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Old June 15, 2013, 03:28 AM   #1
ChaperallCat
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357 v 45 colt

how we love to fight over the usefulness of these two calibers when it comes to deer. i think i can figure out a resolution.

neither is perferct, when compared to a 30-30.


now, the 357.

problems
-light bullets NOT for deer, no penetration light wounding unless short range out of a rifle
-small diameter meplat wiht cast bullets.
-hunting loads equal above usual recoil

good things
-good trajectory
-god muzzle energy.
some hunting loads fizzle out at 550 foot pounds, but good ones can hit 780 ftpounds

45 colt

problems, unless you get a specific gun you cannot use the ruger only loads.
-regular hunting loads are still in the standard 4-450 foot pounds of me. not bad, but still the low end for 357 hunting loads
-trajectory drops. especially if you opt for that short, easier to handle barrel length.

recoil with a full power regur only load is brutal, but so are many 357 loads.

so you can choose fast shooting 357 da/sa, scope it, use heavier bullets, and get the same energy as normal 44 mag hunting loads, with the recoil of a 45 colt hunting load, but get trajectory the 45 cant.
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Old June 15, 2013, 07:43 AM   #2
arch308
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"neither is perfect when compared to a 30-30"

Apples to oranges. You are comparing handgun calibers to rifle. Both the .357 and the 45 Colt will take deer at proper ranges. If I hunt with a handgun I prefere the 45. There is a lot to be said for a slow moving heavy slug. I've seen what the 45 does to deer and it ain't pretty. Just don't expect rifle performance from a handgun cartridge.
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Old June 15, 2013, 10:22 AM   #3
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.357 1894C = Deer death to 125 yds

The .357 can be cranked up to pretty serious levels out of a 18.5" barrel. Buffalo Bore has some .357 ammo that sends a 158gr jacketed bullet out at 2153fps.

That's more kinetic energy at 150 yards than a 6" barrel pistol with a hot load at the muzzle. I think 6" barrel .357 mag pistols have taken deer at 50-75 yards all day long.

The 1894C should be capable of taking a deer at 150 yards easily if you go by kinetic energy numbers. The factory sights are not going to be accurate enough to go beyond 100 yards though. If the rifle is equipped with a narrow front blade and a Skinner peep sight, I think 150 yards is do-able.

I'd have to set mine up that way and try it before I could definitely say. But I'm sure you can own any deer within 100 yards if you can hit it in the boiler room with a .357.

And since the 30-30 uses the same sight setup as the 1894, I'd say both rifles are sight limited rather than energy limited. With bead and buckhorn sights, all the 30-30 will do is kill deer deader than the .357 within the same range.

If you put a 2x or so sight on both rifles (thereby defeating the utter handiness of the 1894) I think the .357 would work up to 150 yards. If you load the 30-30 with Hornady flex tip bullets and Leverrevolution powder, you could stretch the 30-30 out to 225-250 yards.

Of course if you expect to go 250 yards and beyond, I'd think a scoped, bolt action is more appropriate than a lever gun. Inside 100 yards the .357 and 30-30 are equally effective on deer. But the 30-30 will kill them deader.
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Old June 15, 2013, 10:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by ChaperallCat:

-god muzzle energy
Beats the 'ell outta "like the power of Thor's Hammer!"
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Old June 15, 2013, 10:46 AM   #5
Tommix
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-god muzzle energy

Even with supernatural muzzle energy, the 30-30 isn't going to kill deer any deader than the .357 within 125 yards.
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Old June 15, 2013, 05:33 PM   #6
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30-30 has godly muzzle energy, the best ruger loads in 45 colt dont go past 1000fp me.

thing is, the 250 grain at 900 fps negates the muzzle energy aspect completely. most non ruger hunting ammo maxes out at 450 fps out of an 8 inch barrel. a 4 inch 357 with a 158 grain is a typical 538 fpe if you use federal fusion loads.

if you focus on energy, standard 45 colt loads equal the 44 special, and that still equals what the 45 acp can do. not exactly high on the energy list.
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Old June 16, 2013, 09:07 AM   #7
Art Eatman
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What has been demonstrated numerous times during many decades is that a .357 handgun is quite effective on deer, so long as the hunter is competent as to marksmanship and thoughtful about the range limitations. The same holds true for the .45 Colt.
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Old June 16, 2013, 09:54 AM   #8
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I use cast bullets in everything, so my experiences might be different.
My 30-30 is shooting 165gr SP at 1850.
357 Rossi is shooting 165gr RF at 1850. I might get a touch longer range with the 30-30 because of the SP ballistic coefficient, but the 357 has long enough range for open sights (150 yds max) and hits like a sledgehammer. VERY affective on deer.

