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.357 vs .45 Colt for deer

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by kentucky_smith, Aug 31, 2010.

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  1. kentucky_smith

    kentucky_smith Member

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    With, all other things being equal--similar guns, barrel lengths, shooting within 25-30 yards--which would make the more suitable deer handgun cartridge?
     
  2. colonelhogan44

    colonelhogan44 Member

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    .45 colt will punch a bigger hole. Either would probably be fine, though.
     
  3. kentucky_smith

    kentucky_smith Member

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    Okay. Let's factor in the .45 will be a 5 3/8"s SAA and the .357 will be a 6" Python.
     
  4. kludge

    kludge Member

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    Are you going to wearing earplugs while hunting?

    For me, I would put a couple paper plates and fifty yards and then shoot a dozen rounds out of each gun, and thereby determine a winner.
     
  5. EmbarkChief

    EmbarkChief Member

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  6. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    My experience taking a dozen or more deer with .357 mag 4" and 6" barrels was ok. I never lost a single deer that I shot. However I did greatly improve my tracking experience. I never did have a good quick kill either.
    My advice for anyone wanting to use a .357 for whitetails is to use premium hollowpoint ammo that is accurate in your gun. And be patient for a GOOD shot.

    I now use a .45colt for deer hunting because I feel the .357 is absolute minimum.

    Those big bucks are hard to put a tag on....I need all the help I can get.

    +1 on what kludge said man those .357's are noy-say.
     
  7. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    I'm with you KB. I've taken 6 with the 357 and have not lost one, but I shoot a fairly hot handload with 180 gr. XTPs and pick my shots. The 45 LC should be great on whitetails with the proper bullet. I may find out. I picked up a Redhawk in 45 LC at the last gunshow.
     
  8. Blue Brick

    Blue Brick Member

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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  9. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I've killed a couple with a .357 Blackhawk. They died pretty dead, didn't go far, fell within sight. I've not shot one with my .45 Colt Blackhawk, but it's more'n enough in power and accuracy, for sure. I just never used it on a deer. Killed a few hogs with it.

    IMHO, from a Blackhawk, on a deer, take your pick. I really like both guns, personally. I limit shots to about 75 yards for either due to the iron sights, but the .357, it's probably best to keep it inside 75 for power reasons, too.
     
  10. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    My experience has made me more than a little leary of the .357 for personal defence as well as deer hunting
     
  11. jaybirdjtski

    jaybirdjtski Member

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    I've shot deer and pigs with 357 mag and 44 mag. I think the critical issue is to use proper bullets. For the 357 I used 170 grain jacketed. You could choose Buffalo Bore 180 grain hardcast...1400 fps from your Python. I used a 6" Python.

    I have a 454 Casull these days. However, with the 45 Colt, you can buy ammo that pushes a 260 grn JHP @ 1400 fps or a 300 grn hardcast at 1200 fps.

    You're the weapon. The gun is just the tool. You have the power with either gun as long as you put the bullet in the right place. Given your choice, assuming I could shoot either gun equally well, I would go with the 45 Colt. I gravitate towards larger and heavier bullets for hunting. I like two holes.
     
  12. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

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    If you have shot both which one do you shoot better?? I have used a 357 for 20+ years and and now a 44MAG. The right bullet is needed. For pigs a heavy hardcast is wanted and heavy JSP or gas checked for me seemed to work better other than barnes X . With a 45lc you can shoot some what slower and much heavier loads that will still hit harder and with a larger bore size. If you shoot the 45 as well as the 357 go with the 45lc.
     
  13. Husker_Fan

    Husker_Fan Member

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    I have only shot two deer with a .357 mag. Both were shot with Buffalo Bore 180 grn RNFP. Both were quartering slightly and the round broke one shoulder and passed thorough. The "tracking" was similar to shots I've made with a 7mm Rem Mag and a .243 Win. where the animals ran 30 to 50 yards and fell.

