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Thread: Is the .357 Magnum Enough for Deer Hunting?

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    Is the .357 Magnum Enough for Deer Hunting?

    gearchecker likes this.
    "No people in the world ever did achieve their freedom by goody-goody talk and moral suasion: it being immutable law that all revolutions that will succeed must being in blood, whatever may answer afterward."
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    Dave, one thing that you have to remember. In the early 1900's the .357 was the round to shoot. With skill, a larger N frame revolver, with a long tube of 6" or more, the .357 was the hot ticket , and was used to take all sorts of large game. Until the .44 mag was developed in the '50's, it reigned supreme. (the .45 Colt and .44-40 were also strong calibers....don't know why they were overlooked. )

    The .44 Mag changed everything, and the .357 was overshadowed. It became THE HUNTING CARTRIDGE for more effective shots at large game. The .357 fell out of favor with serious hunters......who wantd a one shot stop! Why shoot a medium .357cartridge....when you could use the ultimate......a .44 Mag.! !Bob
    Last edited by Bob K; 11-18-2011 at 06:30 PM.

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    Colt sold a 6 inch scoped Python as a package for deer hunting in the late 80's, I believe.
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    Is the .357 Magnum Enough for Deer Hunting? I don't know about that. Sometimes I piss my wife off so badly I don't think a .357 would stop her.
    USAMP, grasshopper and bondjbond like this.
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    Good article Dave. I have no western or dangerous game experience. I need to be clear on that, whitetails only from Tennessee south to the gulf. From a morality stand point we allow archery and several of the deep south states allow buckshot. On the practical side, and within reasonable limits .38 Specials, 9x19 and .45 Colt cowboy loads do just fine. Seen it, done it. Also tracked a gut shot with a 12 ga. slug doe (not by me for the record) for two hours.

    Shot placement is still king, penetration is still queen; all else is why we have forums to ruminate the ponderables.
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    David,
    Congratulations. As always this is a well researched, and well written article. My wife carries the .357 as her woods gun all the time. I have no doubt that it will bring down a deer, even one of the bigger Mulies. If an arrow can bring down an elephant at 600 FPS, it stands to reason the the .357 can bring down a deer. Out here in North Idaho we have some pretty big whitetails, especially compared to the ones I grew up hunting in Michigan. Shot placement is the key to any successful hunt. These were also being hunted with 6" & 8.5" barrelled handguns. The longer barrels dramatically improve the accuracy. A steady handed hunter can easily place rounds in the distances needed for handgun hunting with a 6" or longer barrel.

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    Gregory
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    Very good article David, Thanks.

    I live in Michigan and our Whitetails are not as large as other states. Although I have never shot one with my 686 6" I would not be the least bit concerned about shooting one with my .357 out to maybe 50 yards. Anything longer than that I will use my 30-06.
    Charlie686 and paulwv like this.
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    I've killed a few deer with a 357 Magnum. Using both 4" K frames and 6" N frames.
    Besides bullet placement, the type of bullet makes a world of difference. I would never use a hollow point in a 357 to hunt deer. It doesn't get the penetration needed to rip up organs if it hits a bone.
    A plain old hard lead semi-wadcutter in 158 gr works fine. Better yet, a 180 grain flat point. Both have enough velocity and power to get deep into the guts of a deer.
    I once hit a buck in a quartering away shot just in front of the left hip. The bullet was just under the skin in front of the right shoulder. The deer dropped right where it stood when hit.
    (You shoot for where the bullet will go in the body and where it will exit, not necessarily where it will enter.)
    The 8 point buck weighed a 135 lb gutted. The 158 grain hard semi-wadcutter went long and deep in the deer.
    A hollow point probably would have entered deep enough to kill the deer but not right on the spot.
    I'd say 50 yards is about the longest you want to shoot to kill a deer with a 357 magnum.
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    A 357 makes short work of a deer especialy a white tail.There is plenty of penetration with the hollow points.I have always used hollow points myself .A 357 is deadly on a elk also at close range.Years ago my neighbor shot one of the biggest black bears I ever seen with a old pre 27 loaded with cci factory ammo and 158 grain hollow points. He shot it in the chest one shot.He killed a lot of muleys and white tails and elk with it over the years and his son has killed a few with the same gun.

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    Yup. Good article and thanks for the link.

    Some folks will think we're all crazy though.
    John. Which group of heros, from centuries ago, is associated with this saying: "First into battle and last out"


 

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