View Full Version : .357 Magnum Rifle for Hunting

October 24, 2009, 01:08 PM
I want to learn from those experience hunter who have used 357 mag in a rifle for hunting. I want to know how much this cartridge is more effective through rifle than when its fired from a handgun? What are its limitations and practical use in hunting?

James R. Burke
October 29, 2009, 07:24 PM
I have a cousin and I reload her .357 for her deer hunting. She has wounded a few, and got a few. There is no doubt in a rifle it is more accurate, and you can get more f.p.s. reloading for it. Just myself I think a .243 would be the min for deer. If you keep your shots close, and are very good with placement using a good bullet it will work. Lots of folks use them, and are very good with them, but for me it is a pistol cartridge. But that is just me.

October 30, 2009, 07:11 AM
Get a 41, 44, or 45LC if you're going to shoot animals.

November 1, 2009, 03:13 AM
hey, isn't this same thread running a few posts back?????????

Art Eatman
November 1, 2009, 10:52 AM
.357 from a rifle means easier aiming than with a revolver. For round numbers, the better velocity takes the cartridge from being a 50-yard limit from a revolver to being maybe a 100-yard critter. Regardless, the issue is the precision of the aiming--and thus the quality of the sights.

As with any of the marginal cartridges, more care in shot placement is needed. There is generally much less tissue damage as well as a slower bleed-out.

November 3, 2009, 10:55 PM
Ammunition selection is a BIG part of using a .357 magnum, revolver, or carbine. The carbine can best a 30-30 out to about 120 yards.


... As far as power, the .357 Magnum using the right ammunition is in the same class as a good .30-30 load, while shooting a bullet of larger diameter. From a sixteen-inch barrel, factory thirty-thirty ammunition from the big ammo manufacturers drives a 170 grain bullet at just under 1900 feet-per-second (fps). The .357 Ranger Compact, with the same length barrel, drives a 180 grain bullet in excess of 1800 fps, and this too is using factory ammunition available from Buffalo Bore. I tested the Ranger Compact over the chronograph using a variety of factory ammunition, along with two handloads, with the following results:

Load Velocity (fps)
Grizzly Cartridge Co. 180-grain cast lead 1502
Buffalo Bore 180-grain cast lead 1812
Cor-Bon .38 Special 125-grain Jaketed Hollowpoint 1437
Handload 125-grain Jacketed Hollowpoint 2003
Handload 180-grain Hornady XTP Hollowpoint 1831

The carbine extracts much more power from the .357 than is obtainable in a revolver. The reason for including the lightweight Cor-Bon hollowpoints I will get to later....

November 4, 2009, 12:27 AM
My youngest brother's .357 Marlin was not a very effective hunting weapon against hogs and deer. He stuck with it through a second season (he hates to admit bad choices) and went to a 30-30.

On the other hand for using pistol cartrides in rifles, I've had great success with a Marlin 1894 inside of 100 yds.

November 4, 2009, 02:29 AM
The 357 could be an effective hunting round except for the bullets most commonly used. Bullets designed for 1,500 fps may or may not do very well at 1,800 fps (20% increase in velocity), and most 357 bullets are designed for shooting much softer things (like people). The heavier bullets designed for silhouette shooting may fare a little better. But in general, a 357 carbine is essentially a 100-150 yds weapon for game animals, 30-30 carbine is a 200-ish yds weapon.

I don't know that I buy the Gunblast article. Most 30-30 ammo is factory loaded to 2,200 fps for 150 gr and 2,100 fps for 170 gr from a 20" barrel carbine. Either one of these bullets for the 30-30 have much better sectional density and better ballistic coefficient (although using the words "ballistic coeffient" and "30-30" in the same paragraph does make me chuckle). And just as a rule of thumb, anything that uses almost twice as much powder to drive a bullet of similar weight out of a similar weapon will have better ballistics and performance on animals.