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.357 whitetail round input please

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by MidRoad, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. MidRoad

    MidRoad Member

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    Going to start off with this, I know .357 is not the ideal round for deer sized game and that there are much better choices. I have a 45 colt Blackhawk (full size frame) and a flattop 44 special. I've settled on factory hardcast from Underwood for both those calibers when out and about deer hunting.

    Now with that said I'm looking to pick my hunting load for my 6" gp100. I've done alot of reading via the Google machine and answers are all over. So i would like input from the handgun gurus on this board.

    Conditions:
    -Hunting side arm in upstate NY. Large deer up here .Shots would be within 50 yards/bow range.
    -I don't handload so has to be factory or boutique ammo.

    Thoughts:
    -Lots of folks say 180gr hard casts. Which I'm all for but I have two concerns.
    1) not sure if the gp100 likes hardcast and will lead,need to test.
    2) Penetration with HC would be very good. But not sure how decent of a wound channel the .357 will generate. With big bore you have a big bullet, but medium bore.... Not so much, and I'm wonder if a quality hollow point would be better in a medium bore. Using beartooths bullet wound tract calculator a 180gr hard cast with a a. 280" meplat going 1400fps should make a .87" wound channel, which honestly doesn't sound bad, but would a HP be better on deer?

    Ammo I'm looking at:

    Underwood
    -180gr hardcast 1400fps
    -158 gr JHP (bonded Speer) 1500fps
    158 JHP (nosler) 1500 fps

    Buffalo Bore
    -180gr hardcast 1400fps
    -158 JHC 1475fps (not sure the bullet, would really like to know)
    -180 JHP (xtp) 1500fps

    Federal
    -180 HP (swift aframe) 1130fps
    -158 JSP (American eagle) 1240fps
    -140 HP (solid copper Barnes) 1400fps

    Double tap
    -158 BHP (gold dot) 1500fps



    Out of those suggestions has anyone had any real world experience?

    I'd like to try the federal in swift A-frames, I hear really good things about the aframe on this site, but it seems a little anemic velocity wise compared to other rounds listed. I listed the American eagle JSP because that's what I have in the safe and what the go is sighted in for currently.

    The speer nosler and gold dots seem to be solids choices but I'd like to hear about people who have actually used them.

    The Barnes seems like it would be good aswell sinces it's solid copper and should retain it's weight. Little on the light side ,but what do you expect from a solid copper bullet.

    Lastly the XTP used by buffalo bore. That 180gr hollow point sounds ideal. But I've read mix things about XTP performance on this forum, so that concerns me.

    So if anyone has real world experience please share. I know this is over thinking it. But that's why I'm on a gun forum, to learn and discuss. Again please no " get a bigger gun posts" that's not helpful.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
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  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    i would use the 180 BB hardcast, i stay away from hp's with the 357 for deer.
     
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  3. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    neck shots seem to work the best with the 357 shoulder after that. are deer can get big, shot 2 does over 200lbs the last 3 years,
     
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  4. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I am willing to share my .357 deer hunting experience with you.
    I have used 158gr hard cast lnfp lead with success. Through and through penetration is easy even with my mild loads. Shooting a deer with a .357 hardcast is akin to an archer using field points. One of the strengths of the .357 is its velocity. It is capable of driving a mushrooming hollowpoint through a whitetail lengthwise.
    My best suggestion for success is not hardcast but hollowpoints. The bigger the wound channel, the better.
    Penetration is not a problem in my experience.
    I like XTPs....but some dont.
    Illinois had an "antlerless only handgun season" for several years. During that time I took at least six deer with my .357s.
     
  5. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Haha
    My friend @troy fairweather must have posted while I was typing my post.
    Our experiences differ, but I respect the opinions of a fellow hunter.
     
  6. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    i think they differ because maybe we shoot in different spots, shoulder shots and say a behind the shoulder shot need different bullets. i have had good luck with cast that have a wide tip, more rounded will plug trough if you don't hit bone. with 357 and 44 and hp's have not worked as good.
     
  7. Choctaw

    Choctaw Member

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    I like cast bullets for handgun hunting. However, I can certainly appreciate Armored Farmer's analogy that using a .357 cast bullet is like using a field point. Although I have never had a problem with cast projectiles, Mr. Farmer has a point...no pun intended of course.
     
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  8. MidRoad

    MidRoad Member

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    Yea armored_farmer pretty much said what i was thinking about that medium bore just not making big enough holes with the hardcast. But like Troy said if you take should or neck shots you're better off with the hardcast.

    Neck/shoulder -cast
    Boiler room/doubling - hallow point

    I'm looking for a good happy medium.:thumbup:
     
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  9. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    i guess that would be a jacketed SP. they open but stay together to. i reload so cast are cheap.
     
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  10. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Another important point to make about hunting with. 357......:
    Wear your earphones. I learned that the hard way.
     
