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Old November 7, 2018, 12:19 PM   #1
Wigwam
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Need advice on 4" Security Six for Deer Season

So I went ahead and did it. I got a scope mounted on the 357 Magnum that I inherited, dead set on getting a deer. I have posted one thread on here before, showing off my previous modifications to this, in the way of trigger shoes and t-grips.

But I always knew I wanted to hunt with this. But I'm not a lifelong hunter, and before my Dad died I never hunted. He didn't either. The gun was for home defense, and, thankfully, never got used.

So after I received a few guns as an inheritance I did some research, joined the NRA and bought a few books on handgun hunting. None of which really seemed to esteem the 357 like I though it should. This really pissed me off as I always thought the 357 was supposed to be almighty.

So I got little to me advice on what to get and what to do with a 357 that I wanted to hunt with. But I did find a new old stock scope mount made for this Ruger back in the 70s or 80s by KRIS MOUNTS, a long since defunct company.

And when I was dead set on getting the gun drilled, and tapped I heard the criticism of "Why", and that " Well I only use open sights" & that "You will ruin the guns value".

I didn't care. I did it because I wanted to...even though, admittedly, I don't know a dmn thing. I even got a Blackhawk brand holster for scoped handguns.

I do need to shorten the learning curve though. And I am asking what the best factory ammo reccomendation is for this 4" scoped Security Six as far as deer and bear.

I can't afford trial and error, and I did buy one of those cheap bullet shaped laser pointers that goes right into the revolver cylinder...hopefully to get a faster sighting in.

So, again, I need thoughts on ammo and expected performance out of this specific revolver and its 4" barrel length against deer and black bear.

I also attached photos of the new work done. So, again, I appreciate honest feedback and helpful suggestions for the rig I have set up.

Thanks
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Last edited by Wigwam; November 7, 2018 at 12:43 PM.
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Old November 7, 2018, 01:38 PM   #2
Dufus
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There is a lot of good ammo on the market. All I will tell ya is pick something that has a reputation and for hunting, use a jacketed soft point. I don't think a hollow point will cut the mustard on a deer. Minimum weight should be 158 gr. which will give good penetration.

Anyways, I have only shot 2 white tails with the 357, which ain't a lot to go by, but I did use a JSP 158 gr bullet and one did not bang flop, but the other did.

I was using a Ruger Blackhawk 6 1/2" with iron sights.
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Old November 7, 2018, 03:13 PM   #3
T. O'Heir
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"...don't think a hollow point will..." Shot placement matters most like any other cartridge. Only serious issue will be the velocity and remaining energy out of a 4" barrel. Plus how well you can place the shot. However, the .357 is marginal for deer out of a 20" rifle. Be less than marginal out of a 4" revolver. Probably ok at under 50 yards or, better, at archery distances. That's less than 20 yards.
A Federal 158 JHP out of a 4" barrel runs a bit under 1300 FPS. 1332 FPS for Hydro-Shok's according to Ballistics by the Inch. Energy is not enough though. Federal's factory ME is only 539 ft-lbs. That's not enough.
Federal does load a cast 180 they claim is for hunting deer/bear. That'd be better than a jacketed 158, if your revolver shoots 'em well enough. As daft as that sounds.
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Old November 7, 2018, 03:32 PM   #4
jmr40
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Quote:
I always thought the 357 was supposed to be almighty.
357 Mag looks good on paper, from 8" test barrels under lab conditions. From 4" duty length barrels in the real world you'll just barely beat 9mm speeds with similar bullet weights. When shot from 6" or longer barrels 357 is in another league. It just needs more than 4" to burn all that powder and get speeds up.

That said most deer are smaller and easier to kill than humans. Even typical black bear are in the 150-250 lb range and are no harder to kill than an athletic human of the same size that had spent some time in the gym. A 357 mag, even from a 4" barrel will work nicely on any of those. Of course there are 300-400 lb deer and 500-600 lb black bear. Grizz can get even bigger and the brown bear in Alaska can top 1000 lbs

For typical size deer or Black bear I'd stay with a HP bullet on the heavy end of the spectrum. I'd go with 180's, 158's at a minimum. You'll still get adequate penetration with a HP and the expansion will put them down quicker.

If you were ever to find yourself in a situation where going after larger then typical game then I'd look at the semi-wadcutter hardcast bullets made by Buffalo Bore or Double Tap. Those don't expand at all, but do a lot of damage and will penetrate several FEET through big tough animals.

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=100

The key is proper shot placement. It'll kill 'em if you can hit 'em in the right spot. The real limitation is range. You're looking at 50 yards or less. Maybe much less depending on how well you shoot.
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Old November 7, 2018, 07:14 PM   #5
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I’d be rather hesitant to use a .357 Mag for bears.
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Old November 7, 2018, 07:18 PM   #6
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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You could take a deer with a 357 revolver. But~~ past 60 yards such a shot would be unethical. Motto: "Never expect a handgun w/4" barrel to mimic a rifle's capability.
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Old November 7, 2018, 07:20 PM   #7
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I appreciate all of the advice. Now I have heard of the Buffalo Bore, Cor Bon and things like that, but I never really fully understood ballistics. I just began reading a book written by a miltary guy, Major Nonte, written in the 70s.

