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Limits of Marlin 1894c .357 Magnum rifle and Federal 180 gr Cast Core?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Southern Shooter, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. Southern Shooter

    Southern Shooter Well-Known Member

    From prior post..."I have a 6" .357 Magnum revolver that I am wanting to use for some hunting and more for all-around woods protection. I have easy access to supplies of the Federal 180 grain cast-core ammunition. I live in Louisiana but will be spending some time in the backcountry of Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.

    If I were to combine that revolver with Federal 180 grain cast-core ammunition what would be the reasonable limits that this combination could take in terms of animals?"

    I have begun to rethink my choice in backcountry all-around woods protection. As you can see from a prior post I had been considering my 6" .357 revolver. However, seeing that my Marliln 1894c is very compact, only weighs a bit over 3 pounds more than my Dan Wesson, has a much longer barrel, larger capacity, better sighting plane, and is nothing to carry with a sling, should not interfere with toting a day-pack...why not carry it???

    I know there are some reservations about this round for protection where animals are quite larger than those in my home state of Louisiana. But, at close range with Federal 180 grain cast core ammo would this fill the bill?

    Does anyone know what the ballistics would be with this specific model of rifle and Federal ammunition?

  2. Well let's look at what might attack you, keeping in mind that 180 gr .357 mags begin to approach .30-30 Win levels out of a rifle barrel:

    1. Humans: More than enough
    2. Cougars & Feral Dogs: More than enough
    3. Black Bear: Adequate/Enough
    4. Large Feral Hogs: Barely adequate / Not ideal
    5. Brown Bear & Moose: No, I sure wouldn't want to be in that position. (and yes, meese do kill people every year).

    These are just my opinions based on a calculus of toughness, hide construction, dangerousness, etc.
  3. TnBigBore

    TnBigBore Well-Known Member

    It really depends on where you will be in Wyoming. Unless you will be in the northwest corner, you wont have to worry about Grizzlies. It is pretty easy to stay clear of Moose if you keep your eyes and ears open. Those two critters aside, there is nothing in that part of the Rockies your Marlin can't handle.
  4. tsidorus

    tsidorus Well-Known Member

    THat being said, I know several guys in alaska (one of which is a wildlife bio/former game worden and he has used it). THat carry hard cast loads in 357 pistols as Griz pro. I carry a 327 sans rails (they just look stupid on a wheelgun) and feel just fine about it. Remember its about shot placement and penetration. A gut shot with a 300 win mag still wont kill a charging threat, at least not quick enough to matter.

  5. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    Works fine in Texas/New Mexico. Canada or Alaska, well, it's a bit, okay, more than a bit light. A Rossi 92 in .454 Casull might begin to approach adequate, a Marlin .45-70 Guide Gun would be closer to adequacy. Me, I have a Rossi 92 in .357 Magnum that's a fun, fun outdoor gun. .38s are accurate in it, 105 grain SWC (lee mold) and 2.3 grains of Bullseye pushes it 900 fps and it's deadly to 50 yards on squirrel size targets, IOW anything a .22LR will do. With magnums, I shoot a 158 cast to about 1900 fps, it'll take anything tha walks in Texas that isn't an exotic out to 100 yards or so. Pretty decent all around IMHO.
  6. Southern Shooter

    Southern Shooter Well-Known Member

    Old Thread back...Change in ammo/gun combination

    When I initially posted this thread I made mention of using Federal .357 Magnum 180gr Cast Core ammunition in my Marlin 1894c. But, after looking at Buffalo Bore and Double Tap hard-cast .357 Magnum rounds...Federal looks very weak.

    So, is there any significant increase in effectiveness with the combination of these higher velocity hard-cast ammunitions in a .357 Magnum carbine?
  7. schlockinz

    schlockinz Well-Known Member


    You talk about taking a day pack with you? What are you actually doing in the backwoods? And where are you thinking about spending time (be specific if you can, IE bridger teton, Wyoming Range, Ashley National forest, High Uintas, etc...)
  8. Southern Shooter

    Southern Shooter Well-Known Member

    Specific location...

    I am not sure about the specific locations. I was thinking of just being prepared for where ever the folks I am going to be with wanted to spend the day. It looks like they want to do multiple day hikes to different areas.
  9. saturno_v

    saturno_v Well-Known Member

    Not even remotely close...the only brand that can get out of this world numbers with a 357 out of a carbine is Buffalo Bore and I still do not quite understand how they can do that.....however the same company claims 2400 ft/lb of energy out of their 220 gr. Heavy 35 Remington load and I wonder what will they get from their upcoming Heavy 190 gr. 30-30 load.

