View Full Version : Ever Shot A Deer W/ .357 Mag?

February 9, 2006, 02:41 PM
Hey Does Anyone Here Have Any Experience Using A .357 Mag On Deer? I Live In Washington State And I Just Found Out They Changed The Regs A While Back To Allow Handguns With A Minumum Of 6mm And
A Four Inch Barrel To Hunt Big Game. So I Am Pretty Excited To Use A .357 Mag On Deer. It Would Only Be At Close Range And I Would Shoot In The Lungs Or Head. I Would Love To Hear Any Stories On What Kind Of Results This Gun Has On A Deer. Thanks.

February 10, 2006, 05:34 PM
i hunt with a 6 inch gp100. it works well with hotter ammo like buffaloe bore. try to hit em behind the shoulder as a some shoulder shots dont leave exit wounds which makes tracking difficult. oh, and be sure to use 158 or 180 grain bullets and keep your shots short. good luck.

February 10, 2006, 06:33 PM
Killed a Black bear with one once. If memory serves it was around 250 dressed. My partner ask why I shot it five times. I had to honestly answer I did not have any more in the pistol.

Have a good time, use your best judgement as to range and shot placement. IMO you are about as light as anyone should ever go with a firearm for deer.

February 10, 2006, 08:41 PM

February 10, 2006, 08:51 PM
I have killed 2 deer with a 357magnum, 1 with a 41 Magnum and 1 with a 45ACP. If you use the 357Mag, I would suggest a head shot unless it's some kinda Monster Buck.

The only deer that did not run off after being shot was the one I shot with the 45ACP, that deer fell over like it was hit with a truck. I was impressed.:eek:

February 10, 2006, 10:13 PM
Look for a TC Contender. Lots of very adequate whitetail calibers there. 7-30Waters, 30-30, 35 Rem to name a few. You should be able to find a used one under 400 bucks. They are holding value very well.

February 10, 2006, 10:13 PM
Look for a TC Contender. Lots of very adequate whitetail calibers there. 7-30Waters, 30-30, 35 Rem to name a few. You should be able to find a used one under 400 bucks. They are holding value very well.

February 10, 2006, 11:32 PM
Press the caps lock button before posting, to un-caps-lock, please.

February 12, 2006, 04:38 PM
My first deer with a pistol 10 years ago was with a Colt Trooper .357 magnum. He walked straight in on me and I hit him square in the chest with the first shot. He slammed it in reverse and took about 4 or 5 steps backwards before dropping over dead. After field dressing the 6 point I found that the one shot took his heart out. The factory 158 grain hollow point did the job just fine. You just need to remember that shot placement is going to be critical with the lighter bullets. A .44 magnum can penetrate a shoulder and still kill the deer. I'm not sure if a .357 magum will. Others may be able to tell you if it will or not.

I’ve been hunting with a pistol ever since. I currently hunt with a T/C Contender in .357 Max., .44 Magnum and .444 Marlin.

February 14, 2006, 04:53 PM
Sweet. I Am Surprised That The .45acp Took Out The Deer That Quickly. How Far Away Was It? And Crap I Already Sold My .45! I Plan On Carrying My Rifle For Long Shots But Want A Decent Side Arm For Close Range. So A Thompson Center Is Unfortunately Out Of The Question For Me. I Have Never Shot A Deer With A Handgun Of Any Caliber Only High Powered Rifles So I Am Excited To See How It Does. I Think I Will Start Looking For A .44 Mag. Thanks Everyone For The Usefull Info.:d

March 1, 2006, 09:33 AM
Shot one opening day of the last gun season a doe at about 15yrds. behind the shoulder perfect!!! She ran about 60 yrds NO BLOOD TRAIL!!!!!! not a drop. If you hunt use a swc or a solid the exit hole is the hole that bleeds!!!! I was using a Winchester Supreme 180gr. I shoot a Taurus 6" 357 with a red dot.Hand gunning is fun!!!!!

March 1, 2006, 10:27 AM
Just limit your range and good shot placement.
BTW I use a S&W 581 4 inch.

March 1, 2006, 12:14 PM
A .357 is ok but there are many better choices if you are looking for a new deer pistol.
Ruger, Smith, and Tarus all make great .44 mag revolvers that are much better deer rounds. For under 100 yard shots they are perfect, get a good low power scope and you will be all set.
Thompson center contenders and encores are fantastic, you can pick a rifle caliber and have a very well made, accurate " short " rifle. look at the 7mm-30 waters, .30-30 and .45-70 in the contender or the .243, .260 or 7mm-08 in the encore. You can also get them in handgun calibers.
The bigger hangun rounds: .454, 460 and 500 mags are amazing but a handful to shoot on a regular basis. If you like the feel of shooting them then they are great for deer.

