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what is the max effective distance for a .357 6" on deer?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Johnny Lightning, Feb 6, 2011.

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  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Member

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    I want to use a .357 mag 6" on deer in PA during hunting season and am wondering what is the max distance the .357 is effective. Also what is the best .357 mag ammo of deer?
     
  2. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    For ammo, any jacketed soft nosed or hollow point ammo would work fine provided it's not a reduced load. The effective range will only be limited by that range at which you can dependably hit the deer in a vital organ area. In practical terms, accuracy will probably limt you to about 50 yards.
     
  3. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    I guess I started the analogy, and there seems to be agreement, that your own limit would be distance at which you can reliably expect to hit the end of a beer can. Odds are, the cartridge can do better than the shooter. :)
     
  4. dacavasi

    dacavasi Member

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    I would contend that, for whitetail deer, 'minute of beer can' is a little conservative...
     
  5. RustHunter87

    RustHunter87 Member

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    yeah if you pop a lung its toast you might have to track it a ways, but if you hit the heart or brain you ruin your supper or the mount you can get life size targets with vital organs out lined, I think 50 yards is about right unless your some sort of dead eye cus that leg bone will really slow a bullet down at long range but deer are generally a little bigger up here but i hear theirs some good sized deer if your in the right part of PA just aim for the big one! :neener:
     
  6. reuben mishler

    reuben mishler Member

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    In my opinion, I think you would do well with your 6" .357 out to 100 yards. Using Jacketed Soft Points are your best bet. Using the same fundamentals for rifles on handguns such as breath control, trigger control sight picture and body positioning, you should do well.

    I've accurately shot an 8 inch .44 out to 100 yards, producing groups of 2 inches off of a pair of steady sticks. Your .357 won't gallop in your hands as much as a .44 allowing good groups and accurate shots to this range. Practice will be in order, but 100 yards is not out of the question.
     
  7. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah, might be a bit conservative, but it beats aiming "somewhere in the brown" and calling it good enough. Skill at shot placement is what counts--as usual.

    My father knew a one-armed guy who hunted with a 6" .38 Special. He could get six-shot four-inch groups at 100 yards--and this was years before scoped pistols. He often had to demonstrate for a rancher--but the results ended any worries about wounded deer.
     
  8. brnmuenchow

    brnmuenchow Member

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    50 yds. for a good clean shot, & as far as ammo goes you might try a 158gr. SP/HP form either Blackhills or Winchester.
     
  9. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    [​IMG]

    This big bodied cow elk was shot twice with my 357 MAG. The animal was recovered about 100 yards from from first shot.

    - first shot punched thru the crease behind the shoulder at approx 50 feet

    - second shot tore up the diaphragm and liver

    - ammo: PMC 158 gr. hollow tip

    357 MAG is very light for elk but it will do the job if the hunter watches his distance and angles carefully. I'm certain that 357 MAG can kill just about anything if one hunts likes an archer equipped with modern compound bow. Distances beyond 35 yards should be passed.

    TR
     
  10. Hanshi

    Hanshi Member

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    A .357 is a killer on deer even at 100 yards (with the right ammo). The ability to kill the deer, however, depends on the shooter and his/her ability to hit that vital zone. All my kills with a .357 were 60 yards or under. I did take one buck at 90 yards with my RSBH .44mag.
     
  11. reuben mishler

    reuben mishler Member

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    Agreed. The post asks the maximum effective range of the .357, not how far you think you can shoot with a .357.

    The .357 magnum IS effective at 100 yards for deer. Don't knock it till you've tried it.
     
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I would suggest your max effective range is whatever distance you can reliably keep every shot on a standard paper dinner plate.
    That is a fair representation of the kill zone on a deer.

    For some folks that range might be 10 yards.
    For a very few others it might be 100+ yards.

    In short, the max effective range of a 6" .357 is determined by how good a pistol shot you are.

    rc
     
  13. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    I agree with what RC said. For ammo, I suggest 158gr or heavier bullets using either a JSP, XTP-FP(not HP) or hard cast. My experience is HPs designed for .357 expand too quickly on deer size game and limit penetration.....especially when hitting shoulders. JSPs and the XTP-FPs still expanded, but passed thru, giving twice as much blood to trail.
     
  14. S&Wfan

    S&Wfan Member

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    You maximum effective range with a handgun is the distance you put the animal down quickly and humanely, each and every time. No, that's not counting finding the carcass after the buzzards are circling a few days later either.

    When you pull the trigger and always know, "that deer is dead," even though he just kicked and took off . . . and the animal doesn't run far, then you are within your effective range, IMHO.

    It takes time and experience before you can learn these things too.
     
  15. scotjute

    scotjute Member

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    I would agree with the hitting the dinner plate as a good range for a .357 rifle. But for a pistol at 100 yds., would there still be enough energy to put the deer down if your shot went to the edge of the paper plate from pt. of aim?
     
  16. langenc

    langenc Member

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    My son did a doe at 65 yrds with a 4" barrel (357) a couple yrs ago. He did quite a bit of range time with it before the season.

    He loaded some 158 gr Hornady bullets for the job. He drove right by the range on his way to work that summer. He'd load some. shoot. Next couple nights he'd try slightly different load and do the same. Id have to check the reloading book to see what he finally settled on. I know it was little gun powder.
     
  17. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    Since I feel the 357 mag from a revolver is a bit light for deer hunting, I have to say the effective range is about 50 yds-essentially archery hunting ranges. I would choose 158 gr soft point bullets more than likely.
     
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