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Old 05-04-2008, 06:57 AM   #1
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Default .357 mag lever action for deer?

I have a 30-30 Marlin lever action that I have used for deer already (while hunting in most situations I use my 7mm mag but in thick bush I will use the 30-30). I was looking at a .357 lever action the other day. I load rounds for the 30-30 and .357 mag for one of my pistols already. I was just wondering if any of you have used a .357 mag round for deer? Reason for the question....I was taking stock of my ammo and realized just how many hundred .357 rounds I have and thought the reloading cost of the .357 is less than the cost of the 30-30 (just happen to have 4-5 hundred bullets that I bought in bulk leftplus already have the powder). Now it's not a rifle that I need (I will get that from my wife), but since I have so many .357 rounds already (and the supplies to make so many more), I thought that a .357 lever would be a fun gun for plinking. I never thought that I might use it for deer so have never done any research. So the question...Have any of you guys used this cal. for deer? As stated, I'm not need this rifle for hunting but just wondering (as also stated I'm going to pick one up for plinking at the range anyways)
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:29 AM   #2
 
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Default RE: .357 mag lever action for deer?

Should work great for deer as long as you keep the range limitations in mind. Out of a rifle I might say 75 yards or so with a hot loaded .357 round. I mean you can kill a deer with a .410 slug if you put it in the right spot and keep your shots close.

One of the things I have always wanted was a nice lever action .357, just sounds like a fun toy.

Paul
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:18 AM   #3
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Default RE: .357 mag lever action for deer?

The brother of one of my close friends killed a buck a couple of years ago with the .357 Lever gun. The distance was about 40 yds., so I'm told, and the deer only ran a short distance and piled up. I can't tell you what for ammo was used, or if he got an exit hole. I do know that my buddy was amazed at the performance and the damage created by it.
I think Paul is right when he said that within certain distance constraints, it should work OK. I'd also add that you would want to pick your shots pretty carefully, I would think, with a broadside being the best, or neck if you are close and confident of you and your gun's abilities.......
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Old 05-04-2008, 03:32 PM   #4
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Default RE: .357 mag lever action for deer?

I have a Marlin 1894C in 357mag. with the Ashleys Ghost Ring sights on it. Gun favors the Federal American Eagle 158gr. soft points. Average velosity is 1835fps. with only 4fps. standarddeviation between 5 shots. Have not had the chance to use it on deer but would not hesitate to take a shot out to 100yds.
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:36 PM   #5
 
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Default RE: .357 mag lever action for deer?

Accuracy out to 100 yards may not be a problem, but the lethality of a .357 at that range is somewhat questionable. Everything I've read says you should keep shots within bow range. Personally, I think that means 50 yards and maybe 75 is seriously stretching it. As far as the soft points, they may be the most accurate out of your rifle, but if you're going to hunt deer with it you should look into shooting a hard cast bullet like what Buffalo Bore has to offer... http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:32 PM   #6
 
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Default RE: .357 mag lever action for deer?

With a .357 Magnum lever gun, you're looking at approximately the same power (if not a bit more) as the .357 Maximum in a revolver. I'd be looking at 100 yards as a maximum range, and I wouldn't use anything less than full-power 158gr loads either. You might want to do some testing with your ammo first as some .357 bullets can't handle the velocity without fragmenting.
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:16 AM   #7
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Default RE: .357 mag lever action for deer?

Quote:
ORIGINAL: whitetaildreamer

I have a 30-30 Marlin lever action that I have used for deer already (while hunting in most situations I use my 7mm mag but in thick bush I will use the 30-30). I was looking at a .357 lever action the other day. I load rounds for the 30-30 and .357 mag for one of my pistols already. I was just wondering if any of you have used a .357 mag round for deer? Reason for the question....I was taking stock of my ammo and realized just how many hundred .357 rounds I have and thought the reloading cost of the .357 is less than the cost of the 30-30 (just happen to have 4-5 hundred bullets that I bought in bulk leftplus already have the powder). Now it's not a rifle that I need (I will get that from my wife), but since I have so many .357 rounds already (and the supplies to make so many more), I thought that a .357 lever would be a fun gun for plinking. I never thought that I might use it for deer so have never done any research. So the question...Have any of you guys used this cal. for deer? As stated, I'm not need this rifle for hunting but just wondering (as also stated I'm going to pick one up for plinking at the range anyways)
I used to work with a woman in Texas who used a Marlin lever-action in .357 Magnum for deer hunting. She thought it was just great. But as you may know, the Central TX deer are not much larger than a Collie dog!! I agree that ranges must be kept short.
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:16 PM   #8
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Default RE: .357 mag lever action for deer?

I bought a winchester 1894 ranger model a few years back in .357, thought it would compliment my pistol, and be a good plinking and close range defense gun. The compact size proved to be of use when taking my cousin on his first deer hunt this year, since he was unable to properly hold a full sized rifle. Most of the ground we would be hunting is covered with thick timber so shots stay under 100 yards. I loaded up some 158 grain oregon trail laser cast silver bulletts for it. They clocked over 1800 fps out of the 16 inch barrel, which is actually comparable to a 30/30 out of a 16 inch barrel. The thing that was nice with the .357 and these loads is that they were fairly economical to produce and that allowed for my cousin to get in allot of practice, and the light recoil with reduced loads were an added benefit. I topped the rifle with a 3x9 burris for added accuracy and for my cousin to get use to using a scope. When set up and Rattling the ability for me to load a round in the chamber, lower the hammer (my lever gun has a transfer bar safety allowing safe use with chambered round and hammer down), and engaged the saftey, was a plus in the safety aspect with a new hunter also, in order to go bang he had to cock the hammer and disengage the safety, and extra measure versus just disengaging the safety on a bolt action. The real test came on a 4x4 whitetail at 40 yards, my cousins shot was true and the bullet penetrated the heart traveling in one side and out the other. The deer went about 20 yards and piled up. The wound channel was a little more impressive than I expected, but not so extreme that vast amounts of meat were damaged. After seeing the little lever gun in action, I actually started using it for blind hunting where close range shots may be encounterd. While this little gun looks cute, when loaded with 9 rounds of full horse power .357 it can put out allot of firepower in a hurry. A person considering a .357 instead of a 30/30 should do some research on comparable ballistics out of similar length barrels, the .357 actually equals or beats the 30/30 in some velocity and energy aspects with certain loads.
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Old 05-07-2008, 04:34 PM   #9
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Default RE: .357 mag lever action for deer?

I appreciate the info guys. As stated I think I'm going to pick up the rifle just to have one anyways. I'm not sure what hunting situations I'm going to find myself in this fall but at least your info gives me some direction if I choose to take it out with me. Thanks again.
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Old 05-10-2008, 06:39 PM   #10
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Default RE: .357 mag lever action for deer?

You wont be dissapointed. I too reload for my handguns so Igot one of the EMF Hartford rifles a couple of years ago. With downloaded .38s I have taken numerous squirrels and it is a blast for plinking at metal targets. It is unbelievably accurate. I took a large doe with it at 115 yds. using Federal .357 180grn. Castcore bullets. A high shoulder shot flattened her on the spot and got full pass through. That was impressive performance of a so-called 50 yd. max minimal deer caliber. I hunt with it regularly now.
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