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Old July 4, 2013, 04:41 PM   #1
WIN1886
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Your favorite load for hunting medium game with .357 mag revolver?

I know there a better calibers to choose for hunting medium game and I do own a S&W 629 when it is the primary choice.....however, my 4" barreled S&W 627 is a little handier when carrying a rifle along so if I get a reasonable shot at a deer I might consider trying it out ! Anyway , for those that have used the .357 on deer or other medium game what are some of your favorite factory or handloads ? Thanks much ! I don't have reloading dies yet for the .357 but have some Federal 158 grain soft point ammo on hand and sighted in at 25 yards so far and want to practice out to 50 yards ! I ordered some Buffalo Bore 180 grain hardcast ammo to try out as well.....maybe handloading a hardcast 180 grain might be the way to go ( just thinking out loud ) !
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Old July 4, 2013, 08:13 PM   #2
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Get an El Paso Saddlery 1920 Cross draw for your 29. You'll be much happier. I can carry my 7.5" Rugers (41 and 44) walking, riding, or sitting in any position.
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Old July 5, 2013, 04:33 AM   #3
oldhunter
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I can vouch for Buffalo Bore 180 gr hardcast although it was in a Rossi levergun model 92 in .357mag. Complete pass thru on 4 point that went less than 20 yards. At 60 yards with peep sight. I believe this ammo in rifle or handgun is adequate for deer although would not stretch much farther in a handgun. Another to be considered is Hornady Leverevolution 140 gr FTX. This also is very accurate and a perfect hunting cartridge.
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Old July 5, 2013, 08:46 AM   #4
kraigwy
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150 gr LSWC w/14.5 gr of 2400
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Old July 5, 2013, 03:22 PM   #5
Peter M. Eick
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Pretty much the same as above, but I use 158's.

If you want to go hotter than 14.5 grns, you need to specify the gun. In my Redhawks I have pushed it up much hotter.
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Old July 5, 2013, 04:06 PM   #6
skidder
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158 XTPs with 14.3 grains of accurate #9 1450 fps. Great expansion with full retention. I like a little expansion in the 357.

I haven't found a better hunting bullet than the XTP.
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Old July 5, 2013, 04:26 PM   #7
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The 180gr cast is a great penetrator but in the .357, I would want a little expansion. Anchors thin skinned deer a little quicker. Sometimes a lot quicker. A good standard weight bullet like the Gold Dot is what I prefer.
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Old July 5, 2013, 04:42 PM   #8
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I don't hunt. But a 158g Soft Point was the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw the subject line. And Federal makes a good one - they typically don't hold back on the powder, if you get my drift.
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Old July 5, 2013, 07:58 PM   #9
WIN1886
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Thanks , a lot of useful info here....I got plenty of 2400 on hand since it is my main powder for the 44 magnum revolver ! The 158 grain soft point ammo I have is actually American Eagle brand ( made at Federal ) and it groups pretty good and seems to be a fairly stout load ! I have had success with the 240 grain XTP bullets in the 44 magnum.....my model 627 .357 magnum is an N frame S&W so it should handle heavy hunting loads okay. I like to shoot cast bullets as well....the Buffalo Bore 180 grain cast ammo I'm getting sounds pretty hot and as mentioned in thin skin animals it probably won't expand too well but punch a hole right through which I know in a big bore like my 45-70 rifle cast loads is not such a bad thing if you hit them right ! I'm really stoked about this revolver and it is my first .357......go figure I have owned four 44 magnums and never a .357 until recently !
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Old July 5, 2013, 08:04 PM   #10
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I use 15.0 grains of Hodgdon Lil'Gun under a 180 grain RanchDog WF mold. It gives me 1200 fps from my SW28 and 1600 from my Marlin 1894C. It's a great load, and hits like the hammer from hell. I could probably push it a little faster, but it's plenty accurate and gives good accuracy without beating up my palm.
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Old July 5, 2013, 09:03 PM   #11
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16 grains of H110 behind a 158 or 160
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Old July 5, 2013, 11:44 PM   #12
357 Terms
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180grn XTP with 14.3grns of VV n110 and a SR primer.

