View Full Version : .357 Magnum Rifle for Hunting

October 24, 2009, 01:27 PM
I want to learn from those experience hunter who have used 357 mag in a rifle for hunting. I want to know how much this cartridge is more effective through rifle than when its fired from a handgun? What are its limitations and practical use in hunting?

October 24, 2009, 06:47 PM
Shooting a magnum pistol cartridge through a rifle gives it about the amount of power from a typical handgun's barrel at the muzzle around 100 yds. Not a bad round for medium game at shorter ranges (100-150 yds). And the compact rifles you generally find chambered for 357 Mag make great woodland stalking rifles. Small and light.

October 24, 2009, 08:21 PM
OK for small deer at close range. My youngest brother dumped a full mag. (Marlin) into a fair sized hog and it only ticked it off, two 30-06 rounds dropped it.

October 25, 2009, 02:38 AM
My use of the carbine on game has been limited to ground hogs, coyotes and similar sized ferals. Most of this has been done w/ .357 , 125 gr jhp.

From a carbine, the 125's are truly destructive on critters this size. The slugs are traveling in excess of 2000 fps, and were intended to expand at about 1300. Huge exit wounds and avulsed tissue. I used to groundhog hunt w/ a 6' M27, and dispatched quite a few road crippled deer w/ 4" K and L frames, same load, and did not see the same effects.

Were I to hunt small/medium deer w/ a .357 carbine, it would be w/ the hardest, heaviest bullet my rifle would shoot well. The 180 partions by Nosler might have been ideal, but just speculation. I would not choose anything lighter than 158 gr mags, and lean towards soft points, believing they would not expand too rapidly and rob me of penetration. I'd pick my shots carefully, and stay under 100 yds.

October 25, 2009, 10:46 AM
I am about to try it out this year... I have a marlin 1894 with a 16 or 18 inch barrel. I shot it the other day at the range, and with cheap 158 grain jacketed hollowpoints, I was hitting a 12" steel disc at 100 yards consistantly, offhand. I was just screwing around, but I have no doubt off a rest of some sorts, I could shoot a 5-6 inch group at 100 yards.

for hunting, I'm going to use some 180 grain corbon loads... I'm going to try it out on some hogs and javelinas for certain, and possibly a doe.

October 25, 2009, 01:11 PM
What is th optimum lenght of barrel for this caliber, after which you start loosing velocity?

October 25, 2009, 01:18 PM
I don't know about actually losing velocity with longer barrels, but the 357 is a pistol round, and probably designed for optimum performance with a barrel length around 6" give or take... you will get a little mroe velocity with rifle length barrels, but it is not a linear relationship.

Old Grump
October 25, 2009, 01:40 PM
Going by dinosaur memory I think maximum velocity depending on load and powder used is around 16-18" so a 20" carbine length barrel should give you all the power you can wring out of that caliber. I practice at 100 yards and have confidence in it with my revolver so there is no reason why you shouldn't get at least that amount of range in a long arm.

October 25, 2009, 08:04 PM
What is th optimum lenght of barrel for this caliber, after which you start loosing velocity?
here is a nice little chart on the .357 http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/357mag.html

The velocity downgrades gradually from 18" to 4" barrels with .357,but below a 4" the velocity dropps right off.A snub nose .357 is really a waste.Velocity per inch I would have to say that a 6" is about the best.

James R. Burke
October 26, 2009, 07:32 PM
I load for a cousins .357 mag rifle. She has got a few, and wounded a few. I think they can work o.k. on deer at close range, and very good shot placement, that you should have with any caliber. Just myself it is a pistol round, and I would go into a rifle type caliber for deer. But that is just myself.