A good medium hard cast solid, or even a good medium hard HP design is often a good compromise. But a good jacketed bullet of the SP design is also a good choice. Often, the JHP's seem to be more prone to separation & less penetration IN GENERAL,, so many shy away from those. Yet,, MANY deer have been killed with a good quality JHP bullet as well. It's often the bullet placement, combined with the choice of which JHP is used.

So what's the best answer?
A quality accurate bullet in your gun, with a proper bullet placement, can & will be a good deer killing combination. But only you, with the ethics to PASS on a shot, that might be marginal can determine what's "best." And that's not just in .357,, that's ALL calibers.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:57 am 
Hunter
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Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:18 am
Posts: 2642
Location: SW. LOWER MICHIGAN
I developed a load for a GP100 in .357 Mg. W/6" bbl using 13 grs. AA9 a CCI 500 primer, and a 180 gr. XTP bullet loaded to an OAL of 1.575". Result was 1235 fps and with a 2X scope, it went into about 6" at 100 measured yds. This was sitting on the ground, back supported and my wrists resting on my knees.

I never hunted with it, I just developed the load to see what I could get out of a GP100.

For a few years, I had a 7-1/2" Redhawk in .357 and was able to get the same bullet up to 1495 fps by using 16.5 grs of AA9 and seating the bullet to an OAL of 1.705"

Either of those loads would kill a Whitetail deer if placed right.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:29 am 
Hunter

Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:06 pm
Posts: 3045
Location: Kansas City, MO
The last deer taken with a handgun was my scoped.45 Blackhawk. A 255 Elmer K. coated slug from Missouri Bullets went thru both rib cages. A .357 will likely not have exit wound.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:37 am 
Hunter

Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:18 am
Posts: 2773
Location: Orange County, CA
I killed seven upstate NYS whitetail bucks (none of them large, all of them tasty) from a tree stand in heavy brush with a .357 handgun. First two with a 7 1/2" original Ruger Bisley, rest with a 6" half-lug GP. First three were with 180 gr Win. "deer loads," rest with Speer 158gr Gold Dots, all factory ctgs.

Couldn't tell the difference between the two loads in effectiveness--none of these bucks went more than 30 yards from where they were hit, and most of the shots were taken within 25 yards of the stand.

I had to shoot one of them twice because he was still trying to get up after he went down. Most of these bullets didn't exit, but they all expanded perfectly.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:36 pm 
Hawkeye

Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 8:11 pm
Posts: 9462
Location: missouri
All of the deer I've killed with a handgun have been at very close range, very controlled circumstances, and locations that favored following up if needed.
I'm NOT a "handgun hunter", the handgun was only used under near perfect conditions and all the animals fell within sight except for the medium sized doe shot with a 357 mag and hard cast bullet. Unscientific opinion says lack of frontal diameter was the culprit.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:08 pm 
Hawkeye

Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 1:01 am
Posts: 5059
Location: Midwest Illinois
I have taken 1 deer with the 357. Frontal shot on a button buck at about 25 yards. I was using a 9" Encore shooting Barnes 140 grain factory loads. He ran about 20 yards and dropped.
I shoot 158 grain XTP handloads in my 6" Security Six, but have not shot anything but targets so far. It shoots a big one hole group at 50 yards using a red dot.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 1:26 am 
Single-Sixer

Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:46 am
Posts: 403
Can a .357 Magnum be fatal to Bambi ? Of course .

Right up front , there is an aprox 50/50 split on projectile choice between hard cast non- expanding vs controlled expansion JHP .


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 11:02 am 
Single-Sixer

Joined: Fri May 06, 2016 8:39 am
Posts: 377
Location: south Texas
I have killed several white tail does with a Red Hawk 7 1/2" 357 . I use my limited supply of Speer 146 JHP bullets and a heavy dose of H110 pushing the Speer bullet 1660 , chronograph reading not estimate . I shoot the deer in the head and all have dropped on the spot. All shots are under 50 yards from a deer stand with a sand bag on the window ledge. If conditions are not perfect I do not shoot , more deer will come along in South Texas to present the perfect shot. The load creates violent expansion on contact and the base of the bullet travels on through the deer's head. The same load out of a 10" Contender is slightly faster and exhibits dramatic expansion. I like to think of a pistol , like a 357, as a loud bow and treat it accordingly.
I shoot year around, I am retired, and keep my abilities as sharp as I can get them. Like Mobuck has said , the most important performance item about a bullet is proper placement. I have killed a couple of does with a Contender in 221 Fireball but not what I would recommend as a deer caliber !


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 1:42 pm 
Hawkeye

Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:40 pm
Posts: 6411
Location: Southwest Washington
Not a white tail, but a young forked horn Blacktail. 20 yard high neck shot using a 4 5/8" Blackhawk with factory 158gr JHP ammo. Dead before it hit the ground.
I guess shot placement is the key as is with any firearm. For me if I am intentionally handgun hunting for deer it would be with a 44 magnum. That being said, a 357 would work as long as the operator places the shot well at a reasonable distance and has the appropriate ammo. JMO

Dave

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 9:49 am 
Buckeye

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 2:01 am
Posts: 1035
Location: Ohio
I shot a doe at 8 feet with a 158 grain xtp over a maximum charge of 2400. Perfect lung shot. It ran 200 yards before falling.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 3:22 pm 
Hawkeye

Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:01 am
Posts: 18613
Location: Milo Maine
whichwatch wrote:
Anyone use, or have used a .357 for white tail deer? What bullet did you use and what were the results?


Yes in the late 60's and early 70's I used my S&W model 66 one shot kill on two of them.
357 is plenty if you do your part! ps

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