Apparently these kind of bullets were not available back then, because so far I haven't come across any material referencing them. It is a good book though.

But I am just simply upset that 357 info is so hard to come by. I mean it was my Dads gun, and all these years, I essentially thought I could shoot Godzilla himself and drop him with it. Now I find out that for whatever reason some feel that the 357 is barely adequate for rabbits.

Now in my research I have come across some info about something called Leverrevolution....made by Hornady. And some reviews have sworn by it in magnum revolvers on big game.

Does anyone have any insight on this polymer tipped cartridge being more effective, even on dangerous game....or are the numbers inflated?
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Old November 7, 2018, 07:49 PM   #8
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"That said most deer are smaller and easier to kill than humans."

That is false. Deer are surprisingly tough. I have seen deer hit by a 30-30 (which is way more powerful than your 4 inch .357) keep running for a significant distance after being hit. I have seen deer with a leg shot off by a powerful rifle, keep running as best they can. I strongly recommend that a 4 inch .357 is not adequate for deer, regardless of what your state law says.
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Old November 7, 2018, 08:16 PM   #9
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I killed a few deer with a 357 mag (both 4 and 6.5") over the years. Most were within 50 yards which is a good limit if using open sights. IF(and that's a big IF) you can hold a 6" group beyond 50 yards from a hunting position and you have tracking skills(which seems doubtful considering you're a novice hunter), the 357 will kill deer farther than 50 but gets questionable quickly.
I used 158 JHP ammo and waited for a broadside presentation.
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Old November 7, 2018, 08:21 PM   #10
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I pretty much go along with Mobuck, although a fair number of hunters opt for 158-grain lead.

As far as skill level and distance, my opinion is for you to limit yourself to distances where you can get at least 90% of your shots into the end of a soda can.
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Old November 7, 2018, 09:58 PM   #11
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There is a lot of good ammo out there for what your wanting. I wouldn't overthink it too much as long as you stay away from light hollow point bullets for self defense. Most ammunition manufactures have recommendations for hunting loads if you just visit their web site.

On a side note keep an eye on your scope, as I've never had a good experience with any BSA product. I have a buddy who did a lot of handgun hunting when he lived in NY, and he said the Bushnell Trophy was as cheap as he'd buy. Of course he was shooting rifle cartridges out of Contenders and Encore pistols.
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Old November 8, 2018, 08:16 AM   #12
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I didn't notice your scope choice before Taylorce1 mentioned it but yes, BSA stands for Been Suckered Again. Do yourself a favor and get a real scope if you intend to hunt with it. Or better yet, loose the scope altogether. At the true effective range of a 4" .357, you are in iron sight territory anyway.
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Old November 8, 2018, 02:02 PM   #13
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I would check you state game laws. Here in Ohio we have minimum barrel length. 4" don't
make the cut.
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Old November 8, 2018, 03:16 PM   #14
rodwhaincamo
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I don’t know how well LeverRevolution ammo would work in a short barreled handgun as they were designed for a tubular rifle magazine, and therefor a much longer barrel. I’d assume that it likely wouldn’t reach the velocity intended and then may not work so well at longer ranges.

https://www.hornady.com/bullets/hand...ftx-357-mag#!/

It doesn’t show the velocity range for the bullet, but, according to the description it sounds like it needs a higher velocity to expand properly as it seems a tougher bullet. You might want to email them and ask about use in your short barreled revolver.
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Old November 8, 2018, 03:58 PM   #15
Doyle
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Leverevolution ammo has somewhat of a reputation for not opening up even in rifles. I definitely wouldn't use it in a 4" .357.
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Old November 8, 2018, 07:33 PM   #16
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My Alaska buddy took a lot of caribou using 357 with Buffalo Bore or double tap ammo hardcast. However I think he uses a 7 inch barrel or so. I will check
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Old November 8, 2018, 08:33 PM   #17
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Sorry he uses a rifle not handgun
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Old November 8, 2018, 09:13 PM   #18
Wigwam
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Thanks again for all of the help. I did check on barrel minimums in my state. There is no minimum.

I also looked at the Buffalo Bore site and the numbers looked impressive.

I do have questions about handloads and reloading. Since the reloading things seems like rocket science to me, what should I ask a reloader to make me that might safely exceed Buffalo Bore and bring the performance of my specific revolver to the max?

I have heard talk of 4" barrels at times producing more velocity that longer barrels. So again what can I ask a reloader to make me to take the 4" to its absolute best.

