View Full Version : 357 mag rifle with 158gr SJHP?

March 20, 2009, 07:45 AM
Hey all,

I am curious on your opinions regarding using a 158gr SJHP out of an 18.5" 1894c on eastern whitetail. Do you think it would give enough penetration in the vital region, even if it hit a rib? These will be handloads, so I would expect better performance than factory.

March 20, 2009, 09:03 AM
A great choice to hunt with, within its range limitations.

With rifle velocities I'd stay away from the HP's and use a JSP or hard cast Keith style bullet. Over expansion / lack of penetration and excessive deformation on bone are the potential issues with a HP.

An LBT bullet w/ a large meplat might work well too (and possibly feed better than a Kieth) but I have no experience with them.

March 20, 2009, 09:15 AM
If you are willing to strictly adhere to the short range constraint you'll be placing on yourself of about 50yds, it should work with proper bullets. For the record, I agree with treg 100% about proper bullets. The SD of a 158gr is not overly impressive for deer-sized game. The 180gr doesn't equal the velocity or energy of the 158 out past any effective range (1850 FPS/158 vs 1550 FPS/180 from a carbine) Energy at the barrel looks something like this (1175 FPE/158 vs 960 FPE/180). I'm sure, just as with the controversy that surrounds the use of the .223 for deer-sized game, some will argue it's fine to longer range, but I'd say a prudent hunter would be sure to respect his game and use a practical limitation on effective range and stick with it.

March 20, 2009, 02:07 PM
I have some heavier hunting type bullets (180bg hardcast), but I am considering buying a bulk pack of 158gr SJHP. I would use them mostly in my revolver, but when seasons are in I might load up the 1894 once in a while since it's so light and short. I hunt in pretty thick woods in WV, and don't think I have ever shot a deer there that was beyond 50 yds, and I use it with open sights and would not shoot anything much beyond that anyway.

March 20, 2009, 02:38 PM
50 yards? You're kiddin right?

A .357 carbine loaded right will hang right there with a traditional 30/30 round up to 100 yards. Both are effective and carry enough power for beyond that if the shooter is up to the task. Modern loadings of the .357 will spit 180 gr lead out of a barrel at 1900+ fps. Traditional 30/30 loads put a 170gr. pill out of a barrel at around 2100 fps. The 30/30 has a better BC which helps it with more range. Due to SD, the .357 won't pentrate as much as the 30/30 but it still penetrates plenty to really put the smack down on critters. At 150 yards a 180gr pill is still moving faster than a .357 HANDGUN is at the muzzle and still has 750 lbs of energy.

50 yards and under my butt. Where do people come up with this crud.


March 20, 2009, 02:55 PM
I know the 357 out of a rifle is good out to the 100yd+ range, it's just that, right now, I limit myself to the 50 yd range due to the terrain in which I hunt and my comfort with the stock open sight for now. My real question is if the 158gr SJHP is a good enough round at this range for deer.

March 20, 2009, 03:23 PM
Mr Killkenny, You certainly have a very fine way with words, no doubt. For the record the 180gr load you mention is found no where I can see and with a total of 1400FPE (muzzle), at your "claimed" velocity and a S.D. of a whopping .201, is no where near the 30/30. It's still a very short range load. Furthermore, I'll thank you to keep any further rude comments to yourself, right where they belong.

good shooter
March 20, 2009, 03:33 PM
100 yds is realistic for whitetail as energy/momentum debate rages on i"ve experienced with hand loads 100yds is good if your eyes/optics are up to the job

March 20, 2009, 10:17 PM
Leave the jhp's at home. Use the soft points.

Leave the BOLD off too.

March 20, 2009, 11:47 PM

Buffalo Bore lists a 180 grain .357 Magnum that clocks at 1851 FPS out of a 18.5 inch Marlin and 158 grain at 2153 FPS out of the same Marlin.

March 21, 2009, 12:01 AM
IMHO, you're good inside of 100 yds. with solids. The nice part about larger bores is that the big part starts fom the beginning and may get better. I start out with a .44 hole and whatever happens, happens. It's always different.

March 21, 2009, 04:43 AM
2DAMtns, I have used the bulk Remington 158gr JHP out of my Marlin on deer, hogs and dogs. It has killed them all.

But, the 158gr JHP opens up to quickly for my preferences as a primary deer hunting bullet.

I like it for around the house or camp shooting. These bullets do not over penetrate at rifle velocity (Aprox. 1750FPS).

They are also great for dual purpose rifle/revolver bullets. The same load for rifle and revolver has a lot of advantages.

If I wanted a specific deer hunting load for my .357 carbine, I would get a Nosler Partition (180 gr I think, but not sure) handgun bullet and drive it as fast as my rifle safely allowed.

Please do not take my comments as a negative feeling for the 158 gr JHP out of my rifle. It is the bullet I use most of the time and I carry it a lot. The 158 gr load is excellent for personal defense as well.
It is just that this bullet shines as a general purpose rifle/revolver bullet and has some problems as a specific hunting round. The Nosler Partition just flat out beats it in that regard.

My advice would be to stock up on good 158gr JHP or JSP, use them for general purpose rounds. Good for rifle and revolver.

