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What is the best .357 mag factory ammo for deer, hogs, and carjackers(if need be)

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Deercrazy, Mar 11, 2011.

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  1. Deercrazy

    Deercrazy Member

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    I just recently got my first handgun a Ruger Vaquero Bisley in .357 mag with a 5.5 inch barrel. I saw it and had to have it, and I just turned 21. I know a .357 is not the best tool I own for taking deer. I have a few deer rifles and a mossberg shotgun that have proved themselves to me time and time again. So the question is what is the best factory ammo for taking deer with a .357 revolver limiting my shots to 25 yards in NC brush. Buffalo bore, Double tap, and Cor-bon seem to be hotter than regular factory ammo like federal,remington, and hornady, but are they safe to shoot in my new gun. I am also considering using it as a sidearm to my .270 winchester when hog hunting if the 180 grain buffalobore and 200 grain doubletap are safe to shoot in this gun. Its a long time til deer season but I want to start shooting it so I can be comfortable with it when season comes in. I was also thinking of using it as a anti carjacking gun ( I know its a SA revolver) but its the only handgun I have and can afford right now so what would be the best factory load for that I'm assuming any 125 jhp

    I know its not the best tool for any of the jobs I listed, but which ammo would work the best for those tasks. I want to make quick humane kills so just tell me if it's not okay for hunting deer, sidearm for hogs , or anti carjacking gun thanks
     
  2. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    Deercrazy, that's a neat revo but a pretty crummy choice for most of the options you offered. While powerful, it's low rate of fire and manual of arms makes it less effective than other, more modern guns.
    It's caliber makes it less than ideal for hunting, also limited by its fixed sights.
    My counsel would be to use heavy bullets for hunting, judging by how well they shoot to the sights, and keeping the range relatively short. The short barrel reduces sight radius makes it harder to shoot accurately and lessens velocity. The .357 depends on velocity for much of its horsepower.
    I'd use lighter magnums or +P .38s to reduce followup time if using the gun for defense against two legged vermin.
    Not meaning to whizz on your Wheaties; I share your affection for single action revolvers and the quirky humpback Bisley, and I like the 5.5 for its handiness, balance and looks. Never shot one, but I do like their looks and feel in the hand.
    You could have done worse. My first gun was a single action .22, which was even worse for almost any task save plinking. When time and circumstance permit, you can fine tune your battery to better meet certain needs.
    Moon
     
  3. Old Ranger

    Old Ranger Member

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    I have always loved single action. Used to shoot Cowboy Action with two Vaqueros in .44 mag. Even with the 4 5/8 barrel, one of those was able to stop deer in their tracks; almost anyway. The other Rugers: Hunter, Blackhawk, Redhawk, Super Blackhawk, Super Redhawk.

    Most people hunt single action - - - I don't know anyone who does it double action. I can tell you that a .357 125 grain hollow point punches a golf ball sized hole through a deer's neck, (Starfire) and a well placed lung shot can bring 'em down. (Gold Dot)

    Fixed sights; need to file down the front sight until it hits point of aim - - - adjusting windage is in the wrist; dont stiff arm it.
     
  4. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Member

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    I think the single action is great for field use and have shot many things with the various single actions I own. I use a Hornady 180 XTP in mine and it hammer well. I have not noticed any situation where my single action performed less than a similar double action.

    The most important thing for you is going to be matching your load to your sights. Since they are fixed, it is a bit more tricky to get the bullets to his POA.

    Good luck and have fun. Post a pic of the deer when you get one!
     
  5. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Member

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    Congrats on a fine revolver.
    I think someone pissed in halfmoonclip's wheaties personally.

    While there may be better choices for some, yours is not a bad choice.

    Even those who hunt with DA revolvers, usually do so using them in SA mode.

