View Full Version : .357 handgun & whitetall Deer

January 25, 2006, 11:25 AM
PA might be adding allowing Handgun hunting for deer. If they do, do you guys think a .357 mag coming out of a 6" revolver barrel can do the job?

January 25, 2006, 11:46 AM
ยง 141.41. General.
(a) Permitted acts. It is lawful to take:

(1) Bear or elk with a crossbow with a draw weight of not less than 125 pounds nor more than 200 pounds.

(2) Deer during any firearms season for deer with a crossbow with a draw weight of not less than 125 pounds nor more than 200 pounds.

(3) Deer with a crossbow with a draw weight of not less than 125 pounds nor more than 200 pounds in Wildlife Management Units 2B, 5C and 5D.

(b) It is unlawful to:

(1) Hunt for big game birds or animals with arrows or crossbow bolts other than those tipped with broadheads of a cutting-edge design.

(2) Hunt for deer or bear through the use of any one or more of the following:

(i) A muzzleloading handgun.

(ii) A muzzleloading firearm that is not .44 caliber or larger.

It is already legal to kill deer with a handgun. As for your question, yes a .357 will do the trick for deer, but know your limitations, practice at the distance you intend to shoot at, and use 158 grain soft points or 180 grainers.

p.s.- check out www.huntingpa.com for more info.

Smokey Joe
January 26, 2006, 12:03 PM
It'll do the trick. There are 2 needs, though.

(1) Use a heavy hardcast bullet, going as fast as consistent with safety and accuracy. I use a 180 grain hardcast Beartooth, large meplat, gas-checked, in front of 12.5 grains of AA2400. Work up yr load from a safe starting load. I e-mailed Accurate Arms for load data; couldn't find any for a 180 grain cast bullet when I was looking.

(2) Same way you get to Carnagie Hall: Practice, practice, practice.

Disclaimer: Never depend on anonymous I'net sources for load data. Including me. Get published data, or that from a manufacturer. If you can't find the data you want, contact the powder or bullet maker--they are usually more than glad to help you find a use for their products.

Wild Bill Bucks
January 26, 2006, 12:43 PM
I use a 44 mag Super Red Hawk Ruger, traded in my GP100 .357 magnum,
But either gun will do the trick.
MINIMUM 12" pie plate at 50 yards
GO HUNTING 6" pie plate at 50 yards.
Practice until you get here and you will have no problems, but you will find it pretty hard to do at first.
Most guys that own either one of these guns CAN'T do that, but with practice it is a fun way to hunt.

Garand Guy
January 26, 2006, 08:55 PM
Seems to work in MI. My dad did it for years with 158JHP.

January 28, 2006, 06:43 AM
.357 worked just fine for me. 3rd deer I ever killed was with me SS Colt King cobra with 4" barrel using star fire rounds from about 25yrds. The deer didn't even run. dropped it where it stood.

Jack O'Conner
January 29, 2006, 02:51 PM
I killed a big cow elk with my .357 MAG revolver. Will post a photo if I can figure out how to scan from original. The cow weighed about 550 lbs live weight. First bullet went into the crease directly behind the shoulder from broadside. Distance was about 75 feet. The cow flinched and trotted away at a slight angle. Second bullet went in a little too far back and away she went. Vanished into the aspen forest. I went back to camp and got my brother and our flashlights.

We found the elk dead about 150 yards from my second shot. First bullet broke a rib and smashed up both lungs. Second shot ripped open the diaphram and tore a hole in the liver. Both bullets were mushroomed nicely.
Ammo used: PMC with 158 grain semi-jacketed hollow tip. At the time, this was the cheapest 357 MAG hollw tip ammo I could find!

I'm certain 357 MAG will kill any deer as long as you use open sights and avoid long shots. Put a scope on a 357 and you'll be tempted to take a long shot. Don't do it!