357Mag out of Rifle vs Texas Hogs..effective range?

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Dec 22, 2002
Houston, Texas
I would like to go hog huntin' this summer here in Texas.

Guns I currently own that will go hunting:

1) Timberwolf .357Mag
2) Spanish Mauser K98 rebarreled to .308
3) Springfield M1A National Match (.308)
4) Browning BPS 20 Gauge

To me.. it seems none of these guys are "ideal".

1) The Timberwolf is by far the lightest as a brush gun; but I'm concerned about 357Mag against the slightly armored hogs. Friend went hunting; shot one with a .223 square in the skull; did not drop it. So now I'm concerned about 357Mag. Out of a rifle is a different beast than out of a handgun; but still.. What's my effective yardage? 50 yards?? I know shot placement will trump most; but would like added stopping power.

2) Mauser in 308 will do the job; but I'm not sure I can follow up shot at a charging hog fast enough. But I definitely have confidence in the caliber.

3) This thing is a laser; but a beast to carry. Not ideal for hunting.

4) Same problem as the M1A; really really long barrel makes it difficult to maneuver in the woods.

I think the ideal gun for this situation is actually a Mini 30. 7.62x39 is a lot harder hitting than a .357Mag and is small and light and compact.. <== (I expect you all the back me up on my "need" for a rifle when the wife asks.)

Thoughts and recommendations? Am I overthinking it??

Without starting a Mini 30 vs Saiga vs VEPR debate.
I haven't hunted hogs but I don't think I'd hesitate using your 357 rifle. I'd use a 180 grain hard cast bullet with a large meplat. Buffalo bore shows a heavy 357 load that runs around 1800 fps out of a 18.5" Marlin with a bullet like I'm describing. Can't say that I know anything that this wouldn't be effective on out to 100 yards or so.

Took my Grand Daughters Hog hunting.
They used their new Ruger 77/357.
My reloads with 12.2 grains of AA#9 pushing a 158 grain Cast SWC.
These hogs were semi wild.
Average was 200 lbs. Hog number one was at 70 yards. One shot to the left front shoulder dropped it like it fell from the sky. Dead when it hit the ground. Hog number two was our little gal {Shorty} and she dropped that one at 40 yards. Same hit.
My son, {Their daddy} was shocked at what a cast bullet did to these critters. Hog #2 went about 10 feet and fell over sideways.
I have hunted with .357s and .45 Colts for a long time now. Hollow points?
Good luck with that.
The hard cast bullets break bones and cut round holes just like they do on paper. These holes do not close up and the critters bleed out extremely fast.
The cutting is what takes them out. Deer and hog bones are not strong enough to bust up a good cast bullet.
On both hogs the bullet went out the other side and created 2 bleed holes. Bleed they did. Hogs bleed a lot.
The fact of that cutting action is not to be misunderstood. My loads run around 1250 fps and are not HOT. But, coming out of that rifle they sign right along.
You may see some that disagree on power of the .357 as marginal for Hogs and deer. We have killed hundreds of deer between me and my son over the years. We now hunt with cast only.
I must add, we have also had some very bad days with Hollow points.
.357 out of a carbine will do fine against hogs, so will .223 as long as you don't shoot them straight on in the forehead. That is not a good shot on a hog. Put it through the ear, behind the jaw line or into the lower third of the front shoulder.

Also find out ahead of time if you are going to be going after hogs on foot or if they are going to put you in a stand. Most property owners won't want you walking around looking for hogs.. so the M1A might not be a bad call if you are going to be posted up waiting for the hogs to come to you.
My load.

Ok, I have hunted with .45 Colt for many years now. A deer killing machine.
I usually use my 1860 revolver with an 8" barrel. Now I must add this. I designed my own bullets from a 255 grain cast bullet. I have learned that it is the front edge that does the work. I will add pictures. One is a Hollow point which may or may not open. Never recovered one as they always blow clean through even at 800 + fps. The other is a Flat point made from the same 255 gr.
I use 8.0 of Unique and it has always worked very well. Recoil is OK and to top it all off they work very nice in my new 1892 24" rifle also. Low recoil in the rifle and way fun to shoot. I only use CCI 300 Primers.
These are my Cast bullets. I have a Magma Caster and grow my own. I am making a new sizer die and want to try .453" in another revolver. I know they make .454" but, I do what I do.
By cutting that front edge it also work hardens it.


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I should have added this. The cut bullets weigh 237 grs, on teh Hollow point and 247 on the flat point. They run at 800 plus.
thanks wildfire. those bullets look like they could be sized down to .452 and used in a 1911.


They are. My size die puts them at .452". They would work in a .45ACP.
I use a Star luber and yes they would create a custom die for me it is $52.00. Why would I do that when I have such a nice lathe sitting here waiting to work. I made so many tools.
Flash hole cutters and so on. They take all the pain out of it.
I am working on inventing some new stuff. I was a O/O over the road trucker for way too long. Ran the west coast and finally after 32 years sold my last truck. I am home now, work part time for my son and hove all this time to do what I was not able to for so long.
If it ever stops snowing I will get to go do some shooting.

you have my condolences being stuck on the I-5 corridor for 32 years.

if that hollow point is only 237 grains and that bullet will punch through a deer at 800 fps, and that bullet could be loaded just the same as a normal ball load, you better go commercial with it before buffalo bore gets a hold of the idea.

if you are anywhere around benton harbor, i wouldn't hold my breath on the snow letting up.

