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Old November 21, 2011, 05:51 PM   #1
Noreaster
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140 grain 357 mag, hunting

Put my new fiber optic sights on the GP100 and I'm considering new ammo to sight it in with. Currently my deer round is the Speer 170 SP. Curious about the various 140 grain offerings, (Federal barnes expander, Hornady leverevolution...) The ballistics look great but I worry about adequate penetration. I saw a Utube wear the kid took a doe with a federal fusion and she dropped like a rock, this is what got me thinking about a lighter faster bullet. Any one use the lighter rounds for hunting?
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Old November 21, 2011, 06:15 PM   #2
Webleymkv
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Both the Federal and Hornady loadings you specify are desined and marketed as hunting loads so, if you do your part, I have no doubt that their penetration would be sufficient for whitetail deer. If, however, your game includes feral hogs or anything substantially larger than a whitetail deer, you would probably be better served by a JSP or hardcast bullet in the 180-200gr range for .357 Magnum or, better yet, a larger caliber revolver such as a .41 or .44 Magnum.
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Old November 21, 2011, 07:28 PM   #3
Jim March
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The LeverRevolution doesn't go fast enough out of a revolver to expand right. It's a levergun round.

The 140gr XTP slug can work well if it's driven fast enough.

Personally, if I was hunting fairly smallish deer with a 357 I'd look to Buffalo Bore's hot-loading of the 158gr Gold Dot, doing over 1,400fps from a 4" barrel. That's gonna hurt. They also load the Barnes all-copper slug fairly hot in 357, including a 140 with a lot of potential for deer. Expensive, but if you're in a no-lead-allowed area it would work well.
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Old November 21, 2011, 09:04 PM   #4
Sheikyourbootie
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Jim, the Federal 140 grain Barnes loading should be fine for small deer...(Buffalo Bore has a loading that is hotter than the 1300fps I get from the Federal loading)

Here is how the Barnes 140 grain loading did from my 2" snub, compared to my SD round I normally use. also, the Same Barnes from a 5" barrel, compared to a 158 grain SJHP. I posted this a while back on the ruger forum.


Was up early (early enough I knew I'd have the whole range to myself) one Sunday morning and decided to load up the speed-loaders and clips and head to the range to test penetration and chronograph the Federal 140 grain .357 Barns bullet against what I presently carry. The rounds were shot (from 15 feet) into a bullet trap consisting of shredded rubber mulch, carefully dug out and the penetration measured.

I KNOW it's not ballistics gel. But at least it can give a side by side comparison of various bullets....cheaply. I use the trap primarily to recycle the lead for bullet casting.

The guns were: 340pd and a S&W 627

Present carry ammo:

Buffalo Bore 158 grain LHP 38+p Chronographs at 1000fps from the 340pd

Remington 158 grain sjhp (these were hand-loads with nearly identical velocity to the factory stuff with the "zero" brand bullets) @ 1250 +/- about 25fps from the 5" barrel 627

Federal 140 grain advertised at 1400fps but actually chronographed at about 1320 from the 5" barrel and around 1100fps from the snubby.

Results with the 340pd:

My typical carry ammo from this gun, the Buffalo Bore, penetrated between 10 and 12 inches into the mulch and was a bit "hit and miss" with the expansion.


In contrast, the 140 grain Barnes bullet penetrated 17 to 20 inches into the mulch and expanded consistently to between .5 and .6" This round might actually be a viable self defense round out of the snubby.


Results with the model 627:

My typical carry ammo (simulated here with pretty much identical results to the factory ammo) is the 158 grain Remington sjhp. Penetration was pretty consistent at 14 to 16 inches, and expansion was pretty consistent at about .5" Occasionally a round would fragment, as seen in the bullet pictured on the left, below.


The Barns bullet penetrated a whopping 24 inches (the whole length of the trap) and the petals were swept back further than when the same bullet was fired from the snubby. For the life of me, I can't figure out why this lighter bullet, that expands as much as the heavier one above, ends up penetrating so much further.....so much so, that I will not be using the 140 grain Barnes out of the 5" gun as a SD round. It should be just fine for medium game though, when I traipse through the condor zone.


If you are not being forced to use copper...stick with a HEAVY solid with a HUGE meplat. If you insist on, or have to use copper, the harder it's driven, the better these bullets perform. JMHO...based on my own testing.
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Old November 21, 2011, 09:17 PM   #5
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Expansion is nice, but placement is what really matters. The heavier bullets are intended to make it through the shoulder bones and still do the job.

The mid weight bullets probably will, but you're better off choosing a different shot if you can.

The lighter weight bullets should be used on shots to the neck and ribs where they don't have to break through heavy bone, if you use them at all. Most of the 125gr loadings are optimised for self deffense use, something to take into consideration when choosing a load for hunting.

Hardcast (no expansion - to speak of) works fine if you put the shot in just the right place. And they have a strong tendency to go right on through, where ever they hit.
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Old November 21, 2011, 09:50 PM   #6
Sheikyourbootie
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Quote:
Expansion is nice, but placement is what really matters. The heavier bullets are intended to make it through the shoulder bones and still do the job.
Exactly! Also, the reason, in a handgun, I prefer heavy cast bullets with a nice wide meplat...over any hollow point.
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Old November 21, 2011, 09:54 PM   #7
shootniron
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Quote:
Exactly! Also, the reason, in a handgun, I prefer heavy cast bullets with a nice wide meplat...over any hollow point.
X 2 They work like a charm.
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Old November 21, 2011, 10:09 PM   #8
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I tend to favor thing 158 grain and heavier for deer from a 357 magnum. I have killed many deer with a 357 magnum lever action but only 1 with a hand gun.
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Old November 21, 2011, 10:46 PM   #9
Noreaster
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Good replys. I appreciate it. Guess I'll stick with the 170 SP for now. DT has a couple of smokin 158 grain loads I may try next year.
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Old November 23, 2011, 01:51 AM   #10
czf
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The Double Tap 158 Gold dot is pretty powerful for a 357 Magnum.

Plenty of fun to shoot!


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Old November 25, 2011, 10:32 AM   #11
buck460XVR
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In .357 for deer sized game, penetration is more important than massive expansion. I use and recommend 158gr and heavier in either a JSP or hard cast.
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