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Old November 24, 2010, 04:46 PM   #1
jheitertusa
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Join Date: March 19, 2002
Location: Indiana
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Hunting with the .357

I was asked in another forum about my success this year hunting with my Handi-Rifle in .357 magnum, since the other member was considering buying one. I gave him this response:

That's a good question. Let me tell you what happened the other day deer hunting. I shot a doe at about 75 yards. I hit a couple inches to the left of where I wanted, and hit it in the shoulder. It looked like a solid hit. It broke it's shoulder, but it ambled off and left no blood trail, save a short trail of droppings. I looked for it, but lost it. I was using the Hornady 140gr LeverEvolution rounds. I think had I been using a heavier 180gr bullet, or better yet hit right through the vitals instead of the shoulder, I would have been fine. You have to place your shot carefully with the .357, even out of a rifle. I would use Buffalo Bore's 180 flat nose gas check or something similar next time. It's the fastest 180gr load I am aware of.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=946487

If you are going to buy the Handi for deer hunting, I would probably buy the .44mag version.

However, I think I will try again next year with the heavier bullets. I would say for deer hunting the .357 rifle has an effective range of 75 yards or less, with the proper ammunition and shot placement. On the other hand, I might just stick with my rifle-sighted smoothbore I.C. choked 870....it doesn't feel good to lose that deer.
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Old November 25, 2010, 02:29 AM   #2
bamaranger
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why so sure?

If you did not recover the deer, how are you so sure you "broke the shoulder"?

I'd be more inclined to say you broke the leg at some point, to low or to far forward to hit the vitals, which allowed the deer to escape. However.....

I have no specific info or experience on the .357/140 Leverloution ammo, but a plastic tipped, boat tailed revolver bullet (even if fired in a carbine) seems silly to me. The leverloution line may make SOME sense in a .30-30 or a big bore, but in a pistol ctg is just fluff in my book, and a ploy by Hornady to sell ammo.

Better to stay w/ a traditional, heavy slug, 158 or up, in a .357 carbine for deer.
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Old November 25, 2010, 09:58 AM   #3
jheitertusa
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My wife's cousin saw a "puff" on the doe's shoulder when I took the shot, and it was certainly acting like it's shoulder was broken. Of course, now we will never know for sure.....we thought it was a solid hit and was a dead deer. We waited a while to retrieve it because there were other deer that didn't spook in the area, and he was still waiting for one to come in range.

Like I said, next time I will use a 180 grain bullet or go back to using my 870. This was the first deer I've lost, hopefully it doesn't happen again.
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Old November 29, 2010, 01:41 AM   #4
bamaranger
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sorry

Yeah, losing a deer is the worst. It happens, and may happen again.

Best we can do is learn from it and plan accordingly. Sounds to me like that is exactly what you're doing.

I have never killed a deer in a fair chase hunt w/ .357 carbine, but have killed a truck load w/ .357 revolver and 125 gr JHP duty load, after deer/ car MVA's. On our southern whitetails, at distances of a few yards, on broadside, chest shots, no shoulder, the slugs sailed right thru most times. They would penetrate a single shoulder, but often not exit, if the shoulder was struck first.

From my Marlin carbine, which I carried before semi patrol carbines were the rage, the 125 velocity was so high that the 125's sometimes did not exit on deer, , but expanded violently, sometimes fragmenting and always extremely destructive.

As far as a "puff" from the bullet strike on your deer, maybe the shot was more raking than you thought, and the bullet did not get "in" due to the angle, angling along the rig cage somehow instead of penetrating.

Don't give up on your carbine, and your plan on switching to heavier bullets is a good one.
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Old November 29, 2010, 04:36 PM   #5
LSnSC
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I wouldnt give up on the handi rifle. IMO you made a poor choice for a hunting bullet. A 158 or 180gr soft point would be a better choice. Ive shot a few with 180 XTP's out of a 357 Max Contender and they performed well. I shot a handfull of deer and pigs with CorBons .357 hunting load with 180 gr bonded bullet from a 6 1/2 " Blackhawk with good results (fair on the pigs).
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