Last edited by Wigwam; November 12, 2018 at 06:46 PM.
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Old November 8, 2018, 09:56 PM   #19
Art Eatman
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Those velocities are likely near the maximum safe pressure. I don't think that going "hotter" would add enough velocity to really increase effectiveness.
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Old November 9, 2018, 02:25 PM   #20
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Im using barns 140 grain all cooper hallow points again this year. Ill be using my smith and wesson model 19-3 with a 6inch barrel. Recoil is stout with these loads and they group very well at 50 yards. I use open sights that i painted orange with testors model paint. I used the same set up last year but with no close shot opportunities.
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Old November 11, 2018, 04:44 AM   #21
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advice

Hate to rain on your parade, but if you shoot it much( and you should in prep for hunting) I'm predicting the BSA scope will not last long. Good optics are worth the price in the long run. I'm a Leupold guy, and like Burris as well.

There's no reason that a deer can't be humanely taken with a .357 revolver. Just remember that you are on the lower end of the spectrum power wise and much depends on your accuracy and shot placement (as always). I'm in agreement that you should be looking at shots 50 yds and under, and half that would be better. There has been a comparison to archery distances and I think that's valid. As in bowhunting, I would work for a broadside or shallow quartering away shot, the goal being to take out the lungs.

I do not think that one needs premium, boutique ammo to use the .357 on deer effectively. Over the counter 158 JHP/JSP is far more common and affordable, and you will want to practice plenty. White tail deer are not all that tough, meaning that they are a 150 lb or so thin skinned creature whose hide, ribs can be fairly easy to penetrate, and vitals are not that hard to reach. A 158 gr JSP or JHP, applied to the ribs, will most certainly punch through to the vitals and result in a dead animal in short order. Botch the shot, and they may run a long way and you may not recover it, even if you were shooting an '06.

A deer with the .357 revolver is entirely possible, but attention to the details concerning range and bullet placement are more critical than ever.
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Old November 12, 2018, 01:49 AM   #22
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I agree with the scope. Not my cup of tea. Better to practice with the iron i think. I want a deer with my casull this year so i put about 200 rounds in practice on the iron. Now if i can fix my old guy wobbles freehand i will be all set
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Old November 12, 2018, 09:21 AM   #23
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I have shot over fifty deer with the .357mag using several different revolvers and one Contender over the last forty years. I have yet to lose even one deer with that caliber. I have dozens of recovered bullets from deer shot at various ranges and it is very apparent that the .357mag loses steam pretty quick even out of a six inch barrel revolver. I would suggest you use full power loads that have a 158g jacketed hollow point bullet, and keep all your shots under fifty yards.....if you're even capable of keeping them grouped inside six inches at that distance. I use Hornady XTP 158g JHP bullets almost exclusively now days. Trial and error has show them to work the best for me with the revolver. Second choice would be Nosler 158g JHP bullets with the same powder (WW296/H119). You don't really gain much on penetration using a 180g bullet due to decreased MV with the heavier bullet. You gain some on expansion with the lighter 158g bullet and still have adequate penetration. I'd ditch the scope and get a red dot if I were you. A scope adds a whole different level of problems trying to shoot at a possibly moving target and not lose the target due to "blackout" due to not being centered. Put a "tin can" type of red dot on it like the UltraDot....which has a lifetime guarantee and will withstand recoil even from a 45-70 rifle. If you need further info, PM me. Good luck and have fun.
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Old November 12, 2018, 06:47 PM   #24
Wigwam
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Thanks For the Barnes 140 suggestion. Ill check that ammo out.
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Old November 12, 2018, 06:52 PM   #25
Wigwam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamaranger View Post
Hate to rain on your parade, but if you shoot it much( and you should in prep for hunting) I'm predicting the BSA scope will not last long. Good optics are worth the price in the long run. I'm a Leupold guy, and like Burris as well.

There's no reason that a deer can't be humanely taken with a .357 revolver. Just remember that you are on the lower end of the spectrum power wise and much depends on your accuracy and shot placement (as always). I'm in agreement that you should be looking at shots 50 yds and under, and half that would be better. There has been a comparison to archery distances and I think that's valid. As in bowhunting, I would work for a broadside or shallow quartering away shot, the goal being to take out the lungs.

I do not think that one needs premium, boutique ammo to use the .357 on deer effectively. Over the counter 158 JHP/JSP is far more common and affordable, and you will want to practice plenty. White tail deer are not all that tough, meaning that they are a 150 lb or so thin skinned creature whose hide, ribs can be fairly easy to penetrate, and vitals are not that hard to reach. A 158 gr JSP or JHP, applied to the ribs, will most certainly punch through to the vitals and result in a dead animal in short order. Botch the shot, and they may run a long way and you may not recover it, even if you were shooting an '06.

A deer with the .357 revolver is entirely possible, but attention to the details concerning range and bullet placement are more critical than ever.
Thanks, Ill also consider your advice.
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