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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Maybe I'm posting in the wrong forum but I'm looking for any input on loads for whitetail hunting. Here is what I got to start with- h-way patrolman 28-2, 6" brl, currently have 2400 and blue dot powder, 110,125,140,146,158 jhp bullets. I have been reloading for a while but have not had the chance to do much shooting.(job, family, etc.) I am limited to what is readily available (ha ha) as far as supplies and dont have the time to invest with casting. Any input would be super! Thank in advance.
 

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I loaded some 357's last year with the intention of hunting they were 158's 170s and 180's. The last two being a hard cast that had to be loaded a bit deeper to work in the recessed cylinder of my 27.

I'd say the 2400 would be your best bet for the 158 you have listed. I forgot what the powder charge was so you should prolly look it up in a manual.

Good luck!!!

:)
 

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Alliant's website shows 14.8 of 2400 with the 158. I loaded 14.0 to 15.0 with Keith's 168 grain swc, and found that in my 4 5/8ths Blackhawk, I only got an extra 37 fps with the heavier load. So, my load is 14.0 for 1300 fps. Btw, Keith did NOT use magnum primers for his loads, and once I learned that and stopped using them, my 2400 loads became much more accurate. FIRM crimp, however.
 

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Only the 2 heaviest bullets listed would be of any potential use, the others are too light for good penetration. You don't say where you are, which has a lot of bearing on how big the deer are where you will be hunting. I think that those 2 bullets (146 and 158) would be okay for smaller whitetails, but are going to be iffy for heavier deer like we have in the north. I would not have much confidence that either one would not break apart if they hit bone on the way in to the chest cavity.
With the 2400 you'll want to start around 13.5 grains and work up from there. Max load (new manual) for the 158 would be around 14.8 grains, I've loaded up to 14.5 grains with the 146s. Neither of these loads are maximum, but they are getting close. Use a standard primer.
Frankly I think you'd be much better off with some heavy JSPs, or hard cast bullets. The time tested 173 grain Keith bullet would be a better choice. If you shop around they are easy to find at a good price. If you have any interest in trading bullets 4 bullets, PM me.
Do NOT use your Blue Dot with the 125 grain bullets. They put out a safety notice about this combo causing Kabooms not long ago.
 

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Geoff's comments notwithtanding, I've hunted whitetail here in Ohio with handguns exclusively for the last twenty years. I've killed more whitetail with .357Magnum Remington factory loads in 158Gr. JHP than with any other caliber, one, which dressed out at 189lbs. at a little over 100 yards. Of the ten Deer I've killed with a .357, only one didn't give through and through penetration. That was a quartering away shot at about 80 yards. Round went in just aft of the ribcage and stopped just inside the skin on the opposite front shoulder. Only once did I have to walk more than a few paces from where I made the hit at to get to the Deer. About 70 yards. And, I shot all ten with the same gun, a six-inch barrelled Model 28-2.

As for reloads, I like 14.5gr. of 2400 with either a 158 JHP or a hardcast SWC and a Winchester Small-pistol Primer. I won't talk velocity as that's particular to each individual gun. A load that produces 1300 in one gun may only give 1200 in another of the same type. But, this load with either bullet, will give good service out to 100 yards.

Ever since the bigger magnums came out people have been belittling the 357Magnum. These same people should know better. When the 357 first came out, Wesson took it and harvested every game animal on the Continent with it, most with one shot! Alot of fellow 357 shooters call it the '30-30 of handguns', another round all the 'Pundits' say is marginal, Hah! Me, I like to call the 357 the '30-06 of handguns' due to it's unequaled versatility.

To tell the truth, gunwriters were the worst thing that ever happened to the 357, starting with Bob Milek and Skeeter Skeleton. Both of these guys were avid handgun hunters with the 357 magnum until they got their first 44mag. Suddenly, the 357 was marginal for Deer. What hypocrites.

