View Full Version : Handgun ammo for whitetails

July 7, 2004, 11:06 AM
I've been hunting whitetails for a couple years with my 357 mag and have been trying to find a good hollowpoint that will give good expansion and decent penetration. Penetration isn't as much of a factor because the range from which I am hunting is within 30 or 40 yrds. I had tried gold dots a couple years ago but after dropping a deer with one I found that it had not expanded very much if at all.Same goes for the XTP's. I have heard that the GD's have been redesigned somewhat to open up faster and was wondering if anyone has any info or recommendation. Also, I am currently using hydra shoks but havent had a chance to take a deer with them as of yet.

July 7, 2004, 11:21 AM
One more thing, has anyone used RBCD ammo? It's some of the fragmenting ammo like magsafe or extremeshock.

July 7, 2004, 11:32 AM
use Winchester Platinum Tip Hollow Points. they really shoot well in my 41 mag

July 7, 2004, 11:55 AM
I'd check out Buffalo Bore's website.

Long Path
July 9, 2004, 04:03 PM
What's your barrel length, and what model revolver are you carrying?

Also, what kind of expansion have you gotten? What kind are you expecting?

Johnny Guest
July 12, 2004, 09:01 AM
UnforgivenII, Maybe we need a bit more information to provide useful input - - -

What is the barrel length of your .357? Only certain loads will give a lot of expansion with a shorter-than-six-inch barrel. Frankly, the brands you mention are two of the better-reputed "big name" types. When you start out with a .357-diameter bullet, any final diameter over .50 is pretty good.

What weight XTP and GD bullets have you used?
This relates to the question - -

Where do you hunt, and what size are the deer? I've hunted a lot of little Texas Hill Country whitetails that simply didn't have the body mass to allow certain loads to open up before exiting. As you are dissatisfied with the expansion, I assume your bullets are staying in the deer. Is this correct?

An extreme example of mismatched ammo-to-game would be, using a 180 JSP bullet from a four-inch barrel, on a 90 pound-on-the-hoof deer - - You really haven't much chance of expansion with this combo.

OTOH, I'd not want to use a lightly constructed 125 gr. JHP from an 8-3/8 inch barrel on a 200 pound deer - - Good chance it would end up too shallow for the desired result.

Many think the .357 is marginal for deer hunting, but your stated ranges are realistic. I've done it with a four-inch .357, and got a one-shot kill, but I wasn't impressed with the results. I went back to big bore handguns thereafter.


July 12, 2004, 07:25 PM
Remington has a 180-grain Cast-Core hard-cast FN round loaded specifically for hunting large game with the .357 Mag. ;)

July 13, 2004, 12:13 AM
I'm shooting a 6 in barrel Ruger GP 100. I hunt in southern Alabama and the largest body sized deer I have seen was a rather large for the area buck that weighed in at about 200. Most of the bucks here though normally range from 120 to 160 and does from 80 to 110 lbs. The GD's were 158 grs. I took a spike with them that weighed 120 from about 30 yrds. Bullet went through and from the wound channel it looked as if I had hit it with a fmj. No blood trail. Luckily for me he ran a circle in the middle of the field and dropped. When I got to him I noticed there was very little blood on the ground even where he finally dropped. The XTP's same story(158 grs also). I took a doe at about 10 yrds with a 125 gr sjhp winchester. I have to admit it was low light and I made a low shot on her and had to track her but the results were promising. I probably wouldn't have found her if I had used the XTP's or GD's. I had a pretty decent blood trail on that one but I was concerned that the only reason I had decent penetration on her was the fact I was so close. I don't want a deer to walk out at 30 or 40 yrds and me loose it because the bullet failed to do the job.It would make me sick if I wounded one like that. My department issues Ranger SXT's for my 40 and I like the round but winchester doesn't make them for a 357 mag.