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Old December 31, 2013, 06:22 PM   #26
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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If your confident and proficient with your choice of cartridge & weapon that's all that counts. Heck your the one here OP with something to show for your efforts. There will always be a few who think differently and try to change some others mind to their way of thinking. I've always thought the 357 is capable of taking deer. Even with as light a bullet as the 125 gr. How I know: I've knocked deer over with my 45 cal B/P rifle shooting a patched R-Ball that weighs 126 gains at distances close to 100 yards and a touch better. If you were to hold both in your hand {ball & bullet } They would be near the same size. Maybe not as fast as your 357 or the accurate but that little ball got the job done just like that 357 rifle of yours did. So, My congratulations on a nice doe taken Super Sneaky Steve.
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Old January 1, 2014, 08:40 PM   #27
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I would venture to guess that even a 110 grain bullet would work if pushed hard. Its may blow up but I bet it would kill the deer.
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Old January 2, 2014, 01:31 AM   #28
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velocity

I'm not surprised that a .357/125 combo from a carbine makes 2200fps+. In fact, I am a bit surprised it does not do more.

For a while, I kept a Marlin carbine zeroed with 125 jhp to match a similarly loaded revolver. I never shot a deer with the carbine, but did dispatch a number of feral/varmint/pest types and the combo was destructive to say the least.

Boost a slug intended to expand at 1400 fps by over 50% and you will get expansion.

I am also not surprised that you took a small (yearling?) doe with the combo. For critters up to 100 lbs or so I'd think the load would do fine. And your seemingly broadside rib cage shot was the shot one would want I'd think. That area does not offer much resistance. Heck, we drive arrows from recurve bows through that location. Although, "right behind the fore leg" is a heart/lung shot on my deer. To get the liver, you had to be at least a bit farther back, no? Does the pic show the entrance or exit?

But...comparison to .30-30 or x39mm is not valid. The difference is the sectional density and design parameters of the projectile. The rifle slugs are intended for 2000 fps, the pistol slug not.

BTW, as a brief aside only, I've taken deer with "light" 180 gr slugs in a .44 carbine, not a recommended deer load at all. Usually no exits, and one slug blew to pieces. These were .44 XTP's. But all deer very dead, and the carbine groups the light slug great.

I've changed slugs, but ...my point is,...pick your shots and angles and you can do it.

Finally, I've dispatched many deer/car cripples with a .357 revolver and the 125 load, and conducted some on the spot testing. It was not uncommon to fail to get an exit with 125 from a 4" revolver on broadside shots, point blank on mature, whitetails.
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Old January 2, 2014, 09:31 AM   #29
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Based on some of the threads on here lately, has it become some sort of achievement to go hunting with the least powerful cartridge possible? I hear stories about how this round did this or this round did that, I wonder how many stories are not told of the animal running off and dying an I humane death.
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Old January 2, 2014, 10:10 AM   #30
Art Eatman
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Skilled shooters have been happily killing Bambi with .357 revolvers for many and many a decade. A lead 158-grain bullet seems to be the popular choice.

A .357 carbine should work just fine, given the necessary skill and judgement. Why expect otherwise?
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Old January 2, 2014, 10:45 AM   #31
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Congrats on the deer!
As for me I would load the bullet that gave me the best groups and shoot the gun that yields confidence in my hands. I have found that deer are not that hard to kill but they can be hard to find after the shot. I have also discovered that how far they go before they drop dead depends more on shot placement that caliber or bullet performance.
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Old January 2, 2014, 12:44 PM   #32
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"Based on some of the threads on here lately, has it become some sort of achievement to go hunting with the least powerful cartridge possible? I hear stories about how this round did this or this round did that, I wonder how many stories are not told of the animal running off and dying an inhumane death."
There is some truth in the above statement by militant. However that's only 1/2 the story.

I have killed deer (and cows, pigs and horses) with calibers smaller than what's considered to be normal for the size of animals shot. I think lots of folks have.

I have never shot one that didn't die.
I have never shot one that didn't die pretty quickly, but I do admit some took about 10-30 seconds longer than I'd have liked.

