View Full Version : Deer Hunting with .357?

July 2, 2006, 06:32 PM
This fall I want to try hunting whitetail with my GP-100 6" bbl. Can I get any tips for ammo types that would be best. I thought about just using 158 grain SJHP rounds that I use for SD. Overkill? I'm going to hunt in the hill country area near Bandera, TX. The deer are not too big.

8's trigger hits
July 2, 2006, 06:40 PM
That should be a good choice as it is what I have been using in the same gun for deer. Overkill? No just right. Exactly: shot placment.

July 2, 2006, 07:46 PM
I would use 180 grainers just to be sure, but I guess the 158 grainers will kill them just as dead. Wtach your shot placement, and keep the distance to what you practice at.

July 2, 2006, 09:04 PM
Since the Hill country deer are on the small side, the 357 should work perfectly. I would try to get a broadside shot if possible and take the lungs out.

July 2, 2006, 09:59 PM
Hi Dan. I have hunted around Cisco alot with a marlin 16" carbine in .357.
I have used everything from 145 gr. silvertips to the federal castcore 180's.
What seems to work the best is the Win. 180 gr. supreme partition gold.
Although not the most accurate in that little gun it is by far the best stopper.
Unless you hit the shoulder blade with the Federals be prepared to track 'em. That hardcast just blows right through. It is better suited to hogs than deer.

July 2, 2006, 11:55 PM
I have seen a few deer shot here with the standard 140 rem JSP. Soft points that they deleted about 5 years ago. I would offer that the 158 gr JSP from any of the big makers would be good. I have seen too many of the JHP's fail on deer sized game when they hit shoulder or hips. Last time someone used a .357 with us, they shot a deer quartering away from them, the bullet was a 140 grainer JSP that entered the paunch on the near side, nicked the heart, jellied the lung and broke the far shoulder at about 45 yards range.

July 3, 2006, 09:56 AM
I have pretty much subscribed to Elmer Keiths idea that heavier is better. I hunt with my 45LC in a Ruger Blackhawk. I generally have it loaded up to equal a 44 Mag and shoot 300 gr bullets. They just pennetrate better at pistol velocities, much like the old 45-70 blackpowder rounds. It is hard to stop a heavy bullet once it is moving.

July 3, 2006, 11:57 AM
Based on this info I will skip using the hollow points and go with a soft point round. I think I will try the 158 grain first since the gun is sighted in for that weight round now.

Might go to the 180 grain if I get a chance to hunt any hogs.

john in jax
July 3, 2006, 03:20 PM
here's another vote for the .357mag JSP (158grn I think). I moved up to a .44mag 15-20 years ago so I don't remember exactly what grain it was but I got excellent penetration. As long as I did my job, heart/lung shot, it was like hitting them with a .30-30.

July 3, 2006, 05:03 PM
i hunt with with my gp100, works great if you hit them behind the shoulder. i put a ultra dot red dot on mine works very well out to 50 yds, which should your maximum range anyhow. you can kill them with a shoulder shot, but i only get exit wounds about half the time (no exit hole hole makes tracking very difficult) with 158 gr jhp buffalo bore ammo. i think i'm gonna move up to the 180 gr lfn-gc this year. you gotta try the buffalo bore ammo, its AWESOME. compare it with the energy of your SD ammo and you will be sold.

July 3, 2006, 07:08 PM
The tree stand I will be hunting from offers shots that are about 25 yards (my bow stand). I can hit a decent group at that range easily with iron sights but I have been thinking about getting a red dot.

Now I can't wait for the season to get here!

July 4, 2006, 02:48 AM
I hunt with a 6" GP-100 on odd occassions, and I usually have it with me on my rifle hunts. In my experience a .357 is not good for a quartering-through-the-bones shot with any load. I had great results with my 125gr Rem golden sabre duty (he-he...doody!) loads, as well as 158gr JHP, and even Win 110gr JHP. Federal 180gr hard cast (in their premium hunting line) gave FMJ like performance, which was okay at the time because I was putting down another hunters crippled WT doe and did not want to tear up alot of edible flesh.

What these deer all had in common was UNOBSTRUCTED ENTRY INTO THE HEART AND LUNGS. If I were going to recomend something, it would be a JHP of 158gr weight. 125s might be OK, but steer clear of the 110gr. I admit it really is too light. Also dump the cast bullets. They will kill...but slowly.

No matter what you choose, you MUST choose to pass up poor shots, and that may mean shots you could have taken with a rifle.

July 4, 2006, 08:14 AM
The 158 grain load will work, but I prefer the 180's myself. Been using the 180 XTP for a couple of years they work great.

July 4, 2006, 08:41 AM
Guess I'll have to get a box of 158s and 180s to try at the range. A good excuse to go shoot.

July 15, 2006, 03:54 PM
have use Securty-Six 4" with Federal 158softpoints, a stout load.
Max distance is that where full cylinder will group inside a picnic plate.
Practice, practice practice is the key AND START NOW!!! (for November)