I've got this idea in my head that I need to take a Utah mulie (antlerless this year) with my 6" Dan Wesson 357 at a range of under 50 yards. I've read about 30 million threads on how crappy the 357 is and its marginal at best as a deer gun. However, I haven't really seen anyone analyze the loads from companies like buffalo bore. I've tried out a box of their 19c 357 loads (158gr JHP) that's reportedly rated at 1418fps and 705flbs of energy at 50 yards. My Dan and I like this load and I can kill pop cans 9 times out of 10 at 25 yards right now. Call me crazy but I'm thinking that that load with my Dan is enough for deer if I do my part and smack it in the heart/lungs.
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April 28, 2012, 08:21 PM
I wouldn't use a hp. Hard cast swc gas checked, would be my choice
April 28, 2012, 09:11 PM
Hunt like you were bowhunting take the same kind of shots.The JHP will work fine
April 28, 2012, 09:48 PM
Absolutely, the .357 is wonderful for deer within the range you're looking at. I use heavy hardcast solid rounds. Buffalo Bore's 180 grain RNFP is great for hunting and I use it on whitetails.
April 28, 2012, 09:52 PM
It will work fine.
April 28, 2012, 11:03 PM
Been there, done that, 50 yds. is totally a chip shot for that gun. I have used 140 Speer JHP with success when I was a very young man. 158 Gr,. jhp was the last one used on big game, (cow elk). If you take a broadside shot, I doubt you will recover the slug.
April 29, 2012, 04:27 PM
My brother in law kills several deer a year with his .357 Ruger with a 6 inch barrel. His current favorite load is the Hornady Lever Evolution. Some of his shots have come close to the 100 yard mark and they die all the same as if he used a .270.
April 29, 2012, 05:21 PM
Do it. No problem. I've done it with a 6.5" blackhawk and a handloaded 165 gas checked swc at 1470 fps. It's whack 'em and stack 'em at 50 yards.
April 29, 2012, 10:12 PM
Thanks for the advice yall, I'm going to try the 180gr buffalo bore cast round and then use what ever is more accurate for me between 19a and 19c. On a side note, today while I was trekking up on my father in law's property in some Utah mountains a few deer decided to give me some stalking practice. I ended up with a "shot" at about 35 yards quartering away, lucky for her deer is out of season :).
April 29, 2012, 11:35 PM
I took a doe at about 40 yards last year using wolf 158 grain jhp. It made it about 20 yards. If I were to do it again, I'd handload an XTP in 158 180 grain.
April 30, 2012, 01:55 AM
I have killed deer using 125 JHP's out to 50 yards.
April 30, 2012, 07:30 PM
I use the 180grn XTP from my 6.5in Blackhawk (hot handloads)
They work very good.
April 30, 2012, 08:48 PM
Taken deer with SJSP 158gr in front of 15.8gr H110, My go to Hog load out of 4in Security Six ; ) PS Through and through on most game.
I've used a .357 for more than 30 years and have taken most everything that was huntable in my regions with one of one type or another. I'll try and list them cronologically.
My Dad's Smith and Wesson Hwy patrol 4 "- Michigan
3-4 coons 15-20 feet treed, Dozens of Squirrels, same number of Rabbits and Partriges sitting 25-30 feet + 1 rattlesnake at arms length. Yikes!!! All taken with 148 gr. wadcutters at around 1100 fps. All of them 1 shot kills.
1 140 LB Doe at about 20 yards broadside Just behind shoulder in the little swirl of hair. 158 gr JSP at 1300 fps. Stagered about 5 steps and died.
Smith and Wesson Model 19 Combat Master 6" - Michigan
1 160 Lb Doe at 30 yards broadside/front quartering 158 gr. JHP @ 1400 fps German rounds "Gecco", fell over right there. Bullet went all the way thru Blowing the heart into 3 pieces. 5 minutes later while standing over her 4 point Buck ~150 Lbs at 40 yards, straight on Chest shot. He ran about 70 yards right over to the trunk of my car and died.