I HAVE SEEN a few shots of animals that obviously were not hit hard enough or in the right place. Two with 22s, one with a 38, one with a 9mm and one with a 222 Remington. (I have seen more however shot with big rifles that were shot poorly and they didn't die very fast either)

The general idea of a minimum caliber is not really a minimum at all. It's the idea of a caliber/bullet weight/ velocity combination that has some over-kill built in, so the effect is a quick humane kill in the vast majority of the cases. It is not to say you can't kill an 1800 pound cow with a 22 rifle. You can, and I have, and I have seen it done hundreds of times. Most ranch kids have.

But the cows are not trying to get away as a rule and they are held steady and have no idea they are in danger so they are not running, thrashing or turned at a wrong angle.
I have see ONE big bull hit perfectly with a 22 rifle that dropped, and then got up and started to fight. It was enough to make me use a 44 with a hard cast bullet from that time on.

If I may try to shed some light on the topic I'd say that a man that regularly kills deer with a 223 and never looses one is probably a good hunter and a good shot, and is disciplined to shoot only when he knows his shot is going to be perfect.

The less power your cartridge has, the better you must shoot it.

So shooting deer with a 22 LR is the task of the expert, not the beginner.

This is all said not in reference to laws, but against the back drop of reality. If your state laws say you need to shoot a certain minimum, then you should do so. If you don’t like the law, become active in the state government to try to amend it.

Anyway… back to the original topic, the 357 magnum as a deer gun.

I am NOT of the opinion the 357 (in either handgun or rifle) is too weak for hunting deer. I am the former CEO of Cast Performance Bullet Co. I oversaw the production of millions of bullets made for hunting big game with handguns. I am VERY VERY familiar with the performance of the best 357 bullets, and there effects on deer, antelope bear and even a handful of elk as well as African game. A 357 is not a death dealing super ray gun, but neither is it a toy.

Out of a rifle the 187 grain bullets we made could regularly be fired at 1950 to 2025 FPS. That’s real chronographed velocities, not someone’s theory.

I chronographed several 170 grain 30-30 commercial loads when I was running the ballistics tests there. None were much over 2000 FPS and some didn’t get much over 1900 FPS. However the 170 grain 30-30 is beyond question as to it’s effectiveness on deer.
So if we can have a 35 cal bullet that’s 17 grain heavier than a 30 cal bullet and both are going the same speed, how could the bigger bullet have less energy?
It can’t. It doesn’t. And it kills as well or better than the 30-30.

As with the 30-30, the fact that has to be addressed and held to by any ethical hunter is range. But within its realistic range (which is much farther than many “cyber experts” believe) the 357 magnum is a good killer. How far is that?
Well that depends on the skill of the shooter.

Ballisticly the 357 with the 187 grain bullet is about used up for deer size game at 300 yards, but you’d better have your range down pat. It’s a much better round for most hunters at 175 maximum range. Not because it’s not deadly beyond that, but because most shooters don’t shoot them enough to know how to hold past about 150 to 175.
Now to address the handguns.
A 187 grain bullet coming from an 18.5” barrel at 2000 FPS is going about 1300 FPS at 80 yards. About as fast as the same bullet from the muzzle of a 6” barreled revolver. So again the real question is the skill of the shooter. If we are talking about white tail in the weeds of woods, the average shot is going to be at or under 100 yards.
If you can shoot at 50 yards, the revolver is going to do as well as the rifle would do at about 140 yards.

So what does it all mean?

It means we need to be honest with ourselves and there should be more pride taken in being honest than in bragging about a few shots you made one or 2 times in your life..

If you can hit a 6” paper plate 6 times out of 6, EVERY time, on demand at 100 yards with your 357 handgun, go ahead and shoot at deer at 100 yards with it. If you can’t, get within the range you can, and DON’T shoot until you are within that range.

Accept the challenge of the weapon you are using.

Be honest and be a man or woman of integrity and you’ll be fine.

Just because Elmer Keith or Bob Mundon could hit clay birds with their revolvers at 150 yards doesn’t mean you can.
If you can’t say so, and be proud of your ethics. Not of a stunt you pulled off a few times in your life.

