High velocity 125g .357 mag loads for deer?


March 18, 2010, 05:03 PM
Talking carbines here. I've just been wondering, white tail don't require a whole lot of penetration. Would the hyper velocity 125g loads (2000-2300fps) hollow points be more likely to bang flop a deer than the heavier slower 158 or 180 grain loads due to hydrostatic shock and less energy spent on over penetration? What about the 110 grain loads? Although I've heard the rifles are usually more accurate with the heavier ammo.

Why is it people tend to prefer the heavier slower ammo? or is that mostly for things heavier than white tail?

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March 18, 2010, 05:13 PM
Why is it people tend to prefer the heavier slower ammo?

Either way, it's a 100 yard gun, really. So the heavier stuff offers penetration for less-than-perfect shots. Not every shot is at a textbook angle.

March 18, 2010, 05:22 PM
I disagree that the 357 mag carbine is a 100yd rifle.

A quick numbers crunch through a ballistics program shows that when fired from a carbine a 158g load doesn't drop down to handgun MUZZLE velocities till over 150yds, then you can add to that your 357 revolver effective range of 50yds or so

such a load zeroed at 150yds will not be above 3" inside 150 and doesn't drop outside an 8" vital zone till 200Yds. Now the shooter may not be up to using a 357 beyond 100 but the cartridge is more than capable.

March 18, 2010, 07:04 PM
The 125gr HP's, such as the Federal 357B load, very quickly shed their jacket and violently fragment at handgun velocity. Bump that by 600+fps (357B reaches 2100fps in carbine) and this happens even quicker. The heavier ammo penetrates deeper and is able to punch through both lungs and heart for cleaner kill.

March 18, 2010, 07:21 PM
I wonder how the Gold Dot would do?

March 18, 2010, 07:31 PM
I never shot deer with a .357, so couldn't say. I have taken down a half dozen Texas hogs with a .357 winchester trapper (16" barrel) and 125 hollow point Buffalo Bores. Iused a second shot only once.


March 18, 2010, 07:37 PM
A fair number of deer are taken up here every season with .357 rifles. They are popular with fathers looking to give their sons a reliable rifle that doesn't kick too much.

The heavier bullets are definitely favored for New England deer. The standard 158 grain is a good deer load, as is the 140 grain Remington factory round. Not many folks go for 125 grainers for the reason that ArmedBear mentioned.

March 18, 2010, 08:38 PM
The lighter bullets start out faster, but they also slow down faster at longer ranges.

March 19, 2010, 01:44 PM
As to the question on how gold dots would do I shoot 158gr gd bullets over 15.5gr h110 with a mag primmer in my marlin, I've killed a few deer with it longest was about 75 yards shot was just behind the shoulder on the on side and just in front on the off side. The deer ran about 30yds up hill and died about 15ft from the woods road, little dragging involved. Entrance hole was caliber sized and exit hole was somewhat larger, destroyed both lungs. I was happy with it, deer was not.

March 19, 2010, 02:01 PM
I did some penetration testing into ballistic wax using Remington 125 JSP factory loads. MV from my Marlin was about 2200 f/s. Distance was 50 yards.
The wax is a lot tougher than Gel and most of the internal organs of a deer. By comparison, 158 to 180 grain jacketed HP and SP loads were only going an inch or two more into the medium. the Barnes 140 cleared nearly a foot, and the 200 grain hard cast cleared a foot and kept right on going.

March 19, 2010, 02:36 PM
...white tail don't require a whole lot of penetration.

Having shot perhaps 40 - 50 whitetails, I'll disagree with that statement. It is EXTREMELY important that your shot be a through-and-through shot with whatever bullet you are using. Doing this with a lightweight .357 bullet designed to expand can become "iffy" depending upon the angle/placement of the shot. I started out using the fast, lightweight .357 bullets, but quickly switched to the 158gr bullets. Just MHO.


March 20, 2010, 01:59 PM
The hard cast 180 grain bullet clocked out a hair over 1900 fps in my Henry Big Boy. A whitetail wont argue with that.

Float Pilot
March 20, 2010, 02:28 PM
I shot some arctic caribou with Federal 125 grain HPs from a 20 inch Rossi M92 carbine.
The wounds were huge and the exit holes were over 3 inches in diameter. there were pieces of copper jacket and lead blown into the surrounding meat.

I changed to 158 and 160 grain flat nose semi-jacketed ammo and the results wasted much less meat.

March 20, 2010, 04:02 PM
In my experience the 125's out of my Marlin carbine waste way too much meat. I'm in the 158/180gr fan club for the .357 in a carbine.


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