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Old January 28, 2011, 02:03 PM   #1
ddixon
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Hunting loads for 357 Mag.

I would like to hear what folks think about hunting loads for 357 Magnium both revolver and rifle for deer and hogs at shorter ranges 50 yrds (max 100 yrds).

Cast bullets or restrict hunting loads to Jacketed HPs? Heavy or medium weight bullets?

Thanks

David
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Old January 28, 2011, 02:58 PM   #2
Doyle
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There are better bullets than JHPs for deer. With a .357, you need penetration more than you need expansion. Most hunters use either hard cast bullets or JSPs.
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Old January 28, 2011, 03:01 PM   #3
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As stated by Doyle
I like 158gr SJSP & 180gr Hard cast JMO ; )
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Old January 28, 2011, 05:29 PM   #4
buck460XVR
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Quote:
There are better bullets than JHPs for deer. With a .357, you need penetration more than you need expansion. Most hunters use either hard cast bullets or JSPs.

I agree. I have also had good luck using 158gr Hornady XTP-FPs(not HPs).
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Old January 28, 2011, 05:37 PM   #5
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158's and 180's. Just about any bullet except a round-nose or a JHP, unless the JHP is specifically designed for only modest expansion. I would go with a cast bullet with a wide flat nose.

I like the concept of handgun hunting, and I have a couple of revolvers big enough that I shoot pretty well to legally try it, but I don't think I could hit a large dinner plate every time with a handgun at 70 yards. Isn't that about what the kill zone is on a whitetail? Have you thought this through?
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Old January 28, 2011, 06:25 PM   #6
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Check out Buffalo Bore ammo. Just what you are looking for if you have a stout gun.
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Old January 28, 2011, 07:11 PM   #7
ddixon
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I have both a long barreled revolver and a 20 inch barrel carbine in 357 Mag. I wasn't really thinking of the revolver for use beyond 40-50 yds but I would like to settle on a common bullet and load.

"I like the concept of handgun hunting, and I have a couple of revolvers big enough that I shoot pretty well to legally try it, but I don't think I could hit a large dinner plate every time with a handgun at 70 yards. Isn't that about what the kill zone is on a whitetail? Have you thought this through?"
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Old January 28, 2011, 07:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
...I like the concept of handgun hunting, and I have a couple of revolvers big enough that I shoot pretty well to legally try it, but I don't think I could hit a large dinner plate every time with a handgun at 70 yards. Isn't that about what the kill zone is on a whitetail? Have you thought this through?
There are many successful handgun hunters out there and usually they have thought it through very carefully. I know that I waited a number of years before trying my hand at it. While that may have been good, I know nothing more thrilling than hunting with a handgun during rifle season.

The important factor is to limit your shots to your known capability with your handgun-sight combination. With iron sights, I limit my shots to 100 yds or less, since I know that that is the reasonable limit of my personal capability. With a scoped handgun, depending upon caliber, I limit my shots to about 150 +/- yds. But then truly, not living in a western state with miles of open country, most shots are still less than that.

Since I am willing to pass on a less-than-ideal shot, I have not ever had an injury-only shot or lost game due to a bad shot.

Like any other of the hunting disciplines, practice, patience and experience are important when handgun hunting.
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Old January 28, 2011, 08:16 PM   #9
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We had a young angus bull (around 350 lbs) to put down yesterday that had broken a rear leg. It was dispatched with a .357 mag: 180 gr Hornady HP/XTP, 13.9 gr of Hodgdon H110, and WSPM primer. That load did its job well. We did salvage the meat . . . costly though it was.

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Old January 28, 2011, 09:26 PM   #10
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Agree with most. The heavier bullets are the only way to go; JHP or cast. You will not get the penetration with the lighter bullets at distances. Powder is up for grabs, plenty out there to get the FPS you desire.
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Old January 28, 2011, 11:45 PM   #11
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I like a 150-170gr. swc push to 1200 fps 100yds is pushing it for the 357 , bullet placement is most critical at longer distances !!!!

Not to mention the bullet drop will be like a rainbow , much practice is a must!!!

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Old January 30, 2011, 05:46 AM   #12
Mike / Tx
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Quote:
I would like to hear what folks think about hunting loads for 357 Magnium both revolver and rifle for deer and hogs at shorter ranges 50 yrds (max 100 yrds).

Cast bullets or restrict hunting loads to Jacketed HPs? Heavy or medium weight bullets?

Thanks
David
Since around 87 I have shot just about every weight and style bullet available through my .357's. The most accurate load I ever had used the Speer 146gr SJHP. It look quite a bit like the SWC's but had a half jacket on it and would punch a ragged hole out to as far as I could hold them.