Good 45 Colt loads easily equal 44 mag loads, and MANY people love the 44 mag. 45 Colt is also VERY affective on deer.

I'm going to use the pistols this year for hunting.
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Old June 16, 2013, 09:59 AM   #9
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Animals are killed with far less energy than the .357 Mag or .45 Colt provide every year, just look at bow hunting for example. Energy is just a byproduct of velocity and mass, it never indicates how well a cartridge will kill. The only thing you need to really worry about is, can I put the bullet where it belongs? Don't get me wrong you need a certain amount of energy transfer to make things work properly, but nobody has produced to date a definitive study of how much energy is needed to kill a deer.

The only energy figures I care about is the one that is set in the Colorado big game hunting regulations. Rifles must produce 1000 ft. lbs. of energy at 100 yards, and pistols must produce 550 ft. lbs. at 50 yards. Unfortunately that leaves both the .357 Mag and .45 Colt in the cold and unusable as either rifle or pistol.
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Old June 17, 2013, 03:31 PM   #10
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My brother and I kilt a deer in 1966 with a 22. Dad said they were no deer out back of our place close to the elkhorn river
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Old June 17, 2013, 04:21 PM   #11
ChaperallCat
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most people tell me just to get a 44-40, better then a 44 special. speed isking apparently. yet the best factory hunting load i can find is listed at a measely 660 foot pounds in a 20 inch rifle, falls a bitshort of that 357 load from buffalo bore
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Old June 17, 2013, 05:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
most people tell me just to get a 44-40, better then a 44 special. speed isking apparently. yet the best factory hunting load i can find is listed at a measely 660 foot pounds in a 20 inch rifle, falls a bitshort of that 357 load from buffalo bore
I have owned several 44-40 rifles and I still own three. I have taken deer out to 150 +/- yards with no problem at all. Have never had one run more than a few yards before dropping. Good round. Maybe not as good as some, but still very lethal. Killed three deer with "cowboy" loads (average 750 fps) about fifteen years ago before I knew better. Now I use a full case of BP behind a 200gr lead bullet for a little more punch. Factory winchester and remington jacketed soft point ammo average 1180 fps, my BP loads average around 1300 fps.
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Old June 18, 2013, 08:00 AM   #13
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They used 44-40 on deer all the time 100 years ago.
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Old June 18, 2013, 08:29 AM   #14
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E. Keith pretty much brought the .44sp vs. .45c vs .357m comparison to a head half a century ago. I have no doubt the the .45c is better than a .357m, especially in some of today's guns but there are some dang lame myths concerning the .357m that keep cropping up.

- The .357m, with about any load, does not have butt kickin recoil. My fairly new to shooting SIL has no issues shooting my heavy 180gr handloads from her SP101. Personally I put hunting .357m loads on similar footing felt recoil-wise with the .45acp in poly guns. Different but equal.

- There are plenty of bullets available for hunting. As a matter of fact the heavies can sometime be easier to come buy in times of shortage. My favorite for deer is the 180gr XTP HP's but many prefer cast. The HP completely negates the meplat argument.

- With a good load a .357m will have no issues going thru just about any deer in NA. With-in common sense ranges of coarse.

But the .357 has one major disadvantage........ It's louder than loud. I used mine for deer hunting one year without e-muffs, never again. On the flip side just about any handgun rings the crap outta my ears so I now where e-muffs when ever I venture into the field with a short gun.

If I was buying a dedicated deer handgun I would no doubt pick a .44s or .45c. But since I already have a good .357m there is little reason to move up.
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Old June 18, 2013, 09:44 AM   #15
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It's hard to figure out all the hunting situations and calibers that would be appropriate for each. I think a lot of the handgun calibers lack the energy to do an efficient job. I have killed hogs with all kinds of calibers, but a lot of them are at shorter range and the pistol calibers (properly placed) work just fine. A longer shot with it's dimished velocity or a shot that was not right where it should have been placed can often relate to a wounded animal running away. I think too much energy into the animal is far and away more desirable than too little. The attatched image shows a few of those shot with smaller calibers, but I have been known to use my 350 Rem.Mag with 225 gr. gamekings for situations where I know more energy would give me the edge.