I am a very good shot with a handgun, and when I was younger I was far better than I am now.
I have made some good shots on game with handguns and done so many times, but as I age I find I must get closer than I used to. I feel no shame in that.

I also love to hunt with a long bow with wood arrows and with my flintlock rifle shooting round balls.

I have a perfectly good 270 and a 300 H&H mag. Just because I can kill well with my 270 at 400 yards doesn’t mean I can with my flintlock.

Just because I can roll Pepsi cans most times at 100 yards with my M28 S&W357 mag doesn’t mean I can do it with my long bow.

Again, there is no shame in that. Shame is in risking a deer to a long slow death and not bringing it to bag.

As with so many other posts I have made, I have to say one more time, it’s less about the gun than it is the man shooting it.

A real expert can get by with less. The question he must answer for himself is this;
How much less SHOULD he use?

I think the 357 is fine in the same way I think a 30-30 is fine. The 30-30 is not thought of as a long range rifle, and it shoots flatter than the 357 magnum. But I would say “fine" starts at about that level of power.

Not less than that for sure.
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Old January 2, 2014, 01:07 PM   #33
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Wyosmith, I almost didn't read your post due to its length. However, I'm glad I did. You covered a lot of ground and stated a lot of truths. I'm not sure that most will take it to heart though. I've shot many hundreds of thousands of rounds out of handguns over the last forty years. Getting to a very high level of proficiency requires a lot of lead down range and a commitment to almost daily practice to get to a level where taking a shot at a whitetail at 100yds is ethical. Even in that case, you'd better be shooting at a standing deer and not one moving. I've shot competition for many years also and know a few outstanding shooters who can do this. That being said, most of the shooters who attend the bigger matches aren't even close to that level of ability. There's only one winner and it all goes down hill after first place. To listen to the people who get on here and talk of their ability, you'd think everyone can shoot like that. They're kidding themselves and BSing everyone else. If they are ethical they'll actually do the test to see what their practical shooting distance should be. Even under that test the adrenalin dump isn't taken into consideration. At least it sets a bench mark of where to quit the attempt. Muzzle energy never killed a deer that was poorly hit. A well placed shot will kill humanly and trump energy every time. I really get tired of hearing everyone equate muzzle energy with killing power. Most of the shooters who claim recoil doesn't bother them are kidding themselves also. I've seen a lot of them flinch terrible when they get a misfire at a match. Maybe there should be some kind of test taken before being allowed to hunt with a handgun. I'd bet there would be a lot less of them out there hunting. They do it for archery in some places so why not with a handgun? Anyway, good post and good comments.
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Old January 2, 2014, 07:08 PM   #34
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I understand the points given, I personally, would not take a rifle with me hunting, limited to 100 yards.
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Old January 4, 2014, 04:14 PM   #35
FoghornLeghorn
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Quote:
gives me 2227fps and 1376ft/lbs
I guess you guys think differently than I. I'm not a fan of trying to use a lightweight bullet at extreme velocities.

For example, my Speer manual doesn't even come close to the OP's stated velocity. Then again, their test gun is a Ruger Security Six. But for the 125 grain jacketed bullet, the maximum velocity is 1589 fps, and that's with H110.

I don't like pushing a gun/bullet to its limit.

And somebody mentioned flattened primers? That's just going way beyond what a caliber was intended to do. If a shooter needs a load where the primers are going to be flattened, he needs to step up to a bigger caliber.

That said, I've always thought that 357 is a fine cartridge for smaller deer. After all, it's considered the ideal man stopper. Heavy enough for adequate penetration, yet light enough to expand in soft tissue. But I wouldn't try to use it on deer that dress out at much more than 125 pounds.

2227 fps? I wouldn't try that in any of my revolvers. Hard on the shooter and the gun. The OP's rifle, maybe.
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Old January 5, 2014, 01:59 PM   #36
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No one is talkin 2200 fps in a .357 revolver, just not gonna happen.

Flattened primers are perhaps the worst indication of over-pressure and had me way confused when I started reloading. Mild loads can and will flatten primers at certain times and of certain manufactures. Sticky extraction is the best indication you are running too hot. When you are having trouble reading the letters on the head stamp you are way way over.

