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View Full Version : .38 special / 357 magnum for deer?


bamafan4life
October 27, 2009, 08:29 PM
hi im looking for a light rifle since i whent hunting yesterday for the 3rd time in my life. the thing is my rifle wieghs around 10 pounds and i had to walk 2 miles to the tree stand and 2 miles back and my rifle got heavy. so im looking for a light rifle shooting a light recoiling cartrige. i live in north georgia where all you see is 90-150 pound deer. i was wondering if the .38 would be able to take deer at around 60-70 yards? im sure the .357 will be able but what about the .38?

rantingredneck
October 27, 2009, 08:35 PM
Considering that most .38/.357 lever action carbines you run across are chambered for .357 why would you want to run .38's in it to hunt with?

Do you already own a cowboy action version in .38 only?

Not sure I would try it personally, but I'm interested in other answers here myself. I just bought an 1894C .357 myself and intend to hunt some with it this year.

shepherddogs
October 27, 2009, 09:16 PM
I wouldn't try it. The 38 spl. is too light of a round for deer. Not saying it wouldn't work with a neck or head shot. I've never fired one but the recoil from a 357 fired out of a lever rifle can't be very much. From the deers point of view, the 357 is going to hit way harder than the 38. It just wouldn't make sense to use 38s.:confused:

bamafan4life
October 28, 2009, 01:21 PM
if i did get one there's no doubt id use .357. just wondering about the .38. now how about .38 on rabbit and squirel sized game?

awaveritt
October 28, 2009, 01:53 PM
Now you're talking! The 38 spcl is a wonderful cartridge on small game and targets of opportunity. A 158gr LRN would be just perfect, it seems.

Daryl
October 28, 2009, 02:14 PM
Recoil of .357 mag ammo in a lever action rifle is almost non-exsistant, so there's really no need to use .38's for deer.

Use .357 mag ammo on deer, and save the .38 specials for smaller game.

Daryl

Brasscatcher84
October 29, 2009, 11:27 AM
Anything will work if you have the right shot placement. "Karamojo" Bell took over a thousand elephant with the .257 rigby(7x57 mm) cartridge.

rantingredneck
October 29, 2009, 11:53 AM
Recoil of .357 mag ammo in a lever action rifle is almost non-exsistant,

Indeed it is. A handy little package. With .38 target loads it feels like a .22.

Daryl
October 29, 2009, 11:58 AM
Anything will work if you have the right shot placement. "Karamojo" Bell took over a thousand elephant with the .257 rigby(7x57 mm) cartridge.

Uh huh, and he was confidant and capable enough with his firearm that he didn't feel a need to ask others if his chosen cartridge would do the job well.

For the most part, if someone asks, they probably aren't experienced enough yet to successfully make consistent kills on deer with a lesser cartridge like the .38 special. More velocity gives the shooter more margin for error, depending on the shot, while giving them a bit more freedom in deciding "maximum range", and it certainly won't "over kill" the deer.

And it's always better (especially with new hunters) to kill the animal cleanly and quickly, with a minimum of drama.

Daryl

Nick-Mc
October 29, 2009, 12:15 PM
I would avoid the .38 for deer, as others have already stated. Perfect for smaller game (might do some damage to the meat on a rabbit though:cool:). Stick with the .357 for deer.....the .38 could no doubt kill but that calls into question the ethics of the hunter....depending on your shot placement that thing could be long gone and bleed out later.

Go with the .357 for deer.

hornady
October 29, 2009, 12:44 PM
With composite stocks and hundreds of caliber’s to pick from. The 357 may not be my last choice, but it would not be anywhere close to the top of the list. Unless you are set on a lever action. If I where looking for a light deer rifle. With low recoil. I would look at the 243 with a composite stock.