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Steve, I own a Rossi Puma Lever Action in .44-40 WCF, and wouldn't feel "undergunned" using it at ranges under 100 yards on Deer.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I would still go with 180gr. cast bullets as a better all-around bullet. Sometimes you gie up a little trajectory for a little more 'smack' on the receiving end....

But I do agree that the .357 is underrated. It does need the correct bullet for the job.
 

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Just about anything Buffalo Bore produces makes sense - just costs more $$$ like most any good thing.. The 180 grain round takes the .357 to a whole new level.
 

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Hello COSTEVE good to see another colo person here. Have to share some insights I have on the subject at hand. I was a guide for 9 years and have seen leterally hundreds of animals taken. I myself have shot well over 100 head of big game. I have always been a terminal ballistics student so I have used many odd cartridges and have studied recovered bullets with over 100 in my collection. All this is not bragging but showing my credentials. I have taken 3 head of big game with a 357 using Remington 158 grn hp ammo. Two mule deer does and an antelope buck. I had bad luck with both deer. Antelope lung shot at 50 yards died after a short run. One mule deer was perfectlyshot broadside shot at 35 yards. Fifteen minutes later she was still on her feet though weak. Other doe was hit 6 times all less than perfect shot placement on my part. While the 44WCF aka 44-40 has taken its fair share of game it has also let many wounded animals escape. I shot an antelope and mule deer with the 32-20 in a rifle. The antelope was spine hit so instant down, the deer was lung shot and took entirely too long to expire. While we are on the subject I shot an antelope with a 45 acp using Win silvertip hp ammo, it took seven hard hits with little effect, it finally layed down and died. I have always thought that the 357 should have preformed better and believe it will with better bullets now. It is still the handgun I carry the everyday in my car. Just some casual observations, does anyone else have any experences to share if so please post. One last 357 story I shot a @4 lb woodchuck with a hot loaded 357 using 110 grn Hornaday hp bullets. Shot was @ 10 yards, bullet failed to exit that small of an animal and was beautifully mushroomed, definately not a game bullet for anything over 10 lbs in my opinion.
 

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I too have seen the imressive ballistics of the 357 in a rifle. With newer bullets and higher velocities I feel in both handgun and rifle the 357 might be equal to the task of cleanly and humanely taking a deer. All my limited experences were with a handgun so the extra 4oo fps that most rifles give should be a desciding factor.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Bullets... bullets.... bullets.... did I mention that bullets are important?!?!?! In all seriousness the .357 is one cartridge where bullets can be either great performers, or disasters. Hollowpoints can open up quickly, or not at all. If they work, great, but if not - big problem.

My biggest concern with expanding bullets in a .357 is that expansion is going to greatly rob you of penetration.

You can get a cast bullet with the same meplat as Elmer Keith's famous .44 mag bullets, and that is what does the work. 0.280" or so flat across the nose and you get good wound channels, from revolver velocities up to what the .35 cal rifles will run them at.
 

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I'm glad to hear that information on the meplat. I measured my Zero 158grn JSP and the average meplat is .268" flat across the nose. Not quite .280" but certainly no spitzer point either. Here's a picture of it from their website.



I get good accuracy with it and now I'm convienced that it would provide decent hunting potential.
If you do use it on deer, i would be very interested in the resulting performance.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Yeah I think that would work fine. If you get one, let us know!
 

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Going to mention this, then let it pass.

For a few years, hunted with a .351WSL which is one of the rifle cartridges generally considered "too little" for deer. 180gr. bullets at 1750-1800fps. It works like a charm at short range.

The .357 from a rifle can get about that kind of speed, weight, diameter...and generally will run right with better game-shaped bullets.

The main complaint for a .357 (or any 35 in this speed range) is distance...don't shoot them far away and they'll work fine.
 

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First hunt I used a hp and it was the only deer I ever had to shoot twice. Switched to 158 gr sp or 158 gr semi wad Kieth style bullets for the next 25 years until I switched to a 44 mag using the same bullet choices. Old dinosaur here and I always believed in penetration and these bullets gave it to me. Also believe in shot placement and a lot of years I went home deerless because if I cannot take a good shot I won't take it. Nothing wrong with the 357 in my book.
 