I've never heard anybody say that a 125gr HP won't kill a deer, quite the contrary. Hell, a .22 short will kill a deer. But is it an approriate load for the job? Not based off the experience from one unknown shooter on one shot off the interent. For the masses...... Use a better bullet. No reason not too.
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Old January 5, 2014, 10:21 PM   #37
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I'm reading Elmer Keiths "Sixguns", and I don't recall many of his longer range shots that are first shot kill hits. A lot of the animals had to be tracked, and a couple were not recovered. My point being, long range handgun hunting even by an expert is tough.
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Old January 5, 2014, 10:37 PM   #38
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Quote:
'm reading Elmer Keiths "Sixguns", and I don't recall many of his longer range shots that are first shot kill hits. A lot of the animals had to be tracked, and a couple were not recovered.
It's been awhile since I read Sixguns, but as I recall, his long range handgun shots on game were all on game animals that had been hit and wounded by someone else or on animals that were considered at the time to be varmints/pests.
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Old January 6, 2014, 04:59 AM   #39
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dont know if a 38 or 357 would work or not but I know back in the day I killed alot of whitetails with a 22 LR. From 50-100 yards. Just shoot right between the eyes and they drop instantly. Paralizes them you may need to carry a knife but they drop right there. Im sure a 357 would be plenty.
Really I see alot on tv shot with a 7 mag, 300 mag, etc and still run. I shoot all mine with a 223 or 22-250 or 30-06 in the head. I dont like having to track.
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Old January 6, 2014, 10:47 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally posted by JohnKSa:

animals that were considered at the time to be varmints/pests.
I never have understood the philosophy that only deer need to be killed quickly and humanely, whereas coyotes, bobcats, wolves and other critters, just deserve to be shot. But that is a thread of it's own.

Again, what we as hunters should strive for is a quick, clean, humane kill.....regardless of our quarry. Making rats at the dump suffer is just as irresponsible and unethical as wounding a deer. While many of us enjoy the challenge of bow hunting or hunting with handguns, that goal is and should be the same. Weapons and their ammo are tools we use to do this. Many states have requirements for minimum calibers, barrel lengths, broadhead size and power factor, in hopes to assure this. Some states leave it up to the discretion the hunter. While one could frame a house with a tack hammer if it's all one had, a framing hammer is a better choice. While one could use a short stick to propel their canoe, paddles work much better. Folks like to catch big fish on light tackle, but the stress it can put on those fish greatly increase the chance it will die. To some this means more than their ego. To some, not so much.
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Old January 7, 2014, 12:44 AM   #41
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I never have understood the philosophy that only deer need to be killed quickly and humanely, whereas coyotes, bobcats, wolves and other critters, just deserve to be shot.
It's a distinction that makes a lot more sense in the proper context. Keith wasn't shooting varmints for recreation, he was shooting to protect his & his friends' livestock. Same general sort of rules apply to that as to self-defense. Make any hit you can under the circumstances--even a poor hit may be enough to achieve your goal of staying alive (self-defense) or preventing the loss of livestock (pest/varmint control).

Most varmint hunters these days are hunting for recreation and under those circumstances, IMO, the hunter has the same obligation to administer a quick, clean kill as he would if he were shooting a game animal.
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Old January 7, 2014, 12:58 AM   #42
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Wyosmith,

I could not agree more with your: "As with so many other posts I have made, I have to say one more time, it’s less about the gun than it is the man shooting it."

Big calibers do not compensate for poor shooting.
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Old January 7, 2014, 09:08 AM   #43
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Quote:
Wyosmith,

I could not agree more with your: "As with so many other posts I have made, I have to say one more time, it’s less about the gun than it is the man shooting it."

Big calibers do not compensate for poor shooting.
+1.....spot on comment.
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Old January 7, 2014, 01:27 PM   #44
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I'm about halfway thru the book, lots of pest eradication, and lots of targets of opportunity. Lots of animals requiring follow - up shots.
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Old January 7, 2014, 01:41 PM   #45
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Quote:
I never have understood the philosophy that only deer need to be killed quickly and humanely, whereas coyotes, bobcats, wolves and other critters, just deserve to be shot. But that is a thread of it's own.
Lots of people use poison to kill pest animals. Is that poison any more humane than a bad shot? I dont know... Both kill slowly and painfully.