March 1, 2006, 12:20 PM
Yep - put several down that were crippled on the roadside. One to the head did it each time...

Not hunting experience though - .357 mag is not legal for big game in a handgun in Wyoming unless loaded outlandishly heavy. I like my guns too much to do that to them and other "legal" guns are readily available...

March 2, 2006, 06:31 PM
It is a mistake outside of 50 yards.

Old Time Hunter
March 2, 2006, 08:30 PM
Get a .44, that way when you wound the poor critter six ways to sunday and can't find the blood trail, you can use the remaining shells in the Marlin Camp carbine you will buy for the next season.

March 3, 2006, 02:55 PM
First pistola hunt with one in Okla. about 1973, just under 50 yards broadside, scoped Blackhawk. Took off like a scared rabbit, no blood trail. Never did find that sucker. Next hunt following week, new Super Blackhawk in 44Mag. Quartering shot about 40 yards, dropped on the spot. After many years on deer and hogs, graduated to .454. I consider it the ultimate hog gun and it hits deer like a Freightliner at 60 mph. I'm over 50 now, so I like 'em to drop dead on the spot, to heck with the chasing stuff. Strongly suggest biggest caliber you can shoot accurately if you want to use a pistol.

March 3, 2006, 03:26 PM
"Get a .44, that way when you wound the poor critter six ways to sunday and can't find the blood trail, you can use the remaining shells in the Marlin Camp carbine you will buy for the next season."

Ummm, someone correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think the "Camp Carbine" was ever made in a .44 mag. 9mm and .45acp yes, but never a .44 mag.

Marlin does make a lever gun or two in .44 mag, but that is not the same as the camp carbine.

Ruger makes both a lever gun (!) and an auto in .44mag with 4 round rotary mags.

And if anyone EVER makes an extended mag for the .44 mag ruger auto I will go out and buy it in a heartbeat.

March 3, 2006, 04:21 PM
Years ago when I was in living in Ohio, I shot a deer with a Ruger GP in 357. Unfortunately the shot hit the deer smack in the shoulder instead of behind it and the deer started to run off. I had to put it down with remington in 308 as it was stumbling to run away.

I would never shoot a medium game without a scope. That few inches of difference is between a clean shot or a long, painful death for the deer.

Old Time Hunter
March 3, 2006, 06:21 PM
RNOVI, Here ya go...

1894 Model SS 37.5" OAL 18.5" BBl, in .44 Mag. Seems like a camp carbine to me!

March 3, 2006, 07:56 PM
I took a big doe 4 yrs back with a taurus 357 6in. She was 42 yds out and dropped like a sack of potatoes with 158gn XTPs. Took both lungs and heart on that one. This is the smallest caliber handgun allowed in Ohio, and rifle is illegal. That only leaves shotgun, handgun, and pointy sticks. (and the muzzle loader).

March 3, 2006, 08:13 PM
If the deer you are talking about was taken in Ohio. And in fact you took it with a .308 cal. rifle. You probably shouldn't post that online anywhere. Wrong gun, and wrong caliber for hunting in Ohio. Even if the .308 was in a pistol, that's a no no. :eek:

Just an FYI.

March 5, 2006, 10:09 AM
I've never tried it, but I want to. Gunshop down the road from me carries 357 in his lever guns, but not 30-30. I've heard the 357 in rifle gives great results inside of woods ranges (50 - 80 yards in my woods). It seems people are viewing the 357 lever as a meat gun--lightweight, fast handing and clean kill with minimal meat damage. Their not that expensive in lever gun, and be a good birthday present for my dad considering he carries a 357 revolver (single action Ruger Blackhawk I thing). Having shot that revolver and seeing what it does to things I wouldn't hesitate to level it against anything in Pennsylvania's woods so long as we're talking pistol range.
That said, it is not the cartridge for 125 - 250 yard shots. For that you have the 243, 308, 30-06, etc...

March 14, 2006, 06:44 PM
Shot 2 deer with .357 mag - one was square front shot from about 30 yds and he ran about 30 yds. Other shot was about 50 yds, double lungs - he ran about 40 yds. Both of them were older bucks, 24 and 22 in. spreads. In CT these are pretty good bucks!