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i love the 357 for deer i use either the 158grain jsp or a 125 grain jhp have had no problems with either at 100 yards all one shot kills.
 

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Hello COSTEVE good to see another colo person here. Have to share some insights I have on the subject at hand. I was a guide for 9 years and have seen leterally hundreds of animals taken. I myself have shot well over 100 head of big game. I have always been a terminal ballistics student so I have used many odd cartridges and have studied recovered bullets with over 100 in my collection. All this is not bragging but showing my credentials. I have taken 3 head of big game with a 357 using Remington 158 grn hp ammo. Two mule deer does and an antelope buck. I had bad luck with both deer. Antelope lung shot at 50 yards died after a short run. One mule deer was perfectlyshot broadside shot at 35 yards. Fifteen minutes later she was still on her feet though weak. Other doe was hit 6 times all less than perfect shot placement on my part. While the 44WCF aka 44-40 has taken its fair share of game it has also let many wounded animals escape. I shot an antelope and mule deer with the 32-20 in a rifle. The antelope was spine hit so instant down, the deer was lung shot and took entirely too long to expire. While we are on the subject I shot an antelope with a 45 acp using Win silvertip hp ammo, it took seven hard hits with little effect, it finally layed down and died. I have always thought that the 357 should have preformed better and believe it will with better bullets now. It is still the handgun I carry the everyday in my car. Just some casual observations, does anyone else have any experences to share if so please post. One last 357 story I shot a @4 lb woodchuck with a hot loaded 357 using 110 grn Hornaday hp bullets. Shot was @ 10 yards, bullet failed to exit that small of an animal and was beautifully mushroomed, definately not a game bullet for anything over 10 lbs in my opinion.
G'day,

I used to hunt with a 94 winchester in .357. For the majority of my pig hunting out here, it was adequate, as long as shots were kept to reasonable ranges. Penetration with 158gr projectiles at 1650fps or so MV was very good, but I never got a lot of expansion unless they struck bone, so animals shot behind the shoulder tended to run a long way without dropping. Shoulder shots on smaller pigs anchored them in their tracks.
There is a huge difference in the stopping power needed to anchor a smaller sow and a big, mud encrusted boar with his adrenalin up. I wasn't confident that the ,357 had enough grunt to do the job with a snap shot in heavy cover, I felt there wasn't enough margn for error. If a pig can run twenty yards in some of the country I hunt, you either won't find it or it'll be on top of you! Traded up to a .44 Magnum and the difference was emphatic.
As an aside, I've killed 5 brumbies, (feral horses) with the .357. I shot two with the carbine using 158gn cast bullets, no GC at about 1600fps. Both shots were from memory just behind the shoulder, or maybe on it, and both of them dropped on the spot. I was very surprised, because I've had trouble dropping these with much bigger cartridges. I feel there was a big element of luck involved, and I think if I did it again the results could be very different.
Also shot 3 with my .357 magnum Blackhawk, 6.5" barrel. The first one I shot from a prone position, with the barrel resting against a tree, at a range of about forty yards with a 158gn Hornady XTP. Shot hit it in the front of the chest, it took about five steps and came crashing down. I was stoked. The second one, some months later, took a couple of hits to drop it, and needed a finisher. The third didn't respond much to the shot, and I had to follow up for about two kilometres, and while I won't go into detail it was an unpleasant experience. I won't delibrately hunt big game with a handgun anymore. When things go awry, it can be hard to get close enough to resolve the situation quickly.
 

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This brings to mind an incident that happened back in the middle 60's. My Uncle's next door neighbor was a Conservation Officer for the greater Detroit / Wayne County area. He got a report that there was a deer inside a high school in Downtown Detroit. The CO was a terrible shot and knew it so he picked up my Uncle and I and we headed down to the school. My uncle was to be the shooter. He used a Colt Police Positive in .38 Special with the FBI 200 grain load. At about 30' my Uncle shot the deer in the chest and the deer expired on the spot. Cute little buck. Deer had swum the river over from Belle Isle Ammusement Park. We ate that deer. Nice and tender, as I remember.
 
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