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.357 Mag Hunting Rounds

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Hunter125, Oct 16, 2013.

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  1. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Member

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    I am planning on carrying my GP 100 during firearms deer season this year and realized I've never really looked into hunting rounds for .357. Are there rounds that are specifically good for hunting, or is good defensive ammunition just as good for hunting?
     
  2. jakk280rem

    jakk280rem Member

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    Yes to both. There are loads developed specifically for hunting, but premium controlled expansion self defense ammo will work fine. One thing you will notice is the speciality hunting ammo is generally loaded with heavy bullets and the recoil in a handgun will be fierce. When I carry a 357 in the woods, I use a stout 158gr JSP.
     
  3. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Most Hollow-point SD bullets are made to expand quickly and dump their energy without exiting the body. For deer, when using .357, you need a round that will penetrate deep and hopefully give you an exit wound, making the animal bleed out faster and make blood-trailing, if needed, easier. I like to use 158gr JSPs, XTP-FPs(not HPs) or hardcast outta my .357 revolvers for deer. Hollowpoints are saved for range use or the nightstand gun.
     
  4. critter

    critter Member

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    Used to carry handloaded JHP's weighing 180 gr in my Ruger blackhawk for such critters. It shot them VERY well and penetrated well a-plenty.
     
  5. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    My experience shows that a fast 125 gr jhp thru a deers ribs is very effective.
     
  6. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    Fairly hot loaded JSP (158gr) are what I would choose except for dangerous game which where I would want solids or better yet a larger caliber. Solids will work also for deer hunting. I would not use bullets designed for self defense such as the 125 gr HP's. My suggestion is that you keep your shots under 50 yds.
     
  7. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I don't hunt (yet), but have been interested in my area's recent decree that hog taking may be permitted within the city limits, and we do have lots of hogs.

    I have two four-inch .357 Magnum revolvers, and most of a box of 180-grain Winchester Silvertips (came with one of the revolvers, which I inherited from my dad.) How well do you all think they'd work?
     
  8. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

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    Yes a good 158gr load or heavier is the ticket.

    Now when I hunt deer this year I'll use my 629-1 as my deer gun.

    But while checking my deer cameras and getting everything set up I have my 3 inch GP-100 .357 with me (deer season is not here yet so I pack my 'Canadian' as both CCW and field gun.) Once the season starts though, the .44 has the field.

    A stout loaded .357 will take most anything you might run into while deer hunting with a rifle. Hogs, coyotes, and the like.

    Deaf
     
  9. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Member

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    I love revolvers especially Ruger Blackhawks, this year I chose to have a .357 drilled and tapped for a scope for hunting, I normally hunt with irons on my .44mags and .45 colts. I will be using 180 grain flat nose/gas checks for hogs and maybe deer. the ammo will be Buffalo Bore I trust. I consider the .357 the low end of calibers for hunting this type game. just something I wanna try.
     
  10. Lawdawg45

    Lawdawg45 Member

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    Hunter, Buffalo Bore makes a round called the Deer Grenade, which is a lead SWC hollow point. I use them in my .45 Colt and they move around 1500 fps (which is pretty good for the old cowboy round). Stay away from the Hornaday line, pretty much everything they sell is light and under powered. :(

    LD
     
  11. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

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    Can not agree more with this...

    The last thing you want is SD ammo in the deer woods...
     
  12. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

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    use a 125gr hp for personal defense and a heavy sp or hp for deer. Hogs deserve 180gr hardcast shot thru the shoulders or head, Loads from fed, win speer , corbon, BB and dt are or were out there.
     
  13. Tony_the_tiger

    Tony_the_tiger Member

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  14. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Member

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    So penetration is preferable to expansion? How different is a deer's body cavity than a person's to warrant a significant diffence in bullet types?
     
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The difference in body cavity isn't the thing.

    For SD bullets, you want maximum expansion and enough penetration to reach the internal organs without excessive over-penetration.

    When you shoot a deer, you want an entry and exit wound for rapid bleed-out.
    And a blood trail to follow.

    Unless you make a brain or spine shot on a deer, it is going to run a ways before it knows it is dead.

    So you want a good blood trail to find it.

    rc
     
  16. critter

    critter Member

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    rcmodel hit it squarely on the had. Heed his advise.
     
  17. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

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    No hardcast on deer. It bores a hole but does not cause major tissue damage. 170gr or 180gr sp or hp will pass thru most times and expand to near twice the same causeing more blood and fast deer on ground. Save the hard cast for hogs or bear were a head shoot or thru both shoulders is your must hit areas .
     
  18. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Personally I'd use a good JHP in 158gr. A Hornady XTP load should give both expansion and good penetration as they are a bullet that yields 1.5X expansion and hold together better than a older style semi jacket that you commonly find.
     
  19. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Member

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    if I had to choose between hard cast and hollow points for deer/hogs I would have to stagger my cylinder loads....aint got that kind of luxury....I use what works and that Is a cast bullet that works with lots of kinetic energy and added expansion....to each his own. even a cast bullet will expand some for a kill....like I said to each his own, I know what works for me.
     
  20. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Besides the reasons RC has given, one needs to look at a deer's anatomy. One major difference between shooting a BG and a deer is with the BG coming at you, his chest is exposed to you and you have a little over an inch between his skin and his heart. His skin is also quite thin. A deer standing broadside may have it heart and lungs covered by shoulder muscle and shoulder bone and has a tougher hide. With a rifle or higher caliber handgun this may not be the issue that is is with a .357 handgun. A SD bullet that would be a one shot man stopper, may blow up before even reaching the vitals of a deer, since most .38 caliber SD bullets are meant to expand much more rapidly than those designed for big game. Add to that a deers exceptional survival instincts and it's ability to ignore pain as it seeks to get away and find cover. Use the right bullet for the job....you owe it to your quarry.
     
  21. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    I would use (even tho' I am not a hunter) a 158 grain JSP, or a 158-or-heavier cast bullet.

    If you're a handloader, take a good look at Lee's "358-158-RF" bullet. It has a wider flat nose than most SWC's, and a sharper edge than most RNFP's --It's almost like a wadcutter with enough taper so you can load it long. It will punch a big hole even w/o expansion.

    It would be interesting to see gel tests on .357 Mag 125 grain FMJ when fired from a rifle, but that's not what you asked about :)
     
  22. Lone Star

    Lone Star Member

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    A Federal PR man told me that their 158 grain Hydra-Shok is an excellent deer load at reasonable range.

    I don't doubt it, but would try to stick to deer under 150 pounds and within about 50-75 yds.

    I really think the .44 Magnum is better for most deer.
     
  23. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Member

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    PR men will tell you anything to sell their product.
     
  24. Lone Star

    Lone Star Member

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    Yes, but if you deal with them enough as a member of the outdoor press, which I was, you get a feel for which ones are dispensing honest knowledge and which are just BS-ing the company line. I think the guy was on the level and had seen the results that he said he had. Otherwise, I wouldn't post about it here.
     
  25. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

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    If it was Federal rep recommending .357 hunting ammo, it was probably 'Vital-Shock', not 'Hydra-Shok'...
     
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