I used it once to take a doe at 78 paces and it "worked", but I caught her just up behind the ear, while she was licking her side. Since then I have moved on to other bullets especially since Speer has discontinued that particular one.

The weights I would suggest have come from shooting feral hogs. We have tried all sorts of combinations but the standard wide flat nosed cast will do it all better than any jacketed will. As of now most of my loads are using the Oregon Trail 158gr since I haven't gotten into casting much myself. I have found them to work good in all of my revolvers and my Contenders with no real leading what so ever. I load them up to both target and max velocities and they shoot well on both ends.

While they might be a bit more than some cost wise, I personally feel they make up for it in the wide range of loads I can use with out the added leading found in some cast bullets. Quite a few need to be loaded to no more than a certain velocity or used with certain powders, while the OT 's are simply loaded and shot to what I want or need.

Good luck with your loads, hunting with a handgun gives you a new appreciation for your handgun, as well as lots of trigger time while working your comfort zone out to 50 or 75yds.
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Old January 30, 2011, 11:39 AM   #13
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I would suggest the Buffalo Bore 185 grain GC FN http://www.beartoothbullets.com/bulletselect/index.htm
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Old January 31, 2011, 04:17 PM   #14
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avoid HP's for either deer or hogs

I've heard that advice (title line) from people that experienced shallow penetration with HP's in .357. I haven't learned the hard way and am willing to accept the experience of those that have gone before me.

I'm sticking w/ 158 and 173 gr Elmer Keith type w/ a wide, flat nose or Hornady XTP's. I'm hunting relatively dense IL woods and shots are 50 yds max.
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Old January 31, 2011, 06:02 PM   #15
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I loaded with W296 behind a 125 grain XTP HP and don't have any issues putting deer down. An XTP FP will work too, probably with less expension. I thought the 125s would be a little light but they worked just fine in the nid 1400s fps. Also loaded a 158 Gold Dot which also performed very well. No jacket separation with either of those.
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Old February 1, 2011, 06:58 AM   #16
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I suggest the standard Remington 180g S-JHP; fine for deer and piggies.
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Old February 1, 2011, 08:13 PM   #17
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I used the 140 grn. Hornady FTX .357 bullet last year in my .45 muzzle loader with sabots. Harvested two nice mulies with them and they worked exeptionaly well.
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Old February 1, 2011, 09:03 PM   #18
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ddixon

Check your State's hunting laws, I believe HP pistol rounds are not acceptable bullets to use. And could get you into trouble.


Jim

But then you didn't say what state your from.
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Old February 2, 2011, 12:06 AM   #19
ddixon
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I am in NM, I haven't seen the 2011 NM Game Proclamation and legal cartridges rifle and pistol do change every few years. The restriction on bullets has generally been no full jacked bullets rifle or pistol. There have been years when legal pistol cartridges have been listed by name. Other years when a minimum ME was specified. And still other years when cartridges over a minimum length with bullets over a minimum weight set the legal criteria, until the Game Proclamation is out those details are out of my control. I was interested in what other hunters had used in 357 Mag rifle and revolvers loads on deer and the results they had. I can cast my own bullets and prefer to load my own ammunition. But I have only hunted Javelina with a handgun some years ago and jackrabits for off season practice. I have never tried deer with a 357 mag carbine or revolver.

Last edited by ddixon; February 2, 2011 at 09:08 AM.
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Old February 2, 2011, 08:33 PM   #20
700cdl
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You said your from New Mexico! I born in Albuquerque, lived in Alamogordo, and hunted for a very long time in the Cloudcroft and Ruidoso areas and really miss it. What part of the sate are you in? If your in that part of the state please let me know because I have a question, rather a small favor to ask of you.
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Old February 4, 2011, 02:34 PM   #21
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My 357 125 gr Hornady XTP's are moving at 1886 fps. The XTP was designed to expand and retain its weight - 80% +. Hydrostatic shock is greatly increased with the higher velocities. Hydrostatic shock is what tramatizes the inards when a bullet hits. This same load combo (using H110) is creating 2176fps in my neighbors Marlin lever rifle. My charge is 21.6gr of H110. It is near compressed. I have seen hogs hit with 41 flat noses that keep on going - why? Lack if internal trama - bullet punches a hole straight through, but does much less damage. It is almost like the difference between shooting an animal with an arrow with a field tip vs. shooting them with a broadhead. Granted, there are SOME applications where you need really deep penetration - those instances where you are hunting heavy-boned dangerous game - Deer and hogs (for the most part) do not fit that bill, and if you want to kill them quickly, you need the bullet to creat hydrostatic shock, AND expand.
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