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  #1  
Old 10-16-2008, 11:23 AM
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357 cal. for hunting big game


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I have a 357 cal. revolver and was thinking about purchasing a rifle for big game in the same cal. will a 357 cal. be sufficient for white tail and black bear hunting? thanks
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2008, 12:00 PM
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Yes, with the proper ammunition. For deer, a 158gr. bullet is fine. For bear I would go with a 180gr. hard cast bullet. Of course it also depends on the range. I limit my shots to under 100yds. with this caliber in a rifle.
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  #3  
Old 10-16-2008, 12:15 PM
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Check the regulations for the state you will be hunting. The .357 does not meet the energy requirement for big game in Colorado (1000 ft.lbs. @ 100 yards), but it is legal in Pennsylvania. I understand it is also not legal for big game in Wyoming.
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  #4  
Old 10-16-2008, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinoboy View Post
I have a 357 cal. revolver and was thinking about purchasing a rifle for big game in the same cal. will a 357 cal. be sufficient for white tail and black bear hunting? thanks
The fact that something CAN be done does not mean it should.

Humane killing must be the objective once you start to squeeze the trigger. The .357 revolver round is marginal to my mind. Ballistic charts will show just how anemic the round is, even in a rifle, compared to such "mild" rounds as the old .30-30.

Unless there is some specific reason to do so, and unless serious restrictions on the type of shot taken are accepted, I would not recommend it.
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  #5  
Old 10-16-2008, 02:56 PM
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It'll work just great in a rifle. You need to use a 180gr. hard cast bullet, though. Pistol bullets with pick up enough velocity that overexpansion may be a problem. If you don't reload, the Federal 180gr. CastCore should be perfect. I believe that some of the specialty makers like Buffalo Bore and Cor-Bon may have loads too.

A 180gr. bullet out of a .357 rifle will probably be in the neighborhood of 1500 - 1600fps. Sight in 2" high at 100, you are dead on at 125, and a few inches low at 150. Velocity at 125 yards or so should still be the same as a .357 Mag revolver would be at the muzzle.

Having killed deer with 180gr. cast bullets in both revolvers, and a .35 Rem, I can assure your rifle will be quite fatal with that load!
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  #6  
Old 10-16-2008, 06:39 PM
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I sorta agree and disagree w/MIke G. BTW, if it comes across that I'm trying to run you down, sorry, I ain't trying to do that.

1st...I was thinking that rifle velocity was the same at 100 yards which would be like adding 100 yards to your pistol.

Corbon claims that their 180 load is adequte for bear. Look at their website.

#2...the original revolver .357 spec was for a 158 grainer at 1500 fps. You'll have to look REAL hard to find ammo that matches that (look at Corbon and Buffalo). About the only pistols that they were safe in were N frames and Blackhawks (which will handle a .44). But, it would be safe in your rifle. The manufactures that load .357 used to list a rifle load on their websites, showed about a 50% increase in fps in a rifle. SOOOOOO, a 180 at 1,600 should be conservative.

But, I've been told, form folks w/a chronograph, that the 50% increase on the websites and rifle fps is an exageration (just like you hear when some of the magnums come out).

Whitetails...yes and no, where you be? (where do you hail from). IN some northern states a 200#er is real common. Down south, they are the exception. But, in general, it would be adequte for both of the critters.

When the .357 PISTOL came out, they used it for elk and all many of critters...that we now think is foolish to use it on...remember the 50%.
If it is only 25% that is a sizable increase in fps.
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  #7  
Old 10-16-2008, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saskshooter View Post
The fact that something CAN be done does not mean it should.

Humane killing must be the objective once you start to squeeze the trigger. The .357 revolver round is marginal to my mind. Ballistic charts will show just how anemic the round is, even in a rifle, compared to such "mild" rounds as the old .30-30.

Unless there is some specific reason to do so, and unless serious restrictions on the type of shot taken are accepted, I would not recommend it.
I suppose that depends on the bullet, the load, and the distance. Given the limitations of the bullet, a deer can certainly be taken humanely. Just take into account bullet placement first and foremost, and bullet performance next.

The same considerations have to be taken into account for the 30-30. There are actually people who say the 30-30 is marginal on deer!! .357s (revolver and carbine) have taken numerous deer and we all know how well the 30-30 does.
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  #8  
Old 10-16-2008, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinoboy View Post
I have a 357 cal. revolver and was thinking about purchasing a rifle for big game in the same cal. will a 357 cal. be sufficient for white tail and black bear hunting? thanks
Which brand of 357 revolver are you using?
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  #9  
Old 10-17-2008, 03:48 AM
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I Know,I Know.......

.......this type of stuff will never end, but.......do the animals a favor and at least get yourself a .44mag,45LC,or .30-30.

Will a .357mag kill a black bear or a deer ?? Sure. So will a (insert caliber here). But is it the best that you can do ??

We can(and have) go into bbl length,bullet used,distance of shot,shot placement,competence of shooter,all day long, and I'm sure there are lots of opinions out there.

