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Old September 7, 2000, 10:18 PM   #1
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Over the years I think I have fallen into a rut when it comes to bullet types when I reload. It seems that all my hunting rounds are JHP’s. With all the different types of bullets available I have started to wonder if I’m short changing myself by doing this.

The specifics are this. It is a .357 Maximum in a 14” contender barrel. I will be pushing the 180 grain bullet right at 1800 fps. Now here comes the questions. Would you use a JHP or SP bullet. This particular round will be for whitetail deer in Ohio. I have always used the JHP in all my other calibers (.44 mag. & 45 LC) for hunting deer and they have performed well. I have just been wondering if I have been missing something by not using other styles of bullets. Will I have better accuracy with one over the other? Which one will have better penetration? Can I expect less expansion in the SP because of the smaller cavity up front?


[This message has been edited by Fisher (edited September 07, 2000).]
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Old September 8, 2000, 07:46 AM   #2
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Suggest the Remington 180g semi-jacketed HP in your Max.
Excellent accuracy and superb terminal ballistics. Only needs 1200fps launch speed. Might need more for those really looooong shots.


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Old September 8, 2000, 03:32 PM   #3
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One of the things I think you always have to consider are the designed performance envelope of the bullet. That is, most expanding bullets are designed for a specific velocity range. Hornady kindly publishes their list for their XTP bullets, and IIRC Speer's reloading manual sometimes includes such data in its caliber write-ups that preceed the cartridge loading data.

I don't think many (if any) .357" 180 JHP bullets are designed for velocities up around 1800 fps. My educated guess would be that they're designed more for expansion in the 1000 to 1300 fps range. You _may_ experience fragmentation and/or inadequate penetration with a JHP driven to .357 Max velocities.

My first choice for whitetail deer with a .357" bullet would probably be a 180 grain hard-cast SWC with a large meplat, and gas checked.

After that, I'd go with either a 180 JSP or Speer's 160 grain semijacketed SWC.
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Old September 8, 2000, 04:27 PM   #4
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On deer I would definatley use a softpoint. A freind of mine uses a Marlin lever action in .357 and his load chronographs at 1700 fps. I always kid him about taking a rabbit gun to the deer woods but he's killed 3 deer with it that Ive witnessed. One deer was shot 3 times and recovered about 200 yards from where it was shot. The first shot(a 125 JHP) was right on the shoulder. The deer ran about 75 yards and stopped, and turned to look and he shot it in the lungs. It ran off and when he finally found it ,it was still alive and kickin so he shot it again. Upon examination, the first shot had hit the shoulder bone and disentegrated. It had done little damage other than superficial. It was the second shot that put the deer down, it had went thru both lungs and stopped just underneath the hide , but the bullet looked like it could have been shot again as it did not expand. Third shot was in the head from about 15 yards and that ended that. One other deer he shot thru the lungs , deer ran about 100 yards and expired, that bullet did not expand but acted as a solid.The other deer he shot thru the lungs and the bullet expired perfectly, you could have used it for a bullet ad. But etheir way you look at it, that is only one out of three that expanded.

Looks to me that the soft point might have less of a chance of a wound. It'll plow on thru and do the job. At 1800 fps, I'd hate to risk bullet failure on a fine buck. It would make me sick to lose a deer, knowing that it would eventually die.
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Old September 9, 2000, 10:54 AM   #5
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I would use either the Hornady Interlock 180gr single shot pistol #3505 or the 180gr Nosler Partition. Both of those should give reliable expansion while staying together at the higher velocities.

"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"-Neil Peart
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Old September 10, 2000, 07:16 AM   #6
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I use a Dan Wesson 8" .357 for deer here in Ohio. I have been using a 158grLSWC hard cast driven to max velocity of over 1550fps powered by 15+ grains of 2400. This has never failed me. (knocking on wood!)

I've been meaning to try a 180gr bullet, probably the LBT series, although I've heard of the new 180grJHP Nosler partition that may be a good choice. That is supposed to have a soft lead front cavity and, of course, their partition to hold it all together. 1800fps might be a little too high though. e-mail them and ask! I will have to find out if it is usable at the lower velocities in my 8" Mag.

I would agree with LIprogun when he states that most 180gr JHP bullets are designed to operate best at lower velocities than yours. Face it, most people dont shoot Maximums or 14" barrels. Most will be using a 6-8" .357Mag so they design their bullets accordingly. At your intended velocities, a JSP would most likely expand nicely! I'd find something like the LBT or other wide flat nose if I were you. The suggested Rem 180jhp is too 'pointy' in my estimation, although I've never tried it on game.

I'd stick with a 'normal' JSP if it was designed for lower velocities in the hopes that it wouldn't disintegrate at your speeds, but go with either of the choices listed by bedlamite for serious high velocity work.
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