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357 deer bullet test

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by joshlm, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. joshlm

    joshlm Well-Known Member

    357 dear bullet test

    I decided to test some different bullets to try to find out which bullets that I had would perform the best in a hunting situation. All bullets were fired into phone books which were soaked for a period of 2 hours to allow even saturation of the paper. Range was 10 yards . Firearm is a GP-100, 6" barrel with full lug. Powder was Alliant 2400 using max charges that were worked up to the day before. I have previously worked over max charges with this gun with no signs of pressure, however for the sake of uniform testing I chose to use only max charges. Primers were winchester as well as the cases. Now to the test.

    158gr. Remington JSP 14 gr. 2400
    penetrated 16" expanded to .410" 3 shot group- 1.6"@25 yrds

    158gr. Penn LSWC 14gr. 2400
    penetrated 15" no expansion noted 3 shot group- 2.1"@25 yrds

    180gr. Remington SJHP 12.5 gr. 2400
    penetrated 9.75" expanded to .470" 3 shot group-2.2"@25yrds

    180gr. Penn tcbb 12.5gr. 2400
    penetrated 18.75" no expansion noted 3 shot group-1.8"@25yrds

    While the sjhp did expand well it had no where near the penetration that I was looking for. The 180 gr Penn had the best penetration and a decent group, so I am leaning toward developing a good load with that bullet. I forgot to take my sand bags with me so I was using the table to stabilize myself. I believe my shooting could have been better with bags. I also have a chrony on my wish list but have not got it yet. This would have helped allot, and I will be trying to pick one up for the next testing I decide to do. Overall I was very impressed with the quality of the Penn bullets. They have a very consistant appearance, and did not leave any sign of leading in my barrel. As a side note I also got some 200gr H&G 68 swc from Penn for my RIA 45. I was astounded at the accuracy that this bullet was capable of using 5.0 grains of AA#2. I was easily able to put a magazine full into a 2.00" bulseye at 25 yards with all tightly clustered and no flyers. This was some of the best shooting I had seen with this gun.

    sorry for the long post.

    WESHOOT2 Well-Known Member

    Penn Bullets very very good.

    Suggest H110 / W296 / N110 under that R-P 180g. Dead deer.

    HSMITH Well-Known Member

    Hornady XTP. Buy some 158's and some 180's and test again. It is VERY likely that your bullet of choice will be the XTP when done.
  4. joshlm

    joshlm Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys. on my next order I will try to get some different bullets and powder to try different combonations.
  5. Mattkc

    Mattkc Active Member

    I posted question about 158 and 180 gr. XTP slugs for hunting on another site. Guys who had tried both said the 158 gr. was much better. The 180 gr. slugs just punched a nice clean hole through the deer. Deer still dead but ran longer before dropping. The 158 gr. slugs dropped them fast and had plenty of penetration. The only complaint I've read on the 158 gr. was a guy who put one lenth wise through a deer. He said it did a lot of meat damage. Come deer season I'm going to use 158 gr. XTP with 18 gr. of Lil'gun good warm load with low pressure.
  6. joshlm

    joshlm Well-Known Member

    Thanks matt, I guess I will have to give the xtp a try. I would like to know what allows the xtp yo continue to penetrate once it has opened up. It seems to me that the bullet expanding would stop penetration, or is their something i am missing

    HSMITH Well-Known Member

    The XTP is a controlled expansion bullet. It opens more slowly than say a Silvertip or a Hydrashock would. Slower opening means it gets a little deeper before it stops.
  8. joshlm

    joshlm Well-Known Member

    thanks, that clears it up
  9. Bob F.

    Bob F. Well-Known Member

    Gotta think 10" of phonebook is clear through a deer boilerroom broadside unless it's a brute or you've hit both shoulders. Dunno for sure. Be interested in finding out though. Thinkin' I might have to get a GP-100 or Blackhawk! Definitely want him down or a good blood trail!
  10. joshlm

    joshlm Well-Known Member

    Well bob I had not really thought about it that way but I guess 10" would pretty well completely penetrate the dear in my area. The largest I have ever shot weighed in at about 215 if memory serves me correctly, however 150 to 175 lbs is more the norm for me. With 10" I would Guess??:confused: it could probably penetrate one shoulder and still have enough left to take out the lungs but may not leave a very good blood trail. This will be the first season for me handgun hunting. In the past I have used a 45 muzzleloader and 180gr hollowpoint sabots that managed to completely penetrate a buck I shot last year after breaking the shoulder. I have yet to loose a dear and have never had to trail one farther than 100 yards or so, but my longest shot was probably no farther than 50 yards. The woods I hunt in are fairly dense which causes most of my shooting to be done at less than 25 yards. With the information I attained through the testing I believe that I would have no trouble harvesting a dear at less than 25 yards with any of the bullets I tested.
  11. critter

    critter Well-Known Member

    Check the penetration 'test' I posted a few days ago under the 'hunting' section. It was a Hornady XTP 180.
  12. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Well-Known Member

    I've seen the performance of the XTPs in .44 Mag and it was very impressive. I wouldn't hesitate to use the 158 gr XTPs on a deer.

    Oh, and I like H110 too :)

    My specific recomendation would be a worked up max H110 load with the 158 grain XTPs. [Edit: DON'T forget the magnum primers. H110 and it's siblings have ignition issues. Particularly in a "little" case like the .357 Mag.]You'll have more total muzzle energy to expend with the lighter bullet so if you under or over-penetrate you have more energy going into the target.

    [Edit: I've heard posted on here that someone who hunted whitetail with a .40 S&W was puching two holes with every shot. You have over twice the muzzle energy with any .357 Mag load so I don't think you'll need to worry about not getting enough penetration.]
  13. Quantrill

    Quantrill Well-Known Member

    Lyman mold # 358429 and 13.5gr of 2400. Elmer Keith special that he personally recommended to me. Yes, Elmer loaded them hotter but I did not want to. Quantrill

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