Dave ;mcp9
 

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Excuse me! To quote Skeeter Skelton:

"Saying the .357 is insignificant as a hunting round is like saying that sourmash bourbon constitutes an unimportant factor in the diet of man."

He also wrote an article about the 357 later in his career that invited anyone who put it down to meet him back behind the barn.
 

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You're excused Parson. The other side. " I've taken a couple of deer with the 357. One close and the other at about sixty yards with a perfect side shot. While the round took both deer I don't really count them as they were easy shots. So, I can't really recommend this round for large game." From a reprint of one of Skeeter's articles.
 

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Milek was even worse Parson, in the last article he wrote on handgun hunting he relegated the 357 to small game such as woodchucks, saying it wasn't a serious round for Deer and such.
 

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Parson, don't get me wrong, Skeeter was both an entertaining and knowledgeable writer. I just didn't like the statement he made about 357s. I used to read all his stuff. Milek, on the other hand, went from bad to worse. After his brief love-affair with the 44mag. he got into the bolt-action hand-rifles and never shot anything else!
 

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I would have to think that a cast bullet (say Lyman's 170 grain #358429) on top of 12.5 or even 13.0 grains of 2400 would be adequate for whitetail deer. I knew a guy who used to shoot a whitetail every season with a Ruger Blackhawk .357 (can't remember his loads though) but he never complained about it. If you kept the shot to a reasonable distance and used a good solid bullet (I wouldb't go under 165 grains personally) I think you could take a whitetail, but the .44's do make it a bit easier.
Just remember that if you are going to use the #358429 bullet, since I am assuming your gun has recessed a cylinder, make sure your brass is right at trim length. Otherwise your assembled cartridge can be too long and will stick out the front of the cylinder. (Have to do this with my 27-2)
Western Bullet companies sells the #358429 by a box of 100 pretty cheap. http://www.westernbullet.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A big THANK YOU to all you gentlemen for your expertise and fast reply. I was out of town for a few days and just returned.(back here in Benton Pa.) I'll keep you posted after I get to do a little shopping and a little shooting!
 

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Isn't it sad that only us reloaders know what a real .357mag sounds and feels like when you pop a cap on one??? When SAMMI dropped the specs from 46,000 CUP down to 35,000 CUP it was the death of this trusty ole cartridge for sure!!!! Heck, factory .357 ammo now feels a little heavier than +P 38's compared to 20 years ago,, a real shame.... I blame Smith and Wesson and Taurus for their J frame model .357mags and how bout all them Night Guards and the like (Scandium Frames) with a piece of STEELE riveted over the forcing cone SO THE FRAME WON'T BURN OUT,, ya right thats good ole technoligy at work!!!!!! Oh well had to get that off my chest......

L.G.
 

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Somewhere in a box I have an old article, I can't even remember who wrote it. (Wasn't Skeeter, Elmer, Wiley, or Milek.) It went through some of the old hunters who used the .357 back when it first came out. The .357 best days when it came out as originally designed, to send a 158 grain bullet at 1,500 fps. I was perusing some of my reloading manuals from the 1950's, the velocities were sooo much hotter than anything out there now. Back when the .357's were all N-frames and Ruger Blackhawks. To the good old days.
I also blame some of the problems with guys shooting loose their K-frame guns with hot loads designed for the N-frame guns as being the start of the loading down of the .357 Magnum.
 

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I have been hunting with handguns, since 1965. I have shot MANY whitetail deer with handguns of alot of
different calibers. I was never impressed with the performance of the .357 magnum. The deer ive shot with
it have ALWAY ran 50 or more yards when hit solidly in the normal shoulder shot region. When i was using even the .357 automag, shooting a 150 grain sierra at over 1800 fps, got the same reaction from them, that is they would always run at least 50 yards or so. Now, when i shot them with .44 magnum, they usually dropped right there! Thats why ive never been a big fan of the .357 mag. Just my two cents worth from lifetime of handgun hunting.
 

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Thanks for the info & links. Bumpity for the thread. I need to print this out for my 357 folder.
 
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