    With fixed sights you can file down the front sight to raise the POI for your desired load. You can sodder material on top of the front sight to lower the POI. (As a side note MOST fixed sight .38s and .357 are regulated from the factory for 158 grain loads) As to windage, well that is the old fashioned Kentucky style. :what:

    For game the 180-200 grain loads with a hardcast LSWC would be best. Buffalo Bore being my preferance, but I know a lot of people like the Double Tap loads. Federal even makes a good 180 grain load.

    As to carjackers and other street urchins, find one of the premium HP loads from any of the mainline manufactures that your gun likes. I personally like 158 grain bullets, but just about any .357 HP will do the trick. Heck, a good .38 +P should be fine as well and not have the recoil, blast and flash of the .357.

    As to the stength question. Is your Vaquero the original Vaquero or the New
    Vaquero? It will be marked New Vaquero if it is the later and Vaquero if the former.

    The original Vaquero is stonger than the New Vaquero, which was made to emulate the size and feel of the classic Colt SAA. That being said, in .357 I don't think it really matters. You should be fine with any factory load, including BB and Double Tap. It is the larger calibers such as .45 Colt that it really becomes an issue.
     
  6. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    As was pointed out, that's NOT an optimal self-defense firearm. At least with the Ruger, you can safely carry six rounds in the cylinder.

    For hunting, you don't have the margin for error that a .41 Magnum or .44 Magnum would give you. You certainly CAN hunt deer with a .357 Magnum, but you need both to be accurate AND able to judge distances with reasonable precision. That will allow you to both hit what you aim at, AND to NOT take shots that you shouldn't.

    As far as ammunition goes, you're operating at cross purposes when it comes to hunting and self-defense.

    For hunting, you want maximum penetration, and a through and through is a GOOD thing. I'd want a 180gr. hard cast LSWC for deer or hogs.

    For self-defense, you want something that's going to penetrate deeply enough to inflict incapacitating injuries, but NOT incur a through and through which could injure bystanders. I have the Federal .38 Special 158gr. LSWC-HP +P "FBI" load in all of my .38 Special and .357 Magnum revolvers. It's accurate, easy to control, and has an excellent track record. Similar loads are available from Buffalo Bore, Winchester and Remington.
     
  7. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    180 LRNFPGC over 15 gr of Lil'Gun.
     
  8. bolty

    bolty Member

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    I was thinking with carjackers, any ammo you can hit them with will do the trick and at point-blank range if you hit one with any .357mag I believe the threat will be eliminated.
     
  9. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    Anything sporting a Barnes Solid Copper X Bullet on top of the cartridge!:eek:

    Preferably +P -- if the gun will take it and if you are only shooting when necessary!:uhoh:
     
  10. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    ^....yep, what Lucky Derby said.


    ....I believe the OP asked for factory loads. I have killed several whitetails with my 686 .357. I found that Federal 158gr Fusion, and Remington or Winchester 158gr JSPs will do what you want if you hit them correctly. For deer, you want penetration and standard JHPs are not designed for this. For carjackers, it's hard to beat Remmie 125gr JHPs for performance, price and availability.
     
  11. psyshack

    psyshack Member

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    If it were me and that pistol. I would be loading up some .357's with 140gn XTP Bullets. The round would kill men and deer when ever I wanted.

    I haven't a bloody clue why folks think a .357 is such a weak round for hunting. You know deer die all the time at the hands of a archer shooting a long bow or recurve. One does not need a over the top cam bow to get the job done.

    Have fun with your new pistol. Learn how it works and how to use it. Im sure it's a fine weapon and capable of action yet discovered. :)
     
  12. rich642z

    rich642z Member

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    For a carjacker to really end the threat,A .500 S&W 700 grain flat point hard cast lead would do the trick.
     
  13. Smoovbiscuit

    Smoovbiscuit Member

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    I shoot single action most of the time even with double action revolvers. I just love small trigger pulls. Never hunted with a revolver, but i certainly would use single action if I were to!
     