Moved to South Carolina and got a 100+ lb hog on the Georgia border with the same gun only shooting 170 gr. hard cast semi-wadcutters at 1400 fps. Shot the hog just behind the shoulder from a tree stand angling down. He ran off into the thick scrub oaks about 35 yards and died there shortly there after.
Stupidly traded off the Model 19 for a Colt Anaconda in .44 mag 8" barrel. Dumb mistake. I can handle the big magnum recoils but I don't really enjoy it.
But got it to go to Colorado with.
Shot 1 Mulie Buck ~175 lbs at 25 yards 300 gr partition @1350 fps rear quartering shot. Deer ran 175 yards straight down to the bottom of the canyon bleeding out both sides before dieing. Oddly the bullet never hit a bone, sliced the liver and vaporized the lungs before exiting the other side.
Best trade of my life, Traded the .44 back for a .357, Dan Wesson pistol pack!
Living in Arizona now and have taken with the 8 " barrel:
1 couses deer 4 point ~100 lbs 50 yards broadside, broke boh front legs and died right there. Over my Backpack for a rest. 180 gr remington Express JHP bullet @1250 fps
3 Merriam Turkeys 25 to 75 yards off hand or leaned against a tree. 170 Gr. Hard cast wadcutter 1300 fps.
1 180 lb Mulie Doe 80 yards paced. Over a tree branch for a rest. 165 gr. Rem core lock bullet @ 1300 fps broadside head down feeding, she ran around in a 15 yard circle and fell down. Broke both front legs and recovered perfect mushroomed bullet weighing 147 gr under the skin on far side.
1 246 lb 5X5 Kaibab Mulie Buck 135 yards with a rangefinder, 165 gr. Rem core lock bullet @ 1300 fps. Over my hat pressed up against a tree. First shot Broadside seemed to have no effect he just trotted off a few yards and looked around a bit but then he looked behind him so I knelt and fired again. He nose dived then and I just waited for him to expire. Autopsy showed I didn't need the second bullet both rounds were kill shots he just hadn't realized it yet. Both bullets recovered, 1 @ 136 gr lost it's jacket and the other @ 151 gr.
1 more Mulie Buck 130 lb spike horn at 65 yards with 180 Gr. Winchester Partition Gold. Shot him off the back of the truck during lunch. He'd been laying down when we pulled over to make some sandwiches. Broadside rear quartering, no bullet to recover passed thru and got both heart and lungs.
Buffalo Bore ammo is only left off the list because I have no kills with it yet.
I know some may not agree with me but as far as I'm concerened my .357 is more than adequate for anything I may run into in the woods. I put 800 to 1000 rounds thru my gun in practice every year on the indoor range for close up speed drills and the outdoor range for long range metallic silhouette practice.
I am routinely in the woods with both Mountain Lions and Black Bears and do not feel under gunned in the least. Practice and knowing your weapon of choice intimately breeds confidence in your ability to get the first shot where it needs to be to do the job for you.
May 6, 2012, 12:53 AM
Where I hunt deer these days, it is from a stand with max visiibilty of 50 yards. Most shots are taken at 30-50 FEET! I take a Smith 686 and a Handi Rifle in .357 up in the stand to hunt with.
Using 180 gr. cast bullets with a gas check, I have killed a whole bunch of deer, none requiring more than one shot.
Use good loads at short ranges and you have a perfect deer round in .357 Mag.
May 8, 2012, 08:12 PM
.357? Oh yeah! I had several seasons success with my own DW .357 though I stopped many years back after being talked into and falling in love with a DW .41 Mag.
I would not hesitate to go back to the .357 should circumstances require it. Just be certain to not let your enthusiasm overstep your or the handgun's abilities and research loads well with some range time with the same.
May 13, 2012, 09:29 AM
357 MAG has a mighty strike - up close. This cow elk was taken at archery distance. Plain but effective 158 grain hollow tip ammo by PMC did the job.