Get some Partitions and use them as specific rifle hunting loads, might be to hot for revolver usage.

I personaly solved this issue by making my Marlin .357 and S&W .357's as my self defense / camping / deer lease general purpose working guns. They are light, not much recoil and plenty powerful.

When I need a specific carbine for deer / hog hunting I step up in class to a .44 mag carbine and revolver. The various 240 gr JHP or JSP @ Aprox 1750 fps are outstanding performers on deer / hogs inside of 125yds or so.

Hope my experiences help.

March 21, 2009, 09:44 AM
pilothunter, As stated elsewhere buffalobore makes a great round, there's a couple others too. Using my reloads, I can move a 180gr XTP at over 1200 fps from a 4" Ruger. I've seen what those do to the insides of a deer and wouldn't be afraid to use that 4" Ruger beyond 50 yards. Also, when pushed with enough energy, the wider flatter nosed bullets of the .357 can trump the sectional density of the 30/30. Why do you think a .45 acp overcomes the superior ballistics of the .357 when it comes to self defense? Fatter bullets can be better. Truth be known, the 30/30 packs plenty of power for well beyond 150 yards but it gets bit by guns that traditionally aren't scoped and bullet drop limiting it's MPBR. Get the facts straight and don't spew crap and you won't get any back.

March 21, 2009, 09:49 AM
Mr. Killkenny, Thanks again for your well thought out and masterfully written, helpful posting! Again a fine way with words. You are certainly something special here for us to enjoy and learn from.

March 21, 2009, 10:21 AM
You are just sore because your info was completly a$$ backwards......:D

No matter you opinion on my "style" at least my info is accurate. Care to address my info? Didn't think so.......:p

March 22, 2009, 10:24 AM
Mr. Killkenny, I can assure you that I'm not, nor ever was "sore". I'm a big boy, lived through an entire military career and saw combat with a bunch of different fellas. Some were just like you, go figure. My blood pressure stays even and I find no great accomplishment in talking smack via the internet. I suppose it may show just how special a fella you really are, and I'm completely wrong though. Tell you what, I'll think about that last point a bit more. Again, thanks for your great info.

March 22, 2009, 11:07 AM
In my experience, my 6" Ruger GP100 will cleanly take white tailed deer at ranges up to 80 yards using Buffalo Bore's 180 grain hardcast load. Penetrates clean through, churns up vitals and makes for a short blood trail to follow (if any). There's about 3" of bullet drop at that range and as long as that's compensated for the round has ample energy.

From an 18" barreled carbine with good optics, I would think shots of 150 yards would be just as effective. I have a Legacy/Puma 20" lever gun high on the "to buy" list just for that purpose.

The 6" Ruger makes for a great deer gun in thick woods, is incredibly convenient to carry and gets the job done. I've lost count of how many deer it's taken, but well over 20.

March 22, 2009, 11:36 AM
Kiss and make up, fellas.

I'm planning on using my Marlin 1894 Cowboy in .357 to take a Texas whitetail or two this season. According to my research the general consensus seems to point to a 158 grain jacketed soft point. I plan on using the one from American Eagle. It's cheap and my carbine likes them.

March 22, 2009, 01:40 PM
Pilot hunter, PLs turn off the bold,

March 30, 2009, 10:17 AM
I like hardcast for hogs but not deer ,don't like to chase a deer and a nice hole can let then run but atleast you will have a good blood trail. Softer lead gas checks will let you do the same job at longer range,like 100 yards but most 150 through165's will get it done. The new dpx should be one of the best and i use to use pmc's startfire for deer years ago and it worked very well also. Use to order direct back then as no one would get them for me.

Jack O'Conner
April 1, 2009, 07:09 AM

This cow elk was taken in Wyoming with my 357 MAG revolver. Plain PMC 158 gr hollow tip ammo got the job done. First shot was at approx 50 feet. Second shot was at approx 80 feet. The animal trotted away as if unharmed but toppled after about 150 yards.

Is 357 MAG ideal for taking elk? NO.

Does 357 MAG have the power to penetrate the rib cage and destroy chest organs at typical archery distances? YES.

Good hunting to you.

April 1, 2009, 10:27 AM
Thanks, Jack, it's nice that someone actually interjected some experience into all these opinions.

Someone just asked this same question about a week ago, and I ran the numbers on a standard 158 gr JSP at approximately 2,000 fps, and the numbers were pretty decent, but nowhere near 30-30 performance.

If you believe the gun rag writers who claim you need 1,000 ft/lbs of energy to cleanly kill a deer, then you are only good to 60 yds. If you believe the older number of 600 ft/lbs of energy to kill a deer, you are good to 160 yds. Trajectory with a 100 yds zero was -3.8" at 160 yds, so just point and click within those range limitations.

And just to throw fuel on the fire, most people have no idea how little it takes to kill an animal.

Jack O'Conner
April 1, 2009, 01:50 PM

As you know, animals die quickly when their chest organs are knocked out of commission. It does not take a 338 MAG to penetrate the chest wall of an adult sized elk. Many are killed each year by locals with their so-called deer rifles and the bullets do not bounce off!

Handgun cartridges fired from carbines are still only handgun cartridges. That means a fairly close shot is the responsible thing to do.