Lots of farmers all over use poison on ground squirrels/gopher and the like. Do they not deserve a "humane" death?

Just wondering what every ones opinions are.

I know if we had to pay people to kill off ever varmint in every corn field that the cost of food would be huge.
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all 23 of my guns are 45/70 govt 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple
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Old January 7, 2014, 06:05 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally posted by Deja vu:


Lots of people use poison to kill pest animals. Is that poison any more humane than a bad shot? I dont know... Both kill slowly and painfully.

What does poison have to do with using proper ammo for hunting deer? Or are you just justifying poor shooting ethics because it's no worse than poison? Or are you saying that since it's okay for pests to suffer, than taking poor shots or using improper ammo on deer is okay too? Around here, the major pest to farmers are deer. Does that mean we should poison them and make poor shots on them just to save our corn?


Quote:
Originally posted by Deja vu:

Lots of farmers all over use poison on ground squirrels/gopher and the like. Do they not deserve a "humane" death?

The farmers or the pests? If it's pests, they do deserve a humane death as quickly as possible. Being immune to or getting some form of enjoyment from any animal's suffering is not a trait of a ethical human, much less a ethical hunter. They are all still God's creatures. Many justify gut shooting wolves and coyotes and letting them just drag themselves off to die a slow painful death because they deserve it, since their prey does not always die quickly and humanely. Almost a vengeance thing. That thinking makes us no better than them. Self Defense and protection of property is different yes, but it still does not justify taking bad shots or using improper ammo, if they can be avoided.


Quote:
Originally posted by Deja vu:

I know if we had to pay people to kill off ever varmint in every corn field that the cost of food would be huge.
Around here farmers could and do charge folks for the privilege of shooting off pests like deer, bear, raccoons, squirrels and others that prey on corn. They could actually make money and not spend. Most prefer the thrill of doing it themselves. For corn, poison is reserved for insect pests. Poison in a corn field for anything else would result in dead geese and Sandhill Cranes and is a Federal offense. Something that is just as irresponsible as making poor shots on them.
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Old January 7, 2014, 11:40 PM   #47
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relax. Its not worth getting all fired up over a post

I was responding only to this section

Quote:
I never have understood the philosophy that only deer need to be killed quickly and humanely, whereas coyotes, bobcats, wolves and other critters, just deserve to be shot. But that is a thread of it's own.
as shown in the post you responded too. I was stating that if I was hunting pests like ground squirrels (note that I used those as the example in my post) that I would not worry about if injured one.

I think its funny that you came up with a huge post talking about deer and such that had little to do with the post you where quoting. Any way like all hunters I believe in taking ethical shots. If you read my old posts on this forum you will see that I rarely even take shots at 100 yards.

Any way its late so may be I am miss reading anger into your post. If that is the case sorry It was meant more to make people think. We always preach ethical hunt yet we (people in general) don't say any thing about the suffering we inflict in the form of poisons on farming. At what point is it ok to "unethically" kill some thing? Where is that line?
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Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 23 of my guns are 45/70 govt 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple

Last edited by Deja vu; January 8, 2014 at 12:04 AM.
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Old January 8, 2014, 12:27 AM   #48
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Deja vu I see what you where doing there

Trying to make people think is a good way to lock a thread. Ethics in general tends to be very controversial.

We need to stay on topic.
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Old January 8, 2014, 03:54 PM   #49
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally posted by Deja vu:

relax. Its not worth getting all fired up over a post

Not fired up and not angry......just trying to figure out where you are coming from and what points you are trying to make. We went from the discussion of whether 125 JHPs are enough for hunting deer to whether poor shots on varmints are any different than poor shots on deer to now your injection into the thread of the ethical/unethical use of poisons.
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Old January 8, 2014, 04:15 PM   #50
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More deer are taken, (er rather poached) with a .22lr than just about any other round.
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