  14. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    Derby and Buck, would you boys kindly reread my whole post; I wasn't trying to be nasty, I tempered all my remarks, and I tried to offer some positive suggestions.
    If I offended the OP, such was not my intent. I didn't see any sense in telling him that he had the perfect gun (and the perfect gun for everything has yet to be invented), just a neat gun with some challenges for certain tasks.
    Moon Out
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
  15. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Member

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    Moon, your post came across, to me anyway, as a bit harsh to the OP, and his choice of sidearm. You did make some valid points and offer sound advice. This being the OP's first post I was simply trying to be a bit more welcoming, while giving him valuable advice.
     
  16. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

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    Deercrazy,

    Just use a good hog load like a 158gr JHP hot loaded or Buffalo Bore 158gr Gold dots. It will take care of car jackers fine and they are good deer loads to.

    Deaf
     
  17. Kernel

    Kernel Member

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    The FBI might disagree with that statement. With a good 125 gr JHP, like a Speer law enforcement load, the FBI says the .357 Mag is one of the most effective rounds, if not THE most effective, for stopping a bad guy.

    Problem is the FBI don’t hunt. For that, if your goal is Whitetail, I think you’re on the right track with a 180 gr JHP. Though, it you’re honest about keeping the range to 25 yds, or less, a 158 grainer would work just fine (and cost a lot less than those exotic hot rod 180 loadings). Plus, you’ll likely be more accurate with the lighter bullet (and practice more), and just about any store-bought 158 gr JHP precisely placed in the heart/lung area will drop a deer like a sack of hammers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
  18. Prosser

    Prosser Member

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  19. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    Munden shoots a single action like it was a Vulcan cannon; same for Miculek with an N-frame Smith.
    For the rest of us mere mortals, we have to use what works for us. Some guns are just easier than others when it comes to ergonomics and operation.
    But we like what we like, and there's nothing wrong with that.
    Moon
     
  20. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    The best factory .357 Magnum ammunition? Remington 140 grain to 158 grain semi jacketed hollow point (SJHP)
     
  21. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    Deercrazy..Nice choice! I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

    I believe you'll get the best accuracy from 158gr. ammo. That's my experience anyway. The DoubleTap 158gr. JHP works well on deer and, as has been mentioned, the 180gr. LFN-GC from Buffalo Bore is also a good choice.

    For self defense the Buffalo Bore +P .38spl. 158gr. LSWHC-GC is a good round.
     
  22. MartinS

    MartinS Member

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    Why is it that Wheaties get whizzed on so much unintentionally?
    Isn't there medication for that?
    Deercrazy: you picked a great gun. Get good with it, so you can hit with the first shot every time, then go ride the high country.
     
  23. Sav308tac

    Sav308tac Member

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    357Mag

    Just my 2 cents here, the 357 mag is a great handgun, it serves as a nice sidekick to any long gun. i have used mine on hogs and deer also a few coyotes. range is limited but for all practical purposes the intent is CQ action. to give insight on ammo there are several loads, my first choice is the hornady CD 125gr, for your carjacking needs. for hunting the Ultramax load,158 semi-wad cutter SWC has proven well. keep in mind you need a range no further than 40yrds (in my opinion)to humanely harvest game.
     
  24. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    For all around the 158 grain hollow point didn't just fall out of the trees ! The 158 grain has adequate sectional density for deer or other medium game. The Remington Scalloped Hollow point and the Speer Gold Dots readily expand out of 2.5" and longer barrels.
    125 grain Remingtons (and others) have a good track record on humans and lighter animals.
    180 grain thumpers work OK on Hogs and black bears.
    158 grains are not ineffective on anything methinks.
     
  25. Deercrazy

    Deercrazy Member

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    Thanks for everybody's comments I knew a single action revolver isn't any slower for ME to shoot ACCURATELY, but wasn't sure if it was enough for deer and hogs. Seemed like half the people I talked to said it was enough gun and the other half said I should have gotten a .44 mag. but thanks to yall I now know It will be my goto gun for close range deer.
     
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