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357 Revolver 6" Barrel Hunting Ammo Questions

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Hartkopf, Jan 28, 2020.

  1. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

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    I've never done any handgun hunting so I'm trying to gain an understanding of ammo used in a 357 Magnum Blackhawk or GP100 with a 6 inch barrel.

    What is a good bullet type and weight for Texas size critters like deer, hogs and coyotes?
    What are the uses of really heavy bullets in 357? I see 180 and 200gr ammo sold but is that useful in a hand gun, or more for rifles?

    Again, I'm a newbie so just gathering information so I have a good starting point with ammo for the guns I have. I understand the limitations in general of the 357 revolver with regards to distance and shot placement. (50 or so yards max and I'm not hunting grizzly)
     
  2. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I learned on .41 and .357 using hard semi-wadcutters and have never felt poor-bulleted but things have advanced so much in the past 40 years or so I don't really know anymore.

    I'll still likely use SWCs for my mule deer next year but I'm always open to being swayed as long as it's not following trends like women and purses.

    Todd.
     
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  3. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

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  4. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Buffalo Bore 180g hard cast with a wide meplat will provide adequate penetration and a good wound channel for the game you mentioned.
     
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  5. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I guess If I were to be swayed it would most likely be by a BB loading or Black Hills. Those guys seem to really be dialed in on specialty loadings.

    Todd.
     
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  6. 357 Terms

    357 Terms Member

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  7. 94045

    94045 Member

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    158 gr JSP will work.
    So will 180 gr JHP.

    The 158 gr JSP will have minimal mushrooming (but will mushroom out until it's roughly a flat front a little bigger than the caliber. Think .40 caliber Wadcutter wound channel).

    180 gr XTP will be similar but slightly larger and the extra sectional density will result in similar penetration.

    Both should shoot through and through on a deer (for better blood trail).

    In my experience the 158 gr JSP shoots better in most revolvers (try both) and I generally use the Remington JSP which has an exposed lead nose but the Federal is similar.
     
  8. Huntolive

    Huntolive Member

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    I only agree that 158 grain jacketed soft point or semi jacketed hollow point works great and is more accurate and most 357
    I strongly recommend hornaday 158 grain xtp my Dan Wesson s and most revolvers seem to love that more then the cheaper focacci 158 grn I have some 180 grain HSM that shoots fine in some guns with flat points that might be better 4 hogs but keep in mind that the game you mentioned are very different hugs deer and coyotes is a pretty different bunch of animals. Average weight range in those beasts from 40 lb all the way up to 300 pounds
     
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  9. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    I use a soft cast 160 wide meplat or 172 SWC traveling at 1100 fps.
     
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  10. Revilo

    Revilo Member

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    I’d opt for the lighter grain, thus faster, bullets. I’d use Buffalo Bore 125grain or their 158 grain. Hornady XTP 158 grain will work as well.
     
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  11. 94045

    94045 Member

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    You get adequate penetration on a big boar with 125 grain?
     
  12. DWFan

    DWFan Member

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    For hogs over 150lbs, Buffalo Bore 180gr hardcast. For everything else, Barnes 140gr VOR-TX.
     
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  13. Revilo

    Revilo Member

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    I wouldn’t swear to it but I do know that Buffalo Bore loads up for maximum speed. I wouldn’t hesitate to give em a try. I know for fact they’ll kill a Texas whitetail.
     
  14. HamSlamma

    HamSlamma Member

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    ,,,,,,,,,,,,you need to shoot the bullet that's the most accurate in "Your" gun. If you cant hit where your aiming,,,why shoot?

    One with a wide meplat will be best for hunting.
     
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  15. NeroM

    NeroM Member

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    Have an older Bisley Vaquero, 6" barrel that seems to favor the 180 gr cast performance bullet stoked with 12-13 gr of 2400 (non mag primer)- been effective on deer.
    Ps- can get a little spicier load with 14-15 gr lil-gun, if needed
     
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  16. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    The question is less of what SHOULD be used as it is more about determining what NOT to use. Having killed a few deer with a .357 I feel much more confident in just about anything other than traditional “magnum” loads. The 125s are just not as good as the heavier stuff. Handgun rounds do 1 of 2 things, they either come apart in an impressive manner and produce a shallow wound, or they push deep and make a narrow wound. The 125s typically fall into the fail category. The 180s typically fall firmly into the deep and narrow category. Most things in between are a trade off of expansion and penetration. It is overly simplified to say use a hollowpoint at X weight as well because they have their faults as well. The tiny cavity hollow points just don’t work. Might as well be a flat nose. The gaping hole hollowpoints tend to rip petals off after they expand leaving the base of the bullet intact to keep pushing through the critter. Polymer filled hollow points (leverevolution ammo and similar) does a fair job and would fall more into the gaping hollowpoint category based on performance. Bullets scored to make pre-determined petals seem to work well as they allow for expansion and also tend to hold the bullet together fairly well.

    So in summary...Texas deer are on the smaller side... shoot for mid-weight bullets (140-160gr typically) with a medium-large hollowpoint with scored petals or a polymer tipped bullet. If the question were tending towards heavier bodied deer (Illinois, Michigan, etc) then I would suggest a Keith design with a low Brinell hardness number so that it would hit hard and flatten out but still retain weight and drive deep. The main thing is to avoid the extremes on bullet weight and design because with those options you trade off almost all of one category in favor of the other.

    And on range, you are more limited by making the shot than you are the effect on target. I have had pass through shots at 60yards with 158 soft points. It’s just harder to properly and precisely aim a revolver than it is a rifle.
     
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  17. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    +1 ^^^^^ or what Todd said Black Hills ammo.
     
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  18. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    I ran the Hornady Leverevolution 140gr.
    One yote, one deer.
    Hit coyote on leg as it bounded at 25 yards quartering to. Leg, then heart then out other side.
    Pretty nasty.

    Buck was spined (on purpose) facing away. Bullet stopped in nose.
    Dunno if slid between vert or crunched one.
    Shed the red tip.

    That placement, a .22 mag would have killed him.

    Can't really say if it's a good bullet/load or not.
    Would like to try that load again in a new Python 6".
     
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  19. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    That can often result in LESS penetration due to over expansion/fragmentation and the XTP has a reputation for not being as tough a bullet as some more modem ones.
     
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