View Full Version : .357 Mag For deer - Which Sights and Ammo?

October 2, 2007, 12:47 PM
I recently turned 21 (sept. 10) and have always wanted to try my hand at deer hunding with my stainless, 6" barreled, Ruger GP100 .357mag. Im a good shot with a rifle and have very good vision however I can not seem to hit the broad side of a barn with the factory sights on my gp. Can anyone suggest some better sights? I was thinking maybe fiber optic or a target style sight (something more precise). Should I go with better sights or just buy a scope base and throw a red dot or a 2x scope on it?

Secondly, can anyone suggest some ammo to try at the range? I would prefer not to spend an arm and a leg for a box of 20 but I do want a quality hunting round. I do have a single stage lee press and have done some reloading in the past so handloads are also a possibility.

I will be hunting around Des Moines, IA this december if that makes any difference.


October 2, 2007, 12:53 PM
Congrats on trying handgun deer hunting - It's a challenge and a lot of fun. I used to use a .357 and it did fine. A lot of people will argue it's a little light for deer, but with any caliber choice shot placement is key. I now use a 460 Magnum with .454 in it instead. If you are not confident with open sights, try a fixed low power scope. Burris makes a great 2 power handgun scope that is bullet proof and not too expensive. It will boost your ability and confidence.

Good luck

Art Eatman
October 2, 2007, 06:05 PM
Sounds like you might need to do some practice from a solid rest, with a sandbag under your strong hand. (Not touching the barrel.) Work on sight picture and trigger squeeze.

Ammo? Maybe find somebody who reloads for pistol. You can use .38 Special plinkers for practice.


October 2, 2007, 07:04 PM
I've taken quite a few deer and hogs with a pistol over the years. Started with my fathers Ruger Super Blackhawk. Used the open sights for a few seasons. After one VERY frustrating afternoon I decided to get a low power scope with extended eye relief. From my tree stand it was the ticket. Prop my hand on something and it was dead on.

But........there is always a but.........when using it for walking up hogs in the palmettos even that small amount of magnification made me crazy. You see, just as a scope magnifies the image it also magnifies the unsteadness of your hold on the target. With the old iron sights I had no problem.

About 10 years ago I got a T-C .44 mag with the 14 inch barrel. On it I put a Red Dot sight. No magnification. Love it...........

For the relatively close shots we get I really never needed the magnification so I don't miss that in the stand, and when we walk it is perfect. Both eyes open and that dot just seems to sit out there.

Liked it so much that I put one on my old .35 Rem and on a O/U 45-70 I had built this year. If you're doing close work they are hard to beat.

And I might point out, I'm using some of the older technology ones. Some of the new ones are AMAZING! Look at the size of the Aimpoint Micro.......

Finally, and I know this is just my opinion, I think the .357 is at the very bottom of what should be used. It will work but when you make one of those marginal shots it will leave you with a animal in the woods you can't find. Not that a .44 or better yet a .454 will always do it perfectly but you've got a extra marging there..........

Besides that if you go to a .44 or something else you get to buy a new gun!!!

October 4, 2007, 03:25 PM
The .357 should be fine. Just remember to keep your ranges to where you can realibly put the rounds on target (a paper plate is good for a target). For me, I use mine as if I am bow hunting shots 35 yards and under.
I have had good results last year using 158 gr Federal Fusion rounds . I took a nice Doe at about 30 yards. The bullet entered the chest from the front quater and came out the front leg away from me. She drop right there. Good luck and Good hunting.

October 5, 2007, 11:39 AM
can anyone suggest some quality aftermarket sights?