We have had several talks with Barnes already. They want it.
I shot a large doe some time back with an 1873 USFA revolver with that load. Shot was around 25 yards. She turned and started to get out of Dodge.
To be able to hunt that land we are to drop anything we see.
I drew and fired one handed and hit her in the butt.
That same bullet went all the way through and came out just behind the right front shoulder. Never found any bullet. ruined the back straps and my son assumed I shot her with my Encore. One was taken at 45 yards with the 1860 and it blew both front legs out and lungs.
Here is the funny part. My son shoots an Encore with the 300 grain Barnes MZ. I use the 250. He goofs around some. He puts a round end to end through most any deer. I plant them broad side and I find those 25o grain MZ bullets in the deer. Never found a 300 yet even with a hole in one end and out the other.
This is why I spent so many years working on a right bullet and design. Low velocity and yet act like a magnum when it hits. It is the cutting of the hard front end that works. I even found that the 200 grain BBSWC work and do about the same thing at 850 to 900 fps.
I must add, we have also had some very bad days with Hollow points.

Most folks don't realize that JHPs in .357 are generally a defensive bullet. Even those JHPs meant for deer are generally made for revolver velocities. Add the extra speed you get from a carbine and most 125-158 JHPs in .357 will want to blow up upon entering a deer/hog, resulting in very poor penetration. This is why hardcast, JSPs or FPs like Hornady's XTP-FPs work better for hunting than standard .357 HPs. Folks choose the wrong bullet for the application and then blame the caliber claiming it is only "Marginal".
Bcuk gets it.

Good to see that some actually understand that.
Buck says it correctly. Caliber is not the issue. Poor bullet choice is.
There are lots of folks that like the 300 blk for hogs out of a rifle 357 doesn't give up much at "brush" ranges. Bpth are pretty far behind a 308 though.
This is why hardcast, JSPs or FPs like Hornady's XTP-FPs work better for hunting than standard .357 HPs.

I have used the XTP-FP in a Marlin 1894C and that combo has taken its share of hogs.
Contrary to popular opinion, these things aren't tanks. I've killed plenty with a 7" blade through the ribs (with a pit bull holding the head for me). They die quick like that. My knife doesn't have the penetration, energy, or expansion of your 357 rifle.
Yep, Years ago I hauled hogs. One took a liking to me and my tiny little .25 auto in his ear took care of that.
He backed away, shook his head and fell dead.

That is a million dollar question.
With the rifle I talked about 100 yards would not be out of line.
I have seen guys do some crazy things with high speed light weight bullets from .357 mag rifles.
I cannot see well enough to take shots over 100 yards in real Hog ground anyway.
By saying what I said last do not assume I like light bullets.
Those guys really smoke them out there and even in the .45 Colts I have seen some rather crazy loads. I know the 1892 s are built strong but,,,,
I do not like recoil that much.
Accurate Molds.

Very nice. I could see that one working very well.
I traded my 1860 Cap and Ball officers model for a very nice western drop belt and holster rig that I had been watching for over a year. I still hunt with an 1860 conversion 8" in that .45 Colt. I love that revolver.
I have a revolver in .357 that I bought new many years ago.
I hunted with it and in fact killed my largest white tail with it.
Those were the days.
80 yards with a 125 grain Hollow point. Smoking out the end.
It has become a safe queen now. I learned what it was worth and in the safe it went. That is a 6" BLUED Colt King Cobra. The last 6" blued on Gun broker went for 2550.00 and i have not seen one since.


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Very nice!

My cap n ball guns are a 5.5" Remington NMA and 7.5" ROA. I need a Walker and Colt Police too.

I also designed a heavy 285 grn version with thicker bands to create more pressure for my Ruger as it can handle it. Thought I'd be moving to black bear country and heard they tasted good.


Since I'm still in TX I've created a 245 grn version for hogs, but haven't purchased the mold yet.


Now see if you are like me, You will be looking for your own tools.
I have a nice lathe and use it all the time.
I am still looking for a mill.
My son works for a rigging outfit and they see and move these all the time.
I could do this on a lathe but it is a lot of work. Set up is crazy stupid.
But, once that mill comes. I will make my own cherries and then make my own molds.
I use a lot of Kieth designed bullets and learned a lot from him.
Jack O'Connor and Jim Carmichel. I have there books and learned a lot from them. These men made or designed their own and it would be extremely hard to improve on any of it.
But, when making custom things to fit ones own needs one must do what one must do.
I am sort of a nut job at times.
I tested over 700 rounds in Muzzle loading rifles to prove some things. My son and I were at the time in with Barnes bullets and swapped info back and forth.
Because we have fences where we hunt and should not cross them, it became an issue to drop our critters where they stood rather than to have one cross a fence and create an issue with the neighbors. Both of us are good shots. But, that was not always the answer. Even good hits on deer would allow them to cross a fence. Barnes produces about the only bullet I know of that would drop a deer in its tracks and we forgot about the fences. I then wanted t create this in a handgun. So far I am very very close. I am not a magnum fan and so that required getting a none magnum round to drop deer and hogs. So far it is working. I have good video of my Grand Daughters dropping hogs with a .357 and a cast bullet. Good bullets work others just poke holes.
But, then I know you know that. Keep up the cool work.
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