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.357 mag lever action for deer?

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.357 mag lever action for deer?

Old 05-10-2008, 07:12 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 282
Default RE: .357 mag lever action for deer?

ORIGINAL: millagerobert

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.
Compare the ballistics of a 357 to a 30-30? No way.
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:55 AM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: North Central Idaho
Posts: 539
Default RE: .357 mag lever action for deer?

I stated "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. " I am not saying 357 beats the 30/30, it does not in most cases since the 30/30 is used in longer barreled rifles, but when everything is equal they become comparable. But for economy and at ranges under 100 yards the .357 has allot going for it when used in a compact lever action and is largely under estimated. The compact size and lack of recoil makes the 357 lever actions a good choice for certain hunters and situations.
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Old 05-12-2008, 06:13 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: NW Colorado
Posts: 199
Default RE: .357 mag lever action for deer?

I shot a Mule Deer last year with my Marlin 94C, I believe it was 60 yards or just little under. I used the new federal fusion bullets, they are darn impressive. But I would also not hessitate to use some hot 158grain cast or hp hand loads. I was comfortable out to 100 yards, and wouldnt pass up a shot under 100 yards. I had complete penetration in the boiler room, and the deer went about 5 feet and went down. As long as your comfortable with your rifle you wont be upset with the results of the 357. I loved mine out in the field, it was light and fast to get on target. I have a Marbles Full Buckhorn Rear sight on mine, so it more or less works like a peep sight. Put the front sight on the target, through the sight and squeeze it off.
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Old 05-12-2008, 06:37 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Anchorage, AK
Posts: 373
Default RE: .357 mag lever action for deer?

My dad has a 1894 carbine in 357 mag topped with a 3-9 compact scope. It has proven an extremely reliable deer rifle with 158gr SP ammo. It is very accurate, no recoil, and quick follow up shots. We have taken deer from handshaking range to 125 yards with it and never failed to recover an animal. It is particularly good for cornfield or swamp hunting where ranges are usually closer. That litte rifle accounted for a lot of game over the last 30 years. When my son/daughter are older I plan on getting one for them to shoot.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:32 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Wide open Nevada
Posts: 515
Default RE: .357 mag lever action for deer?

I have the Marlin 1894C also fun little plinker and IMO a fine choice as a pistol / rifle package to hunt with and with
proper placment and not trying to break shoulders and keeping shots to 100 yrds or less it is plenty .
I found in my rifle that any load that shot well enough for me to call a hunting load would clover leaf 5 shots at 75
yrds and did so 400 - 410 fps faster .
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