    That experience makes me feel pretty comfortable with my .357 six inch GP-100 for shots on deer up to 50 yards provided an appropriate load. That limit is based more on my limits as a marksman than on the cartridge.

    I don't buy the idea that .357 is only marginally effective on deer, but I'm sure .45 Colt would do very well too.

    As for the noise, these loads don't seem nearly as loud as some of the 125 grn jhp loads that I've shot with H110.
     
  14. jaybirdjtski

    jaybirdjtski Member

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    I agree with Husker Fan and hardluk1. The right bullet gives you options and for me, the right bullet is usually a heavy hardcast lead with a wide, flat meplat. They penetrate and go in a straight line. Quartering shots, no problem. Shoulder shots = broken shoulders.

    As far as shooting accurately, I don't think I own a revolver that I can shoot as well as my Python with the 6" bbl
     
  15. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    [​IMG]

    First shot was about 50 feet. Second shot was about 75 feet. The elk galloped away as if unharmed. 2 hours later we followed the blood trail. The animal traveled approx 125 yards and lay down. It died in its bed.

    We found both bullets during field dressing. First shot struck the crease behind the shoulder and was found opposing side lodged between rib and hide. Second bullet struck farther back but ripped across the diaphragm and punched a quarter-sized ragged hole through the liver. Bullet was lodged against a rib.

    Estimated live weight: 500 lbs.

    357 MAG revolver by Taurus. 158 grain hollow tip by PMC.

    SUGGESTION: use a good rifle if shooting beyond typical archery distances.

    TR
     
  16. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

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    T.R. nice cow elk and good advise on bow distance.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2010
  17. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Bow range is about the same as handgun range for me also. The front sight covers too much deer beyond 50 yds or so with iron sights.

    FWIW


    I like my .357's. I have 5 of them. Six counting my 1894c. I have taken deer with all of them except my sp101, and 1894c(they aren't legal here). I was happy to be a one caliber type of guy...and .357mag was it. After many years of hunting with them, I chose to buy a 7.5" .45colt Blackhawk specifically for deer hunting.

    I never said the .357 was inadequate or marginally effective.
     
  18. Robert Wilson

    Robert Wilson Member

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    I agree with the calls for good bullets. Either round with appropriate bullets will work. With bad bullets (125 JHP in the .357, 255 LRN in the .45, etc.) neither is very good for hunting.

    I would personally choose the .357, simply because that Python has great sights while the SAA has horrible ones. (I know there are people who can do good work with SAA sights. I'm not one of them.)
     
  19. redhawk500

    redhawk500 Member

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    I over looked this quote from John Taffin,
    "Normally my rule of thumb is for game at or under 200 pounds, use JHPs; over 200 pounds, hard cast or flat nosed jacketed bullets."
    I hadn't articulated this for myself but I have had good success with 175 grain Silvertips in .41 Magnum, 210 grain Silvertips in .44 Magnum, 185 grain JHP in .45 ACP, 200 grain JHP .45 ACP, 230 grain Hydra-Shok for whitetail deer. 300 grain Hornady XTP in .45 Colt for mountain lion. I've used 240 grain cast SWC .44 Special for 700 lb water buffalo cow and 255 grain cast SWC .45 Colt for 250 pound pig. The "self defense" class bullets don't typically completely penetrate. I like the 200 grain Speer Gold Dots for .45 ACP, .45 Auto Rim and .45 Colt at 1000+ fps. Two holes on small deer on broadside shots. Buffalo Bore makes 200 grain JHPs and 255 grain SWC gas checks. I make my own .45 Colt loads with 200 grain JHPs with 9.5 grains Unique or 255 grain cast SWC 8.5 grains Unique. Heavier loads with these bullets for Redhawk and similar guns are 11.2 grains and 10 grains of Unique respectively. I think I would follow the same principals with .357 Magnum if I hunted with it, 125 grain or above JHPs for smaller deer, hard cast 158 grain or heavier for large deer.
     
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