My question(s) is this -----> why would you ??? Just to see if you could ?? Just to see if it would work ?? It would be something that you could "brag" to your friends about ?? It is the only weapon that you can afford ?? Is your family starving and it's up to you to provide the food this winter ??

I have seen lots of animals wounded due to not enough gun used. Also the shooters pick of the wrong bullet.This should not be confused with poor shot placement.

I guided moose,bear,deer,yote,(and others)hunters in Maine for almost 20 years. I turned down prospective clients(sports) because of the weapon that they intended to use. I even turned them away,with a refund,when they showed up at camp with not enough gun. I also will not hunt with someone that refuses to use enough gun.

My opinion means alot to me. It has been taught to me buy the older hunters,trappers,and gut pile guru's. But this is simply my opinion. There are others. And the others, along with there owners, will be well tolerated by me.

We'll never be huntin' buddies......but.....I will let you buy me a beer or two. -----pruhdlr
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  #10  
Old 10-17-2008, 03:02 PM
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Smile 357 magnum choice

The reason I inquired about this was for a couple of reasons. cost, and not having to carry two different types of ammo if I decide to carry both firearms either into the woods or the target range. but from the majority of the responses, it appears that I'm going to have to change my plans. I live in new york. thanks for responding everyone.
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  #11  
Old 10-17-2008, 04:40 PM
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here we go again.22 mag has put down many many deer fast .It goes without saying that a 357mag will do it as well with a larger hole. Placement is always the key. I know lots of deer stories that ran away when hit with 30-06.
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  #12  
Old 10-17-2008, 08:43 PM
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Let me tell you all that Marshall Stanton did extensive depredation work on Oregon Blacktails with a .357 carbine and his 180gr. bullets.

It's a world of difference with heavy, flat-nosed cast bullets. And I've seen some of the same things with my use of .35 cal cast bullets while hunting.
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  #13  
Old 10-18-2008, 08:20 AM
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I stumbed onto this at
http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm#357

They are claiming that their .357 ammo has more energy than a 30-30
LOOK AT THE LAST PARAGRAPH!!!
That velocity is a bit faster than I figured.

Heavy .357 Magnum












Item No. 19A/20180 gr. LFN-GC (1400 fps ME 783 ft. lbs.)Per Box of 20
$25.40
Order Now
Item No. 19C/20158 gr. JHC (1475 fps ME 763 ft. lbs.)Per Box of 20
$25.40
Order Now
Item No. 19D/20125 gr. JHC (1700 fps ME 802 ft lbs.)Per Box of 20
$25.40
Order Now

About Buffalo Bore 357 Mag. ammo
Our 357 mag. ammo adds more power than ever before to the 357 mag. This ammo is safe to shoot in ANY all steel 357 revolveróthis includes J frames. This ammo is no harder on your gun than any other normal 357 ammo. Please donít phone us and ask if this ammo is safe in your gun. It is, providing your gun is in safe condition for use with any normal 357 ammo.
We donít recommend this ammo to be fired in super light alloy revolvers as bullets may jump crimp under recoil, but the ammo itself wont hurt these super light weight revolvers. These revolvers are simply so light that the recoil is severe enough to cause crimp jump.
The below velocities are offered so that you can see what guns/barrel lengths give what velocities with this new 357 mag. ammo. Youíll notice that new S&W revolvers with short barrels are often shooting faster than older S&W revolvers with longer barrels. The new S&W revolvers are very good and are made with equipment that makes them more consistent and faster than the S&W revolvers of yesteryear.
Make special note of the Marlin 1894, 18.5 inch barrel velocities. Item 19C/20, supercedes 30-30 energies!!!
1. 3 inch S&W J frame
a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard cast LFN = 1302 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC (jacketed hollow cavity) = 1299 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 1398 fps
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 1476 fps

2. 4 inch S&W L frame Mt. Gun
a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard cast LFN = 1375 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr JHC = 1411 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 1485 fps
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 1603 fps

3. 5 inch S&W model 27
a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard Cast =1398 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC = 1380 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 1457 fps
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 1543 fps

4. 6 inch Ruger GP 100
a. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 1707 fps
5. 18.5 inch Marlin 1894
a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard Cast = 1851 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC = 1860 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 2153 fps---- Can you believe this?!!!
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 2298 fps---- Or this?!!!

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  #14  
Old 10-18-2008, 08:33 AM
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They are getting some pretty amazing velocities, but I would still be a bit cautious with the jacketed pistol bullets at what are getting to be rifle velocities. Don't get too caught up in energy figures.

I can safely recommend the 180gr. cast bullet loads. Been there, done autopsy (necropsy, actually), seen the insides of the dead critters. Can tell you for a fact how far they'll penetrate and how mushy the insides end up being. So can Marshall.

