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Discussion Starter #1
A cousin, the same age as me recently moved back to town after being away for 8 or 10 years. He was asking me if I still hunted (haven't in years) and said he would like to go deer hunting this year and would really like it if I would go with him. This was followed by him asking if I had a rifle he could borrow to hunt with. Since messing up my back in 07, I haven't hunted. I know I couldn't hump a rifle around the hills and I'm not much of a sitter. I've toyed with the idea of hunting with a 357. A revolver on the hip would make for a lot easier going than carrying a long gun.
I have decided if I do it, my 6 inch Highway Patrolman makes the best candidate. I have a good Hunter holster for it and all my other magnums are 4 inch or less. I shoot it well and regularly practice out to 40 yards or more.
The big question is ammo. I have 130gr and 158gr RNFP Hi tek coated bullets on hand as well as 125gr and 158gr Hornady XTPs. I think the XTP is the best choice, but which weight is best? A 158gr at near 1300fps or a 125gr at 1500+fps?
I also have some factory ammo to consider. Federal 158 semi-jacketed flat point, Blazer brass 158gr JHP or Remington 125gr semi-jacketed hollow points.
I would like to hear from any of you who have hunted with a 357
 

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If I see a white tail with a .357 I'm going to figure revenge is on his mind and get the heck out of Dodge. I would think that the 158gr flat point would be good. I recall reading something about hollow points clogging with hair and not expanding.
 

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Your 6" HP should do Jonsey. Heavier bullets are better but don't use hollow points. They expand all right but I've personally seen them fail to penetrate well enough on a deer to do a good job. And that was with nearly 15 gr of 2400 coming out of an 8" barrel. You want good penetration.
I use my own cast Lyman 158 gr SWCs, or store bought hard cast SWCs. The FP jacketed ammo may be OK.
Most of my online research on 357 ans a revolver cartridge for whitetails indicates that lead SWCs are preferred by a wide margin.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I dont have any cast wadcutters and likely wouldnt have time to get them, work up a load and sight in gun with them in time. I do have these 158gr bullets. As shown they are in 38 special but I load the same bullet in 357 with H110. These bullets are hard cast, brinell 18
C8221FE3-694C-4708-9162-868F6F04E3F6.jpeg
 

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A SWC may cut a nicer whole with sharp edges that wont close up but those there boolits have a nice flat metplat and with a BN of 18 and should still give you good penetration. Much more preferable than an HP.

John
 

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I have a 165 Grain "Keith" Gas Checked SWC over 12 gr of AA+9 and has been very effective for me. I want to try this round out of my Henry.
IMG_4029.JPG
 

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TBH, I'm interested in what the other handgun hunters here have to say. Certainly that a 41 or 44 Magnum is better, but the question is what to use with a 357 mag.

My objections to the HP bullet design, in particular the Hornady XTP in any weight, stems from personal experience. Shot a doe several years ago with my Model 27 and it took off despite a solid shot to the shoulder area at about 30 yards. Finally caught up with it and put it down for good with a shot to the spine. I administered a final coup de grace to to neck. None of the three bullets penetrated more than a couple inches. The neck shot was at near point blank range and the bullet was found, neatly mushroomed out, up against the vertebrae.There was no apparent damage to the bone. I was very disappointed with those results and upset with the number of shots that the animal had to take to be put down.

I've since found a nice model 57 in 41 Magnum and I've worked up an accurate load for it. Just haven't had the opportunity to put it to use to see results. But I'm still using solid lead SWC's.

I have talked with many hand gun hunters who spoke of excellent results with the XTP design when used with 44 magnums but upon reflection they may have been using the cartridge in a TC Contender. One fella told me of dropping a doe at about 80 yards with a quartering away shot that went in behind the rib cage and finally lodged in the brisket just under the skin. I can't see that happening with a 357 HP at that range.

John
 

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I have a Ruger Blackhawk 4" that I use with a 215 gr Barnes over AA+9 and have a Ruger Blackhawk in 45 Colt and have read about a 300 gr Wadcutter that I am working to get a load on it. Also have Henry Levers in both calibers. I have read some excellent things about the 45 Colt wadcutter on Hogs.
 

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Hunted deer for many years with Rifle and used a .357 mag in both a Ruger Black Hawk and a Smith Wesson 686 and a High-Way Patrolman Model 28. . . I hunt from tree stands. All of these guns have and are 6 inch tubes. I limit my shots to 75 yards or less. So mostly i use these guns when the deer are close to my stand. I hate wounding deer and and having to track them to find them. Anything 75 yards and out I use a rifle . I hunt in West Va. and Florida. My best results are with several different loads. I like heavier bullets in the 158 grain class. Or 124 Grain hollow points with more Vel. Punch . The best thing I can tell you is practice you shooting from a raised platform on a shooting range. Unless ground hunting. Check your loads for accuracy. But most of all put in some trigger time before you go on the hunt. Success depends on well placed shots ," the FIRST TIME. " Don't count on a second shot with a revolver . They move to fast and will be out of harms way and range in a blink of an eye. Here are some loads I have used with accuracy results out of my model 28 DSCF3195.JPG DSCF3197.JPG DSCF3196.JPG

#1 125 grain Federal JHP
#2 148 Grain JSP
#3 158 grain Master Match JSP
 

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Discussion Starter #11
A 357 is the most powerful revolver I own, so that's what I have to work with. Woods are pretty thick up here and long shots are rare even with a rifle. Its open sights so I would be only taking fairly close shots...inside 50 yards. I feel confident that there is plenty of power there at that range in a 357 as long as the bullet performs. The coated bullets I have may not expand but they should penetrate good. May do some testing this tomorrow.
 