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  11. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    I'm with Farmer on this one. I shoot a 6" GP and have settled on 180gr XTP over a stout load of H110 or AA#9. I haven't chronoed the H110 load but the #9 cranked 1200fps. The 110 is hotter. With these loads I have taken 8 whitetails out to 45 yards. Never lost one, and only one went over 50 yards. I took it a little too far back in the liver.

    These loads are only meant for the GP or Contender because of the strength of the frame or the length of the cylinder.
     
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  12. MidRoad

    MidRoad Member

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    How was penetration ? What kind of shots? That BB 180gr HP @1500 fps seems like a hell of a load
     
  13. Hanshi

    Hanshi Member

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    I've killed quite a few deer with a couple of .357 mags; a 4" M19 and a 686 6". All one shot kills using hollow points. I found the handloaded 125 grain JHPs at around 1350 to 1400 fps dropped them quicker than heavier slugs. I also had great results with Remington factory 158 JHP loads at 1280 fps that also dropped them pretty quick. One buck I shot in the head with a 158 JHP load had the bullet come to rest in the right ham; it expanded but nothing like lighter, faster bullets. Interestingly, I never recovered a single 125 grn JHP from any of the deer, they were all pass throughs.
     
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  14. MidRoad

    MidRoad Member

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    Has anyone tried the Barnes bullets in their. 357's? I overlooked buffalo bore has a load with a 140gr Barnes running 1550 fps. If the copper stays together we'll well and has the same sectional density as 180 grainers it should penetrate pretty well. Maybe not?
     
  15. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

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    Speer deepcurls, not gold dots are some of the most amazing bullets ever made. I think their bonded/plated nature has made them universally accurate for me as well. That’s my recommendation
     
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  16. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

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    One of my late buddies used a 6" Colt Python 357 on deer for many years and never lost a deer. I don't recall the powder but his all time favorite deer bullet in a 357 was the 180 gr. Hornady XTP Hollow point. They were all taken at bow range and only if he had a good shot at vitals. None went far, as he didn't want a long tracking job, and wanted them to die while still on his land.
     
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  17. MidRoad

    MidRoad Member

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    Sounds like a good clean ethical hunter:thumbup:

    Xtp's seem to be a popular choice
     
  18. MidRoad

    MidRoad Member

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    Know of any factory fodder that uses them? Not being a reloader is a handy cap. Someday...
     
  19. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    Always took broadside shots through the lungs. Never recovered a bullet. Even the 45 yard shot was a pass thru. I'll chrono the H110 loads the next time I hit the range.
     
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  20. Garandimal

    Garandimal Member

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    Factory Loads for a .357 Mag. (6") pistol:

    Premium - Barnes Vor-Tx 140 gr. XPB.
    High End - HDY Custom 158 gr. XTP-HP.
    Mid - Remington 180 gr. JHP.
    Bulk - Federal AE 158 gr. JSP.

    All will work. Put the XPB anywhere, keep the XTP-HP and JHP away from heavy bone, and put the AE/JSP into it, as it will not expand much and will tend to over-penetrate otherwise.

    P.S. It's just a deer. All you have to do is Kill it. You can Cook it later.

    :D




    GR
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
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  21. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan Member

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    I've shot plenty of them with 240 grain hard cast from my 44.

    I don't see any reason a 180 grain from a 357 making the same shot, from the same distance, in the same spot, wouldn't end with the same result.

    Don't miss and don't hit anything else in between.
     
  22. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I have shot a few deer with a .357. I like heavy hollow points. I have used big lead and I just don’t see the tissue destruction I like to see. If I had not poked multiple holes then I think I would have lost that particular deer and after that particular deer I wouldn’t go back to big lead. I have also tried some of the big cavity hollowpoints which were equally unimpressive as they did their thing too shallow. My recommendation is to find a 158ish plain JHP in a magnum load. Make sure that the bullet is scored or built so that it will peel back in petals. Ripped flesh the size of a nickel will put a deer down and will leave an adequate blood trail if your shooting from reasonable distances.
     
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  23. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Winchesters 145gr Silvertip would be my pick for factory ammo. Why they discontinued it. I'll never know.
     
  24. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    My 6" Python shot the Hornady Leverevolution 140gr very well.
    I thought it warm at best (not hot).
    Unfortunately I've shot one deer with that load, and where I shot him.........anything would have worked (spined facing away, bullet stopped in his nose). D was 51 or 52 yards, can't remember.

    Dunno if a vert was smashed or it slid between.
    Pop n drop it was.

    Wanted to double lung a doe the next year and was about to send it, when I heard the video camera shut off.
    Lowered the hammer and let her walk.

    Cold weather drained that battery FAST.

    Oh well, maybe some other time.
    If I handgun hunt this yr, it's .35 remington 14" Contender.

    Leverevolution.jpg

    Bullet went under brain pan and into upper palate, bounced off cheek.
    When bud did Euro mount the damaged cheek bone fell away.
    python22.jpg
     
  25. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Nice deer, and gun.....congrats.
     
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