Around 1350fps in a 6.5in Blackhawk and well over 1600 from my Marlin.
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Old July 6, 2013, 12:16 AM   #13
Sheikyourbootie
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185 grain Beartooth bullet, seated to an overall length of 1.610" on top of a MAX loading of H-110 for a muzzle velocity of 1250fps. Smith wesson 627 with 5" barrel.

Good enough to get a 250# sow from 50 yards broadside.
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Old July 7, 2013, 10:47 AM   #14
buck460XVR
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I've taken several deer with 158gr JSPs in .357. Prefer them over JHPs because of better penetration and better odds of gettin' two leakin' holes instead of one. The Federal 158s you speak of are just fine, and you really do not need more if you do your part. You'll never be truly handgunnin' for deer till you leave the rifle at home tho.
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Old July 7, 2013, 10:53 AM   #15
40-82
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I use a Lyman Keith-type 173 grain over 15.0 grains of Lil'Gun. 2400 or WW296 work fine too.
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Old July 7, 2013, 08:31 PM   #16
SVTCobra306
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I've had mixed success with XTP bullets on large-bodied Midwestern deer. At 40-50 yards it seems the 158 grain XTP factory loads lose enough velocity that they no longer expand. They might do better with a 140 or 125 grain as far as expansion goes, and shot placement is critical.

I shot my buck last year with a model 66 6", using Remington Golden Saber 125 gr ammo. I want to say I saw somewhere that the Golden Saber bullet is a Gold Dot.. but I'm not 100 percent sure of that. I hit the buck a little low at about 40 yards, it destroyed his shoulder and double-lunged him, he ran about a half mile before he fell.

I saw some surprising successes with 125 grain semi-jacketed hollow points in .38 +P from my Uncle's Security Six.. he hadn't cleaned his revolver after shooting a lot of .38 spl's and couldn't chamber .357 rounds, so I gave him some of my "plinking" ammo.. happened to be Winchester in the SJHP. He knocked a doe flat in her tracks with one.. I was very surprised. They expand very nicely. I am planning to load some 158 grain versions of the same design from Montana Gold, and see how they perform. I may also put together some 125 grain versions in full house .357 Magnum loads instead of the .38+P and see how they perform. I like an extra velocity push for the rather jumpy deer around here.

If I'm not satisfied, I've been looking for an excuse to pick up a .41 magnum anyway... many of our guys like .44's, but they tend to destroy more meat than I like to.
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Old July 8, 2013, 06:42 PM   #17
jackpine
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american eagle 158 SP or remington 158 JHP
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Old July 9, 2013, 05:35 PM   #18
WIN1886
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Quote:
american eagle 158 SP or remington 158 JHP

The American Eagle 158 gr soft point is the ammo I've been practicing the most with and may use this fall ! I just got a few boxes of Buffalo Bore 180 grain hard cast ammunition that I am anxious to try out at the range soon...I hope to get reloading supplies soon for the .357 !
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Old July 9, 2013, 07:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Thanks , a lot of useful info here....I got plenty of 2400 on hand since it is my main powder for the 44 magnum revolver !

WIN1886,

My favorite powder for the 44 mag and 357 mag is 2400.
With 2400 I've never found a need for mag primers, with 296 or H110 I recommend mag primers.

My favorite load for the 357 mag is 14.9 grs of 2400 with 158 gr JHP or JSP bullet.
I use the above load in my S&W model 27, I don't know how it would be in a lighter frame gun.

It's been years since I've loaded for my 357, I don't shoot it much, so the powder formula may have changed along with load information.
You may want to get a new reference book to see what's recommended.

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Bob Hunter
www.huntercustoms.com
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