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Old June 18, 2013, 09:50 AM   #16
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I've always felt it's better to have "too much gun" than not enough gun. You can't kill 'em too dead.

Nice haul there Stony!
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Old June 18, 2013, 10:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
They used 44-40 on deer all the time 100 years ago.
44-40 nearly wiped out game animals during the last part of the 19th Century, even though muzzle energy numbers say it couldn't have. The 45 Colt was pretty much just a handgun cartridge until relatively recently, but it performs about as well as the 44-40 does on game animals.
Quote:
-light bullets NOT for deer, no penetration light wounding unless short range out of a rifle
357 is a hard hitting number on animals up to moose size. I still snicker when someone tells me a 357 won't kill a deer because it only develops 500 fpe. 120 years ago, a 32-20 was considered a good deer cartridge. Peoiple killed deer with 300 fpe all the time. Now how did they do that?
Quote:
if you focus on energy, standard 45 colt loads equal the 44 special, and that still equals what the 45 acp can do
Problem with energy charts is that they don't kill animals. If you actually get out and shoot, you will find that many animals die with a lot less than the 1000 fpe gun rag writers say you need. 45 ACP will kill deer dead, trust me. Also pigs. Can't speak for elk or moose, I never tried it.
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Old June 18, 2013, 11:49 AM   #18
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Not many records around from around the turn of the century when everyone was killing all the big animals with puny cartridges. You can bet your boots they would have used something more efficient if they had it....and probably wounded a lot less of the animals that wandered off to die elsewhere. It only takes a few inches of error for one of the mouse calibers to catch a front shoulder bone and just leave the bullet sitting in a lung instead of busting through as it should have. There was a lot less hunting pressure then as there were just fewer people in the frontier areas, and a lot more game cover that resulted in a lot more game. I think that made for better hunter conditions and closer shots as a rule.
I once knew a man that loved to use his .17 remington on blacktail deer in California. It might have seemed like a challenge to him, but it made him look like an uncaring idiot to me. I don't like wounding animals...kill them dead and humanely, and it works out better for you and them. I guess the little caliber people will always be out there touting their expertise with a small caliber handgun. I watched them for years trying to just knock over the 200 meter rams in the silhouette game with .357's, when .44's had no problem with it.
A .357 maximum is a differrent story and has some definite possibilities as a hunting round for game up to medium size.
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Old June 19, 2013, 07:09 AM   #19
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I'm of the opinion that muzzle energy, at least with handguns, isn't a good way to determine how well it will work. Simple reason is that often times a deer might take off after being hit with a rifle that produces much more energy.

There is a certain amount of energy needed yes, but people over think this too much. To the OP, without hesitation I would (and do) choose the .45 Colt. It's well known that a big ole 250gr hardcast will shoot through a deer from one end to the other (at 100yds) even at 900-950 fps muzzle velocity. So even though that only equates to 450-500 ft-lbs of muzzle energy, it clearly has enough to take any deer with ease.

So what does that tell me? It tells me that energy isn't the be all end all factor. Punch a .45 cal hole all the way through a deer and you've got a dead deer. Now I load a 250gr XTP to 1400 fps in my Ruger 5.5" Bisley. That's 1,088 ft-lbs. One good big game load is a 330gr hardcast that will leave my 5.5" Bisley doing almost 1,300 fps, which is over 1,200 ft-lbs.

But even still, those energy numbers are less than a 30-30, but I'm also shooting a bigger, heavier bullet than the .30-30 and my handgun loads are also going to out penetrate a .30-30. See, big bore handguns do one thing very well, they cut big holes and dig in deep. And actually, they out penetrate many magnum class rifle cartridges! Big, heavy bullets just flat out penetrate.


