View Full Version : Is .357 rifle suitable for critters bigger/tougher than deer?

January 24, 2002, 04:54 PM
Just acquired an old Rossi .357 mag. lever-action carbine.
Assume they would be ok on deer out to maybe 100 yd.s.
Has anyone had any experience with this round on anything
bigger or tougher than deer? For example black bear or
large hogs?
(Note : this is not my normal deer gun, have a 6.5 x 55 mm
for that, I'm just curious about what it could be used for)

Bottom Gun
January 24, 2002, 05:11 PM
I don't think I would.
Don't forget that's only a pistol cartridge.
Just my opinion.

Art Eatman
January 24, 2002, 05:20 PM
I wouldn't use such a rig, myself. I just don't think the cartridge has enough punch for a quick, clean kill in the event of a less-than-perfect hit.

An animal wounded and escaping to maybe die several days later from peritonitis or some such is completely in violation of the hunting ethic.

I've lost two wounded deer, and still gripe and grumble to myself about it. That's 35 and 30 years ago.

Who needs those memories?


January 24, 2002, 05:26 PM
Art right.


January 24, 2002, 05:46 PM
It would be good for hunting wild boar when using heavy cast bullets.

January 24, 2002, 10:44 PM
Salt, are you talking about the little javalena or the bigger hogs found further east? I've heard some of the hog hunters down in Mississippi carry 357 pistols, shooting relatively big hogs, especially hunters with dogs in the deep coastal swamps where everything is mired in mud.

I have also heard that some lion hunters have used .357 but I woudn't want to do it. At least a wounded whitetail won't eat you. ;)

No firsthand experiance with .357 myself except for cleanly missing one whitetail about 18 years ago when I was hunting in woods too thick to safely carry a rifle. Missed him at about 10 yards. :confused:

January 25, 2002, 03:17 AM
I would use a lighter gun on Javleena, say a .32-20 lever action rifle. Anything bigger will only waste meat.

A .357 Magnum lever-action carbine will be fine for the wild hogs if loaded warm with heavy cast bullets. The key is always shot placement, though you have some fast repeat shots if necessary.

Roman Knoll
January 25, 2002, 04:25 AM
I used .357 on warthogs in Africa. in 6 inch barrel revolver. One shot kills with Sierra 158 grain FP. Never tried longer distances than 35 - 40 yards. I wouldn't dare farther - I'm not good enough shot. With scoped rifle I could think of 100 yard distance.

It is always the same story, bad shot - blame the cartridge, blame the bullet, blame the weather.

Everytime something went wrong using the setup above it was my own fault.


Dave R
January 29, 2002, 07:21 PM
So the .357 is too small...no argument.

What about .44 mag? From a lever gun. Suitable for deer? Pig?(which we aint got in Idaho) Black bear? (which we do)

Art Eatman
January 29, 2002, 11:55 PM
Dave, it all boils down to a few simple questions.

How cool are you under stress?

How good a shot are you when the adrenalin is pumping?

If the idea of a wounded animal doesn't get you quivering, and you regularly bounce beer-can-sized targets out to some 40-50 yards or so, a .357 revolver will do in all manner of game.

A buddy of mine has a pretty ferocious-looking boar's head mounted, hanging on his office wall. He used a .357.

He also shoots five-second El Presidentes. I'm talking nearly box-stock 1911, not race-gun.

:D, Art

Bush baby
January 30, 2002, 01:03 AM

If it were me, I would load the .357 rifle with 180gr hornady JHP's at about 1200-1300fps and limit range to 75 yards on animals weighing no more than 250 lbs.
The 44 would be far better out to about 125 yards with bullets heavier than 240grs.

Bush baby

January 30, 2002, 08:56 AM
Thanks for the advice fellows. Will target shoot with this thing
for a while before trying it on anything big, if ever. It'll probably
just stay more of a defensive arm. Chose this caliber as I already
had the ammo (matches pistol) and I wanted something more
than a .22lr for general carry on the farm.

January 30, 2002, 12:21 PM
I had a Marlin levergun in 38/357. It was a fun plinker but not hunting hardware. I still have a win 94 .44mag and its fun and effective on game out to 100 yards (maybe).
Please don't hunt anything bigger than deer or further than reasonable with it. They are great plinkers- cheap to shoot with cast reloads. Loads of fun for new/novice shooters.
I have eliminated a couple groundhogs with my 38/357 carbine around the farm buildings- inside 50 yards with jacketed HPs it walloped 'em real good.

January 30, 2002, 01:40 PM
I use my handload of a 180 grain hornady XTP @1,490 fps. I tried up to 1,550 fps, but accuracy was only 2.5" @ 50 yards, so I dropped down to 1,490 fps which gives 0.75" groups.

This load has nearly the power of a .44 magnum from a revolver, with much better sectional density. It penetrated ~36" of water (6 milk jugs), held together, and mushroomed to .67" in my informal tests. With this load I have confidence that it will penetrate through and through from any sane angle on deer.