    I'm sorry Dr. Tad but comparing a 357 Mag out of a barrel pipe to a 30-30 is plain silly....just because one company, who knows how, can get impressive figures it doesn't mean that is normal.....rather the exception....

    According to the Hodgdon reloading data table, the stoutest load you can safely use in 357 Mag for the 150-158 gr. bullet weight range out of a 18.5" barrel reaches 1800 fps, the 180 gr. bullets stops at 1391 fps max....quite far from 30-30 levels. How Buffalo Bore can get their stated 2153 fps for the 158 gr. and 1851 for their 180 gr. it's a mistery to me...but again they claim 2400 ft/lb ME with their 220 gr. 35 Rem load!!!
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2009
  10. wyohome

    wyohome Well-Known Member

    I carry a Blackhawk .357 while hunting. Don't plan to hunt with it as they aren't legal to hunt big game with here.
  11. schlockinz

    schlockinz Well-Known Member

    I've spent a fair amount of time in the high country camping, I'd leave a long gun at home and maybe carry a pistol that I was proficient with.

    Main reason, hiking in the high country (especially for a sea level dweller) is going to take a heavy toll, you're going to lose all the weight that you don't have to carry, and are more likely to leave the gun behind on day hikes.

    2nd, if you camping and practicing smart camping tactics (ie be "bear aware" in places that have conditioned bears) then you would unlikely have a problem with wildlife.

    Lastly, I'd think about mace over a gun, the guys that live with grizzly bears and study them use mace ('cept the feller who was killed...) and it seems to work for them. Also, bear mace doesn't have to be properly aimed, its more of a fog, unlike a gun which will need a CNS or bone crushing hit to stop an attack.

    If I still lived in Utah and decided to carry, I'd keep a 45 colt, ruger redhawk, 4" SS gun, a s&w mountain gun, or the ruger alaskan in 454 (probably with 45 colt "magnum" loads).

    Just my .02
  12. Kernel

    Kernel Well-Known Member

    A .357 carbine shooting a 180 gr bullet has a Taylor Knock-Out Factor of about 12.5 (mv x bullet wght x bore dia/7000). What limits this cartridge most is it's teeny tiny powder capacity. And the bigger the bullet, the more it eats into that already small powder space.

    In my view, loaded to the max, and shot from a carbine it's good for hogs, whitetail/mule deer, antelop, the bob cat, coyote, all the small critters. Range is limited, the closer the better. If you could actually press the muzzle to what ever it is you're shooting, that would be good.

    It's far too weak for any of the bears, elk, moose, all the bigger stuff.

    A .30-30 shooting a 170 gr bullet has a TKO over 16. That's 22% more that the .357 Mag on it's best day. That makes the .30-30 good for black bear, cougar/mountain lion and all the stuff the .357 Mag can do. Again, it's not a long range round. For the big stuff keep it under 150 yds.
  13. saturno_v

    saturno_v Well-Known Member

    The Taylor KO factor it's just a theory...

    With the same bullet weight and assuming the same bullet construction the 30-30 is faster and it has better SD which means better penetration ability against larger animals. Not to mention better BC which means losing less velocity downrange

    No they are not in the same class....give or take there are between 500 and 700 fps of muzzle velocity difference (dependng on bullet weight) between a 30-30 and a 357 with the same grainage (Buffalo Bore aside).
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2009
  14. bad_aim_billy

    bad_aim_billy Well-Known Member

    If you're hiking in elevations over 6000 ft, your tune will rapidly change about the ease of carrying a pistol vs. a rifle.

    Stick with the revolver and a can of bear spray.
  15. Kernel

    Kernel Well-Known Member

    True. It is just a calculation. But that doesn’t mean it's valueless. It's real. Bullets DO have: mass, velocity, and diameter. Those things can be measured and we know what they are.

    It's not a be all and end all, but IMO it does have merit.

    If there's a problem with the TKO formula it's that it places to much emphasis on bullet diameter.

    But, then again, who could argue that a bigger hole is not a good thing, when it comes to bringing down a game animal?
  16. uvausmc

    uvausmc Well-Known Member

    I took a whitetail at about 15-20 yards with my Ruger New Vaquero 4 5/8" and Federal 180gr Hard cast loads. The deer ran about 10 yds then piled up. It punched a clean entry and exit wound with little/no expansion however when I dressed the deer everything in the chest cavity was goo. I hit her right on the back edge of the shoulder. I dont know about larger/tougher animals but the 180gr hard cast load is definitely effective. I wouldnt take it out past 25 yds with my Vaquero but this is due to the sights, with a carbine I think it would be fine out to around 100 as long as shot placement is good.

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