.357 Mag is a solid choice and plenty good for deer, but the .45 Colt is more potent. You don't have to drive a big bullet fast because it's got momentum on it's side, but with the .45 Colt you can drive them fast if you want. Even service class pistols like .40's and .45's have no issue dropping deer, which goes to further my point that it's not energy so much as it is penetration (and shot placement of course). And bigger bullets cut wider wound channels.
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Old June 20, 2013, 08:12 AM   #20
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Just shooting larger animals with a .357 or "service calibers such as .40 or 45" just to prove it can be done is irresponsible in my opinion. I would wonder how many deer have been wounded and lost because of this mentality. I spend time in the woods every day taking care of a 1,100 acre game preserve. I have found many piles of bones before from animals that either died from natural causes, or from a bullet that didn't do what it should. A .357 won't reliably do enough damage to drop an animal and tracking it through thick woods for long distances just relates to an animal suffering and often being lost completely. It will die eventually from these small cartridges, but why do something like this to an animal when there are plenty of calibers that will do the job humanely and with certainty.
I have seen racoons shot with a .357 run clear out of sight into the woods to die. The survival instinct is just too strong in animals to allow them to lay down and die from a small wound and they will fight to keep going until their last breath. Small calibers have their place in the hunting world, but it is not just to bolster the ego of the hunter.
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Old June 20, 2013, 11:02 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Stony
I have seen racoons shot with a .357 run clear out of sight into the woods to die.
I saw a deer shot with a 12ga slug at point-blank range, where the slug destroyed (completely severed) the aorta, blew holes in both lungs and shattered the off-side shoulder and the deer went over 150 yards.

Last year, I saw a buck shot through both lungs with a .243Win and it went over 100 yards. A few minutes later, another shot with a .243AI and it went about 100 yards, with holes in both lungs. I've seen them shot with 30-06, 7mm-08 and .270WSM and do the same thing.

It's funny, because someone talks about hunting deer with a 357sig or 9mm and the comparison is how inadequate they are compared to the 357mag. Talk about the 357mag and somebody says it's inadequate and compares it to a 45colt. Talk about the Colt and somebody says it's inadequate and compares it to a 44Mag.


It's really a whole lot of silliness. Most deer that are shot are going to run. Most deer that run are going to go between 50 and 150 yards with a PERFECT shot. It doesn't matter that they run. There's a hole in their important parts and those parts leak copious amounts of blood. Doesn't really matter if that hole was made with a broadhead, a 9mm, a 357mag, a 45colt, a 243Win, a 30-06 or a 12ga. If those important parts have holes in them, the animal will be dead in short-order and any hunter with even a modicum of competence will be able to follow the blood trail (or find friends who can if they happen to be color-blind).

If the animal is not soon dead and/or the blood trail is lost or not located, it's because the shot was poorly placed and almost never because the bullet came from "Cartridge X" instead of "Cartridge Y".
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Old June 20, 2013, 11:05 AM   #22
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Quote:
the 357.

problems
-light bullets NOT for deer, no penetration light wounding unless short range out of a rifle
I ain't buying that one bit.

I shot both these critters (and a lot more) with 150 gr LSWCs out of a 4" Model 28. Lack of penetration is NOT a problem with 357's.

As to 45 LC's, can't comment, never shot any critters with one.

(disregard the rifle in the second picture, that was put there for the benefit of my grandkids)



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Old June 20, 2013, 01:11 PM   #23
Old Stony
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I have never stated that it can't be done, just that there are better ways of doing it with a better chance of a quick kill. A hole poked in most critters will result in their death eventually, and sometimes instantly. Maybe even with a .22 !! Lots of shock into the boiler room can make the outcome much better for you and the animal.
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Old June 20, 2013, 07:23 PM   #24
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It doesn't matter what caliber you use as long as you know it's limitations. I have seen a deer solidly hit (meat, bone and lots of blood left at site of shooting and heavy blood trail for half a mile before disappearing) with a .30-06 jacketed soft point run off into the great beyond never to be seen again. I have also seen deer shot graveyard dead with .357 revolvers, .223, and even . 22 magnum rifles. Not that I recommend using a .22 mag or even a .223 on deer. If you try to shoot beyond your chosen caliber's effective range, or you do not put that piece of lead where it needs to go you have a good chance of wounding/losing an animal. I mainly use either a BP loaded .44-40 or a .30-30. Both rounds are "weak" according to a lot of "expert hunters". I have never lost a deer in my twenty five years of hunting. A .357 mag carbine is plenty good enough for deer at least out to 100+/-.
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Old June 29, 2013, 06:03 PM   #25
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Buy a quality gun to run "Ruger Only" Colt loads and don't look back. Coming out of a carbine/rifle you're carrying more KE than the beloved 30-30 out a pistol cartridge.......

I figure a 30-30 round of 150 gr moving 2400 fps at the muzzle = 360

I figure a 45 colt round of 315 gr moving 1700 fps out of a rifle - 535

I figure the same 45 colt round moving 1400 out of a handgun = 441

All figured weight x velocity / 1000


I'm a little partial though.
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