Velocity does matter, a lot. Example, 125gr. JHP in a cor-bon factory load in a 2" snubbie will go through a deer's neck, expand nicely, and end up in the dirt on the other side when used at a range of approximately 3 feet. That's a fact. My son has the bullet that was used on a deer that wasn't quite done wiggling yet But, I'd certainly be a bit hesitant to use that bullet in a rifle, or even a handgun with a 6" barrel, till there was evidence otherwise it is suitable.

I'll stand by my assertation that the 180gr. cast bullets will do the job nicely in a .357 rifle, at ranges out to 150 yards or so.
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  #15  
Old 10-18-2008, 08:59 AM
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pruhdlr...For all your supposed experience, you must have little or zero .357mag. rifle hunting experience to question whether or not it will do the job on deer and black bear on the east coast. Are you one of those people who claim you need a magnum caliber to take down these game? With proper shot placement and the right load the .357mag. works just fine. Without it, even your big-enough calibers won't work.
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  #16  
Old 10-18-2008, 09:56 AM
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Buffalo Bore 357 is a killer indeed. Especially out of a rifle.
They use Gold Dot bullets, They call them unicore.
They do not shed jacket and penetrate thru deer and bear with out a problem. The also make very big hole inside of tissue.
If your going to use a 357 for hunting these are the loads I would use.
I get 1470 - 1500 fps out of my 3-inch J frame with the 125gr.
I shot a 10 pointer last year out of a Rossi 357 mag at 40 yards and was very pleased with the kill it produced. It was a quartering shot with an entrance in the left front shoulder and an exit in the right upper rear hip. I was on the ground when I took the shot.That was with a 125gr bullet.
The exit hole was the size of a 1/2 dollar. Broke the shoulder, 2 ribs and a peice of the upper hip bone. The deer jumped about 4 feet in the air bucked like a horse then fell about 10 yards back.
I like these loads...

Last edited by 5150; 10-18-2008 at 09:58 AM.
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  #17  
Old 10-18-2008, 12:26 PM
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+1 on Buffalo Bore.
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  #18  
Old 10-18-2008, 01:22 PM
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.357 Rifle for deer

That Buffalo Bore .357 ammo sounds like it is quite something.
About the .357 from a rifle, though it has a smaller diameter, the rounds mentioned so far in this thread will have more energy than many .44 Magnum pistol loads. .44 mag. pistols are generally considered adequate for whitetails.
Also, the 357 compares nicely with energy of patched round balls fired from .45 and .50 cal. muzzleloaders. Met a fellow this morning as he was taking out a large doe he had shot with a .50.
Pete
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  #19  
Old 10-18-2008, 03:49 PM
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No deer in my nieghborhood. If there where, I would not hesitate to shoot one with the .357.

We do have black bear. The 180gr hardcast bullet will go through em quite fine.

We have moose also. Given the right circumstances I would not hesitate to kill one with the Marlin.

The "right circumstances" is the tricky part. You HAVE to know the guns limitations and be a little patient or willing to pass on a shot that you could do with a heavier (or bigger, or faster) bullet.

If you go into the field with the mindset that you are carrying something that has limiitations similar to a compound bow, you will probably do just fine. It WILL take out both lungs on a large critter. You will just not have quite as large a hole to provide good drainage/bloodtrail. Bears tend to self seal even with a broadhead wound. Makes em hard to find. Hard to find sometimes with holes knocked in em with the big bores also. Black bears are not all that hard to kill, they can be VERY hard to find!

Use of the .357 in the field requires a bit of woodcraft skills. You just have to pay attention to details like shot angle, bullet placement, range, bullet performance let alone bloodtrail skills and understanding of the critters anatomy so as to sneak the bullet into the right spot. Let the critter make it's death run and lie down while you SIT DOWN and be quiet.

If you are someone who needs to see the critter bowled over on the spot or dropped in it's tracks, you need to get a bigger gun (and then be prepard to do all the above cuz critters just dont read that much)

You will need to invest in some thick skin. Lots of folks hate the .357 it seems. Much of that, I believe, comes from bullet choice and sloppy follow up of shots...folks just assuming that the critter is still running off wounded when it is prolly laid up less than a hundred yards out.

The .357 requires (demands?) that you pay attention to bullet choices for the task at hand. I enjoy fiddling with it as it is never boring and the more I fiddle, the more I tend not to underestimate it.

The feller that kills a deer at 200+ yards with the wizbang has just proven he is an excellent shot. By the same token, the feller that takes one with the lowly .357 (or bownarrow) at twenty yards has just shown some excellent hunting skills.

If you can live with certain limitations, I say HUNT with it.


As to the "humane" thing...I watched a feller open up on a moose this fall at over 300 yards with a 338winmag. He shot that moose to pieces. Pure trauma downed the moose as the feller never realy hit anything vital. It aint about firepower. It IS about knowing the particular capablilities of the weapon in hand and staying within them. That is humane. The .357 can be an effective and humane hunting tool.

Scotty
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Old 10-18-2008, 07:59 PM
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Great post!
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