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.357 Magnum lever gun for deer hunting?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by bernie, Jul 25, 2003.

  1. bernie

    bernie Well-Known Member

    Have any of you use a .357 magnum lever gun for deer hunting. Will the Winchester and Marlin handle hot 180 grain loads? I think it might make a decent deer rifle for small deer in tight brush. I also want an around the ranch type carbine that does not cause me to mortgage the place to buy it.
  2. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Well-Known Member

    a .357 Mag rifle will do for deer under ideal conditions. They are not suitable for all situations. I would not depend on one. Hand gun bullets are not designed for deep penetration, or for velocities way above that from a hand gun. They do not always work at rifle speeds, tending to not hold together.
  3. mrstang01

    mrstang01 Well-Known Member

    Paco Kelly says they are, and that's good enough for me.
  4. Glamdring

    Glamdring Well-Known Member

    IIRC you will get around 1500 fps with 180 grain bulletes in a 357 carbine, that is with regular loads for revolvers.

    I would suggest trying Hornady XTP, Nosler, or 170 grain Speer unicore SP.

    But I think 357 is iffy for deer, at least full grown midwestern ones :)
    Those little texas ones might be different story :)
  5. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    The sectional densities on the 180 and 200 grain bullets for the .357 are actually pretty good--up to .30/30 levels for sure and better than 90% of the handgun bullets out there. I'd say they were more than enough for deer, esp. with the boost in power you get from a carbine over a revolver.
  6. B27

    B27 Well-Known Member

    GA Arms loads a .357 load specifially for this called the Deerstopper.
    It performs quite well out of carbine length barrels.
  7. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Well-Known Member

    bernie, yes the .357 can take deer, but if that's your objective, I'd go with a .44mag, like the Marlin 1894P. Carbine length, with a strong receiver. You can load it light with .44 specials for other applications. But I think you'd be happier with the .44 (compared to the .357) on deer.
  8. sturmruger

    sturmruger Well-Known Member

    .44 Mag

    I took my first three deer with a Marlin lever action chambered in .44 mag. It did an awesome job taking down whatever I shot. At the time we were hunting in very thick woods where the limited range of the .44 mag was not a problem. When I started hunting in more open fields I switched to a .308. Everytime I think about it I kick myself for selling that gun. I am sure the .357 would work but I would think about the little larger caliber.
  9. David4516

    David4516 Well-Known Member

    I think you'd be better off with .44 Mag, or better yet, .30-30
  10. bernie

    bernie Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the input, and I know that there are better options, I have actual "deer rifles", but was wondering if anyone here has actually taken a deer with a .357 carbine, and what the results were. It seems to me that it would probably be more potent than an M1 carbine, and many deer have been (not to mention Germans, Japanese, North Koreans, etc.) taken with that anemic little round. I appreciate you guys pointing out there are better options, as I could well be a newbie anticipating a first rifle purchase. However, if anyone has any actual experience, please speak up! Thanks.

    P.S. I do not mean to sound like I have a bad attitude if it comes off that way.
  11. six 4 sure

    six 4 sure Well-Known Member

    I have friends that have taken multiple deer with .357 handguns. A .357 will get the job done as long as you realize your range will be limited (and I think you already know that). Now what is the maximum range? Well that's a can of worms I don't care to open.

    If you will let me spend your money for a minute :D this is what I would buy.

    If you’re planning on using iron sights my pick would be a Win 94 trapper. I love mine, it’s been on more boondoggles than I care to count. It’s light, compact, and relatively cheap. Winchester has several other options, but this is my personal favorite. However, I don’t care for the factory sights on my trapper and have been meaning to replace them a Marbles full buckhorn rear and a contour front. You can check those out here www.marblesoutdoors.com/index.html it’s a much cheaper option than a scope and I think it will help your accuracy. Another popular option is an Ashley rear ghost-ring sight. I think either choice would be an improvement.

    I you’re considering mounting a scope I think a scout scope mount like seen here www.aosights.com/scope_mount.html might be just the ticket. I think this type of mount looks better than a traditional mount and the rifle seems to have a better balance with this type of mount. I had a 30-30 with a similar mount that I probably should have kept. One of my next purchases is going to be a marlin ss .44 mag with this type of mount.

    Hope this helps, and if you ever need help spending your money let me know.

    :D :D :D

  12. griz

    griz Well-Known Member

    Here is my single experience with a 357 rifle on deer. I shot a buck, about 150 pounds, with a quartering shot. The bullet went in the left shoulder missing the bone, took out a lung and a piece of the heart, and stopped against the hide about halfway down the right side. I don't remember if ribs were hit. The round was a handload with the Speer 146 gr. half jacket SWC over about one grain less than a max load of 2400. It held together well despite using a lot of its energy tearing up shoulder meat. The deer ran about 15 yards and tipped over in sight.

    My impression is a 357 carbine would be adequate for small to medium deer at close range, but I wouldn't take a shot without being sure of placement. Oh, one more thing. I would use 158 or 180 gr. bullets. IIRC Nosler makes a partition that would be good for this task.
  13. RustyHammer

    RustyHammer Well-Known Member

    Check state laws ... either will do the job if you do yours (within range, location of shot, etc.).

  14. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    One of the Corbon 200 grain Wide lead flat points ought to do real well, being that they clock 1670fps out of my 16.5 barreled Marlin:what: Winchester 180 Partition Gold's do 1640 out of same. I have shot a 240lb wild boar with an older Federal 180 JSP load and it plowed thru to stop on other side and killed in about 15 seconds. I have a friend in New Zeland that has shot THOUSANDS of deer with a Savage 24V I gave him. He uses 158grain JSP loads, but in that 24inch barrel I think they approach 2000fps. :cool:

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