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I would definitely stick with the 158 grain bullets. You want penetration. I have very limited experience with the .357 on deer since I almost always carry my 29C, but I have used 240 grain XTP's in it on deer and hogs with no issues. The few times I have recovered a bullet it was a perfect mushroom. I think the Hornady or the plated 158's you have would work well inside 50 yards. Pick the one that is most accurate in your 28. Good luck.
 

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Here in Florida, the deer are small enough to hunt with a 32SWL..................:eek:
 
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Deer are not that difficult to kill. What makes the task difficult is the incompetent hunter. If you can't place the shoot that's the problem! A 357 magnum is quite adequate with reasonable shoot placement. Reasonable shoot placement includes penetration thus the knowledge of the deer's anatomy. Shooting the big middle isn't the best shot placement. Yes one could step up to as an example 44Magnum but its still problematic if you can't place the shoot effectively.

I use to allow hunters on the property. I stipulated one simple rule; shoots taken must equal deer taken or don't come back. I'm down to one hunter whom often fills out his tag of five deer every year.

Farmers in the area, I'm told use .22RF to prevent crop damage. Thus deer are problematic depending on your view point!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have hunted many times with a rifle, and know that shot placement is the key. I know where the proper target area is and have actually never had to shoot a deer twice. sometimes they ran off 50 yards or so, but always found them dead. If I decide to hunt with my 357, I know well the cartridge and my own limitations, and the biggest one is me. I'm not dead set on taking a deer. More just getting out to enjoy the outdoors with friends, but if I get the right shot I will take it. out to 25-30 yards I am good freehand and if I can get a rest on a tree branch or something I'll be good out to 45-50. Honestly, the woods were I hunt are thick enough I don't think I ever shot a deer at over 75 yards with a rifle. You usually just cant see them well enough to determine buck or doe in many cases and doe require a special permit.
 

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I have hunted Michigan and Indiana deer with a handgun in the past and the prime reason I bought the 460 XVR.

I hunt with Hornady XTP's always. Always hollow points. The XVR takes a 452 XTP, 250 grain with Lil'Gun and my 44 RM takes a 450, same bullet lighter weight 200 preferred. Always get good expansion and retained weight is always better than 85% (I know, I've weighed them).

Never had an issue with hair either. Deer hair lays down and is coarse so the pill don't clog and the pill don't expand until it gets inside anyway. That hair bullshitte sounds like Internet folklore to me.

Not sure about a 357, never considered one for Michigan deer. I'd say no farther than 50 yards with a 357 no matter how you propel it.

I always load at the maximum end (SAMMI) charge no matter what I'm sending and (don't tell anyone), I actually jump the bullets a bit (COAL) over spec. Reason I do that is because the shorter the distance between the cylinder face and the forcing cone is, the less side blow you get from the charge (in the space between the forcing cone and the cylinder face). Works for me but I don't endorse it, I just do it.

My philosophy is, so long as the cartridge don't protrude past the cylinder face (and interfere with cylinder rotation), all is good and that allows me to run a maximum charge without compressing the powder. Doing that with the 460, I can hold MOA at 100 yards, but then the XVR was really designed as a large game killer in the first place.

Never loaded any lead pills, don't plan on it either, Always gilded (FMJ) pills but then I don't punch paper anyway, I punch animals. That brings me to another point and that is barrel fouling. A gilded pill will always leave residue in a tube so I clean my barrels with the same stuff I clean my rifles with, BTE followed by Hoppe's 9. The BTE removes all the fouling (I look inside before and after I clean them with my bore scope). In fact I look in all my barrels on all my guns before and after cleaning. Never chance that procedure and why I know BTE is tits.

No iron sights either, always an optic. A Leupy LER pistol scope or in the case of the 460, my Japanese LOE glass Bushnell LER scope. You really need a recoil resistant optic. Handguns recoil violently and abruptly so the scope needs to be able to withstand that recoil and still track properly.

I'll be using either the 460 or my CVA inline 50 cal smokepole on Friday, which is opening day here. Smokepole is sending a Barnes saboted ballistic tip backed up with 100 grains (by volume not weight) of Blackhorn 209 with a CCI 209 primer, The CVA is shimmed and the breech plug is modified. Very accurate to 175 yards. Plenty lobng enough for deer.

No matter what you use (you can take a deer with a 22 though it's not considered ethical) and the poacher weapon of choice is a 22 LR, I always make sure the shot is a kill shot. You have a 12-14" kill zone (boiler room shot). Be ethical and use it. I think the only time I took a deer without shooting i the kill zone (broadside shot) was a doe coming head on to me. I shot her with the smoke pole at about 25 yards, middle of the chest and she went right down and never even quivered but that 50 cal Barnes blew her apart inside pretty good.

How I play, your results may be different.
 

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I'm considering switching to Swift A Frames from XTP's. May do that next reload session. A Frames are very expensive but also an excellent pill for game.
 
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