Shooters Forum banner

.357 magnum shootout

7032 Views 22 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  barber
Many of the big bore boys may well scoff at this post....but, meat on the ground doesn't lie. last summer we started preparing to test various calibers and bullet weights on game under actual hunting conditions.We got some snide remarks when we said we would be testing the .357 magnum with heavy bullets. Thr bullets chosen were...Remington's 180 gr. jacked round, Marshall's 185 gr LBt, and Contender's 175 gr OWC.
After variuos load testing for accuracy (in S&W 686's) we can up with 16 grs of WW296 with the BTB 185, 13.5 grs of AA9 with Contender's 175 OWC. All this in the 1400 fps bracket.
The final tally as pf todays has been 12 animals down, no losses. and comprised og deer, hogs, and River Pests. There has been almost 400 bullets fired in testing (most) and game (the least).
General comments were that these three bullets put the .357 into a game class. I asked one shooter/hunter...what about blood trails? His answer there were none, as all fell within sight.
There were a variaty of angles and didtances. I don't think a shot was over 75 yards and most within 50 yards.Animal weight range ran between 100 pounds and 300 pounds. There were three RP 180's that stopped under the offside hide on hogs. Also a couple of 175 OWC's on angle shots. It must be remembered that many of the shots went through both shields (sides) of hogs.
It was felt that the 175 OWC's were the most accurate, followed by the 185 BTB, with the RP 180 last. Penetration went to the 185 BTB hands down.
Wound channels were a little harder to nail down. Many thought the extra large meplat of the 175 OWC caused larger PWC's on deer, but one could not tell much difference in the hog muscle. The RP caused a larger cavity upfront, but petered out tp a small channel as velocity dropped.
All in all......I think to boys did a great job. I have no intention of saying anythig except.....More shooters should consider the .357 Mag, with the heavy bullets, if the game in their areas run in the 100 to 400 pound class. No, threr are no Griz bears in the South East, but we have some big hags that will stain your pants for you.  The ability to shoot fast and smooth, with control and recovery is of prime concern!
Best Regards, James
See less See more
1 - 3 of 23 Posts
Certainly nice to have kudos on an easy shooting handgun round. The 357 has been my favorite for 35+yrs. I have a 35yr old Colt Trooper MKIII that is one of the smoothest DA handguns ever produced bar none. It was in the first run production from Colt. It took a set of Pachmayr Presentation grips in the old days to get it under control but I can do what I wish with it in quick time fashion. Yessir confidence and control in instinct shooting brings results. The 357 can produce with proper hits and that's all that needs to be said. I just have to get a rifle in 357 mag.
James, sorry if the post was a little strong. I was glad to read a positve post on the 357 and wanted to accentuate the positive. I ran a few hundred rounds thru my $92 Ruger SBH and decided that my $125 Colt could get the job done for me. In those days bullet technology was non existent as I'm sure you recall. When half-jackets came along we were really cooking. the old Lub-Aloy Winchesters weren't the greatest. It was cheaper to experiment with the 357 hence my love affair and rest is history. I understood you were pointing out the positive attributes of the 357 and not advocating it was better.
JRR, when I first started using the 357 Colt,I got so much inconsistecy of accuracy that sights weren't the order of the day. Changed to the factory target grips and no avail. I bought a set of Pachmayr Presentation grips and end of problem. Point is the grip on the gun and retention of that grip controls sight setting as much as the adjustment screw. My Colt is a 6" barrel, but that set of grips made it a whole nuther firearm as accurate as I care to shoot. That's why the 44SBH went down the road. I don't like learning the habits of different types of firearms. As James alludes to, controlability builds confidence and makes shooting enjoyable.
1 - 3 of 23 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.