.357 Magnum Handgun Load for Deer/Feral Hog


April 12, 2005, 04:15 PM
I am preparing to develop a .357 magnum load for hunting small-medium sized deer and feral hog within 25-50 yards. I will be using a 6” Ruger GP100.

So far I am thinking the Hornady 180 gr. XTP hollowpoint at 1200-1300 fps would be ideal. Some sources recommend a 180 gr. jacketed flat point.

Other bullet recommendations?
Powder recommendations/load?
Source for Load Data? (I don’t have the Hornady manual.)

I do not want to try HOT rounds. Any recommendations or advice would be appreciated.

If you enjoyed reading about ".357 Magnum Handgun Load for Deer/Feral Hog" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Sharps Shooter
April 12, 2005, 05:09 PM
I'm a big fan of cast bullets in revolvers. Oregon Trail Bullet Company casts a dandy 180-grain .357 Flat Point that should work well for small to medium deer or feral hogs at the ranges you mentioned. According to Oregon Trail's own loading manual, a maximum charge of 2400 or Blue Dot will push that bullet out of a 6" barrel at the 1200-1300 fps velocity you're looking for. ;)

I'm not sure what you meant when you wrote you were not looking for "hot" loads. 1200-1300 fps with a 180-grain bullet out of a .357 Magnum is pretty hot by my definition. :confused:

April 12, 2005, 05:22 PM
Thank you for the post and information.

HOT - I mean beyond published load data limits.

April 12, 2005, 06:26 PM
The Oregon Trail bullet you mentioned would probably be great. Problem with Oregon Trail: I don't need 500 to 1000 bullets. I only shoot a couple of animals a year. Anyone have a source for 100-250 bullet packs?

April 12, 2005, 07:40 PM
IMHO your 180 gr XTP is spot on! You can stop looking.

A while back, I killed a couple of hogs with them out of a 4" GP 100. I got expansion and plenty of penetration from them and they did just what you want a bullet to do in and for the game animal.

I think you might find some other loads that may be as good, but I doubt greatly you will find any better for the parameters you have set for your hunting.

Good luck.

The Bushmaster
April 12, 2005, 10:04 PM
For feral pig might I suggest Hornady 158 grain JFP and a WSPM primer and in between 16.6 grains of Win-296 or 15 grains of 2400. The pig has a thicker hide and you will need to get through it before the bullet opens up.

For the medium size deer might I suggest a Remington 140 grain SJHP and a WSPM primer and in between 19 grains of Win 296 or 16.5 grains of 2400. These have netted me several medium size deer with good results. I was using a Colt SAA 4 3/4' barrel in .357 mag at 25 to 30 yards.

These are maximum loads and it is recommended that you drop back about 10% and work up to the max your hand gun will handle.


April 13, 2005, 03:25 AM
critter, what are your load specifics for that 180gr XTP?

Have your chrono'd them?
I have a 6" GP-100 and am trying to develop a deer load for next season. :)

April 13, 2005, 08:10 AM
you'll get varied answers on the hog load. Deer for the most part are fairly uniform. You may get one that runs 125#, another that runs 160#, etc.

Hogs vary widely...may have a little one that's 40-50#, then run into a mean old boar that's 500# or more. I think that's why the recommendations on what works for hogs varies so much.

I used to lurk at Huntamerica.com. There was a hog forum there. I know that one of the guys shot a boar in the shield (on the side behind the front leg) with a .38 Special and the base of the bullet was even with the outside of the hide.

Personally, I'd stick with the hard cast if there was a chance of running into Mr Tusker. If that site and forum is still going, you way check it out. HTH

Mark whiz
April 14, 2005, 12:29 AM
I too would recommend a 180gr hard cast bullet for best results, if you can get them.

Other options are the 180gr XTPs or 170gr God Dots which actually have their Hollow filled with lead - functioning as a flat point. I believe Nosler used to make a 180gr partiton as well - that might be a great choice. In fact, I believe Winchester still makes it's Premium Hunting ammo with the 180gr Partition for .357s.

Hogs can be really wierd when shot. I've seen .357s drop nice sized ones right to the ground, while I had a 100lb sow take a shot right though the shoulders at close range amd it didn't even affect her - took slitting her throat and a .22 stinger in the ear to settle her down. :eek: I thought the bullet hadn't performed, but the post-mortum showed that both front shoulders were destroyed - all the meat ruined. :(

April 14, 2005, 02:06 AM
i loaded up some 180 Grn XTPs with 16 grns of H110 they cronod at 1650 fps out of my 20" win 94 (and grouped 5 rnds 1.5" @100 :cool: ). they slapped my hands pretty good out of my GP100 but i have not cronod them out of the GP.

April 14, 2005, 09:01 AM
I think the H110/W296 loads you guys are using are fine. Mine are less enthusiastic, more on the order of the low end loads for these powders (as in the reduced by 10% starting loads).

I feel the big, long 180 grainers will do their job without having to be sent at light speed. Of course, higher velocity is fine and it is much better at longer ranges. BUT I do not feel the .357 is a long range firearm on hogs/deer.

April 14, 2005, 07:24 PM
When I was a lad, I killed a lot of South Georgia hogs with a three screw Ruger .357 Mag. The load was a Speer 158 grain SP over a lot of 2400. Never lost a hog.

May 1, 2005, 04:56 PM
I shot a small hog (75 lbs.) yesterday with a loading of 180 gr. HP XTP and 13.1 gr. of H110 (very tight crimp). The bullet went in just to the side of the backbone through the lungs and out the chest (I was in a tree shooting almost straight down). I found the bullet just lying on the ground where the hog was shot. The bullet expanded PERFECTLY and made a big hole on exit. I am pleased with the results but think it might have needed more power if the hog was bigger or further away. I didn't have time to chrono the load before the trip.

Like I said the bullet expanded perfectly as designed and retained its weight. I think I may try the 158 gr. HP XTP next time. There is a lot more loading data available for that bullet and it can pushed to a higher velocity. I will post a picture when I get a chance. Thanks for the input. I used by 6" Ruger GP100.

The Bushmaster
May 1, 2005, 11:29 PM
Congrats on the pig...I think you will like the Hornady 158gr HP XTP.

Sharps Shooter
May 2, 2005, 12:05 AM
Congratulations GunAdmirer! Good shooting! :)

May 2, 2005, 10:18 AM
I would find an old Speer #10 manual,load 158 grain JSP's and have a Ruger or a S&W N Frame. Byron

If you enjoyed reading about ".357 Magnum Handgun Load for Deer/Feral Hog" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!